Bhagawan Nityananda

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Avadhut Bhagawan Nityananda, Swami Bhagawan Nityananda, Gurudev, Baba
Siddha Yoga, Hinduism, Dashanami Sampradaya (Sarasvati branch)
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
December, 1897
Place of Birth: 
Quilandy (Pandalayini), Kerala, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
August 8, 1961
Other Related Gurus: 
Hilda Charlton, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, Balyogi Sadanand Maharaj


Bhagawan Nityananda was from the southern part of India, in Kerala state. He was an Avadhut, a person born in the state of enlightenment. From his early years he became widely known as a divine being with sacred healing powers, and it is said that he was always immersed in the state of unity consciousness. His name means "bliss of the eternal,"

Details of his early life are difficult to verify, but from the 1920s until his passing, he was surrounded by an ever-increasing number of disciples and devotees.

Nityananda's mother abandoned him as an infant. He was found by a woman who worked as a maid for a lawyer called Ishwar Iyer. Upon the woman's death Mr. Iyer adopted Nityananda (then known as Ram). Even in childhood, Nityananda seemed to be in an unusually advanced spiritual state, which gave rise to the belief that he was born enlightened. He was eventually given the name Nityananda: "always in bliss".

Before the age of twenty, Nityananda became a wandering yogi, spending time on yogic studies and practices in the Himalayas and other places. By 1920 he was back in southern India, where he had a fleeting encounter with a boy who would later become Swami Muktananda.

As an adult in the late 1930s, he migrated to Maharashtra state, settling in what was at the time a tiny jungle village with natural hot springs known as Ganeshpuri, a place where sages had done spiritual practices for generations. Seekers came from far and wide to have his darshan, to be in his powerful presence, receiving his blessings and making offerings of gratitude.

For most of his life he maintained silence, speaking only briefly on occasion. He was a renunciate with few possessions, usually wearing just a loincloth. The village of Ganeshpuri grew larger after his arrival, and subsequently he established an ashram and hospital in the village.

Nityananda never explicitly identified himself with a particular spiritual practice or tradition.

Bhagawan Nityananda left his body on August 8, 1961.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Bhagawan Avadhut Nityananda

The connection between Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Bhagawan Avadhut Nityananda goes back to the 1950’s, and was relayed to Stephen Wolinsky twice, first by a brother disciple of Nisargadatta Maharaj, Alexander Smit. In a conversation with Maharaj, Smit asked him, “Did you ever meet Nityananda?.” Maharaj replied, “Yes”. Smit asked, “What did you think of him.” Maharaj replied, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.”

The second connection between Bhagwan Avadhut Nityananda and Nisargadatta Maharaj revealed itself, when S. K. Mullarpattan, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s primary translator in the years 1976-1981, told Stephen Wolinsky that Bhagawan Avadhut Nityananda, as a young man used to stay with Mullarpattan’s family quite often, and that Mullarpattan used to go and see Baghawan Nityananda frequently in Ganespuri, and that he still does his mantra japa, (repetition). More interestingly, both Nisargadatta Maharaj and Bhagwan Avadhut Nityananda gave the same mantra diksa (initiation), and taught the same unique way of repeating the mantra (japa).


AS with many saints, Nityananda's aproach was more from a silence presence than through words.

It is said that Nityananda would come into a small room in his ashram which was lit by a few bare electric light bulbs, and sit there quietly with his eyes open. People would come from all distances to see him in a darshan. Nityananda would sit in this space with his eyes open, simply establishing a connection with each visitor according to his or her capacity to experience and sustain that contact.

In its essence, Nityananda's teaching is profoundly simple. Like the ancient sages of many traditions, he said that anyone who merges the individual into the universal is an enlightened person. To realize the universal nature of one's own individual consciousness is the goal of sadhana (spiritual practice).

Swami Nityananda always taught his disciples to listen to their heart. He said, "The heart is the hub of all sacred places; go there and roam". Every individual must strive towards self-realization and to achieve that purpose, he should look within himself. God resides within each and every living being and we can find Him only when we search for Him inside ourselves.



Bhagawan Nityananda samadhi shrine

Bhagawan Nityananda samadhi shrine temple hosts thousands of visitors and spiritual seekers every year.

See information about the location at and

Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra , India

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri

by Swami Muktananda


This compilation of Swami Muktananda\'s talks and writings about his guru, Bhagawan Nityananda, forms an absorbing biography and loving portrait of one of the greatest spiritual masters of modern India.

Pro Opinions

Bhagwan Nityananda means really GOD

gargipangargi's picture

Beyond words walking BRAHMAN.

Remember him, and he will always be with you

archana.anchal's picture

i am writing this on my own experience.........though i have never been to Ganeshpuri, but i always feel that baba is with me, he is always looking after me like a loving and very caring father.......

G.Srinivas's picture

The power of Bhagwan Nityananda

Gazing on his photo for a few minutes is enough to give a glimpse of his sublime state to any layman !! Saint beyond any compare... Adhvitiya Mahapurush !!!

G.Srinivas | Sat, 01/22/2011 - 07:55
archana.anchal's picture

Very true

Best Regards

archana.anchal | Sat, 01/22/2011 - 11:35
Hari30's picture

I had visited Ganeshpuri in 1976.

I had visited Ganeshpuri in 1976 but unfortunately I had not heard about Bhagawan Nityananda. I could not visit the Aashram.
Years later I had chance to read Chitshakti vilas by Muktananda Swami. I realized that I had a chance but I had missed it.
It is God's wish.

Hari30 | Mon, 12/26/2011 - 06:23



Avadhootas are spoken as sidhas.

Nitynanda- master of eternal joy

G.Srinivas's picture

Bhagwan Nityananda is true to his name an etenal reposer in Supreme Joy.