Nithyananda, a self-styled godman, fled India in 2019 after being accused of rape and kidnapping. He ran a number of ashrams across the country and headed a religious organization, Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, which he had founded. In November 2019, the Gujarat Police booked him after a couple from Tamil Nadu moved the Gujarat High Court, alleging that their children were being held in illegal confinement at his Ahmedabad ashram. Nithyananda was accused of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children “to make them collect donations from followers” and abducting and confining a 19-year-old woman.
Early Life and Education
Nityananda was born in Tamil Nadu, India in 1977. His real name is Rajashekharan and he was brought up in a family of devout Hindus. As a child, he showed an interest in spirituality and spent a lot of time meditating and reading religious texts.
After completing his education, Nityananda became a disciple of Swami Nithyananda, a well-known spiritual guru in South India. Nityananda spent several years studying under his guru and eventually became a spiritual teacher himself.
Rise to Fame as a Spiritual Guru
In the early 2000s, Nityananda gained popularity as a spiritual guru with a large following of devotees. He claimed to have supernatural powers and could heal people of their illnesses and problems.
Nityananda also founded his own ashram, which he named Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam. The ashram quickly became a popular destination for people seeking spiritual guidance and healing.
Controversies and Scandals
Despite his growing popularity, Nityananda has been involved in several controversies and scandals throughout his career. In 2010, a video surfaced online that allegedly showed Nityananda engaging in sexual acts with an actress. The video went viral and caused a huge uproar among his followers and the public.
Nityananda denied the allegations and claimed that the video was doctored. However, the actress involved in the video confirmed that it was authentic and filed a complaint against Nityananda.
Arrest and Escape
In 2010, Nityananda was arrested by the police on charges of rape and unnatural sex. He was later released on bail but fled the country and went into hiding. He was eventually caught in a joint operation between the Indian and Ecuadorian authorities in 2018 and was extradited to India.
Current Status and Followers
Despite the controversies and scandals surrounding his name, Nityananda still has a large following of devotees who believe in his teachings. His ashram in Bidadi, near Bangalore, is still operational and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Nityananda has also been actively involved in politics and has launched his own political party, the Nithyananda Hindu Dharmic Raksha Parishad. He has also expressed his desire to start his own country and has reportedly purchased an island in Ecuador for this purpose.
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