Swami Nityananda, the notorious spiritual guru who was caught in a sex scandal in Bangalore, created a flutter in Prashanti Nilayam on Tuesday when he arrived to pay his respects to the mortal remains of Baba.
Lanky Nityananda made a dramatic appearance at the VVIP entrance of the Sai Kulavant hall, semi-clad in ochre robes, escorted by two attendants.
As Nityananda approached Baba’s casket, he was the cynosure of all eyes and the shutterbugs were galvanized into activity. For a few minutes there was a commotion in the hall.
Sai Seva dal volunteers stopped Nityananda and asked him to enter from the other side.
The Swami’s escorts pleaded with volunteers, but they were adamant. After much cajoling, the Sai Seva dal allowed Nityananda to have a quick darshan.
After the darshan, Nityananda lingered in the area for 10 minutes before he left.
Nityanand Dhanyapeetam, headed by the swami, recalled the exceptional spiritual and humanitarian service rendered by Baba to the world.
‘Although he is no longer in the body, Baba’s grace and blessings will continue to shower on all devotees always’, he said.
The swami was not the only one who was shabbily treated at Prashanti Nilayam. Discrimination between VVIPs and ordinary devotees was glaring.
While the influential got a red carpet welcome and were allowed to sit near the casket, yesteryear stars and nonentities were either denied a close darshan of Baba, or grudgingly given permission.
Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, VHP Chief Mr Ashok Singhal and other VVIPS were allowed to sit for over half-an-hour near the casket. Asian Age