Oftentimes, what comes to minds of many when the name Guru Maharaj Ji is mentioned is akin to when you send a kid on an errand and you expect the kid to come back with the desired result you want. Unfortunately, what you wished was not what you got. That is an apt description of Sat Guru Maharaj Ji as a spiritual personage. He is seen as a saviour to some people while some view him as a bête noire on earth.
Guru Maharaj Ji was born Mohammed Ajirobatan Ibrahim, no doubt, is a household name and a Nigerian spiritual leader. He was born in Oyo state but resides in Ibadan and declared himself to be a “Living Perfect Master”, some of his followers call him “Black Jesus”. His spiritual group was founded on November 1st, 1987 having received divine knowledge while studying in London in 1954. Umpteenth times, he has claimed to possess power over all ‘illnesses and all problems affecting humanity.’
On April 12, 2018, he was invited to a morning programme, ‘Your View’ on Television Continental (TVC). It was such a fascinating interview because many haven’t seen nor met him as a person hitherto the programme. During the programme, what was first noticed about Guru Maharaj Ji was that he is not a neophyte in the contemporary world. He is versed in what he does. It was once reported in the media that he claimed ‘he his God’ which he repudiated in the course of the programme. He said in a mild remark that, “I’m not God, but my knowledge is God.” His theory of the concept of God is still nebulous to many.
His case is not the blind leading the blind. He was able to give a good account of himself, although he begged few questions thrown at him. Guru Maharaj Ji showed that he is someone who has full control of his mind, not just by fluke. His philosophy is tailored towards what he feels to be right. He depicts to harbour no grudge against humans. One of the questions that could get one tickled was when it was directed to him that he is getting old with the obvious sign of a growing beard. He begged the question by avoiding it while evincing that he is a man who has mastered his craft and knows his onions.
One of the hosts in the programme, Miss Jumoke Alawode had to touch him while trying to grill him and he reciprocated her gesture as well saying that, “I am human like you.” As questions were thrown at him from right and left, he kept his composure, knows where the answer was and replied in a mild way. Guru Maharaj Ji is undoubtedly in the know about the happenings and the political twists and turns in the country by chronicling his experience back in 1999 till date. The administrations of erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo, Late President Musa Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan shaped his political views.
In the past, Guru Maharaj Ji has stirred up the hornets’ nest with claims in 2009 that the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye his is spiritual son. Also in 2016, he caused a stir with his colourful appearance at the Ooni of Ife and Olori Wuraola’s wedding.
He has also claimed to have “healed” a former Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB). Such is his character!
For a man who claimed to have travelled far and near and an unapologetic ‘god’, he has shown that his wisdom is no joke. As he was interrogated by the hosts, he knows how to manoeuvre and meander through questions without necessarily going directly to the question.
It should be made abundantly clear that it seems Guru Maharaj Ji public persona is quite different from what many perceived of him to be. For some, the perception is a man who wittingly or unwittingly raised himself into the position of an apotheosis making it seem to people afar has a man who cannot be touched or neared.
His self acclaimed religion is anathema to some and alien to many. In fact, he has been on this so-called religion itinerary for donkey’s years. He knows full well that his concept of God is antithetical to that of Christianity and Islam; even his ideology still hovers around more of a seer to people rather than him elevating and uplifting himself to the height of God. There should be a clear cut difference between who he says he is, what he does and how he is perceived by humans. Whether he has a lot of followers or not that does not really alter the perception and the psyche of the people.
Maharaj Ji’s love for red colour applies to him as a symbol of love while advising people to avoid blue colour. On the programme, he regaled the white couch with a long red cloth where he sat on it, took two of his acolytes to the studio and both stood behind him like bodyguards in a kung fu movie. Guru Maharaj Ji held a flower on his hand like a rose.
Obviously, he has become such an arbiter of his religious undertones with his cod of psychology and philosophy. He selflessly claims to be around for primordial reasons and has succeeded in making his devotees see the sun, moon, water, fire, air, star and the mother-earth as part of pillars of their faith. All devotees are vegetarians, and they are mostly dressed in white and red. That is the power and influence of such a bugaboo belief and religion.