Bhagwan Nityananda made it his lifework to educate the adivasis who were living in extreme poverty and ignorance in Ganeshpuri, no wonder he is hailed as God in the area.
Bhagwan Nityananda came on his journeys from the South to settle in Ganeshpuri. When he arrived in the area, all that one could find here was dense forest inhabited by adivasis (tribals), who were living in extreme poverty and ignorance. He made it his lifework to educate them and settle the area.
Today, 66 years after Bhagwan Nityananda first set foot in Ganeshpuri, it is a thriving spiritual centre attracting disciples from all corners of the world. Small wonder that the inhabitants
In later years he found a worthy successor to carry on the tradition in Baba Muktananda who described Bhagwan Nityananda as the perfected yogi, a janma siddha. Bhagwan nominated Baba to carry his teachings to all parts of the world and to establish a spiritual centre not far from his samadhi.
The core of Bhagwan Nityananda's teaching is "The heart is the hub of all sacred places; go there and roam." It was left to Baba Muktananda to put his teachings into words. The basis of the practice of self-realisation or Siddha Yoga is, "Honour your Self, Worship your Self, Meditate on your Self, God dwells within you as you." Bhagwan adopted this teaching from the ancient philosophies of Advaita Vedanta and Kashmir Shaivism. Meditation is the most important part of this philosophy and as time went on Bhagwan spent more and more time in meditation and spoke very little as a consequence. Most of what he taught has come down to us through Baba Muktananda to whom Bhagwan transferred his powers through shaktipat.
The practice of Siddha Yoga consists of 'meditation', which produces a heightened awareness; 'chanting', which gives sweetness and joy; 'seva' which develops the characteristics of detachment and love; 'dakshina', which appeals to our generosity; and 'contemplation' that provides understanding of our experiences and inspires us to delve deeper. It was Bhagwan's belief that if one practised these sincerely one would reach the goal of self-realisation.
Baba Nityananda derived the Siddha Yoga tradition from Kashmir Shaivism, which is a branch of the Shaivite philosophical tradition that explains how the formless supreme principle, known as Shiva, manifests the universe. It is a tradition that recognises the role of the Guru and shaktipat in spiritual unfolding. Bhagwan adopted the principles to define the means and practices that will enable us to reconnect with our innate divinity. Based on this the mantra that is chanted during the aartis at the ashram is Om Nama Shivaya. Bhagwan communicated all his teachings and findings to his disciple and when he felt that his work in this world was done he decided to take samadhi.
Swami Nityananda passed away in the year 1961 and the temple built to his memory is ample testimony to the reverence in which he is held all over the world. A trust was formed later in his name, which administers the temple and the various charitable institutions connected with it. Bhagwan was especially interested in the care of children and he formed a charitable trust called Prasad Chikitsa at nearby Tansa Valley. He procured food, clothes and shelter for the children of the village of Ganeshpuri. Baba Muktananda further provided houses and free medical services to the children. Today, this institution is a worldwide charitable establishment for children. Truly Bhagwan's advent on Ganeshpuri was a great blessing for this land.