“Not only is [this] ethical and spiritual truth good for our personal lives but when nations treat other nations accordingly, stability, security, and peace result,” he said. “It is time for a United Nations yoga: Nations must treat other nations as they wish to be treated.”
Modi leads International Day of Yoga in New Delhi (Adnan Abadi/Reuters)
Commemorations at the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Benoit Tessier/Reuters)
International Day of Yoga observed in Xingtai, China (China Foto Press/Getty Images)
GSI President Jonathan Granoff with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the International Day of Yoga
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Remarks of GSI President, Jonathan Granoff, on the first ever commemoration of the International Day of Yoga:
Mr. Secretary-General, Your Excellencies, Dear Sisters and Brothers,
May we all be healthy with hearts that are true and actions that show kindness.
Thank you India and Prime Minister Modi for enlivening ancient wisdom for this modern age.
Yoga is about so much more than just exercising our bodies.
It is about the connectivity of life and reminds us that all lives are joined.
The arc of each individual precious life is as unique as each wave on the ocean.
And every wave is connected to the entire ocean.
We live in the light of life and that light lives in us.
Yoga is knowing this connectivity of life and the preciousness of every life.
The heart that feels this connection will want well-being and peace for all.
This is universal.
Knowing and living Shanti, Peace, Salaam, Shalom. That is yoga.
If we can separate from ourselves that which separates us from one another we will know and be that peace.
Qualities such as Anger, Pride, Falsehood, Jealousy, Hastiness, Hypocrisy, Fanaticism, Prejudice, and Bigotry separate us from one another.
Love, Compassion, Generosity, Justice, Tolerance, Humility, and Gratitude not only bring us together with one another, they open the door to inner peace.
The same qualities that bring us together as a human community bring us harmony and fulfillment within.
The manifestation of this truth is the Golden Rule:
Buddhism: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” UDANAVARGA, 5:18;
Christianity: “All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.” Matthew 7:12;
Confucianism: “Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” Analects 15:23;
Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: do not unto others that which would cause you pain if done to you.” Mahabharata 5:1517;
Islam: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for others that which he desires for himself.” Hadith;
Jainism: “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.” Lord Mahavir 24th Tirthankara;
Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man. That is the law; all the rest is commentary.” Talmud, Shabbat 31a;
Zoroastrianism: “That nature only is good when it shall not do unto another whatsoever is not good for its own self.” Dadistan-I-Dinik, 94:5.
This rule is the most practical guide for both our inner and outer conduct.
Not only is this ethical and spiritual truth good for our personal lives but when nations treat other nations accordingly stability, security and peace result.
It is time for a United Nations yoga:
Nations must treat other nations as they wish to be treated.
May our hearts be free of fear and courageous in compassion.
May we be free of the bondage of mind, desire, egoism, and pride and be the peace appropriate to the human birth.
The nations of the world are composed of individual souls all wanting the same kindness and security. May we, each of us, open our hearts to the infinite light of peace and bring that treasure into the world. May God bless all nations and all peoples, and every single precious life.
Jonathan Granoff is the President of the Global Security Institute, a representative to United Nations of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates, a former Adjunct Professor of International Law at Widener University School of Law, and Senior Advisor to the Committee on National Security American Bar Association International Law Section.