Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday performed Yoga with over 50,000 enthusiasts at the Forest Research Institute campus in Dehradun, saying the ancient Indian discipline has emerged as the most powerful unifying force in a strife-torn world.
Addressing the large gathering in the backdrop of the iconic British-era building of FRI, Modi said yoga has shown the world the way from “illness to wellness” and enriching lives across the globe.
He said in fact yoga has become the biggest mass movement across the globe in the quest for good health and wellbeing, which is crucial to the creation of a peaceful world.
“Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, Himalayan highlands or sunburnt deserts, Yoga is enriching millions of lives all over the world.
WATCH: Modi leads Yoga Day celebrations in Dehradun
“Yoga fosters amity in societies which can form the basis of national unity,” the prime minister said.
He said the proposal for the Yoga Day at the United Nations was accepted in record time with a majority of nations supporting it.
Today people all over the world have come to look upon yoga as something which belongs to them, Modi said.
He also asked people to learn to honour their own legacy and heritage if they wanted the rest of the world to respect them.
“If we don’t take pride in our own legacy and heritage no one else will. We should not hesitate in honouring the gems of our own heritage.
He said the way to lead a calm, creative and content life was Yoga.
“In Yoga, we have the perfect solution to the problems we face, either as individuals or in our society,” the prime minister said.
“Instead of dividing, yoga unites. Instead of further animosity, yoga assimilates. Instead of increasing suffering, yoga heals,” he said.
Modi said yoga presents a ray of hope for future of the world.
“Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient yet modern, it is constant yet evolving,” he said.
“India’s legacy of which yoga is a significant part is unique and rich. We must take pride in it,” the prime minister said, adding that it has the power to promote universal brotherhood as it unites and assimilates instead of dividing.
“From Tokyo to Toronto from Stockholm to Sao Paulo yoga has become a positive influence in the lives of millions,” Modi said.
He asked people to embrace yoga not just for a healthy but happy and peaceful life.
The growing popularity of yoga across the globe has brought India closer to the world and this position is going to get strengthened in times to come, he said.
The prime minister had arrived in Dehradun on Wednesday night to participate in the main event on the International Yoga Day.
Elaborate security arrangements were made and nearly 3,000 security personnel deployed in and around the venue.
Modi arrived at the FRI around 6.30 am and addressed the people before performing asanas with them.
The prime minister had earlier participated in yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.
On Wednesday, while greeting yoga enthusiasts across the world, the prime minister had said that this exercise is one of the most precious gifts given by the ancient Indian sages to humankind.
“Yoga is not just a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. It is a passport to health assurance, a key to fitness and wellness. Nor is Yoga only what you practice in the morning. Doing your day-to-day activities with diligence and complete awareness is a form of Yoga as well,” a statement quoting Modi had said.
All photographs: @PIB_India/Twitter