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The International Day Of Yoga, established at the unanimous resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was formally recognized across the Greater Toronto Area in Canada, on June 21st, 2015 at Celebration Square in Mississauga. The Board Members of the International Yoga Day which included Mr. Ajit Khanna and Dr. Bhalla, pursued other partners and the Brahma Kumaris joined hands with Art of Living, Overseas Volunteers for a Better India OVBI (Canada), Patanjali Yogpeeth, Ambika Yoga Kutir, BAPS, Isha Foundation and many others to host the inaugural event. Media partners included Rogers, ATN, Voice Newspaper and many other radio and TV stations. The mandate was to:
Celebrate International Yoga Day and provide a forum for like-minded people;
Educate the community about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness in today’s hectic world;
Promote and support healthy living through proper diet and positive mental health; and
Disseminate knowledge/information on various forms of yoga and their potential health benefits.
Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario in her message shared that in Ontario,we derive strength and vitality from our cultural and spiritual diversity. We speak every language, respect all faiths, welcome many traditions and have ties to every part of the world. Yoga, meditation and ayurvedic medicine are ancient traditions that India has shared with the world. Generations of Indian people have relied on these practices to promote physical health and spiritual well-being. Today, people of all ages and backgrounds all over the globe are discovering their benefits.
The Program started at 9:30 a.m. and went on till 2:00 p.m. There were short speeches from the Hon. Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport) and MP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton, Hon. Dipika Damerla MPP for Mississauga East-Cooksville and Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Consul General of India Mr. Akhilesh Mishra and several other MPs. They all emphasized the need to integrate yoga in our lives and felt that though yoga comes from Hinduism, the knowledge of yoga transcends any religion or culture. Its application is universal. There were words of praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the initiative.
Each group demonstrated their practice of yoga for 15 to 20 minutes, each leading the crowd of nearly 2000 people into yoga. It was a beautiful scene – people seated on their yoga mats or the bare grass and following the steps. The Brahma Kumaris was the only group that conducted meditation. Sister Shashi of London who happened to be in Toronto on service was the resource person and she gave an introduction to meditation and then led the audience into meditation together with 15 other yogis from the Brahma Kumaris Centre seated on the stage. Many groups had booths and the the Brahma Kumaris booth was very busy with people picking up flyers and registering for the free meditation course. There was definitely a lot of awareness created. A group of nearly 50 Bks attended and most also volunteered their services. It truly brought these many organizations/groups together and gave the opportunity for them to appreciate one another. A souvenir magazine was also printed and distributed carrying information about each participating organization and easy to follow yoga illustrations.
It was interesting to note that the expected thunder storm was pushed away with everyone’s determined positive thoughts andinstead it ended up being a really warm day.
The First ‘International Day of Yoga’
Trinidad and Tobago
21st June, 2015
Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body, thought and action, restraint and fulfillment, harmony between human and nature, a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not only about exercise but also to discover the sense of oneness with the self, the world and the nature. It carries the spiritual aspect of controlling one’s mind and self-development with direct control of the inner energy. Today, Yoga has evolved as an alternative system of medicine through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
In the modern age with the change in the life style, more and more people are learning and doing it regularly as it is not costly and has no side effects.
The 193 member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on December 11, 2014, approved by unanimity a resolution establishing June 21st as ‘International Day of Yoga’. The declaration came following a call for the adoption of 21st June as ‘International Day of Yoga’ (IDY) by the Indian Prime Minister, Hon’ble Narendra Modi ji during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27th, 2014.
In suggesting June 21st, which is the summer Solstice, as the ‘International Day of Yoga’, Hon’ble Narendra Modi ji had said that the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world. From the perspective of Yoga, the summer solstice marks the transition to Dakshinayana which is considered a time when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.
This initiative found support from many global leaders. More than 175 countries including USA, Canada and Trinidad & Tobago co-sponsoring the resolution. It had the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA Resolution of such nature.
The High Commission of India, Port of Spain, Trinidad in collaboration with the United Nations Offices and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago had organized a week long yoga awareness program commencing on 15th June to commemorate the 1st ‘International Day of Yoga’. The large numbers of Yoga Organizations were participated in this event including BRAHMA KUMARIS RAJAYOGA CENTRE for the press release.
Also Sister Jasmine from Chaguanas represented Brahma Kumaris at Diwali Nagar program of IDY during these days from 15th to 21st June, 2015. The main event was on 21st June 2015 (Sunday) at the Daaga Auditorium, University of West Indies (UWI) at 9.00 am. This event was attended by hundreds of yoga enthusiasts and celebrated individuals. Brahma Kumaris (BK) also participated for speech and presentation of meditation yoga.
