June 23, 2023
Marking the ninth International Day of Yoga, renowned spiritual leader Sadhguru, Founder-Isha Foundation, addressed a packed auditorium at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris on Wednesday on the theme “Crafting a Conscious Planet”.
Emphasizing that Yoga belongs to humanity, Sadhguru said, “It’s a great pride for all of us that yoga originated in India. Yoga originated in a land that was referred to as Bharat. But everybody must understand, I know some people will disagree with very strong national feelings, but Yoga belongs to humanity.”
#InternationalDayofYoga is a day of Commitment because you remaining physically and mentally in the best possible way is the greatest contribution you can make to the planet. -Sg @UNESCO @IndiaAtUNESCO @MEAIndia @MoAYUSH #ConsciousPlanet pic.twitter.com/8DCyH5PBms
— Sadhguru (@SadhguruJV) June 21, 2023
Explaining this further, he added, “Anything that we discover cannot belong to any group of people. What we invent can belong to people. What we make up can belong to a certain group of people. What we discover as a reality cannot belong to me or you. It is the right of every human being to find a way for their own fulfillment.”
Talking about the International Day of Yoga, the mystic said, “International Day of Yoga is not a day of celebrating it, it is a day of commitment. You remaining physically, mentally in the best possible way is the best contribution you can make to the world.”
Watch the Full Event here:
Sadhguru’s address was followed by an in-conversation with Dr Guila Clara Kessous, UNESCO Artist for Peace.
To Ms Kessous’s question on the need of yoga to be passed on as a living heritage to humanity, Sadhguru talked about the dire situation in the United States. He shared, “Recently, the Surgeon General of the United States said, one in every two Americans, one in every two is feeling lonely. So just look at this, one in two is feeling lonely in the most affluent nation. When our population is bursting at 8.4 billion, we’re feeling lonely. What is it? That is, we are building walls of individuality. Walls that you yourself cannot break. You build a wall that you yourself cannot break because these walls are built as self-protection. The walls of self-protection that you built today, tomorrow will turn into walls of self-imprisonment.”
He further added, “So just imagine in a country every second American if they’re feeling lonely, loneliness is the first step towards mental illness. You’ve taken one step, next will come. So Yoga (Union) means you’re not lonely anymore because only you exist in the universe. Everything is you. Wherever you see, it’s just you. So when you see too much of yourself, you’ll close your eyes and sit.”
Guiding the audience to take up a simple 15-minute meditation practice called Isha Kriya, which is available for free on Sadhguru app, he led them into a meditative process.
Answering a question from the audience on how youngsters can use technology but not get into the loneliness trap, Sadhguru shared that he will be launching a particular aspect of the Conscious Planet Movement in 2024 which will focus on exploring the miracle of the mind through yoga, meditation, art forms like dance, classical martial arts and music. “If two to three billion people use this for a sustained period of time, you will find a much better mental situation in the world,” he said.
The event also saw an address by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Vishal V Sharma and a cultural performance by Isha Foundation’s home-grown band “Sounds of Isha” and a captivating dance performance by Project Samskriti themed around Yoga.
Over 1,500 people attended the event including the ambassadors from Angola, Albania, Palestine, Peru, Morocco, Costa Rica, Romania, Uzbekistan, Santa Lucia, Czech Republic, and Lithuania, dignitaries from the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, the staff members from the UNESCO, global leaders from the world of fashion, music, and business, and the general public.