Baba Ramdev

Baba Ramdevis a yoga guru engaged in ayurveda medicine, business, and agriculture. Born as Ramkrishna Yadav in Haryana in 1965, he founded the Patanjali Group of Institutions and has been involved in political issues and anti-corruption activities. He works out of his ashram in Haridwar, India and owns Patanjali Ayurved and Patanjali Yogpeeth and runs the Bharat Swabhiman Trust. He reportedly meditated in a Himalayan cave from 1993 to 1996 and has appeared on a religious television channel in 2003. For a while his show was the top-rated Indian television program. His birth name is Ram Krishna Yadav. Talk about his age borders on blasphemous.

Geeta Ananda wrote in the New York Times, “Famous for bringing yoga to the Indian masses, Mr. Ramdev is also the leader of what has become known as the “Baba Cool Movement” — a group of spiritual men, known here as “babas,” who are marketing healthy consumer items based on the ancient Indian medicinal system of herbal treatments, known as Ayurveda. His rapidly expanding business empire of packaged food, cosmetics and home-care products is eating into the sales of both multinational and Indian corporations.” [Source: Geeta Ananda, New York Times. April 1, 2016 ]

Simon Denyer wrote in the Washington Post, “While Sai Baba generated mystique by limiting his private audiences, the black-bearded and bare-chested Ramdev’s popularity owes more than a little to modern celebrity culture. Like television evangelists in the United States, Ramdev is one of a new generation of gurus skilled at manipulating modern media.At least 30 million people tune into his daily TV program, and he said last year that television had made him “a hundred times more powerful.” [Source:Simon Denyer, Washington Post July 12, 2011*/]

Ramdev was born with the name Ram Krishna Yadav on Christmas Day 1965 to Ram Niwas Yadav and Gulabo Devi at Hazaribag Ali Saiyad Pur village of Mahendragarh district, Pnjab (now Haryana). Both of his parents were farmers. He claims he became paralyzed when he was two and was later cured by practicing Yoga. He studied Indian scripture, Yoga and Sanskrit in various Gurukuls (schools) and was a student of Acharya Baldevji in Gurukul Kalwa. Ramdev took sanyasi diksha and adopted the name Swami Ramdev from Swami ShankarDev Ji. While living in Kalwa Gurukul in Jind district, Haryana, Ramdev offered free yoga training to villagers. Then he moved to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, where he practiced self-discipline and meditation, and spent several years studying ancient Indian scriptures at Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya. [Source: Wikipedia]

Websites and Resources: Gurus
Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Why so many Indians flock to gurus - BBC News ; The Guru in Hindu Tradition, J Mlecko (1982), Numen (journal) ; Spiritual Gurus and Saints of Hinduism, India and the World ; Great Saints of India ; Gurus Gone Bad in India ; Guru choice and spiritual seeking in contemporary India, M Warrier (2003), International Journal of Hindu Studies ; Hindu Concepts of Teacher, Sanskrit Guru and Ācārya, Minoru Hara (1980), Sanskrit and Indian Studies ; Sanal Edamaruku's home page

Baba Ramdev’s Daily Life

Baba Ramdev with a devotee

Rama Lakshmi wrote in the Washington Post, “Ramdev is a vegetarian, ties his long hair in a bun, wears wooden footwear, does not take pills and sleeps on the floor. But an armed bodyguard accompanies him everywhere, a sign of VIP status in India. He hobnobs with politicians, businessmen and Bollywood stars. And he expresses his opinion on almost everything. [Source: Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post, December 24, 2009 ]

Reporting from Baba Ramdev’s yoga center in Haridwar in northern India, Geeta Ananda wrote in the New York Times, “Sitting on an orange sofa set over a Persian carpet, in a gated office park of freshly painted tan buildings and manicured lawns, Baba Ramdev is surrounded by the trappings of any major corporate leader almost anywhere in the world. But Mr. Ramdev is also an Indian swami, having renounced all worldly pleasures and possessions, and he sits cross-legged on the couch, his face fringed by an untamed beard, his body draped in the saffron cloth of a Hindu holy man. [Source: Geeta Ananda, New York Times. April 1, 2016 ]

“Rising at 3:30 a.m. each day to drink the juice of the amla fruit, an Indian berry rich in vitamin C and considered the top immunity booster in Ayurveda medicine, he unleashes a torrent of new product ideas — an herbal energy bar, an herbal hair dye, a sugar-free immune booster — that he records in large Hindi script in a spiral bound notebook. Then he plunges into three hours of yoga, followed by a 12-hour day that is split between Patanjali business and the public meetings of a spiritual and political leader.

