Topic: Swami Nithyananda Rape,Murder, Sex Scandal (Read 52717 times)
Swami Nithyananda Rape,Murder, Sex Scandal
« Thread started on: Mar 3rd, 2010, 4:58pm »
Bangalore : Swami Nithyananda Lands in Sex Scandal, Goes Missing Before...
Bangalore, Mar 3 (IANS): Within hours of news channels telecasting video footage of a self-styled godman Paramhamsa Nityananda allegedly indulging in sexual acts with two women, enraged mobs ransacked his ashrams in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
A mob of infuriated men attacked the sprawling 29-acre ashram in Bidadi in Karnataka, smashing the 32-year-old godman's portraits, banners, billboards and the reception office. Police deployed additional forces to protect the devotees, including about 100 foreigners staying within the complex.
Watch this video....
Nityanand means always happy. No wonder this crook swami was enjoying the life to the fullest. India is full of this crook Swamis and may be we need to start a new religion just expose these crooks under the garb of men/women of God. They are the biggest threat not Al Quida. - Vijay Mehta
The sex tape that unmasked Paramhamsa Nityananda on Wednesday is speculated to having Tamil actresses Ranjitha or Ragasudha in it.
Though identities of none of the women or the man appearing in the tape have been confirmed, people who have seen the tape are speculating that the man in the video is Paramhamsa Nityananda--the spiritual self proclaimed guru who has followers in Bangalore and rural South India and allegedly 2 Tamil actresses.
Religious guru popularly known as Paramhamsa Nityananda invited wrath of people when an explicit sex tape involving him and a South Indian actress surfaced on a private news channel.
The long-haired Paramhamsa Nityananda, who claims to have devotees in 33 countries, was not present when the villagers stormed the sprawling retreat and smashed furniture, police said.
Angry followers who had been keeping up with Nityananda's sermons attacked his ashram (place of teaching) and burnt his effigies.
The sex tape that allegedly shows the fake guru having a threesome with unidentified women is now available on the internet. The incident is not an isolated one as just a week ago, another popular religious guru was unmasked by the police when his explicit photographs emerged.
The incident has hurt religious sentiments of people who believe in popular audience fetching sessions of gurus and babas -- a rampant sight in rural India.
Mar 20 to Apr 09 (21 days) Inner Awakening Language: English Eligibility: Open to all Cost: $6000 Food and Accommodation Free Bengaluru Ashram Nithyanandapuri, ABODE OF NITHYANANDA Off Mysore Road, Bidadi, Bengaluru, 562109. Contact: 9731257960/9742203311/ 9243048957/08027202084
What Order Guest
Swami Nithyananda - Sex Scandal - Missing
« Reply #2 on: Mar 5th, 2010, 12:43pm »
This guy seemed to be crook from day one since he with his marketing clan moved so fast up the ladder and built multimillion dollar establishments and gathered thousands of followers around the world. Stupid Weterners easily fall for these Gurus and Swamis who mix yoga with meditation and some of the rajaneesh's techniques and some Patanjal Yogsutra stuff and make a tasty drink which stupid blind followers looking for some kind of peace and happiness! This guy was self proclaimed enlightened Master and at his book stores during the 3 day weekend courses selling buy one get one free pictures of his eyes, feet and seeling healing kits. He also stole one of the old Stotra and stick his name inside i.e. instead of "Mudhuradhipate Akhilam Madhuram" ... he made his followers sing "Nityadhipate Nityam Madhuram..." and rest of the verses remained the same. These are horney bastards they should be put away - as Vijay Uncle says - like Al Quaida destroying the social fabric of our time exploiting human faith and decency.
Re: Swami Nithyananda - Sex Scandal - Missing
« Reply #3 on: Mar 5th, 2010, 2:07pm »
You are absolutely right... he called himself Bal Bramhachari my foot and fooled stupid blind followers... I do not think anyone had any problems if he was married... but he is a hypocrite number one - how can any father or mother feel safe to send their children to his ashram. Now I would be interested in where is this place (a motel or some devotee's home or that actress's bedroom) in India where he was having fun and where was the camera hidden we must get the location of this place. He will definitely think that it is unfair to take his video without Master's permission its cheating... he is also human and have those urges and has all the right to enjoy. Tape just shows kiss here and kiss there and some foot massages by a beautiful devotee impressed by his oratory and fell in love with his lips Just because he got enlightened does not mean he can not have sex Now that he has millions His hired team of lawyer may well say that the one in the video is his body double or look alike it is not the enlightened master after all Is this KALIYUG or what?!
Re: Nithyananda sting leaves Modi red-faced
« Reply #4 on: Mar 7th, 2010, 11:21am »
VADODARA: The expose allegedly showing Paramhans Nithyananda in a compromising position on video tapes has left the state BJP leaders, including chief minister Narendra Modi, red-faced.
