Swami Sivananda, a 125-year-old yoga guru from Kashi, received the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday, March 21, for his contribution to the field of Yoga.
Dressed in a white dhoti kurta, the yoga practitioner bowed down before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind before receiving the award. PM Modi too got up from his seat and prostrated before Sivananda.
Before reaching the dais, President stepped out and helped Sivananda rise to his feet, after which he presented the award and the citation, NDTV reported.
Disease And Tension Free Life
Sivananda has been leading disease and tension free life, owing to his simplest ways of living with early morning Yoga, an oil-free boiled diet and selfless service to humanity in his own way. Rather than preaching, he demonstrates his life as a moral lesson.
Born on August 8, 1896, in Sylhet district (now in Bangladesh), the veteran yoga legend lost his parents when he was just six years old. Due to poverty, his beggar parents managed to feed him boiled rice water in his childhood.
After their last rites, he was brought to his Guruji's Ashram at Nabadwip in West Bengal. Guru Omkarananda Goswami raised him, imparted all practical and spiritual education, including Yoga without formal education.
According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan document on Padma awardees, he is chasing that mission to serve the underprivileged in different parts of India - in North East India, at Varanasi, Haridwar, Puri, Nabadwip and so on.
For the last 50 years, the yoga guru has been serving hundreds of leprosy-affected beggars with dignity at Puri by personally meeting them at their hutments.
"He perceives them as living God and serves them with the best available items. He arranges different materials such as food items, fruits, clothes, winter garments, blankets, mosquito nets, cooking utensils based on their expressed need," the document stated.
He encourages others to help the affected people with different items to make them feel the joy of giving. Later, they are motivated to do such kinds of humanitarian work in their respective fields.
Swami Sivananda's long and healthy life has gained attention from across the globe, including his commitment to motivating fellow citizens for COVID vaccination after jabbing himself at this age.
Corporate hospitals across the country have performed complimentary master health check-ups to assess his vital organs' structural and functional status and systems to observe his lifestyle.
Secret Of His Long Life
In the presence of doctors and management teams in a conference hall, to the query on the secret of his long life, along with sharing his simple, desireless life, he demonstrates various Yoga and exercise as means of his long and healthy life.
Swami Sivananda has been honoured with many awards in the past, including the Yoga Ratna Award in 2019 at Bengaluru.
He was the senior-most participant from India at yoga demonstration on June 21, the World Yoga Day in 2019.
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