File picture of Murli Manohar Joshi. (Press Trust of India)
If yoga comes into the life of common people, it will help in bringing down incidents of rape in the country, veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today said.
In a remark that may spark controversy, he also said that Muslims do yoga five times in a day and termed "Prophet Mohammad as the greatest yogi".
"I believe if yoga comes into the life of common people, then the daily incidents of rape, I would not say, they will cease to exist, but there will definitely be a decrease in them," said Mr Joshi.
"It will create a new way of thinking amongst men and women, changing the way one feels for a human body... that the body is such a machine which nature has given us for some larger work... people's attention will go towards this," he said.
He was speaking during a seminar titled 'The Iyengar Way - Yoga for the New Millennium'.
Referring to an experiment done in New York on transcendental medication introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Mr Joshi said that when a vice chancellor of a university reviewed it, it was found that the crime rate in New York had come down, while the inmates in jails had undergone change in their behavior.
"Our Muslim brothers do yoga five times in a day. The postures of 'namaz'...in that two or three postures, even you will be able to tell (which ones they are)," he said.
"That is why I think Mohammad sahab
was a great yogi. As this prescription is of praying to god...connecting it to yoga, he could not have done it without practising yoga," he added.
Referring to the government's focus on skill development, Mr Joshi said that that there should be a coordinated group between various ministries including Ayush, Education, Health and Skills, which would see how yoga can be utilized in ones social and economic life.
Referring to a former Army chief who had advertised yoga in the Army, Mr Joshi suggested that the country's security forces should also be given yoga education.
"My suggestion is that our country's Army and police should be given yoga education and practice. If policemen start doing yoga, they would be able to convince people through talks and there will be a change in their behaviour as well," he said.
He also said that if one starts any work after chanting mantras
from Vedas or Upanishads, it will have good results.
Noting that yoga is not only for humans but also birds and animals, the veteran BJP leader said that yoga connects humans with animals as well.
"If you see carefully, in nature, animals and birds too do yoga...'mayur asan
, sarp asan
'...this is natural. It's not that it (yoga) is for humans but animals and birds as well. It is possible that they are for pests as well... It connects us with not only humans but also animals," he said.
Mr Joshi also claimed that yoga was the greatest option of bringing peace, public order and prosperity in the entire country, and said it is very essential to introduce yoga in every wing of education.
He said that yoga brings sharing and caring, and programmes on yoga are very important for world peace. India can benefit the world through yoga, ayurveda and Sanskrit language, he said.