Yes, No, Maybe So: The Nithy Mea Culpa Interview?
Is it a confession? Figure it out yourself, but in his latest video on YouTube, Nithyananda Swami, who fled from his ‘ashram’ near Bidadi after his sexcapades were exposed on television, says, “I will not experiment with anything that is not accepted by society.” In the second part of an `interview’ he gave to one of his `disciples’, a man calling himself Rajiv Malhotra, Nithyananda couches what looks like his mea culpa in a protest, saying that “all great masters in the past” had faced similar attacks, clubbing himself with Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Mr. Malhotra pitches in for his ‘guru’ saying that new allegations of rape and cheating were being made after the media found that there was nothing illegal in the video footage that television channels had aired. It is the first time Nithyananda and his associates have addressed the videotapes directly. Nithyananda says, “In a way this defamation has taught me lessons about society, life and humanity which I had never thought of before. It has made me more responsible. Now, I have decided not to experiment with anything that is not accepted by society widely.” That is not all. He goes on to say that new allegations were being made against him because society believes that, “If one thing is wrong, then everything is wrong. So, go out and abuse everything. It is the usual mentality of society.” “This has happened to all masters, even to Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna. When the masters are in the body, they have to go through this. It is inevitable.” – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, 13 March 2010
Yes, No, Maybe So: The Nithy Trance Interview?
Bangalore: After the brouhaha over a video that allegedly showed him in a compromising position with a woman, Swami Nithyananda said he was “in a trance” when the tape was made.
In an interview to Times Now at Haridwar, Uttar Pradesh, where he is staying to participate in the Kumbh Mela, Nithyananda said there was “misrepresentation, manipulation, conspiracy and morphing” in the video. Referring to the actress in the video, he said, “She was, she is and she will be my devotee. In fact, her entire family are my devotees. In December 2006, I was in a deep trance and physically not well. At that time, she had taken care of me.”
“Tape was manipulated, ready for any probe”
Claiming that he was in a trance when the sleaze video telecast by television channels recently was being recorded, Nithyananda Paramahamsa, in an exclusive interview to Times Now in Haridwar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, neither denied nor confirmed that it was him on the tape. The 33-year-old godman said he was “in a state of samadhi (trance)” when the video, showing him in a compromising position with an actress, was taken. The tape, he said, had been “misinterpreted, morphed and manipulated”. He alleged that the media onslaught on him was without any basis and that he was being held guilty without a trial. Excerpts from the interview:
Was that you in the sleaze tape?
There’s a lot of misinterpretation, manipulation and morphing. Now, we are working to find out which part was recorded and which was manipulated. When that video was taken, I was in a state of trance. My personal life has been misrepresented and my privacy has been invaded. Media has even taken pictures of me when I was changing clothes after a bath. This has been done to defame me.
It is being said that the tape was taken in Dec 2009? Were you sick then?
I was sick for a very long time. Consciously, I was in a samadhi … physically I was not well. Some of the things have been misinterpreted by the onlookers. Or rather it has been misinterpreted by those who wanted to do it.
Has life changed for you in the last two weeks?
In the thirty-three years of my life I have seen fame. I was the most watched guru on YouTube. Now, in the last few days I have been the most watched scandal. Both have taught me many things about life. But what shocked me most is the thought that there is so much enmity against me. The good thing from all this is I am getting millions of emails, phone calls and a flood of support from people who are not even my devotees. My disciples are feeling so bad that someone’s private life has been misinterpreted and abused.
Was the actress in your ashram then?
She has been serving me for a very long time. She was volunteering to take care of me when I was sick. All her family members have been my devotees. There is no denying that she is a devotee.
Many of your devotees say they have been betrayed by your act. Have you advocated abstinence and celibacy?
I have always said it’s an individual’s choice. I have never promoted celibacy or abstinence. I have always said ‘you decide’. As of me, I don’t have any lust in my life. I don’t feel the need for another person in my life.
Did anyone blackmail you with the footage?
I don’t want to say anything now. I have been abused. I don’t want to do the same thing in return. It’s believed that according to law everyone is innocent until proven guilty. In my case, I am guilty until I prove myself innocent. I have been an author, educationalist and even done social service. But I have been branded as a spiritual guru and I have not been given the benefit of doubt. I was not treated in a fair manner. Even before analysing facts, people have passed judgments.
Do you think it’s because of stand-off with people in power?
I don’t have any political ambition. I did not fight with anybody. I don’t want to disrespect anyone.
Why did you leave without clearing the air on the issue as soon as the tape was released?
I was so shocked. I needed a few days to settle down and understand who was behind the attack. Within one hour of the news telecast, eight ashrams were destroyed. We did not know who was behind all this. We did not even know we had enemies. The attack was so strong and sudden that we were not ready for it.
How long will you stay away like this? A court has issued summons, the police have been wanting to question you …
If I am called I will go and co-operate with the authorities. I was planning to stay here till March 15 for the Kumbh Mela and then organise a press conference. I have received no request from any authority so far. But if they want, I can go immediately. I am willing to co-operate with any enquiry.
Do you think this incident has affected your credibility?
The people who are abusing me now have never praised me. Those who were my devotees are still with me. People have many expectations and impose that on others. And they themselves conclude that the other person has not fulfilled the expectation. Then they try to judge or find some evidence that would prove that their expectations are not fulfilled. – Sunday Times, Chennai. 14 March 2010
Filed under: ashrams, caste, class, culture, ethics, hindu, hinduism, india, legitimizing power, media, newspaper, politics, rama, religion, sadhus, sannyasi, shiva, tv | Tagged: ashrams, ethics, hinduism, india, nithyananda, nithyananda sex scandal, paramahamsa nithyananda, politics, rajiv malhotra, sadhu, sanatana dharma, sannyasi, tantra |