Tamerlane, 38, told Page Six: "My family is and always will be a decrepit bowl of dog urine compared to Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. That is how great Nityananda is." The Indian yogi died in 1961. "Worship Nityananda, not the Phillips family. Nityananda can protect you," said Tamerlane.Nityananda was the iconic yogi worshipped by Swami Muktananda, my own erstwhile guru. It's a mark of Nityananda's greatness that, nearly 50 years after his death in India, he's still inspiring an American quasi-celebrity to consider his family to be like dog urine.
Though this is an unusually big splash for Nityananda to make in the popular press, he's long had great influence in the Spiritual subculture. Among the successful gurus claiming Nityanada as a Master are the aforementioned Muktananda, his elusive successor Gurumayi, and graphomaniac Adi Da Samraj (aka Da Free John, Bubba Free John, etc). The lineage is well-detailed on the Nityananda Tradition site (created by my friend and former chess rival Swamiji Shankarananda of Australia).
Maybe we can't hold Nityananda responsible for his post-mortem devotees (and good luck trying to hold a dead man responsible for anything, anyway). Yet I do think there's some insight to be drawn from Tamerlane's eloquence.
If you teach that some things are hot, it by necessity implies that other things are cold. You can't have Good without Evil, or Spiritual without Mundane. To the extent that devotees shower Nityananda etc with extreme praise, it follows with mathematical precision that they'll balance the equation by cultivating derisive attitudes towards someone else. If we make one person out to be existentially holy, spiritual, perfected, and God-like... then we'll surely make someone else out to be dog urine.
Follow-up: Tamerlane made similar comments on YouTube, so I've added a brief clip here. On video and in context, he comes off more sympathetic than in the NY Post quote. His beliefs may have been useful in his situation. The benefits of holding his belief-system come wrapped in many other effects, and the helpfulness may have a limited shelf-life. Still, Tamerlane gets points in my book for having some awareness that he's flirting with fanaticism.