60-year-old Nirmaljit Singh Narula, also known as Nirmal Baba to his followers, gives people advice, claiming to be able to access private info on whoever comes to see him, through spiritual means.As complaints of fraud piled up, authorities have ceased broadcasts of the guru's show, The Third Eye of Nirmal Baba. The guru's business amasses a yearly £25 million ($40 million) in proceeds from the show and public appearances, The Independent reports.
During meetings with his congregation or “samaagams," as much as 3000 followers pay 2,000 rupees ($38) each, for the opportunity to receive insight into their future from the guru himself. Some travel 26 hours by train to get to the meetings.
Nirmal Baba claims to be against the traditional hindu custom of prescribing “mantras or tantras" for any possible issue. Instead, he gives the man and women that come to see him advice he relays as being of a holy nature.
“I didn't give medicine. It's a blessing. People are getting the blessing," he says.
The man claims he can perform x-rays without the help of technology, and that he can figure out what is wrong in people's lives even from afar, while they are speaking on the phone.
Sandeep Chandok is one of the guru's avid supporters. He is currently working in the corporate sector, and met Nirmal Baba seven years ago, when he was out of work.
Asking what he could do to turn his life around, the guru asked him if he owned a red credit card, claiming the existence of the card in his home was the source of all his problems.
He didn't, in fact, own one, but managed to find one among his sister's belongings. He threw it away and, soon after, became employed. As a result, his faith in the guru's teachings is now unshakable.
Many have complained that his teachings have not led them to their desired path, accusing the self-proclaimed guru of fraud.
Surendra Vishwakarma was promised that, if she put 2,000 rupees inside a black purse and kept it around the house, her and her family's health and finances would improve. The following year, her father developed diabetes, hence their finances worsened.
Officials believe he offers “absurd or illogical solutions" and are trying to stop his show from being broadcast on privately owned networks.
“Our country was perceived as the land of the sadhus and saints since time immemorial…Though we have come a long way…the mystical sadhus and the god-men have not left the picture, the difference may be that some of the sadhus travel by a private jet and have a turnover worth [tens of millions.]" Annie Joseph, secretary general of the National Broadcasters' Association, says.