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Swami Nityānanda

(c. 1896—1961)


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(c.1896–1961)

An influential and much-revered South Indian ‘saint’. Abandoned and then adopted as a young child, Nityānanda (‘Endless Bliss’) was said to have become a wandering ascetic and yogin at the age of ten. Many stories are told of his power as a miracle-working healer, and of the supernatural events associated with his life. He wandered extensively in the 1920s, during which time he initiated a number of charitable construction projects. But in 1936 Nityānanda settled at Ganeśpuri, near Mumbai, where he had an āśram built in which he spent the rest of his life. He attracted a large number of devotees, among them Swami Muktānanda, whom he inspired to found the Siddha Yoga organization. Nityānanda is worshipped in the Siddha Yoga temples attached to the āśrams at Ganeśpuri and New York State. He also gives his name to the Nityānanda Institute, an American Kashmiri Śaiva-based organization, which considers him the creator of its guru lineage, since he initiated the teacher of its founder. Nityānanda's own teachings seem to have been non-sectarian, advocating the realization of the individual consciousness in its universal reality.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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