This biography takes you through four facets of yogi Adityanath’s life in its four sections. The books starts with Yogi’s current avatar, as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, elections, dynamics behind Yogi’s selection as the CM of UP and initial days of Yogi at the Pancham Tal (CM office of UP). The second section takes you through the life of this long standing, five-time parliamentarian Yogi Adityanath, his electoral victories, his meticulous intervention in parliament, the truth behind his so-called controversial speeches, the rationale behind his idea of love-jihad, re-conversion, Hindu Yuva Vahini and his relationship with the BJP. In the third section author takes his readers through the life of Mahant of Gorakhnath mutt, Yogi Adityanatha, his rigorous yogic routine, about gurus of nath panth, and socio-political activities of the mutt over the decades. In last section author leaves his readers with some very engaging first-hand accounts of the upbringing of a young boy Ajay Singh Bisht, in the hinterlands of Uttarakhand, who grew up among cows, farms, mountains and rivers to later become a Mahant, a parliamentarian and the Chief Minister.
About the Author
Shantanu Gupta, is the founder of the leading youth based organization Yuva Foundation, working with youth, on spreading awareness among youth, on policy, politics and social issues. In the past he was worked for a renowned think tank, center for civil society (CCS). Shantanu has worked long in the hinterlands of Bundelkhand with UNICEF in Uttar Pradesh. He has also lead large-scale remedial education intervention with Naandi Foundation in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra & New Delhi. Shantanu has worked for a decade as a process and management consultant in many cities in India, Switzerland, Cyprus, Hungry and Israel. He has represented India in many international conferences on economy and policy, in Germany, Malaysia & Srilanka.
Shantanu has an engineering degree from GB Pant University, Management education from XLRI, Jamshedpur and did his master in policy and politics from Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Before this, Shantanu has authored three more books: Education policy in India, Voice, Choice and Incentives (CCS), Compilation of Prime Minister’s Man ki Baat (Kapot books) and Uttar Pradesh, Vikas ki Pratiksha Mein (Bloomsbury).
Yoga is the defining term for India and its great dharmic civilization of thousand of year. The global spread of yoga since Swami Vivekananda first travelled to the West over a hundred years ago has paralleled India’s development as a nation.
In March 2017 Yogi Adityanath, head of the eminent Gorakhdham Mutt, become the chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India. His appointment, which was a great surprise to many, marks a significant new chapter in the ongoing relationship between Yoga and India’s national awakening.
The current Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi, with his establishment of international Yoga Day and brining Yoga education into the schools, has emphasized this connection. By selecting Yogi Adityanath, the BJP that Modi lead has furthered this yogic vision of a new India. Yogic values and practices can help us better perform our duties and create a happier, more prosperous and aware society. This is particularly relevant and possible in India, the land of Yoga.
Gorakhdham Mutt is one of the most prestigious seats of yogic knowledge in the country. Yogi Gorakhdham, who the Mutt represents, has been the most influential of India’s Yogis over many countries. He was a famous exponent of Hatha Yoga and its psychophysical exercises and of Siddha Yoga and its deep meditation practices.
As representing Gorakhdham Mutt, Yogi Adiyanath carries on this venerable tradition of Nath Yoga, which long ago spread throughout South Asia brining the light of Yoga to the entire region. As a Nath Yogi, Adityanath has a training and a heritage perhaps unparalleled among political figures today.
Nath Yogis are Hindu Shaivites, but in the universal view of shaivism and Sanatana Dharma, share their teachings for of the benefit of all peoples, regardless of religious or cultural backgrounds. They follow strict vows and practices aimed at both inner spiritual awakening and providing service to humanity. Historically, Nath Yogis served in the protection of temples and holy sites.
While Yogi Aditynath is the first Yogi to become a chief minister in India, we must remember that great Yogis like Sri Aurobindo played crucial roles in India’s Independence Movement. The Bhagavad Gita of Yogeshvara Krishna inspired the movement overall and remains India’s most characteristic and widely read book.
Yogi Adityanath received his initiation in 1994 from revered Mahant Avaidyanath, the head of Gorakhnath Mutt and disciple of famous Mahant Digvijaynath. He became head of the mutt himself in 2014 when Avaidyanath passed away.
Yogi Adityanath contested and become a member of the Lok Sabha from Gorkhpur in 1998, at the age of 26; the youngest person ever elected to the Lok Sabha, and had not lost an election since. He took over the seat from his own guru Mahant avaidyanath who had previously held it for many years, working for the country according to the same yogic value. His Mutt has many upliftment programs for all segments od society, including women, the youth and the poor.
