External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that Yoga belongs not merely to India but to the whole world and added that it is a science to attain inner-peace.
"Yoga belongs not merely to India but to the whole world. Its inclusion as World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO underlines its global significance, benefits for the entire humanity and growing reach," Swaraj said while addressing a gathering of diplomats at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra here on the occasion of 3rd International Day of Yoga.
"Yoga is not merely about physical well-being through asanas (postures) or pranayam (breath control), it is a science to attain inner-peace, it is the art to attain equanimity. It is a full system to arrive at harmony within ourselves, with nature and with the world," she added.
She said over the last two years, Indian missions and posts all over the world have "channelised great enthusiasm and interest" for yoga in their host countries.
"Special events at iconic global locations across the globe have taken place with the participation of hundreds of thousands of yoga enthusiasts at several places. Heads of states, heads of governments, senior dignitaries and celebrities have graced these events," the minister noted.
She thanked the international community for the "tremendous response" India received for its proposal of adopting June 21 as the International Day of Yoga at the United Nations and its inclusion as World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, and also the "support our missions and posts are getting abroad in successful celebrations of International Day of Yoga every year by the host countries".
She asked the gathering to end the yoga session with prayers for the world peace by chanting 11 shlokas which end with "shanti, shanti, shanti", that is, peace for all.