Dehradun, June 21 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that yoga has the power to unite individuals, society, country and the world at large, and has emerged as a major unifying force globally.
Leading the fourth International Yoga Day celebrations here in Uttarakhand, Modi said that the world has embraced yoga and glimpses of this can be seen in the manner in which the International Day of Yoga is marked every year.
"In fact, Yoga Day has become one of the biggest mass movements in the quest for good health and well-being," he said.
The Prime Minister said that yoga is beautiful because it is "ancient yet modern".
"It is constant yet evolving. It has the best of our past and present and a ray of hope for our future. In yoga, we have the perfect solution to the problems we face, either as individuals or in our society," he said.
In today's fast changing times, yoga binds together a person's body, brain and soul, hence giving one the feeling of peace.
"The way to lead a calm, creative and content life is yoga. It can show the way to defeat tensions and mindless anxiety. Yoga unites, assimilates and heals, instead of furthering animosity and increasing suffering," he said.
Modi said that yoga is one of the most precious gifts from the ancient Indian sages to mankind.
He noted the International Yoga Day is being celebrated across the world. "From Dehradun to Dublin, Jakarta to Johannesburg and Shanghai to Chicago people are celebrating yoga day all across the world."
More than 35 volunteers from different foreign countries participated in the event and performed 21 yoga postures along with nearly 50,000 people who stretched their bodies in the sprawling lawn of Dehradun's Forest Research Institute lawn surrounded by Shivalik peaks from three sides.
Modi said it is a proud moment for all Indians everywhere in the world who were welcoming the rising sun with yoga on the day.
Recalling the moment when he proposed before the UN to mark June 21 as International Day of Yoga, Modi said it was the only proposal that was cosponsored by by maximum countries. Also it was the first proposal in the history of the world body to accept it in very short period.
"Now, every citizen of every country relate to yoga as its own," said Modi, urging people to understand the strength of India's knowledge and customs.
He said yoga is giving new energy to global friendship.
Thanking Prime Minister Modi for selecting Dehradun to host the main event, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the move would also give a boost to tourism in the state.
The Prime Minister participated in the Yoga Day celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016 and at the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.
In December 2014, based on a request from Modi, the UN General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.