SAI BABA’S BRINDAVAN ASHRAM, WHITEFIELD IN THE 1990S
IMAGES FROM SAI BABA’S KODAIKANAL ASHRAM, IN 1994
Posted by robertpriddy on August 30, 2012
SAI BABA’S BRINDAVAN ASHRAM, WHITEFIELD IN THE 1990S
IMAGES FROM SAI BABA’S KODAIKANAL ASHRAM, IN 1994
Posted by robertpriddy on August 28, 2012
The inexpressible ‘Truth’ which Sathya Sai Baba ever talked about – which he said is both eternal and not graspable by any human mind (excluding his supposedly Divine mind) is of such a transcendent and metaphysical nature that he admits it cannot be expressed. Such ‘truth’ which cannot be expressed should be consigned to silence (as Wittgenstein put it)! Because the word truth is a noun, it is taken to exist substantively, when actually it can only really refer to the criteria by which we judge beliefs, claims, ideas, theories etc. Besides, any ‘Indivisible Eternal Truth’ really serves to hide the whole of the truth about anything in its vague emptiness. It constantly flies in the face of facts, all of which Sai Baba conveniently abolished when it suited him as being ‘mere worldly illusion’. The supposed ‘truth’ Sai Baba preached was not of this world, he insisted, which is merely a fleeting phenomenon, a passing cloud! We can certainly say it is of no value or any help at all to any genuine seeker, for has the nature of a mirage which draws the thirst spiritual seeker on into a more and more barren desert. Many end up longing for ‘release’ from the consequent narrowing emptiness of their ‘spiritual’ lives (i.e. even death or rebirth).
Sathya Sai Baba was a clever manipulator of the half-truth, saying something partly true yet partly false… followers latched onto the true part and – if they noticed the false at all – they would regard it as an inscrutable divine enigma or a ‘test set by Swami to see if we have iron faith in Him’. Sathya Sai Baba once said, when inaugurating the Venkatagiri Girls’ High School many years ago, “Speak the truth always, for falsehood is the result of cowardice” (Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram Vol. I. p.79). His own mendacity and despicable hypocrisy in covering up his misdeeds belies his words as mere lip service. In his denial of the many crimes of which he is accused - serial sexual abuse and murder complicity not least – and the lies he propagated about them, one inadvertently thinks of the following famous statement:-
“the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” (
The fuller truth about Sathya Sai Baba – the Big Lie – has been widely testified and documented and our real information is now spreading. Upstanding persons have contributed to this exposé before all could be swept firmly under the carpet of time. Former devotees who gave many years of their lives and fortunes in selfless service – who were accepted as leaders, teachers and authors in Sai Baba’s institutions, took on this task as a bounden public duty of conscience. We have come to know what we once never believed could be possible, and we therefore investigated most thoroughly before realising the truth of many allegations and concealed facts about Sathya Sai Baba.
Constant efforts are still being made by remaining officials and Trust members to cover up significant facts, but this is no longer playing out well in the Indian media. See
Posted by robertpriddy on August 26, 2012
Devotees may well wonder about
Read about how residents of the ashram fled their quarters. The earthquake hit Northern India (Maharastra) in 1993, but no tremors were felt in Puttapathi.