Not only did Modi share stage with the controversial godman in September last year the CM showered praise on him but also accepted a donation from Nithyananda's organisation for the state's Kanya Kelavani programme.
Few would have imagined that the photo op would go sour within six months.
Nithyananda had visited Vadodara on two occasions in the recent past. He first came to the city in September last year and held a programme at Navlakhi Ground on September 10 and C C Mehta Auditorium on September 11. The most recent visit was on January 27 for a meditation camp.
Modi had attended a satsang and a book release function organised by Nithyananda Dhyanpeetam on September 10. At the gathering, he praised the swami saying that he was committed to the traditions of Adi Shankaracharya and the principles of advaita'. Modi had released the book Jivan Mukti' on the occasion.
But, Modi was not the only leader present on the dais. The then Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd chairman N V Patel, state parliamentary secretary Yogesh Patel and Vadodara MP as well as mayor Balkrishna Shukla were also given space on the stage flanking Modi and Nityananda.
N V Patel said that he had gone to attend the programme on an invitation from the organisers. "We always respect saints. But, this does not mean that we endorse whatever they do. It would be wrong to affiliate us with them. Too much controversy is being raked up around the issue unnecessarily," he said.
Yogesh Patel pointed out that this was just another invitation that he had accepted. "I did not know about Swami Nityananda or his organisation. Many people invite us to different functions and insist we remain present," he said.
Respect Saints Guest
Nithyananda sting leaves Modi red-faced
« Reply #5 on: Mar 8th, 2010, 5:00pm »
Does this folks think and act or act and then think that they have screwed up big time so change their language.... Just listen to what they said at the time and you will realize they were bull-shitting all along
Does NAKAMO, Yogesh Patel, N V Patel know who is called Saint I do not think any one of these folks know or have any clue they just go wherever they get invited wagging their tails for vote banks, podium, photo op, some lime light & a mike to speak.
I heard that Narendra Modi tied Rakhi to Swadhyay Supremo Dhanashri Talawalkar aka DiDi aka JayaShree aka Bhavani Maa - also for huge Swadhyay Vote Bank!
And these so called ochre robed crooks wants these famous people to endorse them.
These politicians and business people are in there for name and fame they do not give a damn to who they are endorsing.
I have lost respect for all these bloody hypocrite politicians.
CHENNAI: Self-styled godman Nityananda Swami, who is at the centre of a controversy after his alleged sleazy acts was telecast on TV channels, on Sunday claimed that he had not done anything illegal and against law.
"Neither the ashram nor I did anything that is against the law. We will find out the truth and will come back to you very soon. Till then please be patient," he said in a video clip.
The CD of him speaking before a camera at an undisclosed location was sent through his lawyer and circulated to select media.
Nityananda said he was in the process of collecting details with regard to the charges and allegations levelled against him. The contents of his speech were telecast by a private Tamil Satellite Channel.
His statement comes a day after his former disciple Nithya Dharmananda alias K Lenin said he had shot the video purportedly showing Nityananda in a compromising position with an actress which was later telecast on TV channels.
Based on his complaint, police registered cases against Nityananda under various sections of the IPC including cheating, criminal intimidation and rape.
Police Commissioner T Rajendran had said all cases would be transferred to Bangalore since the incident had taken place at his ashram at Bidadi. Special teams had been formed to trace Nityananda.
The video aired on Tamil TV channels recently had caused a furore, with some Hindu groups and others protesting against Nityananda even as Karnataka government promised "very strict" action against him. The Ashram, however, has maintained that the video footage was morphed.
BANGALORE: Rejecting rape charge and doubts raised over death of a foreign devotee of self-styled godman Paramahamsa Nityananda, his ashram on Monday said he would make a public appearance soon and answer all allegations.
The charges were part of a "conspiracy to malign the image of the swami and impede ashram's social activities," the ashram spokesperson Nitya Sachidananda told reporters at the Nityananda Ashram near Bidadi, about 40 km from here.
A 23-year-old woman, an inmate of the Bidadi ashram, had alleged that Nithyananda had raped and sexually harassed dozens of women in the ashram.
Chennai police have registered a rape and cheating case against Nityananda, days after video footage of his alleged sleazy acts were telecast by TV channels.
Sachidananda also denied a charge that mystery shrouded the death of foreign national Melvyan Boyd Diamond, a Yoga teacher in the ashram.
"Diamond had family history of cardiac problems and he died following an accidental fall from the second floor of the building he lived in," he said, adding that the ashram had arranged for his cremation.
The operation to malign Nityananda had been done in "a surgical precision" and "Swamiji himself will come and comment on all the issues. As his "personal security" was at risk "we have advised him to come after some days," the spokesperson said.
The ashram, which faced violent protests after telecast of the video, has so far not lodged any police complaint.
Swami is sending his video communication like Ben Laden from hiding. He has learned from OJ - does not matter what the evidence, keep denying. The new rape charges are serious. I hope the police and politicians do not get bought by this powerful swami. May be the outrage from general public will send a message to politicians. - Vijay Mehta
KUALA LUMPUR: A religious centre here which promotes the teachings of tainted Indian spiritual guru Swami Paramahamsa Nithyananda, who is allegedly involved in a sex scandal, has ceased its operations.
"We made the decision to stop operations for a while following advice from the Malaysia Hindu Sangam," the centre's spokesman was quoted in the local media as saying after the centre was flooded with calls from followers since the guru's alleged involvement in the scandal broke out in India.
Nithyananda landed in trouble following the telecast of video footage by a South Indian television channel allegedly showing him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress.
The spokesman said the ashram, set up two years ago, in Taman Desa Gombak was the only centre in Malaysia to promote the teachings of Nithyananda.
"We do not have the exact number of devotees in Malaysia or healing centres. I believe there are about 400 healers in the country," the local Star newspaper quoted him as saying.
Chennai police has registered a rape and cheating case against Nityananda after video footage of his alleged sleazy acts were telecast by TV channels.
Nityananda's ashram in India has said that he would make a public appearance soon and answer all allegations.
Congratulations to the Jagrut Hindus of Malayasia. We depend on police and politicians or lawyers and judges to do the right thing. However, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on. You have multiple choices if you are seeking guidance or inspiration. Smartest thing to do is to put these 'dhongi babas or didi' in their place by simply boycotting them. Of course with their massive wealth and power they may get away with murder but one thing they should never be allowed to reclaim is our trust. Hope the followers of Prakashnand - Krupali Maharaj and Swadhayay learn from them. You have the power to stop them in their tracks and prevent future crooks to play with our trust. -Vijay Mehta
Tamil Actress doing seva with her body
« Reply #8 on: Mar 11th, 2010, 4:04pm »
Did you all hear that the Tamil Actress confessed of doing SEVA (volunteerily giving massages to Swamiji out of her devotion to him since he transformed her life!) What more proof and evidence you want it is all in open and swamiji and his chamchas have no veil of innocnce left bloody hypocrites just want to save their establishment built on fraud and filthy money making schemes. These crooks have damaged more than they claimed how many they healed.
Also Nitya-Nanda came and gave press release that "He has done nothing illegal!" Poor guy doesn't know anything better about MORAL or ETHICAL behavior he just know what is LEGAL and WHAT is ILLEGAL (in the legal terms taught by his enlightened crook LAWYERS)
Yes, many argued there is nothing wrong as long as it is consensual SEX between two adults or woman offering herself to a GOD-MAN (CON-MAN) but those forward minded people do not know if one day he snatches your wife or daughter in her bedroom and have fun... then what?... will any father or husband or brother will still endorse these con-artists or swamijis who are running rampant in our societies of foolish blind following!
I have suggestion for this swami just get married with this bimbo actress and flirt all he wants no one will bother him... but this so called actress will also not allow the swamiji flirting with other devotees men or women!
HARIDWAR: Claiming that he was in a trance when the sleaze video — telecast by TV channels recently — was being recorded, Nithyananda Paramahamsa, in an exclusive interview to Times Now in Haridwar on Saturday, neither denied nor confirmed that it was him on the tape.
The 33-year-old godman said he was ''in a state of samadhi (trance)'' when the video, showing him in a compromising position with an actress, was taken. The tape, he said, had been ''misinterpreted, morphed and manipulated.'' He alleged that the media onslaught on him was without any basis and that he was being held guilty without a trial.
Was that you in the sleaze tape?
There's a lot of misinterpretation, manipulation and morphing. Now, we are working to find out which part was recorded and which was manipulated. When that video was taken, I was in a state of trance. My personal life has been misrepresented and my privacy has been invaded. Media has even taken pictures of me when I am changing my clothes after a bath. This has been done to defame me.
It is being said that the tape was taken in December 2009? Were you sick then?
I was sick for a very long time. Consciously, I was in a samadhi... physically I was not well. Some of the things have been misinterpreted by the onlookers. Or rather it has been misinterpreted by those who wanted to do it.
Has life changed for you in the last two weeks?
In the thirty-three years of my life I have seen fame. I was the most watched guru on YouTube. Now, in the last few days I have been the most watched scandal. Both have taught me many things about life. But what shocked me most is the thought that there is so much enmity against me. The good thing from all this is I am getting millions of emails, phone calls and a flood of support from people who are not even my devotees. My disciples are feeling so bad that someone's private life has been misinterpreted and abused.
Was the actress in your ashram then?
She has been serving me for a very long time. She was volunteering to take care of me when I was sick. All her family members have been my devotees. There is no denying that she is a devotee.
