Bhagawan Nityananda | Biography, Teachings + Enlightened Quotes

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Nothing can inspire us to advance on our spiritual path like other travelers. Today it is Bhagawan Nithyananda who we will explore and do our best to present, and who was a traveler like no other.  

Bhagawan Nityananda is an Indian Guru who was born in 1897 and left his body in 1961.

Many consider him to be the biggest saint of the twentieth century, and he is particularly praised in the south and western parts of India. 

What’s unique about him is that he is an avadhut, or someone who was born enlightened.

Although he lived a simple life and rarely spoke, he was recognized by thousands of students in his life who traveled to stand in his presence, and even more followers after his passing. 

In this article, we’re going to share:

  • Bhagawan Nityananda Biography
  • Bhagawan Nityananda Teachings
  • Bhagawan Nityananda Miracles

Read on to find out about his life, teachings, and the lessons that can guide you on your own path of discovery

a young bhagavan nityananda sitting cross legged with a garland

Bhagawan Nityananda Biography

His Childhood

It is not certain where Guru Nityananda (AKA Bhagavan Nityananda) was born, but his disciples tell he was abandoned in Tuneri village, and was found and adopted by Uniamma Nair and Chathu Nair, a couple who already had five children. 

His foster parents died when he was still a small child and Ishwar Iyer, the owner of the farms they looked after, took over his care. 

Even as a child Bhagawan Nityananda demonstrated his spiritual advancement, so many started realizing he was born enlightened. That is also how he received his name, as Nityananda translates to “always in bliss”. 

Early Spiritual Path

In his teens, he decided to become a wandering yogi, focusing on yogic practices and studying in the Himalayas and many other places. 

In the 1920s he returned to and settled in southern India, where he began performing many miracles. He built an ashram in Kanhangad which is still a pilgrim center. 

Although his miracles continued to attract people to his presence, he never took credit for them and always said that “Everything that happens, happens automatically by the will of God.” 

In 1936 he moved to Ganeshpuri to a Shiva temple, where a family built a hut for him. With time, this little hut was transformed and became an ashram. 

Bhagawan Nityananda’s daily life was very simple. He didn’t eat much, he took a bath every day before dawn and wore only a loincloth.

black and white photo of bhagavan nityananda sitting cross legged

Nityananda’s Adult Life

The stories also say he never slept. Due to these unusual traits and his often wild behavior, some believed Nityananda was crazy. However, the majority understood his wisdom. 

Still, Nityananda mainly stayed away from people, as much as he could. However, he did love children and spent a lot of time with them. He also had a habit to enter devotees’ houses at weird times so they would give him food. 

He was simple but wise. He knew Hindi, English, Telugu, Malazam, Kannada, Tamil, and Marathi languages which he used to guide his students, although he didn’t talk much.

Bhagawan Nityanada left his body on purpose, in the process called mahasamadhi.

In his last words, he said that most of his students only came to him to seek the fulfillment of maya or material desires and no one sought higher values.

He ended his speach saying “Not much point in allowing this body to continue— hence samadhi tomorrow.” He took his last breath in front of his devotees the next day.

a man standing in a tunnel going towards the light

Bhagawan Nityananda’s Teachings

Although he did live in celibacy and followed yogic principles, Bhagawan Nityananda also enjoyed the fun, loving and enjoyable aspect of living with God. 

He didn’t speak much, but he did occasionally give teachings.

Nityananda was much better known for his actions and presence than for verbal teachings. Also, simply being in his presence made his students more peaceful and present, and brought them to a state of joy. 

The Chidakasha Gita

The only reason why we are able to know about Nityananda’s teachings today is the devotion of his student called Tulsi Amma

Though Bhagawan wasn’t a big speaker, she captured the rare, yet invaluable words he did say in her notebook. These words were written from 1920 to 1927 and were published in the book called Chidaksha Gita.

Through these words, we can gather the basic messages, principles, and ideas of Bhagawan Nityananda. 

This will only be a short version of his teachings, and thanks to the generosity of his devotees, you can read the fill Gita online. 

The Purity Of The Mind

Nityananda said that the mind is the cause of all suffering and all disease. For this reason, he put the gravest importance on the purity of the mind.

