Bhagawan Nityananda (1897 - 1962) became known in in West: 1970s
According to his disciples, Nityananda was found as an abandoned infant and when a young adult became a wandering yogi in the Himalayas and other places. In 1920, he settled in southern India and gained a reputation for creating miracles and wonderful cures. He began an ashram near Kanhangad in Kerala which is now a pilgrimage centre though he had moved to Ganeshpuri by the mid-1930s. He lived the usual divine Indian guru lifestyle, sitting around with his eyes closed and a beatific smile on his face, apparently doing nothing, being fanned, clothed and fed by his disciples, having his feet massaged, getting fat and performing all sorts of miracles and giving spiritual teachings without actually performing any actions and saying very little but very meaningfully.
"One has to go abroad only if one cannot see places from here or deal with people there."
"Once one is established in infinite consciousness, one becomes silent, and though knowing everything, goes about as if he does not know anything. Though he might be doing a lot of things in several places, to all outward appearance, he will remain as if he does nothing."
Osho Speaking About Nityananda Maharaj:
One of the great Hindu monks, Nityananda, the master of Swami Muktananda - Muktananda was very well known in America. Nityananda had only one unique quality: his belly. I don't think in the whole history of man anybody had such a big belly! When he lies down you can see a strange shape.
When I saw him I told him, "You don't have a belly, your belly has a head and legs, because that is your major part!" But he is worshipped, he is thought to be enlightened. And his belly is proof enough. And now this man cannot be celibate: he is eating so much that he will create sexual energy. What is he going to do with that energy? Anything that he will do will be a perversion; and the easiest way is always homosexuality, because if he is found with a woman, all his respectability and great sainthood will disappear. He has to be with a man, and then nobody suspects.
Though Albert Rudolph aka Swami Rudrananda aka Rudi had begun to talk about Bhagawan Nityananda in the early 1960s it was Swami Muktananda who publicised him and made him famous during the years of his runaway success in the West.
A thriving town developed around him with finances supplied by the pilgrimage trade. He became unable to eat and unable to sit and died at 10.42 A.M on 8th August 1961.