Mumbai / Hyderabad, 27 February 2023: Heartfulness in association with Ministry of Sports (Govt. of India), Khelo India, FIT India and Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy inaugurated a one-of-a-kind Heartfulness International Sports Centre at Kanha Shanti Vanam, the Heartfulness Headquarters that houses the world’s largest meditation centre. The state-of-the art international sports centre was inaugurated by Shri Shri Anurag Thakur – Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India; Shri Srinivas Goud – Hon’ble Minister of Prohibition & Excise, Sports & Youth services, Tourism & Culture and Archaeology of Telangana; Shri Pullela Gopichand – ace Indian Badminton Coach in the divine presence of Shri Kamlesh Patel ‘Daaji’ – Guide of Heartfulness Meditation Worldwide and President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission. Sports enthusiasts and Heartfulness volunteers were also present at the event that followed soon after the much-talked about Green Kanha Run.
The idea of building the Heartfulness International Sports Centre is to promote a love for sports and fitness in a serene location at the world’s largest meditation centre leading to holistic wellness. The sports centre is a facility spanning 54,680 sq feet with the modern infrastructure that included 14 badminton courts, 3 squash courts, a 30-metre swimming pool and a gym. Badminton courts are surfaced with safe flooring materials like wood and rubber. HISC is a payable facility to everyone who wishes to train or utilize the sports centre. Coaches are available for the respective sports for those who wish to learn from experts. The facility is also open to those who wish to use it on a pay and play model with five years being the lower age limit for entry. It will also serve as the sports facility for The Heartfulness Learning Center located nearby with over 1000 students and Kanha Coaching Center.
Speaking on the inauguration Shri Anurag Thakur said, “I applaud Pujya Daaji’s vision to develop this Center at Kanha as a hub of Sporting Excellence which shall inspire future development of sporting talent for our nation. I also resonate deeply with him and believe sports to be a key integral dimension for cultivating Human Excellence. When imbued with the Heart (heartfulness), Sports offers a potent opportunity for individual, community, societal and national development. In Daajis’ words, when Sport is imbued with the Heart, it takes Sports and the Sportsperson to the next level of his /her growth and evolution. It offers a pathway for holistic development for our society– one that inspires nourishment of individual body, mind and soul and development of our consciousness. This leads automatically towards unfolding of an well integrated yogic lifestyle that epitomizes the concept of “Swasthya” outlined in our traditions.” He added, “Meditation is necessary for mental toughness to compete on the international level. Youth must be motivated by sports and prevented to stray away from the moral path. Only sports and meditation can help in channeling their energies. Govt and society have to play an important role in their fight against drugs. India has the solution to millions of problems – with this soft power of India can heal the world, can show the path to world. Daaji is helping millions of people across the world with greater mission.”
“Yoga is an Indian culture. The entire world is following yoga today. But how many of our Indians are following Yoga? Around the world doctors and scientists are also backing yoga. We have to begin from here. Daaji has brought about Kanha’s meditation center which is the largest in the world and many big officers and successful people have also joined in the movement to spread the message of yoga and meditation by Heartfulness. Shadnagar area is the highest place in India. It would be very hot in summer a few years ago. After Daaji came here, he brought about water harvesting and changed the landscape. Greenery has gone up by 12-13% when compared to the rest of the country. Groundwater has risen. We have been receiving good rainfall every year. Once nature is taken care off, diseases go down. We are propping up stadiums, but we need to also spread awareness among people which Daaji is doing beautifully. The Govt. too will support the initiatives in this direction,” said Shri Srinivas Goud.
Shri Pullela Gopichand said, “Today also happens to mark the inauguration of badminton facility, swimming pool, squash courts, being added sports to the ecosystem. It’s been a great place in the last few years, I have seen the transformation happen, today you see green forest in this place which was devoid of any planation. More importantly, I have seen transformation of hearts. Thank you Daaji for your wisdom, calm and quiet guidance, it means a lot to have me to be in your presence. For all us here, sport is something close to my heart. Both sports minister here is a testimony to not only spirituality but also sports at Kanha.”
Shri Kamlesh Patel ‘Daaji’ said, “We all know about looking after our physical health – we look after the body as best as we can. We educate ourselves on it. We discuss, contemplate, discuss to enrich our mind. What about the soul? How do we nourish our souls? It is through Dhyan and pranahuti. When pranahuti is transmitted, you feel it inside. When you do meditation regularly, it changes life inside out. In a religious place you only external change – tika, red bands on wrists, incense sticks, etc. These are only symbols. The purpose of incense sticks is symbolic of spreading love throughout the world. But unfortunately, we stick to the skeleton and miss the significance. Think about it. Think about bringing inner change. ‘Maybe the force be with you’.”
The inauguration was followed by prize distribution to the winners of the Green Kanha Run that took place the very morning at Kanha Shanti Vanam. The Green Kanha Run is Heartfulness’s first edition of marathon this year and saw a turnout of over 3000 participants across 2K, 5K, 10K and 21K run.