Sathya Sai Baba, guru power and sexuality
Posted by robertpriddy on May 11, 2012
Julian Walker wrote on Apr 28, 2011 10 Things we can Learn from the Bizarre Case of Sai Baba. He pointed out how we all like to fall for a good magic trick, that – having accepted the performer as a divine entity – he functions for many as a ‘perfect daddy’ and that people will fight anyone who criticizes their perfect daddy. In this he is very right, as critics of Sai baba have been slandered, libeled, called Judases, demons and worse all over the Internet, and most often by devotees who cloak their identity.
Among other wise and experience-based insights, he wrote:-
“Unlike many conventional spiritual teachers, the guru taught no spiritual practices and preached a very simple message of universal love and the unity of all religions in God. He was most famous for his supposed ability to manifest holy ash or “vibuti” as well as watches, rings and necklaces out of thin air as gifts for devotees. He was most infamous for the many claims of sexual molestation of young boys who later wrote books, were interviewed for documentaries and even committed suicide over their trauma…
Though the stories of Sathya Sai Baba molesting young boys are rampant, and many long-term high-up members of the organization confirm it – there is a typically widespread denial. Even when confronted with testimony of grown men and their families who have suffered the trauma and devastation of these violations, many followers and even uninvolved, but spiritually-minded people will use some combination of denial and rationalization in response.”
“This usually follows some predictable variations:
Even if he did it, it was probably a way of helping them to become more enlightened, we cannot judge him from our unenlightened consciousness.
How could that be possible, he is a holy man – they must be making it up.
Perhaps he did it, perhaps he was a pedophile, but we must separate the man from the divine spirit he embodied, or we must separate the teacher from the teachings.
All of this, I offer, stems from an unwillingness to face the truth, out of a desire to protect magical fantasies, and ironically perpetuates the dark and seedy underbelly of criminal corruption and soul-destroying trauma.
Something has gone wrong when we do not hold holy men accountable to the same basic standards of behavior we expect from ordinary citizens.”
Among other important points raised by Walker, is the question of a guru’s power:-
“Power is a difficult thing. We are instinctive creatures with a rich social evolutionary history. It is good to be King, because the king gets what he wants. With power, you can satisfy your needs and desires without anyone obstructing you. In cults organized around a charismatic leader who claims supernatural abilities or divine identity, democracy is out the window, accountability (for the guru) is over-looked, and there is a kind of implicit dictatorship, in which the fallible (and usually unstable and a little crazy) human being who has stepped into the role of guru is now held in the position of divine perfection.
This is bad for the community, AND bad for the guru. It creates an environment in which what Carl Jung called “the shadow” is completely ignored and so can flourish like a cancer. It is no accident that in most organizations founded with the best intentions to be spiritual and pure, the power abuse and shadow manifestation of very dark secret behavior is usually rampant.”