“Arunagirinatha Desikan is known for courting controversies,” says M.C. Rajan

Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda DesikarSri Arunagirinathar Gnanasambantha Desika Paramacharya, the 292nd pontiff of the Madurai Adheenam, passed away in Madurai on 13th August 2021. He was 77. – The Hindu

Public discourse in Tamil Nadu has become so brazen that nothing shocks the people. If it has been a race to the bottom in politics, things are not rosy in other spheres either. With traditional religious orders losing their relevance, the mushrooming New Age godmen seem no better.

No wonder that sexcapades of prominent people in saffron robes or in other shades has replaced drawing-room discussions on dhoti-clad Dravidian netas’ yearning for fair-skinned women.

Nothing would better explain the public fatigue with religious icons than last week’s coronation of Nityananda, the self-styled godman embroiled in a sex scandal involving a tinsel world damsel, as the successor of one of the richest and oldest Saivite mutts, Madurai Aadheenam. The beleaguered godman received a shot in the arm with his anointment as the 293rd head of that institution.

This comes at a time when the conservative brahminical Sankara Mutt in Kancheepuram is fighting to retrieve its lost prestige after the 2004 arrest of the senior pontiff, Jayendra Saraswati and his junior, Vijayendra Saraswati. Though the godman’s elevation as a mutt head was greeted with disgust, there were no major protests.

There is a caste angle too. Headed only by those from the upper caste Pillaimar community, the Saivite mutts used to command respect and even supported the non-brahmin movement. But, over the years they have been plagued by turf wars over vast properties in addition to accusations of sleazy sexual activities. Adherents of Madurai Aadheenam claim it to be the most ancient, tracing its lineage from saint-poet Thirugnana Sambandar, one of the famed quartets of the Bhakti movement, which saw the decimation of Jainism and Buddhism in the state.

The current pontiff of Madurai, Arunagirinatha Desikan, is known for courting controversies. He had worked as a reporter with some Tamil dailies before joining the mutt and his former journalist colleagues have many stories to tell.

M. NatarajanBesides hobnobbing with pro-Tamil political groups and shady characters like M. Natarajan, hubby of Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala, he even flirted with Islamic groups. Though he presented his ring to M. Karunanidhi during the inauguration of the DMK headquarters Anna Arivalayam, Desikan had seen to it that he was always on the right side of the political divide.

Worse, this was not his first announcement about a successor. Earlier, he had appointed three boys, two of them allegedly his illegal sons, only to drive them away from the precincts of the mutt citing non-adherence to the tenets of the religious institution.

The current pontiff had no compunction in going all the way to Bangalore to perform the coronation which was followed by a gala ceremony in Madurai. Curiously enough, this followed Nityananda’s offer of Rs 1 crore to the mutt during a recent visit. He subsequently raised it fivefold. “Is there a deal?” is the question most people in Madurai are asking. Nityananda seems to be using the backing of the religious order to cleanse his sleazy image.

As the saying goes, every saint has a past and every sinner a future.  – MSN News, 3 May 2012

Nithy and Ranjitha

Sex and the godman – Venky Vembu

In one of his satsang discourses, which he typically infuses with levity to sustain ‘devotees’ interest, self-styled spiritual guru Swami Nityananda narrates a joke about God and Adam.

God approaches Adam and tells him, “I have good news and I have bad news for you.” Adam asks to be told the good news first, upon which God says that He has endowed Adam with a brain — with unbounded capacity to think and reason — and a sexual organ, which would open the gateway to limitless pleasures.

Adam is, of course, overjoyed at being the recipient of the best of both worlds, and wonders what the bad news might be.

To which, God responds: “At any given time, only one those faculties will work.”

For a self-styled ‘godman’ who was himself at the centre of a scandal that revolved around video footage of him allegedly disporting sexually with a Tamil actress, the joke may seem a little too close to home for comfort.

But evidently Nityananda reckons that the seedy events of two years ago — which he contests — have been buried six feet under. He claims that the video footage was morphed (a defence that Congress politician Abhishek Manu Singhvi too recently invoked), although he still has cases of sexual misconduct and rape pending against him. After a period of “spiritual seclusion” (and trouble with the law), he is out on bail, and back to offering sermons from his golden throne at the Bidadi ashram near Bangalore.

And in his sermons, he even makes references to a “time when bad people were around me and there was too much abuse” that almost sound confessional. The dark days are gone, he appeared to tell his worldwide audiences to whom the sermon was being live-streamed.

Yet, the karmic deeds of a past when kundalini forces — and the hormonal urges to which all men are susceptible — played havoc with a spiritual practice aren’t proving so easy to bury.

And last Sunday, when Nityananda was anointed pontiff of the Madurai Adheenam, a 1,400-year-old monastic order of Shiva worshippers, at an over-the-top lavish ceremony (where he was ‘coronated’, complete with a golden crown and a sceptre) in the temple town of Madurai, the old ghosts returned to haunt him.

A controversy has erupted over the appointment of Nityananda as the 293rd pontiff of the spiritual order, with heads of other Saivite spiritual orders taking strenuous objection to his appointment, citing the criminal cases still pending against him.

On Thursday, the Madras High Court ordered notice of admission on a writ petition seeking a direction to the State government to declare Nityananda’s appointment as illegal and to prevent him from acting as the guru.

The petition claimed that Nityananda, who had several cases (including case of sexual abuse) pending against him, was “absolutely incompetent” to hold the post that was venerated by Shiva devotees worldwide.

A second, PIL petition has been filed by M. Solaikannan, a local politician, claiming that Nityananda had appointed himself the spiritual head after taking the previous (292nd) pontiff into his illegal custody by deploying “henchmen” from Karnataka. The petition sought a direction to the State government to take control of the Madurai Adheenam.

