Indore: Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, a Madhya Pradesh-based spiritual guru who had prominent followers from different political parties, committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself at his residence.
The 50-year-old guru, who was recently given the status of a Minister of State by the government in a controversial decision which he had declined, died after he was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.
"Bhaiyyuji Maharaj shot himself at his residence at Khandwa Road here. He was taken to Bombay Hospital and was admitted to ICU, where he succumbed to injuries," Indore's Deputy Inspector General Harinarayanachari Mishra told IANS.
He said that Bhaiyyuji Maharaj had closed the doors of his room from inside and shot himself on his head.
"The door had to be broken open. Police has recovered a revolver and is investigating to find out who the owner is," he said.
Read: Spiritual Leader Bhayyuji Maharaj Shoots Himself, Dies
Indore's Inspector General Ajay Kumar Sharma said that police was investigating the possible reasons behind the suicide. A suicide note, which mentions that he was under stress, has been recovered from the spot, he said.
The suicide note read: "Somebody should be there to handle duties of family. I am leaving too much stressed out, fed up."
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and many other leaders from the state expressed grief over the death and offered their condolences.
Chouhan said in a message that the country has lost a personality that is a confluence of culture, knowledge and service. "Your thoughts will motivate the society to walk on the path of serving humanity till eternity," he said in a tweet.
"Got to know about the sad demise of religious guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. I was having personal relations with him. I am saddened by his sudden demise. My tributes," Gadkari tweeted.
Mahajan also condoled the demise of Bhaiyyuji Maharaj and said that his untimely demise pains everyone.
"It is difficult to believe that Bhaiyyuji Maharaj is no more among us. He was a spiritual guru, social worker and a great thinker. He worked extensively for the change and reforms in the society," she said.
"He endeavoured relentlessly to enlighten the society through his organization 'Suryodaya'. His concern for the welfare of the nomadic community is well known."
Born Uday Singh Deshmukh, Bhaiyyuji Maharaj had even done modelling for a well-known brand of clothes before turning spiritual. He was seen as a glamorous personality in the spiritual field. He used to travel in Mercedes, wore Rolex luxury watches and lived in a luxurious house.
He had good ties with political personalities from various parties and the RSS. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pratibha Patil, late Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and singer Lata Mangeshkar were among the prominent personalities who had visited his ashram here.
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj mediated when Anna Hazare was on fast in the national capital seven years ago and persuaded him to end the protest. Anna Hazare has broken his fast after accepting a glass of juice by Bhaiyyuji Maharaj.
When as Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi was observing the 'Sadbhavana' fast, he had invited Bhaiyyuji Maharaj to break his fast.
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj has established Shri Sadguru Datta Dharmik Evam Parmarthik Trust in order to materialize his thoughts and concepts in reality. The trust is registered with the charity commissioner, Indore under the Public Trust Act 1951.
The Union Government has granted tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act for donations given to this Trust.
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj's wife, Madhvi, died two years ago. Their daughter, Kuhu, is studying in Pune. Last year, he married again.