Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 112-foot tall bust of Adiyogi Shiva at the Isha Foundation at the foothills of Velliangiri mountains in Coimbatore on Friday. The bust, made of steel, weighs 500 tonnes and it took 2.5 years to design it and in eight months to build it. This is the tallest bust in the planet, recognizing the belief of the first yogi’s contribution to humanity. The iconic bust symbolizes liberation, representing the 112 ways in which one can attain to one’s ultimate through the science of yoga. As a tribute to Adiyogi, the Prime Minister also lighted the sacred fire to commence the Maha Yoga Yagna across the world.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has included the consecration of this glorious face in its official ‘Incredible India’ campaign as a destination. The unveiling coincides with the Mahashivaratri festival being celebrated today in India. In yogic culture, Shiv is not only considered a god but Adiyogi or the first yogi, the creator of yoga.
Speaking about Lord Shiva and Parvati, PM Modi extolled how the couple were the epitome of diversity. He added: “Diversity is not a cause of conflict we accept it and embrace it wholeheartedly. It is a speciality of our culture that wherever there are Gods or Goddesses, there is either an animal, bird or tree that is associated with him or her. The vahana is worshipped with the same spirit. Nature equals god, this has been firmly established by our ancestors.”
He said that diversity was part of our culture as were virtues like compassion, kindness and brotherhood, values which our ancestors believe in and virtues which kept the Indian civilization alive for centuries.
He further added that India had a culture of celebrating women. He added: “I am proud of the fact that in our culture the role of women is central. Our culture has so many goddesses who are worshipped. India is home to so many women sages. Be it north,south, east or west, they shattered stereotypes, broke barriers and became trendsetters. He said that while the divinity of women is unconditional, for men it’s dependant on deeds.
He further went on to extol the virtues of yoga, and how it could help battle stress and other chronic ailments in our troubling times. He said: “If the body is a temple of the mind, then yoga creates a beautiful temple. That’s why I call yoga, a passport to health assurance. It’s a means to wellness. It’s about rog-mukti, freedom from disease. Yoga makes the individual a better person through action and devotion. Yoga is not a set of exercises that keeps the body fit. Not everyone who does yoga are yogis. Yoga is far beyond physical exercise. Through yoga, we will create a new yug (era), an era of harmony.”
He said that the United Nations had welcomed Yoga Day with open arms and world celebrated with great fervour. He said: “In every part of the world, the rays of the sun were welcome by yogis. The coming together of so many nations to mark the international day showed the real essence of yoga togetherness. Yoga had the potential to herald a new era of peace, compassion, brotherhood and all-round progress.”
Praising Sadhguru for making yoga popular among common people, he said: “I saw so many radiant and joyous faces here. I see people working with utmost love and care, paying attention to the smallest of details. People full of energy and enthusiasm to offer themselves to a greater yoga.”
Former BCCI chairman Anurag Thakur, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minsiter Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Tamil Nadu Chief Minsiter E. Palaniswami along with Governor Ch. Vidhyasagar Rao were also present here to witness the unveiling ceremony of the Shiva statue. National Award winning singer Kailash Kher performed at the unveiling ceremony.