COIMBATORE: Unveiling the 112 ft-tall bust of Adiyogi, ‘the first yoga guru’, consecrated by Isha Yoga Centre founder Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev in the foothills of the Velliangiri mountains in Coimbatore district on Friday, Modi said yoga could be the panacea for lifestyle diseases, stress and addiction.

“Lifestyle-related ailments and stress-related diseases are becoming common. It gives me immense sadness, one that I cannot describe in words, when I read about people taking to substance abuse and alcohol be cause they are not at peace with themselves,“ Modi said.

He suggested that yoga could be crucial for world peace. “The whole world wants peace, not just peace from wars and conflict but peace of the mind,“ he said. There is ample evidence that practising yoga helps combat stress. If the body is a temple of the mind, yoga creates a beautiful temple, he said, adding that more than being a cure to ailments, it is a means to wellness. “Twisting and turning one’s body in different poses is not yoga. Yoga is far beyond physical exercises. Yoga it is ancient, yet modern, it is constant, yet evolving. The essence of yoga has not changed. It is of utmost importance to preserve this essence,” he said.

Stating that the family of Lord Shiva is a symbol of harmony in diversity , Modi said India too is a nation of unparalleled diversity. “This diversity has been India’s greatest strength and has also brought India together. Diversity is not a cause of conflict for us. We accept it and embrace it wholeheartedly,“ he said.

Underlining the need for peaceful coexistence, Modi said, “Lord Shiva is everywhere,“ and referred to the bull, peacock and mouse that were the vehicles of the Lord and his sons Ganapathy and Karthik. He also talked about the venomous snake Vasuki curled around Shiva’s neck to emphasise the importance of peaceful coexistence.

He stressed the need to protect nature which is part and parcel of our culture.

“Each god is associated with an animal, bird or tree, which is also worshipped with the same spirit as the god or goddess. There cannot be a better means to inculcate a spirit of reverence for nature. Nature equals to God, this has been firmly established by our ancestors, and this shows their foresight. These are virtues that have kept Indian civilization alive for centuries,“ he said.

Modi also released a book on Adiyogi written by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said that before the next Mahashivratri, the Isha Yoga Centre will create one million yoga veeras who will impart and teach simple yoga to 100 people each.