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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Be careful of sex gurus - don't be hoodwinked

Another swami in a sex scandal with a video.
Be careful, **** be very careful* of fake self serving gurus

Fodder for the blogs and the media.

With two of them - with a haram? How spiritual is that? And if it is not, you have to declare it to the world and be open about it. Either have the image of Hugh Hefner or Ramana Maharishi - or be a commoner. There is not a 4th kind. The 4th kind is a fraud

Nine arrested in India holy man sex scandal protest
At the protest against the Swami
Pictures of the holy man were burned at the protest

Nine people have been arrested in south India for vandalising the ashram of a Hindu holy man after TV channels showed him allegedly engaging in sexual acts.

The footage appears to show Nithyananda Swami, 32, in bed with two women.

On Wednesday, angry crowds attacked parts of his ashram near Bangalore in Karnataka state. He was not present and police say his whereabouts are unknown.

The Nithyananda Mission ashram released a statement branding the video "a mix of conspiracy, graphics and rumours".

The ashram says it is part of a global movement for meditation and peace. Several prominent Indian politicians have visited Mr Nithyananda's ashram in the past.

Ashrams attacked

Correspondents say the sex scandal has shocked his devotees and angered locals. The holy man has a huge following in southern India.

"He is a high-flying Swamiji doing fraud on innocent people, he should not be spared," said Kumaraswami, a local villager.

On Wednesday, protesters pelted stones and set fire to huts inside the ashram near the city of Bangalore. Protests were also held at Mr Nithyananda's spiritual centres in neighbouring Tamil Nadu state.

Police have since been posted outside the ashram in Bangalore.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the Karnataka state assembly have demanded Mr Nithyananda's arrest and called on the government to take over his ashram.

An inquiry has been ordered to find out if he committed any unlawful activities at the ashram.

A group of lawyers in the city of Madras in Tamil Nadu state have also filed a police complaint accusing Mr Nithyananda of obscenity.

Last week it was announced that a self-styled Hindu holy man was being investigated by police in Delhi for allegedly running a prostitution ring.

x slur on S Indian swami

Chennai March 4, 2010

A self-proclaimed godman - popular in southern states for his yoga training and spiritual discourses - was allegedly caught on camera in a compromising position with an actress.

The incident has shocked the nation as it was second such expose within a week after a swami's alleged sex racket was busted in the national capital.

Headlines Today secured a graphic footage allegedly involving Swami Nithyananda in the indecent act. But the explicit details were edited before airing. In the footage, the yoga guru's act was definitely not a yogic pose as he seemed to be seeking favour with two women.

Nithyananda has moved a Chennai court on Wednesday, seeking a restraint order against Sun TV from airing any video footage, images or news about him.

Chennai Police has registered a case against Swami Nithyananda under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

Meanwhile, two teams of Karnataka Police have been sent to Mysore and Thiruvanamalai to look out for the swami.

The swami's visual was initially aired as breaking news by a south Indian TV channel. The graphic visuals show swami with a woman who, the channel claims, to be a Tamil actress starting with the initial 'R'. While the godman's identity can clearly be established, the woman's face is blurred and the identity of the actress is yet to be confirmed.

However, rebutting the charges, Nithyananda Dhyana Peetham spokesperson Nithyasachitananda Swamy termed it a "conspiracy". "This is a mix of conspiracy, graphics and rumour at play in the recent events that have unfolded," he said.

"We are working on a legal recourse of action and will come with updates in due course of time. We wish to assure the lakhs of devotees whose sentiments have been hurt," he added.

But devotees are not convinced. In Coimbatore, the swami's angry followers took to streets and vandalised property. His posters were burnt and ashrams attacked. They said Baba had put them to shame.

Devotee Ramesh said, "It is a shame for the Hindu religion. It is different from Shankaracharya case. The government should hang this fake swamiji and like Taslima Nasreen, this fellow should go out. Meanwhile, Hindu Makkal Katchi is issuing fatwa against him and he will be thrown out of Hindu religion."

If that wasn't enough, raids were conducted across the swami's ashrams. The police have seized 20 kg of sandalwood.

Deputy conservator of forests Geetanjali said, "We have conducted raid inside the Nithyananda Dhyana Peetham and have seized nearly 20 kg of sandalwood pieces. We will take appropriate action against him."

But another faction of the swami's followers remains unfazed. In fact, the Tamil Nadu unit of Shiv Sena also came out in his defence claiming that the visuals were morphed.

Protests against swami

After the sex guru was stung on tape, there was an immediate ripple effect on the ground. Mobs took to the streets in Bangalore.

While his followers were shell-shocked, protests raged outside his ashram. The protesters tore down hoardings of the guru, smashed windowpanes and burnt his effigies.

The activists of Jay Karnataka - an outfit founded by former underworld don Muthappa Rai - ran amok.

Police said they have rushed forces to protect the ashram property. But they were yet to register a case.

Meanwhile, six advocates of Madras High Court have filed a complaint with the Chennai Police commissioner demanding action against the godman.

Who's Swami Nithyananda?
Swami Nithyananda is quite popular in yoga circles. He has followers across the world and runs a number of ashrams in India and abroad. His magnetic charm often works wonders for him, especially when he delivers sermons.

The swami's original name is Rajshekhar and he hails from Tamil Nadu. His spiritual headquarters is based at Dhyana Peetha near Bidadi, about 30 km from Bangalore. From here, he claims to run a worldwide movement on meditation.

Similar ashrams have reportedly been established at Salem, Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu. The Swami also has ashrams at Yembalam in Pondicherry, Sathamarai in Rangareddy district in Andhra Pradesh, Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi and Puri in Orissa.

Swami Nityananda is well known for his spiritual discourses and erudite writings in Tamil magazines and English newspapers. His video and audio cassettes and books have found place even in niche bookstores. His 'way-of-life' yoga lessons have been a hit with his foreign disciplines.

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