By Express News Service

TIRUPATI: Describing life as an eternal journey of learning, President Ram Nath Kovind said yoga will only enrich the learning experience and guide us on the right path. Interacting with students learning Kriya Yoga at the Satsang Foundation Ashram of Sri M at Madanapalle in Chittoor district on Sunday after inaugurating Bharat Yoga Vidya Kendra, the President shared his own experiences with yoga. “Normally it is assumed that yoga is meditation, which is not true. There are a lot of differences between yoga and meditation. In my view, yoga comprises many facets of life, and meditation is just one of those facets,” he said. 

The President said he was fortunate to be introduced to Sri M of Satsang Foundation by one of his officers Balaprasad and after meeting Sri M, he wanted to visit the ashram in Madanapalle. Recalling his experiences with Vipassana and association with various yoga organisations, Ram Nath Kovind said yoga is a wider concept and it should not be limited to physical activities, meditation or remaining silent while concentrating on something. “From Sri M, I learnt techniques of Kriya Yoga and found it to be very comprehensive for the elevation of the human mind and to keep oneself physically fit and simultaneously elevate through meditation,” he said.

Describing himself as a learner, the President said life is part of a long journey and one should not assume that they know all and learnt all. “Life should be treated as a school, where every day is for learning. I did not know where Madanapalle was, so I learnt about it from individuals, Google and physical maps,” he said, while adding that there is lot to learn in one’s life. 

He told yoga learners that they chose a very good path and Kriya Yoga will help them in facing life with full of challenges boldly. Later, he listened to the experiences of yoga students. The President laid the foundation stone for a 38-bed Swasthya Hospital being constructed by the Satsang Foundation for the benefit of students, staff and their family members and Sugali tribal community in Madanapalle. He also laid the foundation of a Yoga Ashram. He also offered prayers at Shiva temple on the premises. 

The Satsang Foundation was founded by Sri M in 1994 on the principles of service, community welfare and welfare of all living beings. It has been striving for the all-round and holistic improvement of the present day society through its initiatives in education, health and environment.Ram Nath Kovind also visited the school run by the Satsang Foundation and interacted with children. Sri M explained to him about the school and the teaching methodology.

Addressing the children in Hindi, he said the purpose of his visit is to see them and bless them to have a bright future. “The post of President is very high. When I was studying, my school was not like yours with good facilities. I can say you are better placed than me and I am sure you grow up and hold positions higher than the President,” he said.

After partaking of a South Indian meal prepared in-house by the Satsang kitchen, the President visited The Peepal Grove School founded by Sri M at Sadum, which was inaugurated by former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam in December 2006.Earlier, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy received the President at Chippili helipad. Deputy Chief Minister (Excise) K Narayana Swamy, Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, MPs PV Midhun Reddy and N Reddapa and others were present. 

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