It was nitya ananda at swami's ashram

It was nitya ananda at swami's ashram

Paramahansa Nityananda caught on tape with an actress identified as Ranjitha.

In his sprawling 25-acre ashram, 35 kilometres south-west of Bangalore in Kalluguppahalli in Bidadi taluk of Ramanagara district, off Mysore Road, Nityananda's press coordinator Nitya Sachidananda does not see hedonism and spirituality militate against each other. At the Nityananda Dhyanapeetam, Indian ascetism has been clearly, cleverly and conveniently redefined.

“The Swamiji has permitted his disciples at Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam to pursue both hedonism and spiritualism because he believes they should live intensely,” the 45-year-old Sachidananda, who claims to have lived and worked as a scientist in the United States, told Deccan Herald.

Sachidananda, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, met Nityananda in Chicago in 2003 when the self-proclaimed swamiji established his order at the age of 26. He was instantly taken in by what he described as Nityananda’s “quantum spirituality”, a concept which Sachidananda thinks he understood and grasped well, but could not shed much light on. The “truth” and “enlightenment” Sachidananda experienced were passed on to him by Nityananda whose educational attainments are as obscure as his origins in Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu.

Some of Nityananda’s disciples, attired in white kurta and dhoti, with saffron “angavastram” wrapped around their necks, milled around the ashram’s dusty, rocky and ragged terrain, fear and confusion writ large on their faces.

One of these disciples, who was clearly uncomfortable in disclosing his identity, said such was the power of Nityananda’s teachings over him that he had not just discovered “truth” but had even felt and experienced it. “Truth is something that cannot be defined. I cannot express it in words,” the disciple said fumbling for the right words, searching for the right expression.

There were scores of women, some of them attired in cream sarees with golden borders, identical to the one a woman is draped in one of the videos.

The very sight of newsmen entering the main complex of the ashram where the living quarters, an apology for a “charitable dispensary”, the library, the Nityananda Gurukula and some other half-constructed buildings are located, made them scamper inside two rooms.

It appeared they were under express instructions not to venture out in the open.
 Only the young men hung out in groups.

 Some clutched their laptops to their chests, others worked on their machines, or perhaps made a show of it, and yet others whispered into their cell phones. Like their spiritual guru, most of the young men sported long hair, some let the rebounded hair down and others had their locks tied in ponytails.

One disciple, Deepak, who had close cropped hair, claimed he was 21-years-old and had a law degree from Bangalore University. But Deepak could not explain how he finished a five-year degree course in three. All he did say was he was an “ashramite” before he was asked to shut up.

Like Deepak there are others, including young women from affluent families, who have given up education and quit well-paid jobs to find peace at Nityananda Dhyanapeetam where local village folks’ entry is barred.

Others have left their wives and children behind. They have believed — hook, line and sinker — every word Nityananda wanted them to believe. Ramanagara deputy superintendent of police D Devaraj told Deccan Herald that Nityananda told his flock that the banyan tree in the asharam was 600 years old. “And they believe it,” the officer said.
In a Buddha-like act, it is that banyan tree under which Nityananda sits to meditate and “awakens” his minions for whom initiation to the order follows three simple steps: “listen” to the Paramahansa Nityananda, hear his “awakening talks everyday” and wear ‘mala’ “energised by the Master”. They also pray and worship the Shiva phallus.

Disciples frustrated

While fear of the unknown stalks the disciples, especially because their beloved swamiji was absent since he was at the Kumbh mela, as Sachidananda claimed, some visitors from Chennai felt frustrated with the fuss over the sex videos allegedly featuring Nityananda.

 “Indian history is replete with instances of many holymen having had to go through the same process,” said a defensive N Balasubramanian, who first met Nityananda in Chicago and was attracted by his discourses.

Devotees ransack ashram in TN

Enraged devotees of Swami Paramahansa Nityananda, caught on tape making love to a Tamil film actress on Wednesday, broke loose in different parts of Tamil Nadu ransacking his ashram, reports DHNS from Chennai.

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