Nityananda – from fame to infamy

Posted: March 3, 2010 in Uncategorized
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There was something more shocking to me than seeing Paramahamsa Nityananda frolicking with a lissom saree clad actress on Sun TV. It was the hysterical reaction of some people who called themselves Hindus.

After all, Bhogaasanas may form just another chapter in the long list of possible yogasanas, and the Swami was more of a passive partner, as far as the Sun TV’s visuals went. It was the woman on top position that we saw all through. The godman seem too dazed to go on the offensive! He had been put through a regimen of potions and tablets by the actress (perhaps a routine she had learnt from him).

A sloka from the Bhajagovindam goes thus….
Yogarathovaa Bhogarathovaa
Sangarathovaa Sangaviheenaha
Yasya Brahmani Ramathe Chitham
Nandhathi Nandhathi Nandhathi Yeva!

Whether engaged in yoga or bhoga
Whether in company or in seclusion
He whose heart finds delights in Brahman…
He is happy, he is happy, he is indeed happy!

Whether the disgraced godman’s happiness with the damsel he was in bed with was of the nature of yoga or bhoga he only can say…but it has in one huge pendulum sweep taken him from fame to infamy. He deserves it if he was a fake. He can weather it if there is some truth in him. After all, even the most wretched may have something to say on their behalf if they turn a new leaf.

There are however some questions about the expose.

The camera which caught the godman in flagrante delicto (redhanded), apparently was meant to be there. Perhaps the act was meant to be photographed, possibly for later viewing in the pleasant manner of remembrance of things past.

Or perhaps there was a sinister motive in the mind of the perpetrator (godman or actress). It does not seem to be a hidden camera…though it is possible that there was no cameraman when the bedroom scene occurred. Was the camera switched on by the actress? It beats one’s imagination how such a scene could have slipped into the hands of a TV channel…unless somebody very close to the scene of occurence was involved in leaking it.These details are more interesting than the actual scene viewers were meant to see.

Taking a huge leap in imagination, one can even think of it as a godman’s ultimate decision to bring ignominy on himself so that the entire paraphernalia that goes with a godman cab be dumped through a single act and he can return to the bottomline of a botherless life far from the madding crowd.

The conflagration that followed was frightening. Apparently Hindus were scandalised that a godman promoting contemplation, meditation and spirituality was in the arms of a woman. The godman’s banners have been ripped apart, his ashrams attacked and so on. There have been demands that the godman’s properties should be seized…which makes one suspect that real estate sharks could be behind the expose of the godman.

What frightened me was a man hollering that just as the Muslims issue a fatwa against heretics, Hindus must take action against the godman.

The spiritual journey is a very tough one…and the flesh is eternally weak. While fake godmen should be exposed, and criminal action taken against them for their misdeeds, Hinduism must not become centralised and intolerant and engage in fatwas or instant justice.

But what is the criminal deed we can accuse the godman of, as of now. That he was in bed with a woman? Does that mean he was a cheat? Perhaps yes and to a lesser degree, perhaps no. Because despite his sexual deviations he might have been quite passionate about his spiritual search…Though spirituality and sensuality are not supposed to go together, they are close cousins and can teeter on the precipice dangerously. Sometimes they are not so mutually exclusive, as many tantra aspects of religion show! Not one word said here is in extenuation of the godman…I only want to point out that truth lies in the shades in between rather than in black and white.

Was it a episodal lapse, or was there a varied history of promiscuity? Are there other lapses, bordering on the illegal, like cheating and mis-appropriation of property? These are the things that have got to be properly investigated and put down.

Nityananda was quite a capable speaker and writer. He was an interesting personality…Obviously he got carried away by the chain of ashrams he had established and the universal adulation he was getting.

Nityananda’s expose does not just seem to be a simple case of lechery that got exposed. There are greater forces at work. The young saint was becoming too prosperous to escape the notice of eagle-eyed sharks (great mixed metaphor..hurrah!).

Adi Shankara sang that the monk clad in a loin cloth is the most fortunate……. Kaupeenavantaha Khalu Bhaagyavantaha…..
Godmen who collect ashrams as well as goons who accumulate property should realise that.

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