Bhaiyyuji Maharaj Image Credit: PTI

Indore: Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, a Madhya Pradesh-based spiritual guru who had prominent followers from various political parties, committed suicide on Tuesday by shooting himself. He was at home at the time.

The 50-year-old guru, who was recently given the status of a Minister of State by the government - which he had declined - in a controversial decision, died after he was admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.

“Bhaiyyuji Maharaj has shot himself at his residence at Khandwa Road here,” said Indore’s Deputy Inspector General Harinarayanachari Mishra, who had earlier termed the guru’s condition as critical.

The reason behind the suicide was not known, he had said.

Reports said that Maharaj shot himself in the head and was immediately rushed to the hospital but efforts to save his life failed.

The reports also said he had left a suicide note saying he was depressed. “Somebody should be there to handle duties of family. I am leaving too much stressed out, fed up,” the note reportedly said. Police said they were probing whether it was left by him.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari expressed grief over the death and offered their condolences.

Chouhan said in a message that the country has lost a personality that is a confluence of culture, knowledge and service. “Your thoughts will motivate the society to walk on the path of serving humanity till eternity,” he said in a tweet.

“Got to know about the sad demise of religious guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. I was having personal relations with him. I am saddened by his sudden demise. My tributes,” Gadkari tweeted.

Born Uday Singh Deshmukh, Maharaj had even done modelling for a well-known brand of clothes before walking on the spiritual path. He was seen as a glamorous personality in his new field.

He had good ties with political personalities from various parties and the RSS. He mediated when Anna Hazare was fasting in the national capital five years ago and persuaded him to end the protest. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former President Pratibha Patil, late Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and singer Lata Mangeshkar were among the better known visitors to his ashram here.