Dhirendra Krishna Shastri is the real name of Bageshwar Dham Sarkar
Guwahati: Bageshwar Dham Sarkar, also known as Dhirendra Krishna Shastri, a controversial Hindu spiritual leader and epic narrator, arrived in Guwahati on Tuesday evening in a charter plane from Mumbai. His followers at LGBI Airport welcomed him with traditional Assamese Gamocha upon arrival.
He left for a hotel in Guwahati city. He is on a two-day visit to Guwahati. However, no official schedule has been received yet. He attended a foundation lay down ceremony of Bageshwar Dham in Thane, Mumbai today and then traveled to Guwahati in a charter plane.
Shastri is the chief priest of Bageshwar Dham temple, a pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Hanuman in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. He claims to have divine powers and heal people’s sufferings through his Divya Darbar (divine court) where he allegedly reads people’s minds and gives them solutions.
He has been making headlines recently because of a challenge by a rationalist named Shyam Manav who offered to pay him 3 million rupees if he could prove his abilities by reading the minds of 10 people chosen by him. The challenge was not accepted by Shastri who said he would do it only in a neutral state like Chhattisgarh.
Shastri has also faced opposition from some anti-superstition groups and political parties who accused him of insulting saint Tukaram Maharaj and promoting blind faith. He has received death threats and police protection due to the controversy.
Shastri has millions of followers on social media and some influential politicians among his supporters. He also speaks on religious conversions and inter-faith marriages which attract media attention.
Shastri is scheduled to return on Thursday. However, no official details of his program have been received yet.