Solaikannan alleged that Nityananda “does not practice celibacy and is not a sanyasi” — in the sense that he had nor relinquished worldly pleasures — and was therefore ineligible to head the spiritual order.

More damagingly, he alleged, Nityananda had “clandestinely and in a well-planned manner” usurped the Adheenam administration, which had 1,250 acres in its possession in addition to numerous temples and other properties in India and abroad worth in excess of Rs 1,200 crore. Sub-caste identities also are at the core of the opposition to Nityananda’s appointment; his detractors alleged that Nityananda hailed from the Arcot Mudaliar community, and was therefore ineligible to hold the post, which was open only for those belonging to the Saiva Vellalar sub-caste.

Nityananda refutes these allegations, and has threatened to launch defamation suits against those who are “slandering” him at the behest of “vested interests” that had encroached on the Adheenam’s property.

The whole episode shows up the fault lines that test the faith of the numerous followers of spiritual orders when their gurus are knocked off the pedestal. The faithful still turn up in droves for Nityananda’s sermons (where he claims to demonstrate that his followers can levitate by invigorating the Kundalini chakra). Evidently, with all his faults, he still fills some spiritual void in them.

Yet, there is something indecorous about the coronation of a ‘spiritual guru’ by an ancient revered spiritual order even though he still has cases of sexual abuse and rape pending against him. Nityananda defends himself by saying that the “rape case” filed against him was passing strange, since it cited no victim of the alleged crime. “There are many cases against people in public life, and this case against me has no basis.”

Much the same kind of defence is trotted by politicians caught with their hands in the cookie jar. But just as we demand greater accountability of our political leaders, don’t practitioners of a faith feel the need to hold their gurus to account? Particularly when the gurus themselves have failed to channel their kundalini forces in the manner that they sermonise?

Is nothing sacred any more? Or is spiritual salvation just as easily secured as political rehabilitation? – First Post, 4 May 2012


Earlier posts

  1. Nityananda-Ranjitha Video – Nakkheeran
  2. Madurai Aadheenam: Hindus outraged at Nithy’s appointment as pontiff – Media Reports  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/madurai-aadheenam-hindus-outraged-at-nithys-appointment-as-pontiff-media-reports/
  3. Nithyananda gets Paramacharya Swamigal title, gives Madurai Aadheenam one crore rupees – Media Reports  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/nithyananda-gets-paramacharya-swamigal-title-gives-madurai-aadeenam-one-crore-media-reports/
  4. “Nithyananda insulting judiciary, Hinduism” – Hindu Makkal Katchi  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/nithyananda-insulting-judiciary-hinduism-hindu-makkal-katchi/
  5. CID charges Nithyananda with rape, sodomy, cheating, conspiracy, and criminal intimidation – Media Reports    https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/cid-charges-nithyananda-with-rape-sodomy-cheating-conspiracy-and-criminal-intimidation-media-reports/
  6. Nithyananda-Ranjitha sex tape not tampered – CID  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/nithyananda-ranjitha-sex-tape-not-tampered-cbi/
  7. Nithy arrested in Himachal Pradesh – Media Reports  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/tantrika-nityananda-arrested-in-himachal-pradesh-media-reports/
  8. Sex, lies, a feature film, Nithy & Ranjitha – Kunal M. Shah  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/sex-lies-a-feature-film-nithy-and-ranjitha-kunal-m-shah/
  9. Nithy resigns from ashram and associated trusts – Media Reports  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/nithy-resigns-from-ashram-trusts-
  10. Nithy’s Defence Team: Sexist, Racist, and Xenophobic – Ishwar Sharan  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/hindu-activists-sexist-racist-xenophobic-ishwar-sharan/
  11. The Nithyananda Mea Culpa Interview? – Rajiv Malhotra  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/video-the-nityananda-mea-culpa-interview-rajiv-malhotra/
  12. Debutante Dharma-Gurus: Violating a civilizational patent – Sandhya Jain  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/debutante-dharma-gurus-violating-a-civilisational-patent-sandhya-jain/
  13. Nithyananda videos:  A testing time for Hindus – Radha Rajan  https://bharatabharati.wordpress.com/2010/03/05/nityananda-videos-a-testing-time-for-hindus-radha-rajan/
  14. All videos available at  http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nithyananda+ranjitha+videos&aq=1&oq=nithyananda+ranjitha

22 Responses

  1. Nithyananda and his band of thugs – how is it that whatever takes place it’s done in order to defame him? And yet it is one of his thug devotees that is throwing shoes – hits a police officer and get’s spirited away by another of Nithyananda’s hench men devotees and there is no arrest in sight. How long is Nithyananda and his thug devotees going to be tolerated ? He is STILL with Ranjita she still does his dirty work and the rest have been known to promote and act in violence at every turn and then he has the nerve to call foul and act the victim. How long will it be until this starts getting righted ? One watches this and is appalled that Nothing and i mean Nothing is being done to stop this Blight from continuing to tarnish Hinduism – and also stain the tradition of Guru and Sadhaka. This isn’t a Guru or spiritual path it is a cult of thugs and liars – and the worst of societal disgrace. Shame on Nithyananda and the rest that think the ends justifies the means and that they are above the law and any decency -just to wear the robes of a Sannyas and claim to be a Guru (dispeller of darkness) while pulling all this is beyond measure the worst. Isn’t it time for people to Stand UP and take back Spirituality to say enough is enough isn’t political corruption enough? Does it have to extend to Spirituality? How long will a blind eye be turned to what is taking place and people sit by and watch Nithyananda and his gang continue to thumb their nose at conventional tradition while laughing behind the scenes – having sex – then threatening any that would come forward to expose his dirty dealings ? How many others must be conned into sex or raped – how many lands must be stolen – how many other atrocities will it take before people get their heads out of the sand and are willing to stand up for what is right! The golden age of hinduism vanished the Rishis are few and it has been infiltrated with those who are seeing the cloth as a way to hide their devilish deeds. Anyone can speak sweet words but WATCH the actions. Sweet words on one hand and violence – denial – lies – corruption – and the rest negate any word that has come – this is not a light but one that only parrots what genuine adepts have truly obtained. Nithyananda and his gang makes a mockery of Guru- Tradition and Hinduism it’s self.