“Mr. Ramdev, given to raucous laughter and bouts of giggles that make him seem disarmingly humble, can just as suddenly overflow with bravado, as he did when asked about the source of Patanjali’s popularity and power. “People buy our products because they believe I will only sell them good things,” he said. The babas’ message about the value of traditional Indian ingredients is particularly resonant in the current environment in India, where a prime minister and his political party have built a narrative around the value of ancient Hindu practices, from yoga to reverence for cows.”

Baba Ramdev’s Television Show and Celebrity

Baba Ramdev with Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India

In 2003, Aastha TV, an Indian a religious channel, began featuring Baba Ramdev in its morning yoga slot. There he proved to be telegenic and gained a large following. Later he got his own show, which was for a while was the top-rated in Indian television. According to the Washington Post in 2011 at least 30 million people tune into his daily TV program. He said in 2010 that television has made him “a hundred times more powerful.”

Reporting from Haridwar, Rama Lakshmi wrote in the Washington Post, “At the crack of dawn, 4,000 people sitting on yoga mats silently watched the renowned guru Baba Ramdev on stage. After his introduction as the one who will dispel the darkness of ignorance, the orange-robed Ramdev chanted "Om" into a microphone. The audience followed with a reverential hum. "Eat this every morning to prevent cancer," he said, holding up four holy basil leaves. "No blood pressure and asthma problem if you do this daily. Be free from medicines!" he exclaimed after performing a few yoga postures and demonstrating six breathing techniques. The crowd cheered. Ramdev's daily two-hour session has been the most-watched show in India since 2003, drawing an average of 26 million viewers and beating news programs, soap operas, movies and reality shows. Thousands of people travel to the New Age tele-guru's ashram every day to catch a glimpse of him or to touch his feet.” [Source: Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post, December 24, 2009]

A large number of people, celebrities from India and abroad have attended his yoga camps. He taught yoga to the Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan, and Shilpa Shetty and in foreign countries including Britain, the U.S. and Japan. In 2006, he was invited by Kofi Annan to deliver a lecture on poverty alleviation at a United Nations conference. He also addressed Muslim clerics at their seminary in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh. Yogi Haider considered the face of yoga in Pakistan, says that his ambition is to popularize yoga like Ramdev Baba did in India. [Source: Wikipedia]

In February 2011, Bharat Swabhiman’ headed by Baba Ramdev organized the largest mass wedding ceremony ever in India. MLA Ravi Kumar Rana tied the knot with South Indian actress Navneet Kaur and more than 3100 couples, from diverse communities and religions, took their wedding vows at Science Core Ground in Amravati on February. More than 700 horses, 350 carriages, 100 camels, trucks and rickshaws were utilized. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians participated along with 100 disabled couples, including 54 who are visually impaired. Most of the $1.6 million bill was paid by one of Baba Ramdev’s charitable trusts [Source: India Book of Records]

Baba Ramdev’s Spiritual and Health Activities

Rama Lakshmi wrote in the Washington Post, Baba Ramdev’s “mission is to promote yoga and rid people of their dependence on expensive modern medicines. Through controlled breathing, he says, people can increase their intake of oxygen 10 times, making their bodies "pure as fire" and immune to illnesses. But his concerns include both the body and the body politic. "Yoga is my battle against untruth, injustice and sin. I want to clean the nation of its corrupt and poisonous ways," Ramdev said in an interview at his four-acre ashram, called Patanjali Yogpeeth. [Source: Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post, December 24, 2009 ]

“Now, he wants to create a cadre of about 600,000 people who will abide by his austere ways, remain unmarried and teach yoga in every village in India. "It will be the biggest platform to unite Indians and restore national pride," he said. "What Baba Ramdev preaches is simple: If you control your body, you can control the world," Shiv Viswanathan, a social anthropologist with the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology in Ahmedabad, told the Washington Post. "His message is 'Breathe well, eat well and live well,' whether you have a digestive block or an impending divorce."

