Africa-Press – Lesotho. An unprecedented event was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York in June 21. At the behest of Sri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, International Yoga Day gathered representatives of 181 countries in a highly symbolic place for a mega performance of yoga directed by a young lady on a stage where the presence of young yoga practitioners stood for a sense of continuity in future generations. What deeper meanings does the message of unity delivered by the Prime Minister of India carry?
Pic – NDTV By now regular yoga practitioners are fully aware of the unity of different parts of the body in the exercises, the asanas that enable a proper circulation of energy within the body and the harmony generated by the breathing techniques accompanying the physical exercises.
Relaxation of tense muscles in a series of asanas de-stresses the mind and creates mental peace. Unity of body and mind connects to the energy around us and, at a higher level, is yoked to the Cosmic Energy.
But the world largely has a first level understanding of the Indian PM’s message: that of humanity as one family and is unlikely to grasp the full meaning of that unity.
It may be interpreted as an idealist concept, an ideology crafted by well-wishers just as other ideologies spawned by intellectuals and thinkers in the last two centuries in a bid to create a new breed of men, men conditioned to adopt a new way of considering the political and economic system of their countries.
Further back in history, centuries ago the grand enterprise to create the new man had been undertaken at a religious level. All these ideologies were forced down the throat of people by the sword, and they died out gradually in the course of time.
Humanity as one family did not crop up from the figment of a solitary thinker’s imagination on a rainy day. It is a scientific fact grounded in the observation of evolutionary human conditions and the exploration of the human spirit on the earth from time immemorial.
The concept has an organic basis which other cultures lack and may not fully comprehend. It is a key component of thinking and ethos India’s Hindu civilization has bequeathed to its people and to the world.
It did not escape our notice that the message of unity is not easy to deliver in a tense political climate in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indo-Pacific region, not to mention within India itself and the threats at its borders.
Warring factions result from conflictual interests and reflect the tumultuous state of international relationships prevailing in the world. A reality which does not make the Indian PM’s message of unity irrelevant. It is a necessary reminder of the basic condition of humanity.