Posted by robertpriddy on August 22, 2012
The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstead
Quotes from major and seminal book which has received the most positive press reviews from across the press and from professional journals
“Easily the most comprehensive, erudite, and timely book in print to explore authoritarianism in religion, institutions, power, the family, intimacy and sexual relations, and personal problems such as addiction…. Argue[s] persuasively that any system of values that places tradition and the past above the imperative to question the present is destined to become increasingly lethal.” — SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE SUNDAY BOOK REVIEW (complete review)
“Spells out…the dangers of becoming addicted to another’s authority” — LONDON TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
“A thorough, wide-ranging analysis of the way power has historically been maintained…. Purports to be no less than a diagnosis of what’s wrong with the world and how, not merely to fix it, but to save it. Its thesis is elegant and nearly unlimited in its ramifications…. authoritarianism is not merely a political phenomenon. It’s part of the way we think.” — THE NEW MEXICAN (complete review)
“An exciting and provocative new concept about the origin and process of addiction. A must read for therapists and addiction counselors.” — Ann McKain, past Pres. American Academy of Psychotherapists
“The potential to shift readers’ minds in a deep way….onto something big—possibly even the root of human error. It can actually change the way one views the world…. Elegantly articulates many of [our]…unformed thoughts” — SYNAPSE (complete review)
PLEASE NOTE: Even though the following quotes may seem to ‘say it all’ about the book, this if far being from the case. The actual book contains a much greater wealth of insights and crystal clear descriptions that instruct all who relate to persons of authority, especially religious and ‘spiritual’ gurus. All kinds of mysticism and sectarian or cultist behaviour is analyzed with clinical accuracy and becomes more recognizable for what it is to those involved, both the sufficiently liberated and those who are still ‘learning the ropes’ that bind. The thoroughness of the description of every element of guru-disciple relations from purity, oneness, love, service, surrender, chastity to all the doctrinal ideals and the most varied and abstract religious and theological themes – whether Hindu or other are fully explained both as to their value and their functions in manipulation of people and power. Get the book and it will become a treasured helper in understanding mysticism most exhaustively!
When we came over this book the Sai Baba exposé was already well advanced. Having virtually completed writing most of my web pages about guru entrapment and Sathya Sai Baba’s abuses of faith and power etc., one can see, for example from my paper on ‘The Fundamentalist Guru Trap Exploitation‘ that his was a very common pattern of behaviour among gurus. The detailed nature of such authoritarianism has been shown and analysed par excellence by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad. They cover almost his entire behaviour, though they do not even mention him! (Some of his more characteristic ploys and explanations have, however, only been explained by yours truly). This proves how completely unoriginal his teachings, claims, behaviour and movement are. Kramer and Alstad derived most of their experience from Buddhist teachers, and the similarities to Sathya Sai Baba are striking throughout. Nothing I have come across shows more clearly how little uniqueness there really is to Sathya Sai Baba or to anything he said or did, it all having been forestalled by many so-called godmen and gurus, whether in whole or in part. There are many current bogus claimants who use exactly the same methods, and a good number copy him slavishly (as he had such financial and power-grabbing success).
SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY? The Guru Papers criticizes the guru/disciple liaison because “it is a clear-cut example of the old, no longer appropriate paradigm of spiritual authority. It is not that we doubt that some who are considered gurus have deeper insights than their followers. Yet even with the best intentions, assuming the role of spiritual authority for others sets in motion a system of interaction that is mechanical, predictable, and contains the essence of corruption. Another purpose of this book is to show that corruption is not simply the failure or weakness of a specific individual, but is structurally built into any authoritarian relationship, and less obviously, any renunciate morality.” (p.35)
Being a guru “…creates a feedback-proof system where the guru always needs to be right and cannot be shown to be wrong – which is where learning comes from.” (p.107) “Now through media images, leaders of all sorts can charismatically control far more people than ever before, without having any personal connection with them”(p.43) “The need to appear right when presenting oneself as a spiritual knower is greater than in any other arena because knowing is what makes one essentially different from seekers. Admitting any fallibility not only removes one from that exalted place, but makes it difficult to compete with other presumed knowers who do claim infallibility.” (p.47)
SURRENDER, OBEDIENCE ”The ostensible reason for fostering surrender is it detaches followers from certain deep conditionings presumed to be obstacles on the spiritual path. But it does not detach them from one of the most insidious and powerful conditionings of all- the predilection to look for an authority that one can trust more than oneself.” (p.50) “A number of gurus have made statements to the effect that disobedience or disrespect of the guru has…severe negative spiritual consequences…One even said that such disrespect can bring thousands of lifetimes of pain and suffering. Whatever else is involved, it should be obvious that fear and threats are being used here for control.” (p.67)“Successful gurus, rock stars, charismatic leaders of any sort, experience the intensity of adulation amplified beyond most people’s ken. This can make ordinary relationships pale in comparison. Being the recipient of such adulation and devotion is exceedingly addictive…Adulation has powerful emotions for the sender as well, and can be easily mistaken for love. It is likewise addicting for the sender, as it is an easy route to feelings of passion. Since adulation is totally a function of image, should the images crack, adulation disappears, demonstrating that it was essentially empty of real care.” (p. 112)
“A number of gurus have made statements to the effect that disobedience or disrespect of the guru has…severe negative spiritual consequences…One even said that such disrespect can bring thousands of lifetimes of pain and suffering. Whatever else is involved, it should be obvious that fear and threats are being used here for control.” (p.67)“Successful gurus, rock stars, charismatic leaders of any sort, experience the intensity of adulation amplified beyond most people’s ken. This can make ordinary relationships pale in comparison. Being the recipient of such adulation and devotion is exceedingly addictive…Adulation has powerful emotions for the sender as well, and can be easily mistaken for love. It is likewise addicting for the sender, as it is an easy route to feelings of passion. Since adulation is totally a function of image, should the images crack, adulation disappears, demonstrating that it was essentially empty of real care.” (p. 112)
“… the guru can never be wrong make mistakes, or be self-centered, or lose emotional control. He doesn’t get angry, he “uses” anger to teach.” (ibid p. 53.)
