Bhagavan Nityananda (1897-1961). Few details of Bhagavan Nityananda’s life are known. What’s known is that he was born in South India and it is believed he possessed, since childhood, amazing powers. He liked solitude. He used to wander, often naked, happily absorbed in supreme bliss. He believed that divine joy was everywhere.
He spent his youth in a cave in the jungle, in Guruvan, a location near Kanhagad (Karnataka). Afterwards, Sri Nityananda created an ashram there. In his presence great miracles happened. He freed many people from their afflictions, sorrows and poverty. People loved him and wanted to be near him.
Nityananda was considered an avadhuta (one who, because of his state of absorption in the Absolute, lives beyond social rules). He disappeared for long periods of time. It’s believed that he lived in the Himalayas practicing austerities for some years.
In 1936 Gurudev Nityananda arrived in Ganeshpuri (Maharashtra), where he settled permanently next to the hot springs near the temple of Sri Mahadeva Bhimeshwar. He spent the last twenty five years of his life there. During this period, innumerable devotees visited him seeking his guidance and help. Ganeshpuri became a place of pilgrimage.
In August 1961, Sri Nityananda attained mahasamadhi (he left his physical body). Later, a temple was built in his honor and, even today, it is visited by a large number of pilgrims and devotees seeking to receive his blessing.
Sri Nityananda led many seekers (sadhakas) to the recognition of their own Divinity, amongst them were Swami Janananda, Swami Sadananda, Sri Shaligram Swami and Swami Muktananda. Swami Muktananda later spread Sri Nityananda´s teachings all over the world.