You have grabbed the attention of the world for disseminating yoga and Indian culture and uplift of the Hindu society. What is your inspiration?
I studied and delved deep into Bharatiya culture and I undertook continuous research of the Bharatiya culture and conducted experiments. I observed that in the contemporary world every person is afflicted with one or the other disease?be it cancer, diabetes, heart problem or any other disease. Every second person is afflicted with stress and anxiety. And yoga has the cure to all these diseases. So, I started working on yoga?initially I started teaching yoga 10 to 20 people?and it started giving out positive results, which I kept on analysing scientifically. When people found solution to their problems, they themselves joined this stream because they saw authenticity and veracity in my work, and thus they recognised its relevance and accepted my work, which is connected with the cultural mooring of the land. I told the people.
It is alleged that there are no certified doctors in your yogashram, which might cause problems in the future.
No, it is a sheer myth. We have 150 to 200 certified doctors and all the medicines are prepared following the national and international norms. Whatever we do is in accordance to the law of the land and there is no question of any irregularity being committed.
Are yoga and Pranayam useful for only treatment or do they have any spiritual effect on the society?
Pranayam should not be linked with religion, though it is a legacy of our rishis and munis. Modern science and technology is mainly evolved in the west but it will be foolish to put a label of Christianity on them. Likewise, if one attributes yoga and Pranayam to the religion, then I don'tfind it appropriate. However, yoga comprises spiritual values, values of life, morality and ideal. They are the Indian values. Religiousity should not be opposed, but religious fanaticism should be.
What are your plans to spread Bharatiya religion and culture?
I have never thought of spreading religion. I only talk of Bharatiya traditions and never encourage religious fanaticism and intolerance. I am a supporter of religiosity, spirituality and equality. Therefore, I exhaust all my energy to establish Bharatiya cultural traditions and for this we instituted Patanjali Yoga Samiti in more than 500 districts of the country, which has started its work. About 50,000 daily yoga classes are held in the country, which in the next one year will cross to five lakh.
At present, the Hindu society is under attack from all sides like conversion activities, arrest of Shankaracharya, attacks on Hindu temples, etc. What should be the strategy to counter this attack?
There are other organisations in the country, that work for this purpose and if I speak about this issue, then it would only amount to stirring a hornets? nest. But I would definitely say that it is not right to hurt one'sreligious sentiments. Our religion, our culture is not confined to temples only, yet demolition of temples, which are centres of our religion, culture and traditions, can never be allowed. But religion, culture, and God, will have to be seen outside of the temples too. Only then will we be able to establish culture on more comprehensive level.
But it seems that there is a well-planned conspiracy to destroy our culture and our Sanatan values.
I believe in increasing one'sown strength. When we are powerful, others cannot dare attack us. I don'tbelieve in criticising others.
What, according to you, is the immediate threat to Bharat?
There is no threat for Bharat, rather a resurgent Bharat is a challenge for the whole world, given the onward march of Bharat in every field. The whole world is looking with awe at our talent. The growth rate of Bharat with further improvement in it would lead us to new dimension, which would be astonishing for the whole world and an ideal for the developing world, which would follow us to climb the ladder of progress. The major role in the onward march of Bharat will be played by spiritualism and positive thinking. And yoga will play a decisive role in increasing this positive thinking. Bharat is a strong democracy, with efficient administration, strong infrastructure, ever-vigilant military and police force and good laws. In fact Bharat does not lack anything. If it lacks anything, it is will-power. If we move forward with healthy mindset, then certainly we well become super power.
Terrorism is another challenge before the country. What should be done to wipe out this curse?
I see terrorism, corruption, casteism, crime and religious fanaticism as a product of negative mindset. Negative mindset can never be suppressed by power, instead it requires one to be associated with one'schetana. A person associated with his atma, or a persons associated with himself, can never deceive the country, can never perpetrate atrocities on others, can never indulge in violence and crime. All people talk about?casteism, corruption, etc. But what is the solution? The solution is spirituality. Unless a person is spiritual, no matter how many systems you evolve, there would be no solution.
How should Bharat deal with Pakistan viz-a-viz terrorism?
Behind terrorist activities, it is religious frenzy that works and also a few people to serve their vested interests support terrorism. Not only this, some countries also sponsor terrorism. Therefore, it is inevitable for both the people of India and Pakistan to be aware, that terrorism does not take birth in space, but it grows on the land and people living on the land take part in terrorist activities. Therefore, to remove the seed of hatred, an understanding or an awareness is required. The people of both the countries are required to come closer to each other. The largest number of terrorists are prepared in Pakistan and education level there is almost zero. However, the children of those who sponsor terrorism in Pakistan go abroad for higher education. So in Pakistan, under a well-planned strategy, people are being kept away from education and are being pushed on to the path of religious fanaticism and are encouraged for jehad.
What do you say about the Chinese claim over Arunachal Pradesh on the eve of the Chinese President Hu Jintao'svisit?
People of Arunachal Pradesh can never think of going with China. This is merely a political gimmick. People of Arunachal Pradesh are very religious minded and they repose their faith in Bharat'sConstitution, culture and traditions. Therefore, it is merely a political trick, whereas in reality nothing like this is going to happen. Those who are at the top will have to pay attention to the fact that only representing the country is not enough, but what is a utmost importance is to keep Akhand Bharat and to convince the common man of the country that they are equally concerned with strengthening national with.
How do you react to the Sachar Committee'sreport on Muslims?
I have never been a supporter of this. This is a political matter and any comment on this will be regarded as a political comment. Therefore, you ask this question to those who are related to this subject.
What do you think of RSS, which has been working for the uplift of the Hindu society since its inception?
Different religious, social and spiritual organisations are, according to their capacity and resources, are doing a good job. Arya Samaj'sorganisation, DAV, and RSS? organisation, Saraswati Shishu Mandir, are rendering a yeoman'sservice, which cannot be ignored. As far as ideologies are concerned, if they talk about cultural nationalism and other things, then one should not have any objection. One should refrain from making futile comments on these organisations.
Did you also have to face opposition in carrying out your campaign in Bharat?
Of late some people tried to oppose me but I did not pay much attention to it. I can proudly say that all the political, social, religious and spiritual parties of the country have stood by me, my work and my mission, and I am happy about it.
Recently you had been to London and UNO. What response did you receive there?
They needed a strong voice against poverty and hunger. They no longer see a sadhu from Bharat as merely performing puja, or chanting mantras but they realised that sadhus in Bharat are doing research, working for human welfare and for social cause. They accorded full respect to me both in USA and UK.