Letter: Why is Lakewood City Council endorsing a questionable self promoting “swami”?

Submitted by John Arbeeny.

I read with interest the Suburban Times (22 December 2021) article entitled “Lakewood City Council Summary Monday December 20” which contains the following proclamation endorsing a certain “brand” of Hinduism. It declares 3 January 2022 in honor of the religion but more specifically an individual with a Hindu connection named “Nithyananda”. “Nithyananda Day”? The question I had to ask is “exactly who is Nithyananda and what is his connection to Hinduism”? The results were shocking as cited below after an excerpt of the  proclamation.

Pierce College


WHEREAS, the Lakewood City Council conveys best wishes to The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, Jagatguru Mahasannidhanam, Bhagavan Sri Nithyananda Paramashivam,recognized  as the 1008th living incarnation of Paramashiva as per Sanatana Hindu Dharma (“Hinduism”) and

by His predecessors of enlightened masters and adepts, coronated as the 1008th Acharya Mahamandaleshwar (the head for all spiritual leaders) of Atal Akhada (ancient apex body ofnHinduism), and ordained as the 293rd Guru Mahasannidhanam (Pontiff) of Shyamalapeetab Sarvajnapeetam; and…………..

WHEREAS, the City of Lakewood thanks The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism, The Sovereign of the Sovereign State of SHRIKAILASA and pays tribute and express its appreciation for the contribution of KAILASA for its contributions to the enrichment and betterment of life for our residents.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Lakewood City Council does hereby
proclaim January 3rd, 2022, Incarnation day of The SPH, as KAILASA’s SPH Nithyananda Day, thereby honoring the 45th Celebration of the Revival of the Sovereign State of SHRIKAILASA, the Ancient Enlightened Hindu Civilizational Nation, the First Nation of Hindus. PROCLAIMED this 20th day of December, 2021.
Don Anderson, Mayor

DuPont Museum

A quick perusal of the internet sources and international news sources revealed a huge amount of derogatory information about Mr. Nithyananda of which the following is a tiny sample.

“Following accusations and charges of rape and abduction in Indian courts, Nithyananda left India and went into hiding, citing threats of assassination and mob lynching. He subsequently announced the founding of his own self-proclaimed island nation called Kailaasa.” NOTE: this island is off the coast of Ecuador convenient in that Ecuador doesn’t have an extradition treaty with India.

“Nithyananda has made several pseudoscientific claims, including that he delayed the sunrise for 40 minutes, that he could make cattle speak in Tamil and Sanskrit, and that he could disprove the correctness of the mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2.

The Haunting of Hill House - Lakewood Playhouse

In 2019, a couple from Tamil Nadu approached the High Court of Gujarat claiming that three of their four children were taken to Nithyananda’s ashram in Ahmedabad from Bangalore without their knowledge; the couple sought return of their children to their custody.”

“On 20 November 2019, the Gujarat Police issued a statement that Nithyananda fled India after choosing not to appear at several court hearings.[70] Some senior police officials did not discount the possibility of him still being in India.[71] He subsequently approached the United Nations complaining about persecution and sought recognition for his new country Kailaasa.[72] Nithyananda also claimed attempts at mob lynching and assassination as reasons he was forced to withdraw himself from Indian society.”

“Self-styled Godman Nithyananda Paramashivam has found himself embroiled in controversy as he has been accused of committing “serious human atrocities in the name of Hinduism” by a former yogi at his ashram. In a petition on Change.org and on YouTube, the former yogi and now ‘whistleblower’ describes how Nithyananda would torture the ashram’s inmates, in particular children.”

The Haunting of Hill House - Lakewood Playhouse

“He has been booked for child abuse and kidnapping by the Gujarat police after three minor children (a boy and two girls) were rescued from his ashram on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. This is the second case against him, the first one being the rape case he was charged with in 2010, after which his passport had been impounded.”

“Self-declared godman Nithyananda, who has been accused of rape and sexual abuse, surfaced in a video recently, declaring that “nobody can touch me” and that no court can prosecute him. The controversial figure is wanted by Gujarat Police in a case of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children at his Ahmedabad ashram.”

“I will show my integrity to you by revealing the reality and truth to you. Now nobody can touch me, I can tell you the truth – I am Param Shiva. Understand? No stupid court can prosecute me for revealing the truth. I am Param Shiva,” says Nithyananda, wearing a rust-coloured turban and robe.”

Brink & Sadler

There are many obvious questions that have to be asked of the Council and answered by them as well.

Why did the Mayor and rest of the Council fall for such an obvious scam? Was it naiveté or a lack of intellectual curiosity or both?

Who was responsible for bringing this proclamation before the Council for consideration?

Who did research, if any into Mr. Nithyananda’s background; the circumstances surrounding his self proclaimed country KAILAASA; claimed support by the greater Hindu community for his alleged powers and divinity?

Why is the Lakewood City Council in the business of endorsing any religion or alleged religious leader in any proclamation?

Why did the Lakewood City Council feel the need to dedicate a specific date, 3 January 2022, the first of the New Year, to endorse this religious claimant about whom they appear to know nothing?

Edward Jones - Bart Dalton

I spoke several days ago with Deputy Mayor Whelan who informed me that the proclamation had been pulled from the 20 December 2021 meeting and had not been read aloud during that meeting. I would have loved to have heard it read by anyone given the tongue twisting names and titles! 

However, this proclamation was still in the 20 December 2021 meeting summary as published in the Suburban Times article (which I commented upon). I’ve yet to see a correction or retraction of this item. Council has a public responsibility to correct the 20 December 2021 summary in the Suburban Times and to answer the questions I have posed previously so the public is informed why it was originally accepted and later removed as a proclamation.

The Haunting of Hill House - Lakewood Playhouse

Source: The Suburban Times