Childhood and Education
His original name is Ramkrishna Yadav.He was born in Saiyad Alipur Village, Mahendragarh district, Haryana.Accounts of when was he born are disputed as on two different occasions, he has given different information regarding him in the application for passport. While some accounts say that he was born in 1965, some say in 1971.He gained his primary education, upto class VIII in Shahajadpur, Haryana. Later he went on to join Arya Gurukul, Khanpur from where he studied Sanskrit (one of the oldest languages of India, Hindu scriptures were originally written in) and Yoga (An ancient Hindu way of meditating and breath control). He holds a postgraduate (Ācārya) degree with specialization in Sanskrit Vyākarana, Yoga, Darśana, Vedas and Upanishads from Gurukul at Kalwa, Near Jind, and Haryana. Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, an Indian freedom fighter, heavily inspires him. Reportedly after reading a rare booklet, Yogik Sadhan, written by Aurobindo Ghosh in Bengali and translated into Hindi by Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Swami Ramdev abandoned worldly ways of life, changed his name to Ramdev and went to Himalayas to practice self-discipline through meditation.
Imparting yog training- The beginning as ‘Yog Guru’
His initiation in limelight was due to ‘Divya Yog Mandir Trust’, a movement cum organization, which has propagation of ancient yog practices and Vedic values at its heart. He started this along with Ācārya Balkrishna, his childhood friend with a similar vision. Divya Yog Mandir Trust was founded in 1995, while Patanjali Yogpeeth, centers of practicing yoga and ancient medicine all over the country and several other organizations were set up later.
Bharat Swabhiman Trust- The anti-corruption movement by Swami Ramdev
Bharat Swabhiman Trust, which is behind Swami Ramdev’s movement to fight corruption and restructure Indian politics, is the latest, which is based in New Delhi. According to the official version, this movement “encompasses all the ground realities of the Indian social, political and economic scene.” It also says, “He has given a clarion call to the people to come forward and save the country and the democracy. He wants to see an addiction-free, vegetarian, corruption-free India, proud of its swadeshi products.”
Swami Ramdev and UN visit
Secretary General Kofi Annan invited him to UN headquarters in New York in 2006 to deliver a lecture on poverty alleviation.
Swami Ramdev- The Activist
In his capacity as a revered yog guru, he has often asked people to keep away from fast food, packed food and cola drinks. In addition to opposing them on the grounds of health, he is also concerned with national wealth going out of the country through these MNCs, which sell their products in India. His activist mode took a serious turn when he raised the demand of bringing black money back to India in February 2011.He raised the demand on a united forum with crusader against corruption Anna Hazare, Ram Jethmalani, Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Swami Agnivesh.
Later he held a ‘Bhrashtachar Mitao Satyagrah’ in June 2011 where Delhi Police manhandled him, as he was not granted permission to hold the ‘Satyagrah’. It snowballed into a controversy as the time (during night) and manner Delhi police choose for action smacked of ulterior motives. Reportedly Swami Ramdev ran away from there dressed as a woman.
He has come under controversies related to amassing of huge wealth in the name of yog, use of animal parts in his medicines and links with right wing. Nothing substantial has come out so far but he has become more accountable by submitting audited balance sheets of his endeavors for public scrutiny on his website.