Mathura, May 19 (IANS) Spiritual guru Baba Jai Gurudev, who had millions of followers, passed away here late Friday after prolonged illness, a spokesman for his ashram said. He was 116 years old.
In his last moments, he was brought to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh from the Medanta City Hospital in Gurgaon.
As news of his demise spread, thousands of devotees made a beeline to his ashram on the Agra-Delhi highway, weeping inconsolably.
Respected for his simplicity and social service, Jai Gurudev had followers mostly in villages and small towns.
He preached simple living. His devotees wore clothes made of jute and cotton.
The Aligarh-born Baba Gurudev was arrested during the 1975-77 Emergency period for opposing then prime minister Indira Gandhi. He spent 21 months in jail, said a follower, Ram Ratna.
He later described his ordeal as God's design.
In 1980, the Baba formed a political party, Doordarshi Party, and contested parliamentary election but lost.
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav and his younger brother, PWD Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, are ardent admirers of Jai Gurudev.
Managers at his ashram said the body would be kept for two days to allow his followers and devotees to pay their last respects.