Sanyasi or Politician …….
When I was Chief Commissioner of Income Tax I, Chennai in 2005, I was invited to Baba Ramdev’s discourses in Chennai and to receive his blessings.
Some how, I could not attend it.
The people who had invited me, and the people who were organising the discourses, were the big business men, including tax evaders, and even people who were facing prosecution for tax evasion.
Baba Ramdeo Pix (Click here to see picture)
If anyone sincerely believes that all Baba Ramdev’s followers are the honest exceptionalists – the pure Ganga Jumna of the society, he is obviously mistaken.
The fact is that most honest people are poor and can hardly afford the luxury of doling out huge donations with which the big religious and pseudo religious institutions are built.
Even in the good old days, robbers and dacoits used to offer a portion of their loot to Goddess Kali and other deities, when they returned back from their exploits.
The business people traditionally kept a small percentage of their income for God (Dabba – the donation box as it used to be called).
Whether this was done to appease the Gods. or lessen their anger…. I do not know.
An online internet search about the Baba gave me the following facts:
Baba Ramdev was born on Dec 25, 1965, as Ramkishan Alipur Yadav in the house of an ordinary family of Gulab Devi and Ram Nivas Yadav in Ali Saiyad Pur village of Mahendragarh district in Haryana state of India.
He attended school through the 8th grade in Shahjadpur.
Thereafter, he joined a gurukul in Khanpur village (Hoshiarpur, Punjab) to study Sanskrit and Yoga.
In 1995. Ramkishan Alipur Yadav, renounced worldly life and became a Sanyasi – adopting the name Swami Ramdev.
Then he went to Jind district and joined the Kalva gurukul and later imparted free Yoga training to villagers across Haryana.
He travelled the Himalayas for several years (for which no details are available) before settling down in Haridwar.
He discovered several medicinal plants in the Himalayas (for which no details are available) which he uses for treating his patients.
He starting teaching Pranayama – techniques of breath control and popularised the practice of Pranayama.
His discourses and talks are broadcast on Indian TV channels. Baba Ramdev claims that he was a paralytic prior to taking up yoga, but this claim has never been verified.
So far so good. No one can have any problem with Baba Ramdev and his teachings relating to Pranayama and other yogic exercises.
HIV & AIDS – claim of curing
On Dec. 22 and 23, 2006, on India TV and a couple of other TV Channels, Baba Ramdev said that Yoga Pranayama and the Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicines suggested by him can control and cure AIDS.
He added that the CD4 Cell count of the people affected by AIDS, which had fallen to 50; 100; 150 have gone up to 400; 500; and even 600, which is quite normal. He added that even the people with CD4 Cell count of 5 to 10 have benefited. CD4 cells (T4 count, T-helper cells) are a class of immune cells that gradually get depleted in HIV infection.
On Dec. 22 and 23, 2006, India TV also showed a lady, declaring openly, in one of his Yoga Science camps to have been cured of AIDS. This lady had come to know that she had AIDS, after she lost her husband due to AIDS.
As a result of these press reports, the Indian Union Health Ministry sent a cease and desist order to Baba Ramdev; and medical NGOs threatened to take legal action against him.
Baba Ramdev responded by saying that he had been misquoted.
(The usual ploy of politicians).
His clarification was that Yoga and Ayurveda together can alleviate the suffering from AIDS, not cure it.
He also added that Yogic education was preferable over sex education in response to the AIDS crisis.
In some of his addresses, Baba Ramdev said that Yoga and Pranayama have been successful in curing 200 cancer patients and he is ready to give evidence. (But no evidence has ever been given.)
Quoting from page 55 of the monthly magazine “Yog Sandesh” (English) September 2006. issue.
This magazine is also available along with all the Back Issues of Yog Sandesh Monthly, online at
Baba’s actions have left me in daze. I am blundered and traumatised.
I have always believed that a Sanyasi is one who has renounced the world.
A Sanyasi is one who is free from all attachments – family, friends and enemies.
I am reproducing the definition of Sannyasa from Wikipedia. (Definitions in other treatises are similar)
“ Sannyasa (Devanagari, sannyāsa) is the order of life of the renouncer within the Hindu scheme of āśramas, or life stages. It is considered the topmost and final stage of the ashram systems and is traditionally taken by men or women at or beyond the age of fifty years old or by young monks who wish to renounce worldly and materialistic pursuits and instead dedicate their entire life towards spiritual pursuits. In this phase of life, the person develops vairāgya, or a state of dispassion and detachment from material life. He renounces all worldly thoughts and desires, and spends the rest of his life in spiritual contemplation. One within the sannyasa order is known as a sannyasi (male) or sannyasin (female)……
During the sannyasa phase of life, a person abandons fire (Agnihotra, allowed to the householder stage of life, the Grihastha ashram). It means that during sannyasa ashram, one should not cook, perform fire rituals or take heat from fire. Sannyasa focuses only on the self and spirituality and not even the gods (as abandoning fire suggests). Symbolically, a sannyasi casts his physical body to fire by wearing saffron robes at the moment of taking up sannyasa itself, thus freeing his soul, while yet alive. Hence, sannyasis are not cremated after death (as most Hindus are) but may instead be buried.”
Death Penalty for corruption
Baba Ramdev has recently taken up the issue of corruption.
He has demanded that corrupt people should be dealt with nothing less than death penalty.
I am shocked….a sanyasi asking for the death penalty…..and that too, for a crime like corruption, when nation after nation are abolishing the death penalty.
There is something wrong, somewhere. I would have expected a sanyasi to save life, not take life.
Ramdev and Politics
Baba Ramdev has launched Bharat Swabhiman – a new political party.
Baba has clarified that his party has no intention of contesting Assembly elections, but only Lok Sabha elections.
(His aims are high and lofty ….Delhi and the Parliament itself).
“I do not have any ambition to be the Prime Minister or the President of India. I will never actively participate in politics”, he claimed.
(But none the less he will form a new political party)
Baba Ramdev would himself play the role of Chanakya and not be directly involved in politics. I shall not be a contender to power personally, said the Yoga Guru.
Well this is what Sonia is doing…..
Back to Sanyas
With all the humility I can muster, mingled with all the knowledge and experience I have gained over 65 years of life, I implore you to keep away from politics, corruption, black money and such mundane things of life.
We already have far too many politicians.
Please stick to what is your rightful duty…..as a sannyani…..meditation and yoga.
Otherwise, you will be like the misled donkey….na ghar ka na ghat ka.
Sunday morning, the police moved in and cleared Ramleela Grounds.
The Baba had crossed all limits.
Flying on private jets, owning thousands of crores worth of land and other assets, making a mockery of all that a Sanyasi is supposed to do, he was literally blackmailing the Govt.
But for all this, the Govt. of India itself is to blame. Sending three ministers and the Cabinet Secretary to meet him was a very very wrong decision.
It was sending out all the wrong signals.
Any way, better late than never.
Baba Ramdev – will someone convey this message to him
Rajbala lies paralyzed because she supported you.
The least you can do….call it ethics, sanyas, or good will,
give her a reasonable sum for her loyalty.
You should compensate her…..