Spiritual guru Bhayyu Maharaj, who had refused to accept ministerial rank granted by the Madhya Pradesh government over two months back, on Tuesday allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself in Indore, police said.
"Bhayyu Maharaj has committed suicide by shooting himself at his home," Indore's deputy inspector general H C Mishra said.
Another top police officer said, "He shot himself on his right temple in a room bolted from inside. His body was brought out by breaking the door of the room and taken to hospital, where he was declared brought dead."
The exact cause behind his extreme step would be known after a detailed probe, he said.
The officer said a notepad was found in his room on which he had purportedly written, 'Somebody should be there to handle duties of family, I am leaving, too much stressed out, fed up'.
The family members of the spiritual guru claimed that this was his own handwriting but the police will verify this through experts, the officer said.
Deshmukh's first wife, Madhavi, had passed away in November 2015. Later in April last year, he had married Dr Ayushi Sharma, a native of Shivpuri. He has a daughter from his first wife.
The body of Bhayyuji Maharaj, whose original name is Uday Singh Deshmukh, was taken to Government MY Hospital for post-mortem.
Indore Collector Nishant Warwade said under what circumstances he committed suicide is a matter of investigation and only after that there will be clarity.
As the reports about the incident spread, a large number of his supporters gathered in front of Bombay Hospital where the 50-year-old 'godman' was rushed after the shooting incident.
The saint is very popular in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh because of his spiritual and social works.
Bhayyu Maharaj was one of the five 'saints' to whom the Shivraj Singh government of Madhya Pradesh had granted minister of state rank in April.
However, he had refused to accept it, saying "a post holds no importance for a saint".
Prior to becoming the spiritual guru, he had done a modelling stint, his disciples said.
He enjoyed a large following among politicians and film stars.
Most of Maharashtra leaders, including Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, former chief minister late Vilasrao Deshmukh and former President Pratibha Patil used to pay obeisance to him.
Narendra Modi, as Gujarat chief minister, had invited him to end his three-day Sadbhavana Upwas (Goodwill Fast) in September 2011 at Ahmedabad.
This high profile Spiritual Guru had offered juice to Modi to end his fast.
When India Against Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare was at its peak some years back, he had negotiated with the agitators to break their fast.
While paying tribute to Bhayyuji Maharaj, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted, "My tribute to saint Bhayyuji Maharaj, The country has lost a person who was a confluence of culture, knowledge & service. Your thoughts will motivate society to follow the path of serving humanity."