Bhaiyyu Maharaj, the model-turned-spiritual guru, shot himself in the head at his Indore home on Tuesday. Several politicians have expressed shock and anguish over his untimely death.
Known for large following in the political circle, Bhaiyyu Maharaj was once offered a minister’s post in Madhya Pradesh government.
Here are 10 major facts about the modern spiritual leader:
1: Born in a Zamindar family in 1968, Bhaiyyu Maharaj’s real name was Udaysingh Deshmukh. His family was among affluent agriculturists in Madhya Pradesh’s Shujalpur.
2: Once a model, Bhaiyyu Maharaj had a sprawling ashram in Indore’s Bapat Chowk area.
3: Living in a palatial house, Bhaiyyu Maharaj always travelled in a white Mercedes SUV and was fond of Rolex watches.
4: In 2011, Bhaiyyu Maharaj shot to limelight, when the then UPA government deputed him as a mediator to persuade social activist Anna Hazare to call off his fast at the Ramlila ground in Delhi over the Lokpal issue.
5: Before becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi had also invited Bhaiyyu Maharaj during his ‘sadbhavna vrat’ in Gujarat.
6: Several VVIPs are known to have visited his Indore ashram. Narendra Modi, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Pratibha Patil, Uddhav and Raj Thackeray, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle have visited him in the past.
7: Two years back in 2016, when he was seriously injured in an accident, among those who came to meet Bhaiyyu Maharaj were RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and then Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel.
8: Last year, his second marriage to Dr Ayushi Sharma from MP’s Shivpuri sparked a major controversy. Another woman reportedly claimed that he had cheated on her and called him “trickster”.
9: Despite tremendous clout, Bhaiyyu Maharaj never accepted any role in politics. He always maintained a safe distance and said that a saint is above all such worldly issues.
10: His first wife Madhvi died two years ago and his daughter Kuhu studies in Pune.
(With PTI inputs)