The ‘test of faith’ and Sathya Sai Baba
Posted by robertpriddy on January 25, 2010
Self-transformation as self-deception When Sathya Sai Baba devotees experience personal setbacks from the most serious to the most trivial, they have to consider why Swami let this happen to them… for as devotees they are required to believe what he says about everything that happens is ordained by him. They may lose near and dear persons in accidents, disasters or from otherwise curable illnesses… and the general reason for these in the Sai doctrine is that they are tests of themselves set by him. This thought is not uncommon in other religions, one rationalizes away in much the same ways anything that goes against faith in such an invisible being. Everything has, in fact, to be regarded as a divine blessing. Everyone who really believes in God as a creator and ruler of the universe has to accept that everything – however gruesome or or malign – that is done to them is good, for their own good too. But only the most deluded persons can sustain this attitude in real life, which means that believers always become split in their affiliations and reasoning. Unless they drop their faith. However much anything clashes with present needs or longings is to be regarded as a boon which can further one’s own self-development is Sai Baba’s ‘teaching’. Self-sacrifice, putting oneself aside totally is the doctrine Sai Baba preaches most often.
There is absolutely no way one can subject such a doctrine to any kind of valid test which can prove it. It depends entirely on faith. One can at least carry out the test of viewing them as mere ordinary occurrences, much in the way that anyone would tend to, and also to regard them with a more critical eye as possible manipulations to further interests and purposes quite other than the good of others than Sai Baba himself. Virtually all human experience tends to deny that everyone is under divine protection – backed up by diverse statistical studies which compare what happens to those who are believers with those who are not tend strongly to show there is little or no difference. Not as regards proneness to accidents, illnesses or – contrariwise – to winning large fortunes by chance or any other even experiences as positive and beneficial to the person involved. All common sense and observation also rejects that faith in such fanciful ideas as a ‘divine providence’ or God’s supposed ‘executives’ (i.e. guardian saints or ‘angels’ etc.) Faith means to accept that no test of divine doctrine is ever required, that it is a truth known in the heart, or some other such baseless fancy. Whatever problems that arise have to be taken as a spiritual challenge from God (or, failing his/her/its immortal presence, the divine guru) – a test as to whether one is ‘holy’ enough to keep faith (in him and what he teaches) and thus generally to be come more otherworldly or ‘detached from worldly affairs’ in favour of ‘attachment to God’. Which really implies, to lose touch with reality and live in an escapist world, a subjective hall of imaginary distoring mirrors.
If by following his supposed or imagined ‘will’ or ‘inner advice’ one has to face unhappiness or personal loss, bodily or worse suffering, or even death, it is said to be the best of all possible outcomes. So there is no way for a fully indoctrinated Sai devotee to find out whether much worse – or much better – could have taken place without Sai Baba’s guidance! That is what I have analysed at length as the ‘guru trap’. The convinced devotee will invariably ignore all other interpretations, and will studiously avoid all advice to the contrary and refuse to learn or read anything which could weaken their faith! For millennia, most religions – and not least the Indian priesthood and spiritual gurus have used this form of indoctrination, very often no doubt mainly for reasons of control and manipulation of others and for self-enhancement, wealth and power. The inwardly groveling dependency of thought and of outward may be with the best of intentions that the persons who have such faith can discover within themselves, but it most certainly is not a sign of personal or ‘spiritual’ development, but one of a static condition and self-delusion.
Sathya Sai Baba constantly argues that all people (excluding his holy self) have impurities or ‘dross’ that must be ‘burnt away’, comparing the process to the reduction of gold in a crucible, or to the grinding down of rough diamonds to perfect them as jewels. The VIUP followers hold that this process is stronger and faster when one gets closer to Sai Baba’s person, as they have. It must be observed that these VIPs are, in the experiences of very many persons who have complained to me about them when I was the national leader in Norway, are often stuck up, arrogant, manipulative and self-serving. They speak of their ‘service’ which is overwhelmingly talk and directives to other, and in physical terms seldom exceeds moving a few chairs back into place after a meeting. They defend everything Sai Baba does that people find unfair, wrong and heartless and, when they very seldom deign to discuss criticisms of him, they explain away his lies and broken promises. All the common – and also socially vulgar – qualities observable in him are excused as a part of his necessary divine plan… for no devotee dares to point out that they could possibly be fault and impurities in Sai Baba without risking exclusion or worse,
I have recounted some of the supposed ‘tests of faith and purity’ including some extraordinary one imposed by Sathya Sai Baba (See here) http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/5/Transformation_by_tests_of_faith.html#test1
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