Paramahamsa Nithyananda elected spiritual head (Mahamandaleshwar) of revered Mahanirvani Peeth
Maha Kumbh Puri, Prayag. Tuesday, 12th February 2013:
Paramahamsa Nithyananda today formally accepted the title and responsibility of 'Mahamandaleshwar' of the renowned Mahanirvani Peeth, with his election and coronation as one of the 44 spiritual heads (Mahamandaleshwars) of the most ancient apex body of Hinduism. Held during the ongoing Maha Kumbha Mela at Allahabad-Prayag, the ceremony marks Paramahamsa Nithyananda's second coronation at Mahanirvani Peeth, this time in recognition of his new role as the spiritual head or ‘Guru Maha Sannidhanam’ of Madurai Aadheenam.
The coronation was held after a democratic election, where all the 43 existing Mahamandaleshwars of Mahanirvani Peeth, including the 3 female Mahamandaleshwars, unanimously voted for Paramahamsa Nithyananda. He was coronated with full honors in a grand ‘Pattabhishekham’ or traditional coronation ceremony. With the coronation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda joins the esteemed group of the 44 Mahamandaleshwars of Mahanirvani Peeth.
The coronation ceremony began auspiciously with the traditional ceremonial pooja, performed by Paramahamsa Nithyananda in the presence of thousands of his devotees, disciples, sadhus and mystics who had assembled at Prayag for the Maha Kumbha Mela celebrations. Following this, he received the traditional saffron shawl and kumkum offered by the other Mahamandaleshwars of Mahanirvani Peeth as a mark of their support and welcome to the newly coronated Mahamandaleshwar. Paramahamsa Nithyananda later led the grand coronation procession, much to the delight of devotees and onlookers.
Mahanirvani Peeth, with more than one lakh temples and ashrams, traces its roots back to 8th century AD. It was revived by Adi Shankara during the 8th century, with the aim of strengthening and uniting those practicing Hinduism. The enlightened sage Rishi Kapila is believed to be the guiding spiritual force for the Mahanirvani Peeth.
Mahanirvani is among the foremost of the Akhadas, and has its centre at Daraganj - Allahabad, on the banks of the holy Ganga. During the Kumbha mela, Mahanirvani reserves the right to take the very first dip among the millions of pilgrims, during the Shahi snaan – the royal bathing ceremony. This year too, during the ongoing Maha Kumbh festival at Allahabad, thousands of monks from the Mahanirvani Akhada participated in the Shahi snaan on 10th Feb 2012. This year, hundreds of sannyasis of Paramahamsa Nithyananda’s spiritual organization, Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam also joined the other monks of Mahanirvani Peeth in the royal bathing ceremony.