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Paramahamsa Nithyananda.jpg
Bornc. 1977–1978 (around age 41 as of 2018)
Founder ofNithyananda Dhyanapeetam
PhilosophyAdvaita Vedanta
Religious career
Literary worksLiving Enlightenment, Guaranteed Solutions, Bhagavad Gita Demystified

Nithyananda (also called Paramahamsa Nithyananda, born c. 1977–1978 in Tiruvannamalai, India) is a Hindu Priest or Swami.

He is believed by his disciples to be an avatar of paramashiva and is the founder of an India-based trust Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, which has temples, gurukulas, and ashrams across many countries.[1]

Early life[edit]

He was born A. Rajasekaran,[2][clarification needed] in Tiruvannamalai, in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India, to father Arunachalam and mother Lokanayaki.[2] Sources conflict as to his birth date – even in official documents provided by Nithyananda. His passport and a 2003 US visitor visa gave a date of 13 March 1977, while 2010 Karnataka High Court documents showed a date of 1 January 1978.[2]


Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, a religious organisation founded by Nithyananda, regularly hosts cultural events related to Hinduism in the United States.[3][4][5][self-published source] They have also set two Guinness world records, one in rope yoga[6] and one in pole yoga (mallakhamba).[7]

Swami Nithyananda's organization claims that he and his inducted disciples have spiritual powers, including kundalini awakening and third-eye awakening[8][9][10] He has claimed that there are 400 extraordinary spiritual powers which can be expressed by humans and has claimed to have initiated his disciples into 60 such powers.[11] He and his followers claim to be able to perform paranormal phenomena like extrasensory perception[12][13][14] and materialisation, body scanning,[9] distance vision, and ability to find lost objects.[15] His speeches have gathered widespread negative reception by the media.[16][17][18][19]

In February 2013, the title of Mahamandaleshwar was conferred on Nithyananda in a closed ceremony by the Panchayati Mahanirvani Akhara.[20][21]

On 23 January 2019, a child disciple of Nithyananda claimed to have initiated 82 students afflicted by varying stages of blindness at a blind school in Vastrapur area of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, into the power to see using the third eye, and claimed that 'there will be no more blind kids.'[22][23]


Sex tape[edit]

In 2010, Sun TV released a sex tape of him and his follower actress Ranjitha, which led to wide spread criticism. Though Nithyananda and Ranjitha have claimed the video is false, the Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Bengaluru had confirmed that Nithyananda and Ranjitha were the two people shown in the tape.[24][25]

Nithyananda's ex-driver Lenin Karuppan owned up to filming his 'guru' and Ranjitha clandestinely. Karuppan was a close aide of Nithyananda. A Mid-Day report from July 2010 says that Karuppan apparently confessed to his swami the reason he filmed him. Karuppan, who considered himself a dedicated and sincere disciple of Swami Nithyananda, lost faith in his guru after seeing him sleeping around with other women.

Rape accusation[edit]

He has been accused of raping a disciple over a nearly five-year period, during her stay in the ashram. In June 2018, a Karnataka trial court framed charges against Nithyananda. He faces trial under Sections 376 (rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating), 114 (criminal abetment), 201 (disappearance of evidence, giving false information), 120B (criminal conspiracy), and other charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Along with Nithyananda, several ashram associates are facing charges in this case. All of the accused pleaded not guilty except for one who was absent from court.[26][27]

Pseudoscientific claims[edit]

Nithyananda is infamous for his pseudoscientific claims (claims which are not scientific but presented as scientific) and he has been alleged to use these claims to misled people in superstition to increase following for his sect.[28] Nithyananda claimed pseudoscientific achievement at various occasions.

He claimed that Albert Einstein’s famous relativity formula: E=mc2 was false and instead gave a naive explanation about the formula.[28] This led to widespread trolling of his explanation on the internet and social media and was heavily criticised in social media for his vacuous comments.[29][30] Nithyananda also claimed that he stopped Sun from rising for 40 minutes.[31] [32] He said, "I asked the sun not to come out till I finish the flag hoisting.”[31]

In a separate occasion, he also claimed to make cows, bulls, lions, tigers and monkeys speak in Tamil and Sanskrit.[33] He attributed his "breakthrough" to a software that he claims to have "casually" tested.[34][33] He said,

I will develop a proper, phonetic, linguistic capable vocal chord for monkeys. Phonetic, linguistic capable vocal chord for lions and tigers. We are going to have bulls and cows who are going to talk to you very clearly, legitimately in Sanskrit and Tamil.[35]

