Nityananda’s 35th Birthday in Tiruvannamalai

by

Swami Nityananda’s 35th jayanti celebration was held in his Dhyanapeetam, on Pradakshina Road, at the west end of Arunachala, on 20 December, 2011.

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It looks like the Swami is making a comeback after his disgrace from a sex scandal in March of 2010, and subsequent arrest. As part of the Swami’s response to the situation he stepped down from the management of the various Nityananda organizations that had grown around him. He was going to resume life as a simple sadhu, or so the world was told. One visible change after this is that the Nityananda posters that one would see frequently in various locations throughout India seemed to disappear.  He seemed more quiet and less visible. (I say this as someone who did not follow him closely.)

I can’t really write with any clarity about the scandal. There were sexually suggestive videos aired of Nityananda and an Indian starlet (that were pretty mild compared to what is seen in the USA). The controversy is that Nityananda is a sannyasin, a renunciate. This is why he dresses in orange. Indian renunciates give up, among other things, all possessions, and all sexual activity. So he is seen by some as a hypocrite, unable to live up to his own words and vows. The charges on which Nityananda was arrested, rape and unnatural sexual acts, do not seem valid to me. There were claims from Nityananda’s supporters that this was a part of a conspiracy against the Swami, driven by Christians and Dravidians that were opposed to the success of Swami’s “Temples on Wheels” program, where small villages without Hindu temples would be visited, and people would become recommitted to Hinduism rather than convert to Christianity. It’s not clear to me why Dravidians were opposed to him.

Related to his teaching, I understand that many techniques have been adopted by Swami Nityananda from the Shiva Sutras and Kashmir Shaivism. The 112 verses of Vijnana Bhairava, an ancient Kashmir Shaivite book of yoga that describes 112 yogas that use “sensory inputs” to experience the Highest. They are part of the Tantric thread of Hinduism that was suppressed by the Christians associated with the British colonization of India. There are a few of these verses (5 of 112) that use physical sensations between two people, and we are told that Swami Nityananda was experimenting with these verses to see if they could be used as spiritual teaching tools in modern times.

Now Nityananda seems to be reclaiming his visibility. Signs have started appearing again, and we hear about his big events, like this birthday celebration at his ashram in Tiruvannamalai, the city of his birth and childhood.

The jayanti (birthday) was on December 20th. By the day before, the 19th, preparations were in earnest.

In front of the ashram they were erecting a pandal of white cloth with an orange stripe on a frame of wooden poles. Nityananda seems to have adopted orange as his identifying color, I guess accenting his status as a sannyasin.

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Parked across the street was a truck loaded with furniture. I think they were bringing this for the swami, who was to stay here for two nights.

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They have set out signs outside the ashram. This one advertises a book, selling for Rs. 50, I guess discounted from Rs. 300.

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I approach the truck to get a better look. One thing I see is a big double bed mattress and fancy headboard. I notice that orange cloth was used to cover some items. The trademark color again.

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And I see in the truck a chair or something that is covered with gold! I have to say that I am surprised by this. I do not recall any stories of Sri Ramana Maharshi with golden furniture. Oh well, maybe times are different now, calling for different actions (and marketing).

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In the back of the ashram are the 1008 lingams, the Dhyanapeetam.

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The big lingam in front usually wears an orange turban, like Nityananda. Today it is also covered with flower malas.

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The central shrine, in the background in the photo below, also looks nicely decorated. The objects in the foreground are additional hanging decorations that were placed all around the ashram.

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Now it is the morning of 20 December, the big day.

On the street are large billboards (called ‘hoardings’ in India).

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This sign is entirely in Tamil, so not at all for a Western audience.

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Here are Happy 35th Birthday greetings (in English) from 13 Indian men.

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Under one of the hoardings sits a group of policemen. Since the ‘incident’ last year, there have often been police near the ashram, I guess protecting it from possible upset followers. Damage was done, I think, to one of Nityananda’s other ashrams.

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Inside the ashram, a stage has been set up. On it is something large, covered in orange cloth, maybe something from the truck.

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Men carry a sign, setting up the ashram space for all the visitors they expect. There are many chairs, I think more than 1000 already set out, with more to go.

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The ashram entrance, with the orange and white pandal with lights atop it. Banana stalks line the entrance. To Tamils, these signify prosperity.

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You can see Parvati Hill, the west end of Arunachala, in the background.

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When Carol went through downtown Tiruvannamalai in the middle of the day, she saw huge groups of Nityananda followers near Arunachaleswara, the Big Temple. She passed two different groups walking in procession around the Big Temple, each with more than 1000 people, many of whom carried orange flags. In the crowd, there were many women carrying pots on their heads. These pots contain milk, an offering to the gods. Carol also saw another group forming near the temple of perhaps more than 2000 people. The traffic was chaotic and roads were blocked off to accommodate the crowd. The procession included at least two “parade floats,” large vehicles with people standing on top. Many buses displaying Nityananda signs jammed the streets. The photo below shows one such sign, although this particular vehicle was one of many parked up the street from Nityananda’s ashram.

 

 

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We can see the props on the stage as they remove the orange cover. I think it is a golden throne.

