Sixty-five-year-old seer Shobhan Sarkar, who kept the world spellbound for over a week with his 1000 tonnes’ gold prediction in Unnao district, shuns limelight. He has given up everything worldly.
But once one is there in his ashram in Buxar, his aura is quite palpable.
Few, other than the locals, have seen him and even fewer get to speak to him as he chooses to communicate to the outside world through his disciples. Nobody, absolutely nobody, is allowed to take his photograph.
Amidst all the brouhaha over the treasure, Hindustan Times managed to have a sneak peek inside the seer’s modest ashram at Unnao (the seer has since shifted to another ashram nearby), his daily chores, life and his motley group of followers, including politicians and bureaucrats.
There is no electricity in the village and the seer sits inside a room adequately lit by sunlight. At the first glance, Sarkar doesn’t look like ordinary godmen with disorganised hair and beard. This, nearly six-feet-tall, well-built seer is clean shaven and bald and resembles more like a Buddhist monk, his sharp features notwithstanding.
Wearing just a saffron loincloth and a scarf resting loosely on his head, he sits on a leopard-printed cushion especially rolled out for darshan.
As hundreds of devotees make a beeline at his ashram, the seer waves his hand to bless them all — in a single stroke.
He listens to some influential followers during a special one-on-one session inside the room. All his talk, except the concer n about the Indian economy, is about different levels of spirituality.
“I never advertised myself. Neither do I ever ask people to come. They come on their own,” he says while introducing Piyush Goyal, an IAS officer and a big disciple of Sarkar.
“Five chief ministers, including Mulayam Singh Yadav and politicians like Uma Bharti and Rajnath Singh, come to seek my blessings. But, I never talk about all this,” he adds.
More than his followers, it is Sarkar who talks about his recent ‘achievements’. “I cannot reveal how, when or why I came to know about 1,000 tonnes of gold lying buried in the fort,” he says while insisting, “I do not have any property or bank account, but I have the powers to carry out welfare schemes for the people.”
“Two ‘makki ki rotis’ (corn flour bread) with ‘sabzi’ once a day, is all I take to keep my body moving,” he claims even as his followers queue up with bags full of fruits, gifts and cash as offerings.
“He gave us roads and bridges. The gold is definitely there,” declares Akash Singh, one of his thousands of followers.