'How could someone who gave so much hope to others, lose hope in his own life like this?'
The famous singer, a follower of the godman, recounts her memories of Bhaiyyu Maharaj.
The suicide of spiritual guru Bhaiyyu Maharaj on Tuesday has left his thousands of supporters grief-stricken. One among them is Lata Mangeshkar, who was left heartbroken after hearing the news.
“I knew him well and spent a lot of memorable time at his ashram when I visited Indore a few years ago. He seemed so well-adjusted and content. He exuded peace and harmony with the universe. How could someone who gave so much hope to others, lose hope in his own life like this,” said a baffled Lata.
Speaking about her time with Bhaiyyu, she said, “During one visit to Indore, I spent almost the entire day at his ashram. We had a meal together too. Then when he came to Mumbai, he had dinner with us.
“It was always a pleasure to meet him. He was dignified, and regal in his bearing. He was relatively young and had a face that exuded tranquillity. He always wore a tilak on his forehead with pride and grace.”
One of Bollywood’s most prolific singers, Lata also said that she and Bhaiyyu shared a very personal relationship with both of them having names for each other. “Everybody called him Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. I called him Bhaiyyu dada; dada being brother. Once, he took me aside and said, ‘How can you call me dada? That is elder brother. You are like my elder sister. From now on, I will call you ‘Akka Saab (elder sister). Uss din se lekar ant tak, main unki Akka Saab thi (from then till the end, I was his elder sister)’.”
She still questions why the spiritual man chose to end his life. She adds that she can’t understand why a man who seemed to have it all would end his life, saying, “Why did he do this? He seemed to have it all. A beautiful home, a lovely ashram, a supportive caring family, a spotless reputation and millions of devotees. Unhe kaun si taqleef andar se khaye jaa rahi thi (What was eating him up from inside)? I only hope he is happy wherever he is now.”