Age: 80 Years
Wife: Laxmi Devi
|Birth name||Asumal Sirumalani, Asumal Sirumalani Harpalani OneIndia DNA India|
|Profession||Religious and Spiritual Leader|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper|
|Date of Birth||17 April 1941 (Thursday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||80 Years|
|Birthplace||Berani village, Shaheed Benazir Abad District (Nawabshah), Sindh, British India (present-day Berani town is located in Jam Nawaz Ali Tehsil of Sanghar district, Sindh, Pakistan)|
|Hometown||Maninagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India|
|School||Jai Hind High School, Ahmedabad|
|College/University||Did Not Attend|
|Educational Qualification||3rd Standard The Indian Express|
|Caste||Bania The Caravan|
|Food Habit||According to Rahul K Sachan, a former disciple and once personal assistant of Asaram, the food habit of Asaram is non-vegetarian. The Indian Express|
|Address||Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu Ashram, Motera, Sabarmati, Ahmedabad (Before his arrest in 2013)
|Hobbies||Dancing, Doing Make-up|
|Controversies||• In 1959, his name surfaced in a murder case, which he allegedly did under the influence of alcohol but was bailed due to lack of evidence. OneIndia
• In 2000, locals at Bhairavi village of Navsari district filed a complaint against him for encroaching 6 acres of land in addition to 10 acres of the area allocated by the Gujarat Government. The Indian Express
• In 2001, after a Satsang (spiritual discourse), the Yoga Vedanta Samiti of his Ashram didn't vacate the premises (100 acres valued at over Rs. 7 billion) of the Mangalya Temple, Madhya Pradesh. India TV News
• In 2002, his followers forged all the land of a Rajokri-based devotee Bhagwani Devi after convincing her to donate some part of her property to the Asharam's trust. Aaj Tak
• In 2008, after the mysterious death of four boys at Motera Ashram (Ahmedabad), the local public filed an allegation against him for practicing black magic there and protested him strongly. India TV
• In Bhilwara (Mewar, Rajasthan), once the Nashik Municipal Corporation destroyed some part of his ashram for illegal possession of the Government land. First Post
• Once, the Bihar State Religious Trust in Patna filed a court case against his Asharam for grabbing a piece of land. The Times of India
• On 8 January 2010, his illegal possession of 67,059 square metres of land in the of land in the Ahmedabad ashram was taken over by the Gujarat Government. The Indian Express
• Once, his disciples Satya Narayan Dhoot and Bhanwar Lal Soni filed a court case against him for encroaching their lands in Rajasthan. The Times of India
• In September 2012, he was backlashed for slapping a video journalist during his discourse in Ghaziabad. India TV
• In May 2013, the Municipal Corporation of Cuttack demolished his ashram, which was illegally built there.
• In September 2013, the father of the sexually assaulted girl by Asaram; submitted the audio clippings of the death threats made by his followers against him, to the court. India Today
• In September 2013, a illegal encroachment by Asaram's ashram in Nashik was removed by The Nashik Municipal Corporation. India Today
• In 2014, the local authorities demolished an illegally built ashram of Asaram in Chowkitaal in Bhedhaghat. News18
• On 11 January 2015, Asaram was accused for murdering Akhil Gupta, who was the prime witness of the Surat rape case. The Wire
• On 25 April 2018, a Jodhpur Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Court sentenced Asaram to life imprisonment, and the other two accused (Shilpi and Sharad) were sentenced to 20-years for raping a 16-year-old girl from Shahajahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Judge Madhusudan Sharma pronounced the verdict inside the Jodhpur Central Jail. India TV
• In 2020, the Samba district administration demolished an illegally constructed Asaram's ashram at at Raie village in Ghagwal area of Samba district. The Tribune
|Relationships & More|
|Wife/Spouse||Laxmi Devi (Spiritual Leader)
|Children||Son- Narayan Prem Sai (Religious Leader)
Daughter- Bharati Devi (Religious Preacher)
|Parents||Father- Thaumal Sirumalani (Businessman; Owned a coal and wood selling business)
Mother- Mehangiba (Homemaker)
|Net Worth (approx.)||Rs. 10,000 crore (as of 2014) IB Times|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Asaram Bapu
- Asaram Bapu is an Indian religious and spiritual leader who came into the limelight as a godman in the late 1960s.
- He was born in a middle-class family in the Sindh region of British India. After India’s partition in 1947, his family left all of their immovable belongings in Sindh and moved to Maninagar in Ahmedabad (then part of the former Bombay State in India).
- Asaram’s father ran a small coal and wood selling business in Ahmedabad. He died when Asaram was just 10 years old.
- After his father’s demise, Asaram started looking after his father’s business. After a while, he shifted to Vijapur, a city in the Mehsana district of Gujarat.
