First Published : 18 Dec 2010
BANGALORE: Tainted Swami Nithyananda who reportedly claims to be Varadamurthy (the god of boons) compelled his devotees to wear a neck piece and bracelet with his photo and assured that it would protect them from all evils.
An officer of the Criminal Investigation department said the swami also asked his men to perform pada seva (worship his feet) and paduka yatra (carry his footwear on head).
A CID officer said Nithyananda himself needed protection as not only the CID but also the public who were angry with his alleged misdeeds, including exploitation of men and women in the name of enlightenment, for calling himself Ramakrsihna Paramahamsa, Avathara Purusha, etc.
One of the witnesses in the chargesheet filed against him in the Ramanagaram court said he made the mistake of believing him not just a Guru but as God.
Thousands of people who were his devotees and disciples, many of them highly educated and almost twice the swami's age, accepted him as god, says the statement in the chargesheet. "Like them, I also made the mistake of believing that he was God, that he was infallible and that he was the embodiment of truth and compassion," says the statement.
The chargesheet says Nithyananda exploited many of his disciples psychologically, mentally and physically by claiming to be god.
Nithyananda reportedly hinted his devotees to do his arathi, pada puja and suprabhatam in his praise. The arathi song at the temple was "Om Jai Nithyananda", a CID officer said. In the early morning hours, a "Nithyananda suprabhatam" song in Tamil, specially written for Nithyananda and describing him as God, was played at the temple and worship areas.
On Guru Poornima, senior disciples sat at his feet and performed puja of his feet, while brahmacharis did arathi.
The brahmacharis also carried his footwear on their head and walked from village to village explaining to villagers about him, said a CID police official.
In 2006, he declared a photo of his to be the Varadamurthy and declared that if anyone prayed to his picture, their prayers will be answered, says the chargesheet. He also declared himself an avatar purusha (God's incarnation as human being) and encouraged people to chant his mantra "Om hreem Nithyanandaya namaha" and promised his devotees he will protect them, said the officer.
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