Yoga guru Ramdev on Wednesday asked saints at the Kumbh Mela to stop smoking. “We follow Ram and Krishna who never smoked in their life then why should we?” he asked them, according to ANI. “We must take a pledge to quit smoking.”
On Twitter, Ramdev said he was running a “Chillum Mukti Abhiyan” (Leave Chillum Movement) at Kumbh. “I have a conviction that the sadhu who can leave the world can easily leave Chilam also,” he said.
A video he shared showed him telling the saints: “We sadhus have left everything including our home, mother and father for a greater cause, then why can’t we leave smoking?” He collected chillum, or clay pipes, from several saints and made them take a pledge to quit tobacco.
The yoga guru said he will build a museum where he can deposit all the clay pipes he seized from the saints. “I have made youngsters quit tobacco and smoking, then why not Mahatmas?” he said.
The Kumbh Mela began on January 15 and will end on March 4. The Uttar Pradesh government expects more than 12 crore people to participate in religious event.