Do you think it's because of stand-off with people in power?
I don't have any political ambition. I did not fight with anybody. I don't want to disrespect anyone.
"Wow this scamee is a much bigger crook than I thought. He has a 'trance' defence! Do if Prakashanand fools around with underage women he may be in trance - if didi swallows millions of earthquake dollars she may be in trance. This trance defense opens up whole new front for Sadhus - Sants - Babas and Didis or Dadas!
Only God can save the Hinduism now! O Lord where art thou? Did you not promise us -'Sambhavami Yuge Yuge?
Only thing worse than a crook is a crook with no shame and no regrets!
Let us remember that the real danger to Hinduism is not from fanatic Islamist or Christians converting us but it is from the crooks such as Nithya and Prakash and blind followers who refuse to see the reality."
Greatest threat to Hindu religion comes from Dhongi Baba - Dada - Didi - Swami etc.
swami speaks Guest
Swami thinks he has done no wrong
« Reply #10 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 8:25pm »
Swami opens his mouth. There is no apology no remorse just a cocky reminder to all of us that since he has published 200 books or lectured for 7000 hours he should be given consideration. No mention of what he did was wrong. He sounds like O J Simpson. All lovers of Hinduism it is thugs like him who are the greatest threat to Hinduism. Wake up and smell the coffee run from this dhongi scamees!- Vijay Mehta
Re: Swami Nithyananda Rape,Murder, Sex Scandal
« Reply #11 on: Mar 18th, 2010, 9:41pm »
What's with these religious leaders on the news lately? I guess their sins are finally being exposed to the public.
Let's not forget the Christian priests who also deny things too and expect the religion to cover up their mistakes or pretend nothing is going on or never happened. Right now Christianity is having problems with their corrupt priests.
I guess people need to focus on just being loyal followers of God rather praising these gurus. priests and all. The truth is they are not God or Holy. People need to STOP acting like their are Almighty or something. They are humans only. This is why it's hard for people to prosecute priests and gurus who are corrupt because they have these massive followers that don't think they can be bad or are bad.
Rajiv Malhotra Guest
Rajiv Malhotra on the Hindu Scandals
« Reply #12 on: Mar 29th, 2010, 2:09pm »
Why Swami Nithyananda Must Resign Now by Rajiv Malhotra, March 17, 2010
When the sex scandal of Swami Nithyananda suddenly erupted on March 2, 2010, I was already in Delhi as part of a group to go to Kumbh Mela. I was also finalizing my new book which deals specifically with Tamil Nadu religious politics, and in particular with the role of various nexuses based overseas. So I decided to jump into the eye of the storm of this scandal in order to investigate whether similar nexuses were at work in this case. Naturally, at one level I have seen this scandal through the framework of a civilization encounter in which Vedic culture is pitted against the Dravidian divisiveness that is being backed by Christian evangelism. At another level, I found that the sensationalized media reports were too one-sided, and none of them had a single statement to report from the swami himself. Furthermore, there was chaos and mismanagement of the crisis from Swami Nithyananda’s inner circle. In hindsight, things might have turned out differently had they managed more sensibly and faster – which I will elaborate later in this article. Given this, another interest of mine has been to extrapolate important lessons from this episode for other Hindu organizations, which I predict will face similar scandals as and when their weaknesses become understood by those opposed to them. This article highlights my findings at these multiple levels and issues.
During this 2-week investigative period, I have been loyal to my pledge to give Swami Nithyananda’s organization the benefit of doubt and to report their side of the story. Besides wanting to balance out the one-sided media depictions, I wanted access to the ashram’s core group for my own research on the broader subject of civilization encounters. I respect the sensitivities of that organization consisting of many decent and dedicated devotees who have sacrificed a great deal and stand to lose a lot.
But I have concluded that the situation is now beyond repair for Swami Nithyananda and that his continued involvement can only damage the broader interests of dharma as well as jeopardize the ashramites. Along with two other sympathizers who are not ashramites, I have personally recommended to Swami Nithyananda that the best course at this stage would be for him to resign completely from his organization. He should turn it over to a small team of senior Hindu mahatmas, so that the assets can be used in the best interests of dharma. Further, under the guidance of these mahatmas he must live a quiet life as a sadhu devoid of any institutional responsibilities. Because the head of any organization must accept responsibility that “the buck stops here,” only such a move can salvage the organization and the reputation of dharma at large. Over several years, this resignation would hopefully reduce the massive pressure that has built up against him personally, and enable him to live peacefully as a sadhu. It is up to him to accept or reject this advice. The basis for this conclusion becomes clearer once the reader has gone through the rest of this article.
I want to begin by examining some principles about the relationships between siddhis (extraordinary yogic powers), morality, Tantra and sex. This will provide the framework in which to interpret what has happened. Then I will turn to my initial interest in pursuing the challenges facing Hinduism in south India from a variety of forces.
