July 8, 2012
Smitha -“It’s difficult to imagine the 34-year-old religious Guru — complete with flowing dark tresses (with just a hint of gray), a dark red kumkum bindi on his forehead and a long rudraksha string round his neck — as a sex fiend. But the number of scandals that he has been dragged into in recent times speaks of at best a conspiracy, and, at worst, of seedy going on,”
Smitha muses during her interview with His Divine Holiness.
She reflects on recent news and recollects His history.
“We are sitting at the Madurai Adheenam, the oldest Shaivite mutt in South India. Established more than 1,500 years ago in the Tamil Nadu city of Madurai, the ashram for the Saiva Vellala community to which he also belongs is estimated to have assets worth Rs 1,200 crore.
In April, He was anointed the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam of the mutt — again amid wide protests in and outside Tamil Nadu by various Hindu organisations which said He didn’t belong to the community.
‘I refused to be a pontiff. I asked my senior pontiff why he wanted me to be the successor when I was mired in controversy,’ he says. ‘I offered him the names of possible successors but he insisted I should be the head. He had faith in my good work and has seen me grow in the past decade.’
His growth in the spiritual community has been quick. Born as Rajasekaran into a middle-class family in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, he was noticed by Yogiraj Yogananda Puri — a revered sadhu in his village — when he was three. The yogi took him as a disciple, predicting that he’d be a great saint one day.
Nithyananda’s father ran a grocery shop while his mother took care of their three sons. (His widowed mother now lives with him in his ashram, while his brothers visit him occasionally.) Rajasekaran went on to earn a diploma in mechanical engineering before donning saffron. ‘After my guru’s demise, I left my village when I was 17 and wandered for eight years before settling in Bangalore.’
When Nithyananda landed in Bangalore, he was virtually unknown. In 2003, He started His ashram Dhyanapeetam, in Bidadi near Bangalore, and shortly thereafter its US branch — Life Bliss Foundation — opened in Los Angeles. His devotee base and power grew exponentially, over time.
She quotes him,
“I am a growing organisation. My follower count has only increased despite the controversy. The people who left me are those who came looking for intellectual candy.”
The Telegraph is an Indian English daily newspaper founded and continuously published in Kolkata since 7 July 1982. It is published by the ABP Group and the newspaper competes with The Times of India. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it has a circulation of 466,001 copies as of Jul-Dec 2016.
For full article please see here.