Ambassador’s welcome remarks on the International Day..
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Ambassador’s welcome remarks on the International Day of Yoga, Amman –June 21,2015

Your Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, Your Excellency Lord Mayor of Amman AqelBiltaji, dear Yogis and Yoga enthusiasts. Ramadan Kareem and a very warm welcome on this very important Day when we celebrate the first International Day of Yoga . At the outset I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Her Royal Highness for very kindly agreeing to be the Patron of today’s celebrations .

I am grateful to you and I am confident that your presence and patronage today  will motivate further consciousness about health among young Jordanians. I would also like to express my gratitude to Lord Mayor and my dear friend for taking the time out to be with us. My thanks also go to the various Yoga centres in Jordan for being worthy partners and initiators of Yoga in this beautiful country. Lastly I must thank the Indian industrialist Mr Sanal Kumar who has several textile factories in QIZ and who readily provided Tea shirts with the Yoga logo for today’s event. Thank you all wonderful people for joining us today.

You may be aware that Yoga has been practiced in India for over 40 centuries and there are some legends that it was realized some 15000 years ago. What is Yoga and to define that frankly there is a vast literature and galaxy of books are available and so are thousands of Yoga teachers around the world. Many of them have tried to define it in the simplest terms. Any one who is not exposed to Yoga may often get perplexed by the complex poses and asana. What I am going to say has been said a million times before but it always has an omniscience and pervasiveness and novelty about it because it is Yoga. Yoga is a philosophy in action that purifies us for our own wellbeing. Of course as is well known the word Yoga denotes and embraces union ,joining and imbibing within your own self . Yoga is a conduit -It has spiritual connotation but seeks to achieve peace and harmony by initiating intense human interaction with oneself and with nature so that the feel good factor is continually extended. What I am saying  has been said for thousands of years and practiced to that end. Often we do not even realize that we are doing yoga . For example if any of your friend or relative is angry, frustrated, dejected or stressed you promptly advise them to take a deep breath and relax – that’s Yoga in action.

Yoga in my view  isalso like a doctor but with a difference and it does not discriminate since you are the object and subject in its domain.  It aims to help achieve a healthy body for a sound mind and bring about a unique unison within humans and their surroundings and hence eventually strive for inner peace and external harmony. Man is said to be the thinking animal but thinking it does the least else how would you describe the prevailing conflicts often for no rhyme or reason or only for petty reasons .In today’s age and time being at peace with your self is probably the beginning of a new journey for the good of the humanity . Stress and conflict is all pervasive and its management is essential and you have Yoga  as the most effective tool. Besides Health is a global good and also a global responsibility and hence we ought to strive for it individually and collectively.

For me personally it was a mere coincidence . During my very first posting to Abidjan in West Africa I by chance got to meet a distant cousin who being a Yoga master had started his own Yoga centre there which was running very successfully and it was a novelty in that francophone country. Out of curiosity I went to visit the centre not far from the embassy and was surprised to see the who’s who in the country coming to do Yoga and that too with so much dedication and enthusiasm. Most of them were Muslims or Christians. For me it was a great networking opportunity. But in a short time I got hooked onto it. I can’t say I am  very regular but the day I don’t do it I feel a bit strange and less energetic.

Sometimes we hear of criticism from some people looking at Yoga with a myopic prism and attribute and associate it to a religion which is neither fair to Yoga nor to fundamental human intelligence . It is a civilizational gift to be taken advantage of for your own good. Yoga is a science of self-realization and transports us from ego to immortal self by gaining knowledge of our true self and nature beyond time, space,death and sufferingwhile reinforcingthe physical , psychological and spiritual.   In my view it is an art of living a way of life that can help us be one with nature. We have no option but to go in that direction as human is supreme and nature is his sustenance. Let us imbibe the good values for the sake of humanity and above all for ourselves.

You will be hearing from the experts about various types of Yoga practices and Ayurveda but the objective of all processes is one to bring you closer to yourself.

I am happy and proud that due to an initiative by Indian Prime Minister H.E. Mr Narendra Modi the United Nations declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. Most importantly the resolution was co-sponsored and supported by 177 countries including 47 OIC countries. Besides it is being celebrated in 191 countries and over 200 locations across the world by various yoga enthusiasts.

Jordan is very unique and special not only because it is like India multi ethnic, multi religious, modern and traditional at the same time but we have Mrs Samira Dajani who has propagated and practised Yoga here for last 40 years. I was surprised  to see the remarkable affinity for Yoga in Jordan when we embarked on organising celebrations. I must say that although Yoga emanated from the exceptional heights of the mighty Himalayas its practice at the Dead Sea at  the lowest point on earth in Jordan is a statement in itself.

Wish you all a very good holistic health hopefully through Yoga.


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