Nithyananda also claimed that he will open the mystical third eye, an intra organ which science has failed to locate in body, for anyone, for free of charge by 2021.[36] He also claimed that person will be able to see through smog and wall.[36][37] Disciples of Nithyananda claimed that he gave initiations through 'third eye' to 82 children having blindness at Blind School, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad, Gujarat and also claimed that they will no longer have blindness.[38]

Rationalist professor and activist Narendra Nayak had challenged Nithyananda to prove the power of third eye. As a response, he received threats and curses from followers of Nithyananda.[39]


  1. ^ "Mahaniravani akhara takes out grandest peshwai of all". Free Press Journal. 19 April 2016. Archived from the original on 21 June 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2017. Followers of Swami Nithyananda from more than 25 countries including Russia, USA, China, Mexico, Germany, France and Spain were the crowd pullers
  2. ^ a b c "Nithyananda may have forged birth documents". Deccan Herald. 24 March 2018. Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  3. ^ King, Danae. "More central Ohioans drawn to Hinduism".
  4. ^ Rohit, Parimal M. "Temples Come Together to Celebrate 'Kumbh Mela USA'". India West. San Leandro, California. Archived from the original on 17 July 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Nico Nico". Facebook.
  6. ^ "Search | rope yoga". Jim Pattison Group. 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017. The largest rope yoga lesson is of 272 participants and was organized by H.H. Sri Nithyananda Swami (India) and Nithyananda University (USA) in Bengaluru, India, on 30 September 2017. Rope yoga involves completing postures on a rope suspended from the ceiling. It was performed by disciples of Swami Nithyananda at their ashram outside Bengaluru, India.
  7. ^ "Search | pole yoga". Jim Pattison Group. 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017. The largest mallakhamba lesson is of 263 participants and was achieved by H.H. Sri Nithyananda Swami (India) and Nithyananda University (USA) at Bengaluru, India, on 3 October 2017. Mallakhamba is a traditional Indian exercise form where yoga postures are done on a vertical wooden pole.
  8. ^ "नित्यानंद ने 70 लोगों को दी दीक्षा" [Nithyananda initiated 70 people]. Dainik Jagran (in Hindi). Retrieved 7 April 2018. कल्पतरु दर्शन शिविर में शनिवार को योगाभ्यास, सत्संग व कीर्तन के साथ 70 लोगों को स्वामी नित्यानंद ने गुरुमंत्र की दीक्षा दी। इस दौरान स्वामी नित्यानंद गुरुकुल के बटुकों द्वारा त्रिनेत्र शक्ति का प्रदर्शन किया गया। [During Kalpataru darshan on saturday along with yoga practise, satsang and devotional songs, 70 people were initiated into Gurumantra by Nithyananda. At the same time, children of Swami Nithyananda's gurukul school demonstrated third eye powers.]
  9. ^ a b "कल्पतरु दर्शन शिविर में त्रिनेत्र शक्ति का प्रदर्शन" [Third Eye power demonstration during Kalpataru Darshan]. Dainik Jagran (in Hindi). Retrieved 7 April 2018. नित्यानंद गुरुकुल के बच्चों द्वारा त्रिनेत्र शक्ति के तहत आखों पर पट्टी बाधकर पढ़ने और शरीर को स्कैन कर बीमारियों के बारे में बताते देख लोग आश्चर्यचकित रह गए [The children of the Nithyananda Gurukul with the power of the third eye read blindfolded and scanned the bodies of people and told about their diseases, experiencing this people were amazed.]
  10. ^ "Nithyananda will do Kundalini Awakening and Third Eye Awakening". Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2017 – via Rajasthan Patrika / Patrika Ujjain. Paramahamsa Nithyananda is believed to be accomplished of many extraordinary spiritual powers. Swami-ji is specialized in the science of kundalini awakening, and science of third eye awakening. [self-published source]
  11. ^ Saxena, Lalit (2016). "नित्यानंद बोले ड्रग, डिप्रेशन और डेथ से बचाएगा डिवाइन पॉवर" [Nityananda to Save from Drugs, Depression and Death with Divine Power]. Rajasthan Patrika / Patrika Ujjain (in Hindi). Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018. मनुष्य में कोई 400 प्रकार की अद्भुत शक्तियां हैं। ध्यान, सिद्ध अद्वैत योग का अभ्यास उन शक्तियों को जाग्रत कर सकता है। यह वैदिक विज्ञान है। इसमें किसी तरह का जादू नहीं है। अभी हम यहां शिविर में 60 प्रकार की ऊर्जा के विकसित स्वरूप के दर्शन कर सकते हैं, शेष 340 भी कर सकते हैं [Humans have 400 extraordinary powers. By practice of Meditation (dhyan), Sidh Advaita Yoga these powers can be awakened. This is a vedic science. There is no kind of magic in this. Right now 60 kind of powers can be experienced here in an advanced stage, other 340 can also be experienced.]
