Swami Nityananda

Ahmedabad, November 19: India has a horde of Swamis and their ashrams despite manyof them being convicted by the courts of various crimes including personal crimes of rape and sexual assaults against their disciples. Now, there is a new accusation from the parents of a two girls against Swami Nitaynanda, who has disciples all over the world and centres in many countries. His known interests include an India-based trust Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, which has temples,gurukulas and ashrams. His gurukulas are education centres called Nityananda Dhyanpeethams with local names for the local centres in various parts of India.

Swami was born as A. Rajasekaran in Tiruvannamalai, in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India, to father Arunachalam and mother Lokanayaki. He claims to be an avatar of paramashiva (God Shiva) although there is controversy about even his date of birth which on his passport he used to visit the US in 2003 is shown as 13 March 1977 while the court documents in his legal battles show it to be 1 January 1978.

Unsure of even the date of birth?, looks as if Bhagwan was not sure when to appear on this earth to provide ‘moksha’ to the suffering. Either the authorities do not want to find out or he really is a master of his craft.

Swami that challenged Albert Einstein

Swami Nithyananda is jack of many trades. He is even a scientist if you believe him. He has been accused to preaching things which have led people to believe in superstitious rituals which, his detractors claim, has in turn led to increase in his following.

Swami claims to understand the theory of special relativity better than anyone else on this planet. He has claimed that Albert Einstein’s famous relativity formula: E=mc2 was false although his own explanation makes practically no sense. His explanation of the same formula does not cut much ice.

“He uses clever language and fools people like many others in the same trade. There is no dearth of fools in India or for that matter anywhere in the world. These tricksters will continue to thrive”, says AK Narayanan who has had training in showing magic tricks but no longer practices the art.

“There can be good or bad human beings but there cannot be any Godmen, period”, he concludes.

Swami who has had brushes with the law in the past and has some cases pending against him including charge of rape, has now been accused of “kidnapping and illegally keeping two sisters” away from their parents.

A couple from Gujarat have now moved the Gujarat High Court, seeking custody of their two daughters who are being allegedly held in illegal confinement at an institution run by the swami .  Janardana Sharma and his wife have told the court they had admitted their four daughters aged 7-15 years, to an educational institution run by the Swami in Bengaluru in 2013.

Daughters shifted from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad
The couple say their daughters, without their knowledge or consent, were shifted this year from Bangluru school (or Gurukul) to Yogini Sarvagyapeetham situated on the premises of Delhi Public School premises in Ahmedabad.

Shocked and disappointed, the couple went to see their daughters when they learnt that their daughters had been shifted to Ahmedabad. However, officials of the institute refused to let them meet their daughters.

The couple then approached police for help. And with help from the police, they managed to bring only two of their daughters back who are minors. Their two elder daughters, Lopamudra Janardhana Sharma (21) and Nandhita (18), refused to accompany them.

The parents alleged their two minor daughters were abducted and kept in illegal confinement for more than two weeks and were deprived of sleep.

The parents confirmed they have lodged an FIR against the institution authorities in this connection.

Parents’ plea to court for two elder daughters
In the plea, the parents have sought the Gujarat High Court’s direction to the police as well to the institute’s authorities to produce before the court, their daughters Lopamudra Janardhana Sharma and Nandhita Sharma who are allegedly being kept under “illegal confinement”. The parents are also sought their custody.

Police have taken cognizance of the grave situation and registered an FIR was against self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda on the charges of alleged kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children to make them collect donations from followers to run his ashram in Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

Alleged Ranjitha tape still
Alleged Ranjitha tape still

Two Sadhvis Pranpriyananda and Priyatatva Riddhi Kiran, who are responsible for the running of Ahmedabad institution and its operations for the Swami, both also disciples of the controversial godman, have been arrested on charges of allegedly kidnapping at least four children, keeping them in illegal confinement in a flat and using them as child labourers to promote activities of the ashram to collect donations.

The accused persons have been booked under sections 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent to secretly and wrongfully confine a person), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and 502 (sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

They have also been booked under section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, the police officer said.

Apart from the couple’s two minor children, two more minor children have been recovered by police, who are busy locating their parents.

In a strange twist, while the police registered missing persons report for the two daughters, the younger of the two, “Nandita Sharma conveyed to the police via video messages that she wanted to stay back in the ashram and will produce herself before the court when required”, a media report said.

Swami was embroiled in a Sex tape scandal in 2010. He said he was learning from life and was not running away from the law.

In 2018, the swami was accused of raping a disciple for almost five years, 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, 1860.

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