Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Dead or just meditating? A court must decide

The family of an Indian guru has asked a court to decide whether or not he is dead, or alive and just meditating. His family believes that he has been dead since January, but his followers say he is in a deep meditative state, and the fact that his estate is estimated at over $167,640,000 makes no-never-mind.

His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji reportedly suffered a heart attack on January 28, 2014, after which time his followers decided that he had entered the meditative state Samadhi. The sect’s website states, ”His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji has been in deep meditative state (Samadhi) since 29th January 2014.”

What the site doesn’t mention is that soon after he entered his alleged deep meditative state, they brought in a big commercial freezer, which they put in a guarded room on his 100-acre retreat in Nurmahal, Jalandhar, and stuck him in there. Very few have seen him since.

Later, a high court in Punjab ordered a police status report confirming the guru’s death thrown out. The latest ruling from the local government is that this is a spiritual matter, so the guru’s followers cannot be forced to accept his death.

His wife and son, Dilip Jha, 40, disagree, and given the circumstances, one can understand their problem with the whole situation. They claim this whole Samadhi story is a ruse by the sect leaders to hold on to the guru’s money. The family claims that the swami died, and that it is high time to cremate his remains.

An unnamed aide told the telegraph, “He has spent many years meditating in sub-zero temperatures in the Himalayas, there is nothing unusual in it. He will return to life as soon as he feels and we will ensure his body is preserved until then.”



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