Actress Ranjitha receives deeksha from Nithyananda, becomes Ma Anandamayi [Video]
Ranjitha, who courted controversy a few years ago after a sleaze video involving her and godman Swami Nithyananda Paramananda went viral, on Thursday took a vow and became a sanyasin at the godman's ashram near Bidadi, off Mysore Road and 30 km from Bangalore.
The actress was among 70 devotees, including a few foreign nationals, who received the deekshe. Ranjitha was clad in a saffron dress and chanted mantras (prayers) before being administered the sacred vow, sources in the ashram said. She has now assumed the name Maa Anandamayi.
Ranjitha, a disciple of Nithyananda, had been in the news for the wrong reasons after her alleged romp with the godman was aired in various television channels. Forensic tests later found the video to be morphed.
Over a hundred devotees from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu attended the event. Religious rituals started at 6 am and went on till 9 pm. A few hoardings of Nithyananda were installed on the premises and Kannada and Tamil film songs were sung during a procession preceding the deeksha ceremony.
Sources close to the actor said she has decided to spend the rest of her life at the ashram wearing saffron robes. She has been assigned the responsibility of taking care of the foreign operations of the ashram.
A few Kannada organisations held protests outside the ashram and demanded that Nithyananda be exiled from the State. They tore down banners and hoardings and set tyres on fire, shouting anti-Nithyananda slogans and performed a mock funeral procession.
Deputy superintendent of police Ramalingappa of Ramanagaram sub division told us that the disturbance lasted only for a few minutes. The protesters dispersed after the ashram authorities locked the gates preventing the crowd from gate-crashing into the premises where the ceremony was in progress.