Siddhis (Extraordinary Yogic Powers) and Morality A few days ago, I had the honor of having a two-hour private conversation with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at his ashram in Rishikesh. I introduced myself as an independent researcher who is writing a series of books on Indian civilization in the context of the global challenges and opportunities. One of my volumes will be specifically on the major global gurus since the 1960s – including Krishnamurti, Swami Muktananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Pabhupada, among others - as well as living global gurus such as Sri Sri himself. I have been investigating what happened to such gurus, in terms of the shifts in their Western followers over time, their scandals, their Indian followers and critics, and also how each guru negotiated his/her position sandwiched between Indian orthodoxy on one side and Western modernity on the other. The relevance of this in the context of Swami Nithyananda will become clear very soon. The first provocative question I asked Sri Sri concerned the nature of yogic powers: What is the relationship between siddhis and morality? If siddhis are a scientific phenomena dealing with powers that can be harnessed by all humans then one must bear in mind that science deals with truths that are morally neutral. If Einstein was declared to have lived an immoral life it would not invalidate his scientific theories. A person who designs aircrafts or any other complex technological systems may or may not be moral in order to be effective in his technical work. In other words, rtam (the patterns of the cosmos) which we discover and call science, functions independently of human morality. This is why a scientific principle can be used either morally or immorally, because it is independent of morality. There are moral persons who lack any siddhis or even ordinary scientific competence. Conversely, there are great siddhas (like Ravana) who lack morality. Sri Sri’s pranayama techniques would also produce results for an immoral person.
Sri Sri seemed impressed by this question, and agreed with my overall position on the independence between siddhis and morality. But he pointed out that the moral dimension, while not determining the siddhis, was also important because it led to receiving the grace of the divine. I agree with him.
So there are two separate phenomena involved: (i) spiritual technologies that are objective and that allow anyone to harness spiritual energies, and (ii) morality which is important in itself, not for attaining siddhis, but in order to have a positive relationship with the divine. Either one can be developed without the other; however, the dharma tradition encourages us to cultivate both. The reason that meditation systems prescribe things like vegetarian diet, ahimsa, etc. is because an inappropriate lifestyle interferes with the mental tranquility required to advance. This lifestyle change can be appreciated regardless of whether one believes in a personal God. This absence of a personal God is clear in Buddhist meditation. Different Hindu systems place different levels of emphasis upon a personal God for the yoga to function. This is why many secular and scientifically minded persons are also drawn towards meditation techniques. In other words, something cannot be a science if it depends upon morality, because science is objective and stands independent of morality.
The relevance of this question is as follows: Many persons who have learned advanced meditation from Swami Nithyananda want to know if any moral breaches by him would invalidate the whole Hindu claim of achieving higher states of consciousness. When a far worse sex scandal against the legendry Swami Muktananda emerged in the 1990s, involving charges by a large number of his Western female disciples, the Western academy rashly condemned not only one man’s morality, but the whole legitimacy of the Indian tradition itself. In that series of debates (with Risa scholars like Sarah Caldwell, etc.), I took the same position then as I am taking now: that Muktananda’s capabilities in harnessing spiritual energies are separate and independent from whether or not he violated any code of morality.
Patanjali warns against getting lured by siddhis which appear along the way when one practices advanced meditation persistently. One is not supposed to indulge in them. This warning is found in various Hindu systems that deal with the body as a vehicle for spiritual evolution, because these energies are very powerful and can get out of control. Another point that is worth noting is that the techniques taught by Swami Nithyananda are not his original ones; he has made it clear repeatedly that they are from the Shiva Sutras which have a long history in our civilization. I feel that he does have the siddhi of being able to transmit these techniques very effectively to others. For instance, I have never before in my life been able to sit still and alert in meditation for the whole night, but he had a few hundred persons in a large hall achieving this. The point here is similar to saying that the mathematics and golf I have learned from someone is not invalidated when the teacher is found to be immoral.
Hence, the issue of his morality must be pursued separately and independently from whether his siddhis are genuine.
rajiv Malhotra on the Hindu Scandals Part 2
« Reply #13 on: Mar 29th, 2010, 2:12pm »
Is Tantra a Part of Hinduism? The second question that I asked Sri Sri could not be completely dealt with in the time available for our meeting. I hope to pursue this some day with him and with various other acharyas for my own benefit. Its significance in the present scandal becomes clear soon. I asked whether the Shiva Sutras are valid, pointing out that among the 112 spiritual enlightenment techniques taught in them, about 6 deal with sexual contact between a male yogi and a female yogini. Kashmir Shaivism as well as the Tantra traditions have included exemplars that practiced these techniques. Recently, Osho tried to revive them and nowadays Deepak Chopra has brought some elements of these into his repertoire. Sunthar Vishvalingam, a US based scholar of Tantra and Kashmir Shaivism, is one of the voices who brings out the authenticity of these approaches in the tradition, despite the common rejections by society at large. The tradition considers itself not suitable for mainstream society and is meant only for a small subset of people.
