Bangalore: Swami Nithyananda's disciples were back to their trademark robes on Sunday, which they had abandoned after their guru was arrested when a video that allegedly showed him with a Tamil actress was aired on national television.
The mood at the swami's ashram Dhyanapeetham, where he delivered his discourse following his release, saw disciples who had taken to wearing jeans and T-shirts back to the ashramites' trademark white and saffron robes.(Watch: Nithyananda's 1st sermon after release)
Among other things, Swami Nithyananda, who chose freedom as the topic for his first discourse after he was released on bail, dwelt on principles like non-violence, and self- restraint while defining freedom.
"We had to dress casually, after Swamiji was arrested. We were afraid that the public would attack us," explained a disciple. "The public was so mistaken that in their eyes, it became a matter of shame to be Swami Nithyananda's disciples. The police were also monitoring us. We did not want to get into trouble. But now with our guru out, we have changed to our old robes."
Explaining the dress code at the ashram, Maa Shantananda, the spokesperson of the ashram, said the ashram did not impose any dress codes on the general public. "I am not aware if disciples had taken to wearing jeans and T-shirts when swamiji was away.
Regular disciples wear white, bramacharis, who observe celibacy, sport either yellow or orange shawl on their white dress. The sanyasis, who are called swamis, wear saffron," explained Shantananda.
Following a scuffle with media persons, Nithyananda's administrator Swami Bhaktananda fell on the feet of reporters, who were at the ashram to record his discourse.
Reporters annoyed by the strict security at the ashram decided to boycott the coverage of the programme, when Bhaktananda fell at the feet of the reporters. The embarrassed reporters quietly went back to their seats.