With the aim of persuading UNESCO to proclaim the 21st of June as World Yoga Day, a conference was held on December 4th and 5th in Bangalore, India. Organized by The Art of Living Foundation, the conference brought together many of the worlds leading voices in yoga including B.K.S. Iyengar, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev. Radhanath Swami was requested to speak on how to maintain the authenticity and purity of knowledge.

“Due to so much greed, the economy is suffering miserably. Due to exploitation of natural resources, there is global warming and ecological pollution. Due to egoism and sectarianism there is hatred in name of the loving God. Yoga is the science of creating a strong foundation built on truth, compassion and love. That foundation can sustain any storm that comes from anywhere, for all eternity. Yoga is the science for harmonizing the body, the mind with the will of the atma, the  eternal living force.  Yoga is the art of living in harmony with God, with nature and with all living beings who are in fact our brothers and sisters. Yoga is the art of transformation – transforming darkness into light, greed into generosity, arrogance into humility, anger into forgiveness, envy into compassion, hate into love, selfish passions into unselfish compassions – that’s true yoga and that’s the foundation that is required for there to be peace, happiness and meaning to life.

“What’s real wisdom? It not about memorizing millions of Sanskrit verses, it’s not about getting an MA or Phd. Real wisdom is the capacity to see every living being with equal vision.

 mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah

Krishna tells in the Bhagavad-gita every living being is my part and parcel.

aham bija-pradah pita

I am the father and the mother of all beings. Whether one is black or white or red or yellow or brown, male or female, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jew, Jain, Parsi, atheist, or agnostic; whether one is from the east of the west – whether one is a human or an elephant or a cow or a dog – wherever there is life, it is sacred. When we recognize through yoga the sacredness of our own life, when we recognize connection with the all attractive, all beautiful Lord of our own heart, then we actually spontaneously and naturally see everyone as our brothers, our sisters. You cannot love God and dislike anyone. We may not like what people do, but we understand the essence, the living force is divine, is sacred, is part of the Lord.  We live in the age of Kali. There is a beautiful verse in the Srimad Bhagvatam.

kaler dosa-nidhe rajan
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet

That the Kali-yuga is especially known because there are oceans of faults that people have here. But there is special benediction; that simply by chanting God’s names, one can attain the perfection of liberation. Simply by connecting to our own spiritual essence and awakening that love of God within our hearts, we can be instruments of real grace, of real love.“

“If we just take shelter, as Sri Patanjali instructed, “ishvarahpranidhana” – If we just take shelter of all powerful Supreme Lord, then we can easily cross beyond all the obstacles in this world. Yes, yoga is a universal gift that is the very essence of all religion, the very essence of humanity and the very of essence of life. If we just pursue that original intention of yoga, to see the essence together we can do incredible things and be instrumental for incredible change and transformation within ourselves and the world.”