Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Follower offers millions, judge allows Hindu guru to leave country

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TWC News: Follower offers millions, judge allows Hindu guru to leave country
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The founder of the Barsana Dham Hindu temple in Hays County has 10 million reasons to head back stateside when a judge orders him to do so.

"It's an unusual decision," Barsana Dham's Vice President Prabhakri Devi said.

The decision allows Prakashanand Saraswati, known to his followers as Swami Ji, to travel to India even though he's facing felony charges of indecency with two underage girls.

"Swami Ji's work in India is to build and run these charity hospitals," Devi said. "Without Swami Ji's presence, that work would be terribly handicapped."

District Judge Charles Ramsey made the decision last week to hand over Saraswati's passport.

According to paperwork, Ramsey made the decision after one of Saraswati's followers, Peter Spiegel, agreed to risk his personal assets, all $10 million worth.

According to those in the courtroom, Spiegel told the judge, "There's no risk. I've known Swami Ji for 24 years and I would be happy to do it."

Spiegel's Texas drivers license record lists a house on land owned by the Hindu temple as his residence.

Spiegel was not home Tuesday. News 8 Austin was told he lives part-time in California where he runs a company called Sylmark.

One thing's for sure, Saraswati's followers are confident he's done nothing wrong.

"We look forward to his return and the dismissal of these false allegations," Devi said.

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