The announcement of a 71-year-old ascetic that he will attain jeeva samadhi ( union with God) was frustrated after the police denied permission to bury him alive in Pasankarai, a nondescript village near Sivaganga.
After Irulappasamy came to the village on Thursday and chose the spot where the pit should be dug for his jeeva samadhi , hundreds thronged the village and lined up to seek his blessings and witness the event.
After news about the development went viral on social media, the police made it clear that Irulappasamy will not be allowed to be buried alive. They said his disciples were free to bury him after his natural death, and after the same was confirmed by a team of government doctors.
“The law is very clear and the police cannot allow anyone to bury anyone else alive,” Superintendent of Police R. Rohit Nathan said. Though it was not a formal event or a festival for the police to provide bandobust, a team had been deployed to the village to regulate the crowd, he said.
Meanwhile, Irulappasamy’s disciples said he had said that he will breathe his last and attain union with Lord Shiva between midnight and 5 a.m. on Friday, and that his body will be interred into the pit only after his death. They claimed that he chose the village well in advance. After the spot for the jeeva samadhi was identified, a huge, 10x10 pit was dug with the help of an earthmover amid the chanting of mantras by Sivachariayars and Om Namachivaya by the crowd. Speaking to a television channel, Irulappasamy said he took to spiritual life at the age of 12 and had been visiting shrines of Lord Siva all over the country. He also had a family life after marrying Irulayee, his disciples said, adding that the couple had a son and a daughter.