Many popular Hindu rituals and symbols have emerged out of the Tantra traditions – such as Shiva lingam, etc. The Tantra and Vedic traditions were not separate until recent times. The Vedic-Tantric integration is found in Adi Shankara all the way to Jiva Goswami (the great integrator of Vaishnavism who took Ramanuja’s ideas further), and even more recently in the life of Sri Ramakrishna. The Bihar School of Yoga has Tantra practitioners, but they do it privately and not publicly.
I have an unpublished monograph that shows the history of this shift in Indian consciousness concerning Tantra. It was under British rule that certain Indian leaders (such as Ram Mohan Roy) started to condemn (as part of their “reform” of Hinduism) those aspects of Hinduism that bothered puritan Christian values. It must be noted that Christianity has had a very negative posture towards the human body starting with the Biblical episode of Origin Sin. This is why female priests (called “witches”) got demonized by the Church in its very official genocide of several million practitioners across Europe. This Church prosecution was called the Inquisition and was widespread for a few centuries. The use of shakti and anything concerning the body as a spiritual resource was considered not only immoral but also demonic, and was outlawed with draconian enforcement. The term “occult” was used to refer to a vast assortment of such practices and was heavily condemned by the Church as the work of the Devil. This mentality entered India under the British. The Criminal Tribes Act of India was passed by the British in the late 1800s. It listed several dozen tribes that practiced such “evil” techniques, and they were officially persecuted into extinction. A middle-class “whitened” Hinduism evolved as the mark of being “civilized” on British terms. We could be proud of our identity, now that it was “cleansed” of “primitive” practices of our ancestors.
In this history of removing Tantra out of Hinduism, some people include Swami Vivekananda among those who undermined Tantra. I disagree with this charge. He was saying a separate set of things to his Western audiences than to Indians. In his Western lecture tours, he presented a Hinduism that Westerners could relate to and appreciate, but he did not ask Indians to shift their practice. It is unfortunate that after his death, the Ramakrishna Mission he started has diluted itself into a sort of pseudo-Christianity. Kali and other related Tantra deities, symbols and rituals that were dear to Ramakrishna himself, have become “hidden” for the “private” use by the monks, but are marginalized publicly and considered as an embarrassment. Their lead in this direction has spread across modern Hinduism to such an extent that Vedic Hinduism has become separated from Tantra, and Tantra is now widely condemned by many Hindu gurus. This is also a factor that worked against Swami Nithyananda’s reputation among orthodox Hindu leaders, for he uses Tantric techniques that arouse body energies, such as kundalini.
My own feeling is that Tantra is making a big comeback. First there was Western popularity of distorted versions of Tantra; but this is now being followed by more clinical experimentation by psychologists and others. The whole issue of latent human energies and potentials (both positive and dangerous) is a hot topic of serious scientific investigation. Hindus should reclaim this aspect of their own tradition rather than waiting for U-Turned (appropriated) versions to get re-exported back to India, packaged as “Made in USA” spiritual science. This requires an attitude of experimentation under the appropriate controls to prevent abuses and quackery.
I just returned from Kumbh Mela where I walked amidst several tens of thousands of naga sadhus who were completely naked. I did not consider them as either vulgar or primitive. The old guard of Hindu orthodoxy rejects Tantra at least in public, and yet lives in contradictions because they do respect the naga sadhus and also the various symbols and rituals that have their foundations in Tantra. The vacuum left by avoiding the subject of Tantra has created opportunities for the likes of Wendy Doniger to formulate distorted interpretations. I feel that Hindu spiritual practitioners as well as intellectuals must take control over Tantra as an intrinsic part of our tradition.
Sex and Morality Against this backdrop, I will address the issue of Swami Nithyananda’s morality. Just to recap: • My first point above has been that the morality issue about Swami Nithyananda does not impact the effectiveness of the meditation techniques he has taught very successfully. Their efficacy is best evaluated by the tens of thousands of practitioners for themselves. • My second point was that there is nothing inherent about sex that is rejected by Hinduism across the board, although certain strains of Hinduism do reject sex seeing it as harmful to spirituality. Here it must be noted that brahmacharya (involving sexual abstinence) is just one of the spiritual paths of Hinduism. The first half of my recent stay in Haridwar was as a guest of the Gayatri Pariwar, one of the greatest and largest Hindu movements, that does not advocate being brahmacharya. Its founder, its present head and its members at large, are householders and not brahmacharyas. But for Swami Nithyananda to claim moral authenticity under this system, he would have to pronounce himself as a householder and not a sannyasin. He has never done that, so we must examine his morality by some other criteria.
