haiyyuji Maharaj’s death was really a shock to me — just a month ago, on May 1, he graced our award event as a guest. I could not get much time to interact with him but in that short span of time, he indicated me that he is disturbed and unwell on many fronts. I asked him to sit on the chair but he refused and distributed every single award standing for three long hours. Meanwhile, whenever I got time, I was asking him about his welfare; he said he would speak to me later. He was very close to me, never had any attitude when I wanted to reach him for any news, event or social cause. See how life begins and finishes. I never thought he would ever commit suicide, because he was very strong personality.
Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, shot himself over “domestic issues”. Just two years back his first wife Madhavi Devi died of heart attack. She used to stay with her daughter Kuhu in Pune for her studies. Bhaiyyuji’s first wife was under stress because there were many rumours about his love affairs. The guilt was very much disturbing Bhaiyyu, but soon he found his new wife who used to stay in ashram with Maharaj and she was involved in many of his social projects. Somehow, this marriage happened last year, but self-styled Godman’s disciples did not like the event to happen so soon. Meanwhile, he again came in news with some model of Indore, who went random on Facebook alleging molestation by Maharaj.
His second wife was very possessive and knowing his nature, she started controlling him too much; slowly slowly within no time, he was facing rejections and criticism from all sides. He was known as a spiritual leader using God’s methods to get his people where he wants them in reliance on his power. He was the one who used to narrate the morals and good conduct of life, but he could never practice it. A man with battalion of people and disciples, started feeling lonely without wife or companionship. He married a woman almost of his own daughter’s age. Spiritual leadership is aimed not so much at directing people as it is at changing people. If we would be the kind of leaders we ought to be, we must make it our aim to develop persons rather than finding pleasures for him. You can get people to do what you want, but if they don’t change in their heart, you have not led them spiritually. You have not taken them to where God wants them to be. This is what happened in his case too. His ashram once was overcrowded, then the crowd started diminishing and he was attacked openly.
He could not handle that condemnation and hate. One fine day surprisingly, he announced his retirement from his public life. Many of his followers got a shocking surprise with this announcement. Bhaiyyuji has done a lot for the society but he failed to earn the fame like other spiritual leaders. These days, competition exists everywhere and how can spiritual world be excluded? Meanwhile, he lived a very fancy life with all luxury to longing. He was known for his opulent lifestyle and for his links with influential politicians and businessmen. Politicians to legendary film personalities were counted among his followers. No one knows what has actually bothered him. He has a following cutting across party lines in Maharashtra, mainly because he is the only prominent Maratha spiritual leader. Beyond his own ashram, people really never knew all these were happening around him. He could not gain that popularity nationwide.
He attracted national attention in August 2011 when Anna Hazare was on indefinite hunger strike for Lokpal Bill. When Anna was not ready to discuss it with the Union government, late Vilasrao Deshmukh brought Bhaiyyuji to discuss it with Hazare. He coordinated with the then law minister Salman Khurshid and Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit and prepared a draft of Lokpal bill, which was acceptable to both the parties. Bhaiyyuji is known to be very dear to Congress and NCP and also he was very close to Shiv Sena and Balasaheb Thackeray. Those days, he was an active member of BJP and was offered ministry in Madhya Pradesh government. He was a supporter of RSS and was very close to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Ever smiling handsome person, who lived a royal life, was born in 1968 in a family of agriculturists at Shujalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Uday Singh Deshmukh, or Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, is said to have taken a six-month sabbatical to transform from a model to a spiritual guru. He loved to listen to music, especially ghazals, and pens couplets. He always appeared nattily dressed, operated from a sprawling ashram in Indore, travelled in a white Mercedes SUV with a huge band of followers and was comfortable in environs such as the Taj Chambers. His connections extended to the highest in the land. His tactical skills were sharper. His daily routine included seventeen minutes of practice in sword fighting, besides an hour of horse riding. But these days, he started remaining in a dark room with some unknown fear and control over him.
A man, who rose to heights of fame and wealth, enjoyed everything living on his own terms, just faded in no time by killing himself. May his soul rest in peace!
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