Pretending that the guru’s anger is not real anger, because he cannot feel anything negative, is simply another form of manipulation to hide the guru’s human weakness when he gets angry. That it is simply to teach the devotee something is wrong, to stop behaving in some way or to behave otherwise is not so, it is punishment, withdrawal of love. It is said to be ‘for their own good’, but we have heard that one before from many a disciplinarian and it has become highly suspect as a true motive! One exchange between a visitor, Dr. John Hislop and Sai Baba shows this: See how Sai Baba does this – click on the thumbnail image right!
LOVE “Many people want to keep love and control separate, perhaps because they have experienced being controlled in the name of love. Parents give and withhold affection as reward and punishment, as do adults with each other. Traditional religions have God give love for obedience, and make obedience the proof of loving God. … Examples abound of utilizing the power of love to control.” (p. 259)“Gurus also claim to bestow unconditional love on those who surrender to them, while actually whatever emotional connection exists is conditional on surrender and obedience (p. 69)
“When the ideals that surround love cannot be lived up to because they negate or demean vital aspects of being human, what results is more than merely disappointment. The internalization of unrealistic values inevitably creates serious personal and relational problems. Insofar as people try to embody unlivable values, they must either knowingly fall short or delude themselves. (p. 262)
“…The ex-disciple’s world has turned on its head: What the guru and group presented as unconditional love was conditional upon accepting their authority; the egoless guru was found to be on a manipulative, even crass, power trip. For people who surrendered totally to a guru and thus experienced passion more deeply than ever before, seeing “The emperor wears no clothes” can be devastating. So it’s no wonder people have tremendous resistance to anything that causes them to doubt the veracity of the authority.” (p.152)
See also on the mystical experience, enlightenment from an illumined viewpoint ‘Oneness, enlightenment and the mystical experience’ by Kramer and Alstead
Posted by robertpriddy on August 17, 2012
The earliest sceptic and most prolific writer to expose Sathya Sai Baba was Basava Premanand. The Telegraph, Calcutta, Sunday, November 21, 2004 wrote of him:- “Premanand, who’s been honoured by the government with its highest award for the promotion of scientific values among the public, is among activists spearheading a campaign against religious and spiritual heads engaged in illegal and unsavoury activities.’ He was head of the Indian Rationalist Society, convener of the Indian CSICOP, and the Editor of Indian Skeptic. He was involved with Sathya Sai Baba’s organization early on and donated a large tract of land (90 acres) he had inherited from his parents, for the purpose of building a college. This land was illegally transferred from the trust run by a Gandhian congressman to the Sathya Sai Organization (Kerala). This awakened him to the corruption around Sai Baba. What he eventually discovered – murders, disappearances, sexual abuses and more – was so hugely contradictory to all the claims by Sai Baba about himself and his institutions that all devotees reacted against Premanand as an ill-informed fantasist. I admit that I – then a follower and the leading office-bearer in Norway – was scathing about his reports. The tables have turned completely however, as this blog site alone shows… That Premanand could make no headway with the law in Southern India, despite legal petitions and reports to police, was entirely due to the control fo police and judges that Sathya Sai Baba had by then achieved, and which is well documented (see one small example) and now acknowledged by most upright people in India and even the popular media there. Here is an appreciation of Premanand by a secular and rationalist Indian site saved which deserves to be widely known:-
CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO EXPAND TEXT
DID SATHYA SAI BABA INFLUENCE THE JUDICIARY? Yes, and this is documented fully by Premanand!
