A day before Padma awards were to be officially announced, yoga guru Ramdev and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar politely declined to receive the honours. Ramdev cited his status of a `sanyasi' to decline the honour after reports suggested that he will be among the awardees for Padma Vibhushan this Republic Day .
In a letter to home minister Rajnath Singh, Ramdev said, “I am a sanyasi and I consider it my duty to perform sanyas dharma with rastra dharma and sewa dharma without any desire and with unattached intention.” The yoga guru said he is grateful that the government thought of his name for Padma Vibhusan, which he got to know from media reports, but the honour could be given to some other great person. “I urge you to give this honour to somebody doing something great. I would be grateful to you,” he said.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar took to Twitter to inform about his decision. “Rajnath Singhji called to inform me about Padma awards. I thank the government for considering me. Instead of me, I’d like them to honour someone else,” he tweeted. The Art of Living of which Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder also issued a statement in which he was quoted as saying, “I thank the government for considering me for the Padma award. There are many other deserving people.”