Meet a Guru: RamDev

Ram Dev (also called Baba RamDev ) is credited with popularizing yoga in India. His yoga institutions have also had an influence in Britain and the U.S. He has been making a name for himself in ayurveda medicine and political statements as well.

Background

In 2003, he started being featured on TV for a morning yoga slot, which quickly grew into a yoga revival movement. It is said that previous to going on TV, he studied scripture and practiced yogic disciplines alone in the Himalayan caves. He left school early to begin study at a yogic monastery.

At this point he seems to be much better known in India (where he apparently now has his own TV channel of all yoga all day) than in America.

Teaching

His organization, Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, has a webpage here. The U.S. Trust page is a little easier to navigate and understand. There are workshops given to train people in physical yoga as well as breathing techniques and ayurveda medicine.

RamDev believes that the practice of yoga is a divine science which leads people to lead happier and healthier lives.  Health and wellness are the core teachings of his practice.

Some claim that he cured himself of paralysis with yoga (which I personally find impossible to believe).

Criticism

Some aren’t wild about a yoga guru getting involved with politics (It does seem rather distracting to have all the political stuff happening along with yoga and medicine, though I can understand that he sees it as part of his duty in the world). Though he campaigns against government corruptions, there have been accusations of tax evasion against him. He has made claims that yoga can cure cancer and that yoga education should replace sex education in schools, which are pretty outrageous claims (though doing yoga ALONG with medical treatments for cancer or education on sex sounds like a fine idea).

My Experience

I had never heard of him before someone on my Facebook page pointed him out to me. I have not had physical yoga as part of my spiritual journey thus far (though I am interested in giving it a try). I don’t think I would get involved in with this guru mainly because of all the politics. From my research online, I find it difficult to get any information about his teachings rather than his politics. On the other hand, taking a stand against corruption is an admirable stance. I hope he really means it. (It appears that hacker group Anonymous believes in him)

UPDATE: People on my Facebook page are telling me that he’s wonderful. That his yoga programs are inspiring and his voice calm and soothing. I wish it were easier to get videos of that!

Learn More

There are a number of online stores selling medicinal/ayruveda products apparently based on or endorsed by his teachings, though it would seem you already need to know what you’re looking for as their isn’t any guidance.

Baba RamDev Yoga (a blog with more politics than yoga)

Wikipedia

Yoga Dork

Yoga Guru RamDev

* I am not endorsing any of the teachers highlighted in this feature

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • 5w_haul

    he is yogic teacher not spiritual guru and he focuses more on pranayam rather than american capitalist, materialistic physical aspects.

  • Bhrata

    He is a great guru of our time I am blessed to be born in the time we have guru like him..His Yogic exercises has helped me to overcome by BP issues ..I am happy to say that in an period of 4 months by doing yoga and paranayama as per mentioned by Baba Ramdev my eye sight has improved I had a number of -2.5 now I am happy to say that my number is -1.5…my concentration has been improved..quality of life has been improved…I do 1 hour pranayama daily…I used to see his Videos daily on you tube…just type Baba Ramdev,Swami Ramdev or Patanjali YogPeeth in you tube you will get his Videos..His Programs daily come on TV on “Astha Chanel”
    He is also encouraging people to stand up against corruption…Corrupt Indian govt and the govt. controlled news agencies hate him because he is taking Indians through the awakening phase….His age is 60 year see shine and flexibility he has and in childhood he overcome paralysis through yoga..Now Helping Millions of People..
    Jai Baba Ramdev

    • Ambaa

      I’m so glad that you’ve had such a good experience! And congrats on your consistent and fruitful yoga practice!

  • TruthSeeker

    I appreciate him for the fact that he popularize the yoga in India. He took the cause of eliminating the corruption from India but ruling party implicated him under false charges. He is a good human being but lose temper very easily. I think true yogi should be very patient.

  • Pankaj

    He is just amazing person… i have attended his yoga camp…..i am also part of his organization called bharatswabhimaan
    Such kind of person come on earth once in a while…….. he just not want to cure your body but everything around you…. that’s why he have so much to do in politics…. India deserve to be guru for the world but corruption has destroyed Indian economy so-much….. not only that but current Indian government(congress) which has been in rule for more than 50years directly or by alliance …….. is totally against hind interests……. they always divide Hindu votes and unit Muslims votes to get into power…….. Muslim terror is on alarming stage in India ……. Indian people need Great Guru like him to awaken and reform Indian political system/ judicial system/ education system and so on…..! may god give him a long life….!

  • choudhary shekhar

    Ambaa ji namaste,

    i live near rishikesh in INDIA ,i know BABA RAMDEV is divine person he is very simple and straight forward person he has critised government for corruption in INDIA, all politicians are annoyed of him but all common citizens loves him a lot;

    as a sanayasi and learned person it is his duty to awaken the common man to fight for his right…….. as LORD KRISHNA says to Arjuna in GITA do your karma and leave the rest do not expect anything in return of your duty.it is his duty as a guru to show his disciples the righteous path ,he is doing that.

    He is more devoted to making world free of disease and balancing lifestyle of modern man.i have my experience i had severe back and neck pain, i am practising his yoga asanas which i saw on a dvd, i feel 90% better now.i practice yoga in my daily life it has brought peace and health to me.

    i live very near to the main ashram of BABA ji, i would advice you,to vist his ashram. if you ever have chance to come to india do visit his ashram and your all doubts will be cleared

    http://yoggram.divyayoga.com go and visit the site you can attend a stay programme at his yoggram in haridwar(india)

    BABA RAMDEV KI JAI


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X