Indore: Thousands of his followers were left stunned after they got news of spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj committing suicide by shooting himself on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old model-turned-spiritual guru, who was born Uday Singh Deshmukh, allegedly killed himself at his house in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Bhaiyyu Maharaj was one of the five 'saints' to whom the Shivraj Singh government of Madhya Pradesh had granted Minister of State (MoS) rank in April. However, he had refused to accept it, saying "a post holds no importance for a saint".
Here are 10 facts on Bhaiyyu Maharaj:
- When the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh offered him ministership, Bhaiyyu Maharaj refused saying: "A post holds no importance for a saint."
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj used to travel in a Mercedes and was rarely seen without his Rolex watch. He has a sprawling bungalow in Indore.
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj was a model before he became a spiritual guru. He once modelled for a brand of clothing.
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj married for the second time at the age of 49 in 2017. On his wedding day, a woman who claimed to be an actress accused him of "cheating" on her and termed him a "trickster".
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj married Dr Ayushi Sharma, a native of Shivpuri, in Indore in 2017, a year after announcing his intention to take 'sanyas' from public life. His first wife Madhavi died in 2015.
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj was born in 1968 in a family of agriculturists at Shujalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
- In 2011, the then UPA government had Bhaiyyu Maharaj 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. Anna Hazare broke the fast by having juice given by Bhaiyyu Maharaj.
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj was invited by Narendra Modi when he observed a "sadbhavna fast" as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
- Those who have visited Bhaiyyu Maharaj ashram in Indore include former president Pratibha Patil, Sharad Pawar, Lata Mangeshkar, Uddhav Thackeray, Raj Thackeray and Asha Bhonsle.
- Bhaiyyu Maharaj escaped an alleged attack on his car near Pune in 2016, while on his way back to Indore after meeting his daughter. When he was injured in the accident, those who visited him included RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel.