Friday, April 30, 2010

Swami Nithyananda remanded to judicial custody till May 12

Swami Nithyananda, alias Rajashekaran, was today remanded in judicial custody till May 12 by the court in Ramanagaram on April 30, 2010, after he spent eight days in police custody.

The self-styled godman, who calls himself Paramahamsa Nithyananda, is being interrogated by the Karnataka CID probing various criminal charges including rape, unnatural sex, obscenity, fraud, criminal intimidation, violations of foreign exchange laws, gold-smuggling, possession of banned animal body parts like tiger skins, possession of banned sandalwood items, land scams, money-laundering, and hurting of religious sentiments. Nithya Bhaktananda alias Gopal Seelam Reddy, the swami’s principal aide is also in custody.

Swami Nithyananda denies all these charges. He has also, reportedly told the interrogators that he is not a man and it is impossible that he has committed rape. He has also asked the police to conduct a potency test on him, probably meaning either he is suffering from Erectile Dysfunction/ impotency (ED), or he belongs to what is known as the third sex (neutral), as some reports suggested. He claims that the alleged sex-tapes are fakes.

The court in Ramanagaram, about 40 KM from Bangalore, passed the remand order when Nityananda Swami was produced before it after eight days of police custody, the Karnataka police said. The Karnataka CID so far has not been able to make any significant headway in eliciting any information from him.

The police said, "We are in the process of analyzing the documents and memory card which we seized from Nityananda's former disciple Lenin Karuppanan when he was summoned here for questioning last week."

Lenin Karuppan, alias Nithya Dharmananda, is a former disciple of the godman, who was his driver and reportedly a member of his inner circle. Karuppan, it is alleged, was able to plant clandestine cameras in the bedrooms and private spaces of Paramahamsa Nithyananda with the help of one of the women inmates of his Bidadi Ashram. It is alleged that Ma Nithyananda Gopika, aka Nitya Gopika, who was a very intimate friend of the swami, helped Karuppan in recording the alleged Tantric sex adventures of the swami.

It is reported that 36 tapes are in the possession of the police, and at least five women were involved, including the alleged Tamil actress, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Hyderabad is reported to have confirmed. FSL also confirmed the tapes as original and ruled out any morphing, according to reports. The video clips were telecast by many TV channels, and found their way to the Internet, including YouTube.

Meanwhile, Tamil actress Ranjitha has denied her role in the tapes and served legal notices on Google Inc and YouTube for removal of the tapes, through her lawyers. She also denies to have given any interviews to any media. Her lawyers also warn others publishing such scandalous videos.

The Karnataka police are trying to find Nitya Gopika, considered as a vital lead in the case against Nithyananda, and she has been on the run since the sex tapes of Nithyananda were aired. But the police have not succeeded in establishing her identity and the only thing which is known to them is that she was a close friend of Nithyananda.

The police has got some lead about Nitya Gopika that she is a medical doctor who got a divorce from her husband, after she entered in a ‘non-disclosure sex contract’ at the ashram after which she was legally separated from her spouse. Nitya Gopika accompanied Nithyananda many times during his travelling to foreign countries. She had devoted herself to take care of his belongings according to reports.

Swami Nithyananda: I’m not a man. Do a potency test on me

The Times of India reported Swami Nithyananda as saying, “I’m not a man. There’s no way I could have indulged in sexual activities with women. Do a potency test on me”, quoting Swami Nityananda’s startling statements to CID sleuths.

CID sleuths ignored his statement, because the swami’s passport clearly mentions his gender as male, not transgender, the paper said. Can his claim be true? Possibly! And it could be one of many lies about the godman, including his incorrect date of birth, describing the period he spent in RK Mission as the wandering years as a sanyasi, and many more.

The videos I watched also show the passiveness, as if either he had too much of it, or he is ‘not a man’, which could mean he is impotent (he asks the sleuths to do a potency test on him!), or a transgender/eunuch. It can even be an erectile dysfunction (ED). Some reports already show he is a cross-dresser, wearing the clothes of a woman, making him up on some special occasions.

Nithyananda’s biographer’s widely published/emailed open letter says, “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”.

So, was he telling his biographer the truth?

Swami Nithyananda Videos Part 3

Swami Nithyananda Videos 2


According to a report from Chennai that appeared in www.zeenews.com ‘In her first comments after being embroiled in an alleged sex scandal involving self-styled godman Nityananda, South Indian actress Ranjitha today termed as "malicious" the video clips telecast by some TV channels purportedly showing her in intimate positions with him’.

PM Law Chambers (PMLC), her Delhi-based legal consultant, said ‘she has also issued notices to online service providers Google and YouTube, asking them to remove the video clips from their portals within 72 hours ending May 2, failing which "appropriate action" would be taken against them as it amounted to defamation’.

PMLC also denied that the actress gave any media interviews on the alleged sex scandal and said she had not made any statement before the Bangalore CID, now interrogating Swami Nityananda, who was arrested on various charges including rape, after the alleged sex tapes were aired. He was arrested from a place near Solan in Himachal Pradesh recently by a joint team of Karnataka police and Himachal Pradesh their counterparts after almost a month of hiding by the self-styled godman.

The law firm added, "The video clips, which clearly amount to gross violation of various laws of India, have malicious, diabolical and destructive intent, and are clearly aimed at bringing harm to the actress."

Meanwhile, there emerged other reports that said Swami 'caught in act' with 5 more women, and headlines like “We have CDs to prove Nithyananda’s acts: CID to magistrate”.

However, Nityananda said to the court that he had committed no mistake, saying, “If I had committed a mistake, then I would have confessed to the court even being questioned. If the court thinks I have done any wrong, it can hang me.” But Magistrate Narayana Prasad did not agree to his argument and extended the swami’s police custody by two more days.

After arresting Nithyananda, CID raided his ashram and recovered many CDs and hard discs which were sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Hyderabad. FSL had told CID the CDs and computer hard discs contained footage of five more women in compromising positions with Nithyananda.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Xieng Khuan Buddha Park

Monks passing the enormous reclining Buddha at Xieng Khuan Buddha Park
Umbrella for sun or rain, originally uploaded by B℮n.

Photo: Buddhist monks passing the enormous reclining Buddha; the Buddha's final state of enlightenment: their lifestyle is shaped so as to support their spiritual practice, to live a simple and meditative life.

Xieng Khuan is a Buddha park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane, Laos, in a meadow by the Mekong River. It may be referred to as Wat Xieng Khuan. The name Xieng Khuan means Spirit City. The park was built by Luang Pu (Venerable Grandfather) Bunleua Sulilat. Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat was a priest-shaman who integrated Hinduism and Buddhism. At the top, there is a vantage point where the entire park is visible. An enormous 40 m high reclining Buddha, is also a park attraction. The reclining posture may represent the Buddha resting or sleeping, but more usually represents the mahāparinabbāna: the Buddha's final state of enlightenment before his death.

Uploaded on 14 Nov 08, 8.44AM PDT, text and photo by Ben.

CID: Interrogating Swami Nithyananda was like a punishment

This symbolic caricature gesture entitled 'PLAYBOY NITHYA SPL' seems to be showing the attitude of the Tantric Nithyananda towards the CID sleuths questioning him. News on print media as well as the electronic media brings out news headlines totally unexpected of a swami or guru, with new charges being slapped against him such as his alleged involvement in smuggling gold, flouting of FERA/ FEMA regulations, possession of banned items like tiger skins, and skins/hides of leopards, spotted deer, wild dogs, etc., and a historic first for any godman of any denomination in the form of making his devotees sign Non-Disclosure Agreements on sexual activities that they are expected to perform in his Ashram.

The author of this caricature says, "India is the land of many saints and gurus but not all of them are good. Very often, we hear scandals and fraud against these gurus. Swamy Nithyananda fraud is the latest addition in this regard. Last month a private news channel released a shocking scandal video, where Swamy Nithyananda was caught having sex with a top Tamil actress. This video sent shockwaves across India… Swamy Nithyananda or so-called Paramahamsa Nithyananda is known as the guru of Tamil Nadu. He has been very popular among people and he had significant followers. After the release of the video tape, people accused him fraud. He made them believe that he is a swamy.... at last he has arrested by police yesterday . . .!! Any way our poor people not going to stop believing this kinda poli saamiyars. . !!!"

An interesting news item that appeared in a newspaper says IPL (Indian Premier League) eclipsed SPL (Sex Premier League) because the IPL news encompassed all the three major religions of India, Cricket, Bollywood and Politics. The news even went on to say IPL this year was juicier and spicier than SPL.

Here is an example of how Nithya Tantric power rendered the interrogators brain-dead. A news item from NDTV had the headline “Interrogating Sex Swami was like a 'punishment',” because ‘when the officers were done with their questions for the day, they played the tape and found it did not have any sound. The tape ran like a silent movie in colour… Hours of effort had gone waste.’

After the CID officers transported the swami and his accomplice from his hideout in Solan district in Himachal Pradesh to Bangalore on April 21, the swami was remanded by the Ramanagara local court to police custody and they took him to their new interrogation cell in Bangalore. They interrogated the swami in the cell and recorded everything and when they played back the recordings, it was just like a movie of the silent era! No sound at all; and nothing could be made out of what the godman said.

"It was very difficult to make him speak. And then our efforts went waste thanks to our poor technical knowledge. We had to repeat the entire exercise on Sunday," a CID source said. “There was a problem with the audio output of the recording. The video was just fine. When the statement was recorded the sound was audible but the output on the computer was considerably muted," explained a technician.

The interrogators had to ask the same questions again, and Nithyananda smiled his trademark grin at his interrogators as usual before getting into his trance-like state, the state in which his encounters with Ranjitha and others were recorded. “He has been either slipping into sleep every now and then or kept chanting mantras whenever the police asked him an important question”, the police sources said.

"It was horrible. Imagine having to repeat the entire exercise! It was like a punishment for us," said the interrogators.

Yet another report said Nityananda Swami was shown the video that was shot by his driver Lenin Karuppan and aired by a popular TV channel. The Smiling Swami recognized Ranjitha, but he could not recognize the man in action (he himself!).

Then, as the CID sleuths could not complete the interrogation, he was presented before the additional civil judge (senior division), at Ramanagara, who ordered his police custody till April 29. The investigators were also awaiting the technical report from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Hyderabad on the CDs seized from his Ashram. Also, the counsel for the police argued that several witnesses, including the Tamil actress, were yet to be interviewed.

But Paramahamsa Nithyananda complained of severe chest pain on the way back and he had to be admitted to the government-run Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology on Bannerghatta Road. But the doctors expressed satisfaction over his health, as an Electrocardiography (ECG) test revealed that his heart condition was normal. The Swami also underwent a treadmill test that showed normal results. So he was discharged to police custody. The swami’s disciple, Nithya Bhaktananda Swami, aka Gopal Seelam Reddy, is also under judicial custody.

The godman used to say, “I am not here to give you words, but I am here to take you beyond words”, and he is virtually doing so to the interrogators now. As these godmen are supposed to know the past, present (tense!) and the future, he seems to have foreseen the ‘present times’, and would have reserved those words for the interrogators!

The Karnataka High Court will hear a bail application filed by the swami’s counsel HS Chandramouli on April 29.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paramahamsa Nithyananda and Tiger Skins

Swami Paramahamsa Nithyananda, who was arrested in Himachal Pradesh and now undergoes his ‘spiritual seclusion’ under police custody in Karnataka, is now reported to be a ‘lover of wildlife’, as he is fond of skins/ hides of wild animals such as tigers, leopards, spotted deer and wild dogs.

Nithyananda, now credited with fancy titles such as Swami Sexananda, Sex Swami, and many other names, used to tell his followers, “I am Lord Shiva”, “I am Lord Krishna”, etc. When I read these statements after he was made ‘enlightened’ by Lenin Karuppan, and sex videos on YouTube, I thought that he made such claims when he was under a divine trance. I had to make such a wild guess just because he earlier claimed that he was under a similar trance when he was served by Ranjitha, Gopika, and some other men and women, as some jealous TV channels and journalists reported.

I have the bad habit of Googling up every thing, when I find myself in unknown territories such as California sex, Tantric sex, Bidadi sex, so on and so forth. My search led me to the Wikipedia page that said, “Nityananda (Sanskrit: nitya, eternal + ananda, bliss) may refer to:

Nityananda, the Vaishnava saint (born 1474 CE),
Bhagawan Nityananda, the Ganeshpuri Guru (1897-1961),
Mahamandaleshwar Nityananda, Mahamandaleshwar of the Mahanirvani Akhara, Haridwar India, disciple of Muktananda of Siddha Yoga,
Nitya Anand, a scientist,
Swami Nithyananda (Dhyanapeetam), Alleged Sex scandal figure and spiritual Guru from Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu (1978–)”.

My attention was caught by “Alleged Sex scandal figure and spiritual Guru from Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu…”, because that had something to do with what I read in the news. My search also ‘enlightened’ me on Tantric Sex Rites. It is one of the most organic things, as ‘the male partner visualizes himself as Shiva and the female partner visualizes herself as Shakti. Now I understood why he often said, “I am Lord Shiva”, and the name Gopika to ‘I am Lord Krishna’. Also, I came across two pages of what people call a Tantric Sex agreement in which they agree to undergo all kinds of sexcapades and also not to disclose their divine experiences to anyone, else they might encounter instant Samadhi. “A few dots in the eternal ocean of love and oneness with the universal conscience”!

Now I am convinced that Sun TV, Lenin Karuppan, Douglas McKeller of San Jose (US) and the Karnataka Police talk about the same Nithyananda, and not the four others listed above. So, I join the dots to see what figure emerges, though I do not expect a size zero. So, it emerges something as follows (sorry for any factual errors, your corrections and comments welcome!):

Secret Tantric Rituals have been going on in his Ashram, as the seized ‘sex agreements’ that were signed by the Tantric’s followers show. And that seems to be the reason why a top official of the Karnataka Police said that there is no evidence to prove rape or forced sex, and there is nothing in law to punish a swami who enjoyed sex with the consent of his partners. The videos uploaded by Sun TV and many others also do not show any ‘forced sex’. In fact, from the standards of what is shown in Indian cinema and popular TV shows, what Nithyananda does on the videos is just expressions of love. One can see more offending and obscene scenes in most of Indian films and TV serials. So, I wonder, what the big deal is! Some of my friends tell me that the godman misguided his devotees by assuring them that he is a celibate. Some others say that he was trading in Hinduism in wholesale and attributed all his dirty deals to Hinduism, the Vedic scriptures, and he even placed everything under the Nithya brand, like Nithya Yoga, Nithya sex, Nithya Temples, etc.

Then I came across Nithyananda’s biographer ('Glimpses of a Master', republished as 'Nithyananda' Vol 1: by Ram S Ramanathan, formerly Swami Advaithananda, who runs a business in Singapore), who was the speech writer, all other things he dispensed with his devotees, and his many volumes of biography. The biographer now distanced himself with Nithyananda, and says, “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”.

