How would you know if a person is still alive?
India is known to have religions that practice the art of meditation. Recently, the Indian court has been asked to rule if a Hindu guru is really dead or just in a deep state of meditation.
The wife and son of one of India’s wealthiest spiritual leaders, His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, claim that their family member died in December, but his followers say otherwise.
Being the founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, his body is now being preserved in a deep freezer until he “comes back.”
A statement on the group’s website reads: “His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji has been in deep meditative state (samadhi) since 29th January 2014.”
“Maharaj has been in deep meditation. He has spent many years meditating in sub-zero temperatures in the Himalayas. There is nothing unusual [about] it. He will return to life as soon as he feels, and we will ensure his body is preserved until then,” one of his aides said.
His son, Dilip Jha, meanwhile, believes that members of the religious organization are holding the release of his father’s body because they do not want to give up control of his financial wealth.
The Punjab Police initially confirmed his death, but the Punjab High court took it back, saying that this is a matter of spirituality, and that they should respect his followers’ belief of him not being dead.