Family matter of Siddhdata Ashram going sour, Takeover by Administration sought by Sanjay Chaturvedi

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A family dispute of self styled Godman Purushottamacharya has now becoming news every fortnight or so. Siddhdata Ashram, the followers of which are not only in Faridabad but all over the world. The followers range from a poor man to a shopkeeper, from an assistant to the country head of a MNC. There are plenty of followers of the Ashram belonging to high income group. However, the Ashram has been in the news for bad reasons for quiet some months. In order to understand the dispute we have to turn back to the pages of history first.


The Siddhdata Ashram has been known to be a sacred place till its founder

Swami Sudershanacharya was in the holding position from 1989 till he breathed his last in the year 2007. The believers used to flock to the Ashram to get rid of all their worries as per their belief. People say that Swami Sudershanacharya was gifted with some special powers to help the people in grief. However, after his death the Ashram would have remained as his remembrance if his elder son Prahlad Sharma, currently heading the seat of ‘Peethadheeshwar’ of the Ashram. The things would have been the same if the family dispute would not have erupted. A few months back the younger brother Mahendra Sharma and his mother Asharfi Devi had not objected on his siphoning the Ashram funds. Ashram, running under the ‘Janhit Sewa Charitable Trust’ is having several crores of property as told by the family in the counter cases filed by both the brothers. The extreme to the dispute was when blood spilled on the Ashram floor in the month of July 2015. A group of followers attacked the Ashram in which Asharfi Devi, commonly called as Maaji, mother of both the brothers locking horns, was also hurt. The matter reached the legal battlefield in which each of the brother accused the other one of being on wrong. To further spoil the things Prahlad Sharma alias Purushottamacharya terminated the younger brother Mahendra Sharma alias Madhusudanacharya from the membership of the trust holding the control of the Ashram. The decision was challenged in the court and any development was stayed by the court till the next hearing to be held on November 7 2015.


The things were stayed for the time with both the parties waiting for the next date of court. However, the water at the standstill was again stirred by another movement, this time by the mother Asharfi Devi requesting the government to take control of the Ashram and not giving the control to any of her sons. In her request Asharfi Devi unveiled many secrets of the family. She said that Prahlad Sharma alias Purushottamacharya was working as a clerk with UP Roadways in the year 2009. She said that who could have thought that the same person would become so rich by just not doing anything to earn that he would be getting the daughter married in a five star hotel of Delhi. She further added that how Prahlad Sharma afforded a car of Rs.4.50 crores that he gifted to his daughter in marriage? She said that no one would have even smelled of such irregularities if Asharfi Devi and Mahendra Sharma had not knocked at the door of the court.

On the issue of Mahendra Sharma from the board of trustees, Asharfi Devi said that the provisions of trust do not allow removal of any lifetime member. The action of removal of Mahendra Sharma from the trustees was challenged in the court by the former additional solicitor general Mohan Jain. Additional Sessions Judge Y.S. Rathore has already ordered a stay in the case of removal. In the recent case filed by Asharfi Devi and Mahendra Sharma serious charges have been levied on Prahlad Sharma regarding siphoning of funds from the trust. One of the facts mentioned in the recent case is that the documents of the trust and the Ashram have been manipulated by Prahlad Sharma. Jain has also said that the proposal of constitution of the trust itself is fake because it has been signed by Prahlad Sharma in spite of the founder of the trust being alive at that time. Jain also said that the provision of removal of any trustee is nowhere in the conditions of trust. Jain also accused Prahlad Sharma of not allowing his mother Maaji Asharfi Devi to meet the devotees.  In view of the irregularities by Prahlad Sharma, Asharfi Devi is ready to hand over the control of the Ashram in the hands of the administration.


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