Dead Indian Guru Frozen In Hope Of Second Coming


As court performances go, in the one-and-a-half-score-years of observing Rumpole of the Bailey and Judge Judy, your correspondent recently came across a remarkable piece of legal persuasion.

This adept arguing occurred during a dispute involving the followers of Indian Guru (spiritual advisor/teacher) Ashutosh Maharaj and his former driver.

The dispute arose from an objection by Ashutosh’s ex-driver, to him being kept in a freezer by his followers at his Ashram (monastery) in the town of Nurmahal, Punjab, India.

The reason for Ashutosh being placed into the freezer in the first place was his followers had questioned the judgement of doctors from the area, who declared him clinically dead after a suspected heart attack on the 29th January this year. His followers had believed he wasn’t dead but in an advanced state of Samadhi (meditation) from which he would wake up from.

His former driver, thinking differently, challenged the followers’ right to keep Ashutosh’s clinically dead body in the freezer and requested it be removed from the freezer and brought to a much warmer place i.e. a funeral pyre for cremation (traditional Hindu funeral rite).

After a further examination of Ashutosh by another physician, who endorsed the earlier diagnosis by the doctors i.e. death, the lawyer on behalf of Ashutosh’s followers managed to convince the judge (one would imagine with dexterous deliberation) that the decision of what to do with the frozen corpse should be left to those who believe it isn’t a corpse.

Although this correspondent admires the lawyer’s powers of persuasion in obtaining a ruling that leaves a clinically dead body to those who believe it is spiritually alive and just meditating, the judge’s ruling may spring some future problems in his/her direction.

Specifically what springs to this correspondent’s mind is the term imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. The Judge in the town of Nurmahal may find more future questioning of doctors’ death declarations. Indeed if other Indian Gurus were to take a leaf out of Ashutosh’s book, the Indian doctor maybe by-passed altogether for a phone-call to the local appliance store. So in the future if you see freezers being sold at inflated prices, remember where you heard it first.

Image courtesy of BBC

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