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Yoga one of most powerful unifying forces: PM Modi on International Yoga Day

Modi said that the world has embraced Yoga and glimpses of this can be seen in the manner in which the International Yoga Day is marked every year.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 20:14 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Yoga,Narendra Modi,International Yoga Day
PM Narendra Modi at Dehradun’s Forest Research Institute on Thursday during International Yoga Day celebrations. (ANI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat led around 50,000 yoga enthusiasts in performing a number of asanas at Dehradun’s iconic Forest Research Institute to mark the fourth International Yoga Day on Thursday morning.

In his address to the gathering, Modi said yoga has emerged as a unifying force against “subversive elements” that are trying to divide society. “These elements create walls among societies and nations, affecting the people’s morale while adding to the troubles in their already stressful lives,” he said. “It is in this scenario that yoga emerges as a factor that not only heals societies and nations but also brings them together.”

The Prime Minister began his speech with a few words on Uttarakhand, which he hailed as “the land of the gods”. “It is a matter of great fortune that this yoga day function is being organised in the very land from where the Ganga originates, the land that attracted the likes of Adi Shankaracharya and Swami Vivekanand,” he said.

He went on to assert that concerted celebrations of yoga have strengthened global ties. “The world has embraced yoga, and glimpses of this can be seen in the way the International Day of Yoga is being celebrated every year. From Tokyo to Toronto, from Stockholm to Sao Paulo, yoga has become a positive influence for millions,” he said.

Also Read: Live updates of International Yoga Day

According to Modi, yoga is beautiful because it is “ancient yet modern, constant yet evolving” and provides the “perfect solution to problems we face” as individuals and as a society.

The Prime Minister also recommended practising the ancient discipline for health reasons. “Ours is a world that never sleeps. At any given time, there is something or the other happening in various parts of the world. This fast-paced existence brings with it a lot of stress,” he said, citing how the world loses almost 18 million people to heart diseases and 1.6 million to diabetes every year. “The way to leading a creative and content life is through yoga. It helps dispel tensions and mindless anxiety,” he added.

Modi maintained that yoga is capable of uniting the world in peace, happiness and brotherhood even during turbulent times. “Instead of dividing, yoga unites; instead of spreading animosity, yoga assimilates,” he said.

Increased exposure to the ancient discipline has also given rise to employment opportunities, the Prime Minister said. “More people practising yoga means that the world needs more people to teach yoga. Many individuals have started teaching yoga in the last few years and new institutions are being set up too,” he added, exhorting the people to take pride in the country’s legacy.

Modi said he received instant support from most countries across the world when he first came up with the idea of celebrating Yoga Day four years ago. “It was the first resolution to be co-sponsored by a majority of the nations,” he recalled. “It was also the first resolution to be unanimously approved by member-countries of UN in the shortest period of time.”

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 07:48 IST