Dhirendra Shastri: Self-styled godman who ducked proving his 'superpowers'

Videos and photos of his talks are viral on social media but he once called his followers 'mad'

BS Web Team New Delhi
Dhirendra Shastri

Photo: PTI

Listen to This Article

Dhirendra Krishna Shastri, a self-styled godman called Bageshwar Dham Sarkar by his followers, is the head of a temple in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. He claims he has superpowers but skipped an event that had invited him to prove it.
Who is he?

Born as Dhirendra Krishna Garg in July 1996, he later adopted the name Dhirendra Krishna Shastri. His paternal grandfather, Bhagwandas Garg, was an ascetic who held court near the Hanuman temple at the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu order of warrior-saints, in Varanasi.
Shastri, 26 now, too began by holding court like his grandfather and became the chief of Bageshwar Dham Temple in the village of Gadha in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

Shastri tells followers he can read minds and has mastered the power of Sanatan Dharma mantras. Several followers have claimed he used his abilities to solve their problems.
Rationalist challenge

Also Read

Joshimath in focus, all you must know about Uttarakhand's Char Dham Yatra

As Nitish tries to bring Opposition together, here's a look at his journey

Fintech companies in talks to decide on rules for self-regulation

Fight over control of Hikal: Hiremath, family move HC against Baba Kalyani

TMS Ep350: SUVs, Indo-Pak talks, green hydrogen stocks, Char Dham Yatra

Odisha likely to get second Vande Bharat Express, says Ashwini Vaishnaw

SC refuses to stay Patna High Court order halting caste survey in Bihar

Arjun Ram Meghwal replaces Rijiju, a look at all law ministers under Modi

Facing health problems, lost 35 kgs, Satyendar Jain tells Supreme Court

Dwarka Expressway will be completed in next 3-4 months: Nitin Gadkari

Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, a rationalist group in Maharashtra, asked Shastri to prove his powers at a public event. He didn’t turn up, telling news agency ANI in Raipur: "Anyone can challenge my words and actions on camera. Lakhs come and sit in the court of Bageshwar Balaji. Whatever inspires me, I will write and what I write will turn out to be true. I have faith in my God."
“We are making Hindus return to the religion they acquired at birth. Some people are creating a nuisance. They have to be taught a lesson. As long as I am alive, I will make all Sanatani Hindus return to their original faith,” he said.

Videos and photos of Shastri’s talks to the devout often become viral on social media but he recently stoked controversy when during a programme he called his followers "pagal" (mad). He had had to cancel aarti when the crowd filled up the venue’s capacity.
“Bahot jyada bheed ho gayi hai, apaar bheed ho gayi...pagal hi pagal aa gaye hain (There is too much crowd, the crowd has become huge, the madmen have come)," he said.

Shashtri, who arrived in Patna on May 13 for holding a five-day congregation, claimed that all those living in India will have to chant "Sita-Ram".
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar blasted Shastri for the comments. "...were all those who are saying this born during the freedom struggle? What is the need of saying this? Follow any religion you want. But proposals for renaming are surprising. Is that even possible?" he said.

First Published: May 18 2023 | 3:53 PM IST

Explore News