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Alok Mohanthy | HENB | Chennai | August 8, 2016:: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev told recently that Christians did charity but also indulged in conversions while Hindus refrained from such practice.
“They do service– run schools, colleges and hospitals, and with that they also convert. We do service including teaching yoga free of cost. But we have not changed anybody’s religion but only their lives,” he claimed while speaking at the inauguration of 8th Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair (HSSF) 2016 in Chennai. This eighth year of the HSSF (2nd August to 8th August) has been organised by the Initiative for Moral and Cultural Training Foundation (IMCTF) and Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation.
He said people were often told to learn charity from Christians but lakhs of Hindu sadhus and charitable trusts were also offering such services. “There are over five lakhs Sadhus (Saints and monastics), over Five lakhs big temples and over Fives lakhs registered organisations and trusts following Sanatana roots are serving the society philanthropically and this the service to the Humanity by the Hindus. The Hindu wisdom can give the excellence in the Humanity and we should follow it“, said Baba Ramdev.
He also rejected suggestions that Hinduism discriminated against anybody, especially the Dalits. Bharat has been always the champion of promoting native, traditional culture and values. ‘All are treated equal here as per the teaching of Vedas’, Baba Ramdev said.
He pitched for the use of ‘swadeshi’ products and promised that he would spend the profit earned by selling Patanjali products for charity. “We should practice yog in everyday life for stress free and prosperous life, we must adopt swadeshi…. Making Bharat as Hindu Rashtra is not our only target but we will certainly make a spiritual India the spiritual world also”, Baba Ramdev said.
“Always use swadeshi products. One East India company came and looted and destroyed India for 200 years. We have achieved political independence but not economic independence,” he said.
“Not a rupee should go to foreign countries. Take a vow to use swadeshi products,” Ramdev, who promotes the Patanjali Ayurved, a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm, said.
He promised to spend every penny of the profit earned from Patanjali products on charity and said plans were afoot to spend about Rs 25,000 crore for this purpose in the next 5-10 years.
Batting for yoga, he said it was the ‘most popular’ word in the world right now and everybody in the country, ‘from children to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,’ were performing it daily.
Ramdev said he also had plans to construct a university to impart both vedic and modern education.
The HSSF this year being participated by Mata Amrithanandamayi Math, Ramakrishna Math, Kanchi Kamakotti Peetam, Sri Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and Patanjali Yog Peeth opened 400 stalls for gearing up for the week-long fair. Isha Foundation had an array of food products on display along with their publications in their stall, with a linga occupying centre-stage.
There seen a huge queue before all the stalls connected with Alternative system of medicines away from allopathic treatments. A stall offered an alternative form of treatment called Nadi Pareeksha. “Based on one’s dhosha – vata, pitta and kapha – we prescribe changes in food habits and lifestyle,” says Rajesh S, Siddha physician. Good sells of Ayurvedic medicines and healthcare products were seen this fair distinctly.
The organisers said over one million (10 lakhs) people attended the fair till the conclusion on August 8, at the AM Jain College Grounds at Meenambakkam in Chennai.
This year more than 1,000 competitions in about 180 traditional games were held, in which thousands of school children participated.
“Promotion of traditional games is important, ruling that the country does not have a national body to promote traditional games unlike other countries”, said S Gurumurthy, a noted advocate of native, traditional culture and values who is belied as the key spirit behind the formation of HSSF.
More than 350 organisations, including cultural, youth and spiritual organisations expected took part this time, up from a few dozen when it started.
By March 2017, organisers hope to take the fair to 11 centres across the country, and ultimately cover all states by the 10th anniversary in 2019. The organising committee plans a mammoth celebration by holding this fair in Delhi on 2019 including 1000 organizations all over the country.
First organised in February 2009, the Hindu Spiritual and Service Fair grew in size and scope.
The fair is jointly organised by the Hindu Spiritual and Service Foundation and Initiative for Moral and Cultural Training Foundation.