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July 25, 2012

Baba Ramdev - The Yoga Guru

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Baba Ramdev The Yoga Guru
  • Childhood and family profile.
  • Adopted sanyas and studied yoga, darshan, Vedas and Upanishads.
  • Established Divya Yoga Mandir Trust. 
  • Simplified the practice of pranayam for the common man.
  • Advocated the concept, 'the whole world is one family'. 
  • Founded Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust. 
  • Strong critic of fast food and cold drinks. 
  • Initiated Bharat Swabhiman Movement. 
  • Achievements.
Baba Ramdev is an Indian, Hindu sanyasi and is particularly well known for his efforts to popularise yoga. Swami Ramdev was born as Ramkrishna Yadav on 11th January 1965, in Alipur in the Mahendragarh district of Haryana, India to Ram Nivas Yadav and Gulabo Devi. He attended school till the eighth grade. Later, he joined a gurukul where he studied Sanskrit, Indian scriptures and Yoga. He read a book called `Yogik Sadhan', written by Aurobindo Ghosh and was deeply influenced by it. As a result, he decided to renounce the worldly ways of life and adopted Sanyas . He was initiated into the ascetic order by Swami Shankerdevji Maharaj and after becoming a sanyasi, Ramkrishna Yadav adopted the name Baba Ramdev.

He then went to Jind district and joined the Kalva gurukul from where he received a postgraduate degree with a specialisation in Sanskrit Vyakarana, Yoga, Darsana, Vedas, and Upanishads. Ramdev spent many years undertaking a study of the ancient Indian scriptures. At the same time, he also practiced intense self-discipline and meditation. Baba Ramdev practiced asceticism and celibacy right from adolescence. After the hard continuous meditation and disciplined penance, he discovered the vision and mission of his life. Besides, he had a strong inclination to reform the social, political and economic system of the country. He started teaching yoga to the villagers across Haryana while still at the Kalva Gurukul. In 1995, Ramdev established Divya Yoga Mandir Trust with Acharya Karamveer and Acharya Balkrishna. Acharya Karmaveer is well-versed in Yoga and Veda while Acharya Balkrishna is a physician with a degree in Ayurveda. The headquarters of the trust is in Haridwar. Baba Ramdev teaches yoga mainly at this ashram.

Later on, he started to feature on different religious channels and popularised Yoga. His yoga camps had a large attendance of his followers which included VIPs and politicians. Baba Ramdev's yoga sessions focused on the Pranayama which are the breathing exercises. These techniques were often thought of as being esoteric and complex and portrayed as being unsuitable for the common man. 

Consequently, the use of these techniques was often limited to advanced practitioners of Yoga and undertaken only under the strict supervision of an experienced teacher. Baba Ramdev has worked diligently to break these barriers and simplified the practice of Pranayama for the common man. 

Baba Ramdev is a firm believer of the fact that God resides in every human being and that the human body is a temple. He strongly advocates the concept of Vasudaiv Kutambakam i.e. the whole world is one family and denounces the practices to discriminate the people on the basis of caste, creed or gender. His fundamental belief is that expressions of love, affection, and compassion towards all living things are the true worship of the Creator.

Baba Ramdev has taught several aspects of traditional Indian scriptures such as Ashtadhyayee, Mahabhashya, and Upanishads along with six systems of Indian Philosophy in various Gurukuls. He has also founded the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, an institution for treatment and research in Yoga and Ayurveda. It has its campuses in Haridwar, the US, the UK, Nepal, Canada and Mauritius. Patanjali Ayurveda is a company that focuses on the manufacture and sale of the organic food and herbal products. Over the years, this company has posed stiff competition to the multinational giants of the country. 

Ramdev is a strong critic of the fast food chains and cold drinks brands. He strongly asked his followers to stop consuming aerated soft drinks in particular. On the other hand, he advocated taking Indian drinks and home-made recipes. In a way, he advocates that this will improvise the self sufficient status of the nation. According to him, improvising the conditions of farmers and bringing back the black money will strengthen the economy of the nation. He has been vocal about the black money deposited in the foreign banks. 

The Bharat Swabhiman Movement of Baba Ramdev is concerned with the core of India's pride and self-respect, including its social, political and economic aspects. His dream is to see an addiction-free, vegetarian, corruption-free India. He touches the lives of millions of people every day through his message of peace, wellness, and enlightenment, and his non-violent movement to end corruption promotes the ideals of a healthy democracy.

In 2006, Swami Ramdev was invited by the United Nations to participate in a poverty eradication programme. Baba Ramdev was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, in 2007. It was done in order to recognise of his efforts for popularising the Vedic science of Yoga. He was presented with Sri Chandrashekharendra Saraswati National Eminence Award by Maharashtra Governor K Shankaranarayanan in 2011. 

He was honoured with Tarun Kranti Award at Ahmedabad in National Icon category by Narendra Modi in 2012. In April 2015, the Government of Haryana appointed Baba Ramdev as the brand ambassador of Yoga and Ayurveda. 

He was given the status of Cabinet Minister for Haryana but had declined. In May 2016, the American business magazine Fast Company ranked Baba Ramdev 27th in the list of the Most Creative People of 2016. 

He has written books which explain in detail about the system of Yoga, acupressure and the role of some medicinal plants in curing the diseases. Some of the famous books written by him are • Aushadh Darshan
  • Pranayama Rashasya
  • Yoga Sadhana evam Yoga Chikitsa Rahasya
  • Jeevaniya and Vayasthapan Paudhe 
Besides the books, a large number of DVDs which help the individuals to practice Yoga at home are available in the market. Undoubtedly, Baba Ramdev has an important contribution in reviving Yoga and making it famous all over the world and he can be aptly remarked as the Yoga Guru.

Meanings to Difficult Words :
  • Scriptures veda, manuscript
  • Asceticism severe self-discipline and avoidance of all forms of indulgence, typically for religious reasons
  • Esoteric secret, sophisticated
  • Diligently careful and conscientious in one's work or duties
  • Portrayed depict in a work of art and literature
  • Denounces publically declare to be wrong or evil.
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