Mathura, May 21: Spritual guru Jai Gurudev, who passed away three days ago, will be cremated Monday evening, said a spokesperson from his ashram. He was 116 years old.
The decision to go in for a proper Hindu cremation was taken after due deliberations amongst his close aides and managers of his ashram. While it was first said that he would be given a ‘samadhi’ — buried in a sitting position — his disciples decided to hold a funeral late Monday.
Baba Jai Gurudev, who had millions of followers, was brought in his last moments to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh from the Medanta City Hospital in Gurgaon.
His body was kept on a stage in a special glass enclosure at his ashram on the Agra-Delhi highway. lakhs of devotees had a last glimpse of him in the last two days.
Amongst the mourners were Samajwadi party (SP) Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, PWD minister Shivpal Yadav among others.
Respected for his simplicity and social service, Jai Gurudev had followers mostly in villages and small towns.
He preached simple living and asked everyone to be strictly vegetarian. His devotees wore clothes made of jute and cotton.
The Aligarh-born Baba Gurudev was arrested during the 1975-77 Emergency period for opposing then prime minister Indira Gandhi. He spent 21 months in jail, said a follower.
He later described his ordeal as “God’s design”.
In 1980, the Baba formed a political party, Doordarshi Party, and contested parliamentary election but lost.
Managers of the ashram have decided to built a memorial of the spiritual guru inside the ashram for the devouts to pay their respects.
There has been no decision on who would succeed the spiritual guru and manage the multi-crore trusts. Until then, Jai gurudev’s ‘khandau’ (wooden sandals) with a portrait would be kept on his seat.