So, I consider Nithyananda as a Tantric, who is trying to attain Tantric superpowers through Vamachara Tantra Rites, which are associated with the pancha-makara or the ‘Five Ms’, also known as the pancha-tattva’. These are Madya (wine, addictive substances like drugs, etc.), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudra (cereal), and Maithuna (sexual intercourse, all varieties and poses, but animals included or not, I do not know). In Vamachara or Vamamarga Tantric practices, most of the practitioners insist on the use of these ‘Five Ms’. These are props to make Tantra practitioners successful in their ‘quest for ‘Life Bliss’ and union with Param Shiva’. Because these practices are not approved of by most spiritualists and the cultured society, the Vamamarga Tantrics, Aghoris, and sects and cults like Kapalikas practice these rituals in utmost secrecy.

The props used in some extremely secret Tantric practices include cannibalism (eating human flesh), smearing the ash collected from burned dead bodies, using human skulls and bones, consuming various organs of animals like tigers, leopards, etc. which many people believe to have magic properties to cure diseases, defy aging, increase sexual endurance and pleasure, etc. And this is one of the reasons why the tiger population of countries like China has decreased to the level of extinction and there are large scale poaching and smuggling of tigers and their body parts to China and other countries.

Further, as most of us see in the posters and other visual representations of Gods and Goddesses, animals and animal parts like the tiger skin form essential items in their make-up and accessories. For instance, Lord Shiva wears leopard skin and many gods are depicted as seated on tiger skins. So, if a self-proclaimed ‘enlightened Paramahamsa Nithyananda’ who claims to be Shiva possess skins of tigers, leopards, etc., it only shows his Tantric origins. But the problem is with the legal restrictions and ethical questions on the possession and use of body parts of some of these wildlife species.

Swami Nithyananda, after his arrest in Himachal Pradesh, is now in police custody for his alleged involvement in several criminal cases relating to obscenity, criminal intimidation, rape and hurting religious sentiments. But now he seems to be a bit more in trouble following the recovery of a CD, which was seized from his Bidadi ashram. It has visuals of Swami Nithyananda using wildlife products including a tiger pelt, skin of a leopard, spotted deer and a wild dog.

"The CD is with forest officials. The swami will land in deep trouble if wildlife sleuths decide to investigate how and where he procured the wildlife products," said an official from the forest cell of the Karnataka CID. He added, neither the swami nor his ashram had declared any of the products that are seen in the CD.

Also, said an official, "We couldn't interrogate Swami Nithyananda as he went into hiding. But now that he has been arrested, we will go ahead with the case". And Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests B K Singh is reported to have said, "I'll ask my subordinates to proceed with the investigations. They will also be asked to get details of wildlife products found in the CD."

After reading these reports, one can understand the dilemma the officials face. The crimes alleged against the swami involve various departments of the Government. These reports simply suggest that there is no proper coordination between various departments. For example, “local forest officials who are probing the case were reluctant to comment”, a report said.

If Nithyananda went into hiding it was the wisest thing he could do to save his life, because violent mobs vandalized his Ashram and set many things on fire, when his sex tapes were aired. The police just failed to protect him and his Ashram. After all, he is just an ordinary mortal, though he claims to be Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, etc. But, they are just jargons of his trade, just as some politicians, actors, cricket czars, etc. say blatant lies to the public to promote their businesses.

For example, what I viewed on video about former Andhra Governor Narayan Dutt Tiwari is more ridiculous than what Nithyananda did with the actresses and others. The 84-year-old N D Tiwari was shown in bed with three women by Telugu language cable news channel ABN Andhra Jyothi, though he said that he ‘is framed’ and ‘it is a political conspiracy’. But, no one vandalized anything of Tiwari, nor was he jailed. He did everything for pure BLISS of his own enjoyment, but if Paramahamsa Nithyananda did every thing for saving the humanity from calamities like earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire (work in progress in his Malaysian and Singapore Ashrams in the Pacific Ring), and he was about to stop the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökul from erupting when Douglas McKeller of San Jose, California put a stop to it by claiming ‘California Sex’ is ineffective, even if each participant has to shell out $400,000 for participation and a certificate of enlightenment.

Geetanjali V, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Ramanagar Division) was more concerned about the violations as she said, "Earlier, sandalwood pellets were also recovered from the swami's ashram. We'll conduct an investigation in that case. However, to take appropriate action in case of other wildlife products the swami is evidently seen with, we'll require orders from higher authorities."

But Nithyananda, though Tantric rites may need animal skins, don’t you think that it is only common sense to respect the laws of the country that you live in and by selling the Vedic wisdom of that country you made several millions and as such all your godly programs have to be redesigned to respect the laws and the sentiments of the people? After all, all well-meaning religions, including Hinduism, consider that animals too are creations of God, and they too need to be loved and cared for. You cannot get skins of animals unless you (or others) kill them for your petty, fanciful “Bliss” programs!

I think I am more confused about the business of BLISS through animals! But, where are the animal rights activists and PETA? The law seems to be helpless! For Nithyananda, enhancing ‘Nithyanandam’ for his dollar-spinning followers is more of a thing of union with universal consciousness and enriching the lives of his inmates than kindness to animals, and being a responsible law-abiding citizen!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tantra for experiencing mystic powers

Photo: Tantric goddess Kali at Dakshineswar, West Bengal, India along with her Yantra

Tantra (Tantram or anglicized as Tantricism or Tantrism) is a spiritual practice and ritual form of worship according to which Shakti is usually the main deity worshipped, and the universe is regarded as the divine play of Shakti and Shiva. Tantra aims at liberation from ignorance and the cycle of death and birth. Tantra has been practiced in countries such as India, Nepal, China, Japan, Tibet, Korea, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia and Mongolia, and has influenced the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain religious traditions.

The Tantrika, or Tantric practitioner seeks to use the Prana (divine power) that flows through the universe, including one's own body, to attain spiritual goals, material goals, or both. The Tantric uses various tools, including yoga, to activate processes that connect the practitioner to the divine. Also important are visualizations of deities and chanting mantras for experiencing mystic powers within the individual, resulting in an ever increasing awareness of cosmic vibration.

Tantrism is also a quest for spiritual and magical powers, by achieving complete control of oneself, and control over all the forces of nature, in order to attain union with the cosmos and with the divine. Arduous training is required to master Tantric methods, into which pupils are initiated by an enlightened guru. Yoga, including breathing techniques and Yoga postures (asana), is employed to train the body to the control of the will. Mudras (gestures), Mantras (syllables, words and phrases), Mandalas and Yantras, which are symbolic diagrams of the forces at work in the universe, are all used as tools for meditation and for the achievement of spiritual, magic and supernatural powers.

During meditation, the follower of the Tantric guru identifies herself or himself with any of the gods or goddesses representing cosmic forces. The follower visualizes them and takes them into her or his mind so that she or he unites with them in a process akin to sexual courtship and consummation. Some Tantric monks (saints, babas, swamis, etc.) use female partners to represent goddesses. In left-handed Tantra (Vamachara), a ritual of sexual intercourse is practiced, not for pleasure as the Tantrics claim, but as a way of entering into the underlying processes and structure of the universe, as scientists deal with the big bang and black holes, etc.

The Tantric tradition may run either parallel to or intertwined with the Vedic tradition, though some orthodox Brahmans who accept the authority of the Vedas reject the authority of Tantras. The source of written Tantric wisdom is the agama, which mainly consist of four parts; delineating metaphysical knowledge (Jnana), contemplative procedures (Yoga), ritual regulations (Kriya) and ethical and religious injunctions (Charya).