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Outside on the street, local pushcart vendors are expecting lots of people. Here are watermelons and papayas.

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I am not sure what these small fruits are, but they often have them. Does someone know?

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Naturally, sugar cane to crush for juice. We haven’t tried it yet, since we have been warned about dangerously dirty cups.

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In an area off the road, maybe 200 meters from the ashram, there are many people.

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They are eating lunch. I would expect the ashram to serve food to whoever came. Thousands of meals today. I think that free meals are part of the reason that South Indian people attend these functions. Most family functions include meals for all attending. This jayanti is like a big family celebration, so food is a part of it.

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A group of women walk to the ashram after eating. The young woman to the left is wearing a fancy saree for the big day.

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There is more activity around the ashram now, more vehicles, more people arriving.

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Buses are being parked down at the big lot on Perumbakkam Road, about 3 km. away, in addition to those parked near the ashram itself.

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The buses all have the Nityananda banners.

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More people walking towards the ashram.

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The buses park and unload the people. Then the crowds walk to the event. If you look closely you can see that many of the attendees are wearing some kind of paper badges or name cards. So if they all have their IDs, this is very organized.

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The street in front of the ashram.

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What a crowd! This is about 4:30 in the afternoon. I think several thousand people are here.

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On stage sits Nityananda on his golden throne. The throne is bedecked with colorful flower malas.

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The crowd includes both men and women. It seems like a lot more women, though.

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After a few minutes there is a roar from the crowd.

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And now NItyananda has donned his golden crown.

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It is pretty big, bigger than his head.

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A few hours have passed and it is nighttime. Carol and I make another trip to see what is happening now.

Lights are lit, and more crowds of people move towards the ashram.

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Outside is a big lingam in lights.

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Also a projection TV, showing the proceedings inside.

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People milling around the entrance,

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Inside the gate there was this golden chariot…

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…with a life-sized statue of Nityananda riding on it.

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The only place that I have seen vehicles like this is at the Arunachaleswara Temple, where the gods are taken out in procession riding in golden chariots. Does this golden chariot say that Nityananda is of the same status?

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Though the crowd of several thousand people has been here for more than four hours, Nityananda is still on stage.

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He sits in his golden throne, greeting people who are now lined up to have the darshan of the master.

The throne is elaborately decorated. Wonderful care and attention have been given to the decoration.

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It seems that even after hours on stage, Nityananda continues to radiate positive energy and happiness.

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Here is a queue of people waiting to say happy birthday to Nityananda, snaking into the night.

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The line seems to be mostly women, with the exception of a couple of men here and there.

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Again all I see is women in this line, and wondered if the men lined up first or something. There are many cases in temples (and temple-like settings) where men and women are separated.

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By the entrance there was a booth selling Nityananda products.

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Ayurvedic products, “Nithya Oil,” “NIthya Cream,” “ Nithyananda Hair Oil,”  etc. Nityananda products for your life.

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By the entrance, the police are still on watch. They are standing up now. And rickshaws, waiting to take people back to town. I noticed for the first time in this photo that the rickshaw driver outfit is similar to the policeman’s, just no brass on the collar and no cool police hat. Oh, and the police wear thick belts.

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The street is lighted by a long row of fluorescent lights, hung on wooden poles that are dug into the side of the road. These go on for about 1000 feet along the road. Probably by tomorrow night these will all be removed.

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The next day all the buses are gone, but there are piles of plates and other trash that have just been left there by the devotees.

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Two days later a crew came by and picked up some of the plates, put them into a big pile and then burned them. We in the neighborhood appreciated this gesture, although the plastic trash is still there.

I still do not know what to think of Nityananda. I have heard again and again that he is a gifted spiritual teacher, and that those who come to his teachings have deep spiritual experiences while there. I do not know what happens after they leave, though. Is the deep experience then something that they are able to return to, or is it just a passing thing? I would be interested to hear what people have to say about this. When someone would come to my own teacher, Nome at SAT, he would ask, “Is it permanent?” I know now that reality is permanent. If it comes and goes, then it is not the deep, lasting reality shown by, say, Sri Ramana Maharshi.

I look at the simple life of Sri Ramana, who was not even officially a sannyasin, and compare it with what I see of Swami Nityananda, with the marketing and the golden throne, and it sure looks different. Maybe that is just the difference in today’s times? In this modern day of media, is more of a splash needed?  Or maybe, how can there be any difference in the timeless reality? I have to say I feel like after the recent scandal, where Nityananda is said to be going back to a simple life of a sannyasin, sitting on a golden throne and being worshipped by thousands of people does not seem to me to be sannyasin’s life. But then I also know that I do not know. Maybe these are just phantoms of my mind, projecting what it thinks is reality (which I then take to be real)?

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36 Responses to “Nityananda’s 35th Birthday in Tiruvannamalai”

  1. maryjoma Says:

    Prathik , name calling is not a sign of exaltation.. You could be in one if you had the time to do the spiritual practices and not have to defend your master, relentlessly.

    Read carefully, I was referring to knocking down Govinda and his hero volunteer brigade that fought the fire on Arunachala. Not sure if your master and his 12 million ‘devotees’ did anything at all to help them.

