When the public persecution of Sri Nithyananda Swami started he had already touched millions of devotees around the world, and had several hundred people living at the ashram to study and grow spiritually.
When the morphed video was first aired on TV on March 2, 2010, all hell broke loose. For several years what followed was consistent and deliberate media slandering of Swamiji and anything associated with him, as well as physical violence against the ashram and the residents there. In one incident on Jun 7, 2012 tabloid news channel Suvarna TV hired a group of thugs, and was already waiting there with TV crews to film as these thugs literally attempted murder of the monks living in Swamiji’s ashram by bashing them over the head with heavy stones, which was all caught on video. Click through the rest of this site to see details of that incident.
It is impossible to describe the intense agony and suffering experienced by those close to Swamiji, particularly those who had been living around him, and his monks who had renounced and left everything in the world to be around their Guru, who was everything to them and they loved more than life itself. Imagine the agony and suffering of not knowing what would happen to Swamiji, when Swamiji was not only slandered, but illegally arrested and tortured in jail while he was held illegally on what would later prove to be false charges, with police acting without authority (as later confirmed by the High Court of Karnataka).
Fortunately the powerful transformation that Swamiji caused in the lives of those around him, created an unshakeable faith both in his innocence and in the belief that eventually justice would prevail.
By not just surviving, but THRIVING during this brutal coordinated media attack, Swamiji has shown the strength of his Enlightenment and the strength of Hindu Vedic tradition, which has produced Enlightened spiritual Masters from time immemorial.
Below are some sharings gathered from the internet of Swamiji’s devotees from around the world, sharing a glimpse of what was going through their hearts and minds at the time the crusade against Nithyananda started:
This is only a partial survey of some of those devotees affected, to give a glimpse into the real life effects caused by the conspirators and the trial-by-media persecution
“If I had been raped even once in my life, that would have been burned in my memory for life. This lady claims to be raped 100+ times and doesn’t even remember where??”Ma Nithya Bhaktikananda
I was in India when the fake videos were first aired on Sun TV, travelling to Kumbh Mela in Haridwar with friends from the ashram. Since we were backpacking, we didn’t see any television or newspapers, so expected to find the Nithyananda camp in the Kumbh grounds. When we arrived there, however, we looked and looked but couldn’t find Swamiji’s camp anywhere, and somehow I had a sinking feeling about that, since we were in the place where it was supposed to be. People only glared at us and eyed our malas suspiciously when we asked, “Where is the Nithyananda camp?”
Finally, we left the Mela grounds and went into Haridwar to find a hotel room. One elderly couple in a photography shop there took me aside and said, “Did you not hear the news about your Guru?”
I asked, “What news?”
The man handed me that day’s newspaper, which had a video still from Sun TV, and said, “It seems your Swamiji is involved in a sex scandal. He won’t be here, and police are taking action.”
The whole thing felt like slow motion; I couldn’t fathom Swamiji being implicated in anything scandalous, and dreaded the idea of the police taking action against Him. I just held the paper and teared up.
The woman asked, “Now what will you do? Find another Master?”
I said, “No. Swamiji is my only Master; there’s nobody else for me. His name will be cleared, and I’ll continue to follow Him.”
She asked me why I was so sure, so I shared about how I found Swamiji, what LBE and IA had been like, what we experienced. After a few minutes, she just held Swamiji’s picture from my mala to her forehead and said, “If His devotees are unshaken even by this headline, Nithyananda must surely be a true Master.”
Her husband also bowed to the mala picture, and they wished us a safe journey, and suggested we go to the Kumbh Mela and dip in Ganga even though Swamiji wouldn’t be there, and said they would pray for Him and for His devotees to come out of this.
Not everyone in India was as kind as that Haridwar couple; we received emails from the ashram warning not to wear our malas visibly, since people were being beaten and assaulted by media. We decided, (Ben and Marie and I,) we would not remove our malas, no matter what, and would protect each other if anything happened.
For me, the hardest part of the scandal was knowing that Swamiji was being disrespected by dirty minded people who don’t know His divinity and power. It was worse than if someone was just making fun of me or hitting or hurting me; seeing the One who I care about more than anything or anyone else in existence being abused was too painful. Seeing the images of burnt buildings in the ashram, and reading about sannyasis being violently attacked, it was heartbreaking. Deep down, I knew Swamiji would be victorious, but every day that He was in jail was like living a nightmare; when I left India and flew back to Canada, I felt hollow and helpless, wanting to give my life to see Swamiji back in Bidadi living His mission, and not knowing what to do about it… Nobody should ever have to see their Master attacked.
When we returned for Living Enlightenment Process, it was the happiest time for me, seeing Swamiji in His home again. There was one moment that will be forever etched in my heart: on Ganesha Chaturti, hundreds of people were gathered in front of Nithyanandeshwara temple to receive prasad from Swamiji. He was sitting there on His throne, giving energized sweets to tons and tons of locals, and I just couldn’t stop smiling; it was then that I knew He had won, and would always win! He gave the most radiant smile… a smile that could melt any heart. I really believe His smile will eventually break even the most stubborn anti-Hindu so-called intellectual atheists, and make this whole world know it is only His Sangha!SudeviVancouver, Canada
It makes me cry reading all these incidents…..that they tortured my Master so much. I’m also very grateful that He prevailed and He is with us now…and will never leave us.Sheela RangenIndia
During the Scandal and upon seeing the video, my heart was broken and I was so confused! Having physically seen Swamiji only once and listening to some of his discourses, I said to myself that there is no way this video could be real. I said to myself that I trust life, and it would never steer me wrong especially from my spiritual path.