Though the paths of Tantra and Yoga are contradictory, they have some common philosophies and goals. During his discourse on ‘Vijnana Bhairava Tantra’, Osho tried to differentiate between these two paths thus, “Yoga is suppression with awareness; Tantra is indulgence with awareness.”

As Robert Svoboda summarizes the three major paths of the Vedic knowledge, “Because every embodied individual is composed of a body, a mind and a spirit, the ancient Rishis of India who developed the Science of Life organized their wisdom into three bodies of knowledge: Ayurveda, which deals mainly with the physical body; Yoga, which deals mainly with spirit; and Tantra, which is mainly concerned with the mind. The philosophy of all three is identical; their manifestations differ because of their differing emphases. Ayurveda is most concerned with the physical basis of life, concentrating on its harmony of mind and spirit. Yoga controls body and mind to enable them to harmonize with spirit, and Tantra seeks to use the mind to balance the demands of body and spirit.”

Tibetan Buddhist Tantric master Lama Thubten Yeshe said, “Each one of us is a union of all universal energy. Everything that we need in order to be complete is within us right at this very moment. It is simply a matter of being able to recognize it. This is the Tantric approach.”

According to Tantra, ‘being-consciousness-bliss’ or Satchidananda (Sat-chit-ananda meaning existence-consciousness-bliss) has the power of both self-evolution and self-involution. Prakriti or ‘Reality’ evolves into a multiplicity of creatures and things, yet at the same time always remains pure consciousness, pure being, and pure bliss. In this process of evolution, Maya (illusion) veils Reality and separates it into opposites, such as conscious and unconscious, pleasant and unpleasant, and so forth. If not recognized as Maya or illusion, these opposing forces can bind, limit and fetter the individual (jiva).

Evolution or the ‘outgoing current’ is only half of the function of Maya. Involution or the ‘return current’ takes the jiva back towards the root of Reality, revealing the infinite. Tantra teaches the method of changing the ‘outgoing current’ into the ‘return current’, transforming the fetters created by Maya into that which ‘releases’ or ‘liberates’. This view upholds two pillars of Tantra; ‘One must rise by that by which one falls,’ and ‘the very poison that kills becomes the elixir of life when used by the wise.’

The Tantric aim is to sublimate rather than to negate relative reality. This process of sublimation consists of three phases: purification, elevation and the ‘reaffirmation of identity on the plane of pure consciousness’. The methods employed for attaining this goal by Dakshinachara (right-hand path) and the Vamachara (left-hand path) of Tantra are different.

It is difficult to describe Tantric practices definitively, but they can be broadly classified as ‘Ordinary Rituals’ and the ‘Secret Rituals’. The Ordinary Ritual or pooja may include elements of Mantra and Yantra, which are instruments to invoke specific Hindu deities such as Shiva, Shakti, or Kali. Similarly, pooja may involve focusing on a Yantra or Mandala associated with a deity.

Tantra, as an offshoot of early Vedic thought, embraced Hindu gods and goddesses, especially Shiva and Shakti, along with the Advaita philosophy that each represents an aspect of the ultimate Param Shiva, or Brahman. The deities may be worshipped externally with flowers, incense and other offerings, such as singing and dancing. But these deities are engaged internally as attributes of Ishta Devata meditations. The practitioners either visualize themselves as the deity, or experience the Darshan (the vision) of the deity. These Tantric practices also are believed to be the foundation of the Ritual Temple Dance of the Devadasis.

Secret Tantric Rituals may include any or all of the elements of Ordinary Rituals, along with other sensate rites such as a feast (food, or sustenance), coitus (sex and procreation), the charnel grounds or cremation grounds (representing death and transition) and defecation, urination and vomiting (representing removal of waste, renewal and fecundity). It is this sensate nature that prompted the German thinker, Indologist and historian of South Asian art Heinrich Zimmer praise Tantra as, “In the Tantra, the manner of approach is not that of Nay but of Yea, the world attitude is affirmative, man must approach through and by means of nature, not by rejection of nature.”

Tantric Sexual Rites of Vamamarga may have emerged from early Hindu Tantra as a practical means of catalyzing biochemical transformations in the body to facilitate heightened states of awareness. These constitute vital offerings to Tantric deities. Sexual rites may have also evolved from clan initiation ceremonies involving transfer of sexual fluids, by which the male initiate is inseminated with the sexual emissions of the female consort, sometimes mixed with the semen of the guru. The Tantrika is thus transformed into a son of the clan (kulaputra) through the grace of his consort. The clan fluid (kuladravya) or clan nectar (kulamrita) is conceived as flowing naturally from her womb. Later developments in the Sexual Rites emphasize the primacy of bliss and divine union, which replace the more bodily connotations of earlier forms. Although popularly equated with Tantra in its entirety in the West, such sexual rites were historically practiced by a minority of sects and cults. For many lineages, these Maithuna practices (sexual union) progressed into psychological symbolism.

The Tantric sex rituals culminate in a sublime experience of infinite awareness for both the participants. Tantric texts specify that sex has three distinct purposes: procreation, pleasure, and liberation. Those seeking liberation avoid frictional orgasm for a higher form of ecstasy, as the couple participating in the ritual lock in a static embrace. Several types of sexual rituals are practiced by Tantrics, involving elaborate and meticulous preparatory and purifying rites. The sexual act itself balances energies coursing within the Pranic Ida and Pingala channels in the bodies of both the partners. The Sushumna nadi (spinal chord) is awakened and Kundalini (instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti that lies coiled at the base of the spine, often called the ‘serpent power') rises upwards within it. This eventually culminates in Samadhi, wherein the individual personalities and identities of the participants are completely dissolved in cosmic consciousness. The male and female participants in Tantric sex are conjoined physically and represent Shiva and Shakti. Beyond physical sex, a subtle fusion of Shiva and Shakti energies takes place, resulting in a unique energy field. On an individual level, each participant experiences a fusion of one's own Shiva and Shakti energies.

The first Western scholar to take the study of Tantra seriously was Sir John Woodroffe (1865-1936), who wrote about Tantra under the pen name Arthur Avalon, who is considered as the ‘founding father of Tantric studies’. Woodroffe was an ardent advocate for Tantra, defending Tantra against its many critics and presenting Tantra as an ethical philosophical system greatly in accord with the Vedas and Vedanta. Woodroffe himself practiced Tantra as he understood it and, while trying to maintain his scholastic objectivity, was considered a student of Hindu Tantra (in particular Shiva-Shakti) tradition.

Following Sir John Woodroffe, a number of scholars of comparative religion and Indology began to investigate Tantric teachings, including Agehananda Bharati, Mircea Eliade, Julius Evola, Carl Jung, Giuseppe Tucci and Heinrich Zimmer. According to Hugh Urban, Zimmer, Evola and Eliade viewed Tantra as "the culmination of all Indian thought: the most radical form of spirituality and the archaic heart of aboriginal India", and regarded it as the ideal religion of the modern era. All three saw Tantra as "the most transgressive and violent path to the sacred." Other popular authors such as Joseph Campbell brought Tantra into the imagination of the peoples of the West. Tantra came to be viewed by some as a ‘cult of ecstasy’, combining sexuality and spirituality in such a way as to act as a corrective force to Western repressive attitudes about sex.

For many modern thinkers, Tantra has become a synonym for ‘Spiritual Sex’ or ‘Sacred Sexuality’, a belief that sex in itself ought to be recognized as a sacred act which is capable of elevating its participants to a more sublime spiritual plane.

