The owner of the world’s longest moustache is Jaipur’s Ram Singh Chauhan, whose fame has reached the Guinness Book of World Records, and gotten him a role in a James Bond film. After retiring from his job, Ram Singh was introduced to Isha Yoga.
Here is an interview with him – on matters both spiritual and “mane-ly.”
Q: Namaskar, Mr. Ram Singh. Your name has been inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s longest moustache. How long is your moustache now?
Ram Singh: In the year 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records interviewed me. After that, I challenged them and they invited me to Italy in 2010. On March 4th, 2010, my moustache was 14 feet long. It has now grown to 18 feet. In addition to Guinness, my record is also in the Limca-India Book of Records. I was featured in many magazines and my story was even mentioned in a book on moustaches.
Q: Is there really a book on moustaches?
Ram Singh: Oh yes! There was a woman in Ahmedabad doing her PhD on Indian Cinema. One of the topics was “Indian Moustache,” so she interviewed me and is now working on her thesis. The Films division of a University in London also interviewed me, and said that this would be taught to their students. I was telecasted in a program on the Rough Guide channel. My interview was run many times on the Discovery channel. Our former Prime Minister Mr. I. K. Gujral even measured my moustache in 1997, when the Chief Minister of Rajasthan was Mr. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and Mr. Gujral was visiting him. At that time, Mr. Gujral very patiently measured my moustache. The President of India, Mr. K. R. Narayanan was also present there.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration to grow a long mustache?
Ram Singh: I have had a moustache since 1970 and began growing it since 1982. I got the inspiration from Karan Bhil of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. He is a very good friend of mine. Impressed by my moustache he said, “Ram Singh, it’ll be good if you grow your moustache too.”
Q: How long was his moustache?
Ram Singh:It was about 7ft long.
Q: You’ve beaten his record and now your moustache is almost 3 times longer than his!
Ram Singh: It’s like that – no record is forever. Just as a human being arrives and leaves so are records – today you hold it and tomorrow someone else does. I would endeavor for this and I will be happy if an Indian continues to uphold this record.
Q: How did you come to know about Isha Yoga?
Ram Singh: In 2008 my son-in-law participated in the Isha Yoga program, and later my daughter took the program as well. They recommended it to me. At the time I was overseeing the marketing of the Rajasthan Tourism department and was greatly stressed by the work. I retired this year in February and participated in the Isha Yoga program, which was conducted in April (17 – 23).
Q: Do you see any transformation within yourself practicing Shambhavi Mahamudra that was taught in this program? How do you feel after practicing the kriya?
Ram Singh: The kriya has become a part of my routine. Just as one would wish for something to eat or drink, so also for doing the kriya. Only after doing it, I go about my daily routine. I am actually a greatly temperamental person. Everyone at home knows that I used to be very angry. By doing this kriya, I am able to control my anger, but it will take some more time to completely control my anger. I will strive to keep myself cool always.
Q: Now that you’ve participated in an Isha Yoga program, what was your experience of those seven days? What would you like to say about the program?
Ram Singh: Everything in the program was explained in great depth and detail. I liked this program very much and I would say that every human being should take time for this somehow. In this generation, a human being is quite busy and goes through various tensions. Through the time we spend in doing this, we experience calm and peace. It brings about a change even in the way one thinks. When you are talking with someone, the “coolness” inside remains intact.
Q: It must be taking quite some time to look after your moustache. How do you find time for your yoga?
Ram Singh: Now that I am retired, I have a lot of time. I wash the moustache once in ten days and apply oil and other things. Now there’s no scarcity of time, I have lots of time. With the kriya I am doing, I get a lot of inspiration. With this, I have a sense of direction for the future. I have a longing – with Sadhguru’s grace, I would like to experience this life in greater depth.
Q: Would you like to go to the Isha Yoga Center and participate in advanced programs?
Ram Singh: A human being desires many things but the rest is in the hands of the God. The being does persist. I do have the desire to go there (IYC). I was going to participate in the Mahashivarathri celebrations this March, but I was very ill then. And I cannot say anything about the future, though I do have the desire to visit. I am trying to be there this September.
Q: What role would yoga play in your future life?
Ram Singh: Yoga is very useful in one’s personal life. With yoga, a person is not nervous. Usually people get lonely after retirement. The loneliness is no longer there as one begins to do yoga. Yoga is a very great thing. Every human being from any society or race needs to do this. Yoga is for the self, not for others. How would you like to live your life and how would you like to create your life – that is what yoga is about.