    Instead here is another post on Kevin’s blog:

    ” ” agree with AFFORESTATION-RUN-AMOK ASSESSMENT OF THE ABOVE COMMENT.;;;as to to the spectacle of the quixotic LUKE BOWLEY,AKA GOVINDA, ill prepared under resourced and probably ill trained,flailing leafy twigs triyng to subdue arunachala’s fiery nature is as poignant as it is bizzare….his haughtiness at having mounted a sucssessful challenge to arunachala has just received a temporary boost.his battle weary countenance will go down in history as the SoN WHO TOOK ON THE FaTHER AND WON…he may even demand equal power sharing with him……..grace.” ”

    This is such a shame. That is what I meant.

  2. Blissful Prathik Says:

    silly maryjoma. it you read the posts, nobody has been knocking you down as a person. All that has happened is that your silly claims have been rectified. everyone has the right to follow their own path. It seems you think “hatred” is simply presenting actual facts. Too bad. Remember Ma, the world we see is nothing but a reflection of what we hold within ourselves. You say you see hatred, lazy people and all such imaginations. But, that only means that is what you harbor within your own self and are merely projecting to the outer world. The great thing is that this blog people will get to read both sides and decide for themselves. Bravo to Richard. Aum!

  3. maryjoma Says:

    So Nity did nothing to put out the fire on Arunachala?

    On May 3, 2012 he proferred the lives of his devotees: He said, ” My devotees will go on an indefinite hunger strike if they don’t withdraw their stand and, in the meantime, legal action would be taken against all the 13 head of the mutts acting us,” Nityananda said on Wednesday threatening that he would write a letter in blood to the Tamil Nadu government. “We have branches across the world. Nearly 12 million devotees are with my organization.”

    And he did nothing to stop Arunachala from burning???? I read this on Kevin’s blog — http://chi-ting.blogspot.ca/

    Anonymous wrote: ” So much fuss lately about Arunachala in flames! Is this something new? Check out Richard Clarke’s blog http://richardarunachala.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/arunachala-in-flames/ and see pictures of local foreigner hero “Govinda”, taking on the bush fires in a pair of sandals. Can’t he afford a good pair of boots? Or is he just too broke now from paying off all those officials. I guess sandals and foot burns look more cool and foreigners need to look as less foreign as possible these days. Along with twenty or so volunteers from his Forest Way Society they spend hours beating the fire with banana leaves! With occasional breaks for some coconut juice provided by his wife down at the nursery, they seem to have extinguished the fires all by themselves.”

    “After a big fire on the Ramana Asharam side in April, and now another one on the Adianamalai side in May, my question is: so where were all the concerned Temple Officials, Adianamalai villagers, farmers, goat herders and part-time cave dwellers while this was going on? I guess they must have been celebrating happy in the knowledge that finally the very resourceful lemon grass gets a chance for some re-growth after so much re-forestation bullshit philosophy for the last thirty years that has made our beloved mountain almost inaccessible unless you bring along a chain saw. If we are lucky, the fires may have helped to reduce the recent tic infestation on the mountain.”

    Unfortunately Nity supporters, in your posts you come across as vengeful, full of hatred and anger, not as people doing sadhana and having evolved spiritually. The basic rule is you can’t make your master look good by knocking down every one else. My prayers are with you.

  4. maryjoma Says:

    So Nity did nothing about the fire on Arunachala?

    He had proferred: “My devotees will go on an indefinite hunger strike if they don’t withdraw their stand in the meantime, legal action would be taken against all the 13 head of the mutts acting us,” Nityananda said on Wednesday threatening that he would write a letter in blood to the Tamil Nadu government. “We have branches across the world. Nearly 12 million devotees are with my organization.”

    & he did nothing to put out the fire on Arunachala?

    I read this on Kevin’s blog http://chi-ting.blogspot.ca/

    “So much fuss lately about Arunachala in flames! Is this something new? Check out Richard Clarke’s blog http://richardarunachala.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/arunachala-in-flames/ and see pictures of local foreigner hero “Govinda”, taking on the bush fires in a pair of sandals. Can’t he afford a good pair of boots? Or is he just too broke now from paying off all those officials. I guess sandals and foot burns look more cool and foreigners need to look as less foreign as possible these days. Along with twenty or so volunteers from his Forest Way Society they spend hours beating the fire with banana leaves! With occasional breaks for some coconut juice provided by his wife down at the nursery, they seem to have extinguished the fires all by themselves.

    After a big fire on the Ramana Asharam side in April, and now another one on the Adianamalai side in May, my question is: so where were all the concerned Temple Officials, Adianamalai villagers, farmers, goat herders and part-time cave dwellers while this was going on? I guess they must have been celebrating happy in the knowledge that finally the very resourceful lemon grass gets a chance for some re-growth after so much re-forestation bullshit philosophy for the last thirty years that has made our beloved mountain almost inaccessible unless you bring along a chain saw. If we are lucky, the fires may have helped to reduce the recent tic infestation on the mountain”

    Unfortunately supporters of Nity on this blog and other blogs, your comments come across as vengeful, full hatred and anger not at all that of people doing sadhana and who have evolved in the process. The basic rule here is you can’t make your master look good by knocking down every one else. It just doesn’t work that way.

