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2ND IDY at FAO - Speech by the Ambassador

Posted on: June 21, 2016 | Back | Print

Good Morning.

I extend a very warm welcome to all of you to this wonderful event on Yoga and Meditation organized by the Indian Cultural Group under the patronage of FAO Staff Coop (Staff Cooperative). We are glad that this event, which is part of the celebrations organized around the 2nd International Day of Yoga (IDY), has received a very heartwarming response from you all.

I also express my gratitude to all the worthy speakers and our partner associations for their wholehearted support and participation.

This event would not have been possible without the encouragement and cooperation extended by the FAO management, particularly the Staff Coop, that has provided us with this opportunity to dwell on the theme of Yoga, which presents the essence of India’s traditional knowledge.

Friends, the UN General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga last year with overwhelming majority. The First IDY was celebrated all over the world with great enthusiasm in 2015, encouraging us to do more this time to expand the reach of Yoga, which as per the words of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is India’s invaluable gift to humanity”. Infact, India’s Ministry of Culture has already filed a nomination to inscribe Yoga as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under UNESCO.

Here in Italy, the Embassy has organized weeklong celebrations that started on June 13th and will culminate on June 21st with final event in Hanging Gardens of Parco della Musica. These include free Yoga lessons, seminars on Yoga and Ayurveda and musical concerts. Other important events, apart from the one here, include Yoga Expo in Salerno where the Embassy was official partner, an event in CONI on June 21st and in the Central Park in San Marino. In addition, around 100 schools affiliated to our partner Yoga associations spread over numerous cities in Italy will simultaneously perform the Yoga protocol on the 2nd IDY.

Yoga Sutra by ancient Indian sage, Patanjali, is the classical treatise that espoused the profound and timeless wisdom of Yoga for holistic living almost 2,500 years ago. He succinctly outlined the entire path of Yoga, and his discourse on Yoga strives to establish harmony and balance in our physical and emotional well being as well as our spiritual growth.

In a practical sense, disciplined practice of Yoga offers immense benefits, making journey through life calmer, happier and more fulfilling. These benefits can be perceived not only at the physical or bodily level, but also at the mental and spiritual plane. Apart from enhancing our physical and mental capacity, it also prepares mind and body for lasting transformation.

But, encouraging overall health and wellness is not the only aim of Yoga. The word YOGA is derived from the Sanskrit root YUJA which means to link-up or to unite. Yoga, therefore, leads to greater awareness of not only self, but also of our relationship with our surroundings, both temporal and spiritual, thus enabling us to find unity with God and his creations. And, it is for this reason Yoga most aptly sums up the core of Indian Philosophy ‘Vasudev Kutumbkum’, the whole universe is one family.

At the same time, we need to remember that Yoga is a continuous process and a journey. The deeper you indulge yourself on the path of Yoga, the more profound are its benefits.

Finally, I congratulate all office bearers of the Indian Cultural Group for successfully organizing this wonderful event, and sincerely hope that it will benefit all the participants in adopting a healthy, happy and wholesome approach towards life.

Thank You