Nityananda videos – testing time for Hindus
by Radha Rajan on 05 Mar 2010 33 Comments

Sanyasis exemplify the purpose of human birth as Hindus - to understand the nature of the self. This knowledge or this understanding reveals to the individual the boundaries and the boundlessness of the self. Sanyasis know the limits of not only the body but also the mind. Paradoxically, it is the limited mind which gives us the sense of limitlessness too, and the sanyasi in saffron robes best represents this stunning paradox.


Knowledge of the self comes with the attendant knowledge of the nature and source of Creation. With this knowledge, which Hindus call para vidya, the individual may choose to live the life of an enlightened householder or grihasta, or may choose to become a sanyasi.


The sanyasi, for his part, may choose to live in society as a guru or acharya or simply as a sanyasi; or he may choose to leave society behind to live the life of a recluse. What distinguishes the enlightened householder from an enlightened sanyasi is the colour of his clothes. The sanyasi dons the saffron robes not for him, but for the rest of us in society. An enlightened man in saffron robes is like a vehicle with a beacon light on top – it is meant to convey something to those who see it.


The sanyasi embodies the quintessential Hindu worldview which demands that a Hindu does not disturb the innate harmony and order in Creation. In short, a sanyasi embodies every Hindu’s journey to fulfill the purpose of human life as understood and articulated by our rishis because, as the opening line of Vivekachudamini puts it pithily, of all births or all existence in Creation, it is rarest of rare to be born a (Hindu) human. A sanyasi is therefore the embodiment of rigorous discipline of mind and body, or perfect order.


A sanyasi is expected, by definition, to live a life that does not pamper the body; and the body by definition is an aggregate of five senses. A sanyasi, the enlightened man in saffron robes, is the exemplar in society who is expected minimally to keep his body under the full control of his mind by tapasya; maximally, he should be seen to have attained the perfect unity and harmony of existence with para vidya.


The sanyasi as the embodiment of the Hindu worldview and as the immediate instrument of the knowledge that is transmitted through the guru-sishya parampara is therefore the highest and most important entity of Hindu dharma.


The videos of Nityananda broadcast by a leading Tamil news channel, at the very least, rendered the sanyasi’s saffron robes meaningless and without purpose. Consensual sex or physical intimacy between two adults behind closed doors is a private affair and violation of that privacy can and must be made punishable under law; but a sanyasi whose saffron robes have a definite meaning in Hindu dharma, and who has chosen to play a role in public life as a sanyasi, cannot claim right of privacy for what is essentially an act that violates sanyasa dharma.


For all those who reposed faith in Nitaynanda’s integrity to sanyasa dharma, these are agonizing days. As bhaktas of Nityananda, there are only two options open to them. If the videos are genuine, then the bhaktas must realize that they are born in a tradition where every institution is subject to inquiry and if called for, repudiation. If the bhaktas are forced to reject Nityananda as Guru, they must return to the traditional mathams and acharyas of their ancestors.


It is just as possible that the videos are compromised and if that is so, it is hoped that these bhaktas will challenge the authenticity of the videos in court and if the videos are proved to have been manipulated or morphed, they should ask for maximum punishment under the law against the news channel which broadcast the videos. This alone will deter future misadventures to malign Hindu dharma. The bhaktas then would not only have won the war to restore the honour of their guru, they would have won a battle for Hindu dharma as a whole.


However, the issue of Nityananda’s videos is only peripheral to the purpose of this column. This column is concerned about the impact of these terrible videos on the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha. Nityananada is one of the Hindu Founders-Patron of the Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony or GFCH, a body that merits the severest criticism for its stated objectives.


Hindus on Hindu bhumi have to take a collective stand on three issues – demand complete ban on religious conversion to Abrahamic faiths, stop all foreign funds to NGOs and religious institutions, including Hindu institutions, and an autonomous board for administering and overseeing all Hindu temples and Hindu religious institutions.


Hindus on Hindu bhumi are confronting the most menacing threat ever to their survival on this bhumi from the Abrahamic faiths and their respective state power – Islamic and White Christian nations and their governments. The three core concepts of pluralism, freedom of religion and self-determination, imported from Christianity’s contemporary liberal democracy incarnation, define the character of contemporary understanding of nation and good governance.


