The United Nations have declared 21 June as the annual ‘International Day of Yoga’, and 21 June 2019 marked the 5th annual International Day of Yoga.
This year, the Government of Gujarat celebrated the International Day of Yoga at important places of history, heritage, culture and religion. One historic celebration took place at the recently inaugurated Statue of Unity on the banks of the Narmada River. The Governments of India and Gujarat requested BAPS to help plan and coordinate the event wherein over 1,000 sadhus would perform yoga in synchrony. Senior religious leaders and sadhus from various organizations were invited to participate in the event, showcasing unity.
Brahmavihari Swami addressed the assembly on behalf of BAPS and all religious leaders and sadhus. He highlighted that Parabrahman Bhagwan Swaminarayan himself had mastered eight-fold yoga and had taught it to Swaminarayan sadhus. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj regularly practiced yoga and, currently, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, also practices yoga and inspires others to do so as well.
Brahmavihari Swami added, “It is most appropriate that we celebrate the International Day of Yoga at the Statue of Unity. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel united India into a single nation, and today yoga is uniting the world across communities, countries, creeds and cultures. We thank our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the lead on raising global awareness of the benefits of yoga. We also remember His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, whose constant prayers and perseverance led to the completion of the Narmada Dam project, on the banks of which this great monument is situated and which has given a lifeline for millions.”
He concluded by saying, “We must rise above our differences of sampradayas, philosophies and traditions, and pray in unity for the progress and peace of India and the world. Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj has a vision of harmony and unity. Swamiji always says that the world is troubled by disharmony and the solution is unity.”
Shri Vijaybhai Rupani, Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat reiterated, “Yoga in reality unites the body, the mind, and the soul with God. Hence, the Statue of Unity has been blessed by the holy presence and prayers of hundreds of enlightened sadhus.”
Earlier, Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, Hon. Minister for Education, welcomed and thanked every religious leader and sadhu, especially the 500 BAPS sadhus along with all the other sadhus for performing yoga in unison at the base of the Statue of Unity.