Shloka’s are not compulsory during “International Yoga Day” event – Shripad Naik

Government Of India is working very hard to avoid any kind of controversies on the huge event planned for “International Yoga Day” on 21st of June.To avoid controversies government eliminated ‘Surya Namaskar’ from the official yoga program and now government today said chanting ‘shlokas’ during ‘International Yoga Day’ was not “compulsory” and appealed to Muslims to participate in the event.

Representatives of some Muslim organizations who met Naik today said those opposing yoga were “enemies of humanity” and yoga has nothing to do with religion.

We did not include ‘Surya Namaskar’ to avoid controversy. And, moreover, it’s difficult to do it. But ‘Surya Namaskar’ is not religious. We want the whole event to go smoothly. – Shripad Naik

Shlokas are not compulsory. Shlokas are merely prayers but it is not compulsory. They can even take the name of Allah instead of chanting shlokas. I request the Muslims to participate and unite the country. – Shripad Naik

Naik also added that “We did not make anything compulsory. Even the HRD Ministry has merely appealed to the educational institutions.

Yoga is a matter of pride and has “nothing” to do with religion, the Minister said that yoga unites people and is done for fitness.

“If people aren’t fit there won’t be any development. The protests are misleading. Muslims would be co-partners not just participants,” he added.

“There’s yoga in namaaz but namaaz isn’t yoga. Those who oppose it are enemies of humanity because yoga is for the well being of humans,” Maulana Syed Kaukab Mujtaba Abidi, president of Majlis Ulema e Hind (Uttar Pradesh), told reporters.

        Controversies related to “International Yoga Day”

  • Some Muslim groups are opposing ‘Surya namaskar’ because they feel ‘Surya namaskar’ is against the basic teaching of Islam.

  • Some Political Parties and Muslim Groups are saying that the Ruiling Party BJP is making “International Yoga Day” a religious event rather than a health related event.

  • Some Muslim Groups are boycotting this event because of some ‘shlokas’ to be chanted during the event.


         Controversial Contents

Surya Namaskara is the sequence of movements and asanas can be practised on varying levels of awareness, ranging from that of physical exercise in various styles, to a complete sadhana which incorporates asana, pranayama, mantra and chakra meditation.

Sūrya Namaskāra is a procedure of saluting The Sun, taught to Sri Rama by Sage Agastya, before his fight with Ravana.

            12 Surya Namasakras are practised per cycle.

                 The following mantra is pronounced at the beginning of a Surya Namaskara cycle:

ॐ ध्येयः सदा सवित्र मण्डल मध्यवर्ती नारायण सरसिजा सनसन्नि विष्टः

केयूरवान मकरकुण्डलवान किरीटी हारी हिरण्मय वपुर धृतशंख चक्रः

om dhyeyaḥ sadā savitra maṇḍala madhyavartī nārāyaṇa sarasijā sanasanni viṣṭaḥ
keyūravāna makarakuṇḍalavāna kirīṭī hārī hiraṇmaya vapura dhṛtaśaṁkha cakraḥ

                 The following mantra is pronounced at the end of a Surya Namaskara cycle:

आदित्यस्य नमस्कारन् ये कुर्वन्ति दिने दिने
आयुः प्रज्ञा बलम् वीर्यम् तेजस्तेशान् च जायते

ādityasya namaskāran ye kurvanti dine dine
āyuḥ prajñā balam vīryam tejasteśān ca jāyate

          For those who salute the sun every day,
life expectancy, conscious, strength, courage and vital power shall grow.

              These mantra’s are said to be one of the main reason’s surrounding the controversies related to “International  Yoga Day” event.


Yoga is very popular around the world.


Yoga is also popular in many Islamic countries including Pakistan. In Pakistan Surya Namaskar is also a very popular Yoga Asanas they have altered Surya Namaskar according to their religious belief.