'Nithyananda is god, I won't leave ashram'

'Nithyananda is god, I won't leave ashram'

'Nithyananda is god, I won't leave ashram'

Radhakrishnan is a man on a mission. The 58-year old resident of Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu has travelled all the way from his village to the Nithyananda Ashram in Bidadi, in search of his only son.

Barred from entering the ashram, Radhakrishnan peered wide-eyed through the main gate on Tuesday, hoping to catch a glimpse of his son, Srinivas, now an ashramite and dedicated follower of Nithyananda.

“I have come all the way from Tamil Nadu after I got to know about the developments related to the ashram in the last few days,” he said. “Police and security are not allowing me to get inside. I phoned my son but he is saying he won’t come out as he believes Nithyananda is god. In fact, he advised me to go back home safely.”

He said it has been more than 18 months since his son had called him. “My son was a software engineer in Chennai and was earning about Rs 30,000 a month.
He came to Bangalore for an office training and made a casual visit to the Nithyananda ashram two years ago. Since then he has not returned home.

Radhakrishnan was in touch with me over phone in the first six months after he joined the ashram, and later he cut off ties with the family, added Radhakrishnan.

Radhakrishna said he feared that Nithyananda has mesmerised his son and that he is also under the influence of drugs.

“I have visited the ashram more than 15 times in the last two years, but the security guards never allowed me inside to meet my son. I will seek the help of the local police and the district administration to take my son back home,” he said.

Bidadi ashram on Tuesday also saw some curious visitors. Dhananjay K, an RTO officer, wanted to tour the ashram as he came to know about its closure on the news.

“There has been lot of talk about the richness of the ashram. I thought I should pay a visit before it is closed. However, the police are not allowing anybody inside,” he said.

Other visitors like Dhananjay had to return empty-handed as police turned them away.