New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed 126-year-old Padma awardee Baba Sivanand for agility and termed his passion for Yoga and dedication for a healthy lifestyle inspirational.
In the 87th episode of 'Mann Ki Baat', broadcast on Sunday, PM Modi said, "The life of Baba Sivananda is an inspiration for all of us. He has a passion for Yoga and leads a very healthy lifestyle."
Referring to Baba Sivanand's heartwarming gesture at the Padma Awards ceremony, the Prime Minister said that everyone must have observed Baba Sivanand in the recently held Padma Awards ceremony.
"Seeing the agility of the 126-year-old, everyone must have been as astonished as I was. Before one could bat an eyelid, Baba started bowing in the Nandi Mudra. I bowed a number of times and offered Pranaam to Baba Sivanand ji," said PM Modi, in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat'.
PM Modi noted Baba Sivanand's age of 126-years and his fitness being "a subject of discussion" in the country.
"I saw several comments on social media that Baba is more fit than people four-times younger than him," he said while wishing him a long life.
Baba Sivanand received the Padma Shri award on Monday.
Dressed in a white kurta and dhoti, Baba Sivanand was a picture of simplicity and grace as he knelt and bowed down in front of the Prime Minister and President Ram Nath Kovind as a mark of respect. The Prime Minister too got up from the seat and bowed to the veteran Yoga legend.
The President stepped out and helped Sivananda to rise to his feet, after which he honoured him with the award and the duo posed for pictures and were seen in a brief conversation.
The oldest man to be conferred with the Padma Shri award, Swami Sivananda is a monk from Varanasi. Born in August 1896, he is cherishing his remarkable 126 years of living. Despite his distinctive age, he stands strong enough to perform Yoga for hours, according to a write-up by Rashtrapati Bhawan on Padma Awardees.
Swami wakes up as early as 3 am in the morning and adheres to a fixed routine. Standing 1.58 metres tall, Sivananda sleeps on a mat on the floor and uses a wooden slab as a pillow. Fit without any medical complications, he practices Yoga every day and performs all rituals on his own. He leads a simple life, eats a simple diet, and serves others with his selfless service.
In his childhood, poverty made him sleep empty stomach many times, while the rest of the time, his family could afford to feed him boiled rice and water.
He was brought up by his Guru Omkarananda Goswami at an Ashram at Nabadwip in West Bengal. He imparted all practical and spiritual education, including Yoga without school education.
"Mann ki Baat" is the Prime Minister's monthly radio address, which is broadcast on the last Sunday of every month at 11 am.
The first episode of Mann Ki Baat was broadcast on October 3, 2014. (ANI)