20 June 2019: India is fast conquering the world with ‘Yoga’, as it is evident from the countries across the world coming forward to adopt Yoga in their daily life and joining together to celebrate ‘The International Day of Yoga’.All this has been made possible by the continuous effort of a man, Dr HR Nagendra, who is often regarded as the Yoga Guru of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
Dr HR Nagendra is the founder and Chancellor of S-VYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhan Samsthana). The University is a Category ‘A’ deemed University dedicated to the study of Yoga based on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and is specialized in Yoga Research and Yoga Therapy. Dr HR Nagendra is also the Chairman, Advisory Committee, World Assembly on Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy.
A Mechanical Engineer by his academic qualification, Dr Nagendra has been working on the holistic and scientific approach of Yoga for more than 20 years. During his days at Indian Institute of Science as PhD Scholar, he was drawn to his inner curiosity, as he says “I understood that the modern science can help us understand the physical body at large. Our knowledge therefore about the physical world is complete and we are successful in mastering this science. But the science cannot tell us beyond the physical world to understand something like Prana, mind, intellect consciousness. Therefore when I started my life as a young researcher at the Indian Institute of Science, we started discussing about this dimension of life”.
He also adds, “More I went, more I am convinced that this knowledge needs to be brought for the people at large. Best of Nobel laureates and scholars and scientist are now trying to understand the secrets of Upanishads. By becoming a simple practitioner I started to try and understand more and more and in this large knowledge base of Yoga, now I am probably able to get a small grasp over it”.
Born on New Year’s Day 1943 in the south Indian state of Karnataka, HR Nagendra, graduated in mechanical engineering and continued his studies to secure a doctoral degree (PhD) from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. He started his career by joining IISc as a member of faculty of mechanical engineering in 1968 and held the post till 1975. In between, he served as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia in 1970 followed by a stint at Marshall Space Flight Center of NASAduring 1970–71. During his stay in the US, he was also associated with Harvard University as a consultant at their Engineering Sciences Laboratory from 1970 to 1972 after which he moved to London and worked as a visiting faculty at Imperial College of Science and Technology. Returning to India, he resumed his career at IISc which would stretch for two more years till he started his association in 1975 with Vivekananda Kendra, a spiritual organization founded in 1972 by Eknath Ranade, by taking up the post of the honorary director of the training centre at the organization’s headquarters in Kanyakumari.
Dr Nagendra’s association with Present Prime Minister Narendra Modi dates back to 70’s, when as Pracharak, Narendra Modi use to come to Dr Nagendra’s Prashanti Kuteeram in Bangalore, as he says, “He came to Prashanti Kuteeram long back, when he was a Pracharak. He use to come to meet my uncle Seeshadri Ji and that is how he got introduced to holistic vision of Yoga, the scientific dimension of Yoga and from then on he started following yoga and practicing it, bringing it to life and as he is a wonderful personality who has grasped the essence of India’s cultural heritage in the form of Yoga, which is the latest contribution to the Indian thought and culture to the world”.
But when asked about his relationship with the Prime Minister as his Yoga Guru, Dr Nagendra said, “Yes, some people say that I am his Yoga Guru, but I don’t think that way, as we are bonded as friends and colleagues”.
It has been often reported that acting on the advice of Dr HR Nagendra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has took Yoga to the International stage which culminated into the declaration of the International Day of Yoga on 21st June.While addressing the 69th Session of United Nations General Assembly on September 27th, 2014, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi urged the world community to adopt an International Day of Yoga and the following year United Nations declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga officially.
Dr Nagendra says, “Prime Minister has his own way of presenting this. He is such a master that he gave wonderful speeches and which are accepted by large number of countries and most important 35 Islamic countries also approved and sponsored the day to be celebrated as International Day of Yoga. That has been a biggest achievement”.
Revered as Guruji by large number of students across the world, Dr HR Nagendra has been awarded the fourth highest civilian honor of the country ‘Padma Shri’ in the year 2016 for his contribution towards the society. He is also the recipient of ‘Yoga Shri’ title from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. He has authored 35 books and over 100 research paper on Yoga.
Yoga, according to him is a science of holistic living which is a combination of Physical Exercises, Asana and Pranayam,“It is also a way of life to raise our self from normal level to great super divine human being and to lead us to the perfection itself. Infite power, knowledge and freedom”.He also says, “Yoga has a great future. Yoga is revolution in making, just like Industrial revolution, Yoga revolution is coming up to bring out harmony and peace throughout the world, that how I can see”.
Now, for more holistic benefit of every human being on earth S-VYASA is developing a 35 minutes Yoga Protocol in association with Government of India. Through this crores of crores of people in India and across the world will be benefited and people can truly understand the holistic vision of Yoga.
S-VYASA is also preparing for a three day workshop WAAYN (World Assembly on Ayurveda Yoga and Naturopathy) from 7-10 November. The idea behind WAAYN is to reach the masses and to ensure this,interaction is under progress with leading Medical fraternity (Modern Medicine and Holistic Health Industry), Research and Educational Institute, including the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of AYUSH to support and actively take part in the event.