Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a unique yoga session at the United Nations Headquarters on Wednesday, marking the 9th International Day of Yoga. The historic celebration saw the participation of top UN officials, envoys from around the world, and prominent individuals. The event showcased India’s commitment to nurturing traditions that unite and embrace diversity, with a call to eliminate contradictions and obstacles through the practice of yoga.
Unity and Embracing Diversity:
In a video message, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of eliminating contradictions, blockages, and resistances through yoga. He highlighted that yoga strengthens the sense of unity among individuals and expands their inner vision, connecting them with a consciousness that fosters love for all living beings. The prime minister urged the world to present the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ (One India, Great India) as an example to strive for global unity.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, described the yoga celebration as a unique occasion, considering Prime Minister Modi’s pivotal role in envisioning and leading International Yoga Day. She noted that the event generated tremendous anticipation and interest, reflecting the global appeal of yoga as an ancient Indian practice that transcends borders and unites people worldwide. Kamboj also highlighted the presence of children performing yoga on stage as a particularly unique aspect of the event.
Yoga’s Universal Appeal:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the unifying power of yoga, stating that it brings together the body and mind, humanity and nature, and millions of people across the globe. In a world marked by divisions, yoga’s benefits, such as reducing anxiety and promoting mental well-being, are particularly valuable. Guterres emphasized that yoga reveals our common humanity, fostering unity and encouraging efforts to build a more harmonious world for people, the planet, and ourselves.
The Historic Yoga Session:
The yoga session, held on the North Lawn of the UN Headquarters, took place from 8 to 9 am on June 21. This location is significant as it houses a bust of Mahatma Gandhi, gifted by India to the UN during its presidency of the Security Council in 2022. Prime Minister Modi paid his respects to the bust, which now proudly adorns the UN headquarters. The event was attended by top UN officials, ambassadors, envoys, delegates from Member States, and members of the global and diaspora community.
The Prime Minister-led Yoga Day celebrations witnessed participation from people representing over 180 countries, including diplomats, artists, academicians, and entrepreneurs. The event showcased the universal appeal of yoga and its growing popularity worldwide. It served as a reminder of the ancient practice’s origins in India and its ability to unite people from diverse backgrounds.