Bhagavan Nityananda (1897-1961) was born in South India. Since childhood he greatly appreciated solitude, he was always absorbed in supreme bliss and possessed surprising powers. For Bhagavan divine joy existed everywhere.
Nityananda was considered an Avadhūta (one whom, due to their state of consciousness, is absorbed in the Absolute and is beyond social norms and code of conduct). Great miracles occurred in his presence. It freed many people from their afflictions, pain and poverty. People loved him and wanted to be close to him.
Occasionally, he went for long periods without appearing, and it is considered that he lived for several years in the Himalayas, doing austerities. As a young man, Sri Nityananda lived deep in a jungle cave in Guruvan, near Kanhangat (Kerala), where he later created an ashram.
In 1936 Sri Nityananda arrived in Ganeshpuri (Maharastra), where he settled permanently near the hot springs of Sri Bhimeshwar Mahadeva temple. There he spent the last twenty-five years of his life. During this period countless devotees came to Him, seeking His guidance and help. Ganeshpuri became a place of pilgrimage.
In August 1961 Sri Nityananda took mahā-samādhi (left the body). Later, a temple was built in his honour, to which even today a large number of pilgrims and devotees go to receive his blessing.
Sri Nityananda guided many aspirants (sādhaka) towards the recognition of their own divinity, among them Swami Jñanananda, Swami Sadananda, Sri Saligram Swami and Swami Muktananda, who carried the teaching of Sri Nityananda throughout the world.