Ashutosh Maharaj: A dead seer kept alive by blind faithfuls in Punjab


Senior Member
Mar 12, 2013
Strange things are happening in this land of countless believers. Months after a nondescript village in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh shot to global fame when a gold-dreaming hermit prompted the Central government to order an excavation which yielded dust, mud and a bit of better sense, another drama is unfolding these days.

In docile Nurmahal village in Jalandhar district of Punjab, another seer is denied what is every man's rightful due: last rites. The reason is bizarre. Thousands of his disciples believe he is not dead but in samadhi, a state of deep meditation.

Ashutosh Maharaj, the leader of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS), a sect based in Punjab, was declared "clinically dead" by doctors on January 29 after he complained of severe chest pain.

Dr Harpal, one of the doctors who examined the religious leader, told reporters that he was dead - the guru had no heartbeat, no pulse, and the ECG showed a straight line.

That did not disturb his disciples who said he might be clinically dead but was alive spiritually. They maintained the Maharaj was in samadhi, something he had done in the past too. There was little the doctors could do, so they left.

For the next five days, patient disciples and DJJS staff waited for their guru to open his eyes. That did not happen and instead signs of decay started showing.

Sadhavi Jaya Bharti, head of DJJS media wing, told the Hindustan Times, "On Sunday morning, our doctor witnessed a change in the colour that has become grayish."

On Monday, the sixth day, they shifted the religious guru into a freezer to ensure "Himalayan-type environment" for him. The disciples maintained yogis used to go to the Himalayas for samadhi in ancient times.

Believing cops

India being a religious country, its cops are dutifully religious. While this entire drama unfolded and a corpse was kept in open for a week, local police failed to intervene.

Jalandhar range deputy inspector general (DIG) Gurinder Singh Dhillon, Jalandhar (rural) senior superintendent of police (SSP) Jaspreet Sidhu and Phillaur sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Jasbir Singh went inside the dera headquarters but came out without having a look at the body of Ashutosh Maharaj.

Later SSP Jalandhar (Rural) Jaspreet Sidhu told reporters they could not interfere in a matter of faith, and were waiting for an announcement by the dera management. Cops set up a camp office on the dera premises to keep a watch on the situation.

Guru's driver files writ in HC

In the meanwhile, Pooran Singh, a man who claimed to be DJJS founder's former driver, filed habeas corpus petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on February 3 maintaining that the dera was not letting the truth come out.

In his petition, he sought the release of Mahesh Kumar Jha alias Ashutosh Maharaj from the alleged illegal custody of four dera followers, namely, Arvindanand, Soni, Narinder Singh and Vishalanand, who, according to Singh, want to usurp the dera's property.

On Wednesday, DSP Nakodar Harinderpal Singh Parmar submitted a status report to the Punjab and Haryana high court along with the medical report of Ashutosh Maharaj making it clear that the Dera head is clinically dead.

The high court has now adjourned the case till the next hearing on February 11.

Succession row behind drama

Media reports have claimed that a succession row could be behind the samadhi drama.

Sources in the dera told Hindustan Times that three factions were involved in the tussle over succession. One faction is led by Amarjit Singh, an old disciple of Ashutosh Maharaj, known in the dera as Arvindanand. Local followers want Arvindanand to head the dera after Ashutosh, but the governing body of the DJJS, led by its president Adityanand, is backing another Ashutosh disciple, Narendranand.

A section of followers is also supporting another Ashutosh disciple, Suvidhanand alias Soni, who has been living on the dera premises for the past many years.

Worth of DJJS

DJJS, which is often referred to as dera by its followers, has lakhs of followers in Punjab and elsewhere. According to a report in The Indian Express, the dera has 110 centres in India and abroad and it controls properties worth about Rs.1,500 crore.

The dera has considerable influence in the Punjab government, which carved out a village called 'Divya Gram', named after the sect, last year. Because of threat from hardline Sikhs who have often opposed the religious guru, Ashutosh Maharaj was provided with a Z-category security cover.

Minor tiff with wife made his guru

Forty five years ago, Mahesh Jha who later became famous as Ashutosh Maharaj had left his village Lakhnaur in Madhubani district of Bihar. He was married and had a one month old baby boy when he left his house. Jha had a bachelor's degree in English and was married to one Anandi Devi. He left his house in 1970 over a minor tiff with his wife.

As the guru's ties with his disciples grew, his relations with his family snapped. On Tuesday, when his son Dilip, now a middle-aged man, heard of his father's death, he said it made no difference to him.

Blind faith leads them all

Amid all this, the dera staff and management is unfazed. A notice on its website (DJJS :: Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan | Ashutosh Maharaj Ji | Brahmgyan | Meditation | Spirituality) says, "Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji entered into the state of Samadhi (deep meditation) on 29th Jan. DJJS requests all its members to practice (sic) meditation to benefit from the positive energy being created by Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji's state of Samadhi."

Writing about the guru's spiritual powers, the website says, "His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji, Head & Founder of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, is such a divine personality, who is making a revolutionary mark in human history by awakening the dormant energy lying within human beings, through the charismatic spiritual tool of eternal science of BrahmGyan - the same spiritual treasure that has existed since ages."

The staff's faith in the guru being alive in unflinching. Asked about the succession row, DJJS media wing head Jaya Bharti said, "Only Maharaj ji will announce his successor after coming out of his samadhi."

Read more at: Ashutosh Maharaj: A dead seer kept alive by blind faithfuls in Punjab village : North, News - India Today

A chauhan

"अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l"
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Oct 10, 2009
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Re: Ashutosh Maharaj: A dead seer kept alive by blind faithfuls in Pun

There seems to be a conspiracy of his murder, faith is just a tool.

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