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First Ever International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015

March 27, 2015

AWAKE Aims for 108 Screenings 

2015 UN LogoThe first ever United Nations-sanctioned International Day of Yoga will take place on June 21, 2015. In recognition of Paramahansa Yogananda’s pivotal role in the spread of yoga worldwide, Self-Realization Fellowship is working with CounterPoint Films to commemorate this first International Day of Yoga.  Our hope is to “gather” 108 screenings of AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda in theatres across the U.S. by June 21, 2015. We encourage all followers and friends of Paramahansa Yogananda to join in these efforts.

Certainly Paramahansaji would be very pleased to learn that the world will now be paying homage annually to the philosophy and science of Yoga, as his life was dedicated to introducing all truth seekers to the time-honored techniques of yoga meditation.

“If India's idea of an International Yoga Day has found easy acceptance in the UN, much of the credit must go to Paramahansa Yogananda, India's first yoga guru in the U.S. whose 62nd death anniversary falls this Saturday,” reported DaijiWorld on March 5, an online news outlet. “He played a huge role in laying the foundation for yoga in the United States a century ago.”    

 2015 Awake 

 

Widely regarded as the father of yoga in the West, Paramahansa Yogananda, in his highly acclaimed translation and commentary of the Bhagavad Gita (God Talks With Arjuna) explains:

“The word yoga signifies the perfect poise or mental evenness that is the result of communion of the mind with Spirit. Yoga indicates also the spiritual technique of meditation through which one attains union with Spirit. Yoga signifies, further, any act that leads to this divine union.

“Mental evenness is the native state of the soul. The ordinary man, by identifying himself with the world, divorces his consciousness from union with Spirit. The remedy for this all-too-often-disastrous disassociation lies in performing one’s actions while inwardly united with the joy of Spirit. God’s consciousness is perpetually in the state of yoga or everlasting evenness that remains unaffected by the incessant changes of creation. Man also, made in God’s image, should learn to manifest that divine equilibrium by which he can live and act in this world without being victimized by its dualities.”

Meditation at The Temple of Leaves, SRF International HeadquartersThe International Day of Yoga recognizes yoga’s origin as well as the practice itself. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the idea for an International Day of Yoga to the United Nations in September 2014, saying: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being.” Following his proposal, the UN adopted the resolution, with a record 175 countries co-sponsoring the initiative — the highest number of supporters in the organization’s history.

CounterPoint Films has begun a campaign to help make 108 new screenings of AWAKE a reality by the International Day of Yoga by recruiting Gathr captains. As Gathr captains, individuals help to organize screenings in their local areas through the Gathr theatrical on-demand service.

If you’re interested in being a Gathr captain for the International Day of Yoga special screenings leading up to June 21, please visit the AWAKE website to sign up.

Additional observances of the International Day of Yoga are being organized at temples and centers of Self-Realization Fellowship and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India around the world. More details about these will be included in our May eNewsletter.

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