Swami Nithyananda

Swami Nithyananda Sex Scandal Videos – Lessons to Learn

Nithyananda Sex Videos Scandal

Nityananda Fraud Allegations

I have recently received a few emails regarding the recent sex scandal involving Swami Nithyananda, asking for my thoughts on this matter and I will present those in this article.  For those who are not familiar with this sex scandal, essentially Paramhamsa Nithyananda, a Guru who had claimed to be celibate and who had renounced worldly pleasures, was recently caught on video in some very compromising sexual positions with two (or same) women on separate occasions.  His devotees are claiming fraud and conspiracy, but the evidence so far is looking very damning.  I am not claiming one way or the other, but think this is a good opportunity to discuss some of the issues related to spiritual gurus, priests, swamis and sexual scandals.

Swami Nithyananda

There is of course a great deal of anger, hurt and disappointment amongst the faithful who feel they have been badly cheated by a Guru who had declared himself as Enlightened and Self Realized.  This has led to a great deal of unrest at his ashrams and centers, many of which have had to take security measures to maintain decorum and safety.  There are several aspects of this scandal which I would like to address and will do so individually below.

1. Sex is Not the Problem

I have explained in the past the great power of sexual energy.  It is the most concentrated form of energy available to the physical body and properly conserved it is very useful for healing, strengthening and rejuvenation.  In addition, this is the one form of physical energy that can be used for spiritual growth as well.  Conserving sexual energy can boost your creativity and many Kundalini Yoga techniques, such as Sat Kriya, can help you raise the vibration of this energy and employ it for spiritual growth.  That being said, you do not have to be celibate to be enlightened.  

So having sex is not the problem and the sex videos would not have been as scandalous had Nithyananda not claimed to be celibate and had he not required the monks that join his order to remain celibate.  Emphasizing celibacy and renunciation and requiring it of others, but not adhering to it himself, is where the problem lies.  The videos, if true, reveal him to be a liar, which means he was not celibate and if he lied about that, then he loses credibility. 

So the problem is the dishonesty and not the sex itself.  Many great masters and enlightened teachers in the past have lived the life of householders and still do, so sex and enlightenment can coexist just fine.  The hurt and anger being felt by his followers is due to the fact they feel cheated and lied to.  They feel they have been taken advantage of and their trust has been betrayed.  It can be heart wrenching.  The followers now feel, if he lied about celibacy, perhaps he lied about being enlightened as well?  They will have a hard time believing anything now.  This is the problem.

I cannot over emphasize honesty.  I have written about it time and again, and what is important is not just honesty in your interactions with others and the world, but brutal honesty when you look at your mind, thoughts and feelings.  This is absolutely essential to spiritual growth and the following 3 articles go over this topic in more detail as well:

5 Key Principles of Living an Enlightened and Good Life

How to Live Life

Silent Mind Meditation Program – Power of Honesty

2. How to Find Your True Guru

The topic of Gurus and Swamis is another important topic that this scandal allows me to discuss, so I want to share some thoughts on it with you all.  Specifically with regard to Nithyananda’s sex scandal my friend and evolved spiritual soul Desika Nadadur discussed this scandal and wrote a great article exploring the importance of being your own master and you will find his wonderful analysis in the following article.

I suggest all those interested in the topic of self mastery and Gurus read this article. Paramahamsa Nityananda: A Saint or a Sham

I have written before that the true guru lies within us (How to Find Your True Guru).  That we must find the strength and courage to follow our heart and inner voice, which is how life speaks to us.  The true guru IS impersonal Intelligence and Awareness in action.  Rely on that and you will never be led astray.  This though is not to say that a teacher is not valuable.

A teacher, as I have pointed out in the article For Spiritual Growth can a Teacher or Guide Help, can be a source of great inspiration, great guidance and protection.  He/She can point out the way and indicate the pitfalls.  The teacher can thus help accelerate your spiritual growth.  In addition, the company of evolved people will raise the very level of your vibration and direct you towards infinity, and remind you of the meaninglessness of worldly things.  Thus, a teacher can certainly help.

In addition, a wise teacher can indicate techniques worth trying and by so doing you can find out for yourself the Truth in what they are saying or teaching.  Such was the case with the enlightenment of Nisargadatta Maharaj, which you will find here: Transcendence Techniques from the Spiritual Science of Advaita Vedanta.  But a Guru is not a requirement.  Self Realization does not require an external Guru and with external Gurus come this danger of fakes and phonies.