I pleaded to Swamiji to please heal this confusion and shed light on the issue. Meanwhile the abuse that the media did to Swamiji was painful to me. He had done so much for society, and it hurt me to see His Ashram being burnt and Ashramites being beaten for no reason. It was at this point where I was ashamed of being Indian. Having read all the media reports, I became mentally exhausted and decided to take a nap.
Suddenly Swamiji came in my dreams and gave me a powerful vision! I saw his flashing blissful smile with His right hand blessing everybody present! It was a lovely sunny day, and He was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of people. Upon experiencing the vision, I knew things would work out, but then my logic would kick in from time to time –“But how? How will He survive from all this? Look at all the lies and misleading information that is being spread by the media on a constant basis? How is that possible?” I pushed it aside and knew that visions don’t come to for any reason; I knew it would all work out! How? I had no clue, but I knew I would and that was enough for me to stay a bit more balanced.Vilma PatelAustin TX
I have been watching Swamiji’s daily Satsangs since 2008 but have not met Swamiji in person at that time or knew about the Sangha. Here in Switzerland, there was only a small article in the news. When we got to know about the video, my sis and I were shocked and could not believe what they told about our beloved Swamij. There was no single doubt that whatever was going to happen, that we would not give up Swamiji. We had a very close mail contact to one of the ashramites, supported them mentally and got some insights what Swamiji was doing and if he was is ok, because we were afraid for his life. We flagged videos on YouTube for hours. We missed Swamiji and his Satsangs very much. Some months later at Gurupoornima, Swamiji invited us for the LEP Program and I felt in my heart, that I must go and meet Swamiji. I had not done IA and so got the OK form the ashram only 3 days prior to the beginning of LEP. So I got the visa in one day, booked the flight and went. It was divine.Sandra MeyerSwitzerland
This is my story. When I first read the news in March 2010… that my guru Swamiji was arrested and sitting in jail… I couldn’t believe what I read. It was like I was in a dream. I was reading something on my computer screen in plain English, but it was so far beyond my understanding that it seemed to be in a foreign language… i couldnt understand how this could be talking about MY Swamiji who just a few months before I was sitting with in the December 2009 Inner Awakening program… Just sitting there looking and staring at him in awe and gratitude, with tears flowing out of my eyes for everything he had done for me and my family. The same Swamiji who I had already visited so many times. The same Swamiji who healed me. The one opened my eyes to who I really was. The one who would visit in my dreams to give me messages. The one who would answer me the moment I just closed my eyes and thought of him. The one who, if I just remembered him tears would come to my eyes… The same way they’re coming now while I’m just typing this and remembering him. So no — there’s no way I could believe this article was about the same Swamiji.
But it WAS about him. I thank God that in that crucial moment of disbelief, by some stroke of luck, I chose to just NOT jump to conclusions. It didn’t make sense how after all the healing and experiences he had given me which I know were 100% real, how he could secretly be leading a double life. I decided there and then never to watch that stupid video and to this day am happy to have never seen it.
But then the terrible feeling of being alone came. Not the regular superficial feeling of aloneness when you don’t have anybody to hang out with… but the stark feeling of aloneness realizing that Swamiji was my guiding light, probably watching after me for many lives before even I took this birth.. and fearing that now he may not be reachable anymore. Not even knowing what will happen to him. And also knowing how much he is needed. And all the confusions that come out of that.
During the illegal 53 day imprisonment while Swamiji was held in jail, I remember being in a really tough spot and clearly thinking that I should ask Swamiji for help… after all he is my guru and even if he’s in jail that’s not enough to stop him. So I silently appealed to Swamiji through his poster hanging in my room, because nobody else could help me at that time. And almost immediately the situation resolved itself! And I realized that even from jail the connection is there and he is taking care of me, and everyone else. It was a powerful experience.
But there was still this deep nagging feeling in me and I couldnt resolve, and I didn’t know how. Then finally the opportunity came when Swamiji was officially released from jail. I had to go see him.
I remember the day I first saw him just a few months after Swamiji was released. It was August and I HAD to fly to go see him, because I had to confirm that what I felt deep inside was real, and that what the news kept saying was not real. I had no way of knowing how I’d tell but I knew I would just feel it when I saw him… because the heart doesn’t lie.
So I had just flown to India and was standing there as part of the crowd, just waiting at the stairs of the temple as he walked towards us, blessing the crowd. The moment my eyes saw him, I was relieved that I came. Then the moment he stopped, turned towards me, looked into my eyes and smiled, I felt something pulling in my heart. Then when he put his hand on my head and just said “welcome back…” I felt his love and purity pouring out, the same way it always had. Something inside me felt a huge relief, as if what I had felt all along was confirmed. Some huge dam of emotion finally burst in me along with a flood of tears of gratitude. In that moment when he touched me, my heart clearly knew YES: THANK GOD I AM HERE and didn’t allow what everyone else was saying to take me away from him.
Then I stayed there in the Ashram for the next 2 months with Swamiji as he spent every day with us.. tenderly guiding, teaching, and giving spiritual experiences. My eyesight was very bad and I needed invasive surgery. One night I asked Swamiji to heal my eyes (since I had retinal detachment that doesn’t heal on it’s own) and he just put his hands on my eyes with just a touch, overnight, my eyes were 100% healed and still are to this day — the opthamalogist couldn’t understand how. During those 2 months there were a lot of ups and downs as I had to sort out many of my own confusions. But those 2 months were the peak of my young life up to that point and the most amazing experience of my life. To this day I am so grateful that one that first day when I read the news, some angel on my shoulder made me focus on the REAL Swamiji I had known, not what the media was trying to portray him as. I hope one day the full truth will come out.
Paul YevzikovReal Estate Investor, New York City
Healed me without taking a pennyChandra MohanBangalore, India
Don’t Hinder the good work done to the worldManish ChandraIndia