Baba Ramdev is an Indian yoga guru. He is also known for his work in Ayurveda, Agriculture, Business, Politics, etc. He is the co-founder of Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. with his colleague, Acharya Balkrishna. He is a renowned personality in India and abroad. Ramdev has helped in making yoga very popular around the globe.
Ramkishen Yadav (Real Name of Baba Ramdev) was born on Saturday on 25 December 1965 (age: 58 years, as of 2023) in a village named Said Alipur, Mahendragarh, East Punjab, (Now, Haryana), India. His father, Ram Nivas Yadav, was a farmer. According to his parents, he was not very talkative in his childhood. He never quarrelled and was very content. He received his primary education in his hometown and studied till 8th standard after that he joined gurukul to study Sanskrit and yoga. He was the student of Acharya Baldev Ji in Gurukul Kalwa and learnt yoga from Guru Karanvir, an Arya Samaji. He used to study by second-hand books and always stood 1st in the class. He would keep books so clean that he could sell them at more price than market price. In his childhood, he suffered a paralytic attack that affected the left side of his body. He credits yoga for the miraculous recovery from it.
- Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
- Eye Colour: Black
- Hair Colour: Black
Ramkishen Yadav was born to Ram Niwas Yadav and Gulabo Devi.
He has a brother, Ram Bharat who is the CEO of a firm in Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd.
After following an ascetic lifestyle, Ramdev took ‘Sanyasi Diksha’ and adopted the name Swami Ramdev from Swami Shankar Dev Ji. While living in Kalwa Gurukul in Jind, Haryana, he started giving free yoga classes to the villagers. Later, he moved to Haridwar, Uttarakhand. In Haridwar, he admitted in Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya and practised Meditation and Self-discipline. In 1995, he laid the foundation of Divya Yog Mandir Trust. In 2003, Aastha TV started featuring him in its morning yoga slot.
He made yoga popular in other countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, etc. He also addressed a large convention of Muslim Clerics in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh. In 2006, he was invited by the then UN General Secretary, Kofi Annan to deliver a lecture on poverty alleviation at a United Nations Conference. The same year, he founded the “Patanjali Yogpeeth” in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, which is considered the world’s biggest centre for Ayurveda and Yoga, with a capacity of around 6000 people.
Over a long period of time, he became the face of Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd., a company which he founded with his colleague, Acharya Balkrishna. Under their leadership, Patanjali Ayurveda has been one of the highest-grossing FMCGs (Fast-moving consumer goods) in India.
- In 2006, he caused controversy by saying that sex education must be replaced with yoga education in order to put a brake.
- In 2011, he protested against the sitting government for corruption. In order to detain him, the police and RAF lathi-charged (Baton Charge) his followers. He jumped out of stage wearing a female’s clothes in Ramlila ground in Delhi.
- In 2013, he was detained in London’s Heathrow Airport for eight hours by the airport authority for an unknown reason.
- When the film, PK was released, he condemned the movie for portraying the bad image of Hinduism.
- In December 2016, a court in Haridwar fined his Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. worth Rs. 11 lakh for misbranding and putting up the misleading advertisements.
- Once his company’s product; Amla and Aloe Vera juices were found unfit for consumption at West Bengal Public Health Laboratory in Kolkata.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, he launched an Ayurvedic medicine “Coronil;” claiming that it would cure the patients infected with the virus. Following the launch of the medicine in June 2020, the central government and the Uttarakhand government distanced themselves from Baba’s claim. The AYUSH Ministry also distanced itself and questioned the therapeutic effects of the medicine. Later, an FIR was lodged in Jaipur against Ramdev and four others for the misleading claim to cure COVID-19 following clinical trials. The Hindu
- In May 2021, he received a defamation notice of Rs. 1000 crores from IMA Uttarakhand over his controversial statement on allopathic medicines that were used for the treatment of COVID-19. IMA Uttarakhand, in its notice, demanded Baba Ramdev post a video condemning his remarks on allopathic medicines. Later, Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, also condemned Ramdev’s remarks and asked him to render an apology to which Ramdev replied through a letter in which he said that he was taking back his words. India Today
- On 5 February 2023, an FIR was lodged against him in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, where he allegedly promoted enmity and outraging religious feelings at a meeting of seers in which, on 2 February 2023, he compared Hinduism to Islam and Christianity and alleged that Muslims always resorted to terror and abducting Hindu women. DNA On 14 September 2023, the Rajasthan High Court directed Ramdev to appear before the Investigating Officer at Chohtan Police Station in Barmer on 5 October 2023 at 11:30 am for questioning regarding the case. The High Court extended the stay on his arrest and directed the government counsel to produce the case diary in the court on 16 October 2023. Hindustan Times
- In November 2023, controversy surrounded Ramdev over an advertisement titled “Misconceptions spread by allopathy: Save yourself and the country from the misconceptions spread by pharma and medical industry,” published on 10 July 2022. The Indian Medical Association’s several state units accused Patanjali Ayurved of conducting a “smear campaign” and making false claims against evidence-based medicine. On 21 November 2023, the Supreme Court of India warned Patanjali Ayurved of a Rs. 1 crore fine for each false claim in its advertisements. The court, moreover, instructed the company to stop criticizing modern medicine and creating misleading advertisements. Mint
- Food(s): Fruits, Vegetables
- Politician: Narendra Modi
He does not claim any property. He is the advertising brand for Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. As in 2011, his close associate, Acharya Balkrishna owns 34 companies with an annual turnover estimated at over Rs 1,100 crore. IndiaToday
As in 2018, his Patanjali Ayurveda’s empire was worth around $9.3 billion (Rs.60,000 crores).
