The special Yoga day celebration started with the sacred lighting of the lamp ceremony
By: Pramod Thomas
THE chief minister of Uttarakhand led the state’s Yoga day celebrations from Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, with Yoga gurus HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji on Tuesday (21), according to a statement.
Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, along with cabinet ministers Subodh Uniyal, Premchand Aggarwal, state lawmakers Renu Bisht, Rajkumar Pori, Rishikesh mayor Anita Mamgain and many other dignitaries have participated in the event.
Dhami said: “I have been at Parmarth since last evening and I am so heartened to see that Yoga day is being held with such enthusiasm and joy – one can feel that it is like a festive celebration. This is the magic and the vision that our prime minister has ignited in people across the world. Yoga which has always been a part of India’s ancient heritage and culture is now being celebrated with even greater fervour and zeal with Modiji’s call for a Yoga day, uniting the world in Yoga! I appeal to all to practice Yoga daily to reap its various benefits.
“In the year 2025, when Uttarakhand will be celebrating its silver jubilee year, till then all of us will be together working towards creating and establishing a healthier, greener and cleaner state- one that proudly is the Yoga and AYUSH capital of the world.”
As many as 2000 people from across India and countries across the world were part of the function which was jointly organised by the department of AYUSH, Uttarakhand government in collaboration with Parmarth Niketan, the statement added.
The special Yoga day celebration started with the sacred lighting of the lamp ceremony with a few opening words and remarks by the AYUSH secretary of Uttarakhand Pankaj Kumar Pandey.
Followed by a 45min common Yoga protocol session was held at the feet of the iconic Shankar Bhagawan at the Parmarth Ganga Ghat.
The event concluded with the National Anthem on the banks of the Ganges, thereafter the chief minister and family took a bath in the holy river with Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Sadhviji and Parmarth Rishikumars amidst chanting of Vedic Mantras.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, said, “It is a matter of great pride and honour that Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh is hosting the eighth annual Yoga day celebrations for Uttarakhand. It is apt that this year’s theme Yoga for Humanity is being celebrated from Parmarth because the word Parmarth literally stands for in the service of humanity, in the service of all. It is this journey from Swarth (selfishness) to Parmarth (selflessness) that is Yoga – this is the Yoga needed in the world today. The Yoga that alleviates the suffering and pain from ailing humanity and shares the light of wisdom, joy and health to all.”
Leading a green pledge to protect and preserve our sacred environment Pujya Swamiji encouraged everyone to not only make Yoga an everyday part of their life but to also work to protect and preserve our environment.
The celebrations officially concluded a week-long Yoga day celebration which began on 15 June. A special marma chiktsa camp inaugurated by Kailash Kher, Swachta Yoga and a massive clean-up of the river Ganges and a run for Yoga in Dehradun and across districts were also part of the celebrations in the past week.
Pujya Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswatiji said, “Yoga is the answer to almost everything that ails us today. From depression and addiction to conflict in our families, our communities and our nations, to war and even environmental destruction and climate change. These are rooted in disconnection and Yoga is that which connects us, to ourselves, to each other, to the divine and to Mother Earth. Yoga is not merely the flexibility of the body, but for the transformation of one’s mind and one’s heart, bringing us into the true expression of our true nature. Today on this occasion let us all take a pledge from this Yoga Capital of the World, where there are more Yoga Studios per sq km than anywhere else on Earth, to lead a yogic life in line with the eight limbs of Yoga.”