Bhagawan Nityananda as a young yogi
Tuneri, Koyilandy, Kerala, India
|Died||8 August 1961|
Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra, India
Bhagawan Nityananda (November/December, 1897 – 8 August 1961) was an Indian guru and Hindu saint. His teachings are published in the "Chidakash Gita". Nityananda was born in Koyilandy (Pandalayini), Kerala, South India.
Details about Nityananda's birth are relatively unknown. According to his disciples, Nityananda was found as an abandoned infant in Tuneri village, Kozhikode, Kerala, India by a lady named Uniamma Nair, who was married to Chathu Nair. The Nair couple adopted this child and took care of him along with their own five children. Nityananda was named as Raman by his foster parents. The Nair couple were farmers, who also took care of the farms owned by a wealthy lawyer named Ishwar Iyer, who greatly trusted them. Nityananda's foster father died when he was three and his foster mother when he was six. Before dying she handed over her responsibility of Nityananda to Ishwar Iyer.
Even in childhood, Nityananda seemed to be in an unusually advanced spiritual state, which gave rise to the belief that he was born enlightened. He was eventually given the name Nityananda, which means, "always in bliss".
Settled in southern India, Nityananda gained a reputation for creating miracles and cures. He started building an ashram near Kanhangad, Kerala state. The local police thought he must be producing counterfeit money to pay for the building, so Nityananda took them to a crocodile-infested pool in the jungle. He dived in and then produced handfuls of money, which was apparently enough to satisfy the police. The hill temple and Ashram in Kanhangad are now pilgrim centres. The Guruvan, a forest in the hills nearby where Bhagawan sat on penance, is now a pilgrim retreat.
By 1923, Nityananda had wandered to the Tansa Valley in Maharashtra state. There, his reputation as a miracle worker attracted people from as far away as Mumbai, though he never took credit for any miracles. He said, "Everything that happens, happens automatically by the will of God." Nityananda gave a great deal of help to the local adivasis, who were despised by the population at large. Nityananda set up a school, as well as providing food and clothing for them.
As a guru, Nityananda gave relatively little by way of verbal teachings. Starting in the early 1920s, his devotees in Mangalore would sit with him in the evenings. Most of the time he was silent, though occasionally he would give teachings. A female devotee named Tulsiamma (Tulsi Amma) (1882-1945) wrote down some of his teachings and his answers to her specific queries. Later, these notes were compiled and published in the Kannada language and came to be known as the Chidakasha Geeta.
Some believe that Nityananda had the power to transmit spiritual energy (shaktipat) to people through non-verbal means. He could also be extremely fiery and intimidating in his behaviour, even to the point of throwing rocks on occasion. This was his way of deterring people who were not serious in their spiritual aspirations, or who came to him with ulterior motives.
In 1936, he went to the Shiva temple in the village of Ganeshpuri and asked if he could stay there. The family that looked after the temple agreed and built a hut for him. As his visitors and followers increased, the hut expanded and became an ashram. To the people around him, he was an avadhuta: one who is absorbed in the transcendental state.
Nityananda died on 8 August 1961 at age 63. His samadhi is located in Ganeshpuri at the Samadhi Mandir. There is also a shrine dedicated to him in the Gurudev Siddha Peeth ashram at Ganeshpuri. His ashram, tourist hostel, and other buildings associated with his life in Ganeshpuri are preserved by the Shree Bhimeshwar Sadguru Nityanand Sanstha Ganeshpuri. This trust is also responsible for his samadhi shrine in Ganeshpuri, which is a pilgrimage site.
A trust at Kanhangad looks after the Ashram and temples located there. The trust also runs a few educational institutions and a dharmasala.
According to Nityananda's biographers, the identity of Nityananda's guru is a mystery. According to Healy, Nityananda did not have a guru. In one of his talks, his student Swami Muktananda said Nityananda’s Guru was an unknown Siddha purusha from Kerala.
- Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, by Swami Muktananda. Siddha Yoga Publications, 2nd edition (1996). ISBN 0-911307-45-1.
- Life of Bhagawan Nityananda & Chidakasha Geeta, by Deepa Kodikal. Surendra Kalyanpur, 2007.
- Nityananda: The Divine Presence, by M.U. Hatengdi, 1990.
- Hatengdi, M.U. (1990). Nityananda: The Divine Presence. Rudra Press. p. iv.
- Page 4 Life of Bhagawan Nityananda & Chidakasha Geeta, by Deepa Kodikal Publisher Surendra Kalyanpur, Mumbai, 2007
- Nityananda, (1985). The Sky of the Heart: Jewels of Wisdom from Nityananda. Rudra Press. ISBN 0-915801-02-7.
- Brooks, Douglas; Sabharathnam, S. P. (1997). Meditation Revolution. Agama Press. ISBN 0-9654096-0-0.
- Muktananda, Swami (1996). Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri (2nd Revised ed.). Siddha Yoga Publications. ISBN 0-911307-45-1.
- John Paul Healy (2010), Yearning to Belong: Discovering a New Religious Movement, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., p.10
- Muktananda, Swami (1978). Satsang with Baba Volume 4. Oakland, Ca.: SYDA Foundation. p. 17. ISBN 0-914602-32-2.
Q: Did Baba Nityananda have a Guru in the physical or subtle body? If so, could you tell us something of him and his lineage?/ Baba: Who would dare ask Nityananda about his Guru? Still, he had a Guru. His Guru was a Siddha Purusha living in Kerala. He was completely unknown. I don’t recall his name, but I have written it down somewhere. He belongs to the Siddha line. It is enough for one to know about one’s father, and what the father’s father was like, is the father’s concern. It is only the father who would bother about the man who was his father. Nityananda did come from a line. He belonged to the line of great Siddhas.
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