Greeting the nation on the occasion of the fourth International Yoga Day on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the benefits of yoga and said it has become a positive influence in the lives of millions across the world.
Speaking at the FRI campus in Dehradun, the prime minister said Uttarakhand has been a centre for yoga for several decades. "The mountains around here inspire people to do yoga. Man experiences a divine intervention," he said, while adding that it was a matter of pride for all Indians that wherever the sun rises, people around the world would be welcoming it with yoga.
"From Dehradun to Dublin, Shanghai to Chicago, Jakarta to Johannesburg, there is only yoga," Modi said.
"Be it in the Himalayas or the acrid desert, yoga is developing life. When forces defeat us and break us, there is division within society and family. The person breaks from within, with loneliness enveloping him/her. Yoga does the work of joining these pieces," said Modi in his address.
Modi also said that yoga connects the entire world. "Family, society, country, world " yoga connects all of them. Connecting the mind, body, intellect and soul, it brings about peace," he said.
Calling it a proud day for India, Modi highlighted the universality of yoga across the world. "Friends, the world has embraced yoga and proof of this can been seen in how International Yoga Day has been marked. From Tokyo to Toronto, from Stockholm to Sao Paulo, yoga has become a positive influence in the lives of millions," he said.
The prime minister termed yoga as a beautiful ancient form that is constantly evolving. "Yoga is beautiful because it is ancient yet modern, constant yet evolving. It is a ray of hope for our future. In yoga, we have the perfect solutions to problems we face," he said.
Modi also pointed out the health benefits of performing yoga everyday. "Every year, almost 18 million people die due to heart related diseases. About 1.6 million people lose the fight to diabetes. The way to lead a calm, creative and content life is yoga. Instead of dividing, yoga also unites; instead of animosity, yoga assimilates; instead of increased suffering, yoga heals," he said, adding it helps reduce medical expenses too.
Modi also discussed technology's role in creating awareness about yoga and how it helps deepen one's connection with people. "Practicing yoga has the ability bring about brotherhood. As more people practice it, there is a need for more teachers. New institutions are being set up and even technology is being used for it. May this yoga day become an opportunity to deepen our connect with people. This can have an enduring impact. It has shown the way for wellness," he said, citing it as a reason for why yoga is recognised and accepted everywhere.
On a concluding note, the prime minister requested those who don't perform yoga to get themselves involved in it in order to remain healthy.