Another approach for him could have been to announce himself as an experimenter of Tantra for modern times, thereby making himself transparent of any such charges. This would place him in the same category as Osho. Many times in his public discourses and teachings, he has praised Osho as his greatest teacher and enlightened exemplar. He even said that many of his own teachings were derived from Osho. But he failed to publicly clarify whether he was practicing those techniques that involve sex. Privately, he explained to me in recent days that Shiva Sutras have two categories of techniques. Most of the sutras do not involve physical contact with another person and only use the four senses of sight, sound, taste and smell as pathways to spiritual experiences. Hence an individual practices these techniques entirely on his/her own. This path is what he has taught thus far to the public. The best pursuit of this path is as a brahamacharya according to him, and he has initiated many followers into it. But for a small number of persons, he feels that the 6 sutras involving sexual Tantra need to be tested and perfected for modern times, before they can be safely taught more widely. This he considers like any R & D done in a lab for developing a product.
My sense is that he did practice Tantra with a very small number of persons, and I believe that he even entered into written legal contracts with them to make sure that both parties were clear about the arrangement. The reason for this “Non-Disclosure Agreement” was to make sure that someone who willingly approaches him for Tantra does not later accuse him of physical contact. On March 9 (about a week ago), I did a specific video interview with him dealing with this issue very specifically. But this video was blocked by his ashram leaders even though he personally felt that it was a good idea to show it. I gave up arguing in favor of showing it, because his ashram management took a firm stand against it. I still feel that this was a blunder they made. Swami Nithyananda is very forthright and clear in that interview – I felt that it was the best interview of all the ones I did with him, but it was never made public.
I surmise that Rancitha, the Tamil actress in the scandalous videotape, was practicing Tantra with him. He taught her the self-control she had to achieve before any intimacy. I have tried to interview her in order to get her side of the story, but so far I have not succeeded in getting through to her. Based on third party reports from some persons who are in touch with her, and the media reports of her statements, her stance seems to be along the following lines: She took the sexual initiative with him on the occasion shown in the videotape, at a time when he was not fully alert. But this activity did not proceed to intercourse. It was terminated. She has also said that the videos being shown on TV are manipulated versions of what actually happened, because they exaggerate the situation. They do not show portions where he asked her to stop. Different clips from various videos seem to have been turned into a single video by editing. She has not filed any complaint against him.
Rajiv Malhotra on the Hindu Scandals Part 3
« Reply #14 on: Mar 29th, 2010, 2:19pm »
So in the worst case, this was consensual sex between adults, and that too backed by a formal written contract between the parties. Because she has refused to give any statement against Swami Nithyananda, she feels threatened by those who set her up and who did this sting. I hear that she has gone overseas to protect her safety from this mafia-like conspiracy. I have not been able to corroborate this thesis directly from her.
My concern about his morality is, therefore, not based on sex between consenting adults. Rather, my moral issue is about the lack of transparency before the public. He could have openly said that he wants to select a few yoginis to experiment Tantra under mutual consent. At worst this would have upset many followers and pushed them away. In response to my concern over his lack of transparency, he could offer the argument that this was a private activity between adults who are under no obligation to disclose it to the public. After all, people do not go about broadcasting their sexual lives. So long as this was under mutual consent, he might say, it cannot be an offense. And if it was done under the Tantra portions of the Shiva Sutra, it was also an act within the Hindu tradition despite the controversy surrounding Tantra today.
Having given this best case argument on his behalf, I must say that there could also be the alternative scenario, namely, that this was mere lust packaged as Tantric spirituality. David White, one of Wendy’s Children, has written extensively making the claim that all Tantra is “hard core porn” that gets wrapped up before the public in metaphysical mumbo-jumbo to appear to be legitimate spirituality, which he calls “soft porn” coating. White’s latest book takes this allegation to the extreme, and states that all major yogic exemplars in Indian history were basically not engaged in any kind of spirituality at all. Instead, he claims, they were developing personal power for the purpose of exploiting others. I am unqualified to comment on whether Swami Nithyananda’s case fits this notion of “soft porn,” or whether it was legitimate Tantra. Nor do I have adequate factual data of what happened to pass judgment either way.
This concludes what I have to say about his morality issue as shown in the sex tapes. My Impressions of Swami Nithyananda Prior to this Scandal I was introduced to Swami Nithyananda a couple of years ago, by a prominent Hindu leader based in California. This man was so impressed by the young swami that he frequently called me to speak about him in glowing terms. I told him that I had a guru already, and that my present interest in interacting with gurus was mainly as a part of my research for my book on global gurus. He arranged a private meeting for me with Swami Nithyanana which I used mostly to explain the civilization threats facing Hinduism, citing numerous examples, and questioned him on his position in this regard. I found him to be very sharp, a great listener, and in agreement that we must engage social issues rather than pursuing the “world negating” or “escapist” paths that are typical of many gurus today.
