End of an Era: Sat Maharaj Dies Holding Hanuman Chalisa

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Sat Maharaj


SECETARY General of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) Satnarayan Maharaj has died.

Fondly referred to as Sat, he passed early on Saturday morning. He was 88.

He was warded at the Medical Associates Private Hospital in St Joseph after suffering a stroke last week.

Three days of mourning have been declared in his honour. His family said they will announce funeral arrangements within 24 hours.

A statement by Radio and TV Jaagriti said that Maharaj passed peacefully in his sleep.


It stated, “We are extremely grateful to everyone for their dedication of prayers and offerings of support in varying forms and fashion.

“As per Hindu traditions, Sri Satnarayan Maharaj was under the protection of Tulsi Leaves and he also drank holy water from the most revered Triveni River.

“In his dying moments, he clasped a copy of the Hanuman Chalisa which he always kept in his possession when he was alive.”

The statement stated that his passing was “entirely free of any pain and suffering and was a smooth transition from this mortal world.”

It stated, “We, therefore, have no doubt that none other than Prabhu Sri Ram and his Chief Servant, Lord Hanuman attended upon Sri Satnarayan Maharaj to take him on to his new journey to their heavenly abode.”


The release stated, “Satnarayan Maharaj was a true fighter for the betterment of Hindus, East Indians and by extension, the entire society.

“Indeed he has achieved immense success in his battles for our enhanced welfare. Each and every one of us identify with him on an individual level. His legacy will certainly continue through all of us and the collective starting point will be the manner in which we honour him at this time.”

“Maharaj’s last days were blessed with prayers from Hindu and other religious leaders.

“Among them were the Dharmarcharya, Pundit Dr Rampersad Parasram, Catholic Archbishop Jason Gordon, the Abbot of Mt St Benedict, representatives of the Seven Day Adventist Church, Pastor Clive Dottin and the president of the Islamic Front Movement, Umar Abdullah.

“Opposition Member of Parliament for Princes Town, Barry Padarath was among the first to respond, telling the family that they are not alone and would have the support of his party in their time of grief.

“Devotees described Maharaj as the ‘godfather of the Hindu community’ in Trinidad and Tobago but his reach spanned well beyond that community alone.

“He was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold), the nation’s second-highest award, in 2010.

“He fought a legal battle in 2006 to change the name of the nation’s highest award from the Trinity Cross because he argued that the Christian symbol of a cross did not represent the country’s multi-religious nature.

“It was later changed to ‘The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.’

“The SDMS under him modernised 42 schools and built five secondary schools as well as 12 early childhood education centres.

“He revived the observance of Phagwa and was instrumental in the creation of the Indian Arrival Day holiday and annual celebrations.

“He led former weekly newspapers, the Bomb and the Blast and fought in court for a license to open Radio Jaagriti and TV Jaagriti, dedicated to the Hindu faith.

“He was no stranger to controversy because of his strong views.”


Maharaj was born on April 17, 1931in Chandernagore Village, Chaguanas. He attended the Canadian Mission Schools (now called Presbyterian schools) in San Juan and Biche.

He was credited for securing the Indian Arrival Day holiday and introducing a Children’s Cultural Festival, Baal Vikaas Vihaar, which showcased talent in schools.

In 2015, his authorised autobiography, written by Dr Kumar Mahabir – Sat Maharaj: Hindu Civil Rights Leader of Trinidad and Tobago, was published.
Maharaj told his life as a child in a farming family and growing up in a less industrialised TT.

In 1953, he married Shanti, the daughter of prominent East Indian businessman and politician Bhadase Sagan Maharaj, whom Sat Maharaj described as an overshadowing figure.

In 1977, he succeeded Simboonath Capildeo as Secretary General of the SDMS.


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