Against a backdrop of mounting social strife, violence and bloodshed all over the globe, the World Yoga Convention begins here on Monday to throw light on the scientific and healing powers of yoga which will usher in lasting peace and happiness.
Since the convention is held once in twenty years, the entire town of Munger, which is historically connected with the Munger ruler, Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal, is being spruced up to play host to the international event.
The convention, which begins on 1st November, is expected to be attended by about 10,000 delegates, irrespective of race and religion, from different parts of the country and remote corners of the world. The theme of the convention is ‘Integration of Science and Yoga in the 21st century' and erudite scholars in the fields of science, medicine, psychology and social sciences, besides saints and ‘fakirs' will attend the international event to be held in the world-renowned Bihar School of Yoga.
The World Yoga Convention, which concluded here today, gave a lie to the saying that the East and West shall never meet.
A large number of foreign delegates from various corners of the globe were seen moving in groups, sharing a new cultural experience with Indian yogis. The sprawling venue presented the look of a fairground with shops and stalls selling soft drinks, snacks, books and beads while the Departments of Post and Telecom set up a communication centre and a post office for the visiting delegates.
This correspondent, who spoke to a cross section of the foreign delegates, found that yoga was very popular abroad, particularly in Australia, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom. Australia sent about 300 participants, about 80 delegates were from Italy, and the largest European contingent of 106 was from Greece.
When asked why yoga was so popular in their respective countries, the delegates said that due to social tension and mental stress, people were increasingly turning towards yoga for peace of mind, good health and social harmony.