There is another subtle but important aspect of understanding the risks of authority when it comes to spiritual growth, and I will mention that briefly here and address it in more detail in a future article.  Authority of any kind when it comes to the mind, leads to pursuit and imitation.  Whether that is the authority of your own past experiences or the outside authority of a guru.  This authority sets the ideal, which leads to chasing and chasing IS the factor that prevents enlightenment.  So when all authority is forsaken, including that of past impressions, you will discover true freedom.

3. Dangers of Gurus and Priests

In the article, the Helpful Tips to Avoid the Big Risks of Meditation, I pointed out that the charm, magnetism and powers gained from meditation are often misused.  All too often we hear of spiritual leaders, priests and swamis, misusing their authority and taking advantage of their followers and devotees.  The case of Nithyananda, if true, is certainly not a unique occurrence, although the sex was not forced in this case and was consensual.

Recently the Catholic Church in Germany is in disarray due to the sexual abuse by the Catholic Priests (German Catholic Church Sex Scandal) and the Church of Scientology is being implicated in abuse charges as well, by many of it’s former members.  Those are just recent scandals, and if you were to do a quick check you will find endless such events tied to religious organizations and spiritual authorities. 

Unfortunately, these organizations and gurus tend to prey on the innocent, such as children, or on the fears of others, when due to great stress or uncertainty people get conned by the false promises of these fake priests.  Therefore, if you are a great meditator, do not be tempted by the pitfalls of power and authority, and if you are a person having difficulty in life, don’t blindly follow others simply because of the promises they make.

4. Money Money Money and Gurus

How do you detect the scammers and phonies?  Generally, you will find that once they suck you into their organization they will start to try and suck your wallet dry .  This is the tell tale sign that you are heading for trouble and heading for the poor house.

The “advanced” training will start to become more and more expensive and of course without it you have no chance of finding God, they will say.  If thousands of dollars start to go from your bank account to theirs, start to be wary.  Before all those who offer spiritual services for money start to yell at me, which happens too often when I speak on this topic, let me say I am not against receiving money for spiritual services, but I am just saying that if an organization starts to demand huge sums of money in order for you to continue your progress on the spiritual path, it is time to put up the red flag and do some serious thinking.

For more on this topic, you can read the following articles:

No Shortcuts to Enlightenment

Should Spiritual Services Be Free Or Not

Summary of Nithyananda Video Sex Scandal

One final point I would like to also make is that the teaching is always far more important than the teacher.  In addition, any thing or person can be a teacher for you, at any given time in life.  So even if the teacher is not perfect, if there is something to learn from them, the teaching still holds value.

I believe many thousands of years ago, Buddha saw the changing role of Gurus in the future and he saw them transforming more towards being a friend (Maitreya) than an absolute authority figure.  I find this very palatable.  In the past, true Gurus were your friend as well as your teacher and guardian.  Today, it is best if Gurus embrace this view and take on a role more of a friend, even as they continue to be teachers and guides.  I think that will work best.  After all, we are all divine beings, so there is no need for excessive hierarchy.  We are after all just the One Consciousness, so from my divine aspect to yours, a warm and love filled Namaste.

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  1. Jagdeo
    Jagdeo says:

    Let us not collectively gloat at another’s apparent weakness from the vantage point of our own apparent superiority. Our superiority lies in the fact that we ourselves have not been caught out by others to date. As long as we are not revealed we can very smugly aver that we are good, and clamour “I told you so”. But deep down in our hearts we are all revealed by this matter. Or are we seeking revenge for our affronted egos because we thought we duped. The ROAD that we claim to be seeking is made of sterner stuff than that my friends. “Ask not for whom the bell tolls..it tolls for thee”.

  2. Rebecca
    Rebecca says:

    I just read this as I wanted to wait until I had time to really read it instead of skimming it. I really love what you have put forward here, and I would like to add one thing. I think that people are able to teach from a place where they know they make mistakes. It is our deepest secrets that we want to change, and it is so easy to see them in others. Even if we do not have the courage/strength/karma/time, whatever, to change them in ourselves, we can allow the space to let others heal that aspect in themselves. When it comes to gurus/teachers, however, they often feel and act as though they must be perfect. It is that mentality that leads to sex scandals instead of discussion. It’s unfortunate. Thanks for the post.