According to Hugh Urban, “Since at least the time of Agehananda Bharati, most Western scholars have been severely critical of these new forms of pop Tantra,” and this ‘California Tantra’ as Georg Feuerstein calls it, is “based on a profound misunderstanding of the Tantric path”. “Their main error is to confuse Tantric bliss with ordinary orgasmic pleasure.” Urban said that he himself doesn't consider this ‘wrong’ or ‘false’ but rather ‘simply a different interpretation for a specific historical situation.’

Vamachara system of Tantra is considered to be on the fringes of extreme and associated with the pancha-makara or the ‘Five Ms’, also known as the pancha-tattva. Literally, they are Madya (wine), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudra (cereal), and Maithuna (sexual intercourse).

Vamachara Tantric traditions impose strict ritual limits on the use of these literal forms and warn against non-sanctioned use. If practiced without the guidance of a highly learned Tantric guru, the practitioner will end up committing sins or crimes. So, practitioners of Vamachara Tantric rituals may make symbolic substitutions for these actual things, which are not permitted in orthodox Hindu practice, and certain practices can be legally prohibited. Tantric practices can be done without involvement with the actual pancha-makara is emphasized by Swami Madhavananda, and by numerous other Tantrics.

The 'Charnel Ground Sadhana' (Shmashan Sadhana) practiced by Aghoris, identifies it as principally cutting through attachments and aversion. They are often viewed as uncultured and undomesticated. The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are naturally born Aghori. Hari Baba has said that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They start to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether. In this sense, Aghor Sadhana is a process of unlearning deeply internalized cultural models. When this Sadhana takes the form of Shmashan Sadhana, the Aghori faces death as a very young child, simultaneously meditating on the totality of life at its two extremes. This ideal example serves as a prototype for other Aghor practices, both left and right, in ritual and in daily life.

The symbolism of the Khatvanga that entered esoteric Buddhism was a direct borrowing from the Shaivite Kapalikas who frequented places of austerity such as cremation grounds as a form of 'left-handed path'. The form of the Buddhist Khatvanga derived from the emblematic staff of the early Indian Shaivite Yogins, known as Kapalikas or 'skull-bearers'. The original Kapalikas were criminals who had been sentenced to a twelve-year term of penance for the crime of inadvertently killing a Brahmin. The penitent was prescribed to dwell in a forest hut, at a desolate crossroads, in a charnel ground, or under a tree. They were also ordered to live by begging, wear a loin-cloth of hemp, dog, or donkey-skin. They also had to carry the emblems of a human skull as an alms-bowl, and the skull of the Brahmin they had slain mounted upon a wooden staff as a banner. These Kapalika ascetics soon evolved into an extreme outcaste sect of the 'left-hand' Tantric path (Vamamarg) of Shakti or goddess worship. The early Buddhist Tantric Yogins and Yoginis adopted the same goddess or dakini attributes of the Kapalikas.

And finally, here is an advisory!

The extreme types of Tantric practitioners are condemned by cultured and educated people because of their cannibalistic rituals, and rituals like sacrificing animals and even human beings in their secret practices. Many Tantric practices are banned by law in many countries for practices bordering on crime, forced sex, and similar practices. Also, some of the claimants of divine or supernatural powers are just practitioners of black magic or hypnotism, and it is very difficult to separate them from true masters. Their activities come to light only when they are exposed by their own people or by the victims who escape from them. So, if attracted by divine powers, make proper enquiries before joining them for any purpose. There are many reputed spiritual leaders and organizations that have helped people on their paths to meditation and bliss! So, be selective and don’t let your quest for eternal bliss end up in eternal suffering at the hands of fakes!

Mating Shells

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tantra, Karma and Love - video

Master and Disciple: Nityananda and Muktananda

Bhagavan Nityananda and Swami Muktananda
Nityananda and Muktananda, originally uploaded by indiariaz.

According to Wikipedia, Swami Muktananda (16 May 1908 to 2 October 1982) is the monastic name of an Indian Hindu guru and disciple of Bhagavan Nityananda. Swami Muktananda was the founder of Siddha Yoga. He wrote a number of books on the subjects of Kundalini Shakti, Vedanta, and Kashmir Shaivism, including an autobiography entitled The Play of Consciousness.

Muktananda was born near Mangalore in Karnataka State, India, into a wealthy family. His birth name was Krishna. At 15 he encountered Bhagavan Nityananda, a wandering avadhoot who profoundly changed his life. He studied under Siddharudha Swami at Hubli, where he learned Sanskrit, Vedanta and all branches of yoga, and took the initiation of sannyasa, becoming Swami Muktananda. He then began wandering India on foot.

In 1947 Muktananda went to Ganeshpuri to receive the darshan of Bhagavan Nityananda. He received shaktipat initiation from him in the early morning of August 15 of that year. Swami Muktananda often said that his spiritual journey didn't truly begin until he received shaktipat from the holy man Bhagavan Nityananda.

Swami Nityananda in early life


Swami Nityananda, originally uploaded by govindakai.

Swami Nityananda is the guru of Swami Muktananda of the Siddha Yoga lineage. Swamiji was born in 1897 at Tuneri (Koyilandi, Kerala, India) and Nityananda died on August 8, 1961 at Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra, India. His samadhi is located in Ganeshpuri at the Samadhi Mandir. There is also a shrine dedicated him in the Gurudev Siddha Peeth ashram at Ganeshpuri. His ashram, tourist hostel, and other buildings associated with his life in Ganeshpuri are managed 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, Kerala, looks after the Ashram and temples located there, and runs a few educational institutions and a dharmasala.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Video: Baba Nityananda's Samadhi

Nityananda temple at Ganeshpuri

Photo of Nityananda temple at Ganeshpuri
Nityananda temple, originally uploaded by deen.

Swami Nityananda temple in the morning

Bhagavan Nityananda Temple at Ganeshpuri
Nityananda temple in the morning, originally uploaded by deen.

Swami Nityananda Samadhi Shrine

Bhagavan Nityananda's Samadhi Shrine at Ganeshpuri
Nityananda samadhi shrine, originally uploaded by deen.

Swami Nityananda's Tantric Sex Agreement

Swami Nithyananda's sex agreement with devotees

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ma Nithya Manessha at Bidadi Ashram

This photo (5 Sep 08) by Sri Nithya Nirgunadevan shows Ma Nithya Manessha, described by him as 'Nithya Yoga Archarya President in Bidadi, India'. The woman seems to be an inmate of the Bidadi Ashram. The photographer, born as Richard in Guyana and now living in USA, he became Sri Nithya Nirgunadevan, a devotee of Swami Nithyananda.

Swami Nityananda back home after 'vanvas'


The self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, who elevated himself as Paramahamsa Nithyananda, is finally back home after his vanvas, thanks to Bangalore Police, who arrested him on Wednesday from his hideout in Mamlig village near Arki town in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh, about 50 km from Shimla.

Nityananda and his close aide and the head of his operations in the United States, Gopal Sheelum Reddy alias Nitya Bhaktananda were flown in to Bangalore and were whisked away to Ramanagaram Sessions court, the police told the media.

He was arrested along with his four associates, after he had been absconding for over a month after a purported video footage of him in a compromising position with the Tamil actress Ranjitha and alleged sexual relations with some other women and men. The arrests were made by a joint team of Karnataka Crime Investigation Department and Himachal Pradesh Police.

Swami Nityananda, alias Paramahamsa Nithyananda, according to Assistant superintendent of police, Solan, Ramesh Pathania, was wanted by Karnataka police in two cases under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 376 (punishment for rape), 377 (unnatural sex), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. Nityananda Swami had been on the run since March 23 when the Karnataka High Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.

The scandal-hit godman was staying in a rented house for the past one month. Himachal police got a fax from the Karnataka police on April 17 that they had information that Nityananda was hiding in Himachal Pradesh. Subsequently, two Karnataka deputy superintendents of police reached Shimla for investigation.