“He has held public meetings in Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles and runs 15 yoga and herbal medicine centers in the United States. A gleaming ashram is under construction in Houston. In September, his followers bought him a remote Scottish island called Little Cumbrae, near Glasgow, to set up a center for yoga. In response to a recent ban on yoga by Islamic clerics in Malaysia, Ramdev told Muslims that they can do the exercises chanting Allah's name instead of "Om." He demonstrated health benefits of breathing techniques and yoga postures at a gathering of 500,000 Muslims last month at one of India's oldest Islamic seminaries.

Baba teaching a yoga class organized by the All India Vaishya Federation

“Sampoornam Palaniswamy, 59, is overweight and has knee pain. She cannot understand Hindi, the language that Ramdev speaks. But she watches him on television and traveled from southern India to the ashram in the north. "He teaches very simple exercises aimed at specific ailments. It is easy to follow and is not time-consuming," she said. Another patient came from Britain. "I want to learn the correct breathing exercises for diabetes," said Eric Ross, 64, a management consultant from Manchester. "I have escaped from the medical mafia at home."”

“Ramdev is not without critics. The Indian medical community, in particular, does not approve of him. When the swine flu panic gripped India this year, Ramdev said yoga and breathing exercises could prevent infection. "Under Indian law, nobody can make tall claims about curing diseases. Yoga is good, but Ramdev should not say he can cure this and that," said Anil Bansal, the joint secretary of the Indian Medical Association. "But he is a very powerful man, and many politicians are his followers. Nobody can say anything against him."”

Baba Ramdev’s Business Empire

Baba Ramdev’s center, in Haridwar in northern India includes a yoga school, a hospital, and a factory that manufactures herbal medicine based on ancient Indian texts. Geeta Ananda wrote in the New York Times: “ Mr. Ramdev is the most prominent of a growing group of brand-building babas, whose ranks include Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, an Indian spiritual practice, who promotes a line of creams, soaps and shampoos also called Ayurveda. “There is truly a tectonic shift” in the consumer products business in India, said Harish Bijoor, a brand strategy specialist and former head of marketing at a subsidiary of the big Indian conglomerate Tata Group. [Source: Geeta Ananda, New York Times. April 1, 2016 ]

“Mr. Ramdev and his friend and business partner, Acharya Balakrishna, 44, run Patanjali Ayurved Limited from a corporate headquarters in Haridwar, an ancient Indian city on the banks of the Ganges River in Uttarakhand State. In an interview, Mr. Ramdev said he was the creative force and public face of Patanjali, even though, as a swami, he does not have an official title or hold any shares of the privately held company.

“Beyond Mr. Ramdev’s appeal, Patanjali products are attractive because they are high quality and prices are about 20 percent lower than the competition, analysts said. It is not clear how Patanjali is able to charge such low prices, given that its profit margin of 13 percent is within the industry range of 13 to 16 percent. Mr. Ramdev ventured that, with his fame, his advertising costs are much lower than his competitors’, who spend as much as 15 percent of their revenue promoting their products.

“The faces of Mr. Ramdev and Mr. Balakrishna adorn most every building, billboard and truck connected to the company, which is expanding so fast it is striking fear into its current and potential competitors. The company expects to report revenue of $750 million in the fiscal year that ended in March, more than double the previous year’s $300 million, the two men said.

“Credit-Suisse Securities, in a report early this year, said Patanjali’s “meteoric rise” had hurt Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd., which is majority owned by the United States-based Colgate-Palmolive. Sales of Colgate’s toothpastes slowed from growing at about 10 percent annually to just 1 percent in the quarter ending in December, in the face of competition from Patanjali, Rohit Kadam, the analyst who wrote the report, said in an interview.

“The report said sales of health supplements at Dabur India Ltd., one of the country’s largest consumer goods companies, had been growing at close to 20 percent annually but began falling at the end of last year, hurt by competition from Patanjali. In the face of that threat, Patanjali’s competitors “are working on overdrive to create similar types of product options,” Mr. Bijoor, the brand strategist, said. Colgate has introduced toothpastes containing the extract of neem, an Indian tree, and charcoal, both still used by villagers to clean their teeth. Spokesmen for Colgate and Dabur did not respond to requests for comment.