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  2. Anti-Nithy Protest

    ‘Supporter’ hurls footwear at anti-Nityananda protesters – Deccan Chronicle – Madurai – 14 May 2012

    Tension prevailed at the Madurai aadheenam on Sunday evening when footwear hurled by a disciple of Swami Nityananda to convey his anger at anti-Nityananda protests fell on policemen posted at the South Avani Moola Street entrance of the mutt.

    When the police tried to confront the supporter, another disciple of Nityananda came down, had an altercation with them and whisked the culprit away, leaving the police bewildered. Incidentally, a few hours before the incident, the rescuer had told this reporter he was from Malaysia.

    The apparent trigger for hurling the footwear was a pooja performed by seven anti-Nityananda protesters. The security lapse took place despite a strong posse of policemen being in the area that was otherwise deserted since afternoon. Also, the entrance to the mutt from the street was locked and about six policemen were posted there.

    While the police immediately arrested the men who conducted the pooja, the man who hurled the footwear, however, went scot-free. A senior policeman present at the spot told this reporter that an FIR had been lodged and that the culprit would be arrested on Monday.

    Later, at an impromptu press meet, Swami Nityananda termed the footwear hurling incident as an act done with the intention to defame him. “These anti-social elements climbed the building using bamboo sticks put up for construction work and hurled footwear and stones with a view to defame me,” he said.

    A few minutes before the incident, a group of people gathered some 2 km away from the mutt under the banner of “Madurai Aadheenam Retrieval Committee” and spoke about Nityananda’s alleged controversial past. They questioned his credentials to be anointed as the junior pontiff to the present aadheenam and vowed to oust him at any cost.

    Later, when they tried to walk to the mutt, they were stopped and arrested by the police. The seven arrested were identified as Senthil Kumar, Ramesh, Sarveswarar, Maheshwaran, Ilangovan, Selva Kumar and Madurai Veeran.

    Godman denies charge of drugging head

    Taking a break from the ‘satsang’ (religious discourse) being conducted from the second floor of the Madurai aadheenam and beamed live to his supporters outside, Swami Nityananda took a volley of questions from reporters

    He blamed anti-social elements who had committed the act to defame him even as he pleaded ignorance about the second supporter who had an argument with the police and whisked the culprit away. “It’s a conspiracy and I am grateful to the TN government and the police for controlling the situation.”

    He also said he will be sue his detractors who dragged him to the court on charges of administering drugs to the present aadheenam head and holding him in illegal custody as the charges have been dismissed by the court. “I am ready with my papers.”

    He attributed the protests to a range of motives that include those who are ‘illegally’ occupying vast properties of the Madurai aadheenam and feel threatened as he has a legal team to recover the property. He also said the protesters were deriving cheap publicity by protesting against him, adding he was not perturbed about it.

    On a lighter vein, he said TV channels gave him wide coverage because he was a ‘hot subject’.

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  3. Legal battle against Nithyananda to go on – IBN Live – 13 May 2012

    MADURAI: The recently-formed ‘Madurai Aadheenam Retrieval Committee’ has decided to continue its legal battle against the anointment of Nithyananda as the 293rd pontiff of the Madurai mutt, said Nellai Kannan, the former general secretary of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.

    Talking to reporters here on Saturday he said that the committee would file a case with relevant evidences against the anointment of Nithyananda. He alleged that the anointment of a person from a community other than Saiva Vellalar community was itself a transgression of the tradition of the Saivite Mutts.

    “When I contacted Arunagirinatha Desigar, the 292nd pontiff, over phone he told the head of Dharumapura Aadheenam did not depute any thambiran (junior pontiff) to Madurai mutt even after his request” Nellai Kannan said adding that on an earlier occasion when a thambiran was deputed he was sent back by Arunagirinatha Desigar after a while.

    He flayed the statements made by Nithyananda that the administration of Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple would be taken over by the Madurai Mutt.

    Charging that Nithyananda was riding two horses, by heading the Bidathy Thyana Peetam and aspiring to be the head of the Madurai Mutt, Nellai Kannan said the godman was not well versed with Sivagnana Botham, Sivagnana Sithiyar and Thirumurai, the sacred saivite texts.

    Appealing to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to retrieve the mutt he urged the government to safeguard the life of the 292nd Pontiff of Madurai mutt Arunagirinatha Desigar.

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  4. Mixed reaction over Nityananda’s appointment – The Hindu – Chennai – 13 May 2012

    The All India Vellalar, Pillaimar, Sengunthar and Mudaliars Federation has welcomed the appointment of Nithyananda as the 293rd pontiff of the ancient saivite mutt of Madurai Adheenam and hoped that both Tamil and Saivism would flourish under the new head.

    Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, K.Arunachalam, president of the association said that this effort of the incumbent mutt head Arunagirinatha Gnanasambanda Desigar appointing Nityananda as the head has made the members of above said communities proud. Moreover they stated that Vellalars, Mudaliars and Pillaimars belonged to the same clan and the efforts to play divisiveness among them are condemnable.

    Dr.Arunachalam stated that a few organisations in the name of Hinduism has been involved in tarnishing the image of Madurai Adheenam and the association has plans to go for legal action against such efforts. They also made a request to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to provide adequate security to both the pontiffs and the mutt.

    Tamil Nadu Sivanadiyar Thirukkootam has condemned the appointment of Nityananda as the 293rd Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam stating that the appointment was not made under the rules of Saivism. In a statement issued here on Saturday, the association said that his form of worship and religious acts are contradictory to Saivism. They also said that the incumbent head should have taken cue from his predecessors while appointing his successor.

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  5. Nithyananda warns KanchiPuram’s mutt head ? And then he has his woman in crime file a law suit against him ? Have those two no shame ? Does she not understand that bedding Nithyananda and then being drawn into speaking lies and filing case after case against any that speak out against her illicit lover are in fact not standing her well in ANY spiritual context. When is she going to wake up and see she has been used and is continuing to be used by Nithyananda. Not only in his bed but doing his dirty work as well. The more antics these two pull the more it becomes evident that he Has to be stopped and pulled down from the throne he loves to occupy.

    What is this nonsense about him not shaving his head ? Does he really think he is so above all the admonitions as to what is right ? Does Nithyananda believe he is to pretty to shave his head ? Even i as a woman had the head shaved and continue to wear it shaved once the vows of celibacy were taken. Even though have laid aside wearing of the cloth in protest against the abuses of those falsely wearing the cloth as a ways and means to mask their untoward doings.

    When are the courts going to go forward with the trial of Nithyananda and WHY oh WHY is he allowed to be out on bail where he and his cohorts continue to harass and bring numerous unending lawsuits against others ? There is something severely wrong with this and it only secures Nithyanandas delusional ideas of being above it all.

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  6. Ranjitha

    Actor Ranjitha Files Defamation Suit Against Kanchi Seer – Daiji World – 12 May 2012

    Chennai, May 12 (India Today): The woes of Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati have increased with popular actor Ranjitha Menon initiating legal proceedings against the seer for his ‘unhealthy remarks and innuendoes’ about her.

    This comes at a time when the pontiff is facing trial as the prime accused in the 2004 Sankararaman murder case.

    The actor moved the additional chief metropolitan magistrate on Friday with a petition accusing the Sankaracharya of making malicious statements against her, intended at defaming and harming her reputation.

    A devotee of the self-styled godman Nithyananda, whose appointment as the successor of the ancient Madurai-based Saivaite Mutt had stirred a hornet’s nest, Ranjitha has decided to drag the seer to the Court. Interestingly, a sex tape showing her and the godman in a compromising position has landed both in court cases.

    The present libel suit relates to a press briefing conducted by the Kanchi seer in Krishnagiri, where he had disapproved the anointment of Nithyananda as the heir apparent to the Madurai Mutt. But what had irked the self-styled godman and Ranjitha was the Sankaracharya’s remark about the actor accompanying Nithyananda all along.

    According to the actor’s advocate Murugaiyan Babu, the magistrate had asked her to file the petition on Monday. “We were late today and the suit will be filed formally as directed by the court,” he said, adding that the complaint is being made under section 499 and 500 of the IPC, which attracts a maximum punishment of three years’ imprisonment.

    In her complaint, Ranjitha says that the seer’s comments made in the media had caused her mental agony and stress. Earlier, Nityanada had warned the Kanchi seer to withdraw his comments or else face libel proceedings from his devotees.

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  7. Nithyananda plans to file defamation suit – The Hindu – 12 May 2012

    Madurai Adheenam’s new head Nithyananda and the incumbent Arunagirinatha Gnanasambanda Desikar hailed the dismissal of a habeas corpus plea and public interest litigation filed in the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court as a “victory for justice.”

    Addressing a press conference at the mutt here on Thursday, the pontiffs said that the court had clearly said that it was a petition to gain “cheap publicity.” The petitioner, M Solaikannan of the Hindu Makkal Katchi had alleged that Nithyananda had used illegal means to take the present pontiff Arunagirinathar under his custody. Similarly, a habeas corpus plea was filed by T. Gurusamy Desigar seeking the release of the senior mutt head from the clutches of Nithyananda and his disciples.
    Sole prerogative

    Responding to a question on Kanchi Sankaracharya’s allegations that Nityananda was not qualified to become the successor of Madurai Adheenam as he has involved in a scandal, Arunagirinathar responded that “As head of the Adheenam I have the sole prerogative to choose my successor.”

    Nityananda said that he would run the Adheenam without overhead costs and was ready to bring the mutt under the purview of Right to Information Act. He said that counter cases for defamation would be filed against the petitioners.

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  8. Natty Nithy with his new crown.

    CID claims Nithy also had sexual relations with a foreign man – Bhaskar News – Bangalore – 26 March 2012

    Bengaluru: CID has filed a chargesheet against ‘godman’ Swami Nithyananda in Ramnagaram court. The investigation agency claims that other than the two women, Nithyananda also had sexual relations with a male foreigner. Apart from Karnataka’s Bidadi ashram, he had unnatural sexual intercourse with the man across many cities in the US.

    The chargesheet alleges that the evidences hint that Nithyananda was embroiled in unnatural sex acts. The identity of the male foreigner has been kept a secret. CID had interrogated the man and taped these conversations which will be produced as evidence before court.

    As per sources, this is the first time in the Nithyananda scandal that a male disciple has come forward to levy charges on the godman. The complainant who is in the US currently alleged that Swami sodomised him at least 6 times in his charges. Police have registered a case under section 377 of IPC.

    Swami refused to comment on the subject saying he would only react when he received a copy of the chargesheet and expressed disappointment over the fact that the issue was leaked in media.

    Swami Nithyananda’s real name is Rajashekhar and he is an inhabitant of Tamilnadu’s Thiruvanamalai. He has ashrams at both Thiruvanamalai and Bengaluru. And it was here that his sexual escapades were caught on camera.

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  9. Hindu Makkal Katchi functionary M. Solaikannan

    Petition seeking Nithy’s removal as mutt head dismissed – Times of India – 11 May 2012

    MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation demanding the removal of self-styled godman Nithyananda as head of the Madurai Adheenam, saying the matter was to be decided by a HR & CE joint commissioner or a civil court.

    The PIL was filed by M Solaikannan, a Hindu Makkal Katchi functionary from Madurai after Nithyananda was made the 293rd pontiff of the adheenam. The petition had alleged there was a conspiracy in the nomination of Nithyananda as pontiff of the mutt even as he is facing a slew of cases. Two years ago, a video allegedly featuring Nithyananda with a Tamil actress was telecast by a few television channels and the godman was arrested on various counts. He was later released on bail though the case is still pending.

    Against this backdrop, there was a conspiracy behind the appointment of Nithyananda by senior pontiff Arunagirinatha Desikar, the petition said and sought the court’s direction to order a detailed probe into appointment and to annul his appointment immediately.

    Stating that Nithyananda did not follow the Saivite tradition, the petitioner wanted the government to take over the adheenam and appoint a committee headed by a retired judge of high court to oversee it.

    Meanwhile, Arunangirinatha Desikar hit out at Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi for criticising the anointment of Nithyananda. “I strongly object to the comments made by the Kanchi acharya regarding the anointment of Nithyananda as my successor. It was unwarranted,” he said.

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  10. Jayendra Saraswati

    Kanchi seer opposes Nithy as Mudurai Aadheenam pontiff – TNIE – Chennai – 10 May 2012

    KRISHNAGIRI: Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal, seer of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt, has opposed the anointment of Nithyananda as the junior pontiff of the Madurai Adheenam.

    The Kanchi seer, who was here to release Panchangam for the ‘Nandana’ year prepared by Tamil Nadu Brahmins Association, told reporters that Madurai Adeenam was one of the oldest mutts in India and had been headed by famous saints like Thirgnana Sambandar.

    The pontiffs of Madurai Adheenam should tonsure their head and wear rudraksha. Nithyananda, who has hair on his head, becoming pontiff of Madurai Adheenam is not acceptable on this ground. Apart from this, he also was in news for some unwanted reasons sometime back.

    Considering all these, he said Nithyananda anointment as pontiff of Madhurai Adheenam was not acceptable. He said the current ‘Nandana’ year will give happiness to people. Nandana means spiritual, he added.

    Nityananda was anointed as 293rd ‘Guru Maha Sannidhanam’ of the Madurai Adheenam recently which has incurred the wrath of various Hindu religious mutts and outfits. A petition against his anointment has been filed in the Madras High Court.

    He was arrested in Karnataka last year on charges of his alleged sex scandal with actress Ranjitha.

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  11. Marudhachal Adigalar

    It’s for aadheenam to choose: Marudhachala Adigalar – Deccan Chronicle – Chennai – 9 May 2012

    Nityananda should step down as the 293rd pontiff of the Madurai aadheenam if the criminal case against him is proved in court, says Marudhachala Adigalar, who heads the 400-year-old Perur aadheenam in Coimbatore.

    Speaking to Deccan Chronicle about the burning issue, Marudhachala Adigalar, 53, pointed out that over 50 aadheenams in Tamil Nadu do not have anybody to head them.

    And many aadheenams are forced to appoint ‘untrained and unqualified’ persons as heads, he said.

    As you head an old aadheenam in Tamil Nadu, what’s your reaction to the appointment of Nityananda as the pontiff of the Madurai aadheenam?

    >> No one can question the appointment of Nityananda as the Madurai aadheenam. This is a decision of Arunagirinatha Swamigal to appoint his successor.

    But his appointment has created heated arguments and discussions about the quality of pontiffs heading mutts.

    >> Nityananda is still considered an accused and the criminal case is in court. He should step down if proven guilty. Personally, I don’t agree with this appointment. But not just me, no one can comment on the Madurai aadheenam’s decision.

    You didn’t attend the recent meeting convened by the Dharmapura aadheenam, which was attended by 13 aadheenams in Myladuthurai on May 2, 2012. Do you disagree with the demands of these aadheenams who have given a deadline of 10 days for Nityananda to step down?

    >> As I was busy with guru pooja in my mutt, I couldn’t attend the meeting. Presently, I don’t agree with the decision of the collective of aadheenams giving a deadline.

    >> Nityananda and Arunagirinatha Swamigal should be called for a meeting by all the aadheenams. In the meeting, Nityananda should be asked to give confirmation that he would obey the rules and regulations of the aadheenams and protect the sanctity of the religion.

    There are protests by Hindu religious groups and other aadheenams against the anointment of Nityananda. Do you think these actions would create a poor opinion among Hindu devotees?

    >> I don’t think so. Many aadheenams in the state do not have qualified heads to manage them. There are cases where mutts are merged or even closed down since the mutt management couldn’t find qualified heads.

    >> Mutts are unable to manage themselves and allow any unqualified person to head the organisation. In the case of Madurai aadheenam, Arunagirinatha Swamigal has been searching for a successor for a long time as he is getting old.

    Do you have any plans for a successor?

    >> So far, I have not decided on anyone. I will wait for a mature person to take over this aadheenam which has the tradition of appointing trained persons regardless of caste, creed and age.

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  12. Nithy dares mutt heads to install CCTVs in their rooms – TOI – 9 May 2012

    MADURAI: Self-styled godman Nithyananda has hit back at Hindu religious heads and mutts in Tamil Nadu for opposing his anointment as the 293rd pontiff of Madurai adheenam, the oldest Saivite mutt.

    Ever since the announcement of his succession to 292nd pontiff of Madurai adheenam, Arunagirinatha Desikar a fortnight back, Nithyananda chose to go soft on the religious outfits and heads of mutts who opposed his nomination and was only defending his anointment stating that the allegations levelled against him were false.

    But on Tuesday, he came down hard on religious leaders who opposed him posing a challenge if they were ready to install CCTV cameras in all the rooms of their mutts’ premises for public to view their activity.

    “I am ready to install surveillance cameras in my rooms. Are the individuals who oppose me ready to install the cameras so that their activities could be monitored round the clock? Let a neutral body monitor the cameras so that the activities of all mutt heads would become transparent,” he challenged during a press conference.

    “The true colours of the persons opposing me would be out if such cameras were installed,” he charged.

    The Madurai adheenam is caught in a controversy over the appointment of Nithyananda as its 293rd pontiff, who grabbed headlines two years ago when a sleaze tape allegedly featuring him and a Tamil actress was telecast by some Tamil television channels. Nithyananda and a few of his associates were arrested by the police on various charges, including rape and fraud.

    He was later released on bail. Ever since his anointment, several Hindu organisations and mutts have demanded his withdrawal.

    “There are about 800 mutts in India. Only 13 are opposing. The individuals opposing me have not contributed anything to Hinduism,” Nithyananda said, reiterating that he would not buckle down under pressure.

    Seated alongside the senior pontiff, Nithyananda said that a library would be set up by the Madurai mutt to promote Tamil and Saivism. In the backdrop of the controversy over the vast resources of the mutt and the donations he had paid the mutt, Nithyananda said that in a year all the asset details of the mutt would be posted online. The transactions of the mutt would also be uploaded regularly in a bid make the functioning of the mutt transparent, he said.

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  13. SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle) – Los Angeles – May 07, 2012 On 2 May 2012 in Chennai, India, Lenin Karuppan, key accused in the March 2010 conspiracy against Paramahamsa Nithyananda, was denied bail by the Principal Sessions Judge, Chennai in the extortion and blackmail case [Crime no. 782 / 2011] filed […]

    Lenin is not the culprit and they most assuredly have the wrong person in jail. How long will Nithyananda’s corruption continue? How many more false accusations will Nithyananda make to silence those who are willing to stand up to his bogus actions? It is not Lenin that is hurting the religious standing of Hinduism. It is not Lenin that is attempting to take over more lands and powers in a fraudulent way. It is not Lenin that was telling seekers to have sex with him in Holy places in order to clear their karmas. These doings are all on Nithyananda. When are people going to look deeper beyond his big grin and look into his assertions and stories to see that none of his timelines as to his spiritual unfolding holds one iota of truth? Nithyananda is NOT a Sannyasi and he has no standing to head up any Mutt. Am not only saddened but truly sickened by how this is playing out in the courts and in life. When is this jackal going to be shaken from his throne of corruption? FREE LENIN and put the one that is spreading like a virus – that has abused many and continues to be like a mafia boss that is playing up the role of the poor victim in jail. Nithyananda is sitting on his thrones laughing and playing and secure in his smugness that he has gotten rid of any that are willing to speak up by filing false cases unending and crying foul at every turn. My god people wake up. Speak up. Stand up for Truth.

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  14. SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle) – Los Angeles – May 07, 2012

    On 2 May 2012 in Chennai, India, Lenin Karuppan, key accused in the March 2010 conspiracy against Paramahamsa Nithyananda, was denied bail by the Principal Sessions Judge, Chennai in the extortion and blackmail case [Crime no. 782 / 2011] filed against him by one of the administrators of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam.

    It may be recalled that Lenin Karuppan was arrested on 14th March this year by the CBCID Tamilnadu, India and remanded to judicial custody on charges of extortion, blackmail and criminal conspiracy in connection with the case filed against him by Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam administrator Sri Nithya Atmaprabhananda. He had been interrogated by the Indian CID.

    Lenin’s bail petition Criminal Petition No. 1592/2012 before the Hon’ble Magistrate of the XIth Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Saidapet, Chennai, India after due consideration of the serious nature of the offences committed.

    Lenin appealed further to the Principal Sessions Judge for bail which got rejected on May 2, 2012, with the following serious observations by the Sessions Judge which has been recorded in the official court document pronouncing the bail rejection:

    1. The crime charged is of the highest magnitude and the punishment prescribed by law is of extreme severity
    2. There is likelihood of the petitioner interfering with witnesses for the prosecution or otherwise polluting the process of justice.
    3. The antecedent of the petitioner who applied for bail has shown bad record, particularly a record which suggest that he is likely to commit serious offense while on bail and
    4. The court may reasonably presume some evidence is available against the petitioner to connect him with the crime.

    Lenin now continues to be in prison.

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  15. HMK pained by anointment of Nithyananda – IBN Tamil Nadu – 8 May 2012

    MADURAI: The Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) and the Saivite Disciples Committee have petitioned the Joint Commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Administration Department (HR&CE) in Madurai against the appointment of Nithyananda as the 293rd pontiff of the Madurai Aadheenam. A delegation headed by K A Muruganji, president of the Bharatiya Forward Bloc, M Solaikannan of HMK and T Gurusamy Desigar of the Saivite Disciples Organisation, met HR&CE Joint Director B Baskaran on Monday and submitted petitions to this effect.

    In his petition, Solaikannan said: “We are pained at the appointment of Nithyananda as 293rd pontiff as cases are pending against him. When we tried to meet the 292nd pontiff to discuss about the issue, we were stopped by Nithyananda’s aides.”

    Apprehending loss of sanctity and the properties of the Aadheenam, the HMK approached the Madurai Bench of the Madras HC, praying for the takeover of the mutt by a team headed by a retired HC judge. When the case came up for hearing, the government counsel said that the HR and CE department would conduct an inquiry when it received a complaint.
    Gurusamy Desigar too filed a habeas corpus petition in the HC bench over the issue. Following these, the HMK and other groups made representations with the HR and CE department, the petitioner said. In his petition, Gurusamy Desigar alleged the 292nd pontiff, Arunagirinatha Desigar was not engaged in any educational activity or in publishing Saivite literature.

    The Joint Commissioner said he would forward their complaints to the HR&CE Commissioner and added that he had initiated steps to audit the mutt accounts.

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  16. Hindu Maha Sabha supports Nithyananda – PTI – 7 May 2012

    Madurai, May 7: All India Hindu Maha Sabha today supported the appointment of controversial godman Nithyananda as the 293rd head of an ancient Saivite mutt here, dismissing charges against him as “concocted”. The Sabha would support all endeavours of Nithyananda, the Sabha president Chakrapani Maharaj told reporters here. The appointment of Nithyananda as head of the 1,500-year old Madurai Adheenam has triggered protests from several quarters, including heads of different mutts in the state, in view of pending criminal charges, including rape, against him. Chakrapani claimed some Mutt heads who had opposed Nithyananda would join hands with him tomorrow. “All the charges against Nithyananda were fake and concocted and he would come out of them,” he said. Meanwhile, Hindu Makkal Katchi in a memorandum to Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Commissioner demanded action against the present head of Madurai Adheenam for appointing Nithyanandha as his successor. A meeting of various mutt heads would be held here on May 13 to discuss the issue, HMK state president Solaikannan said.

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  17. Nityananda cries DMK conspiracy – Times Now – 8 May 2012

    Controversial self-styled Godman Swami Nityananda has broken his silence claiming that the land mafia who illegally captured the temple land are out to get him. Now, after the income tax department raided the 1500 year old mutt Nithyananda’s aides have accused the DMK of instigating these raids; an allegation that has been rubbished by the DMK.

    The crown of golden beads is slowly turning into a wreath of thorns for the controversial self styled God man Nityananda. The man who hit headlines after his sleaze CD is back in the news for all the wrong reasons.

    Nityananda is now making some fresh allegations claiming those land mafias who have illegally captured temple land are out to get him.

    Controversies galore and allegations thick and fast, Swami Nithyananda the self made god-man is unperturbed and refused to step down from the Madurai Adheenam but has said that there is a conspiracy to defame him.

    The succession row took a political colour after the income tax department raided the 1500 year old mutt Nithyananda’s aides are now accusing the DMK of instigating the raids.

    But the man in the eye of the storm remains politically correct.

    DMK meanwhile has rubbished all allegations of vendetta. “The Madurai Adheenam is close to AIADMK, the DMK would never resort to such activities”, said TKS Elangovan.

    It’s a fresh twist in the row around the controversial godman and as Nityananda makes some shocking allegations it remains to be seen if there’s any truth to his claims.

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  18. Kanchi Acharya rejects Nithy’s claim – Deccan Chronicle – Chennai – 5 May 2012

    Kanchi seer Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamy has stated that he did not support the “appointment” of Nityananda as the 293rd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam, even as the present pontiff Arunagirinatha Desigan justified the controversial godman Nityananda’s coronation.

    The first official reaction of the Kanchi Sri Sankaracharya Swamy rebuffs the assertion of Nityananda who claimed to have the support of the Kanchi mutt.

    “Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamy has neither expressed support nor opposed the ‘appointment’ of Swamy Nityananda as 293rd head of Madurai mutt,” an official release from the Kanchi mutt quoting the Seer said, dispelling doubts on the claims of Nityananda who was allegedly involved in a sex scandal with his devotee and Tamil film actress.

    On May 1, a congregation of several mutt heads in Nagapattinam disapproved the allegedly tainted Nityananda as head of the Madurai Saivite mutt.

    Reacting to this Nityananda had claimed to have the support of Kanchi mutt head, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal and a few political party leaders.

    The Kanchi seer also clarified that “the Sankara mutt had no role in the appointment of Nityananda as head of Madurai Aadheenam.”

    The Madurai Aadheenam is the oldest and richest Saivite mutt in south India established by Tamil saint Sambandar, located close to the renowned Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwarar temple.

    Arunagirinatha’s successor Nityananda is perhaps the only pontiff to break away from the tradition of tonsuring his head.

    He sports long locks instead. In fact, Arunagirinatha had even justified it saying the hair enhanced his successor’s beauty.

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  19. I-T officials raid Madurai Adheenam – The Hindu – Chennai – 5 May 2012

    Officials of the Income Tax Department on Saturday raided the Madurai Adheenam, which is mired in controversy following the appointment of self-styled godman Nityananda as the successor to the present head of the ancient religious institution.

    Led by their Deputy Director, S. Sundaresan, the officials conducted searches on the Adheenam premises for five hours. The officials also reportedly questioned the pontiff, Arunagirinatha Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya, who was available at the mutt located on the South Avanimoola Street here.

    While the officials were tight-lipped on the issue, they were seen carrying a few boxes into their car parked inside the locked gates of the mutt. The Paramacharya too refused to speak on the issue.

    “The pontiff was scheduled to leave for Tiruvannamalai in the morning where a ‘pattabhishekam’ was slated to be held in the evening. The raid, conducted at the behest of vested interests, was aimed at disrupting the ‘pattabhishekam’,” V. Pandiselvan, liaison officer of the mutt, said. He said several such raids were conducted on the premises of Nityananda Dhyanapeetam in the past.

    Following the raid that started at around 8.45 a.m., the usual ‘annadhanam’ could not be carried out during the day. Similarly, the pontiff could not perform the ‘guru puja’, he added.

    The Paramacharya left for Thiruvannamalai at 4 p.m.

    The raid could be a follow up to the statement made in a press conference on Sunday by Nityananda that he had given Rs one crore to Madurai Adheenam as donation and a further donation would be made during the ‘kanakabishekam’ of the senior mutt head.

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  20. Public discourse in Tamil Nadu has become so brazen that nothing shocks the people. If it has been a race to the bottom in politics, things are not rosy in other spheres either. With traditional religious orders losing their relevance, the mushrooming New Age godmen seem no better. No wonder that sexcapades of prominent people […]

    This only shows how far the world has fallen and the lack of discernment and cavalier attitude of many. It is always a shock here when people say well what is wrong with him having sex? They don’t get nor understand the importance of celibacy when it comes to the spiritual quest nor attainments when one has passed beyond the clutches of maya’s nature. A Sannyasi or a Sadhvi that has taken and wears the cloth is by wearing the cloth proclaiming that they are celibates and are in the process of burning off their karma and their eyes are solely on the inner quest. That is the proclamation made when wearing the cloth. One has turned their backs on relationships and the worldly dramas to engage in the inner quest. Nithyananda when caught in these abuses tap danced around all the accusations with numerous stories (it was an experiment, well i recognize the woman in the video but not the man, i can’t have sex i am not a man, etc., etc., etc.) He has encouraged and upheld those in his clutches as devotees to file unending law suits with all manner of false allegations. He has done all to make sure that the courts don’t actually get around to the case at hand as they are tied up with the unending diversions he is using to harass and detain those who are willing to testify against him. When is this going to end ? When the religious institutions are headed by such men what hope does the world have to gain actual aide in coming out of bondage ? It is time to clean up these types of institutions from the corruption that has taken over – time to get rid of the wolves that wear sheep’s clothing
    who prey on the unsuspecting masses.

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  21. HC reserves orders on PIL seeking govt control of Shaivite mutt – Busness Standard – Mumbai – 5 May 2012

    The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court today reserved orders on a PIL seeking direction to the government to takeover the Madurai Adheenam and appoint a committee headed by a retired judge to administer the Mutt.

    Mutt Counsel Veerakathiravan submitted that serious allegations had been made against the present Mutt head without any proof, and the petition had been filed for publicity.

    “There is no evidence or witness to the serious allegations made against the Mutt head as well as Nityananda,” counsel submitted.

    He also contended that Nityananda was not a successor to the present pontiff, but had been appointed junior pontiff.

    Peter Ramesh Kumar, counsel for petitioner M Solaikannan, alleged that Tamil devotees had been replaced by devotees from Karnataka after Nityananda was sworn as pontiff “against all rules and customs” of the Mutt.

    Besides Nityananda is also facing “serious sex scandal charges”, Kumar contended.

    His appointment as junior pontiff had not been approved by other Mutt heads, he said, alleging that the Nityananda group is trying to take control of the Mutt having large properties.

    The counsel alleged that Nityananda was not a celibate and not competent to become the mutt head. The present mutt head had been administered some drug and he had agreed to make Nityananda as the Mutt head only under the influence of drug, Kumar alleged.

    The Counsel for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department, meanwhile, said the department is not competent to decide whether Nityananda had been appointed under the influence of drug.

    After hearing the counsel, Justices D Hariparandhaman and Satyanarayana reserved their orders.

    The appointment of self-styled guru Nityananda as the head of the 1500-year-old Saivite Mutt here, has triggered a controversy. Many religious leaders and political outfits have protested the appointment.

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  22. New charges on godman Nityananda – Deccan Chronicle – Chennai – 5 May 2012

    The bench of the Madras high court here, comprising Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and D. Hariparanthaman reserved orders in the Madurai aadheenam case after hearing the arguments of three counsel in a packed courtroom Friday morning.

    Mr W. Peter Ramesh Kumar, who appeared for PIL petitioner M. Solaikannan of the Hindu People’s Party, made a fresh string of charges against Swami Nityananda.

    He called Nityananda a ‘rank criminal in the garb of a saint’ and said that his henchmen were administering narcotic drugs to the Madurai aadheenam, who, he said, is of ‘unsound mind’.

    He requested the setting up of a committee, headed by a former HC judge, as a stop-gap arrangement till the case is disposed of.

    Mr Veera Kathiravanan, counsel for the aadheenam and Nityananda, asked: “Is there any evidence to substantiate the allegations? What is the material available with him?”

    He revealed that Nityananda has only been appointed as junior pontiff and not successor to the aadheenam to warrant such a hue and cry. He said the PIL was ‘absurdity and nonsense’, adding that the case was devoid of substance and sought the dismissal of the PIL and HCP to produce the adheenam before the court.

    Additional government pleader T.S. Mohammad Mohideen, who appeared for four respondents to the PIL – TN government, HR & CE department, Madurai collector and Madurai police commissioner – said the HR & CE department has only supervisory powers with regard to mutts.

    He referred to section 59 of the HR & CE Act to say that disputes in such matters can only be resolved through a civil suit. The department can take interim charge of the mutt under section 60 only if it receives a petition to that effect.

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