Yoga, a gift of ancient India to the world. It was the dawn of civilization when yoga was conceived 5,000 years ago in the Indian sub-continent. By the 8th or 9th centuries BCE, a collection of beautiful verses called the Upanishads were composed. These verses crystallized deep philosophical ideas, which would last forever. Yoga was fundamental in the vision of life contained in these. As the world knows, India is a peace loving country. Our History has been that of a peace loving country. In every era, we have wished for peace and welfare of the entire world and humanity. India sees Yoga is an important medium to communicate the message of peace and harmony
2. Through the persistent efforts of our Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, who himself a keen yoga practitioner, India managed to garner unanimous support of United Nations for declaring 21 June as IDY in 2014. As we stand today, we are on the 6th International Day of Yoga. In the last five years, International Yoga Day events have been extremely successful across the world and particularly in Brazil, the response was overwhelming.
3. This yoga day comes in a time when human kind is facing a crucial battle with COVID-19 pandemic. One of the greatest challenges facing the medical world today, is mental health. The stress of modern life has been taking a great toll on the peace and inner happiness of the human beings. Modern life and the pressure of material acquisitions have taken away the sense of deep harmony and values which once pervaded the lives of men and women in society.
4. All of you would agree that inner peace is essential for a healthy immune system. It is essentially the balance within us which protects and heals us. Of course, medicines are also required when things go too far. Yoga is a vibrant and timeless tradition that is a means to good health and wellbeing.
5. Friends, I can assure you that Yoga is an effective way to boost immunity in these difficult times. Understanding this fact, The Embassy has been regularly conducting online Yoga classes and webinars on Yoga. Through this video, I request you all to take benefits of our yoga classes. This extraordinary situation, though, has limited the scope for a mass celebration, it did not stop us from doing this online celebrations. This year´s theme “Ghar Ghar se Yoga´´ which means “Yoga from Home´´. In his speech, on the occasion of International Day of Yoga- 2020, Hon´ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi said that “COVID-19 may have reduced our mobility but not our enthusiasm to do yoga´´. The Prime Minister also said, “the regular practice of yoga gives emotional strength and empathy´´.
6. This year, we have eminent personalities from all walks of life participating in yoga day events. We have philosophers, yoga practitioners, experts on Ayurveda, celebrities, Noble prize winner and the list goes on. I profoundly thank each one of them for their contributions. I complement the role of Hony Consul General of India in Rio de Janerio Mr. Leonardo Ananda and his team for their efforts in organizing this event. In addition to the Embassy of India, Consulate General of India in Sao Paulo through Swami Vivekanda Culture Centre is also planning for a string of events in co-ordination with yoga schools in Sao Paulo, Rio Grande de Sul and Santa Catarina. A global video blogging context is also being conducted by the Ministry of Ayush, Govt of India. My special thanks to all Brazilian dignitaries who contributed to this event. Let us all contribute to the global healing process and make wellness a part of our lives by embracing Yoga. Last but not least, I thank Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for their support in successfully conducting this year´s yoga day event.