Disciples of a Hindu sect have decided to place the body of their dead guru in a freezer, assuring that he’s alive, but in deep meditation. Believe it or not, the disciples of Divine Light Awakening Mission claim that their leader Ashutosh Maharaj is on a profound stage and expect him to return to life eventually.
Far from being in a meditative state, doctors pronounced Maharaj dead of cardiac arrest three years ago and his son Dalip Kumar Jha claims he sued for the right to cremate his father’s body according to Hindu tradition.
Oddly, an Indian High Court decided to dismiss the plea on Wednesday allowing the dead man’s disciples to preserve his dead body in a commercial freezer under guard in his 100-acre ashram in the northern state of Punjab.
Jha’s lawyer told that it was unclear whether the court decided to approve the sect’s argument that their leader and Jha’s father was alive. Nevertheless, the lawyer told they dismissed his client’s petition, and assured they would challenge it in the supreme court.
While rejecting their plea, the court set aside a 2014 judgment that had ordered the leader’s cremation after doctors confirmed him clinically dead.
The guru’s followers had challenged the court’s cremation order, assuring he had simply drifted into a deeper form of extreme meditation. In fact, they say this is something Maharaj often did in sub-zero Himalayan temperatures. However, authorities haven’t proved this assertion.
Maharaj is well-known for being the founder of this multimillion-dollar sect called in Hindu Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan, and being involved in several controversies in the country before his death. However, far from recognizing this situation, his followers insist he is in a profound spiritual state called Samadhi
As a matter of fact, Jha asserts that the sect’s disciples only claim that Maharaj is alive so they could maintain control of and access to his multimillion dollar estate. Naturally, we’re talking about a rare case where a group of people is showing their willingness to get a dead man´s money at any cost.
After Maharaj’s death in 2014, his son and former driver Puran Singh immediately filed several petitions to the Indian court, suing for control of his body and demanding a criminal probe into the Divine Light Awakening Mission sect. However, just as what happened with Jha, a lower court rejected his claim, prompting them to appeal to the Indian High Court.
Regarding this issue, the sect’s spokesman Swami Vishalanand explained in March that Maharaj was actually communicating with his disciples through deep meditation, commanding them to preserve his body since he was alive. He told that the guru was sending messages to their followers via meditative stage and that this was the main evidence that he wasn’t dead.
Given this bizarre situation, it seems quite astonishing that Indian authorities ruled in their favor, considering that strong proofs are not required to know that Maharaj’s followers are playing a crazy role. However, many believe they could be offering part of his money in order keep control of the body.
Maharaj established the Divine Light Awakening Mission sect in Punjab’s Jalandhar city back in 1983, in order to promote a “self-awakening and global peace,” with millions of disciples across the entire world and luxurious properties worth an estimated $120 million in South America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, the U.S. and India.
Jha claims that his father’s real name was Mahesh Kumar Jha, and he left his native village in the eastern Bihar state in the 70s before funding the controversial sect.
HC allows clinically dead Jalandhar Dera head Ashutosh Maharaj to continue in the freezer. Body is in freezer since Jan 2014
— Sanjeev Verma (@SanjeevVermaTOI)
Apparently, he and Singh are making a lot of efforts to solve this situation since they believe it is a terrible injustice and a despicable act to hold his body just to retain control of his financial assets.
Maharaj is one of many sect leaders who has built huge empires and command million of followers during the last decades, especially in northern India, where people usually believe in these gurus.
Studies have shown that gurus play an important and integral role the daily life of their followers, including path to enlightenment and internal peace. Disciples usually offer not only spiritual devotion, but also big donations to temples, ashrams, and many charity projects.
However, Indian experts tend to criticize these kinds of acts given the fact that gurus are considered saints, and they allegedly manipulate their followers in order to get their money.
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