New Delhi, June 8: As the government gears up to celebrate the maiden International Yoga Day, President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said the United Nation's decision in this regard will help popularise yoga globally and enable people to benefit from this "priceless Indian heritage".
At an event where he was presented the first copy of 'Yogikasparsh (yogi's touch)', a yoga manual in Braille to help the visually-impaired, Mukherjee noted that the ancient Indian practice offers "a complete answer to people's need for physical, mental, moral and spiritual well-being".
Speaking about the UN's declaration of June 21 as International Yoga Day, he said, "I am confident this will help popularise yoga globally and enable people to benefit from this priceless Indian heritage."
He said yoga was arguably the most valuable Indian cultural heritage and it was an art, science and philosophy which helps people in self-realisation.
"Yoga is an art, science and philosophy. It helps to join the powers of body, mind and soul for achieving self-realisation. Modern medical science has validated that the practice of yoga not only reduces stress but has multiple long-lasting beneficial effects. Yogic discipline not only helps control the wavering mind but also inspires the pursuit of excellence," he said.
'Yogikasparsh' has been written by Nivedita Joshi, daughter of senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi. She said she was bed-ridden by a host of crippling ailments for years before she regained health and vigour with practice of yoga under the guidance of noted guru B K S Iyengar.
She was long driven by a quest to take yoga to the blind, 39 million globally and one-third of them living in India, Joshi said. "This effort will bring so much more light to those who thought they could not move in that direction (of yoga)," she said.
"As we prepare to celebrate the International Day of Yoga, it gives me immense satisfaction that the Yoga manual in Braille is being offered as a unique gift to the visually impaired," the President said.