Despite being elevated to the rank of a “mahamandaleshwar” (a top religious title) in a clandestine manner a few days ago, tainted self-styled godman Nithyananda’s wish to join the top ranking sadhus in taking the holy dip at sangam remained unfulfilled as he skipped the “shahi snan” (royal bath) fearing protests. – Deccan Herald
Nithyananda, who had been conferred the title of mahamandaleshwar by the Mahanirvani Akhara on Tuesday, could have joined the shahi snan as the mahamandaleshwars are entitled to march in the royal processions to the banks of the sangam and take the holy dip.
The self-styled godman had earlier participated in the shahi snan as an ordinary devotee. In fact, it was alleged that Nithyananda had bribed his way to get the rank of a mahamandaleshwar.
“His image had taken a beating after the sex scandal and he wanted to get himself elevated to the rank of a mahamandaleshwar so that he could join the top seers of the country,” said an office bearer of the All India Akahara Parishad, the apex body of the 13 Akaharas in the country.
The Parishad president Mahant Gyan Das also alleged that Nithyananda had “acquired the rank with the use of money”. He said that a meeting of senior sadhus would be convened to discuss the matter and Nithyananda could be suspended if there was a consensus.
According to sources, the function in which Nithyananda had been anointed as mahamandaleshwar was a closely guarded secret and other akaharas were not informed about it nor were the Mahakumbh officials invited as has been the tradition.
The anointment had triggered a wave of protests from other prominent akharas and sadhus though the Mahanirvani akhara strongly defended its action.
The akahara said that Nithyananda wanted to avoid any confrontation and therefore skipped the shahi snan. – Deccan Herald, 15 February 2013
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