Presented by the movement center and Swami Chetanananda

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The Movement Center and Swami Chetanananda dedicate to Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, the wellspring of our spiritual practice. Nityananda's enduring presence in our lives has continually inspired the teachers and students at The Movement Center. We offer this tribute to Nityananda in the hope that it may inspire others.

The goal of spiritual practice is to merge one's individual consciousness into divine consciousness; to merge creative energy into the seat of consciousness. A person established in such a place, in what Nityananda called the chidakash, puts an end to the wanderings and the multiplicities that manifest in the self. A person who lives in the Supreme Self lives beyond space and time and dwells in infinity, where all past lives are known and ended and where all past karmas are dissolved. Such a person lives the pure, beautiful, abundant experience of the Supreme Self. Nityananda was such a person.

Nityananda lived in India from around the beginning of the 20th century until 1961. He was a being of incredible, awesome yogic power and capacity. His physical presence was a sign pointing to the deep and endless well of spiritual power. Many people considered him to be an incarnation of Ganesh, the son of Shiva and Parvati. Wearing only a loincloth, he lived as a total renunciate, a sannyasi. For years he only took food from someone else's hand, and the food was very simple: some fruit, a few vegetables, and a little coffee. He spent his days in meditation. Even in his later life, while receiving thousands of people for darshan, his state remained the same.

Here we offer a brief biography of Nityananda, an overview of his teachings, and some stories from his devotees. If you are interested in reading about Nityananda's life and teachings, we recommend two books published by Rudra Press, the publishing division of The Movement Center: Nityananda: In Divine Presence, a collection of stories about Nityananda, and The Sky of the Heart: Jewels of Wisdom from Nityananda, a collection of sutras with commentary by Swami Chetanananda, the spiritual director of The Movement Center.