Swami Ramdev (Hindi: स्वामी रामदेव), born Ram Krishna Yadav, is a Hindu Yogi, also known as Baba Ramdev. Swami Ramdev has gained popularity for his teachings of Yoga, Pranayama and public stance on a number of political and medical issues, especially recently with his movement against corruption in India.
He was born as Ram Krishna Yadav to Gulabo Devi and Ram Nivas Yadav in the village Ali Saiyad Pur (Alipur) of Mahendragarh district in Haryana state of India. He was inspired by the portraits of Ram Prasad 'Bismil' and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that were hung in his room. According to his statements in an open Yog Shivir at Shahjahanpur, when he grew up and read the autobiography of Ram Prasad 'Bismil', his mind was totally cleansed. After completing his middle education of eighth standard from Shahjadpur Haryana, he joined Aarsh (Arya) Gurukul, Khanpur and studied Sanskrit and Yoga under the guidance of Achary Pradumn.
After he received teachings from Achary Baldevji, believed by many to be a saint, he renounced worldly life, entering into Sanyas and changing his name from Ram Krishna to Swami Ramdev. (Note: The Hindi word swami means master).
In Kalva Gurukul of Jind district in Haryana India he offered free training of Yog to villagers for some time. Then he moved to Haridwar and spent several years studying ancient Indian scriptures at Gurukul Kangari. This included a rare book of Aurobindo Ghosh- Yogik Sadhan, translated from Bangla into Hindi by Ram Prasad 'Bismil'. After reading this small booklet he went to the caves of Himalaya and practiced intense self-discipline and meditation. Read More
Baba Ramdev: India's campaigning guru battles corruption
It is a simple message that has won the yoga teacher, or guru, from a poor north Indian background, fame, fortune, an extraordinary self-confidence, his very own Scottish island, and a platform for some strong and controversial opinions. He has now embarked on a campaign against corruption, the big issue in India at the moment, and he says he will launch his own political movement in June to contest the next election.
He may not stand much of a chance of actually winning anything, but as I discovered on my trip to his headquarters near the Hindu holy town of Haridwar, he is not a man to ignore. He claims to keep no personal wealth for himself, but the organisation he runs is hugely rich. Baba Ramdev's base, immaculately clean, decorated with ornamental trees and filled with piped religious chanting, is spread over 500 acres.
It is home to a university, a hospital, an Ayurvedic medicine factory, modern apartment blocks to accommodate 10,000 devotees at a time, and an auditorium so vast you could park a couple of aircraft inside. Read More