Kathmandu–Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said yoga and meditation are needed to steer the country towards prosperity, civilization and peace.
He said this while addressing the 'yoga practice and talk programme' organized by Ministry of Education, Science and Technology marking the Fifth International Yoga Day here today.
PM Oli said Nepal should be promoted as the meditation centre of the world as our ancestors are the originators and proponents of meditation. "Let us practice yoga to save ourselves from unhealthy thoughts.
Let us do both our duty and yoga. Meditation saves us from intolerance and negative thoughts. The ancient sages and hermits adopted yoga as their way of life and they were healthy mentally and physically.
Meditation and yoga are very essential in our life as they help in making life balanced," he explained. Stating that some ancient coins with images of person practicing yoga posture dating back to the Tetra Yuga have been found in some places which showed the ancient tradition of yoga, PM said sages like Valmeeki, Bishwamitra, Bashistha and Vyas observed their penance in the land of Nepal therefore making it known over the world as the land of meditation, knowledge and peace.
Minister for Education and coordinator of the International Yoga Day Main Celebration Committee, Giriraj Mani Pokharel said home work is on for including yoga right from the school curriculum.
He said yoga and meditation are being promoted even to fulfill the campaign of 'prosperous Nepal, happy Nepali', brought by the government. Ministry secretary Khaga Raj Baral said education on yoga was being inculcated from the school level itself to restore the culture of yoga practice at every home through the students.
Ambassador of India to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri stressed on the need of collaboration between Nepal and India for the promotion of yoga and meditation as these were a part of the oriental philosophy. Head of Nepal Sankskrit University, Department of Yoga and Naturopathy, Dr Hari Prasad Pokharel hoped that the scope of yoga would expand as the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) has also prepared the course on yoga, naturopathy, herbal medicines and ayurveda, among others.
He also said that a teaching hospital on yoga and naturopathy was opening in Nepal. Dr Pokharel also called on the government to recognize the 'Astabakra Geeta' as the national text, saying 'yoga for all anytime' was in practice in the ancient times. Swami Ananda Arun spoke on the importance of a healthy mind and a healthy body for dharma, artha, kama and mokshya. For this, it is necessary to do regular yoga exercise, he stressed.
Yoga also builds mental peace, calmness and tolerance. Chair of the Marxist Gurukul and yoga practitioner Sonam Sathi demanded with Prime Minister Oli for establishing a yoga and meditation study centre. He argued that yoga and meditation were necessary for conflict management.
President of Academy of Yoga Graduates, Dr Kshitiz Barakoti, yoga practitioner 75-year-old Surendra Lohani and representatives of Patanjal Yoga Committee, Patanjali Yoga Committee, Bagmati Boarding School, Mount Everest School, among various institutions and organizations demonstrated various yoga postures on the occasion.
The International Yoga Day started to be celebrated from June 21, 2015 as per a decision taken in 2014 by the United Nations Organization's General Assembly.
The Government of Nepal had declared the 1st of the Nepali month of Magh as the National Yoga Day. The declaration was made on August 13, 2015. However, the Yoga Day had been marked in Nepal since January 15, 1980. Nepal Sanskrit University has been running a six-month course on yoga and naturopathy.
A morning procession was organised from Shantivatika at Ratnapark before the start of the main programme. The procession reached the City Hall via Bagbazar, Putali Sadak and Pradarshani Marga from Shantivatika. Members of various organizations working in the field of yoga and meditation participated in the morning procession.