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Yoga not narrow religious concept, not for Hindus only, for entire nation: Venkaiah Naidu

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Published: December 25, 2017 4:10 am

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu pays his respects to B R Ambedkar at the Chaityabhoomi Shivaji Park with Republican Party of India (RPI) chief Ramdas Athawale on Sunday. Express photo

Yoga is not a narrow religious concept, not just for the Hindu religion but the entire nation, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Sunday at The Yoga Institute in Mumbai’s Santacruz, which is about to celebrate its 100th year.

He said he believed that to serve mankind “we need calibre, capacity and conduct, and not caste and community divide…. Because of competition with western life, we are forgetting our roots. We are losing touch with spirituality.”

Congratulating the institute for its service, he said: “A healthy nation can become a wealthy nation, and subsequently a powerful one, but a wealthy nation cannot necessarily become a health nation. Yoga connects emotional health with mental health. It leads to total well being.”

Naidu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had done the right thing by introducing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan to promote change in people’s mentality towards cleanliness. “Tan se, mann se, dhan se Swachh Bharat hoga,” he said.

He said the International Yoga Day has given impetus to improve health and people across the world have taken to yoga.

Hansa J Yogendra, director of the institute, said the organisation was set up in 1918 to promote yoga for mental and physical well being.

Swami Chidanand Saraswati, the president of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, said: “Yoga has been taken from the caves to California…. When the whole world has erected walls, it is time to use yoga to break the walls.”

Saraswati said people often mixed religion with yoga. “The moon is not a Hindu moon or a Muslim moon, it is just a moon,” he said, adding that he had seen people from different religions visiting Rishikesh to study yoga. Saraswati also added that while it was necessary to use technology, it should not overpower spiritual well being.

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