Yogi Adityanath has not only a vast spiritual heritage but also the extensive government experience necessary to run such a large state as UP, taking an active role in Lok Sabha function and committees over the years. He conducts regular Janta Darbars for meeting with the common people and discussing their problems on all levels. Yogi Adityanath reflects yogic attitudes and value in his working to improve education, increase infrastructure, and counter crime and corruption.
With such extraordinary accomplishments already, Yogi Adityanath at the young age of forty-four is a leader with a destiny likely to remain a key figure in India for decades to come. Sri Narendra Modi’s commitment both to India’s development and to promoting Yoga is part of the Yogi’s inspiration.
Uttar Pradesh has over two hundred million people, more populous than but a few countries in the world. Sadly the state has suffered from decades of misrule and lack of development, including massive corruption under previous administration. Though Uttar Pradesh is the ancient center of India culturally, misrule and nepotism has kept in one of the most backward regions of the country. This makes uplifting the state a daunting challenge requiring a leader of Yogi Adityanath’s stature and determination. Given his special background, it is imperative that people today learn more about Yogi Adityanath and what he truly represents.
Shantanu Gupta recently wrote compilation of Prime Minister’s Mann ki baat, explaining with clarity and depth the thoughts and guidance of PM Narendra Modi from his weekly radio addresses. In The Monk Who Became Chief Minister, he has provided a detailed analysis of the life of Yogi Adityanath – a well-informed biography of Yogi’s personal, public and spiritual aspects, particularly relative to his resent election.
Readers will find it fascinating to delve into the story of this young and transformative leader of the new India. The book brings the Yogi alive and allows us to understand his key ideas and statements, and appreciate his strong character and determination.
The Monk Who Became Chief Minister is well researched and referenced, replete with extensive factual data and illuminating comments. It covers all aspects of the Yogi’s work, including the controversies that have been created around him. It is likely to be an authoritative study for years to come.
It is true that some groups, particularly the far left in India, will remain suspicious of yogi Adityanath whatever he does, much as they have long opposed Narendra Modi. This opposition extends to a few western publications that continue negative colonial narratives about India. Given such potential distortion, the books provide a balanced view of the Yogi that can counter any misinformation.
Today a new world is drawing in the high tech era and with it a new India in what could be called the “post-Nehruvian post-Marxist era”. India under the new vision of PM Modi is now fastest developing economy in the world and one of the most influential countries in the global diplomacy and international relations. Uniquely, India preserves the oldest spiritual traditions of humanity as well promoting the new knowledge and expertise that science and information technology provides – a rare combination that Yogi Adityanath endorses.
Yogi Adityanath is a national and world leader for the future. He represent India’s new aspirational generation that aims to develop the country without abandoning its profound civilizational ethos. Let us follow carefully what his guidance brings. He may surprise his critics, uplifting the state and the country by demonstrating a new modal of yogic leadership of the world.
On 19 March 2017, yogi Adityanath took an oath as the twenty first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. You may know a few things about him, you may have been some media coverage and might have read some stories; some biased, some exaggerated and some real. But there is much more that make yogi Adityanath.
Through extensive research I have accumulated unseen pictures, unheard instances, first-time interview, with people close to Yogi, in the biography. The book takes you through the journey of a shy and introvert boy from the hills of Uttarakhand, who had a modern education in the faculties of science from Kotdwar, later took sanyas and went through rigorous training in vedic education. From being a rebel politician inside and outside the party, he now has become a man of consensus. This explores how a Nath Panthi monk, learnt the nuances of politics from his guru, Mahant Awaidnath, and rose to take the highest position in Uttar Pradesh’s politics. A state with 22 crore people and 80 Lok Sabha seats, is one of the very crucial political pieces in India’s electoral puzzle. With a history of production many Prime Minister of the Country, the state have given yet another prospect for the Prime Minister’s office, in the post-Modi era in the form of Yogi Adityanath. You have in your hands the first definitive biography of the monk who has become the Chief Minister of the most populous state of India.
While writing his biography, I spent time in Gorakhnath Mutt, learning about Nath Panth, originating from Mahayogi Adinath Lord Shiva, learning how guru Matsyendranatha, and guru Goraksanatha structured the teaching of Nath Panth, I also discovered the various rituals and symbols of nath panth, the tenants of Hath Yoga and, it gave me goose bumps to realize that I am standing on such hallowed grounds. A place where once, Guru Goraksanatha practiced and taught yoga, where hundreds of Nath Panth yogis gathered on various auspicious occasions, where in modern times ‘ram janmbhoomi’ movement deliberations were conducted, a Mutt which was always socially and politically active and its mahants represented the region in state Assembly and National Parliament and the Mutt which gave a Nath Panthi yogi, a kanphata sadhu as the twenty first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. I feel this state is blessed to have a descendent and disciple of Adinath Lord Shiva, to serve its 22 crore people and I am also equally blessed to be able to bring the story of this monk to my readers.
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