Obituary: Faith-healer Pundit R.S. Maharaj

2010-07-23 00:00

WELL-KNOWN Hindu priest Pundit Roopnarian Sooberun (Manna) Maharaj died recently at the age of 94 after suffering a heart attack.

Maharaj was ordained in 1970 and was based at the Sri Vishnu Temple in Montford, Chatsworth. After his retirement he moved to Pietermaritzburg.

Renowned for his faith-healing abilities, Maharaj attracted a large following across South Africa. He was regularly invited overseas to perform prayers and rituals, and his travels took him to India, Mauritius, the United States and Europe.

Local businessman Koushik Maharaj said his grandfather spoke several languages and could recite Islamic prayers, and he was invited to speak to Muslim communities locally and abroad.

Maharaj was a strict vegetarian who believed in natural remedies and had never been to a medical doctor until the last few years of his life when he was in his 90s.

He also worked as a photographer and his hobbies included collecting Triumph cars.

Maharaj’s wife, Polly, died 36 years ago and he raised his eight children, one of whom died before him, as a single parent. He is survived by seven children, 23 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.

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