Biography of Bhagawan Nityananda
Bhagawan Nityananda (1897–1961) was noted for his saintly qualities. His messages are compiled in a book called the “Chidaksha Gita”. This article reveals the interesting biography of Bhagawan Nityananda.
Nityananda’s early life details are sketchy at best. It is believed he was abandoned as baby in a village near Kozhikode in Kerala. A farmer couple, Chathu and Uniamma Nair, adopted him. They named him Raman. Nityananda’s foster parents died when he was still a child. He was then adopted by Ishwar Iyer, who owned the farms on which Nityananda’s foster parents had worked.
Nityananda exhibited advanced spirituality even in his childhood. Many believed he was enlightened at birth itself. Therefore, people began calling him Nityananda meaning “always in bliss”. In his youth, Nityananda started to wander as an ascetic, and learnt yogic practices in many places including the Himalayas. He returned to South India by 1920.
Nityananda became famous for his miraculous cures. But, the yogi himself attributed the miracles to God’s will. He built a peaceful ashram near Kanhangad in Kerala. There is an interesting tale about how Nityananda obtained money for the ashram. The local police suspected him of minting counterfeit money. So, he took them to a pool in the jungle, dived in and came up with his hands full of money. The police were astounded and dropped their suspicions.
By 1923, Nityananda spread his good work to Maharashtra. Here, he helped local adivasis, who were being ostracised by the mainstream. For the underprivileged adivasis, Nityananda built a school and made arrangements for their clothing and food.
Nityananda’s Teaching Method
Nityananda taught very little verbally. Mostly, he sat in silence with his followers during the evenings. Only occasionally he would give spiritual lectures. One of his devotees named Tulsiamma noted down his teachings and compiled them into a book in Kannada called Chidaksha Gita.
In 1936, Nityananda made his base at a Shiva temple at Ganeshpuri village in Maharashtra. As his followers grew in number, an ashram was established here. Nityananda’s followers averred that he was always absorbed in a transcendental state. Nityananda shed his mortal coil in 1961. His samadhi and ashram in Ganeshpuri have become pilgrimage sites.