Today we conclude the World Yoga Convention, and it has been a very special World Yoga Convention. The city of Munger has become not only the first yoga city of the world, but also the first city to host the Yoga Kumbha. The entire town of Munger looks so beautiful, attractive and inviting to everyone, for everyone is participating in this Yoga Kumbha.
Over these past five days we have covered a lot of ground. On the first day, the 23rd October, the theme was 'Yoga as the Science for Evolution of Consciousness and Method to Improve the Quality of Life'. On the second day the theme was 'Applications of Yoga in Health, Therapy and Society'. The third day the theme was 'Yoga in Education, Cultivation of Samskaras and Developing New Creative Expressions in Life'. On the fourth day, the theme was 'Yoga and Lifestyle'. Today, on the fifth and last day, the concluding function of the Convention, the vision goes out to the world that yoga is the culture of our life, not of tomorrow, but of today.
Fifty years ago, Sri Swamiji proclaimed that yoga is the culture of tomorrow. That was five decades ago, and a time when nobody knew what yoga was. Now, fifty years down the line, after many sunrises and sunsets, after many moonrises and moonsets, we stand on the verge of witnessing that yoga has truly become a world culture. People across the globe, communities across the world, people of all nations, caste and creed are turning to yoga for solace and peace – for their life, for their mind and for their spirit. Therefore, today we can safely say that the vision given by Sri Swamiji has been achieved, thanks to all of you. Yoga has gone from door to door and shore to shore. Now the next mandate for all of us present here and for all those around the globe who are witnessing this mega Yoga Convention, is to maintain the pristine purity of the tradition and the teachings. It is our duty and our dharma. We regularly need to clean our lamp, to avoid any accumulation of soot and dust on the glass, so that the light can radiate from that lamp and safely illumine the path for other travelers.
Therefore, in order to connect with the vision of the gurus, we have to be serious, we have to be sincere, and we have to be committed. With our sincerity, seriousness and commitment, we can live the vision of the seers and make yoga into a practical, applicable global culture which will bring light, inspiration, peace and life to all sections of human society. This is the message of this World Yoga Convention. Beyond caste, beyond creed, beyond religion, beyond dogma, it is a celebration of life, an understanding of the creative faculties of life, and a connection with joy and peace.
In the last few days, 36 speakers have graced the World Yoga Convention, and workshops were conducted by speakers who shared their wisdom, knowledge and skills with all the participants. People from 22 states of India have come, and the total number is 20,000. In addition, every day people in over 72 countries of the world were watching the proceedings of the Convention live on the internet, and the count of yesterday night was over 15,000.
For making this Convention a mega success, the credit goes to the residents of Munger, who have opened the doors of their homes to accommodate delegates. The credit goes to the schools, which for a few days have closed their classes and opened their doors for delegates to stay in the classrooms. The credit for hospitality goes to the hotels, dharmashalas and lodges, who have made sure that all proper facilities have been given, so that all the participants have a good time in the town of Munger.
The credit for the success of this Convention goes to the Yuva Yoga Mitra Mandal, the Youth Yoga Fellowship Group, who spread out all over the Fort area on duty, guiding people, directing people, managing various areas and departments, the kitchen, books, prasad, helping people find their bearings. Special thanks go to the children of Bal Yoga Mitra Mandal, who have made us smile and dance and filled our hearts with love. Special credit and acknowledgement for the support and help received by this World Yoga Convention goes to the administrators of Munger. Without their help, this beautiful event would not have been possible. Once again, thank you to all the administrators of Munger for making this event possible. On behalf of the world, thank you.
I would also like to thank all the visitors and delegates who have come from different places, leaving behind their professions and work, to participate in the celebration and to connect with the vision of yoga as inspired by our guru, Sri Swami Satyananda. I also thank all the people who left their homes, jobs, professions and families to spend three months, four months, five months here with us to prepare for the World Yoga Convention. Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you for your support.
I also am grateful to Swami Satsangi who has come here to participate in the celebration with all of us. At the end, I thank myself.
Everybody has been thanked and for the end I have kept a special thank you for my group and friends from the media, newspapers and television. They are the people for whom very few people have respect, yet they are the people who bring you the message by facing so many difficult challenges. If you want to know the hardship of a reporter, then become one. It is through their grit and determination that they bring you the information that you require. They are the carriers of information and they are the original computers.
—Closing address, 27 October 2013, Polo Ground, Munger