`Art of Living` makes official debut in China
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Last Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010, 00:00
Beijing: Yoga made an "official debut" in China on Sunday as Sri Sri Ravishankar, the renowned Indian spiritual guru, inaugurated his first 'Art of Living' centre with the sanction of the Chinese government in the capital.

Yoga, the quintessential Indian spiritual and cultural form that is increasingly becoming popular here, took centre stage as the Art of Living branch was opened at a sprawling Chinese resort on the outskirts of the capital.

The function was attended among others by representatives of Chinese Peoples Association of Friendship of Foreign Countries, a government backed body which invited the Indian spiritual guru.

The resort resonated with music 'Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishanu' as few hundred enthusiasts attended the specially organised function where Sri Sri briefly performed yoga and meditation.

A disease free body, violence free society, conducive free mind, inhibition free intellect, sorrow free soul, trauma free memory are the birth right of every human being and modern societies have become so stressful that people look for wisdom to find peace with themselves, said the Indian spiritual leader, a well-known exponent of the ancient practice, while addressing the crowd.

India and China shared a long history of wisdom, he said, adding that the Chinese martial art forms like Kung Fu and Tai Chi have become famous all over the world.

Similarly, India's age old practices of yoga and meditation have become relevant all over the world to distress people, brining peace and happiness, he said.

He received biggest applauds when he thanked the ruling Communist Party for granting permission to start his centre.

He is due to conduct a similar 'Sat Sangh' here tomorrow in which a larger crowd was expected to take part.

Yoga is not new to China as yoga centers have come up up all over the country ever since China began to liberalise spiritual and religious practices in recent years.

But this is the first time that a centre has been granted permission to operate.

Sri Sri said judging from the response, many centres of Art of Living were expected to come up in several cities in China soon.

"We do not plan anything. Things happen on their own," he said, recalling how Chinese organisers approached him to start the centre.

Yoga, Indian classical and Bollywood dances were becoming biggest cultural ambassadors of India in China even though the ties between the two countries moved at a slow pace of revival.

As the popularity yoga spreads fast in China, many complain of huge shortage of teachers and trainers and Sri Sri's Ashram was expected to fill this void to train a new generation of Chinese yoga teachers.

In addition to this, three yoga centres were being set up by different groups in Shanghai Anji and Xian with the assistance of the Indian government.

A yoga research centre was also expected to be set up in collaboration with the Chinese hospitals and universities next year.


First Published: Monday, October 25, 2010, 00:00

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