The police team zeroed in on the accused godman and his associates based on the information provided by a local taxi driver of Himachal Pradesh. Though Nityananda and Nithya Bhaktananda (Gopal Seelam Reddy) rarely moved out, their three other companions used to visit the nearby market to procure items of daily needs.

A Bangalore police official M.S. Hussain said, "Nityananda and Reddy reached Himachal Pradesh from Haridwar and they stayed in the village." The police seized $7,000 and Rs 300,000 in cash from Nityananda, and three laptops, eight mobile phones, three video cameras, and one SIM card procured from Himachal Pradesh were also recovered from them. The house where Nityananda was staying since March 27 belonged to a Delhi resident, who would be questioned soon, the police said.

Meanwhile, a CID team conducted a search of the Ashram of Nithyananda Swamiji at Bidadi, near Bangalore on 20 April, 2010, and seized important documents including computer hard disks, Director General, CID, Dr D V Guru Prasad said.

After the scandalous videos of Nityananda were aired on TV channels on March 3, the godman’s former driver Lenin Karuppan filed a complaint with the Chennai police commissioner. Another case was registered at Coimbatore by Vishwanath for hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. In Karnataka, the police registered the cases based on these two complaints and later they handed over the case to the CID, after which the CID sleuths started getting complaints from overseas through e-mails.

According to reports, Nithyananda is afraid of facing prosecution in the US following a case lodged by a US citizen Douglas Mckellor before the California State Attorney-General Jerry Brown, accusing the Swami of fraud, financial irregularities and physical abuse of devotees in USA. McKellor, a former devotee, also known as Swami Nithya Prabha, is a resident of San Jose in California and came in contact with Nityananda in 2007, and later became the head of the California branch of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam.

Douglas attended Nithyananda's enlightenment program held at Los Angeles ashram, where he said he paid Nithyananda a fee of $400,000 for the workshop and the enlightenment certificate. Nithyananda sexually exploited his American devotees, The American said in his complaint.

Nithyananda’s Life Bliss Foundation in the US has shut down after the scandal broke out. So, is his Vedic Temple in Los Angelese that is shut down to devotees! Lenin Karuppan, an insider who had recorded the sex tapes, and who had first filed a complaint with the Chennai Police Commissioner, has alleged that several foreign devotees have been duped by Nithyananda.

Also, a court in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu had issued a non-bailable warrant against him on Monday with the direction to the police to produce him before the court on May 20.

Swami Nityananda has rejected sex scandal allegations against him, and his lawyers said they are ready for a legal battle.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swami Nithyananda arrested in Himachal Pradesh

The Bangalore Police, with the cooperation of Himachal Pradesh Police, arrested Swami Nithyananda (the self-styled Paramahamsa Nithyananda, who claims to be enlightened) from a hideout in the Solan District of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday. Reproduced below is a Press Note issued by the Bangalore Police on his arrest:

A team of Karnataka State CID took into custody Swamy Nithyananda in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh this afternoon. Along with Sri Nithyananda Swamiji, Sri Nithya Bhaktananda alias Gopal Seelam Reddy has also been taken into custody. Both these persons are wanted in connection with two cases registered at Bidadi Police Station. Both the persons are being produced before the local Magistrate and after securing body warrant, they will be brought to Bangalore.

A CID team conducted a search of the Ashram of Nithyananda Swamiji at Bidadi on 20.4.2010, and seized important documents including computer hard disks.

Dr D V Guruprasad

Director General of Police

COD, Training, Special Units & Economic Offences

Bangalore

Nithyananda Swami who has been charged in a sex scandal, and other counts including fraud and cheating, as per various reports, has been hiding since March 23 after the Karnataka High Court dismissed his plea for invalidating the criminal charges against him and for providing him an anticipatory bail. Nithyananda was arrested from Mamlig village near Arki town in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, where ‘he was staying in a rented house for the past one month, quoted Additional Director General of Police I.D. Bhandari.

According to reports, Swami Nithyananda, will be taken to a local court in Solan District or Simla for transfer remand and soon after he will be moved to Karnataka, where he has an Ashram at Bidadi near Bangalore, or to Tamil Nadu, where he was born in Thiruvannamalai.

It is reported that the warrant was issued against him following a complaint of an advocate, who accused Swami Nithyananda of ‘hurting religious sentiments of people of India’ and doing a malicious act by indulging in affairs with a Tamil actress and other women without their consent.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Video: Maha Kumbha Mela 2010

Sunrise over the Ganga at Haridwar

Evening prayers at Har-Ki-Pairi in Haridwar

The author of this photo adds, "On the way back from a weekend of river rafting in Rhishikesh we stopped in Haridwar, because the Aarti ceremony was soon about to start... It was an amazing experience with this huge number of people and all the lights. Some of my Indian colleagues took a dip in the water. Few of them even did the 100 dips."

Kumbh Mela 2010: The Holy Dip in Ganga


Kumbh Mela 2010, originally uploaded by Tanya N.

Kumbh Mela 2010: beauty and the beast


Kumbh Mela 2010 (62), originally uploaded by Prashanth S Reddy.

Har-ki-Pauri during Kumbh Mela 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nithyananda on moleskine

Swami Nithyananda caricature
moleskine, originally uploaded by Duncan Creamer.

This caricature was uploaded by Duncan Creamer on 30 Mar 07, 12.46AM PDT on Flickr. The author says, the Swamiji does not allow photography, so he had to draw the caricatures.

Nithya Bhaktananda Swami's Teachings

Well, I found this interesting caricature uploaded on Flickr on 14 Nov 2008 (not in March 2010), which reminded me of the monkey businesses of some Indian godmen caught recently in inglorious situations by the Indian police and media. It seems that the last one year was particularly bad for at least some of the fake gurus, especially because they have been the living gods of their devotees, have established huge imperial Ashrams worth several millions of dollars within a few years, and some of them just had humble huts to begin with in India, but soon they were establishing their branches and temples abroad, their favourite first destination being USA.

In fact most Indians come to know about them because of their US and NRI connections that flood the media and internet.

Here are some of the teachings of Sri Nithya Bhaktananda Swami (Gopal Seelam Reddy, a disciple of Nithyananda):

It cannot be taught
But it can be caught

Chewing the cud from the past
Chewing the cud of the future

Mind is a monkey
Body is a donkey

You guys have no past!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I prefer online ticket brokers to box office

I am not a diehard fan of any one stream of entertainment like sports, music or other categories. But I am a great fan of some of the clubs, singers, or entertainers in almost all disciplines. So, whenever an event of my favorite singer or club takes place, I make it a point not to miss it. But unfortunately, I am not the only one who is crazy about buying tickets of them, but I am one among millions like me, and purchasing tickets for my favorite events become almost impossible, just because, they are not available in the box office, as they are sold out immediately after announcement. However, I found out an easy way out. That is, use the services of the website of the online ticket seller A Cheap Seat.

One of the venues where tickets are mostly hard to come by is Honda Center, though it seats up 17,174. Apart from the fact that it is home to the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, the center has been host to a number of high profile events. The upcoming events too are hot favorites such as Carole King, Los Angeles Lakers, Roger Waters, The Eagles, Bamboozle, Walking with Dinosaurs, and many more. But purchasing Honda Center Tickets is quite easier, time-saving and mostly economical if you use the services of A Cheap Seat.

Similarly, Churchill Downs tickets are also quite difficult to purchase from many usual outlets, just because the enormous number of fans who grab them in no time. Again, by using the services of A Cheap Seat, you can still make sure of availability of tickets. Not only that, they also offer options to buy premium Churchill Downs Tickets, provide you with the proper schedules for all upcoming events, and tour information and venue seating charts and maps.