The program started with lighting the Deepaks. The representatives from UN, Indian High Commission (IHC), and the prominent personalities including Government Ministers were present to grace the occasion and share their views with the participants.
The Yoga masters talked about the benefits of YOGA and demonstrated a number of easy poses. Booths were also put up by several yoga centres to demonstrate health benefits of yoga.
Brahma Kumaris also had got the opportunity to demonstrate the practical meditation on the stage. Sister Hemlata gave the guided meditation commentary and few BK brothers and sisters practically demonstrated how to meditate. The atmosphere became the full of peace and silence which everyone in the audience also could experience very well by meditating together with all BKs present on the stage.
Indian Ambassador with HE Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Sabah (Son of the Amir of Kuwait)
St. Petersburg, Russia
21 June, 2015
“Today is a very proud moment for all of us who enjoy the benefits of yoga, because yoga has finally received its rightful place in the whole world,” said Mr. Arun Sharma, Consul General of India in St. Petersburg, opening the morning yoga session at St. Petersburg Brahma Kumaris Centre. “I am very happy to be here on the invitation of the Brahma Kumaris, and I can say that it is definitely the result of the power of yoga that all of us are here today, smiling and happy. Almost every country member of the United Nations, including Russia, supported Resolution on International Yoga Day. I am happy that people in the world have realized the value of yoga. I myself practise yoga every day, and I have a personal experience of its benefits.”
The morning outdoor yoga session was led by sis. Sujata Rathi, dietician and fitness advisor, and Dr. Shrimant Sahu, diabetologist and holistic healthcare expert, who have arrived in Russia on this occasion from the Global Hospital and Research Centre (Mount Abu, India).
A friendly race around Lighthouse was joined by people from the age of 8 to the age of 85! Easy and helpful physical exercises held in Peace Park charged everyone with energy. And collective chanting of “Om” created a beautiful and serene atmosphere of peace and harmony.
How do we integrate yoga in our daily life? How can we always stay young and beautiful, irrespective of our bodily age? At the evening session on 21 June sis. Sujata and Dr. Shrimant answered these and some other questions from the audience at the Diamond Hall of Lighthouse. The public event called “Embrace the Earth with Kindness” brought together BKs, friends of the Brahma Kumaris and newcomers.
Brahmakumaris Relief Team-II visited inner parts of West Nepal Region where nobody has so far
gone because majority of help is being sent to Kathmandu Region thats approx 200 kms away.
However we wish to inform you that Earthquake has also created havoc in these regions too.
Most of the villages are vanished and there are aftershocks being experienced every day. Until
now this region has experienced around 35 aftershocks of around 4.5 to 5 magnitude. Anybody
who wishes to send help for ” Nepal Earthquake Victims” can contact below :
Brahmakumaris Disaster Management Services
+919414193999 ( Mount Abu Head Quarters)
+919987414422, +919987410009, +919987693011 (Mumbai )
Keep helping our brothers and sisters in Nepal. Om Shanti.
Ex-Prime minister Bro. Madhav Kumar Nepal, Rajyogini Raj Didi, Directer of Brahma kumaris, Nepal, Ex. Minister and Member of Constitutinal Assembly Bro. Surendra Prasad Chaudhary, Member of Constitutinal Assembly Bro. Bichari Yadav, Member of Constitutinal Assembly Bro. Jay Prakash Tharu, Member of Constitutinal Assembly Bro. Balveer Chaudhary, Member of Constitutinal Assembly Bro. Ram Chandra Sah, Chief District Officer Bro. Hemnath Dawadi, B.K. Rabina and others inaugurating Trimurti Shiva Jayanti Mahotsav Mela-207.
Project in Russia
Diwali, the Festival of Living Lights
Shine Bright and Connect with the Eternal light
25th October 2014 7pm
Global Cooperation House, LONDON
With a full house of approximately 480 people, Sister BK Jaymini opened the evening, noting that this evening was to reinstate the spiritual significance of Diwali. Through dance, skit, candle lighting and enlightening words by Sister BK Jayanti this special event at Global Cooperation House created a powerful atmosphere of light and joy.
Many local dignitaries, including the Mayor of Harrow and the Deputy Mayor of Brent; and old friends from neighbouring Hindu organisations including the Hindu Forum of GB and Brent Hindu Association, as well as a representative from ZTV, were invited onto stage to share their best wishes for Diwali. Each one shared happiness at being together together in this atmosphere of peace and unity.
A narrative was woven into the evening by a returning dialogue between a grandfather and granddaughter on the meaning of Diwali and accompanying skits to highlight the fashions now around Diwali and the spiritual significance underlying these.
Sister BK Jayanti shared special greetings from Dadi Janki and a video message was presented by Dadi, in Mount Abu, who encouraged everyone to have a big, compassionate and true heart at this time, and such love for God that everyone experiences this.