  5. maryjoma Says:

    So Nity didn’t help put out the fire on top of Arunachala?. tsk! tsk!

    >98% mutts remaining silent, doesn’t mean they are for Nity. They may be busy doing sadhana What is that, you may ask? tsk! tsk!

    You have provided links to the media…the very media that is supposed to lie, according to your earlier comment. hee! hee!

    In a democracy, you can’t ask them to keep quiet while you spread your hatred. It will return to you. tsk! tsk!

    May you awaken to the cult you are in. May you realize soon that you are being used. My prayers are with you.

    • Udaysree Says:

      you lost… you can’t remain quiet… be assured it will not go unnoticed in the universe… Kalabhairava will take care…!!!

  6. Blissful Prathik Says:

    @maryjoma. I could hardly contain my laughter reading your last post! In one paragraph you have proved your bigotry and prejudice against anything dealing with Nithyananda. How can you make such a ridiculous claim(speaking for hundreds of thousands of people around the world) that we were drawn to Swamiji because we did not want to do any personal sadhana ourselves? That is clear-cut prejudice statement that nobody will take seriously.

    Also, you still try to ignore the point that almost 99% of the Mutts in India stand in support of Nithyananda. Even with facts, your mind still tries to deceive you.

    Swamiji gives us kriyas and meditations for different spiritual purposes. However, according to Nithyananda, it is not enough that we just work for our own liberation, but we must also serve society and give back as much as we can. A perfect example of this is a recently released Peace Kriya Meditation designed for the sole purpose of scientifically reducing the effects of crime and collective negative karmas through group worldwide meditation.http://minute4peace.org/index.jsp

    In terms of social services, Nithyananda provides regular mass feedings, free housing projects, free schools, etc. Most recently, when the devastating cyclone hit India, Nithyananda personally did relief work:

    feeding over 100,000 people a day,
    25,000 people given Free Medical care provided per day
    25,000 people given Free Clothing per day
    Hundreds of miles of Roads cleared per Day using JCB
    Gensets provided to 6 places for pumping water in the continued absence of electricity

    This is but a small fraction of the humanitarian works going on by Swamiji and devotees. So simply put maryjoma, drop your bigotries and prejuduices. It is okay if you are not attracted to a particular Guru. But, you should not try and come up with all sorts of fantasies in your mind to try and paint the Guru as a bad person. May you be blessed and awaken your true inner Self.

  7. maryjoma Says:

    All the posts I posted were from Hindu Press International – very reputable. But that is beside the point. Hostile take over of mutts, making it to the 100 most spiritually influential personalities, golden crown, court cases, time spent in hiding, arrest, jail time, offer to write letters in blood, followers so aggressively defending their master…. I wonder how much individual sadhana is being done. That is the reason you all gravitated to Nityananda in the first place, isn’t it or is that beside the point? BTW, did Nityananda’s ashram help out with the fire on Arunachala. May be we can talk about something positive.

  8. Blissful Prathik Says:

    More good news is that Paramahamsa Nithyananda was recently named among the 100 most spiritually influential living personalities on the planet by the world’s largest and oldest esoteric magazine Mind, Body, Spirit – a spiritual magazine published in UK! His name is mentioned along with Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Paulo Coelho and others. He is one of only four Indian gurus that made the list. Truth can never be destroyed by ignorance! Let truth continue to prevail!

    http://www.watkinsbooks.com/review/watkins-spiritual-100-list-2012

  9. Blissful Prathik Says:

    Also, one of the main conspirators in the Fake Nithyananda Tape has already confessed to his crimes and is still in jail.

    2 May 2012, Chennai: Lenin Karuppan, key accused in the March 2010 conspiracy against Paramahamsa Nithyananda, was today denied bail by the Principal Sessions Judge, Chennai in the extortion and blackmail case filed against him by one of the administrators of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam.
    It may be recalled that Lenin Karuppan was arrested on 14th March this year by the CBCID Tamilnadu and remanded to judicial custody on charges of extortion, blackmail and criminal conspiracy in connection with the case filed against him by Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam administrator Sri Nithya Atmaprabhananda. He had been interrogated by the Tamilnadu CID and had confessed to his crimes.
    Lenin’s bail petition was dismissed on 2nd April by the Hon’ble Magistrate of the XIth Metropolitan Magistrate Court Saidapet, Chennai after due consideration of the serious nature of the offences committed.
    Lenin appealed further to the Principal Session Judge for bail which got rejected yesterday. He continues to be in custody.
    Lenin Karuppan also faces serious criminal charges in connection with the case filed against him by Ms. Ranjitha, another victim of the conspiracy, for criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy, amongst others, for which he was issued a body warrant from the Hon’ble Magistrate, Ramanagara court earlier.

