Swami Ramdev: Biography
Swami Ramdev, popularly known as Baba Ramdev was born in 1965 in Alipur in the Mahendragarh district in the Indian state of Haryana. Ramdev is an Indian, Hindu swami and is particularly well known for his efforts to popularize yoga. His yoga camps see a large attendance of his followers. The Baba is also one of the founders of the "Divya Yoga Mandir Trust" that aims at promoting yoga among the masses.
Born as Ramkishen Yadav he attended school till grade eight in Shahjadpur in Harayana and then joined a gurukul in Khanpur village to study yoga and Sanskrit. Ultimately he renounced worldly life and became a Sanyasi (took to monastic living) taking on his present name. He later travelled to the Jind district and joined the Kalva gurukul and offered free yoga training to villagers across Harayana.
Baba Ramdev spent many years of his life studying ancient Indian scriptures and practicing meditation and self discipline all along. He has also founded the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust in Haridwar, an institution that does research in the healing powers of yoga and Ayurveda. The trust also provides many free services to all its visitors.
Baba Ramdev's educational shows have been broadcast on many religious TV channels like Aastha, and other TV channels like Zee Network, Sahara One and India TV; and the swami holds many yoga camps across the country and even abroad.
In 2007 the KIIT University (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology) awarded the swami with an honorary doctorate degree for his contribution towards popularizing the Vedic science of yoga.
Swami Ramdev's Claims
In December 2006 the press reported that Swami Ramdev had claimed that he had found a way to use yoga to cure AIDS. As a result of these press reports the Indian Union Health Ministry sent him a cease and desist order and threatened legal action if he did not stop making these false claims. Other claims of the Baba include being able to cure cancer of the liver, breast, prostrate, uterus and brain (including brain tumours) by practising seven breathing exercises; Ramdev allegedly has documentary evidence for the same.
Baba Ramdev preaches that God resides in every human being and that the body is a temple of God. The swami believes in Vasudaiv Kutambakam (the whole World is one family) and does not support discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and religion. One of the most essential beliefs of Baba Ramdev is that showing true love and compassion towards all living things is true worship.
The Swami has taught many elements of the Indian scriptures such as the Ashtadhyayee, Mahabhashya and Upanishads and has set up many gurukuls in Ghashera, Kishangarh, and Mahendragarh in India. The yoga guru also teaches "Pranayama"; which is series of breathing exercises that were a part of the ancient Indian system of yoga. The Baba's educational show is broadcast on TV with a total viewer ship of millions. People who watch his TV show's have given examples of how they have been cured from diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, stomach ailments, thyroid problems, heart diseases and cancer after practising yoga and breathing exercises prescribed by the Baba.
Swami Ramdev has even claimed that he was paralytic before he took up yoga, and since has been completely cured. This claim has yet to be verified.
Baba Ramdev has been conducting Yoga Science camps all across the country and abroad and even spent a month in London teaching Pranayama and Yoga.
Baba Ramdev Declares Assets
Date: June 10th 2011
Baba Ramdev declared his assets on Thursday, June 9th, yet still dodged many questions. The Baba and his aide Acharaya Balakrishna declared all the money they spend on charity, but did not reveal their assets. Both claimed that their accounts were audited regularly and they should not be suspected.
According to Ramdev there are three primary trusts, including the oldest the Divyayog Mandir Trust, that has a total capacity of R.s. 249.63 crore and a total welfare spend of Rs.685.25 crore during the last 12 years. The Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust has a capacity of Rs. 164.8 crore and has spent Rs. 53.52 crore till date. The Bharat Swabhiman Trust, created for the anti black money campaign, has a capacity of Rs. 9.57 crore and a welfare spend of Rs. 11.51crore.
The Baba and Acharaya Balakrishna failed to answer questions on asset base and financial inflows and were rather clueless when faced with a volley of questions on their business and assets. Balakrishna, who is supposed to be the financial face of Patanjali Trust left his personal computer and left for his room when he couldn't answer persistent questions about corporate dealings and the number of companies the trust operates. Balakrishna said that all questions regarding Ramdev's companies should be directed to the Registrar of Companies.
Though the Acharaya persisted that they followed all rules, like paying taxes, deducting TDS; claiming all details about their assets have been uploaded on their website www.divyayoga.com.
The Acharaya persisted that they were involved in a lot of welfare work and they contributed a lot towards natural calamities through Patanjali and they claim that they believe in transparency.
Ramdev who has been on a hunger strike since June 4th 2011, demanding black money stashed away abroad to be brought back has reiterated the fact that he will continue with his fast until his demands are met.