Born in a remote village of Udaipur district in eastern Nepal, Om Nanda Bhakta Kumar Rai is now popularly known as Master God Angel. Revered by many, the 33-year-old is believed to have ‘divine and supernatural powers.’
He leads a spiritual organisation called the Heavenly Path Organization (HPO), which he founded when he was 18 years of age. As per his followers, their spiritual guru is a humanitarian, animal right activist, philosopher of ‘lovism’. It is said that with his decade long meditation he turned in becoming a spiritual leader.
“Master God Angel is a spiritual master who preaches love and compassion as the way towards Nirvana/ heaven. He is the appraiser of religions, breaker of superstitions and the master of spirituality,” states Diwas Rai, a devotee from Namchi.
It all started when Om Nanda Bhakta Kumar Rai at the age of 3, left his home in search of answers about death and afterlife. It is said that at the age of 12, he was enlightened with the knowledge of utmost reality relating to humankind and its mysterious creation. After he was enlightened, he started spreading awareness among people and started delivering fundamental teachings about Nirvana, the extinction of suffering and about love and peace. The enlightened child was then entitled as ‘Bal Tapaswee Satguru Om Nanda’.
It is believed that now his teachings are is spread and practised in more than 80 countries of the world by the name Heavenly Path and Philosophy of Lovism. HPO, Sikkim has almost 70,000 followers in the state claimed by one of the followers of Heavenly Path Organisation, Sikkim.
Rai’s followers, who are scattered over Nepal, India, Hong Kong, Britain and Malaysia, regard him as an angel sent by God to earth to propagate peace, eradicate poverty and encourage self-healing. He is also credited by disciples with having performed miracles from an early age. He summited Mt. Everest and stayed there for 32 hours, out of which he spent 27 hours meditating. This itself is believed as a miracle by his followers.
Sikkim restricts the entry of Master God Angel
As per the sources, Master God Angel during his visit to Sikkim once went to the Khecheopalri Lake in West Sikkim and stepped inside the lake and offered/unfurled dhaja (prayer flags) offering his prayers. This act (of stepping foot in the lake) of his irked the Buddhist believers for whom the lake stands holy.
The Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee (SIBLAC) also objected and filed a case against the Master God Angel in the Supreme Court of India stating that the said spiritual leader and the HPO violated the old law and added that it hurt their religious sentiments.
The Supreme Court in its verdict said that the law and order which is the state subject shall continue to be maintained in the state. In the event, however, any cause of action arises subsequently, the petitioner undoubtedly would be entitled to raise their grievances before the appropriate forum. The writ petition was disposed of accordingly.
The SIBLAC Convener, Tseten Tashi Bhutia, clarified that the committee never objected his entry in Sikkim but has objected his act which violates the old law under the Places of Worship (Special Provision) Act 1991.
“We are simply protecting the old law and no law should be violated by anyone,” he said.
On the issue of the ban on God Angel to Sikkim (Heavenly Path Organization, in a press conference called by Tseten Tashi Bhutia on March 9, he said, “God Angel was misguided. When there was Places of Worship Act 1991 in place in Sikkim, why was God Angel allowed to take bath in the holy Kheceopalri Lake in West Sikkim in 2004? We Welcome God Angel to Sikkim whole heartedly, who are we to stop?”
“Nowhere in the Supreme Court verdict has it been mentioned that God Angel is restricted to enter Sikkim and SIBLAC does not hold any responsibility on it”, added Bhutia.
In the wake of the after-effects of the events, the state government put a restriction on Master God Angel’s entry to the state. April 2016 was the last time he visited Sikkim.
What does the Places of Worship (Special Provision) Act 1991 say:
An Act to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August 1947, and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.
This Act called the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The provisions of sections 3,6 and 8 shall come into force at once and the remaining provisions of this Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the 11th day of July, 1991.
“Place of worship” means a temple, mosque, Gurudwara, church, monastery or any other place of public religious worship of any religious denomination or any section thereof, by whatever name called.
No person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination or any section into a place of worship of a different section of the same religious denomination or of a different religious denomination or any section thereof.
Offences under the Act are punishable with a jail term which may extend up to three years as well as a fine. Even making an attempt to change any place of worship, abetting it, or being a party to a conspiracy to do so would invite a jail term.
Akhil Kirat Rai Sangh (AKRS) distancing itself from Master God Angel
The AKRS is an organisation of the Rai community in Sikkim. Since it was noticed that Master God Angel had maximum followers from the Rai community, the AKRS delivered a clarification that his activities and the HPO doesn’t portray the community’s religious practices in any way. The Sangh further went on the register multiple FIRs in various police stations against him and his spiritual activities.
Stating that Master God Angel’s teachings and practices will deplete the Rai community in the near future as it challenges the age-old tradition and culture of the community, the AKRS expressed discontent and took no claims over the spiritual leader. The followers of God Angel, also informed that the AKRS had alleged the Guru to be a foreign agent.
Sikkim Government permits re-entry of Master God Angel
The Sikkim Government on the 29 July this year issued a letter to the president of HPO, Sikkim State Committee, granting permission for Master God Angel’s entry to the state.
As per the letter issued by the state Home Department on 29 July 2019, the spiritual leader can visit Sikkim whenever her plans.
“This is to inform you that the state government is pleased to allow Shri Om Nanda Bhakta Kumar Rai to visit Sikkim whenever he plans just like any other Nepali or Indian citizen who have free access to each others’ country as per the Treaty of Friendship 1950 signed by India and Nepal on 31st July 1950”- the letter reads.
Diwash Rai, a devotee claiming that all ‘fateful’ events and the ‘baseless’ allegations were a conspiracy to hold back their ‘Guru Hajur’ (respected Guru) and HPO.
“We are thankful to the newly formed government and the Chief Minister, PS Golay, for lifting the imposed ban and fulfilling our long-pending demand,” said Rai.
Manu Rani Subba, the president of HPO, Sikkim said that the new government as promised fulfilled their demand within two months of the government formation.
She further said that the entire HPO and all devotees in Sikkim are happy and celebrating now as Master God Angel will soon visit Sikkim.
It may be mentioned that the members of the HPO had also organised a dharna demanding the entry of Master God Angel.
Vyasa Nanda Guruji, a leader of the HPO, Sikkim in a press conference held recently informed that the organisation had submitted a memorandum to the former Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling, but no action was taken in their favour. He thanked the new Chief Minister for lifting the ban and also thanked the state government for allocating a sum of one crore in the recent budget session for HPO’s Akhanda Deep project in Sikkim. Preparations are underway to welcome Master God Angel, he added.
As per the Heavenly Path Organization, Sikkim, their spiritual leader Master God Angel, Om Nanda Bhakta Kumar Rai will visit Sikkim soon. The organization has started working and planning for the visit of Master God Angel to Sikkim.
The Master God Angel of Heavenly Path Organization first visited Sikkim in the year 2000 and he last visited Sikkim in 2016 after that the entry restriction was imposed on him by the then state government. After that, his visit was not recorded in Sikkim.