History of Bhagwan Nityananda

Nityanand was found as an abandoned child in Tuneri village of Kozhikode by a lady named Uniamma Nair, who was married to Chathu Nair. The couple took pity on the child and adopted him. They already had their own five children with whom this child also started to grow. His foster parents named him as Raman. His foster father died when Nityanand was only three years. After another three years his foster mother also died. Before dying, however, she handed over her responsibility of Nityananda to Ishwar Iyer, who was a rich farmer and whose fields the Nair couple used to look after. Right from his early childhood Nityanand exhibited his spiritual inclination and it appeared that he was a great soul.

Soon Nityanand left his foster home and started wandering. It is believed that he spent his time in the Himalayas practicing yoga and thereby acquiring miraculous powers. Little is known about Nityanand's Guru and some even believe that he had no Guru. His main disciple Baba Muktanand, however, once mentioned that an accomplished saint of Kerala was Nityanand’s Guru. Nityanand returned in around 1920 and then started building an Ashram in Kanhangad in Kerala. Since there was no visible source of income for Nityanand to undertake such a project, the local police suspected that Nityanand had indulged in producing counterfeit money to pay for the building. Nityananda took them to a pond in the jungle, which was infested by crocodiles. He dived in the pond and came out with lot of money. Seeing this miracle, the local police gave up their idea to investigate the matter any further. The beautiful hill temple and Ashram in Kanhangad are now centers of pilgrimage. The Guru-Van, a forest in the hills where Baba Nityanand did his sadhana is also a pilgrim retreat.

By the year 1923, Nityananda came to the Tansa Valley in Maharashtra, where his reputation as a miraculous Sadhu attracted people to visit him though he never took credit for any miracles. He said, "Everything that happens, happens according to the will of God." Nityananda extended a helping hand to the local tribal people and built a school for their children and provided food and clothing for them. Baba Nityanand did not believe in preaching or giving sermons. His devotees would generally sit quietly near him and if they asked any question, Baba would reply. Occasionally only he spoke something on his own. In 1920s one of his devotees Tulsiamma wrote down some of his teachings and his answers to her specific queries.Later, these notes were compiled and published in the Kannada language and came to be known as the ‘Chidaksha Geeta’.

Some believe that Baba Nityananda had the power to transmit spiritual energy (shaktipat) to people. At times his behavior was extremely fiery and intimidating even to the extent of throwing pieces of stones to shun away visitors. This was his way of deterring people, who were not serious in their spiritual aspirations or who visited him with some ulterior motive. In 1936, Baba Nityanand visited a Shiva temple in Ganeshpuri and expressed his desire to stay over there. He was permitted by the caretakers of the temple and they also built a hut for him. Gradually the hut converted into an Ashram as the number of visitors started swelling.

Baba Muktanand was the chief disciple of Baba Nityanand. Muktanand visited Ganeshpuri in the year 1947 and met Baba Nityanand in the early morning of August 15. Baba Muktanand often said that his spiritual journey had not till then truly begun until he received shaktipat from Baba Nityananda. According to his description, it was a profound and sublime experience. In his own words: “August 15, 1947. Nityananda stood facing me directly. He looked into my eyes again. Watching carefully, I saw a ray of light entering me from his pupils. It felt hot like burning fever. Its light was dazzling, like that of a high-powered bulb. As that ray emanating from Bhagavan Nityanand's pupils penetrated mine, I was thrilled with amazement, joy, and fear. I was beholding its color and chanting Guru Om. It was a full unbroken beam of divine radiance. Its color kept changing from molten gold to saffron to a shade deeper than the blue of a shining star. I stood utterly transfixed. He sat down and said in his aphoristic fashion, "All mantras... one. Each... from Om. Om Namah Shivaya Om... should think, Shivo'ham, I am Shiva... Shiva-Shiva...Shivo'ham...should be internal repetition. Internal.is.superior to external".

Baba Nityanand breathed his last on August 8, 1961. His Samadhi is located in Ganeshpuri at the ‘Samadhi Mandir’. There is also a shrine dedicated to him in the Gurudev Siddha Peeth Ashram at Ganeshpuri.