At a time when the world is grappling with the challenge of terrorism, yoga shows the way to lasting peace, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. Addressing the week-long International Yoga Festival at Paramartha Niketan on the banks of Ganga here via video conferencing, Modi said yoga was not just a form of exercise but a way to attain peace through physical, mental and spiritual well being.
Noting that yoga takes man closer to nature and disciplines his body and mind, Modi, who himself practises it every day, said its prolonged and regular practice leads to higher consciousness where me and we merge together and become one. It expands one’s outlook from the confines of self to the society at large, he said. It was a journey from “Aham (me) to Vayam (we)”, he said to loud cheers from the audience.
“Today, when the world battles challenges posed by terrorism and climate change, yoga has become more relevant than ever before as it shows the way to peace,” he said.
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Modi began his address by congratulating Indian scientists on their successful missions recently, including the feat of sending more than a hundred satellites into space from a single rocket in one go. Modi said, “We in India believe in both exploring the frontiers of science and technology, and researching the depths of our soul. He said Rishikesh, where ancient sages and scholars from all over the globe converged in quest of peace, was the ideal venue for holding a festival on yoga which is a “door to connect people.
Quoting German scholar Max Muller, who thought of India as the land where the most developed minds had pondered over the most complex questions of life and found solutions, he said an ancient legacy like yoga could teach the world to live a disciplined life and work for collective good of mankind.
Referring to Indian philosopher Vivekananda’s definition of yoga, Modi said it helps one’s body achieve oneness with one’s mind and the self become one with the society at large.
“Yoga is the art of oneness, a journey from Aham to Vayam, from me to we,” the PM said adding the way to universal peace in the time of terror and climate change went through yoga which is part of India’s rich cultural heritage.
He congratulated Paramartha Niketan chief Swami Chidananda Saraswati on holding the unique annual event which is attended by experts and yoga lovers from across the country and abroad.