Last week I received an invitation to participate in an amazing event “In Conversation with the Mystic” An intimate discussion between South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, and Esteemed Yogi Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
Sadhguru is a realized yogi, mystic and visionary who has dedicated himself to the elevation of the physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of all people. He is an author and opinion maker who is regularly invited to speak at leading international forums. He has spoken at many prestigious global conferences such as World Peace Summit at the United Nations and the World Economic Forum.
Sadhguru is often described as a contemporary guru, since he belongs to no particular tradition and incorporates aspects of yogic sciences that are most relevant for modern-day life into his teachings and practices. With his global followers numbering in the tens of millions, his scientific methods for self-transformation have gained universal appeal.
Sadhguru’s insights into the mechanisms of life are an outcome of his profound experience of the “Self,” and serve as a guide to exploring the deeper dimensions of life. His life and work serve as reminders that the inner science of yoga is not esoteric philosophy from an out-dated past, but is absolutely (more than ever) relevant and applicable to our lives today.
Yoga is estimated to be a 12 to 15,000-year-old practice for physical, mental and spiritual purposes, having its origin in India. Yoga is not a religion, but has spread across all religions, aims to transform both body and mind. On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st, as the International Day of Yoga – which is part of the reason why I have taken the opportunity to draw it to your attention at this point in time. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of June 21st as International Day of Yoga by the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, during his address to UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 wherein he stated: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not as such about exercise, but rather to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature”. In suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr. Narendra Modi had said that, “the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has a special significance in many parts of the world. ”
Sadhguru notes the importance of this day in the yogic tradition: “On the day of the summer solstice, Adiyogi [the first yogi] turned south and first set his eyes on the Saptarishis or Seven Sages, who were his first disciples to carry the science of yoga to many parts of the world. It is wonderful that June 21 marks this momentous event in the history of humanity.”
An all-time record of 175 nations, including the USA, Canada and China co-sponsored the resolution.” It had the “highest number of co-sponsors ever, for any UNGA Resolution of such nature.”
Rabbi Julia Margolis