  10. Blissful Prathik Says:

    @maryjoma..there are approximately 800 mutts in India, yet only 13 of them have tried to dispute Swamiji’s coronation. That means less than 2% of all the mutts were ignorant and against Swamiji. Yet more than 98% of all the mutts stand in support of Nithyananda. Why do you think that almost every single one supports Nithyananda? It is because they know He is honest, sincere and that the tape was fake. You will also be interested to know the Madurai bench of Madras High Court dismissed two independent petitions challenging the coronation of H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda! Please read the whole story before simply jumping to conclusions.

    In a firm dispensation of justice, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court today dismissed two independent petitions challenging the coronation of H.H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda as the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam (pontiff) of Madurai Aadheenam on 27th April this year.
    A habeas corpus petition HCP (MD) No. 570/2002 had been filed on 2nd May by T.Gurusamy Desikar , Manager of Dharmapura Aathinam claiming that the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal of Madurai Aadheenam was in the illegal custody and under the control of Paramahamsa Nithyananda.
    The Hon’ble Court found the petition not maintainable as the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam is not under the control of anybody, is carrying on his regular administrative duties, is meeting the public and even held a press meet on 2nd May this year, as was clear from the former’s affidavit countering the petition filed the following day.
    The HC dismissed the petition, further acknowledging the right of the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam to appoint his successor as his affidavit stated that he is fully eligible, empowered and competent to manage or appoint any successor of Madurai Aadheenam.

    The second was a writ petition (WP (MD) 6607 /2012 dt. 3/5/2012) filed by one T. Solaikannan who claimed to be the Madurai District President of Hindu Makkal Katchi. Alleging that the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam is under the control of Paramahamsa Nithyananda and his disciples, the petitioner sought to annul the coronation of Paramahamsa Nithyananda and demanded that the State Government take over Madurai Aadheenam.
    In the open Court, the Hon’ble Judge clearly stated that the 292nd Guru Maha Sannidhanam has the authority to nominate his successor. The HC rapped the petitioners saying that this whole case was a ploy to get media publicity and they are not even qualified to be called the aggrieved in the case. The HC also demanded that the petitioner provide proof of his own identity as President of such a Party. The HC further reprimanded the petitioner for abusing the legal process by not filing the written affidavits from all the other parties whom the petitioner had claimed were supporting this petition.
    Finding the petition non-maintainable, the HC dismissed the petition forthwith.

    In the press:

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3406737.ece

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/Petition-seeking-Nithyanandas-removal-as-mutt-head-dismissed/articleshow/13088803.cms

    http://www.timesnow.tv/Nithyananda-gets-relief-from-HC/articleshow/4401841.cms

  11. Udaysree Says:

    dearest Maryjoma, it is OUTRAGEOUS how badly you propagate Paramahamsa Nithyananda, 293. pontiff of Madurai Adheenam. from your newspaper clippings i can tell you have not understood a thing… many have tried explaining things to you in previous comments….

    even your last posting that NIthyananda fled to america is a pure lie! you don’t use any discrimination in your hatred, just blindly post any newspaper clippings here. newspapers lie, don’t you know that by now, to up their readership, just like sun tv and others? and you follow that path and believe them… wake up!!

    did we not post comments here saying that the person who started the conspiracy, Lenin Karuppan, is arrested, HAS CONFESSED, and whom bail was denied? does this tell you something? http://www.nithyananda.org/news/no-bail-lenin-nithyananda-blackmail-case-0

    why again and again post negativity about Nithyananda? and that without any discrimination.

    you did not mention that the court case that was filed against Nithyananda’s appointment as 293. pontiff was thrown out of court!! http://www.nithyananda.org/news/high-court-snubs-anti-nithyananda-petitioners

    just yesterday we were informed that 8 of the 13 mutt heads opposing NIthyananda turned around, only 5 are left opposing him. they will also turn around. don’t you see for your own benefit what is going on here? Nithyananda is to stay!! and he will revive vedic tradition. and his followers are staying too and will not remain quiet anymore!!

    if you don’t like NIthyananda, and you don’t have to, that is ok BUT keep it to yourself, remain quiet. don’t spread your hatred, it’ll come back to you!!

  12. maryjoma Says:

    Sorry Richard. The first news clipping got cut off. Here it is again.

    Nityananda Declared 293rd Pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam

    RAMANAGARA, INDIA, April 27, 2012 (One India): Disgraced religious leader Nityananda, who is facing criminal cases, was declared 293rd pontiff of “Madurai Aadheenam”, an ancient Hindu religious organisation. He was declared the 293rd pontiff by Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, the 292nd pontiff of the Aadheenam.

    “We hereby coronate him with the title His Holiness the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Paramahamsa Nityananda Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal”, he told reporters.

    He also declared Nityananda as his lawful successor to deal with all movable and immovable properties of the Adheenam, which includes over 1250 acres of land, several temples and properties in India and abroad.

    The Madurai Aadheenam has existed since time immemorial. However, it was revived around 1500 years ago by Tirujnana Sambandar, one of the four visionary saints of South Indian Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy. The Aadheenam’s history dates to the Tamil Sangam period. The presiding deities of Madurai are Shiva and Devi in their incarnations as Chokkanathar and Meenakshi, enshrined in the famous Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareshwara temple.

