“Yoga: the Culture of Giving” – The event at the Brahma Kumaris Centre in St. Petersburg becomes part of the worldwide Yoga Guardian Ring Programme
As explained by Mr Kumar Gaurav, Consul General of India in this city, the Yoga Guardian Ring is based on the concept of “one Sun, one Earth”. In his opening remarks at the celebrations held in the Peace Park of Lighthouse, he said, “The Guardian Ring tracks the movement of the Sun from the East to the West. So the event started early in the morning, June 21, in Japan, and will continue the entire day till the Western hemisphere is also covered. Today we are celebrating the VIII International Day of Yoga, and as we are having this function here, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already spoken in front of 15 000 people in Maisur on this occasion. As he rightly said this morning, Yoga Day has turned into a worldwide festival. Yoga has not become a part of life, rather it has become a way of life these days. And I am very happy that Didi Santosh and the Brahma Kumaris have made this programme as part of the Guardian Ring. When we really make yoga our way of life, we will not have to celebrate Yoga Day but we will celebrate health, happiness and joy every day.”
Greeting the audience of about 150 people of all age groups, BK Santosh underlined that they were part of an important and auspicious event. She said, “Anything becomes auspicious when it is connected to the energy from up above. I am sure that all those 177 countries could not say “yes” to the UN Resolution regarding Yoga Day without our Supreme Father’s wish and His blessings. Because in the most ancient scripture Gita, He is remembered and praised as the highest Teacher of yoga. The International Day of Yoga makes it very clear that when we keep our mind light and positive, it becomes easy to keep our body healthy as well.”
June 21 is the day of the summer solstice or the longest day of the year. Mr Vladimir Khavinson, member of the European Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, who has been the chief gerontologist of St. Petersburg for 12 years, said in his welcome address that yoga is an important component of spiritual and physical longevity. “The activities of the Brahma Kumaris are aimed at ensuring longevity and increasing the quality of life. India is the birthplace of this significant movement as well as many other movements for the benefit of the entire world community. In China, long-livers stick to a wonderful practice: you should do physical exercises as many times a day, as many times you take your meals. The same is true with yoga: we should not practice it just once but at least several times a day. Yoga, which is about self-reflection and managing our emotions, is very relevant at current turbulent times. Yoga as taught and practiced at the Brahma Kumaris becomes an important safety factor as well. It helps in stress management, so it is required on a daily basis for children, adults and especially senior citizens.”
Rev. Buda Badmayev, chief priest of the Buddhist temple of St. Petersburg, said, “As the world population and the intensity of connections between people are growing, we should learn to stay in harmony with one another. Yoga is practiced a lot in Buddhism as well. It is related primarily to one’s inner spiritual stage. As we develop peace, sincerity and love and share those higher spiritual and moral values with the world, we create the atmosphere of peace, stability and harmony.”
Mr Vishnu, a qualified yoga coach, conducted a 30-minute-long session of light yet powerful and refreshing exercises as per the yoga protocol. Beautiful songs sung by BK students, members of the Divine Light cultural group, praised the beauty of Bharat, an ancient land of yoga, and the importance of purity for our mind and body development. Even the five elements of nature were happy with the atmosphere of the event, and the sun was again welcoming everyone after a few rainy days!
Later the same day, a public event “Re-Uniting with the Supreme Giver” was held at the Diamond Hall of Lighthouse. And the day before, the BK team of about 20 members presented its cultural items at the large-scale celebrations of the Yoga Day organized by the Consulate General in Yusupovsky Garden of St. Petersburg for the audience of about 300 people.