Press Esc to close
Tuesday 28 March 2017
News updated at 11:17 PM IST

Nithyananda feted at Mahakumbh

Sanjay Pandey, Lucknow, Feb 13, 2013, DHNS:

Tainted self-styled godmans elevation by prominent akhara kicks up a row

:Allahabad: Swami Nithyananda at the bank of the 'Sangam' to take a holy dip on the occassion of 'Mauni Amavasya,' considered most auspicious day during the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad on Sunday. PTI Photo
Now, sex scandal-tainted Swami Nityananda can also take part in the “shahi snan” (royal bath) at the Sangam during the ongoing Mahakumbh with top saints from the “akharas” (different sects of sadhus) on the occasion of Basant Panchami on Friday.

The self-styled godman was clandestinely conferred the title of “Mahamandaleshwar” by the Panchayati Akhara Mahanirvani, a prominent akhara, at a closed ceremony in its camp on Tuesday.

The title enables Nityananda to sit atop a chariot and take the holy dip in the Sangam waters. The function in which Nityananda was anointed, was a closely guarded secret and the other akharas were not informed about it. Nor were the Mahakumbh officials invited as per tradition, according to sources.

The anointment triggered a wave of protests from other akharas and saints though the Mahanirvani akhara strongly defended its action.

“Nityananda may have been facing charges, but it is his personal life and we have nothing to do with that. We should keep in mind that the charges have not ye been proved,” Mahant Ravindra Puri, the secretary of the Mahanirvani akhara, said.

The mahant said Nityananda had been conferred the title to “bridge the North-South divide” among saints and sadhus. “The saints from the Southern India often complain that they are not conferred important titles and are ignored... we have tried to redress their grievances,” Puri said.

Many others, however, did not approve of the conferring of such an important title on a controversial saint like Nityananda and said that it would set a “bad precedent” and convey a “bad impression” of the saint samaj among the people.

“Though it is the prerogative of the akharas to confer the title of Mahamandaleshwar, one has to see whether the person is fit for the same. The title is given to the saints, who have selflessly served the mankind. Nityananda does not deserve the title,” said Narendra Giri, the mahant of Niranjani akhara. Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar also criticised the conferment of the title on Nityananda.

Nityananda landed in a major controversy after a video showing him hugging and kissing an actor from South was broadcast by a TV channel three years ago. He was later arrested in Himachal Pradesh and had to spend 52 days in jail before being released on bail. He is currently camping at the Mahakumbh and had also taken the holy dip on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Children with flowers, neem leaves and jaggery all set to welcome the New Year...

Children with flowers, neem leaves and jaggery all set to welcome the New Year...

Roads wear deserted look on Tuesday as temperature soars in Surat...

Roads wear deserted look on Tuesday as temperature soars in Surat...

Security forces chasing away local protesters who tried to disrupt an anti-militant operation...

Security forces chasing away local protesters who tried to disrupt an anti-militant operation...

Smoke billowing out of the house which was targeted by the security forces personnel for...

Smoke billowing out of the house which was targeted by the security forces personnel for...

A man carries schoolchildren on his bicycle on a road in Srinagar, India...

A man carries schoolchildren on his bicycle on a road in Srinagar, India...

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523