A godman wanted for rape in India has unleashed a fictitious Hindu nation on the world

The New Jersey city of Newark entered a sister-city program with Nithyananda's Kailasa

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In 2019, Nithyananda, the head of a Hindu cult, reportedly set up base on a private island near Ecuador, calling it the United States of Kailasa and declaring it a Hindu nation. The self-styled godman did this after disappearing from India, where the 45-year-old is wanted for various alleged criminal offenses, including rape and kidnap.

Even more bizarre, the United States of Kailasa lately has been sending quasi-diplomatic “delegations” to actual countries and even the United Nations.


In 2022, for example, a Nithyananda representative attended a Diwali party at Britain’s House of Lords, having been reportedly invited by two Tory members.

In early 2023, a woman identifying herself as Vijayapriya Nithyananda attended two UN committee meetings in Geneva, claiming to be Kailasa’s “permanent ambassador” to the world body and describing Kailasa as the “first sovereign state for Hindus” established by her leader Nithyananda, the “supreme pontiff of Hinduism,” the BBC reported. (On Feb. 24, Vijayapriya Nithyananda took part in an official discussion on the representation of women in decision-making systems, and in another session on sustainable development. The UN later said it would ignore her statements.)


And this week, on March 15, the New York Post reported that Newark, the biggest city in New Jersey, had signed a deal earlier in the year for a sister-city program with Kailasa “officials.” Red-faced Newark officials are now scratching their heads over why none of them even bothered to Google Kailasa.

“Newark officials said the agreement only lasted for six days and was rendered ‘baseless and void,’ adding that no money was exchanged in the ceremony,” the Post reported.


Nithyananda’s journey from Bengaluru to Kailasa

The name Kailasa comes from Mount Kailasa in Tibet, which is deemed the home of the Hindu god Siva. Nithyananda, whose name was Arunachalam Rajasekaran before he turned to spirituality and set up his base near Bengaluru, is often projected not as a holy man but as god himself in videos circulated by his followers.


In many of the recordings, he makes outrageous claims, for example saying he can make animals speak like human beings, or that he controls the sun’s movement.

That hasn’t stopped prominent Indians from meeting with him to discuss spirituality, metaphysics, and rebirth.


Nithyananda first came to prominence in 2010, when a sleaze video involving him and a Tamil movie actress began making the rounds. That year also saw a female disciple of his accusing him of rape.

In 2019, on bail, he disappeared from public eye, although videos of him are regularly released even now. It was also in 2019 that he declared the establishment of Kailasa on an island near Ecuador, with its own flag, constitution, central bank, and passport.