Friday, March 30, 2012

104 years old Baba Yogananda of Rishikesh - Honest & Hilarious

I love meeting people who think unlike me. But this February had something else in store.

Have you ever bumped into a 104 yr old man and got scolded by him for no fault of yours? We did :)

My father and I were walking to Ganga river from the ashram in Rishikesh. We saw an old man. As we approached him, he looked at Dad and said, "please don't come near me". We asked why and got a big lecture on how wrong our food habits are and how we were abusing our bodies. We were shocked initially but it is not everyday that you meet a person like this so we stayed on and heard him out. And what a conversation it turned out to be. Hilarious and honest to the core. I missed out on recording the initial bits as we were busy getting scolded by him :) but here is the rest.....

If you don't understand Hindi, I am attaching a slightly paraphrased translation. Enjoy the video!

My father Anand Natu & Baba Yogananda

 Translation & Disclaimer:

Baba: You should be slim & trim, just like these foreigners. She how fit they are. (points to a foreigner).

(He shows an invite of the Yoga Camp he held in Goa recently.)

Baba: I am like this because I am a poor man. If I were rich, I would have been dead by now. I don’t have sugar. I have never had tea/coffee. I don’t even look at tobacco & cigarettes.

Baba: (Points to his tongue) this tongue is a nomadic vagabond. Slips every time it sees a rasagulla (an Indian sweet). Start having a spoonful of Fenugreek seeds everyday with water (to cure joint pain).

Young boy in white Kurta asks: Please tell me something for body building.

Baba: Eat as many raw things as you can. There are 3 food shops. One that the God opened. One is the Hotel which opens a Bottle and does their total in the end. The 3rd shop is that of the Mother. The latter two are useless. The mother doesn’t know how to cook (because she is blinded by love). Only the food made by God is the one to eat – All fruits, all raw vegetables, and all dry fruits. These you don’t like (chuckles at the fast food addicted youngsters).

Young boy refutes: No no, I eat handfuls of these.

Baba to Anand: May it be any God, anybody who is born of the sex organs is bound to die one day. Paramatma (supreme soul) isn’t born of these organs. It is neither born, not does it die. It is all pervading. Present everywhere. If Ram, Krishna, Shankar, Vishnu were really Gods then why didn’t I find them in America, London, Germany, Holland, Poland and Switzerland? (Remarks Sarcastically) It is only in the whole of India that I find them.  (Re-iterates by pointing to the sex organs) Anybody born of here can only be a saint or Bhagwan but not Paramatma, the supreme soul (gives a few examples of the saints). Paramatma is not a subject of the eyes. It is a matter of within. (Laughs at the foolishness of people who travel great lengths to find the super soul) Why have you come here to look for it, it is inside you! People waste their time looking for it all around. It is inside you and you just need to know that.

Baba: I keep going abroad. People are silly. They give me air-tickets to go there. I have never bought anything (points at his clothes). India is full of such ignorant rich people who keep giving me things.

Anand: But you do need individuals who donate else how will....

Baba interrupts: See the whole world is a beggar; the one who gives is only one.

Young boy pulls his leg: Swami Ji there is nothing here, let’s leave it all and go to the mountains.

Baba refuses: I have lived in the mountains (Himalayas) for over 50 years, there is nothing there. This Guruji brought me here from Mumbai. (He means Swami Chidananda Saraswati who is the resident Guru of Paramarth Niketan in Rishikesh). Don’t worry; there is no one of my age around here. I have all my teeth intact, wear no glasses. Not many but I have 10 children and 34 grandchildren.

Anand: What did you do as a young person? Did you work?

Baba: No. I have contributed to the freedom of India (from British colonial rule in 1947). (names some famous freedom fighters) Bhagat Singh has played with me. I have met Subhash Chandra Bose. Tell me where was Subhash Chandra Bose from. You are an educated person. Tell me.

Anand: From Bengal (this is the general notion in India as Bose is a Bengali surname).

Baba Laughs: Ha ha ha he is lying. He doesn’t know anything. He doesn’t know the answer. Ha ha ha. (Subhash Chandra Bose actually belonged to the neighbouring state of Orissa).

Baba: Medicines can’t help you develop your brain. If that were true, everyone would have bought brains. (Gets agitated) You can buy quilts and bedding s with money but sleep the Paramatma has to give you. Money can get you a servant but not love and devotion. (Gives a long thoughtful pause) If people simply stop lying in this country, this country will be the king of all countries. But see, everyone is lying here.

Baba: Think for yourself. If you want to worship, you should worship the girls. But look around. All these Gods are being worshipped. We are making the Gods beg for us. They earn for us and we eat what is offered to them. ‘See we have turned all our Gods into beggars and we are living off them.’

Baba: If doctors had all the answers, wouldn’t they all live to be 100. But no, at 70 they go like this and say “Pappu get me a glass of water”. (acts out how old frail people behave and depend on others to do their work) Why should Pappu (a very common pet name for a male child) get you water? Is he your servant? I am totally against people who have children so that the children can take care of you in your old age. My grandchildren might need me but I don’t need my grandchildren to do things for me.

Baba: I sleep around 7 or 8 pm and get up at 2 am. Then I sit down for meditation for an hour. I have been doing this for over 50 years but honestly I can’t say that I have attained that state of absolute meditative state. I look for the gap between the breath I inhale and exhale. And yet, I don’t see anything. What will you know in a few days that you spend here! (He cites Buddha and others to tell how long they took to attain the absolute meditative states)

(He gets up) I apologise. Do forgive me if I have said anything to hurt anyone.

Anand: What is your date of birth?

Baba: 1908. I asked my mother when was I born. She replied, “When Rasbehari Bose threw a handmade bomb at Lord Hardinge in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi – two years prior to that you were born”. I tried to find out but there wasn’t any note of my birth as there were no registrations that time. Sri Sri Ravishankar (of the Art of Living fame) got my passport made. He is very close to me. He stays at Birla Guest House whenever he comes and asks me to help him meditate. (then he gives out some basic details of Sri Sri Ravishankar). My CDs are sold all over the world and if you search on the internet you can find me on YouTube (gives the YouTube URL)

Disclaimer: Above is a literal translation with occasional paraphrasing to explain the meanings with context to Indian references. It in no way claims the historical authenticity of whatever has been said. Especially in the case of Rasbehari Bose (Delhi Conspiracy case) which happened in 1912 and not 1910 as mentioned by him.


  1. Very interesting...and also very true..please please do share more of these too ..I loved it

  2. will do that....glad u liked it :)

  3. now thats very interesting!!!

    Rishikesh is my second home literally(actually haridwar is)....and i go there so often..but never encounter such interesting sadhus!!


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