An interview with Basava Premanand- nirmukta website
Posted by robertpriddy on August 17, 2012
Seldom has there been such an uninspiring and multi-compromised kind of top-down, insensitive and bullying leader in any large organization as Dr. Michael Goldstein in heading the Sathya Sai Organization for many years as its International Chairman. His rostrum preachings, given before Sathya Sai Baba, in which he never had a single original thing to say were always delivered with pompous fanfare and flat-footed content, being carefully re-cycled parrotry and false humility within the ever-repeated maxims and constant old-fashioned finger-pointing ‘teachings’ of Sathya Sai Baba. He still drags on at various pseudo-events engineered in India by the now notorious Sathya Sai Central Trust , but there are signs that he may be handed his ticket home before very long due to a contretemps between various ‘leaders’ in India and his own caucus over how best to deal with covering up the latest revelations of sexual abuse, harassment and bullying of pupils etc. at the Sathya Sai School in Leicester, UK. Time will show.
Let us look at some of the claims and motivations evident in what Dr. Goldstein has written and said to get some measure of the man.
1) He set a strikingly bad example to devotees, if ever there was one. His finger-pointing harangues in private were literally that, as the BBC hidden camera revealed in the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’. He had evidently forgotten one of Sathya Sai Baba’s (own finger-pointing) bit of slick but lightweight advice, namely, ‘do not point out others’ faults’ (Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 1, p 205)… because when one points a finger, the other three point back at oneself! This he did to Tanya Datta, who had asked him in a civil way about his reliance on the word of Sai Baba (i.e. the widely accused sex abuser):- “Why don’t you have thorough investigations, instead of just asking one question to one person? Goldstein’s evasive reply merely justified his own view as infallible faith, accompanied by strong agitation and finger-pointing body language, as one can see (images). When he asked Sai Baba about the sexual allegations the only reply he got was ’Swami is pure’. This he accepted with the usual cringing humility and without raising a single point or telling who and how many had accused Sai baba in convincing detail. Soon after, Sai Baba held a public discourse praising Goldstein to the skies upon which his ‘devoted servitor’ made a complete ass of himself with solemn and ill-concealed pride over his reward and what he called the greatest day of his life, asking whether it had all been captured on video! He reveled in it and continued assiduously to cover up all questions of sex abuse and murder complicity by Sai Baba, whatever the amassed evidence of which he was very aware!
2) That Dr. Goldstein was totally under the masterful thumb of Sai Baba – duped and indoctrinated and tested to destruction to see if he would do just anything for swami – is seen from the following account by a very devoted lady known as Divya who lived for years with Sai Baba’s sister, Vijayamma:-
That was the strange idea about Swami’s love that devotees held- that he was teaching how to reduce the ego – when he was simply bullying Goldstein and humiliating him in public as if to say ‘See I can do this to anyone’! But Sai Baba had to make some small show of affection, he knew that! All most typical psychopath behaviour! It seems Goldstein almost revelled in his own debasement, probably because it seemed to show all how much close attention he got and thus how good and important a devotee he was. In short, an ego boost all in all!