Later on, I attended a weekend course in USA where he taught the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. I have read several translations of this great classical work, but I had never before seen it taught experientially. Swami Nithyananda gave the attendees their own personal inner experience of every one of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s system, right up to and including samadhi. This was quite an achievement in two days.
Overall, my interactions with him remained centered largely on the geopolitics of religions. I saw him as a prominent swami who was not running away from troubling issues, such as Christian conversions and the Dravidianization of Tamil identity. Given that I have been writing a book on this very issue in Tamil Nadu for three years (now in the editing stage), I was especially impressed by his experimental program of a Hindu temple on wheels traveling from village to village. In each village this mobile temple stops and offers chanting, a talk by one of the leaders, food, medicines, etc. So it combines religion with social service and thus competes directly against Christian evangelism. Rather than building a temple in every village and needing a purohit in each of the thousands of villages across Tamil Nadu, the strategy was to bring to each village this “temple on wheels.” What I discovered by my own independent fact finding was that wherever this temple on wheels went, the missionaries were upset because it blunted their conversion efforts.
I attended his 21-day meditation program in December 2009. The various techniques in it are very deep and transformative. The best evaluation of this can be done by the hundreds of attendees, who were divided roughly equally between Indians and whites from North America.
In several side conversations with him as well in the public forum, I pursued the point that I already have a guru since 1994, so I was not looking for a new guru. Since my guru had left the body a few years ago, I wanted to continue learning new techniques for my practice. I explained to him that I had previously learned and practiced meditation techniques from multiple sources for over 30 years, including: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Yogi Amrit Desai (who certified me as a teacher), Deepak Chopra, Vipasana, and more. Additionally, I had practiced numerous bhakti traditions, as well as formal Vedanta education from Swami Chinmayananda and Ramakrishna Mission. I went through a serious study of the writings by Sri Aurobindo, various Madhyamika Buddhist systems, Kashmir Shaivism, Ramana Maharshi, etc. So I was not seeking a new guru like most others who took his courses. I have to say that he never pressured me to adopt him as my new guru, and even said that one must remain loyal to one’s guru. To be classified as a devotee/disciple of his, there are two criteria, neither of which applies to me. First, there is an optional program one can sign up for, to do “paada puja” at the guru’s feet, in order to develop a special link with him. The second is that one can ask to be given an initiation with a new name, in which case his policy is that the person must legally change his/her name, and use this new name publicly. I did not do either of these steps. So my relationship is not as a devotee or disciple, but more arms-length.
It was a two-way street. While he taught me meditation, I brought to him my scholarship on the geopolitical positioning of Hinduism which I feel the gurus know only superficially. They do not adequately know things like: Western philosophy, neither religious nor secular; or Western history; or Western institutions that have been set up explicitly to spread its civilization; or various global campaigns under way to invade Indian civilization through conversions, education, media, political policymaking and more.
He requested that I should present him my findings on such matters so that he and his senior acharyas could learn. I told him that most gurus have little time to listen attentively to a layperson like me, because the gurus like to do all the talking. He replied that he would sit and listen to me seriously. I made it clear that I was disinterested in giving a short talk of a few minutes, because my findings required considerable time to be examined seriously. I told him that I would need two full days of undivided attention, so that I could present 300 Powerpoint slides.
Swami Nithyananda sent me an invitation when I was in Delhi to visit his ashram and present my research. I was delighted to have such an important audience. I was very impressed by the fact that he sat through two long days of my talks, about 12 hours per day. He asked his 40 top acharyas and various thought leaders in his ashram to sit and listen to me for both the days. The interactions were intense, and I explained many points from my forthcoming books. I felt that he and I had a peer relationship, each side being an expert in his domain to teach the other. After my two days of talks were over, he asked me to help him incorporate my core ideas into his curriculum, so as to make sure that his teachings helped position the Vedic civilization properly. No other guru in the world has invested so much time with me to try and learn these global issues so deeply. (The only other prominent guru I know personally who understands these issues about the external challenges is Swami Dayananda Saraswati.) Most gurus tend to either be dismissive by resorting to spiritual loftiness, or imagine that they already know whatever there is worth knowing. Thus, my primary interest in Swami Nithyananda was as a vehicle to spread greater awareness of the kinds of issues that I was researching. (For instance, he bought a couple of hundred copies of the book, “Invading the Sacred” at the full price, and made it required reading for all his ashram residents.)
I must balance this praise with criticism. In my 2-day talks, I had explicitly discussed that many gurus were falling prey to sex scandals, often with women planted as part of sting operations, or women in the inner circle who got too close and let things get out of control. Despite these warnings, it seems that nothing concrete was done to prevent or at least anticipate the crisis that was to follow.