History of Baba Ramdev’s Business Activities

Geeta Ananda wrote in the New York Times, “Few people noticed when Mr. Ramdev and Mr. Balakrishna founded Patanjali in 2006, and then, in 2009, began building factories on a 150-acre campus about 20 miles from Haridwar. Patanjali now has 28 factories at the campus that make more than 800 products that are sold at around 20,000 franchised outlets around the country, company officials said. Twenty-five technicians in a dozen glass-walled labs use computers to test ingredients for contaminants, from pesticides to heavy metals. Mr. Balakrishna, as the managing director, runs day-to-day operations. “Without him, nothing would be possible,” Mr. Ramdev said of his partner, who paced in the office as the interview with the loquacious swami spilled over its one-hour allotment. [Source: Geeta Ananda, New York Times. April 1, 2016 ]

Baba Ramdev's Patanjail Center

“The two men met in the 1990s, when they studied at the same gurukul, a residential school that was the norm for Indian Hindus before the British arrived. Both the sons of farmers, they went on together to study in the Himalayas, Mr. Ramdev focusing on yoga and Mr. Balakrishna on Ayurveda. In 1994, they founded the first of three charitable trusts, to run a hospital and a university dealing in Ayurvedic medicine, and an ashram. There, they held yoga camps and free health checkups at which they dispensed Ayurveda treatments, which are largely herbal. Before long, they had set up a manufacturing plant for Ayurveda products. Around the same time, Mr. Ramdev began his televised yoga classes. Lean and muscular, Mr. Ramdev proved to be a telegenic tour de force, bringing yoga to India’s poor and the growing middle class.

“Experts say that, for the foreseeable future, the only danger signs for Patanjali are the enthusiasms of its founder, Mr. Ramdev. If he takes it “a bit too far, he’ll lose new customers,” said Sunil Alagh, a business consultant and formerly chief executive of Britannia Industries Ltd., an Indian company famous for packaged cookies. Controversy aside, Mr. Bijoor has predicted that the “Baba Cool Movement” will eventually outsell both multinationals and top Indian companies alike. “It’s about a good connect,” he said. “It’s about becoming the umbilical cord connecting the past to the present.”

Close Look at Baba Ramdev’s Finances

Most of Baba Ramdev’s business are run through his charitable trusts, the first of which, Divya Yog Mandir Trust, was founded in 1995. In June 2011, Ramdev released financial statements for four of his charitable organizations, Divya Yog Mandir, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Bharat Svabhiman, and the Acharyakul Shiksha Sansthan. However, he did not share the financial records of the 34 companies that are linked to him and are run by his close aide, Acharya Balakrishna. According to the Washington Post, “His trust alone was found to be worth $250 million, a figure that probably includes his yoga university but not his Scottish island — renamed Peace Island — or global business interests that include a pharmaceutical company producing ayurvedic medicine and herbal products.”

Shefali Anand wrote in Wall Street Journal, “Baba Ramdev’s bid to provide transparency about his charitable organizations’ financial statements fell short of its goal... The information shared for most of these organizations wasn’t really enough to give the public a full picture of their financial income and expenditure. [Source: Shefali Anand, Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2011 ||||]

Ramdev Jee Mandir

“In the case of Divya Yog Mandir, only its balance sheet is shown—and not statements on cash flows that would provide more clarity. According to the balance sheet for the financial year ending March 31, 2010, the most recent data posted, the trust had total assets of around 2.5 billion rupees ($56 million). The trust has around 73 million rupees ($1.6 million) in cash and in the bank. There are no details about the sources of funding for the trust, or how its money was spent or invested in the year.