3) He wrote a highly subjective account in Sanathana Sarathi journal (November 1986 see left image in box below) of a hi-jacking he and his wife Gloria Goldstein survived (Pan_AM_Flight_73 at Karachi – 5/9/1986) along with a majority of the 360 passengers. He made much of his wife having “raised her hands together to pray and said aloud OM SAI RAM five times with a dignity and calmness that were incongruous with the situation” (i.e. having had a machine gun pointed at her). He continued ”The terrorist was disconcerted for an instant. Then he said ‘Hands up; move back”. As if this had an import whatever, during the mere ‘instant’ the super-hardened Abu Nidal terrorist probably thought , ‘what kind of idiot is this?’ and went on with the attack plan. Likewise, Goldstein prayed to Swami many times during the 17 hours of the ordeal – “always the same prayer: Lord, intercede in this tragedy“. Notwithstanding a most gory mayhem resulted in which it was reported that 20 people died – being shot or blown up – and up to 150 injured. Even so, Goldstein saw it all as a divine plan and makes clear his belief that Sai Baba did intervene (presumably only because he and his wife were not killed when they jumped onto the escape chute and ran. No doubt he later figured that “The Lord looks after his own” if somewhat belatedly after 17 hours - and his compassionate Lord apparently let ‘the devil take the hindmost’. Goldstein then effused: “From my contemplation of Swami’s words and my prayers to him, I derived detachment. Instead of being controlled by my own fear, I became a witness to it. This enable me to think clearly and act effectively” Actually, in such life-death situations, the minds of most normal people become clear, detached and concentrated on surviving. One wonders, what effective action did Goldstein take? Still silently praying? There has been no mention I can discover of anything other than escaping amid exploding grenades and machine-gun fire as fast as he damn well could when the chute unfolded?
By contrast, a stewardess, Neerja Bhanot, had shown real detached presence of mind plus personal courage and decided to hide all American passports under a seat and the rest were dumped down a trash chute. In so doing she made possible the saving of the Goldstein’s lives; when the plane’s power ran out and only emergency lighting remained, the terrorists threw a grenade so she also opened one of the escape chutes and then laid down her own life protecting three children from bullets! She was most clearly the hero of the episode and the factual saviour of many lives, which no invisible deity or any trumped-up Swami could have done. Apart from the Goldsteins, not a single survivor is known even to have imagined that they were alive due to Sai Baba’s will! Of course, devotees will say they were unlucky not to be blessed with the truth (i.e. speculative dreams which made not a jot of difference to the outcome, other than further to entrap Goldstein’s into passing the test of total subservience to the narcissistic will of a pederast and accomplice to murder who escaped being convicted through power and money).
|Author Brian Steel has compared various versions of the event by Goldstein with the public record||Sai Baba’s discourse account of the incident on his birthday in 2004. Sai Baba enters the realm of incorrect guesswork, purposeful fantasy and the usual self-glorifying propaganda.
The former follower and Sai-biographical recorder, Brian Steel most cogently writes: “although SSB claims to have used his Divine intervention on behalf of the Goldsteins, his recent version of the events (editorial note: on Radio Sai in 2004) in which he alleges he was intimately, and miraculously, involved diverges significantly from the public record, and also, alas, from Dr Goldstein’s own public recollection of the terrible events.” Further, “In his 23 November Birthday Discourse (as translated and edited by the SSO), SSB gave his version of this story, telling how he had intervened to save the lives of the Goldsteins. Without dwelling here on the self-promotional angle of this 18-year old story, the basic truth that must be admitted is that, once again, SSB has made very basic factual errors in an event in which he claims he was divinely, omnipotently and omnisciently involved. These errors are easily verifiable not only in media and other accounts of the happenings but also in Dr Goldstein’s lecture to a Vancouver group of devotees in May 2001).”
The errors in Sai Baba’s account are glaring and major! The whole story was embroidered in widely reported additional information given by Goldstein to US VIPs Rita and Robert Bruce (and others) who told me he said that Sa Baba had taken Goldstein in his car to the Hillview Stadium etc. and had said to him “I will not be seeing you again”. Goldstein had begged and cried until Sai Baba eventually said he would, after all see him again. This was supposed to show that Sai Baba knew all about what was to come. Sai Baba claimed to have saved Goldstein, for it had actually been his karma to be killed in that incident! One must therefore ask, if the man he made top leader of his International organization should have died a most inauspicious death (as such killings are, according to Sai Baba) surely that person would not be fit to lead the organization created by alleged God Incarnate on Earth, the Avatar of the Age. Goldstein wove all this together without any real evidence, of course, always having believed Sai Baba anyhow knew everything bar nil, and subsequently stating on BBC that he believed “…Sri Sathya Sai Baba IS Jesus Christ, Sri Sathya Sai Baba IS Buddha, Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the Founder of all the world’s religions” - which would also include Mohammed surely? The cultist indoctrination of such preposterous nonsense speaks volumes about the sub-intellectual, thrusting business-oriented, 3rd class doctor that Goldstein proves himself to be (Note: Dr. M. Goldstein – supposedly a specialist in sex abuse cases – actually told the BBC that he could see whether a boy had been abused by looking in his eyes… and added that he is “a consummate professional”!). Much more could be said about him both contra and even partly pro, of course, and not least that he thought he was acting correctly and helping serve others in his tireless public activities and Sai-inspired tirades during endless expensive visits to Sai Baba and all over the globe. But many wrongs never can add up to a right!
