22 October, 2020

Rambo Swami Is No Saint

Belgian-born Guru Freddy trains the army, paramilitary forces, cadets and scouts at his self-powered gurukula

Rambo Swami Is No Saint

THE contradictions are stark and rather baffling. The recommendation for his Indira Gandhi award for national integration describes him as "an engineer by qualification; a sanyasi dedicated to character training". His visiting card proclaims "Never Give In, Never Give Up". "If I was an Indian I would have brought some glory to my country," says Guru Freddy, the scraggly 'sanyasi' who dresses in olive green overalls and saffron. And who wields a double-barrel gun and an Olympic bow with the same ease with which he holds forth on the Gita and Vedanta.

Yet, he is a naturalised Indian who in the last decade has trained 25,000 people in rock climbing, river crossing, trekking and night navigation through jungles. And his Nataraja Gurukula Nature Awareness and Adventure Academy, 30 km south of Bangalore, is today an unavoidable pit-stop for the Indian army, paratroopers, paramilitary, police and outfits like the NCC and scouts, youth from adventure institutes, de-addiction organisations and slums. The objective:...



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