To purify the mind, we need to take the right actions, and that leads us to the knowledge of God, which finally leads us to liberation

In Chidakasha Gita he said:

Just as camphor is consumed by the flames of fire, so also, mind must be consumed by soul-fire. (4)

Bhagavan Nityananda

We need to burn our ego, and calm our thoughts – when the mind is still and one has no expectations of this world, we can become like gurus.

The idea of the difference between the self and others then disappears, and one has pure awareness and love toward all being.

As Nityananda says:

‘When the mind is there, a person is an ordinary human being. By transcending the mind, a person becomes a great being, a saint.‘ 

Bhagavan Nityananda
a digital image of the mind

The Purity Of Emotions

A pure mind also leads to pure emotions. And vice versa, a negative attitude leads to impure thoughts and emotions. 

Keeping the emotions pure, therefore, is only possible if one also keeps the mind and thoughts clean.

Pure emotions are also a sign of spiritual awakening, as the innocence of our heart grows. With that, we also feel more and more connected to others and able to see the Truth of life.

In Chidakasha Gita, Bhagawan Nityananda says:

The heart should be free from hypocrisy, the heart of man should be perfectly pure. What the heart thinks, the tongue should talk. What one thinks, one must talk. Nobody you should deceive; nobody you should hate. You must not mix with others. Your mind must always be one pointed. (277)

Bhagavan Nityananda
hands in a love heart

Faith In God

Faith is at the center of Nityananda’s teachings. He speaks about complete trust in God, complete surrendering which leads to the highest form of devotion.  

We need to search for God in everything, constantly contemplate Him, and follow him. As a result, true Love will rise in our hearts. One who works on building true faith can overcome everything in his life and everything becomes possible

However, he also says that the true realization is when one knows they are not separate from God:

If you have ‘Manas,’ [are living in the mind], you want everything. If you do not have ‘Manas,’ you do not want anything. If you have ‘Manas,’ God becomes a separate being for you. When you have merged ‘Manas’ in ‘Budhi,’ God is not separate from you. All then appears as one.”

Bhagavan Nityananda
a womans upturned palms on a yoga mat, in surrender


Nityananda often said that people should stop complicating and should meditate. 

Meditation is at the core of all other teachings, meditation is the only way you can reach the purity of mind and heart, and find God within. 

In fact, he said traveling to different places, to different Gurus, seeking knowledge in books, means nothing if one does not seek the Truth in their heart. 

Even he himself, was constantly immersed in meditation. 

He said: 

Only through meditation, the Self, subtlest of the subtle, reveals itself. 

Bhagavan Nityananda
a woman meditating in front of the blue ocean


Unfortunately, most of us aren’t born awakened – and we need to go through layers of ignorance + false beliefs to reach our true selves.

Nityananda said the truth can’t be accessed without meditation, but also the mind needs the knowledge to reach the state where it can “allow you” to meditate. 

Specifically, it is seen in his words and approach that Bhagawan Nityananda loved Advaita Vedanta, or the philosophy of non-duality. In this path, both knowledge and meditation are used to reach the Truth, but only if approached in the right way.

In ​​Chidakasha Gita, he’s caught saying (note that jnana means knowledge):

A man does not become a guru by simply wearing sandals and counting beads on a rosary. One who talks ‘Brahma Jnana’ and gives stones to his disciples is not a guru. Whatever a guru speaks in words, he must show it in action. First one must practice and after realisation, he must begin to teach others. (28)

Bhagavan Nityananda


Once the well should be emptied of its water. All the mud should be removed. The water which then comes is the purest. Jnana is like this pure water. Once you burn away the thought of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, then non-attachment to the objects of the senses will result of its own accord. (254)

Bhagavan Nityananda
hands in clear water

Identification With The Body

Another essential idea Bhagawan Nityananda embodied to the extent he would likely be considered crazy in the modern age is non-identification with the body.

Bhagawan was so immersed in the realms beyond the body that he almost didn’t speak, didn’t wear clothes, and rarely ate. 

