The Patanjali Yogpeeth has issued an advertisement calling upon those who have passed class 12 or are graduates and postgraduates, to enroll in a programme that will turn them into sanyasis.
The advertisement says that a Sanyyas Mahotsav shall be organised from March 22 to March 30. On Ram Navami (March 30), ‘100 stoic scholars and intellectuals will be initiated into Sannyas at this historic and divine great occasion’. There is also an option for those who cannot attend the ceremony- they can call a number and register themselves.
The aim is to train ‘future leaders with the vision of our ancient sages…(they) are expected to play a crucial role in making India (Bharatvarsh) a World Guru’. Both men and women are welcome to join the ceremony.
Pujari Ramesh Das of the Nirwani Akhara in Ayodhya said that admitting 100s as sanyasis could be a ritual at the Patanjali Yogpeeth. “However, we of the Ramanand sampradaya and the Vairaji sants only give deeksha after thoroughly evaluating a person’s character and intentions over a period of time. We do not give deekhas in large batches. Anyway, the mantra used while giving deeksha is a secret between the giver and the receiver. It connects us directly with the Almighty and there is no need to make a show of it. However, Baba Ramdev is free to propagate his beliefs in whichever manner he chooses”.
The Ramanand sampradaya is the biggest sect of Vaishnavs and mainly worships Lord Ram. Deeksha refers to the initiation of a lay person into a group by a spiritual master or guru.
Chakrapani Maharaj, the chairperson of the All India Hindu Mahasabha said, “Vairagya (renunciation) is a state of mind which cannot be created by outward forces.”. On the advertisement he said, “When there are so many advertisements for harmful products, there is nothing wrong with this advertisement. Baba Ramdev has brought about an awakening in yog while Balkrishna has done unprecedented work in Ayurved. Though it has become something of a business and there are problems with their products, their intentions are right. They are devoted to the nation. This initiative can only build more nation lovers like them”. He added that he hoped that the sanyasis will be thoroughly tested before they are granted the status.