Swami Nityananda's followers on Saturday commenced a two-day fast and prayer for the release of the self-styled godman, arrested on criminal charges including rape.
The 'Nirahara Prarthana' which started at 7 am with 'Nithya Dhyaan' meditation and 'Guru Pooja', followed by worship at an ancient sacred banyan tree was held at Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam’s ashram at Bidadi near Bangalore.
Day-long 'purascharana' (chanting), meditation and 'aarati' are also being performed in the Anandeshwara temple in the ashram, a release from Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam said.
Other devotees also joined the prayer at various 'satsang' centers in their respective areas.
The Nirahara Prarthana is also being observed at Nithyananda’s Vedic Temples in the USA, and by followers in Malaysia, Singapore and other places worldwide, it said.
Devotees who did not have access to a satsang centre joined them in the prayer from their homes.
The hearing on the bail plea of Nityananda, who has been in custody since April 21 last, is slated to come up before Karntaka High Court on June 8.
Nityananda landed in a controversy in March after local TV channels aired purported video footage showing him in a compromising position with a Tamil actress. After remaining elusive, he was arrested from Solan in Himachal Pradesh on April 21.