Would you fight for $70 MIil? Family of mystic says he is dead, his followers say he is meditating!

Malaysia Chronicle/May 30, 2014

Like something out of a black comedy, a court must decide whether an Indian religious leader is dead or in a state of meditation.

The family of His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj says he died of a heart attack on January 29.

But the guru’s followers have refused to let his family take him for cremation because they say he is simply in a deep state of meditation known as “Samadhi”.

A message posted on the group’s website reads: “His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj has been in deep meditative state (Samadhi) since 29th January 2014. Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan appreciates innumerous individuals and organisations for reaffirming their commitment to the organisation through phone calls, emails, messages and personal visits. The sansthan acknowledges your pledge to stand by the organisation under all circumstances.”

According to one of his aides: “Maharaj has been in deep meditation. He has spent many years meditating in subzero 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.”

His body is currently contained in a commercial freezer on his 100 acre retreat in Nurmahal, Jalandhar, where only a few elders and sect doctors are allowed to enter.

Even police and legal officials can’t agree on His Holiness’s state. Punjab police initially confirmed that the Maharaj was deceased, but the Punjab High Court ruled that his condition was a spiritual matter.

That’s prompted the Maharaj’s wife and son to file a court application to have his death confirmed.

His son Dilip Jha, 40, claims his late father’s followers are refusing to release his body as a means of retaining control of his vast financial empire.

The Maharaj founded and headed Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan in 1983, a “socio-spiritual-cultural, not-for-profit organisation”.

Today the group reportedly has followers around the world and owns properties throughout India, the United States, South America, Australia, the Middle East and Europe, including its British headquarters in Hayes, Middlesex.

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