Self-proclaimed godman Asaram’s official website www.ashram.org is a portal of self adulation by the guru. It boasts of how ‘Asumal’ turned his fortune in four decades to become Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu who built an empire that stretches beyond the boundaries of the country.
To understand how the spiritual guru turned his ‘humble abode’ on the banks of Sabarmati to an empire comprising over 400 ashrams in India and abroad, dna talked to Amrut Prajapati, who worked as a technical officer of the Ayurvedic division at Motera ashram for 12 long years, but later resigned to start practice at his own clinic at Odhav as an Ayurvedic doctor.
He had worked with Asaram from 1986 to 2001. Prajapati claimed to have left the Ashram during 2004 after being threatened. Despite being under threat, he gave his statement to Justice DK Trivedi commission, who was appointed to investigate the deaths of Dipesh and Abhishek Vaghela and has been vocal against the godman ever since.
“Before I joined his ashram as a salaried technical officer of their Ayurveda medicine division in 1986, Asaram used to sell churans manufactured in his ashram, without any licence.
At that time, he used to sit at his small Kutiya on the riverbank near Motera, which later on became the ashram.
During the eighties, not more 200 people used to visit Asaram. With my technical help, he started expanding his Aurveda market and started selling many products to his devotees,” Prajapati told dna.
Prajapati claimed reality struck him after 12 years of service.
“One day, I was allowed to see him (Asaram) inside his private room, as he was severely ill. Since the guards knew me well, I went straight to his room and found Asaram in a compromising position with a 25-year-old girl, who used to stay in the ashram. This was the turning point for me,” said Prajapati.