Sri Sri Ravi Shankar lovingly called as Guruji, the founder of Art of Living Foundation through which He relieves the stress at individual levels, thus reducing violence, sufferings and conflicts and spreading the love, harmony, peace throughout the world in various societies.
I would like to thank the United Nations for declaring 21st June, the longest day, as World Yoga Day. Special thanks to the Prime Minister of India, who has mooted this resolution and made an extra special effort to bring yoga to the mainstream population. I would also like to acknowledge the number of yoga teachers and yoga schools that have been striving so hard to make people understand the benefits of yoga.
Though yoga was born in India and Pakistan, in the Indian sub-continent of Takshashila and the Indian universities, it is a universal thing. If you observe a child, you will find that every child does yoga postures. From the age of three months to three years, every child does yoga. To be a yogi is to come back to the source, from where we have all come, to come back to the purity, and innocence.
What does yoga do to us? Is it just a physical exercise? No! Yoga is bringing the rhythm in life - it is acknowledging the unity of the individual with the universe. Yoga is feeling the connection with oneself and everyone around. Yoga is aspiring for the highest goal in the world - to feel one with everyone and with the divine.
Yoga brings harmony in one’s environment. It establishes a disease free body, a quiver-free breath, a confusion-free mind, an inhibition-free intellect, a trauma-free memory and a sorrow-free soul. Basically, all that one aspires in life is to be happy -- the way is through yoga.
I am so glad that today, the European Parliament - the heart of Europe, (where 48 countries sit and do their deliberations to lead their countries) is taking up this beautiful mission of wellness and bringing happiness to people. Last year, I had the good fortune of being with the United Nations (UN), and this year, I have the good fortune of being in the European Parliament. It gives me immense pleasure to be with all the great minds and good hearts of Europe.
We have a big responsibility to bring wellness to every door step. There was a time when yoga was not considered mainstream; it is thought that people who were not normal would do yoga. But today, fortunately, yoga has become the mainstream and it is the ‘in-thing’ to do. It is fashion to do yoga. It is intelligent to be participating in yoga.
The Universe has a rhythm. When the universal rhythm is in sync with our bio-rhythm, i.e., the body’s rhythm, the body is healthy. When there is an imbalance, that is when you get sick. When we are not in sync with the environment, the rhythm of nature, we are physically unfit. Similarly, when the mind is not in rhythm with the body, that is when it gets into negative thoughts. When the mind and body are in good rhythm, then thoughts are intuitive, creative and innovative. When feelings, thoughts and the body are in rhythm, we feel happy. Happiness is when feelings are also in sync with everything around us.
If you go a little beyond feelings, there is an inner space deep inside of us that we call the ‘you’, the ‘you’ that does not change. When we are in sync with that self, then we feel blissful. It is this connection with the non-changing aspect of our life that brings stability, creativity, far-sightedness, compassion, love for all, and above all, it brings a confidence in us that keeps our smile, come what may!
With these words, I wish you all a very Happy International Yoga Day. I wish you all be the light unto yourself, and spread the light of wisdom and of love to everyone around you because you are the torch bearer of happiness and of wellness to the society around you.