Pontiff of Madurai Adheenam announces Paramahamsa Nithyananda as Successor

Swamiji_accepts_honor (image)In a landmark event in the history of Indian religious tradition, H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda has been declared as the 293rd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam, the world’s most ancient living Hindu religious organization.

Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Arunagirinatha Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal, the 292nd pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam, declared H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda as his successor at a press meet held today in Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam’s international headquarters in Bidadi near Bangalore.

At the press meet, which was marked by a mood of celebration, the current pontiff read out the affidavit declaring that “We hereby declare, nominate, enthrone, coronate and appoint Paramahamsa Nithyananda… as 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam of Madurai Aadheenam, also called as TirugnanasambandaSwamigal Adheenam. We hereby coronate with the title His Holiness the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam Srila Sri Paramahamsa Nithyananda Sri Gnanasambanda Desika Paramacharya Swamigal”.

The current pontiff declared H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda as “my lawful successor, descendant and inheritor of Madurai Adheenam,TirugnanasambandaSwamigal Adheenam, having all the powers, duties, obligations, ritual and customary rights that is being performed, enjoyed, vested in the Madurai Aadheenam.” He also declared H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda as “my lawful successor to deal with all the movable and immovable properties of the TirugnanasambandaSwamigal Adheenam”, which includes over 1250 acres of land, several temples and properties owned by the Aadheenam in India and abroad.

The legendary Madurai Aadheenam has existed since time immemorial. However, it was revived around 1500 years ago by the young enlightened incarnation Tirujnana Sambandar, one of the four visionary saints of South Indian Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy. The Aadheenam is established in Madurai, one of the oldest cities of India with a history dating all the way back to Tamil Sangam period. The presiding deities of Madurai are Shiva and Devi in their incarnations as Chokkanathar and Meenakshi, enshrined in the world-famous Madurai Meenakshi-Sundareshwara temple.

According to the rules and regulations of the Madurai Aadheenam, only hereditary Saiva Vellalars (the religious community to which H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda belongs)are selected as the pontiffs of this ancient and premier religious institution.

The pontiff of the Madurai Aadheenam is known by the title ‘Guru Maha Sannidhanam’ and inherits great responsibility in carrying forward the traditions of Tirujnana Sambandar’s sacred work. The spiritual services offered by Madurai Aadheenam are well-known throughout India.

According to Shaiva Siddhanta philosophy, everything is preordained according to the judgment of Lord Shiva. Referring to H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda as ‘a noble gift of Lord Shiva’ and ‘the avatar of saint Tirujnana Sambandhar’, the current pontiff declared H.H. Nithyananda as the ambassador to the Almighty, appointed by the eternal Government of Lord Shiva.

There is no tenure for this position and it is a lifetime honor.

Accepting the sacred honor, H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda said, “With all humbleness for divine grace I hereby declare that I accept the responsibility given to me… as the 293rd Guru Maha Sannidhanam of Madurai Aadheenam… I vow, keeping Chokkanathar and Meenakshi and Jnanasambandhar as witness, we will fulfil all the responsibilities of Madurai Aadheenam, making the Shaiva tradition revived and celebrated all over the world… I also commit to Madurai Aadheenam Guru Maha Sannidhanam… that we will make Madurai Aadheenamas an international religious organization.”

H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda made an offering of Rs. 1 crore towards Madurai Aadheenam’s spiritual activities. He offered his respects to the current pontiff by gifting him a golden throne, crown and scepter (holy staff). H. H. Paramahamsa Nithyananda also announced the upcoming kumbhabhishekam of the all temples belonging to the Madurai Aaadheenam, and inaugurated the daily annadaanam (free food for all) at Madurai Aadheenam, starting today.