Ananda Tapas: A Story from the Life of Nithyananda


There is a very intense meditation technique called the “Ananda Tapas”. This involves the meditator to sit within a circle of fire for several hours for many days under the supervision of the Master. This technique dissolves the samskaras (biomemory) completely and the engraved memories are burned and boiled away. Paramahamsa Nithyananda mentions a beautiful incident in his past that happened when he was performing the Ananda Tapas.

While doing the Ananda Tapas, he enlisted the help of a villager to take care of tending to the fire by adding more fuel to the fire. The villager gathered wood and dried cow dung cakes to keep the fire burning. However he was a poor guy and had no money to keep the fire burning continuously. While Nithyananda was pondering upon this situation, his eyes fell upon a lamp that he received as a gift when he had gone to a feast in Mysore. He gave this lamp to the villager and instructed him to sell it to buy the necessary fuel needed to keep the fire burning. The villager came back saying that it was a silver lamp and he got good money back in return. Nithyananda was surprised because the lamp was not made of silver when he received it. He suddenly remembered a sadhu (monk) who had handled this lamp. This sadhu was a great enlightened being who never needed anything, no clothes, no food, no water and no sleep. However the sadhu used to smoke ganja (a local version of hashish or opium) by placing it in a chillum (straight conical pipe made of clay and used by wandering Hindu sadhus). When his stock of ganja ran almost empty he would place a few copper coins in the chillum and would tap the ashes out of the chillum and lo behold! Gold coins would fall out of it. The copper coins miraculously got converted into gold coins in his chillum. The sadhu played with the lamp and gave it back to Nithyananda.

After a few days the money received by selling the silver lamp was exhausted, and yet the meditation had to be continued. Nithyananda remembered this sadhu and jovially said within himself that the sadhu should have changed it into a gold lamp instead of a silver lamp.

The next day Nithyananda was invited to a nearby ashram for bhiksha (gifted meal) as a rich man was giving food and distributing gifts to all the sadhus. He was shocked when he received the same silver lamp back from the rich man. The rich man said that from the day he bought the lamp from the villager, a sadhu appeared in his dream everyday telling him to give the lamp to a young swami. As the rich man noticed that Nithyananda was the youngest among the group that is why he was giving it back to him. Nithyananda still needed money to continue with his tapas hence he offered to exchange the silver lamp for money with the rich man. On hearing the reason for the exchange, the rich man generously offered to take care of all of Nithyananda’s needs for two months and did not take anything back in return.

This is the greatness of enlightened beings. With the highest purpose in mind, when you make a request for help, they just respond back to you irrespective of time and space. In Nithyananda’s life, a casual, honest request to an enlightened being for financial assistance to complete his tapas, was immediately granted through the generous rich man who came in search of Nithyananda to offer monetary help.