Poverty has nothing to do with yoga or religion. Every nation must have a political philosophy of its own. Many times we make mistakes, we are influenced and impressed by political philosophies which have been developed by affluent countries, and we believe that a particular political system will help us to become wealthy and rich. We have to think what the political system of our country should be in relation to the culture of its land, in order to develop the wealth of the country and give more chances to the people so that they do not remain poor. If that is done, many of the problems will be solved.
Gandhiji was of the opinion that everything we do in this country should be according to its culture, and that the villages and remote places in the country should have first priority. This has not happened in the last thirty or thirty-two years.
Yoga, of course, helps one as far as physical health and the mind is concerned. It can develop the mind and the quality of one’s character. This also we have not done. In the history of the last one hundred years, we have neglected yoga completely. As a result, the quality of mind, thinking, decision making and culture has deteriorated very much. When the quality of mind is low, how can you be healthy?
In order to be rich and to overcome poverty, it is necessary for us to have a dynamic philosophy which can be initiated by the practice of yoga.
1 February 1982, Coimbatore