Source: Government of India
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Yoga was India’s greatest legacy, its most glorious gift to the world. He said that the massive participation of people from all over the world on International Yoga Day celebrations was a testament to the fact that the world has accepted Yoga and was celebrating it.
Addressing the gathering after releasing the book ‘Universal Brotherhood through Yoga’ compiled by Bharatiya Sanskrit Pitham, here today, the Vice President said that Yoga has the power to bring in the essential transformation required to change the way people live, think and interact with fellow human beings and Mother Nature.
Saying that Yoga could indeed serve as a force for unity in the world, Shri Naidu said it was a privilege to be practicing, promoting and propagating the great tradition that promotes physical wellbeing and inspires spiritual and intellectual awakening.
The Vice President said that an understanding of the underlying theory and Philosophy of Yoga was essential for any practitioner to appreciate Yoga in its true sense.
Saying that Yoga does not provide universal remedy for all types of diseases, he said that it could prove to be a valid alternative therapy for prevention of various types of illnesses. He said that the book lays great emphasis on all such aspects and delves deep into the infinite possibilities of the practical applications of the knowledge of Yoga.
Expressing concern over the increase of lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other respiratory diseases as well as cancers, Shi Naidu said that highly stressful work places combined with the rise in environmental pollution was playing havoc with our health.
Shri Naidu said that the meditation techniques associated with Yoga inspire a sense of deep calmness, contentment and true peace within the practitioner. The group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices ingrained in Yoga allows people to practice self control, exercising dominion over senses and of helps in maintaining balance, he added.
Quoting the rising economic burden of communicable diseases in terms of lost productivity, expenses incurred for treatment etc borne by Indians, Shri Naidu stressed the need to develop a culture of focusing upon disease prevention measures rather than treating a disease after occurrence with expensive medications and other remedies. Healthy diet, complimented with regular exercise along with practicing Yoga will go a long way in ensuring good health, he added.
Shri Naidu called up on people to shun sedentary lifestyle and adopt any form of regular physical exercise to stay healthy. Calling good health an essential precondition to prosperity, he said that only a healthy nation could become a wealthy nation.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“It gives me an immense pleasure to be here at the release ceremony of this enlightening book ‘Universal Brotherhood through Yoga’.
When I perused the table of contents of this ambitious project on Yoga, I was amazed at the variety of topics and perspectives covered in the book.
The book begins with the foundations, i.e., the philosophy behind all Yoga practices: The Yoga of Patanjali, the Yoga-Vashistha, the Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga in the Puranas, and so on.
The incorporation of story of the revival of the philosophy of Yoga by great personalities such as Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and contemporary spiritual leaders like Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Shri Ramdev Baba, and others lend a unique spiritual dimension to this book
An understanding of the underlying theory and Philosophy of Yoga is essential for any practitioner to appreciate Yoga in its true sense.
This book however does not stop at imparting theoretical knowledge but delves deep into the infinite possibilities of the practical applications of this knowledge.
Sisters and brothers,
The society we live in is in need of a transformation.
We need a transformation in the way we live, in the way we think and in the way we interact with our fellow human beings and Mother Nature.
I believe that the most potent power available at our disposal to bring about this overall transformation is Yoga.
India has today become the world capital of non communicable diseases. Lifestyle diseases like cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, hypertension, asthma and other respiratory diseases as well as cancers are on the rise.
According to ICMR’s India State-Level Disease Burden Study report the estimated proportion of all deaths due to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) has increased from around 37 % in 1990 to approximately 61 % in 2016.
Obesity figures in the country are at a staggering 70 million.
Sedentary lifestyle and highly stressful work places combined with the rise in environmental pollution is playing havoc with our health.
Only a healthy nation can be a wealthy nation. Good health is the essential precondition to prosperity.
The economic burden of these communicable diseases in terms of lost productivity, expenses incurred for treatment etc borne by India have been projected to amount to 6.2 Trillion Dollars during the period of 2012-2030 by the Harvard School of Public Health based on WHO data.
