Look at “Spiritual and Administrative Head of Various Traditional Monasteries”
He didn’t inherit anything. He was chosen by them.
I was avoiding getting into His details as it would be a distraction. And doesn’t add any value to the analysis of the cases.
Hope some of this info can help you. All of it can be verified independently as well using independent sources.
First you have to understand “Akhada Parishad” in the context of Hinduism.
Akhada Parishad is a democratic body of Sanyasis from 1000s of Hindu traditions.
It’s not a hierarchy, it’s more like a peer body organized around spiritual traditions.
It’s given as a recognition of Spiritual achievement by other Sanyasis [swamis].
But they do have few responsibilities which are decided democratically for 1000s of years. One of them is organizing KumbhMela. No other body in Hinduism can organize it. Even Dalai Lama attends KumbhMela.
Swami Nithyananda is the democratic head (MahaMandaleswar) of the largest one (by number of Sanyasis) – MahaNiravani Peetha
Lot of teachings in Hinduism are based on poems, metaphoric, sentiments – arts etc, possibilities, abstract thoughts etc. Incarnation in Hinduism is very different from what is understood by others, for e.g. Hindus consider Dalai Lama as an Incarnation along with many other Rinpoches.
Outsiders of these traditions will have a very tough time understanding it unless you spend time really understanding it.
Essence of the links below: He is recognized by all mainstream and ancient traditions (monks and married) as not just legitimate but also spiritually very evolved.
These traditions represent at least 500,000 Sanyasis and 100s of millions of followers.
In many traditions of Hinduism, Gurus are married as well. In fact, many of Swami Nithyananda’s Gurus were married and had children, grandchildren etc.
The sub-tradition of Swami Nithyananda doesn’t need him to be married.
Rishis Vs Sanyasis
Look up the names of each of them you will get the idea of how many 100,000s of temples, ashrams etc they represent cumulatively.