My dear friends from all over the world,
It gives me great pleasure to address you as we prepare for the 2nd International Day of Yoga – this unique occasion that brings all of us together to celebrate the invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. When I outlined a vision for an International Day of Yoga in September 2014 at the United Nations General Assembly, even I did not anticipate the enormous enthusiasm for the occasion from all corners of the world. Your support and participation last year, and once again now redeems our commitment to nurture and promote this ancient discipline, and reaffirms yoga as an exemplary manifestation of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” - The world as one family.
I recall the iconic images from that momentous day last year. All the way from the Pacific Islands to Port of Spain, from Vladivostok to Vancouver and from Copenhagen to Cape Town, thousands gathered to unite the bodies and minds through the practice of Yoga. And the reverberations of their discipline found a natural home at the UN Headquarters in New York, where the journey had begun. I myself was fortunate to celebrate the event along with 36,000 of my fellow citizens and foreign guests in New Delhi.
As so many of you have already discovered, Yoga is much more than a physical exercise – it enables us to access a new dimension of the self, even while providing a holistic approach to preventive healthcare and wellbeing. Yoga helps us to restore our balance and furnishes us with a much needed sense of clarity. And through its unifying power, we seek completeness, and at the same time, a oneness with the world.
Today all of you are the Ambassadors of Yoga, taking forward India’s ancient message to the world. I thank you for your commitment and welcome you as sisters and brothers of India’s family.