He said:

This body made of flesh is subject to death. If it is not washed for a single day, it stinks. We cannot trust the human body. (48)

Bhagavan Nityananda

Just as an airplane moves without the help of the earth, so also, one must learn to act without the body’s support. The pinnacle of belief, ‘I am not this body,’ should be firmly planted in the heart. (276)

Bhagavan Nityananda
a blue watercolour body meditating


When Bhagawan speaks of peace, he speaks of the highest peace of all, the state of complete surrender to God, of the union with the Almighty. 

This is the state beyond fear, sorrow, and suffering, but also beyond excitement and joy. In this state, one reaches the same connection to All they will enjoy throughout all eternity.

He says about this:

Enjoy eternal peace! When the Budhi is enlightened, every man comes to know his own defects and merits. Like one’s reflection in the mirror, the various desires of the mind will be visible to Budhi. (282)

Bhagavan Nityananda

After being in the sun for a long time, feeling tired, a traveler seeks the shelter of the shade of a tree on a hillside and forgets his fatigue. So too, those whose minds are absorbed in search of God forget all their worldly anxieties. Just as in the shade one forgets the sun’s heat, the sense of ego is forgotten by the absorption in God. (276)

Bhagavan Nityananda
a woman meditating on a beach at sunset

Nityananda’s Last Message 

In his last days, the message Nityananda stressed the most was the idea that we are all the same: ‘you are me, and I am you,‘ these were his words. He also said ‘not only am I your Self, but you are also my Self, your Prana is my Prana, and your life is my life.‘

This is the true teaching of non-duality, the deepest idea of overcoming the ego and realizing mine and yours don’t exist – we are all one. 

He continued to stress the importance of daily meditation practice, as well as loving one another as we are all brothers and sisters, unified in one Love which is the only God.

His final words were:

‘Meditate on your Self. Kneel to your Self. Remember your Self. Whatever is yours is in you.’

Bhagavan Nityananda

The Miracles Of Bhagawan Nityananda

They say many have come to Bhagawan Nityananda with questions, and they felt the answers in their hearts before they even asked them. 

As unusual as that sounds – it is nothing compared to his other miracles.

We won’t go into a debate about whether these miracles are real or not – we’ll just tell the story, as Nityananda’s students and witnesses have told them.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether these miracles are real. 

  1. Ganga 
the river ganges and buildings

“Why should the Ganga only flow in the north? The Ganga should flow here!“ 

Bhagavan Nityananda

At that very moment, water started flowing near him – and is still flowing in that place up to this day. 

One day Bhagawan Nityananda traveled to the north of India and reached Bombay. At one moment, he decided to take a rest in a place called Kanhangad, where he meditated.

During his meditation, he thought about how there is no water in this place. He said: 

  1. Bus

One day, Bhagawan Nityananda waited for the bus but as usual, didn’t wear any clothes except his underwear.

The driver saw him half-nude and decided to not stop the bus to pick him up. However, at the next stop – he saw Nityananda there as well.

He reached the third stop – but somehow, the guru came there before him. In the end, he gave in – and picked Nityananda up. 

  1. The Dress

This story also happened at a bus stop. Nityananda saw a woman walking and grabbed the edge of her dress.

Some men saw that and started chasing him. As he ran away he shouted, “She’s healed!”.

Then, some people talked with the woman. She said she had breast cancer in both her breasts.

Later it was revealed that when Bhagawan touched her dress, she was healed. 

  1. The Train

This time, Bhagawan Nityananda took the train. The ticket collector chased him off the train because he didn’t have a ticked.

As soon as he left the train, the train stopped working – although it didn’t need any repairs.

Then, a passenger told the ticket collector it was a guru he chased off the train and that he had made a grand mistake.

The collector immediately called Nityananda back, and as soon as he got back on the train, the engine started again. 

If you want to read more about Bhagawan Nityananda’s miracles, find them on the official websites of his devotee here and here.

Or get inspired by another guru you resonate with through one of our yogi profiles:

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Sara lives in Croatia, near the sea, with her dog. She enjoys exploring nature, and making art. She is currently developing a series of children’s/YA stories and comics in her native language, which she feels complements her work and allows her to live her dream life – having yoga, writing, art, and nature in her every day.

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