Nithya Yoga is the system that was taught directly to Paramahamsa Nithyananda by a great yogi from his birth town, Tiruvannamalai in South India. Yogiraj Yogananda Puri (lovingly known as Raghupati Yogi), was the teacher responsible for preparing Nithyananda’s body and mind for enlightenment through the Nithya Yoga system. Nithyananda was under Raghupati Yogi’s care and guidance from the age of three to thirteen.
It was only after enlightenment that Nithyananda understood that he had received his training and initiation into the Science of Yoga and other spiritual matters from a yogi who had experienced the consciousness of Patanjali, the great sage who is considered the Father of Yoga, who compiled the Yoga Sutra.
In the introduction of his first Yoga Spurana Program in Vancouver, BC Canada during the YOGAM Tour 2009, Nithyananda shared:
‘I feel I have too much to talk about, too much to share, because I myself am a yogi. From a very young age, the first path I started travelling was the path of yoga. Now, everything I do, the shadow, smell and presence of yoga is always there’.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda was taught Nithya Yoga by Raghupati Yogi in the sacred prescints of Arunachaleshwara Temple itself. He was taught daily in a small stone pillared hall known as kritika mandapam.
The hall is filled with approximately 21 stone pillars. Nithyananda was taught one of the deepest truths of Patanjali by Raghupati Yogi in relation to these pillars. Apart from making him do very traditional yogic practices like asana, pranayama, dhyana, mudra , Raghupati Yogi used to ask the young Nithyananda to go into deep meditation, set an intention and climb the pillars. Nithyananda recalls, ‘He used to make me climb up and down using only one hand. He used to tie the other hand behind my back! I never understood why Raghupati Yogi made me do such a practice; I did not think it had anything to do with yoga. But it was here that Raghupati Yogi taught me the deepest truths of yoga’.
Raghupati Yogi delievered one of the core teachings of Patanjali to Nithyananda and that was, ‘The mind creates the body’. He would say, ‘With whatever intention you make your body active, that intention, that experience gets deeply recorded into your muscle memory’. Therefore by putting me in deep silence and then moving my body intensely to climb the pillars, the experience of that silence was inserted into my muscle memory and there after, that silence started radiating through my body.