The Canadian crooner, pop jazz singer and actor Michael Bublé has always fascinated me, and his concert tickets sell like hot cakes, and they are usually difficult to get from the usual channels. The best way to avoid disappointment is to get Michael Buble Tickets before the scheduled dates of the concert tour. You can check the dates and schedules from the site of this company and book it online. I think you do not like to miss the concerts of artists like Michael Buble, who sold over ten million records worldwide.

Being a professional ticket broker, with access to many most popular events, they help you in many ways. You can even call their office when their customer-friendly, professional ticket brokers provide you with the required information and assistance. Booking tickets is also quite easy, as you can pay with credit cards and your tickets will be shipped to your address in continental USA and Canada by FedEx. Also, they send you a confirmatory email within 24 hours.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lenin on Paramahamsa Nithyananda - Part Three


In the last seven years, the assets amassed by Nithyananda are estimated to be about Rs 2000 crores. There are over 1000 products on sales, including books, CDs, etc. Most of the books/CDs on sale at Nithyananda’s website are prized at $65 each. There are sales sites and shopping carts in his site, all selling spiritualism, meditation, etc. Besides, according to Lenin Karuppan, there is a company Nithyananda Imports and exports private limited that gets most of the money as donations that are exempt from tax, without regular shipping bills or export documentation. Therefore Karuppan feels that there is large scale tax-evasion going on, but it is to be seen by the Government/tax authorities.

Every Ashramite/ inmate of the Ashram is to sign a contract of secrecy or confidentiality with the Swami Nithyananda, Karuppan says. Excepting women who attend on the godman, no one is allowed in his bed room/ private quarters. So, no body knows what is going on there, or anything about the lifestyle of the godman. Asked when whether the women and men abused by Nithyananda have been forced into giving him sexual favours, Lenin Karuppan says, the swami uses his powers of hypnotism, mesmerism, Tantra techniques, etc., to win over the victims’ consent for sex. For the same reason, and for fear, none of the victims complain against the godman.

The whereabouts of Swami Nithyananda is not known, so is of Ranjitha. Karuppan told Sun TV in an interview that the swami can be in Delhi, Haridwar, Nepal, or in another safe Ashram, hiding from media, or to evade arrest. The police is investigating and a case is in the court. The people in the area around Bidadi, where his Ashram is situated is deadly against Nithyananda’s questionable practices. They have raided his ashram, set fire to his photos and other articles, and there was a fire engulfing some huts in the Ashram area.

As Lenin awaits the truth to emerge from the investigations, the CID is probing into the scandal involving the godman and Tamil actress Ranjitha. Though Lenin had made allegations of sodomy against swami Nithyananda, there is no video evidence to corroborate that charge, an official was quoted as saying.

The CID has conducted raids at the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam ashram and searched his premises before seizing documents relating to his activities, including registers from the headquarters of the cult located at Kallugopahalli in the Bidadi Taluk of Ramanagara district of Karnataka, on the basis of a warrant obtained from the Ramanagara magistrate.

Also, the CID sleuths are going through the documents to unearth evidence related to his financial resources, land acquisition, and links with women brahmacharinis, sources said, adding, “We suspect he has destroyed some incriminating papers.” Sources said they are also trying to find out the role of Nithyananda’s secretary T Dhanasekaran, alias Sadhananda, alias Aiyya, in the land acquisition deals.

On April 12, reports from Chennai said that the Chennai High Court has dismissed a petition seeking a CBI investigation into allegations against Nithyananda Swami. In his order justice R Regupathy said, "When investigation of the case is still pending on the files of special agency at Karnataka and when nothing has been alleged against them, I cannot find any merit to transfer the case to CBI". This petition was filed by Nithya Dharmananda alias K Lenin. Based on his complaint the police had registered cases against Nithyananda for various offences under IPC including rape.

Also, there are reports suggesting that some cases are filed against the godman with American authorities in California/ USA for fraud and other charges.

Lenin on Paramahamsa Nithyananda - Part Two


According to Lenin Karuppan, who was made Swami Dharmananda by the self-proclaimed Paramahamsa Nithyananda, the godman claims himself as the God, not even an incarnation. Nithyananda claims, “I am Lord Krishna, I am Lord Shiva…” According to news reports, Lenin planted video cameras inside the bedrooms of Nithyananda with the help of one or more of the female victims. Once the godman got wind of that, he confronted Lenin, but he escaped from the Nithyananda Ashram, at Bidadi, near Bangalore (Bengaluru) and reached Chennai in Tamil Nadu. Ever since then the godman has been calling Lenin frantically to get hold of the proofs against him which Dharmananda had carried with him. He says, the godman has been threatening him, and sometimes pleading with him, saying that he is not threatening. The interviewer asked Dharmananda whether it is true that he has really quit as the head of the Ashram, his trusts, etc., as announced by Nithyananda. According to Lenin, it is ‘complete drama’, and his secretary who was managing the Ashram earlier is still managing it and there is no actual change in the management.

Asked why the godman is still not arrested by the police, Lenin claims that Nithyananda is in the good books of the politicians and hence, he is not arrested yet. The Karnataka police team has interrogated Lenin, and the Nithyananda Ashram near Bangalore was raided by the police and now the police are investigating the activities of the Ashram’s Branch in Malaysia.

A Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) datelined report on April 11 said that the Malaysian ashram linked to the scandal tainted Swami Nithyananda will cooperate with the Indian police probing the sex scandal. However, the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam Ashram's spokesman K. Murthi said ‘he did not know how the Indian police could link the center’s activities with the scandal, as they were purely spiritual in nature’. He said Nithyananda had visited the ashram a few times and all activities at the Malaysian ashram had stopped since the scandal broke out last month. This is in reference to what earlier the Bangalore Police had said that it was planning to send a probe team to Malaysia to unearth any evidence at the ashram.

As ANI reported, "Through our investigation, we know there is an ashram in Malaysia (Penang). If there is credible information, we will send our officers to probe," said K.N. Yogappa, Superintendent of Police of the Bangalore Criminal Investigation Department (CID). A total of 30 sex tapes showing Swami Nithyananda indulging in sex with at least six different women have reportedly been submitted to the CID. The investigating officials, who conducted a raid on the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam ashram at Bidadi on April 5 and 6, have so far interrogated 29 people, according to ANI.

Lenin on Paramahamsa Nithyananda - Part One


Watch this video of TV interview of Dharmananda alias Lenin Karuppan, the whistle-blower who opened the Pandora’s Box of Nithyananda's alleged sex scandals and alleged fraud! As per reports, there are 30 sex tapes in which no less than six women have been involved. Lenin was an insider in the Ashram, and Nithyananda's driver. According to Lenin, 30 to 40 women have been involved in sex with the godman, apart from men. The news made headlines when the very popular Indian TV network Sun TV aired the sex tape involving the popular Tamil actress Ranjitha. Also there are reports that Nithyananda sex tapes are doing brisk business in the black markets in Bangalore and other places. According to reports, Nithyananda’s Newest Technologies to Moksha (Salvation or Life Bliss) are now available at Rs 1000 per CD in the gray market. Watch this video, and look for Part Two of the interview that I will be posting after this.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Dona Paula Suicide Point, Goa

Dona Paula Suicide Point is beautiful tourist spot in Goa, India
13_DonaPaulaPoint, originally uploaded by LonelyInSpace.

The author of this very beautiful photograph describes Dona Paula Suicide Point as, "Folklore talks about a woman who loved a fisherman and committed suicide from this point, because they were not allowed to marry. Picturesque place, and you get a good breeze on the top."

