Swami Ramdev : An Enigma

 In Hinduism, Saints and Service

Swami Ramdev : An Enigma

Written by Bhavya Srivastava & Published on NewsGram

It was 2006 when I first met Baba Ramdev. He was in the D-block of Patanjali Phase-1 ashram. The ashram was commissioned in the same year and Swami Ramdev was in a hurry. His Yoga exposure was touching the sky and his fellow Acharya Balkrishna was fully engaged with Ayurveda with back support of their third trusted ‘classmate’ Swami Muktanand. This trio has a distinct combination. One is from Haryana, another born in Haridwar and the third one belongs to West Bengal. Swami Muktanand was a hidden gem, who never talk to outsiders.

Today Ramdev, the prefix of Swami/ Baba has gone behind when the saint sat in Ramlila Maidan and shows his political interest in full glow. Ramdev’s presence in media has given him enough perception power to garner or fetch desirable results. The Swami who started his journey from Haridwar on a cycle has now chosen the vehicle of choice to galore his aspirations. Ramdev was a skilful seller, in the start he convinced a Delhi based businessman to give him a rational amount to make some medicines for Northeast states. This was the first deal.

Swami Ramdev never hides his muscles. He can walk fast in his khadua (wooden sandals) and he still sleeps in his 10X10 room without AC. He uses strictly Indian brands of mobile phone, cars, SUV and only drinks Indian mineral water, especially when he is outside. He was literally without water for hours in Vietnam, I offered him a foreign brand mineral water and he told me it’s a foreign brand. He may forget the taste of rice and pulses because he eats fruits and milk only. His life has many dimensions, he wakes up at 4am and does yoga for two to three hours, in the staring he himself sat for hours to edit his TV shows; he is like a curious child to learn any new things and he never shy of his ignorance. Once he recites a sloka to me, which is 15 minutes long. His memory is sharp and never forgets names. He never shies to talk to ‘anyone’ in front of you.

The acumen and vision of Swami Ramdev have started with the aspiration to control powers in every stream is phenomenal. When the whole world has seen his transition from Sanskar & Aastha to many News Channels, he strategically bought both channels to control the religious landscape. This was a sharp move, though the lesser known fact is that he also bought a Jain religious channel Arihant in the bouquet. He rechristened the group as Vedic Broadcasting. This move has given him a big edge. It’s a known fact that the revenue of these religious channels comes from the saints and their katha organisers. Now Swami Ramdev is a power player, who is also cajoling with the business community, who is somehow functional to many religious events. His name becomes synonymous for Yoga and subconsciously for religion and spirituality.

Swami Ramdev understands politics. It always boosts his goals. When Vrinda Karat raises the issue of human bone in his medicines and later a medicine named, Putrajeevak raised eyebrows, he beautifully narrates his point and garners a proper interest in the medium class. His fights with celebrities always make him more big and boastful. His art to navigate political boats, take him too many and finally make him a loyal supporter of the current government. Swami Ramdev openly told many times in past that he has inclinations towards politics. Even he planned to launch a political party, but later he understands the fire and its bruises.

It’s an open fact that Swami Ramdev was not accepted openly by the religious city of Haridwar, his ashram is also on the outskirts. He is a follower of Arya Samaj and follower of Dayanand Saraswati. The way he becomes phenomena was always seen as a gimmick by many traditional saints. Even the biggest name of Yoga, BKS Iyengar was never fond of his practices. He has serious differences on Kapalbhati. He lamented that “his selling of Kapalbhati is corrupting Patanjali’s Yoga”. But today Patanjali is synonymous to the brand Baba has created.

When you meet Acharya Balkrishna, he offers you a lot of things to eat. All are prepared in his factories and Ayurvedic. Acharya Balkrishna is fond of physical exercise have a keen eye on details. He love to s travel and he spends a lot of time in the Himalayas. His passion of Ayurveda can amaze you, but he loves control. His special bonding with Swami Ramdev grows because of the mutual trust and understanding of the goals, they both designed long back.

Swami Ramdev is the right person at the right time. His mission has synced with the nationalistic feelings of the dispensation. His vision is to become a dominant brand wia th national presence of pride. His nationalistic aspirations today make him a new avatar of bharat putra. In few years he may dance on his music, but his real test was when he beat the odds and become a non-politically effective brand.

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