Ee’s Not Dead, Ee’s Resting

The richest guru in India died of a heart attack in January. Doctors have declared him dead. But his followers insist that he isn’t dead, he’s just in an incredibly deep state of meditation. So deep that he has no heartbeat or brain activity and has to be kept in a freezer.

One of the wealthiest spiritual leaders in India has either been dead or in a transcendental meditative state since January. The Telegraph’s Dean Nelson reports from New Delhi that a court has now been asked to settle the matter.

Ashutosh Maharaj is presently in a commercial freezer in his ashram, guarded by elders within the multinational sect (or, self-described “socio-spiritual-cultural, not-for profit organization”) that he created. His followers insist that Maharaj is in a state of transcendent bliss called samadhi, a central tenet of traditional yoga in which a yogi becomes one with the universe. Upon moving all of your prana (currents of energy) up your spine and into your head, according to the seminal yoga manual Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a yogi can become “as if dead.”

This would seem to be at odds with the assessment of a team of local physicians who examined Maharaj in February. After performing an ECG that showed no heartbeats, noting that he had no respiratory movements, and seeing that his pupils were fixed and dilated, the physicians declared him “clinically dead.”

The sect’s website states, “His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj Ji has been in a deep meditative state (samadhi) since January 29, 2014.” Though, a representative from the sect did say on February 3, “About 4:00 PM yesterday, some changes were noticed in his skin (it became greenish). The body was then shifted to a freezer,” which may or may not be part of the traditional protocol for transcendent bliss.

The guru’s son and wife corroborate that he died of a heart attack in January, and that his followers are keeping his body in order to retain control of his financial empire, including the ten billion rupee ($170 million) estate where the corpse resides.

But he has beautiful plumage, don’t you think?

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  • John Pieret

    his followers are keeping his body in order to retain control of his financial empire

    First thing I thought of: was “follow the money.” Of course, his son and wife have an incentive as well but since they aren’t pushing an extraordinary claim (your heart stops, you stop breathing and your flesh starts to rot, chances are you’re dead) they probably aren’t lying.

  • newenlightenment

    He’s not pining for the ashram, he’s dead. This Guru is deceased. He has expired and attained his next incarnation. He has ceased to be. He is an ex guru.

  • dingojack

    ” he has beautiful plumage, don’t you think?”

    A little too greenish for my taste*.

    Dingo

    ——-

    * not to mention smell

  • DonDueed

    Are yogis (other than Berra or Bear) allowed to join the choir invisible?

  • Alverant

    Gee, you are NOT you.

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    I love India. It’s an even bigger freak show than California or Texas.

  • chrisclc

    Had they not nailed his feet to the perch put him in the fridge, he’d be pushin’ up daisies.

  • Moggie

    You can get a lot of transcendent bliss for $170 million.

  • jamesramsey

    Oh there are so many possibilities:

    From Oklahoma — Poor Ash is dead, poor Ash is dead….

    and from The Princes Bride — I’ve seen worse.

    and on, and on.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    No doubt the freezer is too well guarded for anyone to sneak in and plant a small speaker through which to transmit funny sounds, but I’d sure like to give it a try…

    Has the “team of local physicians” been charged yet with the same sacrileges that sent Sanal Edamaruku into exile?

  • busterggi

    And have his followers explain how he is supposed to let them know when he is done meditating and wants to be defrosted?

    Didn’t think so.

  • Al Dente

    John Pieret @1

    your heart stops, you stop breathing and your flesh starts to rot, chances are you’re dead

    Has anyone checked the guru’s chakras? Is the life line on his palm extremely short? What’s his response to an amethyst placed on his forehead? Has a Rainbow Reiki Master been brought in to examine His (possibly ex-) Holiness?

    Honestly, you people are too fixated on the merely material state of Ashutosh Maharaj. Besides, if all else fails, Dr. Victor Frankenstein might be able to do something.

  • coffeehound

    ….”The body was then shifted to a freezer,” which may or may not be part of the traditional protocol for transcendent bliss.”

    Decomposition as a transitional phase of transcendent bliss.

    Hey. It could happen. Just saying.

  • coffeehound

    @ 9,

    It just so happens he’s only mostly dead.

  • coffeehound

    @ 12,

    What’s his response to an amethyst placed on his forehead? Has a Rainbow Reiki Master been brought in to examine His (possibly ex-) Holiness?

    Gah, they screwed up…….the chakras equivalent of cardioversion.

    “Place the crystal, STAT!”

    “CLEAR!”

    ” Damn, do it again!”

  • dingojack

    Al Dente – “Besides, if all else fails, Dr. Victor Frankenstein might be able to do something.”

    ‘He’s alive! HE’S ALIVE!!!!’*

    Dingo

    ——–

    “You take the one in red I’ll take the one in the turban”.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

    Pierce@10: It would be so much funnier if they could sneak in and make the body disappear, but only if they had done it after 3 days*. 😉

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    There is nothing in that story that isn’t awesome.

  • freehand

    Around 1973 I was walking through the airport when a young man with a goofy grin and a wool cap covering his bald head(1) approached me on a non-threatening but determined intercept course.. “Hare Krishna,” I said, giving a nod. He was struck with joy and astonishment, to judge from his expression. He thought that he had run into a hidden master who could see and interpret people’s auras, or something. I was amused and when I managed to calm him down, I bought a couple of packs of incense (they have good incense). I had no real desire to correct him; he looked so happy.

    .

    (1) Krishna devotees had been bothering too many paying customers, and airport employees were giving them a hard time, so they had became less conspicuous.

  • thebookofdave

    Has anyone checked the guru’s chakras?

    His chakras are fading. We’re gonna need some crystals, STAT!!!