Is this guru dead or meditating? Court to give the $210m answer
His family believes he's dead from a heart attack. His followers believe he's just in a deep state of meditation.
Who's correct? The Indian court will decide.
At stake is the wealthy spiritual leader's ten billion rupees (S$210m) fortune.
Mr Ashutosh Maharaj is currently in a commercial freezer at his religious retreat, guarded by elders of the sect he created, reported The Atlantic.
Physicians declared him "clinically dead" in February after an electrocardiography (ECG) showed he had no heartbeat.
His followers insist the man has merely been in samadhi, an state of intense concentration achieved through meditation, since January. Samadhi is the final stage of yoga, at which union with the divine is reached.
NBC News reported a follower as saying: "He has spent many years meditating in sub-zero temperatures in the Himalayas, there is nothing unusual in it. He will return to life as soon as he feels and we will ensure his body is preserved until then."
The man's wife and son have filed a court application seeking to have his death confirmed. They claim his followers just want to control the financial empire.
As Mr Maharaj has not named a successor, his wealth is to be deposited in a charitable trust when he dies, reported The Atlantic.
Source: The Atlantic, NBC News