Nithyananda 293rd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam

The ancient Saivite mutt said the self-styled godman was ‘lawful successor’ to deal with properties in India and abroad.

Published: 28th April 2012 03:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 10:32 PM   |  A+A-


(PTI file photo)

BANGALORE: Self-styled godman Nithyananda was on Friday declared 293rd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam, one of the ancient Saivite mutts in Tamil Nadu, at Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam in Bidadi on Bangalore-Mysore Road. The 292nd pontiff of the Aadheenam, Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, announced this in the Dhyanapeetam.

The pontiff told reporters: “We hereby coronate him (Nithyananda) with the title His Holiness the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal.”

After the announcement, the Madurai pontiff placed a gold-plated crown on Nithyananda’s head to “officially declare” that he will take charge of the Madurai Aadheenam.

The pontiff also declared Nithyananda his “lawful successor” to deal with all movable and immovable properties of the Aadheenam, which include over 1,250 acres of land, several temples and properties in India and abroad.

In reply, Nithyananda vowed to fulfil all responsibilities of the Aadheenam, revive the Saiva tradition and also make the Aadheenam an international religious organisation.

The Madurai Aadheenam has been in existence for several centuries. It was revived about 1,500 years ago by Thirugnana Sambandar, one of the four visionary saints of South Indian Saiva Siddhanta philosophy.

The Aadheenam’s history dates back to the Tamil Sangam period. The presiding deities of Madurai are Lord Siva and Devi in their incarnations as Chokkanathar and Meenakshi, enshrined in the famous Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar Temple.

Nithyananda has been facing many charges. He was arrested on April 21, 2010, at Solan in Himachal Pradesh in connection with a case involving an actress. He was granted bail on June 11, 2010, by the Karnataka High Court.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp