In what could possibly pass for one of the greatest magic tricks ever pulled, a heated legal debate has emerged on whether an Indian guru is dead or if he was meditating.

The possibly meditating or apparently dead guru has been kept inside a refrigerator since the debate commenced on January 29, 2014  and will remain there until the debate is resolved.

The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)
The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)

According to his followers, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, the founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, is a very powerful spiritual leader, and for him, none of this behavior is the least bit odd.

The ardent followers had insisted he has a long history of this sort of behavior and strongly believed that their leader will come back to life from his half-dead state.

The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)
The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)

Speaking about the incident, one of the guru’s devotees who preferred anonymity said, “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.”

The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)
The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)

The fact that his followers kept their leader in an industrial strength freezer doesn’t seem to end the debate.

A statement on the official website of his religious order said, “His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji has been in deep meditative state (Samadhi) since 29th January 2014.”

Originally, the guru was declared dead of a heart attack but his followers insisted he’s only meditating.

The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)
The founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, has been in the freezer since January 29, 2014 following argument by his devotees that he was meditating after he was confirmed dead. (Photo Credit: BritishSoutInians.co.uk)

It was learnt that the Punjab police declared the guru dead but the High Court held a different view which speculates that he might just be meditating.

In their ruling, the court said that the followers can not be legally persuaded to believe their guru is dead as they have the right to believe whatever they like.

The Telegraph reports that the guru’s wife and son have filed court papers requesting an investigation to determine if the guru is indeed dead or, in fact, meditating in the freezer.

His 40-year-old son, Dilip Jha, has issued public claims that his father is clearly dead, and the reports of his meditation are greatly exaggerated.

The son asserts that his father’s followers are using his father’s dead body to retain control of the sizable fortune and real estate empire that’s controlled by the religious order.

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