  12. ^ "Girl, 9, reads, plays games blindfolded at Vedic Temple in Montclair". Daily Bulletin. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Nine-year-old 'Reads' Blindfolded at Business Advocacy Summit". India West. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Miracle or magic? Girl reads blind-folded". India Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  15. ^ "गुरु पुजा के बाद चला मुलाकात का दौर" [After Gurupuja there were meetings]. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018. बेंगलुरु के स्वामी नित्यानंद आश्रम में अलौकिक शिक्षा ग्रहण करने वाले छात्र नित्य तत्वानंद व प्रेमाश्वरूपानंद अपने गुरु भाई विद्वेश्वरानंद व आत्मपूजानंदम के साथ सोमवार को गोरखनाथ मंदिर में मुख्यमंत्री योगी आदित्यनाथ से मिलने पहुंचे [Nithya Tatvananda and Premeshavrupananda who received extraordinary knowledge in Swami Nithyananda ashram in Bengaluru, along with their guru brother Vidveshvarananda and Aatmapujananda went to Gorakhnaath temple this Monday to meet with the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
  16. ^ "Swami Nithyananda: I can make cows speak in Tamil and Sanskrit". India Today. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Swami Nithyananda says he can make animals speak and gets trolled". Telangana Today. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  18. ^ "From universe following him to cows speaking in Sanskrit, Swami Nithyananda has planned it all". Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Watch: Godman Nithyananda Swami claim cows will talk in Tamil and Sanskrit!". The Live Mirror. 20 September 2018. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  20. ^ Pandey, Sanjay (13 February 2013). "Nithyananda feted at Mahakumbh". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  21. ^ "Nithyananda conferred 'Mahamandaleshwar' title". Press Trust of India (PTI). 14 February 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2017 – via
  22. ^ "Swami Nithyananda assures No More Blinds!". Afternoon Voice. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Trolls to true followers triumph Swami Nithyananda". Afternoon Voice. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Sex tape footage aired by Sun TV doctored: Nithyananda". Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  25. ^ DelhiNovember 22, India Today Web Desk New; November 23, 2017 Updated:; Ist, 2017 19:25. "Sex video and the Swami: Nithyananda and Ranjitha in 2010 tape, confirms forensic department". India Today. Retrieved 18 April 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  26. ^ "Karnataka trial court frames charges against Nithyananda in rape case". The News Minute. 6 June 2018.
  27. ^ "Setback for Nithyananda as SC dismisses discharge petition plea". India Today. 1 June 2018.
  28. ^ a b Vembu, Venky. "Pseudo-science LOL: from Nithyananda to Sokal Squared". @businessline. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  29. ^ Viegas, Vanessa (21 September 2018). "Nithyananda delivers a brain freeze". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  30. ^ Verma, Anurag (18 September 2018). "'E ≠ mc^2': Controversial 'Godman' Tries to Explain How Albert Einstein Got His Science Wrong, Fails". News18. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  31. ^ a b "Karnataka: Controversial seer Nithyananda says he stopped sunrise for 40 minutes in Bengaluru". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Controversial seer Nithyanada says he stopped sunrise for 40 minutes in Bidadi". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  33. ^ a b DelhiSeptember 19, Ganesh Kumar Radha Udayakumar New; September 19, 2018UPDATED:; Ist, 2018 22:11. "Swami Nithyananda: I can make cows speak in Tamil and Sanskrit". India Today. Retrieved 20 August 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  34. ^ "Cows Will Talk In Tamil, Sanskrit, Self-Styled Godman's Bizarre Claim". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  35. ^ "Vocal chords for monkeys, bulls to talk in Sanskrit, Tamil: Self-styled godman Nithyananda's claims go viral". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  36. ^ a b DelhiNovember 1, India Today Web Desk New; November 1, 2018UPDATED:; Ist, 2018 19:29. "Swami Nithyananda will find you and open your third eye in 2021". India Today. Retrieved 21 August 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  37. ^ "स्वामी नित्यानंद का नया दावा- 2021 में खोलेंगे आपकी तीसरी आंख". (in Hindi). Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  38. ^ "Swami Nithyananda assures No More Blinds!". Afternoon Voice. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  39. ^ "Nityananda's disciple 'curses' Narendra Nayak". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 21 August 2019.

External links[edit]