Chennai/Madurai: The war of words between controversial Karnataka-based spiritual leader Nithyananda and those opposing his anointment as the 293rd pontiff of the over 1500-year-old Madurai Aadheenam Mutt late last month is turning murkier by the day. The latest is the decision of actor Ranjitha Menon to file a defamation suit against the Hindu seer Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi for his comments on the selection of Nithyananda as junior pontiff of the Madurai Mutt, a leading monastery of the Shaivite order.
The Kanchi seer, who is opposed to Nithyananda's anointment, told reporters that the tradition of the Madurai Aadheenam is for its seers to tonsure their heads and wear a rudraksha, but a woman by the name of Ranjitha was with Nithyananda. "Jayendra has said a woman by the name of Ranjitha seems to be with Nithyananda. This comment is certainly unwarranted in the context of his opposition to the choice of Nithyananda as the junior pontiff of Madurai Aadheenam. His comment defames my client and hence the suit," Murugaiyan Babu, the lawyer for Menon, told IANS.
Reacting to the Kanchi seer's views, Nithyananda said Jayendra Saraswathi has no locus standi in the matter as he himself is facing murder charges. The Kanchi seer is facing charges in the 2004 murder of Sankararaman, a Kanchi mutt temple manager.
Those in Jayendra Saraswathi's camp are calling Ranjitha's suit a publicity stunt. Valasai K. Jayaraman, spokesperson for the Kanchi Mutt, told IANS: "Nithyananda needs publicity now. He could have
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