Indian court asked to decide whether Hindu spiritual leader is dead or simply meditating
Followers of His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj have refused to hand over his body to his family for cremation
An Indian court is set to decide whether a Hindu spiritual leader is dead – or in a state of profound meditation.
His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, who founded the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, died in January, his wife and son have said.
But his followers insist he is still alive and have refused to hand over his body for cremation, The Telegraph reported.
They claim that the guru, in his 70s, is actually in a deep state of mediation, known as Samadhi, and have frozen his body at their Ashram in the Jalandhar district of Punjab in anticipation of his awakening.
Doctors declared the Hindu leader clinically dead following what is thought to have been a heart attack – but the group’s official website says he has been in a “deep meditative state (Samadhi) since 29 January 2014”.
Punjab Police also confirmed his death but the Punjab High Court later dismissed its status report and local government officials decided that the dispute was a spiritual matter.
The guru’s wife and son have now filed a court application demanding an investigation into his death and for his body to be returned to them.
According to The Telegraph, his son, 40-year-old Dilip Jha, believes his father’s followers are keeping hold of his body in order to maintain control of his finances – the sect’s property estate is worth an estimated £100 million.
Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan was started in 1983 for “the upliftment and empowerment of the most deprived, underserved and underprivileged strata of society”. It aims to help people understand their “individual role in shaping the world”.
The movement is now a global one, with followers across the world united in the hope of “world peace”.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Manny Pacquiao begs Indonesia president to spare life of drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso about to be executed
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...