    Nityananda vowed to fulfill all responsibilities of the Aadheenam, revive the Shaiva tradition and also make the Aadheenam an international religious organisation.

    Nityananda had landed in controversy after a video footage showing him in intimate contact with an actress was telecast by local TV channels in March 2010. He was arrested on April 21, 2010 from Solan in Himachal Pradesh, under other charges. He was granted bail on June 11, 2010 by Karnataka High Court, and fled to America.

    ____________

  13. maryjoma Says:

    Religious Leaders Unite in Opposing Nomination of Nityananda as Adheenakartar
    on 2012/5/3 19:38:27 ( 294 reads )
    Source

    MADURAI, INDIA, May 3, 2012 (India Today): Nityananda has been prepared to fight tooth and nail for his newly acquired crown after heads of 13 Saivite mutts put their heads together in Nagapattinam on Tuesday to finalise their strategy to oppose his appointment as the chief of Madurai Adheenam.

    “My devotees will go on an indefinite hunger strike if they don’t withdraw their stand and, in the meantime, legal action would be taken against all the 13 head of the mutts acting us,” Nityananda said on Wednesday threatening that he would write a letter in blood to the Tamil Nadu government. “We have branches across the world. Nearly 12 million devotees are with my organization.”

    Priest Ooran Adigal said, “If Adheenam sticks to this decision, we will be forced to seek legal recourse besides requesting for the intervention of Tamil Nadu government.”

    Madurai pontiff Gnanasambanda said, “We discussed with other mutt heads before appointing Nityananda as head of the mutt. They agreed. Now if they oppose, we will take legal steps against persons opposing it.”

    Fight to control Madurai mutt The Madurai Adheenam is 1,500 years old and close to the power centre in Tamil Nadu. The powerful mutt has property worth more than Rs.1,200 crore. Its assets comprise more than 1,250 acre land, several temples and properties in India and abroad.

  14. maryjoma Says:

    Challenging Nityananda’s Appointment in Court
    on 2012/5/3 19:38:33 ( 304 reads )
    Source

    MADURAI, INDIA, May 4 (The HIndu): The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered notice of admission on a writ petition seeking a direction to the State government to forbear Nityananda from acting as the 293rd ‘Guru Maha Sannidhanam’ of the Madurai Adheenam by holding his appointment as illegal.

    A Vacation Bench comprising Justices C.S. Karnan and K. Ravichandra Baabu also ordered that status quo be maintained with regard to the protection of the mutt property.

    The petitioner said the appointment of Nityananda was contrary to the letter and spirit of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act. He was “absolutely incompetent” to hold the post which was being held in reverence all over the world by Saivites. Several criminal cases were pending against him. He had been accused of sexual abuse. Therefore, to safeguard the assets of the adheenam and for the betterment of the Saivite cause, the petitioner said he was constrained to file the petition.

    _______________

  15. maryjoma Says:

    Richard: If it is ok with you, just updating the latest on Nityananda.

    nal cases, was declared 293rd pontiff of “Madurai Aadheenam”, an ancient Hindu religious organisation. He was declared the 293rd pontiff by Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, the 292nd pontiff of the Aadheenam.

    “We hereby coronate him with the title His Holiness the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Paramahamsa Nityananda Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal”, he told reporters.

    He also declared Nityananda as his lawful successor to deal with all movable and immovable properties of the Adheenam, which includes over 1250 acres of land, several temples and properties in India and abroad.

    The Madurai Aadheenam has existed since time immemorial. However, it was revived around 1500 years ago by Tirujnana Sambandar, one of the four visionary saints of South Indian Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy. The Aadheenam’s history dates to the Tamil Sangam period. The presiding deities of Madurai are Shiva and Devi in their incarnations as Chokkanathar and Meenakshi, enshrined in the famous Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareshwara temple.

    Nityananda vowed to fulfill all responsibilities of the Aadheenam, revive the Shaiva tradition and also make the Aadheenam an international religious organisation.

    Nityananda had landed in controversy after a video footage showing him in intimate contact with an actress was telecast by local TV channels in March 2010. He was arrested on April 21, 2010 from Solan in Himachal Pradesh, under other charges. He was granted bail on June 11, 2010 by Karnataka High Court, and fled to America.

    ____________

  16. maryjoma Says:

    Let’s touch base a few years (or even a few months) from now. Much love, peace and prayers for u 2.

  17. Udaysree Says:

    Arunachala’s bhoomi, ah, what an inspiring thought! Arunachala shares freely with the birds, animals, trees and plants his earth for them to live on and be nourished. Arunachala also freely shares it with anyone who walks on him to see and enjoy his natural beauty. Arunachala loves those who meditate on him equally as those who provide a place to stay at his feet. Arunachala loves those who feed his children and provide shelter for a night or two. Arunachala is compassionate and ever forgiving of his children who err here and there yet firm in their betterment. Arunachala is beyond the dualities of the world, beyond possessiveness, he simply loves to share what he has and is…
    OM Arunachala

  18. Udaysree Says:

    dearest maryjoma, it is not NIthyananda preventing you from being in peace with Arunachala. it is simply your own mind! your mind decides to be distracted, that is you decide to be distracted. you only put Nithyananda in the forefront to have an excuse. go deeper into meditation with Arunachala, focus only on Arunachala, don’t let your mind sidetrack you. that’s exactly the cunning game of the mind that you are experiencing… wishing you all the best in your meditation efforts. may Arunachala bless you with the peace that you crave.

