Imagine yourself on a luxury cruise, savoring every bit of the sun and the sea (the other two ‘S’-es rendered forbidden by circumstance and sheer bad management), sipping coconut water in place of pina coladas and flirting with gay abandon pretty young things in curious saffron shorts when suddenly a booming voice from the public broadcast system instructs everyone to assemble at the peeth sthal for the evening sankirtan and satsang. Unimaginable? Not any more. When Baba Ramdev, that indefatigable crusader of Yog Shakti decides to take you on a spiritual joyride on a luxury cruise liner, all the way reminding you of the sheer futility of material pursuits and wealth you can bask in that pleasant contradiction but not question its feasibility. Though the planned cruise spanning seven full days of aatmic souch (soul cleansing) and yog sadhana may set you back by a small fortune the efficacy of such a voyage can hardly be undermined in context to the times that we are living in. Hence, Star Virgo, one of
The trip which is to start with a visit to the Disneyland in Hong Kong (probably Baba’s way of establishing irony by starting the trip with comic symbolism, its very essence in every way i.e) also promises to make suitable stop-overs at the major shopping joints on the way in
“Those who will be traveling on the cruise belong to upper or upper middle class families. Most of them suffer from stress and I will address this problem at my yoga sessions.”
The ones who are on the threshold of confusing Baba with a new-age avatar of Robin Hood surely belong to the blasphemous lot who had previously mistaken his cultured emaciation for protracted starvation in the Kalahandi region. Ramdev is not your regular saint who insists on insipid meditation and form twisting ashanas. He is the person to have revolutionized the art of popular yoga, making kapalbhati the new craze after ‘ek pal ka jeena.... stop the traffic, show your hands’ routine and taken the TRP of Astha channel to dizzy heights by sheer force of his oratory. The lull which had set into the persona-based Indian Spiritual Industry with the relegation of Chandraswami and Jayendra Saraswati has been favorably filled by someone of the stature of Ramdev. While he transforms traditional notions of spirituality with the same deftness and acumen as Lalit Modi is transforming cricket for the average enthusiast the involved observer will be waiting in all eagerness to see how the Saviour in Saffron fares in feeding the magic potion of faith, kriya and pranayam to the masses who would rather prefer the redeemable sin of little material pursuits which goes by the name of roti, kapda aur makaan..