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All you want to know about Nithyananda

Nithyananda, file photo.

Nithyananda, file photo.   | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

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Who is Nithyananda?​

Born as A. Rajasekaran in Thiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, Nithyananda is a self-styled godman and founder of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, a religious organisation. He is around 41 years old.​

Also read: Nithyananda has fled India, says Gujarat Police

What does his organisation Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam do?​

Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam offers yoga, meditation and fitness courses. It runs temples, gurukuls and ashrams across several countries and hosts cultural events in the U.S. In 2017, the ashram set a Guinness World Record for the largest rope yoga lesson. ​

​What are the controversies surrounding Nithyananda?​

In 2010, a sex tape involving him and a female actor was aired by a Tamil channel. In 2018, a Karnataka court charged him with the rape of a disciple. In 2012, the head of the Madurai Adheenam removed Nithyananda from the position of junior pontiff of the centuries-old Hindu religious institution. He is regularly trolled online for his pseudoscientific claims. ​

Why is Nithyananda in the news now?​

A Bengaluru-based couple recently alleged that their two younger daughters were kidnapped and kept in illegal confinement at an Ahmedabad ashram of Nithyananda for more than two weeks.​ The couple have filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court seeking the court’s help to get back their daughters.

Where is Nithyananda?​

After the allegations surfaced, the controversial godman fled the country, according to the Gujarat police. Reports suggest he is in Trinidad and Tobago now. The Ministry of External Affairs has said it has not received any extradition request.​

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 1:34:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-you-want-to-know-about-nithyananda/article30047542.ece

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