See Wikipedia on Pan Am Flight 73 for the accepted public account of the incident.
Goldstein’s most inadvisable bullying of Tanya Datta and the BBC producer can be viewed in short video clips (with transcript). Also his break of faith with Al Rahm’s whose son were sexually abused when he fell victim to Sai Baba’s flattery trap.
Complete sequence about Michael Goldstein’s non-investigation and how Sai Baba fooled him (mov small 2.30 MB,wmv small 10 MB, mov large 7.10 MB, wmv large
Goldstein’s zealotry and pig-headed insensitivity to relations who lost their loved ones in disaster, such as the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers is truly disgusting. Read 9/11 Twin Towers attack and Sathya Sai Baba’s claimed intervention!
A vague and second-hand account of the hi-jacking was also posted by some devotee, which illustrates how distorted and vague all facts become by such credulous and inaccurate believers: An experience of Dr. Goldstein
Posted by robertpriddy on August 17, 2012
CICAP, is the ‘Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims on the Paranormal’, which promotes a scientific and critical enquiry of supposed paranormal and mysterious phenomena. Naturally, their researchers were active in examining the many claims about Sathya Sai Baba, one result of which was posted here yesterday. In two articles on their website, translated to English and edited down slightly, we can read the results of two more evaluations of some of his countless claims:-
Posted by robertpriddy on August 16, 2012
Cecilia Gatto Trocchi wrote the following analysis overview of Sathya Sai Baba (in 2003). She is a:-
Lecturer of Cultural Anthropology at Chieti University and teacher at “La Sapienza” University in Rome, Cecilia Gatto Trocchi made several reserches on the field in Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Sudan, Southern America, India, analyzing religions, myths, rituals. She analyzed by using the method of observation while taking part in the many magic-religious groups. She manages the Observatory of Magic-Symbolic Phenomena at the Chair of Cultural Anthropology of Chieti University. She is promoter member of the Italian Society for the Studies of Psychopathology and Religion. She is scientific adviser for the magazine of Psycosomatic Psychiatry of differences “Psiche Donna”. She published several essays among which: Viaggio nella magia (Laterza, 1997), Nomadi spirituali (Mondadori, 1998), Le Muse in azione (Franco Angeli, 2001), Storia esoterica d’Italia (Piemme, 2001).
“Sai Baba’s movement is linked to its founder’ figure, born in 1926 in India near Bangalore, in a well-to-do family. After spending an adolescence full of psychic problems and several nervous crisis, he declared he was the incarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, a worshipped saint in India who had achieved a syncretism between hinduism and some aspects of Islam. He used incense ashes (called vibhuti) as a sacramental substance. The new Sai Baba, in 1963 after a new “crisis of possession”, stated he was Shiva the god.
He started performing “miracles”, gathering a more and more numerous group of followers. Today, in India, he can count about 30 millions devotees, and he has created the greatest religious centre in modern India, with hospitals, schools, orphanages, and universities. In the rest of the world his followers are about 2 millions, very inclined to make rich grants.
The religious message is centered on Sai Baba himself, who says “I am God, I am the truth and I lead you to truth”. The miracles he performs in front of his devotees are the strongest point of his Darshan, a public interview (don’t forget Sai Baba literally means “Holy Father”) in the town of Puttaparthi where thousands people go every year. He materilizes jewels, watches, and he uses vibhuti as his predecessor from Shirdi did, but stating he materializes the holy ash from nowhere.
