Modi made the comments through video-conference as the 29th edition of the International Yoga Festival opened in Rishikesh.
Calling yoga the “journey from ‘me’ to ‘we’,” Modi said: “Yoga makes an individual a better person in thought, action, knowledge and devotion.”
“The world today is also threatened by the twin challenges — terrorism and climate change,” he said.
Talking on the global peace, Modi said, “There should be peace among nations” and “only peaceful families can constitute peaceful society”.
“Yoga is the way to create such a harmony and peace within individuals, family, society, nation and ultimately all over the world,” he added.
On combating the climate change, Modi asked people to move away from life style of “Bhoga” (consumption) to one of Yoga.
Speaking on the positive impact of Yoga and ills of modern lifestyle, Modi said: “There is ample evidence that practicing Yoga helps combat stress and chronic lifestyle-related conditions.”
The International Yoga Festival is jointly organised by the Ministry of AYUSH, the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh.
Launding the recent achievements of Indian scientists in defence and space technologies, Modi said: “We in India believe in researching both the frontiers of science and technology, as also, researching deep within our souls, that is, both science and Yoga.”
Speaking about the cleaning of major temples and their surrounding through the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Prime Minister said: “Historically temples have played a key role in our societies.”
“Usually, they were built on a vast area of land, and often away from the residential areas and with passage of time, they were surrounded by markets, and residential colonies.”
“They face unclean surroundings as a major challenge,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said the project ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ is now part of Swachh Bharat Mission and in the first phase, Kamakhya temple, Jagannath temple, Meenakshi temple, Tirupati, the Golden temple, and Vaishno Devi temple would be spruced up.
Appreciating the work of Parmarth Niketan and Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Modi said, “Parmarth Niketan is bringing Yoga to people across the world” and recalled the “role played by Swami, in compiling the 11-volume Encyclopaedia of Hinduism”.
“Works like Encyclopaedia of Hinduism, when made available in various languages, increase the understanding and enhance the awareness of other traditions and cultures within the country,” he said.