Courts are not appropriate to interpret Samadhi: HC on Ashutosh Maharaj

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In today’s arguments in Ashutosh Maharaj’s case, Senior Advocate Sunil Chadda, who is representing the disciples of Ashutosh Maharaj, explained the concept of Samadhi. After listening to this, the Hon’ble Bench of Justice Mahesh Grover and Justice Shekhar Dhawan said that the court is not equipped to interpret the concept of Samadhi as it is a subject of religion and spirituality. With limitations of the court of law; it can interpret the law but not the principles of theology. Therefore, the court cannot comment on Samadhi. The disciples’ lawyer responded that it was essential to go into the concept of Samadhi in order to establish it as a core part of Hinduism, which accords it protection under Article 25 & 26 of the Constitution. To this, the Court said that under this provision the followers have every right to believe in Samadhi but the Court is not the appropriate forum for interpreting such purely theological subjects such as Samadhi. Justice Mahesh Grover also said that the Court cannot comment on the powers of Yogis. The Court also observed that it is not disputed that Ashutosh Maharaj was a Sannyasi and he had renounced the world. When the petitioner and the disciples both admit that he had renounced the world and taken to Sannyasa, then no question of disagreement arises here.

Advocate Chadda also put forward the historical instances of Samadhi taken by Swami Vivekanand and Sai Baba, to which the court observed that there are many examples of saints going into Samadhi and that nobody is refuting the concept of Samadhi in Hinduism.

The court raised the question that if Samadhi is integral part of Sansthan’s religious belief then Ashutosh Maharaj must had taught the same to his disciples. Sadhvi Tapeshwari Bharti, one of the disciple, sought the permission of the Court to speak and said that after Sai Baba took Samadhi, none of the followers were asked to perform the same. It was same in the case of Adi Guru Shankaracharya and in all the other cases of Samadhi. If a Guru takes Samadhi it is neither mandatory nor a practice for the disciples to do the same. Even if the disciples do not perform the same feat the Samadhi of their Guru cannot be held void as per historic incidents. Sadhvi further added that their belief in their Guru’s Samadhi is in adherence to the ‘Guru Shishya Parampara’, which is in the core of Hinduism and as Ashutosh Maharaj had mentioned to them about his Samadhi, it is hence their duty to abide by it.

She further explained that as for microscopic world we need a microscope to analyze and similarly, for quantum realities we need quantum level of perfection in methodology of analysis. Sadhvi put forth that when scientists say that 90% of matter in Universe is dark; it is not that the matter is dark, but because science today doesn’t have the tool to gauge into that dimension of universe. Similarly, the subject of Samadhi and preservation of Ashutosh Maharaj is of a different consciousness, a different order. If we employ gross approach and mindset, we will never be able to establish it. And if we employ right mindset and right methodology to this subject we will be able to discover that Samadhi is not irrational but supra-rational.

Further, the Court inquired that whether Ashutosh Maharaj had ever said about Samadhi in his discourses or is it mentioned in any of the Sansthan’s literature. To this, the official publication of Sansthan was read in the Court, which had directly quoted Ashutosh Maharaj, and his views on the subject of Samadhi. The court also observed that all these are matters of evidence and can only be proven in the Civil Court. Advocate Chadda responded that all these are matters of evidence, which could only be taken up in Civil Court, and they were not taken up in the Writ Court and a judgment by the Single bench was given, without considering the important question of facts.

After the disciples’ lawyer had completed the arguments, the Court asked the lawyer of the petitioner (alleged son) to advance his arguments. The lawyer of the petitioner could not produce any law to substantiate his claim of fundamental religious right to cremate the body of Ashutosh Maharaj.

The hearing of the case is adjourned for 1st March, 2017 where the State of Punjab will advance its arguments.

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