- At the age of 15, Asaram fled his home and went to an ashram in Bharuch, just 8 days before his marriage to Laxmi Devi. However, his family convinced him to return home and marry Laxmi.
- Later, at the age of 23, he again ran away from his home and relocated to Nanital. On his trip to Nanital, he met a local religio-spiritual figure named Lilashah at an ashram.
- When Lilashah came to know that Asaram had been running away from his home, she advised him to return home. On her advise, Asaram went back to Ahmedabad, but thirteen days later, he once again went to Lilashah’s ashram. This time, Lilashah accepted him as her disciple.
- On 7 October 1964, Asaram’s guru, Lilashah named him “Sant Shri Asaramji Maharaj.” The Indian Express
- Prior to becoming a religious leader, Asaram undertook a variety of professions like:
- Selling tea at a tea shop owned by one of his relatives named Sevak Ram.
- Sold liquor and made huge profits out of it. He sold liquor with his four partners named Jamarmal, Nathumal, Kishanmal and Lachrani.
- He then worked in a milk dairy where he used to earn Rs. 300 per month, but he soon left the job.
- Asaram also did jobs like cycle repairing and sugar trading.
- He even worked as a ‘tongawalla’ and used to carry pilgrims from Ajmer railway station to Dargah Sharif.
- After returning to Ahmedabad in the 1970s, Asaram transformed into a godman. He lived at Motera’s Sadashiv Ashram for two years, and later, built his own hut next to it.
- While in Motera, he began telling religious stories to people and became a popular Katha-Vachak.
- Asaram had a unique style of preaching. His discourses constituted humour, music, and dance. Slowly, people started enjoying it and became his followers.
- Asaram’s first followers were from the Other Backward Classes and Dalit communities. Later, he started attracting upper-caste followers as well.
- In 1973, he converted his hut into a small ashram with the help of his followers and began giving food for free in his ashram. He also started distributing utensils and clothes to the poor in the tribal areas.
- As he became popular, he started receiving economic patronage and land allotment from the local government to expand his ashrams. Asaram was allotted 14,515 square meters of land and 25,000 square meters of land for his ashrams in Ahmedabad by the Gujarat government in 1992 and 1999, respectively.
- His teachings were mainly based on Brahmcharya (celibacy) and Guru-Shishya relationship.
- Asaram demanded complete faith from his devotees and expected them to blindly follow what he preached.
- His discourses were a combination of quotable quotes and life tips on topics, ranging from marital bliss to cures of diseases like cancer.
- Asaram often condemned the increasing sexual liberation in Indian society and asked his followers to abstain from following western cultures.
- In order to eliminate western culture invasion in India, Asaram’s Shri Yogi Vedanta Seva Samiti organised a Matru Pitru Poojan Divas (mother-father worship day) on 14 February 2013. Following the tradition, the Government of Chhattisgarh directed all schools of the region to observe Matru-Pitru Diwas every year on 14 February.
- On 25 December 2014, Asaram started the tradition of Tulsi Poojan Diwas (a day to worship Tulsi – the Holy Hindu plant) to counter the celebration of Christmas. He was against the conversion of Hindus to Christianity.
- Besides Satsangs, he made his teachings available in pre-recorded forms. They were even telecast on television.
- Asaram used to accord ‘Diksha’ (initiation by a guru) to his devotees in his Satsangs.
- Asaram has even directed his ashram’s to provide ashram-made herbal medicines to his devotees.
- When Asaram was arrested in 2013, his cult claimed that he could perform extraordinary miracles. Some of the stories that were marketed to keep his supporters intact were:
- According to one of his devotee, one day, it was raining heavily after the Satsang and he had to return home. When he asked Asaram for his help, Asaram looked up at the sky and said, “Stop Now,” and the rain stopped instantly.
- Another devotee of Asaram shared that Asaram cured his minor son’s of Aphasia (an inability to formulate language).
- Asaram often wore a spotless white dhoti and Kurta and carried a snow-white beard during his discourses.
- Asaram had many political followers including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani, Narendra Modi, Digvijaya Singh, and Kamal Nath. They often visited Asaram to gather the votes of his followers.
- In August 2012, when Asaram was on his way to address a Satsang, his chopper crashed. Fortunately, Asaram, the pilot, and two others survived the accident.
- Asaram owned many luxury cars but mostly used to travel in BMW or Mercedes. For air travels, Asaram preferred travelling by a hired chopper or only through business class.
- Asram received VVIP treatment at airports and public gatherings.
- In 2013, before his arrest, he owned 400 ashrams across 12 countries, around 50 gurukuls, 40 residential schools, a printing press, and an Ayurveda unit in India. His followers count at that time was estimated to be more than 2 crores.
- In May 2021, Asaram’s health deteriorated after he was tested positive for COVID-19 in the Jodhpur jail. He was subsequently admitted to the ICU of the Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Jodhpur. Nav Bharat Times