Politicians from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have often called on him and sought his advice, both in crises and good times. Four years ago, he was called to Delhi to end the fast unto death undertaken by anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare.
But Indore-based spiritual guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj is now growing increasingly frustrated with Hinduism, mainly the “frippery” and “inequality” that has entered the religion.
The preacher, who is in his mid-40s and has undertaken extensive social work in Maharashtra, has called for immediate reforms in the religion.
Trashing speculation that he is planning to embrace Buddhism, he told The Indian Express that he was unhappy with several things associated with Hinduism, like the continuation of evil practices like Devadasis, the “VIP treatment” the rich get in temples and the extravagant spending on religious events.
Referring to a recent international conference on Dharma-Dhamma at Indore, he said: “When farmers are killing themselves, it’s not proper to spend on religious functions and pay ‘branded’ saints to come and attend them.”
Among those who addressed the three-day meet were Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and senior RSS functionary Bhaiyyaji Joshi.
He insisted that he was not venting out his frustration but was only sharing what he learnt while working for the rehabilitation of Devadasis, for the Bachda community (in which male members allegedly push young women into prostitution) and for the welfare of farmers.
Recently, the preacher had spoken of Babasaheb Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism because he felt the religion he was practising was “inherently unequal”.
His comments have come ahead of Simhastha, which the BJP government is planning to hold in Ujjain in 2016.