Madurai Aadheenam: Hindus outraged at Nithy’s appointment as pontiff – Media Reports

Nithyananda's coronation in Madurai

Hindus outfits will approach court as protest against Nithyananda’s appointment as mutt head grows – B. Sivakumar

The protests against the anointment of controversial godman Nithyananda as head of the Madurai Adheenam, a Shaivaite mutt, gained momentum on Monday with Hindu outfits threatening to approach the court for a solution. Several Hindu outfits and other mutts across the state are planning a joint campaign. The 1,500-year-old adheenam has more than 1,000 acres of land and other properties under its control.

Defending the appointment, the present pontiff of the mutt, Arunagirinatha Desikar, said on Sunday that “a divine voice” had prompted him to name Nithyananda, who was caught in a sleaze tape controversy two years ago, as his successor. The Hindu Makkal Katchi is planning to bring together like-minded groups and heads of other adheenams on May 10 in Madurai for a meeting. The Hindu leaders will also address a public meeting the same day.

“We are planning to move vacation bench of the Madras high court against the appointment, which is against all traditional procedures. Appointing a controversial person as head of the Madurai Adheenam is a disgrace to all other adheenams,” said Arjun Sampath, general secretary of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, a breakaway group of the Hindu Munanni.

There are around 18 adheenams across the state, many of which control Shiva temples. Though the state-run Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department is the custodian of these temples, the heads of mutts are the traditional trustees and take care of the day-to-day administration and rituals.

“A big chunk of the income from these temples, including hundi collections, also goes to the adheenams,” said Tamil research scholar T M Selvaganapathy. “Their main activities include administration of temples under their control, managing schools and colleges run by the mutts and publishing religious books and periodicals.”

The Madurai mutt is the oldest among the adheenams. Contrary to popular belief, Shaivaite saint Thirugnana Sambandar (8th century) did not establish this adheenam, said temple research scholar Ooran Adigal. “Sambandar was invited for a debate against Jainism and he won the debate. He stayed on at the mutt and it came to be called Sambandar Adheenam,” he said.

The major problem faced by many adheenams is finding appropriate successors. “Earlier, there used to be many tambirans (junior pontiffs) in each adheenam. But now, not many are ready to become a pontiff, renouncing worldly pleasures. That is the reason why the present Madurai pontiff has chosen a controversial person to head the organization. But the proper procedure is to train juniors and hand over charge to them when the pontiff is not able to carry out his duties due to ill-health or other reasons,” said Ooran Adigal.

While the state government does not have full control over the mutts, they have to submit audited accounts to the HR&CE commissioner every year. “Under the HR&CE Act, the state gets a share of the temple incomes and oversees administration. We cannot interfere in the appointment of heads of these adheenams as they are governed by their own rules and regulations,” said a senior state official. – Times of India, Chennai, 1 May 2012

Hindus protest the appointment of Nithy as Madurai Aadheenam pontiff.
Hindus protest against Nithy’s appointment

Even as Hindu outfits and religious leaders expressed dismay at his decision, the Madurai Aadheenam head reiterated on Sunday controversial self-styled godman Nityananda was his successor to be the 293rd pontiff of the influential Saivite mutt.

Police had a tough time controlling protesters who tried to enter the mutt where Nityananda was introduced to the media.

Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath said it was shocking the Aadheenam head had chosen to ignore strong sentiments of Saiva Hindus and crowned Nityananda, who faced criminal cases.

“We are not sure if the Aadheenam followed tradition. We want a personal audience with the mutt head. We fear he is a prisoner of circumstances.”

Mr Sampath said Saivite Thirugnana Sambandar, who founded the mutt 1,600 years ago, wore rudraksha, but the Aadheenam head and Nityananda wore gold.

Nityananda hit the headlines in March 2010 after TV channels showed his sleazy video with an actress. He was arrested a month later in Himachal. He claimed the video was fake, but police insisted they had evidence. – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, 30 April 2012

All Shaivite Mutts express displeasure at Nithy’s appointment

Hindu religious outfits and followers of Saivism opposed the appointment of self-styled godman Nityananda as the 293rd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam, an ancient Saivite mutt in the country, even as an unfazed aadheenam, Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, enthroned him as his ‘rightful’ successor in the mutt in Madurai on Sunday.

Nityananda , who landed in a controversy after a sleazy video footage telecast by a TV channel showed him with an actress and is facing criminal cases, received blessings from the senior pontiff after presenting him a golden crown and tulsi garland.

The senior in turn crowned him as the inheritor of Madurai aadheenam and wore a rudraksha mala around his neck.

The aadheenam conferred the title, Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, on him as the controversial godman’s followers applauded.

T. Suresh Babu, president of Sandigeswara Nayanar Narpani Sangam, claimed he was sent as a representative of other Saivite mutts of Turuvaduthurai, Dharumai, Perur, Tiruppanandhal and Kundrakudi to express their displeasure over Nityananda’s pontiffship to Madurai aadheenam.