- According to his parents, once upon a time, some saints arrived in his village, they gave the messages of Saint Paramhansa. Those messages affected him a lot and he decided to be a saint.
- When Ramdev was only 6 years old, he fell off the roof while playing with his sister. He bruised his head and bleeding occurred for long. He was almost dead, however, after medication, he recovered soon.
- When he turned 7, he faced another life-threatening incident while playing in a pond with his friends. he began to drown in that pond. Upon hearing the commotion of children, a villager saved him.
- In childhood, he suffered from obesity. Everyone used to tease him due to his overweight. When he was 8 years old, he got boils all over his skin and faced difficulty while walking, then he started practising yoga to overcome this problem.
- When he was in school, a teacher of Ramdev used to smoke in his class due to which Ramdev got teased. At that time, he could not make that teacher quit smoking but later, when he became a saint, he used to tell that anecdote to other people while delivering speeches on alcohol and tobacco. One day, a letter came to him on which it was written that his teacher has quit smoking now.
- He met Acharya Balkrishna in the 1990s at Tripura Yoga Ashram, Kankhal, Haridwar. Over a short period of time, they became very fast friends. Later, they went to the Himalayas, where Ramdev focussed on Yoga and Balkrishna studied Ayurveda.
- After adopting a reclusive lifestyle, Swami Shankar Dev Ji changed his name to Swami Ramdev.
- Once he and Acharya Balkrishna used to sell ‘Chyawanprash’ in the streets of Haridwar. During those days, they both were easily spotted in the city.
- In 1996, Ramdev established ‘Divya Yog Mandir Trust’ along with Acharya Karamveer.
- In his morning yoga slot on Aastha TV, he makes people practise 7 breathing exercises (Pranayam); Bhastrika Pranayam, Kapal Bhati Pranayam, Bahaya Pranayam, Anulom Vilom Pranayama, Bhramri Pranayam, Udgeeth Pranayam, and Pranab Dwani.
- According to him, Ram Prasad Bismil and Subash Chandra Bose have inspired him a lot.
- His business enterprise is named after ‘Maharishi Patanjali,’ who is considered the father of yoga.
- He does not eat grains. He only eats fruits, cow milk, and boiled vegetables.
- Baba Ramdev is a workaholic as he wakes up at 3 ‘o’ clock in the morning and works around 18 to 20 hours a day. He starts his day by drinking Amla Juice (Gooseberry) because he thinks that Amla is a top immunity booster among all Ayurveda medicines.
- He has been honoured with Doctorate degrees from 4 universities across India. He was bestowed upon honorary doctorate by Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
- Ramdev does not possess any stake in Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd., instead, Acharya Balkrishna possesses 94% stake in Patanjali Ayurved, but Balkrishna doesn’t take any salary. Rest 8% is given to Sarwan and Sunita Poddar, a Scotland-based NRI as they helped Ramdev and Balkrishna for their first loan to start the business in the United Kingdom. Ramdev has also acquired an Island in Scotland named Little Cumbrae.
- Ramdev’s brother Ram Bharat, his brother-in-law, Jasdev Shastri, Swami Muktanand, a disciple of Swami Shankar Dev, are the people who form the core of Ramdev’s management.
- He wears a wooden footwears and sleeps on the floor.
- Many people are inspired by him in India and abroad. One of them is Yogi Haider, a Muslim Yogi who teaches yoga in Pakistan. Yogi Haider is also called, ‘the Baba Ramdev of Pakistan.’
- India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, also admires Baba Ramdev and his works. They often meet each other in programs.
- His business associate and close friend, Acharya Balakrishna owns 94% shares Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. According to Forbes, his net worth is around $5.1 billion (as in July 2019) that makes him one of the richest persons in India. Forbes
- He takes interest in Indian politics, black money, historical, social and economic issues of India. He launched many protests against the govt. of India. He had sat on a protest with Anna Hazare also in his fight to compel the govt. of India to launch Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011.