Hindus have failed to challenge these concepts in any meaningful way in any domestic or international forum and this failure signifies that Hindus in government and Hindu thinkers and leaders either do not realize the end-objective of these concepts or are so compromised that they dare not challenge them.


GFCH exemplifies this Hindu failure to perceive the threats posed by the Abrahamic faiths; if the Hindu Founders-Patron of GFCH understood the nature of the threat they would not have created the forum in the first place with the self-destructive objectives that they flaunt with such élan.


The defining characteristic of all Hindu Founders-Patron of the GFCH, including Nityananda, is that they all have ashrams in several White Christian countries in America and Europe and have overseas NRIs, PIOs, and non-Indians as bhaktas. These sanyasis have accumulated huge assets as immovable property in these countries and their ashrams depend heavily on foreign funds.


If Hindus in India, as a part of their war to protect the Hindu bhumi have to take on the US, the EU and the UN on the issue of religious conversion, foreign funds, the character of this nation and the basis of nationhood, it is legitimate to question whether these sanyasis with foreign bhaktas, foreign funds and assets abroad are in a position to fight this war.


Just as important is the question, what will overseas Hindus do when Hindus at home are fighting the American government on the question of religious conversion and the role of foreign funds in subverting the nation and the role of the UN in facilitating the subversion. And this confrontation is certain to happen. The answer is ‘nothing’. They have done nothing, they can do nothing, and they dare not do anything. More importantly, they will not be allowed to do anything that can shake even a stone in the political and strategic interest edifice that has been put in place by these governments.


The American government has shown repeatedly how it deals with its adversaries – individuals, communities and nations.


And that is why this writer has taken strong exception to the following –

-        Swami Dayananda Saraswati as Founder-Patron of GFCH and Convener HDAS forging an undesirable and even potentially dangerous link between the two organizations whose objectives are mutually contradictory


-        The growing influence of overseas Hindus – NRIs and PIOs influencing the functioning and purpose of HDAS


-        Swami Dayananda Saraswati and unnamed others on his behalf participating in and signing resolutions and agreements at multi-religious meetings which conform to and do not challenge the 3 cardinal liberal Christian political concepts – pluralism, freedom of religion and self-determination


-        Swami Dayananda Saraswati while holding the position of Convener HDAS, actively promoting inter-faith dialogue without getting the Abrahamic religions to concede anything in our favour


The HDAS is the highest body of Hindu religious leaders representing ancient sampradayas and lineages. Their constituency is here, on Hindu bhumi. They have to be on the side of their bhaktas when they fight to protect dharma on this bhumi. They cannot be weakened by considerations of foreign bhaktas, foreign funds or assets in foreign lands. Protecting Hindu dharma on this bhumi and protecting assets abroad are two mutually exclusive objectives.


Hindu Dharma Acharyas on this bhumi will have to demand total ban on religious conversion and end the flow of all foreign funds into this country. GFCH, by the very character of its Hindu Founders-Patron, cannot do this; by being linked to the HDAS through Swami Dayananda Saraswati and his bhaktas, the HDAS is similarly disabled.


Nityananda with his foreign funds, foreign bhaktas and foreign ashrams has exposed how this foreign connection can render our religious leaders, in their efforts to attract the young in our societies and foreigners raised on a ‘liberal’ diet, compromise their anushthana or rigorous adherence to rituals which discipline the body and mind. This slackening of discipline renders them vulnerable to penetration and infiltration.


Swami Dayananda Saraswati must therefore either disassociate himself from the GFCH or step down as Convener of the HDAS. This is not a disrespectful proposition as it is being made out to be by thoughtless and/or manipulative Hindus. This demand springs from an unflinching commitment to protect our sanyasis and high religious institutions from infamy and manipulation by our adversaries through the agency of useful idiots.  


Hindus who bounce around on email groups working themselves up into phony hysterics because some of us dare place counter-arguments and courageous Hindu nationalist ideas in the public domain, run the risk of diminishing themselves from the high status of useful idiots serving overseas interests to useless idiots at home.


The author is editor,

User Comments Post a Comment
Comments are free. However, comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate material will be removed from the site. Readers may report abuse at
Post a Comment

Back to Top