  19. maryjoma Says:

    What is so hard to get? It is your mind that is playing games.

    We are not talking about the court case or Nityananda’s spiritual state. We are talking about him disturbing the peace of others in Tiruvannamalai, distracting others, almost preventing us from being with Arunachala in peace. It is Arunachala’s bhoomi. Not Nityananda’s and he (and you) doesn’t seem to get it.

    Maybe he has done some charitable acts. So have a lot of people around the world without so much fanfare.

    There is grave karma in it for Nit and those who support him financially and in thought, word and deed.

  20. Udaysree Says:

    thank you, Richard, that is exactly what it is, a play of the mind. when we start witnessing our thoughts, emotions and beliefs, and discover the cunningness of the mind, all that remains is laughter about one’s own mind, and compassion towards others.
    thank you for providing this open discussion.
    bliss and peace to all.

  21. Udaysree Says:

    to all this criticism here i can only say get to know Nithyananda, visit him, talk to him. why judge so harshly others who you don’t even know. what if the table was turned around? as harsh as you judge here, you would be furious if you were judged this way yourself.
    just yesterday we learnt that the person who morphed the video confessed to it and so did the person who blackmailed. both are in custody. Nithyananda is innocent. Guru abuse is utterly bad karma!

    and at those times when some are pricked by jealousy it is a good spiritual practice to go beyond it instead of criticizing.

    why focus on the negative and stay in a vicious circle? let’s look at what Nithyananda does in Tiru and the world over, so many positive and good things. from feeding the sadhus and poor, blood drives and giving uniforms to school children to inspiring to live a better inner and outer life, and many more things in-between. see this and be grateful.

    bhakti yoga – worship and devotion – is a great spiritual practice to open the heart and share with all our inner richness.

    bliss and peace to all.

    • richardclarke Says:

      I agree. To criticize a teacher that you have not taken the time to listen to is just responding to the games of the mind. A guru touches you deeper than the mind, and you have to experience him directly to know this. Also if your negativism gets in the way of some other follower of the guru and that guru, then you have a heavy karmic burden. Do you want is, just to play mind’s game?

  22. maryjoma Says:

    Blissful Prathink, my point exactly. A lot of these gurus say one thing and do another. Nityananda may never have stated not to worship Arunachala and to worship him but look at his actions. He sat on a gold chair on stage with a 24-carat gold crown on his head in the backdrop of Arunachala. Would does that say? The chariot had a model of Nityananda in it not Arunachaleswarar. What does that say, Blissful Prathink?

    Obviously some people’s children are going to go without an education, some will not have money for medical care and many will not have money saved up for old age because they donated the money for Nityananda’s crown and chair. All these in a country that does not have a social security net.

    I can’t for a second believe that Nityananda said “I don’t want any of these” but an underling went ahead and did it. Obviously Nityananda wanted it and got it done.

    There is not a day you can walk past his ashram on girivalam and not be obstructed by a hoarding with his face on it. The hoarding blocks our view of Arunachala. What does that say? To me it says, “Don’t worship Arunachala, worship me” BTW, the chai shop outside his ashram sells really bad chai.

    That aside, we aren’t saying we know anything about Nityananda except for what is on display in these photographs that Richard has posted. I see wasteful ostentation. I see disturbing the peace of others. I see environmental pollution. Indians use banana leaf so they can feed it to the cows after people have eaten off it. Nityananda didn’t do that. He used paper, plastic and burned the lot after the fact. He distracted a lot of people who would otherwise have had their minds on Arunachala

    Considering the response this post has received, I am very sure Nityananda will read it.

    Nityananda Sir, we are not for a moment doubting that you have reached great heights in spirituality. You may very well have. All we are saying is please take your show elsewhere and leave Arunachala for us to enjoy in peace. Please sir. Thank you kindly.

  23. Blissful Prathik Says:

    dear maryjoma. please don’t misunderstand me. that comment wasn’t directed toward you specifically. My point is that many people have become prejudice against Swamiji despite his innocence being proven. People see only some celebration and make quick judgments and think they know all about him. This is the textbook definition of prejudice. ……judging something they know nothing about. If you knew his teachings, you would clearly know that Swamiji has NEVER stated not to worship Arunachala and worship him instead,. That’s just a silly comment. Swamiji constantly teaches us to discover our own true self. In fact, many times Nithyananda states that His presence is not required or needed if we are really in tune with our inner being, A sadguru only acts like a mirror that reflects our own highest potential. It is my duty to stand up for truth which is why I reply to this blog. However, please understand I have no hate or malice in my heart for you or people with your view. It is my sincerest desire to see all of us divine children flower into the abundant beings that we each are! Love and Peace. Aum Arunachala!

