International Day of Yoga

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Today is a historic day for today the world has adopted a vidya, a lifestyle and a culture from India which is the most precious foundation of this land. 'International Day of Yoga' is being celebrated for the first time in the world today. This day was supported by 177 countries in the General Assembly of the United Nations and today in 199 countries people belonging to diverse nations, religions, communities and cultures have participated wholeheartedly in the celebrations. This is undoubtedly an occasion of great glory for India and an occasion of great glory for our yogic culture.

Many people were curious about what would happen in Munger. They had heard about the government preparations on Rajpath in Delhi, in Times Square New York, in the parks of London, and they must have thought that in Munger there would also be a grand yoga program on the Polo Ground.

Yogasanas are practised by crores of people. If there are hundreds of thousands who play golf in the world, there is an equally large number of people who perform some yoga practices. There is nothing so special about it. The importance of yoga is only understood when we adopt it as a way of life, as a lifestyle; this should be the purpose of practising yoga. Today we have seen these thoughts taking a definite form and coming alive in Munger.

Though this has been the first International Day of Yoga for India and the world, for the ashram it has been just a regular day because here every day is 'yoga day'. For a person who lives yoga with every incoming and outgoing breath from morning to night, what is the importance or relevance of a yoga day for only one day? Nothing. It is like a drop of water in the ocean or a single cumin seed in a camel's mouth. We observe International Day of Yoga for 365 days of the year.

Yet the importance of this day has certainly been exceptional. So many nations agreed and adopted the resolution with keen interest and enthusiasm. It was celebrated with gusto and yoga was practised not only in our country but all over the world. I am also happy to see the quality of yoga that came out in the world today, not just riffraff yoga but solid, classical yoga was present and it was inspiring and encouraging.

When Sri Swamiji established the ashram and made the declaration that "Yoga will emerge as a mighty world culture and change the course of world events", people laughed and mocked him saying what a crazy sadhu he was to say that one day yoga would become a world culture. Today it is his words that have proved to be true! The words he had uttered about the future had reached a point of fruition; they had completed a full circle and taken living shape by being accepted by the world community.

Through the programs that have been held here by the BYMM, YYMM and other Yoga Mitra Mandals in which people have participated so wholeheartedly, the message that Munger has sent out into the world is that in a quiet but sure way we have adopted yoga as a lifestyle, we have integrated it into our lives and continue to make every effort to express this in our lives in the best possible way. It is within this expression that our humanity lies; this is our culture.

The people have made the effort to adopt yoga as a lifestyle and are committed to it. It is possible that you may see four lines in a newspaper report that in the City of Yoga such number of people in so many thousands of homes adopted yoga as a lifestyle while yogasanas were being practised the whole world over. To each and every one of you who made this wonderful program possible, I congratulate you and offer you my thanks.

Evening of 21 June 2015, Satyam Vatika, Ganga Darshan