03 November, 2009

Baba Ramdev's Yoga steals the show at Islamic conference in UP



DNA, 3rd November, 2009

In a rare confluence, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev performed Pranayam while a Hindu Priest recited Vedic hymns at the largest congregation of Muslim clerics of the country here today.

The 30th General Assembly organised by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind at the Darul Uloom Islamic seminary was the first occasion when a Hindu religious figure addressed the audience, primarily comprising Muslim clerics.

The jam-packed pandal of the seminary, which is the seat of Sunni Muslims in Asia, fell silent as Pandit NK Sharma started reciting sacred Sanskrit texts at the dias.

More than two lakh clerics and students first listened attentively to Hindu religious texts which dealt with peace, unity and brotherhood and then watched the Yoga performance of Baba Ramdev.

Ramdev, in his signature style, started with a brief introduction about unity, health and well being followed by demonstrating Anulom-Vilom, Pranayam, Kapaal Bhati and other Yogasans to the gathering.

"I teach people Yoga. I speak of well being, healthy life and haven't changed anyone's religion," a beaming Baba Ramdev said. Incidentally, the 143-year-old influential seminary had in the past issued a fatwa in favour of yoga after some clerics banned Muslims from practising it.

Stressing on the need to promote yoga, Ramdev sought to dispel misconceptions about the activity by saying, "These yogas were like exercise to keep the body fit and do not violate any tenets of Islam since one is not required to recite any shlokas."

As the Baba who is the founder of Patanjali Yaogapeeth in Hardwar exhibited some fine points about breath control, concentration, meditation, the audience was seen following him in the acts. He emphasised the need for promoting communal harmony satying the unity between Hindus and Muslims was the strength of the nation.

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