News: Earlier reports that the Sathya Sai Central Trust had decided to share the sub-chairmanship of the Trust on a rotating basis (The Chairman still being Sathya Sai Baba) have apparently not eased the doubts of many followers and no doubt many others whose livelihoods are one way or another involved in the outcome. See?The predominant feature of the Sathya Sai Central Trust remains its extreme secrecy and total unaccountability, besides the deluded – indeed preposterous – claim of one of its main players, ex-High Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati, that Sathya Sai Baba has acted through himself to make his every single decision since he became a devotee, This farce continues, with Sathya Sai Baba continuing as the Chairman despite being dead and unresurrected despite all claims and wishful thinking. Live mint (see right) continues as follows:-
The passing of the mantle in institutions built around the charisma of one man or woman is never an easy process, as evidenced by the trials that beset the organization that used to be presided over by Osho (also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh). At Puttaparthy, the initial two contenders were said to be the popular Satyajit, Baba’s caregiver and personal assistant, and R.J. Rathnakar, Baba’s nephew. Since only a trust member can be appointed chairman, Satyajit first needed to be inducted into the council in order to qualify. But any move in that direction was squelched by V. Srinivasan, a key trustee of the All India Sai Organizations, when he said: “We have no intentions to include him in the trust” as Satyajit was only a student of the Sathya Sai University chosen to become Baba’s caregiver, and “that is all his position is”.
Other names have since been mentioned: Chetana Raju, granddaughter of Baba’s older sister who runs the women’s welfare trust; P.N. Bhagwati (Bhagawati), the 90-year-old former chief justice of India. Rathnakar, a trust member and nephew of Baba confined to a wheelchair, stays in the running. The latest word is that one, or maybe even two of them, will be chosen at a trust meeting likely next week. Srinivasan refused to give anything away, asking: “Why do you people believe in speculation?”
Sudhir Kakar, psychoanalyst and author, who has written about the hold godmen have over Indians, explains what the passing of the guru means. “Once the godman (or woman) is gone, the magic is gone. Except for old timers, new visitors come to these ashrams just like another pilgrimage place,”he said. “It is a place where you were once in contact with divinity, but the spirit is gone.” Most organizations diminish after the guru goes, except for those with a strong institutional structure in place. Even so, “the best that they can hope for is that they can keep the memory and legacy of their guru secure”, Kakar said. Long-standing devotees say the organization is unimportant when the guru is alive, then becomes crucial once the guru dies. “Such organizations served only a perfunctory purpose while the guru lives,”said Rajat Narain, former IAS officer and additional general secretary of Shree Shree Anandamayee Sangha, headquartered in Haridwar. “They performed formal duties of clearing payments and things like that.”
To the believer, whatever will be, will be. “We are not worried,”said a Sri Sathya Sai Baba devotee who works in the ashram at Puttaparthy. “Whatever happens is the will of Sathya Sai Baba. If he wishes the ashram should prosper, it will. If he doesn’t, it won’t. And that’s the end of that.”