Asaram, Nithyananda and now Rampal... Indian Godmen who gave sleepless nights to police
But since sometime, few self-styled godmen have been into controversy. Despite that, their faith in these godmen have undergone little impact.
Recently, Baba Rampal, a godman from Haryana, failed to appear before court for a murder case. He also disappeared from his ashram where the police went to catch him.
Here are some more godmen who have been in controversy and still continue to have a large followers base.
Rampal was a junior engineer (JE) with the Haryana irrigation department in Haryana and then went on to becoming a godman.
When he was forced to vacate his Karontha ashram in Haryana's Rohtak district following clashes with religious groups in July, 2006, one person died from bullet wounds.
Murder charges were pressed against Rampal by the police. The god-man repeatedly failed to appear before the high court, forcing the court to issue a non-bailable warrant against him on Nov 5. He was supposed to appear before the court November 10 and later on November 17, but he did not turn up, citing medical reasons.
Self-tyled godman Asaram wa accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his Jodhpur ashram. He was served a summons in the case by the Jodhpur police at his ashram in Indore. The police had earlier served a summons to his officials at his Ahmedabad ashram.
The godman claimed he was innocent and regards the minor as his "daughter".
Asaram has over 425 ashrams and more than 50 gurukuls all over, and a tremendous following both in India and aboard.
Nithyananda Swamy landed in a controversy after a video footage showing him in a compromising position with an actress was telecast by local TV channels.
Nithyananda said the video was morphed and manipulated to misrepresent his personal life but did not deny his images with actress Ranjita in the film.
Swami Nithyananda was named as one of the 100 most spiritually influential living people in the world.
Delhi government's crackdown on Ramdev's agitation at the Ramlila maidan in June 2011 is when the baba became popular for wrong reasons.
Ramdev tried to hoodwink the police by wearing salwar kameez and dupatta after they cracked down on the fast against corruption.
Ramdev is best known for popularising yoga and has been very vocal about political issues in the country.
Satya Sai Baba:
Sathya Sai Baba, who passed away in 2011, was also allegedly involved in many controversies including faking ‘miracles', sexual abuse and even pedophilia.
Baba has often been charged, both nationally and internationally, over the veracity of his miracles. Skeptics and rationalists have alleged from time to time that his miracles ‘were simple magic tricks to woo his devotees'.
Baba ruled the hearts of his devotees through many social service endeavours like building multi-specialty hospitals providing free treatment, schools and colleges.
Agnivesh came under attack during the August 2011 anti-corruption protests. A controversial video on YouTube where he is purportedly telling Union minister that the government act tough with Anna Hazare.
Agnivesh on his part claimed the video footage was "doctored and concocted" and part of a smear campaign against him.
Agnivesh's statement that he supported the entry of non-Hindus into the Jagannath Temple at Puri, had also raised the hackles of Hindu priests.
Agnivesh also spent three days inside the Bigg Boss house as a guest, to "use this opportunity to promote and create awareness on social issues including corruption".
Despite all the controversy involved, the saints and godmen have not lost even as much as a pinch of their followers!