According to Govindacharya, the other defining feature of the milieu in which Ramkishan grew up was the mutual distrust between farmers and traders in the region. Broadly speaking, it was a cultural divide. The village boys wore pyjamas; the city slickers wore trousers and were mercilessly bullied for it. The college–going peasants boys presented themselves as “tough guys”, under the influence of whose dadagiri (muscle power) all acquiesced, the shahris (city dwellers) quietly handing over their lunch money to the ganwaars (local yokels) .
There were other dimensions to the rural-urban polarity. The wealth and glamour of the city stoked aspirations while the traders’ physical dependence on comforts evoked contempt . He traders followed Sanatana Dharma, closer to dogma, while the farmers preferred the robust purity of Arya Samaj.
Ramkishen Joined the Gurukul which was located in Khanpur Village, in Kishangarh Ghaseda in the Rewari district of Haryana. Sanskrit, the Vedas, Upanishads, the philosophy of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, meditation and of course, yogic exercise, formed the bulk of the curriculum. Plagued by boyhood ailments which had partially paralysed the left side of his body,he embraced the regimen, exercise and herbal therapy with great enthusiasm and, but for the nerves on the left side of his face, which gave him a permanent squint, he recovered fully.
“As a child, I had boils on my legs, knock knees and a big tummy. Children used to tease me, calling me “petal” (big belly). I also suffered paralysis on the left side of my face.. The effects are still there”, Baba recalled. It was at the gurukul, that Ramkishen adopted Brahmacharya (celibacy) and sanyas - according to him a decision he took when he was just four years old.
From Rewari, the young yogi, now swami Ramdev, moved in the late Eighties to Jind in Haryana, where he joined the Kalva Gurukul headed by Acharya Dharamveer and began teaching yoga in villages across the the state. Soon after, he succumbed to the call of the unknown, a compelling motive force in the lives of renunciates and decided to head towards the Himalayas. Legend has it that he went from ashram to ashram, collecting various techniques of yoga and meditation, until he found himself in a cave near the Gangotri Glacier. And as the story goes here the met the baby- faced Balkrishna, who would become his life-long friend, companion and business partner. He also met other members of his coterie hereabouts : Karamveer, Muktananda and Virendra.
In 1993, the twenty-nine year old Ramdev decided to move yet again and with Balkrishna in tow, went to Haridwar and joined the Kripalu Bagh ashram under the tutelage of swami Shankar Dev. Two years later, after receiving diksha from his teacher, he was officially recognized as a master in his own right.