Asaram Bapu

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bapuji1.jpg
Real NameAasumal Sirumalani
Alternative NamesAasumal, Asaram, Bapuji, Sant Asaram
Date of BirthApr 17 1941
Date of DeathStill Alive
Spiritual TraditionHinduism
MethodsMeditation, Singing, Lectures
HeadquartersAhmedabad, India
No. of Followersin millions
Websitehttp://www.ashram.org
TeacherSwami Lilashah
RegionIndia, US, Asia
LanguageGujarati, Hindi

Contents

Introduction

A Hindu spiritual guru with a wide following in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other Hindi-speaking regions. Born in a rich business family, Aasumal now commands a vast and rich organization built around his persona and teachings.

His discourses are frequently seen on Indian TV channels.

He is a householder, and it is understood that his son, Narayan Sai, will be his spiritual successor.

Teachings

A mish-mash of classical Hindu teachings, he claims to teach Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga. He frequently quotes from Hindu scriptures and mythical stories.

Influence and Followers

He is one of the most prominent spiritual teachers in India and commands a vast following (numbering in millions) in Hindi-speaking regions (mostly North India, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh).

Controversies and Criticism

  • Alleged to exploit his followers and acquire their wealth and land holdings. (Reference needed)
  • His organizations have been indicted for encroaching on public land.[1]
  • In 2008, was embroiled in a controversy in which two boys in his organization were murdered. Their bodies were discovered mutilated and there were allegations of ritual sacrifice and torture. After the parents of the two boys refused to pardon Asaram, he provoked his followers to rioting and arson for which there was widespread condemnation in the media.[2][3][4] Asaram's organization went on a damage-control exercise by broadcasting defensive messages, an archive of which can be seen here.
  • Medicines sold by his "pharmacy" have been alleged to be poisonous.[5]

Organizations and Websites

Further Reading and Links

Articles

Blog Posts

Forum and Discussion Threads

Notes

  1. http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=212654
  2. http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/aug/03asa.htm
  3. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080719/jsp/nation/story_9571183.jsp
  4. http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Asaram-castigated-media-few-hours-before-journos-bore-brunt-of-attack-by-Ashram-inmates/337550/
  5. http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080059723
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