Yogacharyas and participants of the 29th annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh took part in a special meditation at Maharishi Mahesh Yogiji's Ashram, near Parmarth Niketan.
The renowned band, 'The Beatles' stayed at Maharishiji's ashram in Rishikesh in 1968, where they wrote nearly fifty songs that soon became some of their biggest hits and 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of their stay.
To mark the anniversary, many celebrations have been planned with the devotees of Maharishiji to remember and celebrate His life and teachings.
The event was led by Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji with participants from 94 countries by foot on a walking pilgrimage to Maharishiji ashram where there were sacred chanting and divine meditation. Honourable Minister of AYUSH and Minister of Forests, Harak Singh Rawat was also present at the event.
"Maharishi always emphasised the power and importance of meditation. I often share meditation is the best medication for all agitation. Today, the world needs more meditation. Meditation brings equanimity, harmony, love and peace to our lives. Meditation gives you the inner connection. In the age of the internet, we need our inner net to stay grounded and balanced. Internet grants us the fastest speed but our inner net grants us the direction," Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji said.
"When the Beatles came to India their whole journey became from the grief to grace. After having divine darshan of Maharishiji their whole life was filled with grace. That inspiration and transformation are what they shared through their songs which touched millions. Today, let us take this song of peace, love, oneness and yoga, here from the banks of Mother Ganga, from the lap of the Himalayas, in our hearts back with us to our countries and transform our communities," he added.
The day was also graced by spiritual lectures series by Sri Prem Babaji, a renowned leader from Brazil and founder of 'Awaken Love who spoke on the Yoga of Love', and renowned scientist and environmental activist Dr Vandana Shiva spoke on the Yoga of Action.
"There is a simple way of living and that simplicity is the Yoga of the Earth, Yoga of love and the Yoga of action. Each time you think the problems are so big and I am too small, I take inspiration from the seed which is so small but changes everything. Each of us is a seed for another future. A future of love, oneness, healing and interconnectedness- a future of Yoga," Dr Vandana Shiva said.
"This moment requires for the union and reunion of the human family. It is coming together with the people first of people who understand the importance of transformation, and who are able to put their gifts and talents together for such transformation. The principles of yoga, the niyamas and yamas, the 8 limbs are key to ending the cycle of violence in the world, violence toward ourselves and toward others, and to tapping into the experience of love," said Sri Prem Babaji.
In the evening, a very special Global Music and Dance program brought together the cultures of the world.
Performances included Russian musician Denis Kucherov, traditional Bharatanatyam and Gujarati folk dance with Bharat Barai of Gujarat, and dance and song showcases from around the world, ranging from the UK to Mongolia and more.
The event was a true celebration of the spirit of the International Yoga Festival, which this year has brought together nearly 2000 participants from 94 nations around the world.
On the fifth day of International Yoga Festival, Kundalini sadhana was led by Gurushabd Singh, an American Sikh and disciple of Yogi Bhajan.
Other early morning classes included Traditional Hatha Yoga with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Odaka Yoga with Roberto Milletti of Italy, MetaFlow with Bhavini Kalan of South Africa, and Japanese Traditional Mantra with Japanese musicians Setsuo Miyashita, Gumi, Keigo Tanaka, and Momoko Nagano.
Mohan Bhandari, a yogacharya from Rishikesh who is now living in China, taught Yogi Yoga, and Radhika Nagrath led Sunrise Sun Salutations along the banks of Ganga.
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