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Bharat Thakur"Meditation is the solution to all the problems faced by the mankind," says new age guru Bharat Thakur who banks on the philosophy of freedom and believes in the principle that life is precious and must be spent happily. Bharat, a Railway officer's son born in Lillua, Kolkata, was chosen by the master Swami Sukhdev Brahmachari at the age of four to live with him in the caves of Gurmukh, Himalayas.

"He was 98 years old when he took three of us and taught us the art of yoga and meditation in English," says Bharat, who believes that Indian yogis don't do so well because they can't communicate well in English. The 'Himalayan Master' as he is called, Bharat Thakur directs one through a series of ancient and powerful meditation techniques that help find the true meaning of the beauty of life. Bharat advises many steps for the purification of the body, thought process, removal of emotional blockages and awareness of the conscious body. Adds Bharat, a follower of Dalai Lama, "I pick out from the rich treasure of our scriptures. Sometimes when students enter my workshop they feel it's a madhouse. The process has to be cathartic, it has to unlock those tense nerves so that you can feel the freedom tinkle."

Bharat ThakurBut spiritual guru isn't what comes to mind when one meets 27 year old Bharat Thakur. He dons jazzy designer clothes, carries the latest cell phone, drives a swanky car. "I hate this image of gurus constantly depriving themselves," says Thakur. "My message is simple-gain awareness through meditation, live for today." Thakur is teaching meditation techniques since last eight years and claims to have some 250,000 followers. "I have celebrity followers like Naresh and Madhu Trehan, industrialist Sunil Mittal and artist Hemi Bawa," says Thakur At a two-day workshop at Hotel Ramada Manohar in the city recently, he taught meditation techniques, yogic postures and simple stress busters. "I just want my students to experience peace," he says. "Human body is a temple, one has to keep it firm, clean and nice - free from all stresses and problems," says Bharat Thakur.

Bharat ThakurOldest of four siblings, Bharat went to school in Dhanbad and then to Gwalior to complete a five-year Masters in Yoga from the Laxmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education. Later he did his Ph.D in bio-mechanics from Calcutta University.

The young master at 27, neither believes in idol worship nor religion, but has great regard for Mahaveer, Buddha, Christ, Prophet Mohammed and incorporates the techniques of Sufis and Zen masters in his workshops. He is based at Delhi and travels throughout the world to create awareness.
-MAR Fareed
Photographs: Srinivas Setty

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