New Delhi. The Sun God will move in the Uttarayan direction on January 14 – an occasion that has special significance for the entire country in terms of cultural, spiritual and agricultural. The word Sankranti means transitional period, that is, a period of change both internally and externally, and it signifies a change in not only the universe but also the zodiac signs. It is the churning of the entire universe, which beautifully gives us the message that with the changes in both the human body-mind-brain and the external world, it is also necessary to maintain a harmony between the two.
The Ministry of AYUSH wants that this occasion should be used to spread the special and timely message of communication of energy to the entire humanity through Yogasan i.e. Surya Namaskar associated with ‘Surya ki Sadhana’. Although Yoga has been playing an important role in human welfare for centuries, but the initiative of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has given it a status in the world which it had never got before. Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014, urged the world community to give importance to Yoga at the international level. Following his appeal, the United Nations declared June 21 as International Yoga Day.
The recent spurt in COVID-19 cases across the world has made it all the more relevant that we prepare our body-mind-brain to face any health hazards. Although most of us must have heard about Surya Namaskar, the number of people who practice it regularly is very less. It is not right to associate this whole process of yoga with just doing Surya Namaskar. It has a profound effect on the physical, mental and spiritual development of human beings. Performing Surya Namaskar in a proper way and regularly not only enhances our consciousness and immunity, but also proves to be helpful in maintaining mental balance which is very important in view of today’s hectic and stressful lifestyle.
Collectively, this program of Surya Namaskar is a part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, a government initiative of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on the occasion of completion of 75 years of India’s independence. The Ministry of AYUSH has roped in other Ministries and State Governments as well as the Yoga fraternity from across the world to participate in the programme. Surya Namaskar is given special importance in Yogasanas around the world. Since the sun is the source of energy for all living beings, Surya Namaskar can be said to be a means for humans to gain energy without any ill effects. The world has realized that it is most important for people to have energy and a strong immune system to fight and overcome Kovid-19. And for this reason Surya Namaskar becomes even more important. That is why we have included Central Ministries, State Governments and all major Yoga Institutes and Yoga Gurus etc. in this program. Our endeavor is not limited to just performing the formalities of the event as the Ministry believes that this strategy should be coordinated both in terms of design and execution in such a way that the impact is visible for a long time. This program of January 14 is part of this continuation and I had said this recently in Hyderabad also when we took the initiative of organizing 75 crore Surya Namaskars.
Surya Namaskar is a yoga posture in which eight types of asanas are done in 12 steps. The beauty of these asanas is that people of all age groups can practice them without any difficulty and with the regular practice of these 12 steps, the entire human body becomes capable of dealing with all kinds of health problems. Instead of enumerating the benefits of Surya Namaskar here, I would like to tell only that many people like me find themselves energetic and full of energy throughout the day by regular practice of it. In such a situation, personal and national expenditure on health is also reduced to a great extent by keeping health related problems away.
I am confident that this Makar Sankranti will be the beginning of the resolve of the global community to make natural resources of energy like Surya and Surya Namaskar as their best and trusted friends and our friendship will prove to be unbreakable in times to come. It is also very important in every way for the protection of our earth.
– Shri Sarbananda Sonowal
Union Cabinet Minister
(Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways)