A couple of friendly interviews with friendly interviewers, and a couple of boilerplate statements, emerged from the self-proclaimed paramahamsa, Swami Nithyananda, after his videos rocketed to the top of YouTube for not quite the reasons he would have liked, before his final lawyer-dictated confession announcing “retirement”.
But what of the disciples, who had pledged their lives (and families and careers) in his service? What do they think of their guru being caught in such a compromising position? How do they face the ignominy of betrayal by one who was supposed to show them the path to true bliss but was himself tripped on the way to a lesser one?
This letter, written by a Nithyananda’s biographer, who was part of the inner circle, to other disciples with the invitation that it be disseminated to a wider audience, captures a hitherto unseen side of the story.
Nithyananda spoke to me some days after the March 2 exposure. He did not deny that what was portrayed in the so-called sex tapes was untrue.
He said he did not act out of lust and that he was passive.
He likened himself to Shiva drinking the hala hala, destroying the collective unconscious through tantric practices.
He said that other masters have done similar things.
What had I done wrong, he asked?
He did ask me to convey this to devotees. He apologised profusely and asked me if I had questions. At least at this point he was honest. The ashram is still in denial mode.
I had no questions though.
I had no questions because by then I had completely disengaged from Nithyananda as a master. But, I had no anger, hatred or vengence against the person who till a few days ago I considered my master and for whom I would have given my life willingly had the need arisen.
I felt liberated when I discarded the mala, bracelet and pictures. What, then, changed?
The first qualification of a guru is satya, truth and honesty. I do not know about others, but Nithyananda had always told me and a close group in the early days how he was not a man or a woman, how he had no chakras below the anahata; how he was beyond sensory pleasures and that he was the quintessential brahmachari and sanyasi.
We believed him implicitly. I was 56 then, not a child. Of course, he also said at times that facts were not truth!
It turned out that he too was a man, given to sensory pleasures like the rest of us. Many of us put him on a pedestal and found him wanting. That was not his fault but ours. We were fools. But if he has indeed damaged the life of young men and women, then it is a different matter.
There is visual evidence that the sex acts were with sensory pleasure and with lust, evidence that these acts were not limited to Ranjitha alone but extending beyond to other men and women, and proof that ashramites/ brahmacharis/ brahmacharinis were expected to be part of tantric sex practises based on documents that they signed. These are facts and the truth shall sooner or later will come out, now that the CID chief has given his contact numbers inviting people to contact him.
Even with an ordinary man these would be serious charges meriting criminal investigation. In the case of a spiritual master these are unforgivable.
Someone [articulating similar views] has been accused of guru droha. Who is committing droha against whom? What is droha? Is not misleading thousands of innocent people seeking spiritual truth into a web of lies and sex not droha? Is responding to such immoral practises by disengaging from the so-called guru droha?
Some people seem to have perverted ideas of right and wrong, and karma. Can’t we stop to think that it is existential justice that these lies were exposed before it was too late. The sapta rishis from tapovan were watching for sure, but not smiling. If that is not karma, I don’t know what is.
For those not knowledgable, do understand that tantra was never part of the sanyasic parampara. It was called the vama marga or the left-hand path followed by aghoris who were antisocial homophobes. It is a crime to term oneself as a sanyasi and brahmachari and indulge in such acts calling them conveniently tantric practices.
There are 64 tantras and only one is on sex.
Shiva taught 112 sutras and only six are on sex. Those six were meant for grihastas not brahmacharis, as Nithyananda himself told me. So, even if one had to practise tantra why focus on sex? Especially when one claims he is impotent.
The biggest droha was committed by asmad acharya to the guru parampara starting from Sadashiva to Shankara. To say that Shankara, Ramana, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda also indulged in such acts is the biggest droha against gurus.
Who is committing guru droha?
If you want to bury your head like an ostrich and call someone who has committed both guru droha and shishya droha as your master, the karma will affect you, not others.
For those who revel in experiences of the ‘non-normal reality ‘ kind, Osho says in his book, “Don’t be fooled by experiences. All experiences are tricks of the mind. All experiences are mere escapes.”
Since 50% of what Nithyananda spoke is from Osho, he will surely agree with these words. In any case let peace and bliss be upon the world.
Nithyananda certainly had siddhis. He could do many seemingly miraculous things. But, so can thousands of others with siddhis. It is now known that he spent four years till 2000 in the Ramakrishna Ashram and not in parivrajaka as claimed.
So, the so-called ‘enlightenment’ experience perhaps was a tantric initiation from the aghori babas. Certainly not one that would allow anyone to declare himself a paramahamsa and initiate unsuspecting innocents into sanyas and brahmacharya.
As his biographer, people have accused me of lying on all these facts including the birth-date. I have to accept those accusations as I was foolish to believe, as I was equally foolish to teach over a thousand people in turn to believe.
I grew up with masters with ashta maha siddhis far more powerful than Nithyananda exhibited. They were grahastas and never claimed enlightenment. In fact Nithyananda accepted my previous master as an ashta maha siddha saying that he wasn’t sure if he was enlightened.
What an irony that his own enlightenment was so shortlived!
Making others believe in one to be enlightened is one of the ashta maha siddhis, not a sign of enlightenment. An enlightened master like Ramana never cared!
For many of us, it is time to turn inwards rather than depend on another person to guide us. The one thing I shall be grateful to Nithyananda always would be for turning me towards the atma guru and away from the form. This made the disengagement easier.
I do not care for the experinces I had with him. The teachings in any case were from the scriptures.
One eminent inner-circle man had told me a year ago that I could not be depended on and that is why I was not an insider and not invited to inner-circle meetings. My honesty, in their mind my foolishness, was unacceptable to the inner circle. I was truly blessed by Existence in keeping me away from such corrupting influence.
All of us who have now disengaged and left Nithyananda and his mission did so because we are honest. It is enough that we had thus far believed foolishly. We do not wish to lie to others as many others are still doing. That to my mind is atma guru droha, the worst crime of all, which some are engaging in still.
If anyone in the ashram disputes any of these points, evidence is at hand.
Those who wish to, may circulate this to a wider audience.
Also read: Another good swami in the service of mankind