He says he is God’s complete avatar, superior to Christ in his completeness, he can answer the needs of the new spirituality which sees in him the God on earth, the Cosmic Christ able in performing prodigies. It is not by chance that the New Age considers him as a light and a privileged channel for being in contact with the Divine. Sai Baba offers his followers the Bajans, hymns to the many gods of India, yoga meditation with a special mantra “so ham”. Its repetition brings to the identification with the supreme God.
Sai Baba’s doctrinal mistakes are evident: he pretends the Holy Trinity coincides with the Indian Trimurti: the Father is Brama, the Son is Vishnù and the Holy Spirit is Shiva.
Christ is one of the many divine avatar, one of the so many incarnations, among which he, Sai Baba, is the most important.
Sai Baba’s symbol is the daring syncretism: he calls God an immanent reality, a cosmic energy that can be called Allah, Yaveh, Mazda, Brama.
In spite of his strong syncretism, Sai Baba does not say all religions are equal: to obtain salvation, we must only follow his person and his teachings, Some Indian rationalists, such as Premananda, have questioned Sai Baba’s supposed miracles, which have been analysed by C.I.C.A.P., the Italian Board for the Control on Paranormal Statements.”
Posted by robertpriddy on August 14, 2012
Thanks to a very well-informed blogger in India, translations of two TV reports from last year have been made available in English. These very negative reports revealing the massive cover-up of crimes by the Sathya Sai Baba ashrams and the Sai Central Trust were broadcast in Telugu in June of 2011, six weeks after the death of Sathya Sai Baba. There were also similar reports in Kannada on TV channels. These were the first such reports to appear on Indian TV and so get a wider airing, though the former activist, Basava Premanand, had long published (in print) a wide documentation of criminal incidents (murders and sexual abuse). The Sai authorities often bought up and destroyed as many of his publications as they could obtain. When my revelatory book ‘End of the Dream’ was published, several goondas even visited his house and threatened his brother if he would not hand over the entire stock to them… so desperate were the Trust and ashram leaders to stifle all real information about Sathya Sai Baba and his minions.
The translated transcripts are ‘must-read blogs’:-
|Rape, murders and missing cases of foreigners at Puttaparthi – TV9 report (Click here for translation)
CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO YOUTUBE VIDEO
|More missing foreigners – yet another TV9 report
CLICK HERE for english transcript of yet another TV9 report of Jun 25 2011CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO YOUTUBE VIDEO
Posted by robertpriddy on August 10, 2012
A major failing of Sathya Sai Baba as a spiritual guide as pointed out by one of the US dissidents, Greg Gerson, referred to the lack of practical and realistic guidance to individuals on how to develop themselves towards self-realization while living in the material world. This was of course reflected entirely throughout his organization (which merely parrots his teaching and could add not a single original thought to the supposed all-knowing guru-God’s pronouncements). Here is an excerpt from A LETTER CONCERNING CUTTING TIES TO SATHYA SAI BABA by Greg Gerson, USA. (MA in spiritual philosophy and western psychology)
“I am finished with gurus, organized religions and fanatical spiritual practices.. During my stays at Sai Baba’s ashrams, I encountered a number of people who were as fanatical or more fanatial than me. I personally know three young men who became so fanatical with activities such as fasting, extreme meditation, vows of silence, limited sleep, etc, that they were seriously risking their mental and physical health and could easily have been institutionalized.
One of the very important negative aspects of the Sai Baba movement which I have not encountered on the anti Sai Baba sites is the total lack of guidance regarding sadhana and spiritual issues for novice as well as intermediate and long term devotees not just in their home countries but at the ashrams as well.
A different young man from the three mentioned above who I knew quite well, took the notion that Sai Baba was his personal guide so literally he was unable to make even the smallest decisions such as what to eat, what to do during the day, or even what to think or feel. He was miserable, almost paralyzed, unable to do anything for himself. He had no one to guide him and tell him that he was not even properly following Sai Baba’s teachings let alone healthy mature spiritual instructions such as the ones at the Buddhist monastery I mentioned.
Of course, this is attributed to relying only on Sai Baba and his mystical teachings through telepathy, dreams, visions, as well as his books and discourses. Yet, if these methods were enough, why are so many devotees, including the extreme examples I mentioned, still struggling with simple things like living healthy balanced lives, not to mention negative qualities such as greed, impatience, anger, etc.
