Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, originally Udaysinh Deshmukh, a spiritual leader with a strong following in Maharashtra. He had announced retirement from public life in April 2016.
He was born in was a zamindar family in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Earlier a model, Maharaj was famous for his lifestyle. The neatly dressed spiritual leader used to run a sprawling ashram at Indore. Accompanied by a small group of followers, Maharaj used to travel in a white Mercedes SUV.
In his late forties, Bhaiyyuji founded institutions like Shri Sadguru Datta Dharmik Evam Parmarthik Trust, Suryodaya Ashram.
The Guru was well known for his political connection with key Congress, NCP and BJP leaders for 17 years. His followers are spread across the film industry, politics and corporate world. The illustrious list of his followers includes former President of India, Pratibha Patil, Shiv Sena chief, Uddhav Thackeray, MNS supremo, Raj Thackeray, Lata Mangeshkar, film actor Milind Gunaji and others.
He attracted national attention in August 2011 when anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare was on indefinite hunger strike for Lokpal bill in New Delhi. When Anna Hazare was not ready to discuss it with the Union government, late Vilasrao Deshmukh brought Bhayyuji to discuss it with Anna.
According to reports, Bhaiyyuji coordinated with then law minister Salman Khurshid and Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit and prepared a draft of Lokpal bill, which was acceptable to both the parties.