We boarded a bus at 3.30am to attend World Yoga Day in Chandigarh, India. It's been a very busy schedule with Indian Tourism entertaining us. They clearly feel that we must somehow experiencing EVERY THING. There are 22 of us, of which I will add that I'm the only yogi, on tour with 21 travel agents from various parts of the world, including; Italy, Kazakhstan, Ireland, Greece, Holland, Malaysia.
We boarded a bus in the early hours to travel to Chandigarh. The total attendance at the World Yoga Day event was 33,000! There was much to-ing and froing around the arena as the bus driver tried to locate the VIP entry. Then numerous security check points until we are finally escorted into the yoga stadium to our place in block H, row 1. The front row! But only for a few minutes as this place was meant for the Minister of Agriculture. Then we moved to row 7, but still not bad out of 33,000 guests.
Formalities began, then introductions. And finally as the Prime Minister of India arrived, Mr. Modi, a standing ovation as he is truly loved with a 97% like on the opinion poll. He spoke for 20 min. Then the practice began. Mr Modi came down into the crowd he rolled his mat out at H block row 2. We practiced yoga to the sounds of Indian flutes and drums. It was a very special moment for me. The practice was simple movements. Yet the drawing together of so many people not just in Chandigarh but all around the globe on this one day.
I prayed as I saluted the sun that the true essence of yoga, unity, empathy and compassion would override the disruption and dis-function that seems to be within our lives at this time. What more poignant time than right now, to reach out for the power of yoga and bring harmony?
The session was over.
An official asked if I would like meet the Prime Minister. I had a gift for him, an Aussie cricket cap. I was escorted towards him. As I got closer, a tidal wave of people came pushing and shoving to greet him. Remember - 97% of the Indian nation like Prime Minister Modi. I was now in the midst of people grabbing me, pulling me away. I stood still. I had trouble breathing. I was being crushed. Then the tide opened. I was now stood there in front of the 14th Prime Minister of India. I was in the eye of the storm.
He greeted me and asked “Where have you come from?” The crowd became still. The shoving had stopped. There was silence. “I'm from Australia Sir” I replied presenting the cap.
He smiled and graciously took it. At that moment I was grabbed by the arm and slung out of the inner sanctum. Tossed away and the chaos erupted again.
It seemed as though the essence of the day was lost in a moment of desire. The attachment to being in the presence of someone important was too great. To truly understand the depth of yoga is to practice non-attachment to outcomes, even in the case where there is 97% popularity.