Relevance of Gandhi For A Healthy Lifestyle: Glimpses Into MDNIY’S Celebration Of Gandhi Jayanti

Dr Ishwar V. Basavaraddi

Everyone must be their own scavenger,” Prof. C V Venugopal quotes Gandhi

Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga celebrated the auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti by organizing an insightful webinar on “Relevance of Gandhi For A Healthy Lifestyle.” Mahatma Gandhi, the Father Of The Nation, taught us the essence of righteous principles that will remain relevant for eternity.

This webinar was attended by Prof. C V Venugopal, Former Prof. & Head, Department of English, Karnataka University, Former President, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Dharwad Chapter. It started with a ceremony of magnificent Bhajan by Ms. Reha Mehra, an All India Radio graded Artist, followed by the introductory remarks of Dr. I V Basavaraddi, Director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.

Dr. Basavaraddi talked in detail about the two main pillars of Gandhian principles – Ahimsa (Non-violence) and Satya (Truth). He further elaborated on The Seven Social Sins as mentioned by Mahatma Gandhi in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22 1925. These social sins are understood as seven blunders that human society commits resulting in  Ahimsa and corruption. They are as follows:

  • Politics without principles.
  • Wealth without work.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Knowledge without character.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Science without humanity.
  • Worship without sacrifice.

Dr. Basavaraddi emphasized on the message that we as fully conscious people should refrain from committing these blunders and follow the virtue of Satya which takes us to the path of redemption and upliftment.

Expressing his thoughts on the topic “Relevance of Gandhi for a Healthy Lifestyle,” Prof. C V Venugopal deliberated on the two most prominent virtues of Gandhi – Ahimsa and Satya with an emphasis on Love.

Prof. Venugopal integrated these principles and deciphered their meaning into: 

  • Ahimsa –  love in the action, and
  • Satya – as a synonym for Love.

“Gandhi’s life was an open book, which is why he became a symbol of love. And this is what gave him the courage to say – My Life Is My Message,” – said Prof. Venugopal. Enunciating on the subject of self-development he mentioned that Love is Reciprocal, therefore, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

On health and lifestyle ideas Prof. Venugopal stated that Gandhi once said, Everyone must be their own scavenger, so long as you do not take the broom and the bucket in your hands, you cannot make your towns and cities clean. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city.

Gandhi always stressed on the fact that physical activity is most important. For bodily health, he suggested – walking and a good diet. As per the Gandhian principle ‘one must take food as medicine to sustain the body.’

Since every aspect of our life has to be intricately balanced to lead a good lifestyle, our body reminds us of overindulgence in the form of adverse reactions to stop them. Also, touching upon the subject of Mental Health, Prof. Venugopal quoted Gandhi, saying, “Bodily Health in itself does not constitute a holistic healthy lifestyle. In the absence of a healthy mind and a feeling heart, rear good health does not serve much purpose because good fitness and a healthy body may turn dangerous for others if you get evil ideas into your mind. Therefore, having good thoughts is of paramount importance because unless it is seen in action, your goodness has no meaning.

Yogic principles like Dhyana (Meditation) and Pranayama (Breathing Exercises) are known to calm and collect the scattered thoughts of the mind. One should focus on the soundness of mind as much as the body. The consciousness of mind can be attained by reading Gita, just as Mahatma Gandhi did whenever he was in doubt.

A healthy lifestyle is a habit that has to be cultivated with regular practice. Just as a child learns from the elders of the house, self-control must be first practiced by the latter after which the children will follow.

The session touched upon various facets of Mahatma Gandhi’s life – his willpower and how that teaches us to live a disciplined life. There has to be a routine in life which must be followed accurately and rigorously. Actions, Diet and Sleep should be an important part of our life wherein rest is a compulsion which shan’t ever be compromised.

The session concluded by the Vote of Thanks delivered by Md. Taiyab Alaam, C&DO, MDNIY, who professed his gratitude towards all the panellist and attendees of the webinar for making it a successful learning activity.

This webinar organized by MDNIY was highly informative and interactive for all the participants that touched upon the lessons we learn from the life of Mahatma Gandhi to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Links To The Webinar Video {Watch}

MDNIY Webinar on “Relevance of Gandhi For a Healthy Lifestyle.”
“Relevance of Gandhi For a Healthy Lifestyle.”

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