  24. Louann Tung Says:

    Thank you for sharing your unbiased accounts and photos of this grand event for those of us on the other side of Planet Earth who could not be there! I met Swamiji the first time in 2006 and from the back of the room in LA with 250 other people, I felt the blast wave of his being – totally unexpectedly! I have been transformed by his word and classes (at least 300 hrs now!) ever since. I was raised and still consider myself a Christian – Swamiji’s words help me understand Jesus’ teachings at a deeper level. No one could deliver such nightly knowledge bombs – off the cuff – no script – but an Avatar! I highly suggest listening to Swamiji live every morning 7:30am – 9:30 AM IST (or 6-8pm California USA time) at entv.nithyananda.org – just signup and login. Get your daily bliss blast and decide for yourself. Swamiji said since 3 yrs old, he has been carving deities – he loves the expression of the divine temples. He has also said the rituals and way he dresses will attract only sincere seekers! It is pure juicy eye candy for his devotees!

  25. maryjoma Says:

    No one is abusing your Master, blissful Prathik. We are commenting on Nityananda’s ostentatious ways and about him disturbing the peace in Tiruvannamalai. Ask yourself when there is Arunachala towering so powerfully in the background, who in their right mind would stand up and say worship me instead?

  26. Blissful Prathik Says:

    @richard clarke..your beautiful words on your facebook link ring true! What matters most is our own spiritual experience and, more importantly, how this experience changes us and makes us better human beings! No single realized yogi will appeal to all people. People should find the one that “clicks” the most with them and stay with that guru. That is true wisdom! Also, it is important not to judge another master that we haven’t personally experienced because true masters are like an iceberg where all the limited mind/ego can see is just a small peak and not the huge mass of wisdom that remains hidden! If one isn’t attracted to a particular Guru there is absolutely no problem not following them, However, if one goes out of their way to try and abuse a Master, they are creating terrible karmas for themselves. A true spiritual seeker will never judge. Only find the Guru that transforms them the most stay with them…meanwhile sending only love out to all people, yogis, gurus, devotees etc. Gratitude! Aum Arunachala!

  27. maryjoma Says:

    On second thoughts, do you think if I put gold on Nityananda’s head and under his butt, I will get moksha?

  28. sparrow Says:

    or perhaps it is leaving behind the mess?

  29. sparrow Says:

    Not cleaning up one’s own mess says a lot…

  30. maryjoma Says:

    Such shows of ostentation help no one. The money could have been better used to provide some basic needs to the poor. All Nit did was to contribute to the noise in Tiru. By burning all those plates, he contributed to the air pollution, Indians use banana leaves because they can fed to the cows later.

    I like Ramana Maharshi even more when I see these johnnies – Nit, Mooji, the various mas, silent or otherwise, Nana garu and his bunch of noisy Andhras. Spirituality doesn’t take anything, folks. Just sit in silence. That is Arunachala, that is you. That is what Ramana Maharshi said.

  31. kashluck Says:

    Thanks for the post.
    May be Swami Nithyanandha’s teachings are good, and people had special experiences. But display of such pomp and splendour distracts the mind. Though the swami himself may be detached, it may not be so for others.
    Spiritual teachings do not require such displays.
    External cleaniness is also as important as inward cleanliness.
    It would have been better if the devotees had given importance to that as well and had not messed up the area.

    I prefer the simple and plain teachings of Ramana Maharishi.
    One also gets that special feeling and peace inside the Maharishi’s Ashram, whch is just plain and simple without fancy decorations.
    I also do not give much importance to those big festivals and celeberations held at temples and other religious places, which do not much help in spiritual development. They are just a treat to the eyes, which brings in a temporary focus on the deities.

    It would be good if spiritualism is spread without fanfare and pomp.
    Ramana Maharishi is an example.

  32. Blissful Prathik Says:

    Gratitude for this posting! The Kingpin behind the whole scandal has made video confession to CID of how video was morphed, how it was released, who was involved in planning, and what bank accounts received extorted money. All bail restrictions against Swamiji have been dropped permanently! Stay tuned for more details!
    Anyone who has experienced Nithyananda directly can attest to his complete purity and wisdom. He always says, “I am NOT here to prove I am God. I am here to prove that You Yourself are God!”

    Seeing Him on a gold leafed throne( they are not even gold-plated) may seem like a contradiction to some, but if one reads the life of yogi Ramsuratkumar, one can see that he( a highly advanced yogi) got confused by this same thing when he first met his 3rd Guru: Papa Ramdas. Ramsuratkumar saw people waiting on Ramdas, fanning him, presenting him expensive gifts, etc. Ramsuratkumar, at that time, couldn’t believe this could really be a Master. Only after some years, did He realize that Papa Ramdas was totally realized and completely unattached to the fanfare. One can also look at the life of Krishna, a king, who has countless riches, golden thrones, jewels, etc. yet He was also completely unattached. Aum Arunachala!

  33. cspacenz Says:

    Great post as usual Richard and I agree with you that the life and times of Sri Ramana was a completely different, but then he as clearly not an entrepreneur as this clown is, he was a great saint.

    I see no reason why there could not be yet another humble saint in our midst without all the so-called modern trappings they have been sucked into along the way.

    This man literally got caught with his pants down !

    Best wishes

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