Coimbatore, Mar 5: Observing that India was a land of faith and spiritualism, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said no other country, probably has as many diverse festivals and celebrations as India.
Speaking after participating in the 25th Mahasivarathri celebrations at Isha Yoga Center here, he said faith and spiritualism also give India a certain determination and inner resolve. ''Among our festivals, Mahashivaratri is one of the most endearing, enduring and significant as millions of devotees celebrate it as a day to introspect and reflect upon the values synonymous with Lord Shiva'', he added.
''Our country is a land of faith and spiritualism. Probably no other nation has as many diverse festivals and celebrations'', he said. Reminding the lines penned by the great Hindi poet Rashtra Kavi Maithilisharan Gupt, he said they imply that ordinary human beings lead an honest life, seeking only what rightfully belongs to them.
Those who were depraved, live by snatching from others. And the truly immortal ones, like the Gods in heaven, have access to nectar -- that is, they live with the best of everything available to them, Mr Kovind said.
''But Shiva, the all-pervasive and benevolent one, takes upon himself to clear away the poison - that is, sorrow, suffering, negativity, grief, etc. present in the world'', he said, adding, literally, these lines refer to the act of Shiva consuming poison that emerged during the Samudra Manthan in order to save creation.
Consuming that poison made his throat turn blue, giving him the name Neelkanth. Stating that the message of Neelkanth was, a worthy life was one that was lived in the service of others, the President said ''in consistent with his message, each one of us should strive to serve humanity in whatever way it is possible.''
Her said Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation were making laudable contribution in this regard, with several initiatives to promote human well-being. He said Shiva has many forms, and one of these was his form as Ardhanareeshwar--wherein one half was a man’s body and one half a woman’s. This indicates that both masculine and feminine aspects need to be in balance for a human personality and for a society to prosper, he said.
''Today the entire world talks of women empowerment. But emphasising it has always been a part of our cultural ethos'', Mr Kovind said. He said he was extremely happy to see so many young faces here today. ''It is heartening to know that you are imbibing yoga at an early age. I compliment you for investing your time in your well-being early in life. I am confident that our youth will play a crucial role in shaping the future of not only India but of humanity itself'', the President said. UNI