BK Trushar Barot interviewed Sister BK Jayanti and the following points arose:
What is the story of Diwali as you understand it? There are several stories. There is the depiction of the killing of the demons and chasing away negativity allowing light to reenter the world often symbolized by the killing of Raven (dasshera) and then Rama, God, representing truth and goodness creating light in the world again.
We can make this personal to the here and now. Where there is negativity within there is bondage and struggle, yet we can take God’s help, which is so powerful that it can work within me and I can experience love, truth and joy which bring health, wealth and abundance again.
How do I take help from God? Because the prevailing atmosphere in the world is negative it is hard for me to deal with anger, greed, attachment and ego on my own as they will keep coming up again and again….but if I go within and allow the light of the soul to be lit and I connect with the Supreme, then these tendencies will melt within.
How do we do this? Every morning make sure the inner light is shining and throughout the day keep connecting. Forget about looking in the mirror. Take a moment to notice the energy within and feel your thoughts and connect with yourself deeply and let your thoughts become calm and you will meet yourself and then you can open yourself up to the presence of God. In these moments of connecting you can feel God’s love and light reaching you and the batteries are recharged and you are ready for whatever the day is going to bring.It is the light (strength) within that is so significant.
How do we maintain this? Do all the things I need to do remembering that I am the light……we have got so used to thinking we are bodies but it is not who I am…I am the light and the peace within. It is a switch of consciousness. The external form is not me…..I am the light
Diwali is a wonderful reminder that there is always a victory of truth and it is not just a story but a universal truth that ultimately goodness has victory.
The significance of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth at Diwali, is where there is the invocation of the virtues that Lakshmi represents then there is true wealth. They say that Lakshmi will only be present if the home is clean and sparkling and this is a reminder to keep the heart and inner feelings very clean and share good wishes for all. Then love and generosity will follow.
Won’t people take advantage when we are giving good wishes to everyone? People recognize the power of truth and when they feel the strength and power within you they cannot take advantage……they will give respect and regard…
How does the power of truth lead to success? With truth we are able to build trust and where there isn’t trust disappears. When there is trust there will be cooperation and support. We can see this in the quality of relationships we build around us. The power of truth is Gods power. God is remembered as love. If I make sure that I stay on the path of truth then I am more likely to experience His companionship and love and blessings.
Another aspect of truth is if I am dealing with fear……..it takes me in the direction of falsehood. Fearlessness allows me to follow the path of truth
Truth and love are the two most distinctive qualities remembered as the qualities of God and Diwali is a reminder of the power of love and the victory of love.
There is so much disease and economic struggle, war and family instability…..what impact can we have personally on this all. Why is all of this happening? Whatever is going on inside gets reflected outside. If I have lost touch with my inner peace, joy and purity whatever I say or do will be reflected in my life and this multiplies……to the global level……
We can try and repair all the external things, yet we need to look at the spiritual cause of so much stress in the world. When we take time to realize that the problem is within us and also the solution is within us and we allow the inner light to be ignited and connect with the Divine we begin to come back to our natural state of peace, truth, love and joy and with this experience there is then a difference in the quality of relationships…and the way we do things…..these ideas are now being understood. It is not just a little group here and there but many are understanding this and beginning to say yes this is the direction we need to be going in.
Things happen according to seasons…now it is time for the light and the dawn……the day is about to begin…..
What will that day look like? When love and light are in the world and we are moving in truth, love and peace together…..
How do we connect with this The Divine light? How do you and I connect. If our attention was somewhere else, we wouldn’t connect. The way to connect with The Divine is through our thoughts and feelings…as we turn towards This One we can feel whatever it is that that Being can give to us.
Yoga really means union of the self with the Supreme. It is the union of the heart and soul with the Divine……to connect with the Divine Mind.
How does this happen with someone I cannot see visibly… how do I know it is not my own imagination?
In the awareness that I am the inner being I know that all I am is within this…the light….It is I, not my body that is thinking and feeling. The Supreme Soul connects with us through thoughts and feelings…when we meet someone the recognition is being to being…. so the soul recognizes The Divine and can feel the presence of The Divine. When our thoughts connect and we converse…..it is the heart and soul that connects.
What is He saying to us? He and She, the One Mother and Father is saying come to each one, I am waiting for you and I want you to experience all the treasures I have for you.
This seems a very different image of God that many are familiar with. People get confused with the concept of God. In the awareness of the soul, the form of God is also the form of light, not a physical form. The one with all the masculine and feminine attributes within the same being, all the positive attributes. When I connect with myself I can connect with the Divine and feel all these.
A human being can help to a certain extent but if I can turn to the Divine all the help is available. Whatever the soul needs is available here and now.
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