“Of course, many charities in India don’t have a legal obligation to share their financial statements with the public, although most of them do have to file an income tax return. Anil Verma, an external auditor for Baba Ramdev’s charities, said that the laws of Uttarakhand and U.P., where the charities are registered, don’t require charities to publicly disclose their accounts. So...disclosures are an act of goodwill by Baba Ramdev, said Mr. Verma. However, experts in the nonprofit field say that by sharing financial information transparently, nonprofits can build credibility. As a charitable organization, “you should be accountable to the public,” says Pushpa Aman Singh, chief executive officer of GuideStar India, an online database of information on Indian nonprofit organizations. ||||

“For the Bharat Svabhiman trust, there is an income and expenditure statement but no balance sheet is provided. It’s not clear what this trust’s total assets are, but it earned a net income of 91 million rupees ($2 million) in the year ended March 31, 2010. For the Acharyakul Shiksha Sansthan, there is a barebones income statement and a balance sheet which shows assets of around 17 million rupees ($380,000), almost entirely invested in the Gurukul Kishangarh Ghasera, a training institute. ||||

“The most detailed information is available for the Patanjali Yogpeeth trust, with balance sheets for every year since 2004-2005. For most of these years, the income statement is also provided. As of March 31, 2010, this trust had total assets of nearly 1.8 billion rupees ($40 million). These include the trust’s fixed assets like buildings worth 1.14 billion ($25 million) and current assets like postage stamps worth nearly 4 million rupees ($89,000). ||||

“In the financial year ended March 2010, the trust earned around 450 million rupees ($10 million) in net income. The expense column shows that around 4 million rupees ($89,000) were spent on “salaries” and as “honorarium to swayasevaks [volunteers].” That’s a jump of nearly 10 times from the prior year ending March 31, 2009, when no salaries were paid and the swayamsevaks got 434,000 rupees ($9,700) in honorary payments. The trust’s telephone expenses have also risen sharply in recent years – going from just 13,500 rupees ($300) for the year ended March 31, 2008 to 9.3 million rupees ($208,000).” ||||

Baba Ramdev’s Controversial Views

Baba Ramdev statue

Ramdev is known for his controversial views and opinion on almost everything. Geeta Ananda wrote in the New York Times, “Ramdev has dived into controversial conservative causes without hesitation.” In 2015, “he claimed that he could cure homosexuality by treating a person with yoga. Mr. Ramdev was also outspoken in his condemnation of a student at a New Delhi university who faced sedition charges after the authorities accused him of participating in a pro-Pakistan campus rally. “The traitors,” Mr. Ramdev said, “must be arrested.” [Source: Geeta Ananda, New York Times. April 1, 2016]

Rama Lakshmi wrote in the Washington Post, “During his daily television performances, he pontificates on terrorism, water contamination, colonialism, tax laws, black money and cow protection, while instructing people to raise their legs, tie their hands behind their backs and breathe deep. He likens homosexuality to drug addiction and claims yoga can "cure" it. He calls Pepsi and Coke "toilet cleaners." He supports throwing foreign companies out of India. He says that Western civilization is going downhill and that India will rule the world with yoga. [Source: Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post, December 24, 2009]

“The clamor around Ramdev represents Indians' endless search for gurus and holy men they can revere, finding an escape from worldly tensions and pains. His diatribes against corruption, multinational companies, changing lifestyles and urban stress resonate with the social anxieties accompanying the awkward but rapid transition of an ancient land into a 21st-century economic powerhouse.”

Baba Ramdev’s Political Activities

Ramdev has launched a political manifesto and political party (the Swabhiman Abiyah Party) and promised to cleanse India of corruption. His manifesto calls for the death penalty for corruption, rape, adultery and cow slaughter as well as compulsory yoga classes for schoolchildren and the eviction of all foreign companies from India.

Baba Ramdev and Modi togther for Foundation Day celebrations of Bharat Swabhiman Trust

Ananda wrote: “He gradually ventured beyond yoga to become a public critic of government corruption, leading a mass protest in New Delhi in 2011 and later endorsing Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election in 2014. Mr. Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power soon after, unleashing a strong Hindu nationalist sentiment that Mr. Ramdev says has created “an ideal ecosystem” to support his business. Mr. Modi pushed the United Nations to create International Yoga Day, and he inaugurated it last year, with Mr. Ramdev by his side, in a nationally televised ceremony involving 35,000 people. [Source: Geeta Ananda, New York Times. April 1, 2016]

Simon Denyer wrote in the Washington Post, “When he joined a popular movement against official corruption with a brief fast in June 2011, Ramdev’s supporters were beaten and tear-gassed by police and he was forced to declare his assets. "I will not fight elections, but I will endorse and offer good, honest candidates to political parties," he said. [Source: Simon Denyer, Washington Post July 12, 2011*/]

