Sex-scandal hit Nityananda quits as ashram head


Bangalore : Sex-scandal hit self-styled godman Swami Nityananda has quit as head of his ashram, Dhyanapeetam, a week after the Karnataka High Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail and quashing of criminal cases against him.

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Nityananda, who has not been seen in public since the telecast of a video footage showing him in a sexual act with two women three weeks ago, said on the ashram’s website Monday that he was resigning from all the trusts run by the ashram.

“I have decided to live a life of spiritual seclusion, for some indefinite time,” he said and claimed that the decision had the backing of several Hindu spiritual leaders whom he had met to discuss the recent developments.

He said he met some of the leading religious leaders of Hinduism at Haridwar and candidly discussed what had happened.

“I had sought their spiritual and moral support, guidance for me, and their views on the future course of Dhyanapeetam. I had also undertaken that I would act entirely in accordance with their counsel,” Nityananda said.

“I am resigning as the head of the Dhyanapeetam and from all the trusts associated with it. A board of trustees consisting of sadhakas (disciples) of the Dhyanapeetam, who are non-controversial, will henceforth manage the Dhyanapeetam,” he said.

He did not give the names of the religious leaders he claimed to have met.

The godman indicated that he was unlikely to surface publicly anytime soon, though criminal cases, including that of rape, have been registered against him in Karnataka as he has an ashram at Bidadi, about 35 km from Bangalore.

“Whenever, if required I will return and talk about all that had happened as an independent witness to my conduct with a clean heart and pure soul, and also in a less prejudiced atmosphere,” he said.

The Karnataka High Court March 23 rejected his appeal for anticipatory bail and quashing of criminal cases.

In related developments, Karnataka Crime Investigation Department (CID) has sought information from all those affected by Nityananda’s actions.

“The department will not reveal the names or addresses of people providing information about Nityananda,” a senior official of the department said.