Narendra Modi in Coimbatore as it happened: PM to unveil 112-foot Shiva idol at Isha Foundation event

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Narendra Modi in Coimbatore as it happened: PM to unveil 112-foot Shiva idol at Isha Foundation event
  • 19:48 (IST)

    Modi lauds practices of yoga

    He said, "It gives me immense distress when I hear about people abusing substances. Today people of the world want peace of mind and the simplest way of combating stress is Yoga. If the body is the temple of the mind, yoga creates a beautiful temple. That is why I call yoga a passport to health assurance."

    He added, "Yoga is about rog mukti and bhog mukti. Yoga makes an individual a better person. It will be unfair to see yoga as a set of exercises which makes a body fit. Yoga is far beyond physical exercises."

    He said, "Today whole world wants peace, not only from wars and conflicts but peace from stress, and for that we have Yoga."

  • 19:44 (IST)

  • 19:43 (IST)

    Modi talks about women empowerment

    Our mind should always be open to new thoughts. Unfortunately there are a select few who because of their own ignorance, ignore these ideas. It is essential that ancient ideas are taught to modern society. The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women. The issue is no longer women development, but it is woman-led development. 

    In our culture the role of women is central. Our culture has many Goddesses who are worshipped. Many women have led social reforms and broken stereotypes.

    In India we say, "Nari tu Narayani (Woman is a manifestation of the divine)."

    For men we say, "Tu karnit kare tu Narayan ho jaya (If a man does good deeds, you will reach divinity).

  • 19:34 (IST)

    Modi talks about the benefits of yoga

    Modi said, "By practicing yoga a spirit of oneness is created -- oneness with family, fellow humans and nature."

  • 19:31 (IST)

    Modi addresses crowds in Coimbatore on Mahashivratri

    He said, "From Kashi to Coimbatore, Lord Shiva is everywhere. Like crores of Indians, I too am delighted to be part of Maha Shivratri. We are merely a drop in the ocean. Through centuries countless devotees have lived of every age and time. The divine is always the same. This longing throbs in the core of every human heart."

  • 19:13 (IST)

  • 19:04 (IST)

  • 18:51 (IST)

    Watch live streaming of Modi's speech here:

  • 18:43 (IST)

At 6 pm on Friday, on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil a 112-foot Lord Shiva statue in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The statue will be consecrated by Isha Foundation founder Jaggi Vasudev.

According to the Foundation, on Maha Shivratri, Modi will light the sacred fire to commence the 'Maha Yoga Yagna' across the world, when one million people will take an oath to teach a simple form of yoga to at least 100 persons in the coming year.

A five-tier security blanket has been put in place in and around the city, and along the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, in view of Modi's visit.

With the venue being on the Western Ghats and close to the mountain ranges in Kerala, additional police personnel would be deployed along the state borders to prevent possible infiltration of extremists and Naxalites, police said.

The tight security was also being put in place in view of planned protests by human rights organisations, various political parties, farmers and tribal bodies, alleging that Adiyogi's face was built on encroached land and that Modi's visit would only regularise it (land).

In Chennai, CPM and CPI pointed to various alleged violations in setting up of the statue and said the prime minister should not visit the venue.

Modi is scheduled to arrive by 5:30 pm at Sulur airport and then leave for the venue by a helicopter.

First of the four planned statues


The Shiva statue in Coimbatore. Image courtesy: Twitter/@airnewsalerts

This is not to be the only one of its kind; there are also plans to have 112-foot-tall faces of Shiva in three other parts of the country — one each in the North, the East and the West, in addition to the one at Coimbatore.

"We want to place these tall faces of 'Adiyogi' in four corners of the country. The first one is in Coimbatore. The eastern one will most likely be in Varanasi. For the North, it will be somewhere north of Delhi, and there will be one in Mumbai as well," Vasudev told IANS over email.

Particulars of the statue

The face of the idol will be made of steel. Vasudev said, "The face is not just for aesthetics, it has geometric significance. A unique way of crafting a metal statue. We have essentially taken small pieces of metal and put it together. This is a very hard way to do it, but the most inexpensive. This is also unique — it hasn't been used elsewhere," he said.

According to one official, the structure is estimated to weigh around 500 tonnes.

An incredible engineering feat

"We took about two and a half years to design the face, but our in-house team built it in eight months. It is an incredible feat of engineering and has been done in a very unique way," Vasudev said. "It is an incredible feat in terms of time and engineering. We have done it on a small budget, in quite an ingenious manner. Also, we have made 'Adiyogi' in such way that it needs least amount of maintenance, which is important in the long-term."

Why is the statue 112-foot?

Queried about the significance of the figure 112 feet, Vasudev said, "Symbolically, 112 is a significant number, because 'Adiyogi' opened up 112 possibilities for human beings to reach their ultimate potential. For the first time in the history of humanity, He introduced the idea that the simple laws of nature are not permanent restrictions. If one is willing to strive, one can go beyond all limitations and attain liberation."

Vasudev also said there is also a scientific significance — there are 112 chakras in the human system, with which you can work, to explore 112 dimensions of life. "This face is not a deity or temple, this is an iconic inspiration. In pursuit of the divine, you don't have to look up, because it not somewhere else. Each of the 112 possibilities is a method to experience the divine within you. You just have to pick one," Vasudev added.

Largest statue face on the planet

In a statement, the Isha Foundation said that the statue's face will be largest in the world. The idea is not to build one more monument but to use it as a galvanising force towards self-transformation, it said. "This iconic face symbolises liberation, representing the 112 ways in which one can attain the ultimate through the science of yoga," the statement said.

Significance of Adiyogi

According to Vasudev, Shiva is not known as God but as 'Adiyogi' — or the first yogi, the originator of yoga — in the yogic culture. He was the one who first put this seed in the human mind, that one can evolve if one is willing to strive.

"For the first time in the history of humanity, He introduced the idea that the simple laws of nature are not permanent restrictions. If one is willing to strive, one can go beyond all limitations and attain liberation, moving humanity from assumed stagnation to conscious evolution," Vasudev said in the statement.

Yoga went throughout the world, not as a religion or a belief system or philosophy but as methods. Over time, there have been distortions, but still, unknowingly, millions of people across the planet are doing some yogic practice. "This is the only thing in the history of humanity that has lived for so long without ever being forced upon people," Vasudev said.

Describing the significance of Adiyogi, Vasudev said, "It is essential that the coming generations are seekers, not believers. As philosophies, ideology and belief systems that don't stand the test of logic and scientific verification will naturally collapse in the coming decades, you will see the longing for liberation will rise. When that longing rises, 'Adiyogi' and the science of Yoga will become very important."

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Updated Date: Jul 19, 2018 17:44:20 IST

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