“The government, seeing Ramdev as a political rival, first accused him of money laundering and then opened an income-tax investigation. “The numbers are staggering, but the ideas that fabulous wealth resides in these places is not a surprise,” said social commentator and columnist Santosh Desai, who says that followers often take pride in the wealth of their chosen gurus. “It is curious in a way, for something ostensibly about a distance from things material and closeness to things spiritual, the two sit side by side very comfortably.”“ */

Baba Ramdev’s Anti-Corruption Fasts

In August 2012, Baba Ramdev fasted for several days to protest corruption in India. Ashok Sharma of Associated Press wrote: “A popular Indian yoga guru fasted for a fourth day and threatened to expand his protest nationwide if the government doesn't act decisively to bring back billions of dollars of ill-gotten money that some Indians have allegedly stashed abroad. "If the prime minister fails to respond to my demand by Sunday evening, I will intensify the protest across the country in the form of a people's revolt," Baba Ramdev told thousands of cheering supporters at a sprawling fairground in the capital. [Source: Ashok Sharma, Associated Press, August 12, 2012 ***]

“However, he put off announcing details of his plans, saying he was waiting for a response from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said he would announce an action plan. Ramdev and his supporters say they haven't eaten for three days to pressure the government to accept their anti-corruption demands, including the creation of a powerful ombudsman to check government officials, an independent Central Bureau of Investigation, and actions to prevent tax evasion and the illegal stashing of money in overseas banks. ***

“Ramdev started his protest less than a week after anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare halted a separate hunger strike that failed to attract widespread support. Hazare and his backers said they would give up agitating and join politics instead. Crowds have dwindled at the site of Ramdev's fast over the past three days. Millions of Indians tune in every day to watch Ramdev perform yoga exercises on his popular TV show. In the past few years he has used his popularity as a yoga guru to highlight his campaign against corruption.” ***

In June 2011, Baba Ramdev was hospitalised while engaging in a similar protest. NDTV reported: “Ramdev was carried out of his ashram in Haridwar on a stretcher after doctors attending to him said his liver had been affected and his blood pressure was worryingly low because of his seven-day hunger strike. He was given glucose in an ambulance en route to a Dehradun hospital. After a few hours, doctors said he appeared stronger. Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar who visited him in hospital said he had urged Baba Ramdev to start eating solids. [Source: NDTV, June 11, 2011 ^^^]

“Sri Sri also confirmed that he is mediating between the government and Baba Ramdev, who have been at war since Saturday night, when the Baba was evicted from his camp in Delhi where he combined yoga classes with a sit-in protest and the launch of his hunger strike against corruption and black money. In Delhi, activist Swami Agnivesh also met with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the Ramdev crisis, suggesting that the government may want to start a new round of discussions with the yoga teacher. ^^^

The yoga icon whose followers run into lakhs started his fast last Saturday morning in Delhi at the Ramlila Maidan. 65,000 people were in attendance on Saturday night when the police broke up the camp with teargassing and a lathicharge. The Baba was evicted and flown back to Uttarakhand. The action at Ramlila Maidan ended days of negotiation between the government and the Baba over his suggestions for how to tackle the problem of crores of untaxed money that have been shipped abroad.

The government has disclosed that various tax inquiries are being conducted against the Baba's business empire whose reported turnover is more than a thousand crores. Yesterday, the Baba retaliated by declaring online the balance sheets of the four trusts that he runs for charitable purposes. The Baba has also been forced to defend a controversial remark he made earlier this week - that he would recruit 11,000 young men and women who would reciprocate if attacked. Yesterday, he said his remark had been distorted and misreported. "The words should be used in the right context... I said I will make a force who will not beat anyone but they will not get beaten either," the yoga teacher said, adding, "what is the harm or wrong if I speak about shaurya (valour)"

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Internet Indian History Sourcebook “World Religions” edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); “Encyclopedia of the World's Religions” edited by R.C. Zaehner (Barnes & Noble Books, 1959); “Encyclopedia of the World Cultures: Volume 3 South Asia” edited by David Levinson (G.K. Hall & Company, New York, 1994); “The Creators” by Daniel Boorstin; “A Guide to Angkor: an Introduction to the Temples” by Dawn Rooney (Asia Book) for Information on temples and architecture. National Geographic, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Times of London, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated September 2018

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