As night melted into the first glimmer of sunlight, all roads in New Delhi led to the majestic Rajpath area of the capital, as more than 37,000 people gathered around the venue to commemorate the first International Day of Yoga. It’s not just the capital Delhi which celebrated the power of yoga to transform one’s life, but across India and the world millions of celebrants of this ancient Indian practice of yoking body, mind and spirit joined in this collective rite, blurring borders and ideologies.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had only a few months ago called for observing a Day of Yoga at the UN General Assembly, led the celebrations, performing several yogic ‘asanas’ (postures). Wearing his trademark kurta-pyjama and matching them with a white tracksuit and a scarf with the colours of the Indian flag, the Indian leader took part in synchronised yogic exercise and pranayams.
Addressing the congregation, Mr Modi underlined the universal character of yoga, elevating it above politics and partisan rhetoric that had threated to spoil what is clearly not just India’s heritage, but that of the entire humankind. “This is a programme for ‘manav kalyan’ (welfare of manking), a tension-free world and a programme to spread the message of ‘sadbhavana’ (goodwill).”
“Yoga is more than only physical fitness. We are not only celebrating a day but we are training the human mind to begin a new era of peace,” he said in a messianic tone.
Mr Modi underlined the need of human development and said that it was essential to spread the massage of love and wellbeing, and yoga was one of the only ways to benefit the humankind; their minds and their souls.
He also thanked the United Nations and t 177 different countries across the world that co-sponsored the resolution to mark the International Day of Yoga.
The International Day of Yoga event, organised in the Indian capital, broke the Guinness world record for gathering the largest number of people at a yoga event, which was earlier held by Vivekananda Kendra in Gwalior, where 29,973 people had participated in a yoga event on November 29, 2005.
[youtube id=”DEwqGl0REXM”]Several world leaders commemorated the International Day of Yoga, including Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott. “For thousands of years, yoga has provided its followers with a guide to bringing their mind, body and spirit into balance. The International Day of Yoga is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the benefits of yoga,” said Mr Abbott.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to email@example.com
- Diplomacy2021.02.24India at forefront of global action against terrorism: Jaishankar at UNHRC
- India and the World2021.02.23India-Japan collaboration in the North-East region
- Diplomacy2021.02.22PM Morrison reaches out to India amid Australia v/s Facebook tussle
- India and the World2021.02.18Forging closer India-EU partnership in Indo-Pacific