“Nityananda and his group did not allow me to meet the pontiff in person. Hence, I had to meet him in their presence and two police officials accompanied me fearing my safety,” he told Deccan Chronicle.

“When I told the sannidhanam that the Saivite world is shocked over Nityananda being declared as his successor and the move has only brought disrepute to the mutt, aadheenam said he is the only ‘fit saint’ who can carry forward Tirugnana Sambandar’s (visionary saint of Saiva Siddhanta philosophy) legacy,” he said.

“I was also shocked to hear him speak for the very first time in singular about the other mutt heads who had objected to Nityananda ‘s pontiffship,” he said.

Babu said the senior pontiff has become a “prisoner of circumstances”.

He ruled out the possibility of aadheenam being lured by money as the mutt has several thousands of crores worth properties. “Aadheenam is trapped. His life is in danger. We suspect a conspiracy to grab the mutt’s properties,” Babu alleged.

Hindu Makkal Katchi announced it would mobilise all mutt heads to agitate for the removal of Nityananda from the pontiffship to protect the sanctity of Madurai aadheenam. – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, 30 April 2012

Arun SampathProtest greets new pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam

Madurai: Tension prevailed at the Madurai Aadheenam here on Sunday after members of a Hindu outfit entered into a heated argument with supporters of Nithyananda over the legitimacy of appointing the controversial godman as the 293rd pontiff of the mutt. Members of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, led by Arjun Sampath, also staged a protest condemning Nithyananda’s appointment and demanded that the government intervene and safeguard the glory of the ancient mutt.

Meanwhile, Arunagirinatha Ganamandhasikar, the current pontiff of the mutt, categorically told members of the Hindu outfit that during his recent Nithyananda had all the qualities to be appointed as the 293rd pontiff and it was not necessary to consult other Aadheenams before appointing a pontiff for Madurai Aadheenam.

“I was a bit reluctant to accept the responsibility because of the controversy surrounding me, but Arunagirinatha gave me the confidence. I will run the mutt as per his advice,” said Nithyananda.

Nithyananda also said that 50 members from his ashram would soon visit the Madurai Aadheenam to manage the mutt and he would also open free schools in the district.

Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath and others demanded talks with Arunagirinatha in connection with the appointment of Nithyananda as pontiff.

However, Arunagirintha reportedly refused to meet anyone but later, six members, including Sandikeswarar Narpani Mandram leader Suresh Babu, were allowed to meet him.

While Arunagirintha defended the appointment, supporters of Nithyananda raised slogans in praise of him. Outraged by this, Hindu outfit members raised slogan against Nithyananda.

Police then pacified the agitators and brought them out of the mutt. – The New Indian Express, Chennai, 20 April 2012

Madurai Aadheenam ParamacharyaPontiff defends decision to make Nithy mutt head

Madurai: Amid protests by Hindu outfits, the pontiff of a Madurai mutt, Arunagirinatha Desikar, on Sunday defended his decision to appoint the scam-tainted godman, Nithyananda, as his successor.

“It is a well thought out decision for the welfare and growth of the mutt,” said the pontiff. The charges against Nithyananda are false and those levelling allegations against him are ignorant, he told reporters at a press conference along with Nithyananda, even as an angry group of activists from Hindu outfits staged a protest outside the mutt.

Neither the government nor Hindu outfits could interfere in the mutt’s matters, he said. “I was looking for a successor for the Adheenam (mutt) for the past eight years. In this backdrop, I visited the ‘Nithyananda Dhyana peedam’ in Bangalore. The moment I saw him, a divine voice told me he was the right person. I spoke to Nithyananda about this. He hesitated due to the allegations levelled against him. But I convinced him Adheenam needs an individual with spiritual and administrative skills,” Desikar said. – TOI, Mumbai, 30 April 2012

Nithy & Ranjitha

More videos concerning the Nithyananda sex scandal can be viewed at

Earlier posts

  1. Nithyananda-Ranjitha Video – Nakkheeran
  2. Nithyananda gets Paramacharya Swamigal title, gives Madurai Aadheenam one crore rupees – Media Reports
  3. “Nithyananda insulting judiciary, Hinduism” – Hindu Makkal Katchi
  4. CID charges Nithyananda with rape, sodomy, cheating, conspiracy, and criminal intimidation – Media Reports
  5. Nithyananda-Ranjitha sex tape not tampered – CID
  6. Nithy arrested in Himachal Pradesh – Media Reports
  7. Sex, lies, a feature film, Nithy & Ranjitha – Kunal M. Shah
  8. Nithy resigns from ashram and associated trusts – Media Reports
  9. Nithy’s Defence Team: Sexist, Racist, and Xenophobic – Ishwar Sharan
  10. The Nithyananda Mea Culpa Interview? – Rajiv Malhotra
  11. Debutante Dharma-Gurus: Violating a civilizational patent – Sandhya Jain
  12. Nithyananda videos:  A testing time for Hindus – Radha Rajan
  13. All videos available at

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