This is indeed a staggering amount of money.
Rather than treating a disease after occurrence with expensive medications and other remedies, we need to develop a culture of focussing upon disease prevention measures.
Healthy diet, complimented with regular exercise along with practicing Yoga will go a long way in ensuring good health.
Sisters and brothers,
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices.
The Bhagavad Gita says that “Yoga is equanimity, skill in action and a separation from contact with suffering”.
Yoga is the practice of self control, of exercising dominion over your senses and of maintaining balance.
It’s various Asanas or poses help in strengthening the body, in improving flexibility, endurance and resilience and in burning excess calories, ensuring fitness and good health.
Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure or heart disease, and people who have suffered from a stroke.
Yoga has also been linked to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and better immune system function.
The meditation techniques associated with Yoga inspire a sense of deep calmness, contentment and true peace within the practitioner.
Yoga places great emphasis on paying attention to breathing. Taking deep breaths and practicing breath control, promote relaxation and help in alleviating stress and pressure.
Yoga helps its practitioners remain focussed, grounded and connected.
It invokes harmony, amity and compassion within the practitioner.
The variety of practical uses of the Yogashastra is indeed mesmerizing.
Yoga is not a universal remedy for all types of diseases, but it can prove to be a valid alternative therapy for prevention of various types of illnesses.
The Yoga Day, instituted by the United Nations has contributed to increasing awareness of the value and worth of Yoga.
The massive participation in the International Yoga day celebrations from all around the world stands testament to the fact that the world has accepted and is celebrating Yoga.
Yoga can indeed serve as a force for unity in the world.
The relationship that the practice of Yoga has with different religions and cultures is reflected in the articles written by the authors renowned in the field, especially those from foreign countries like Romania, Portugal, Jordan, Argentina, Ecuador, Hungary etc in this book.
Yoga is indeed India’s greatest legacy, its most glorious gift to the world.
It is our privilege to be practicing, promoting and propagating this great tradition that promotes physical wellbeing and inspires spiritual and intellectual awakening.
The book ‘Universal Brotherhood through Yoga’ has contemporary relevance.
It seeks to promote and propagate Yoga and take its benefits to all corners of the world.
It is of paramount importance that many more such books on Yoga be published so that we keep documenting our wisdom. It is our solemn duty to pass on this wealth of knowledge to our posterity.
It is heartening to note that the K J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham endeavours to cultivate the spirit of peace, harmony and universal brotherhood through value education, interfaith meets and dialogues so as to nurture an integrated view of Indian Heritage.
I am told that it provides opportunities for pursuing scholastic activities and research in Indian Culture, Philosophy, History, Sanskrit language, Yoga and Interreligious dialogue.
I applaud the contributions this institution is making to protect and promote the values and morals that are at the core of India’s diverse civilization.
I congratulate wholeheartedly the devoted Somaiya Vidyavihar and Viveka Samuha for having gifted the this unique publication to the world.
I congratulate Shri Samir Somaiya for publishing this book. The editors of the book have accomplished an uphill task. I congratulate Shri Dilip Karambelkar, Smt. Kala Acharya, Mr. Mariano Iturbe and the authors and wish them all success.
Sisters and brothers,
The present concept of development anywhere in the world measures ‘per capita consumption’, and its corollary, ‘per capita production’.
As human beings derive happiness through consumption, it automatically follows that ‘the more the consumption, the more the happiness’.
Consequently today man has become more sick physically; tense and imbalanced, psychologically.
Yoga tells us to reduce consumption at physical level and needs at psychological level.
This Yogic style of living has potential to sustain and nourish individuals, the societies, the nations psychologically and spiritually.
I am sure that the book ‘Universal Brotherhood through Yoga’ has been written with earnest conviction.
I am certain that it will mark the turning point in beginning a new era of Yogic culture.
It will fill spiritual vacuum in the present society.
I hope that the book and the timeless wisdom that it contains will reach all corners of the world and spread messages of wellness and spirituality everywhere it reaches.
MIL OSI Asia Pacific –