May 31st, 2014| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Dead? Or alive? We don’t know yet.

According to his wife and son, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, the founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order with an estate worth $1.7 million, with properties all over the world—in India, the U.S., the U.K., S. America, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East—died several months ago.

H.H. Maharaj is (was?) one of India’s richest Hindu spiritual leaders. That’s the problem: should it be “is” or “was”?

His disciples at his ashram claim H.H. is simply in a deep state of meditation—“samadhi”—and they have frozen his body (remains?) in a freezer at their location. Now there’s an ongoing legal fight over said guru’s body (remains?). The family wants to cremate its dead.

The (late?) 70-year-old leader established his sect thirty years ago to promote “self-awakening to global peace,” to bring about a world “wherein every individual becomes an embodiment of truth, fraternity and justice through the eternal science of self-realization.” I’m not entirely sure what all that means—sounds like he was proposing to create heaven here on earth, which, of course, has been a standard line of promise for many of these types.

The family of Maharaj asserts their dear departed loved one died of a heart attack. His devotees claim he has drifted into meditation in order to achieve “self-realization.” The sect’s website declares:

His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji [a honorific title] has been in deep meditative state (Samadhi) since 29th January 2014.”

One of his aides explained:

Maharaj has been in deep meditation. 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.”

Of course, only a few select elders and sect physicians are allowed to enter the deep freezer and so we have no independent verification of H.H.’s state of life or death.

The local police initially confirmed the man’s demise. But a State High Court overruled that report, refusing to interfere with a “spiritual matter.”

His wife and son have appealed.

If the man is dead, his estate goes to his family. If he is alive, the disciples get to control the vast financial empire that is in Maharaj’s name.

So it’s all about filthy lucre, apparently. Nothing to do with spirituality.

But there is a kind of walking death that has a lot to do with spirituality (or lack thereof).

The Bible asserts that all humans are “dead”!

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air,
of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,
indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Ephesians 2:1–3

By nature, by essence, “dead” in sin and deserving only of God’s wrath.

But here’s the amazing thing …

But God, being rich in mercy,
because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).
Ephesians 2:4–5

All who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ as only God and Savior have been saved, sins forgiven, divine wrath averted, eternal life granted. Alive!

Once dead. Now alive. Praise God!

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