  3. Desika Nadadur | I Am My Own Master
    Desika Nadadur | I Am My Own Master says:

    Hey Anmol,

    Thanks for mentioning my article. I was surprised when I saw the pingback from this site.

    I received some hot comments on that article, if you want to warm up your brain. :-)

    This whole thing reminds me of what U.G. Krishnamurthi (not to be confused with Jiddu Krishnamurthi) used to say about gurus.

    Thanks again,

  4. Trupti Mehta
    Trupti Mehta says:


    Thank you for you comment. I especially like the …”don’t Search God elsewhere, develop God like qualities in yourself” that what we should all be doing. Bringing out the “god” within us all.

    All the best,

  5. sk
    sk says:

    Hi RamRam,
    The article is not to destroy anybodies name. Swami Nithyananda has now become Mr Nithyanada, damage is already done by his own acts.
    You don’t have to feel bad, if you had known this before you wouldn’t have gone to him for his teachings. The teachings are important whether given by Nityananda or x,y or z. So if it was given by XYZ you would have realted to him unconsiously . Only problem is if he had enjoy the company women he should not wear safforn clothes and have courage to change his tag of swami.

  6. Ram
    Ram says:

    The problem with all these self appointed critics and judges appears to be ignorance of facts about Swami Nithyananda. What Swamiji said all the time was that he was not here to proclaim he is God, it was to make you realize that YOU are God. He also broke the Sanskrit word Brahmacharya down and explained that it means living in Dharma, living with Existence. He often said he was not to be worshipped or kept at an elevated level, but to be used for self realization. He discouraged folks from clinging on to him or his words. He was the best communicator of Vedic truths that I have heard – I have heard many internationally known Hindu monks in my life. So now people who do not know of Swami Nithyananda’s messages are making assumptions based on this media feeding frenzy and offering useless opinions. Swamiji has done more for the cause of Hinduism than all the critics combined. I personally know of dozens of people that he has healed, both physical and mental illnesses. He has re-converted Hindus who were converted into Chrisitanity in Tamil Nadu by missionaries who went into that state after the Tsunami a few years ago. He spoke of Vedic truths in a way that was not only accurate and authentic, but also understandable by the common man, woman and child. I am sure that there were people who did not like the popularity Swamiji gained. Some just did not know of him until this recent media explosion. Between these two groups, there is so much misinformation being spewed out. Stop that. Take a deep breath. Be grateful that India still produces the likes of Swami Nithyananda.

  7. RamRam
    RamRam says:

    I am not a follower of any Guru(s) but I follow my Hindu culture!!
    Your article was well balanced and I enjoyed reading it in particular the summary of Nithyananda.

    Nithyananda is not GOD. He is one of us a fellow human being.

    What is GOD? God is with you! God is with in You!! don’t Search God elsewhere, develop God like qualities in yourself then you are the God…. “Live and let live” then you will be God.

    Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. “George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)”
    By thinking of destroy Someone’s (not only Nithyananda, but any persons) good name slowly but surely you will destroy yourself; this is the “Quantum Physicists Theory” because you are thinking of distruction.

    Ram (I am not the same Ram as above)

  8. Ram
    Ram says:

    Anmol, you are wrong on a few counts. Swami Nithyananda NEVER talked about himself as celibate nor did he ask others to stay away from sex. His main focus was vedic teachings, meditation and enlightenment. I know this because I have followed him very closely for 4 years. Also, the videos that the media have played non-stop show only one lady actress once in saree and another time in salwar kameez. It is not two different people. Let us not forget that these are adults whose privacy needs to be respected like yours and mine.

  9. shashi kiran
    shashi kiran says:

    Anmol you are really anmol. Your analysis is great and Good to find people like you. In fact I saw that video and how can a swami allow a women to his room for any reason when he is alone. It is just inviting 100 times more worldiness than normal worldly people.

  10. Saaleha
    Saaleha says:

    Once again a brilliant read. may yo always stay blessed, Anmol. I have come to look forward to the inspirational thoughts that you share so generouly.Saaleha South Africa

  11. shobha
    shobha says:

    Tun mey munah, shiv sankalpum astu, May my mind be full of good thoughts. So called GURU can,only manipulate fearful ,scared person’s life. Take ownership of your own ship. Thanks for this thought provoking topic.


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