Ramana Maharshi Ashram at Thiruvannamalai


Ramana Maharshi Ashram, originally uploaded by LonelyInSpace.

Sri Ramana Ashram, which was home to the modern sage and Advaita Vedanta philosopher Ramana Maharishi from 1922 till his death in 1950, is situated at the foot of the Arunachala hill, to the west of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, India. Thiruvannamalai itself is a pilgrimage town, home to the Annamalaiyar Temple which is one of the holiest Shiva Temples of Tamilnadu. The Sanskrit name for Thiruvannaamalai, Arunachala, became known worldwide mostly due to Sri Ramana.

Thiruvannamalai is well-connected to many cities and towns in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh by road. The town lies on the junction of the Chittoor-Cuddalore state highway and the Puduchery-Bengalooru national highway (NH 66). A railway line between Vellore and Villupuram passes through Thiruvannamalai. The nearest airport is at Chennai (170 km) and Bengaluru International Airport (200 km).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Open letter from Swami Nithyananda's biographer

This letter was found in the blog of churumuri in which the blogger writes about the final lawyer-dictated confession announcing retirement’ published by Nithyananda. The announcement of retirement is available in the website of his organization, Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam and at YouTube. Even as reports suggest that Nityananda considers giving up his saffron robes, a source in the ashram said it was unlikely that the swami would renounce his wealth, which runs into several crores. However, "He has nothing to lose by resigning because all of Dhyanapeetam assets are in his name," he said.

The godman, who has been in the news after a video that allegedly shows him in bed with a Tamil actress became public, had on Tuesday announced his decision to renounce his position as the head of his trust, Dhyanapeetam.

The High Court has adjourned the hearing in cases against Nityananda till April 6 following the public prosecutor's request for more time. A district court will hear the swami's petition seeking anticipatory bail today.

Now read the letter from the biographer of Nithyananda, though no name is mentioned. I have reproduced it verbatim. If you agree to what the biographer says, and want to alert your friends, or readers, you too can copy this letter and publish.

Dear xxx [addressed to whom?]

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 vengeance 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 practices based on documents that they signed. These are facts and the truth shall sooner or later 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 practices 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. Thesapta rishis from tapovan were watching for sure, but not smiling. If that is not karma, I don’t know what is.

For those not knowledgeable, 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 short-lived!

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 experiences 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.

Cheers

RRA [Why don't you disclose your identity? Afraid?]

From the contents of the above letter, copied from churumuri.wordpress.com, it seems that the writer is indeed from the INNER CIRCLE of the disgraced godman Nithyananda, but a sufferer or he is victimized!

UPDATE: This letter was circulated to all the known devotees of Nithyananda by Ram S Ramanathan, formerly Swami Advaithananda, who runs a business in Singapore, and who wrote 'Glimpses of a Master', republished as 'Nithyananda' Vol 1.

Ficus religiosa (Bodhi Tree or Peepal Tree)

Please take note of the heart-shaped leaves of the Sacred Fig tree, also known as banyan tree and many other names.

Yellow-footed green-pigeon on a fig branch

The yellow-footed green pigeon (Treron phoenicoptera) also known as yellow-legged green pigeon is a common species of green pigeon found in South Asia. The species feeds on fruits of fruit trees including a number of species of Ficus. "While these are pretty common they are rather inconspicuous and most non-birders are not even aware that these exist. There's one little peepul tree (Ficus religiosa) opposite the rooftop, where one or two of these will occasionally stop by to feed on the fruits of the fig tree. Location: Saakshara Apts, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi (July 31, 2009)".

Bodhi Tree at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple

Photo: The Bodhi Tree (Sacred Fig) at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple propagated from the Sri Maha Bodhi, which in turn was propagated from the original Bodhi Tree. The Mahabodhi Temple is at the spot where the Buddha attained enlightenment.

The Bodhi Tree is a large very old Sacred Fig tree (Ficus religiosa) located in Bodh Gaya, about 100 km from Patna, Bihar. Under this tree Lord Buddha achieved enlightenment or Bodhi. It is believed it will take 100 to 3,000 years for a bodhi tree to grow fully.

The Sacred Fig or Bo-Tree is a species of banyan fig native to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, southwest China and Indochina. This tree is considered sacred by the followers of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The tree is well-known symbol for happiness, prosperity, longevity and good luck. Today in India, Hindu sadhus still meditate below this tree, and in Theravada Buddhist Southeast Asia, the tree's massive trunk is often the site of Buddhist shrines.

The fig tree is known by various local names in Indian languages such as pipal (also spelt as peepal, peepul, pippala, etc) in Hindi, pimpald in Marathi, assattha or rukkha in Pali, kaṇavam or arasa maram in Tamil, arayal in Malayalam, asbattha or peepal in Bengali, raavi or raagi in Telugu and arali in Kannada.

The Bodhi Tree is believed to be a direct descendant of the original banyan tree under which Budha used to meditate. This tree is a destination for pilgrims because it is the most important of the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites. Other holy Bodhi trees in the history of Buddhism are the Anandabodhi tree in Sravasti (in the present day's Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh, India) and the Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Both are believed to have been propagated from the original Bodhi tree.

According to Buddhist texts the Buddha, after his Enlightenment, spent a whole week in front of the tree, standing with unblinking eyes, gazing at it with gratitude. A shrine was later erected on the spot where he stood.

According to the Mahavamsa, the Sri Maha Bodhi in Sri Lanka was planted in 288 BC, making it the oldest verified specimen of any angiosperm. The right branch of the Bodhi tree was brought by Sanghamitra, the daughter of Emperor Ashoka and his Buddhist queen Devi, to Anuradhapura and placed by Devānāmpiyatissa in the Mahāmeghavana.

Arunachala Mountain

Arunachala Mountain range at Thiruvannamalai
Arunachala Mountain, originally uploaded by Oda's Courses.

Note below this photo read, “Most holy of mountains in southern India, Arunachala, where Shiva descended in a pillar of fire, home of the holy saint Ramana Maharishi, center for pilgrims all year round, and especially on full moon nights. Where seekers converge to share and experience the power of the mountain. Two kilometers from the city of Thiruvannamalai in the state of Tamil Nadu, Arunachala is a place of inspiration to all who come and sit at its feet.”

Incidentally, Tiruvanamalai, also has an ashram of Swami Nithyananda, which provided free food to all, before the sleaze tape allegedly involving the godman and actress Ranjitha was aired by Sun TV. The ashram has been deserted and on Monday it was closed. No more free food or medicine! According to a website, a few people took pot shots like, “It is not Nithyananda ashram. It is Ranjithananda ashram,” quoting a resident from Salem as saying.

Shivaling Peak above the Tapovan meadow

Shivaling Peak above above Gangotri and Gomukh Glaciers
Shivaling Peak, originally uploaded by Oda's Courses.

“This photo was taken the morning of full moon in May, 2007, while walking the Char Dam pilgrimage, a holy pilgrimage undertaken by Hindus to the four sacred temples at Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath”, says the photographer under the post, and adds, Shivaling Peak, at an altitude of 6,500 meters, is snow-capped all year round, royally adorning the clear blue skies above the Tapovan meadow (4,500 meters). Tapovan is situated above Gangotri and Gomukh Glaciers, the source of the Ganges River, with its lingam-shaped top, thus associating it with the God Shiva. This meadow is the ancient home of many sadhus and yogis who retreat from the world into make-shift dwellings of natural caves and rocks, into a hermit-like seclusion to do tapas (spiritual practice) as part of the spiritual quest.”