Swami Nithyananda was given a chance to clear off all the allegations levelled against him when a Princeton-based researcher Rajiv Malhotra caught up with him on an interview.
In the interview Mr Mahaltra brought up all of the allegations slapped against the godman, except the one involving a sex scandal with Tamil actress Ranjitha, which surfaced last week.
When asked about the controversy over the Bidadi ashram land, the spiritual guru said that the land was donated to his mission by Karnataka’s Sajjan Rao family in 2003. He added that the land was obtained legally and all the documents supporting this land transfer were with the ashram.
The interviewer, who is also disciple of the Swamiji, asked him to put up all the documents on his website so that things are clear to the people.
“Will publish immediately,” the Swami promised.
‘No crime involved in Canadian devotee’s death’
On the mysterious death of a Canadian devotee, Nithayanada reiterated what was said earlier by the ashram that the death was an accident.
The devotee had a habit of sitting on the parapet wall, and he did not listen to the ashram inmates’ repeated advises against it, the Swamiji said, adding that one day when he fell from the parapet wall.
“He was immediately rushed to hospital, where he was declared brought dead,” Nithyananda informed.
The police and the family are convinced that it was an accident and there was no crime involved, he stated.
‘No one is being held forcibly at the ashram’
Terming the reports claiming that youngsters being held forcibly at this ashram as ‘pure lies’, Nithyananada said, “Everybody is there willingly. If they want to leave, they are free to leave.”
The inmates first fill up applications for admission into ashram. Youngsters are also expected to submit a consent letter from the parents, the Swami added.
This was in reference to the media reports suggesting that people are being held at the ashrams against their will, which accounts to human rights violations.
Swami stealing sandalwood?
On sandalwood charges, Swami Nithyananda clarified that that it is just a ‘situation’ and nothing more than that.
The bidadi ashram, which is filled with sandalwood trees, had invited the attention of some thieves. The thieves, who stole a tree, had left some pieces lieing around, he said.
After the theft a police complaint was lodged and the forest department was intimated, the Swamiji said. But now the authorities are claiming that they should have been informed about the pieces of sandalwood left there also, he added before terming it a ‘situation’ and nothing more.
The godman also dismissed other allegations of amassing wealth and Tamil Nadu rape charges in an interview devised by the researcher, who admitted that he wanted to hear the other side of the story as against the things being reported in the media.