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Profitable mantra for India's guru entrepreneurs

Customers in Bangalore chat outside an Art of Living outlet featuring products from guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's businesses.

NEW DELHI -- Once known for their punishingly ascetic lifestyles, India's spiritual gurus are now leveraging their high public profiles and the ancient alternative medicine tradition of ayurveda to straddle multi-million dollar business empires.

     Leading the pack is the controversial yoga guru Baba Ramdev, founder of Patanjali Yogpeeth, an organization that started by promoting yoga and spirituality in 2006, but now peddles more than 350 products ranging from condominiums to toothpaste and noodles.

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