The excuse I have heard to many times is that Prashanthinilayam is Sai Baba’s “mental hospital” and all of our flaws are magnified and are being cleaned up at an excellerated rate. This also is supposed to be occurring at home. Now I feel that this is just more brain-washing to help devotees rationalize all the negative behavior and emotions that they experience and have not addressed properly. A good psychologist and a better spiritual path would definitely help.”
The problem was rather not, as Gerson states it, a total lack of guidance, because continually Sai Baba spouted a lot of traditional generalized guru advice. He was however unable to give any person continuous guidance – spiritual or otherwise – on an individual basis. His ideas on how people should develop themselves were very traditional and far from being illumined by the discoveries of human culture in the modern age, being reiterative and imprecise mere phrases which were entirely free of real recognized psychological insight, such as his harping on the need for ‘character’, which he defined in unworldly and religious terms.
It is quite evident from all that is known about Sathya Sai Baba’s relationships to others that he did not sustain any proper close and continuous relationship with anyone, not at least since he shared his rooms with his ‘soul brother’ Krishna Kumar, who ended up rejecting him and his teaching fully. The nature of his interactions was such that he decided what could be said to him (not a hint of questioning of anything he had said or the slightest whiff of criticism). Sai Baba was famously incapable of any “give and take” because he was always handing it out, but was unable to take it himself. His bodyguarded position allowed him to determine the exact nature of any exchanges he had with people – always on his terms and without real open or frank exchanges (though he would be frankly rude or ridiculing whenever he chose). He would chop and change his favourites – or hold those who were around him (like Kasturi and others) at arm’s length for long periods… push and pull, reward and punishment… the trait of all psychopathic narcissists. He actually left everyone to themselves, which tended to lead to an ‘everyone for themselves’ environment.
Sai Baba said in almost every discourse that he had so much love. We have not observed it as anything exceptional. He implanted the idea that it was his love one experienced, when it was a projection of ones longings, beliefs and hopes which reminds of the warning ‘Love is blind’. This is a very clever ploy for getting name and fame. Sai Baba was mostly very rejecting of most people in reality. Note his glaring expressions!
Obviously, Sai Baba had no good advice on how to become an effective person in the worldly sphere, and his spiritual guidance was that devotees should only concentrate on God (i.e. himself) 24 hours a day, kill their own minds (“die mind”), eliminate all bodily feelings possible and strangle all bodily and worldly ‘desires’, ambitions and any number of other impossible demands (only serve others, not oneself, give up possessions, have no friends but God, detach oneself from family ties so as to liberate oneself!) It was a recipe for disaster and many are still caught up in its process.
It is amazing to ‘outsiders’ that anyone could swallow such a diet. However, the secret was that they all believed (or zealously hoped) that Sathya Sai Baba was guiding them by unseen all-powerful means, arranging the events around them so as to test their faith and instruct them personally. Any things he said or did, or even failed to say or do, would be interpreted in relation to their own thoughts and feelings, and any accidents or good luck was also taken as a sign from him. Of course, no such thing was true and they could have just as well thrown dice to decide what was what. Even now, devotees think they are getting cryptic messages from him beyond the grave in many different shapes and forms!
In Sai Baba’s case, he could not offer the slightest advice of any value on sexuality other than advise celibacy as the ideal. He avoided the subject of sexual education totally, never mentioned condoms, HIV infection, AIDS, the nature of homosexuality… and it is easy to understand why. The evidence is overwhelming that he was involved in lifelong illicit homosexual relations, abusing his students and foreign boys, and this was kept so secret that many devotees do not believe it even today. Likewise, Sai Baba was not a teacher but a preaching dilettante who picked up ideas from his servitors and foreign visitors and repeated them to his students (often incorrectly), for he had no education himself. This was evident from his constant and ill-informed railing against scholars, book-learning and the sciences. One of Sathya Sai Baba’s most quoted ‘aphorisms’ was “Silence is the language of the realized”. However, programmatic silence is the refuge of would-be teachers without answers, it is the escape of those who dare not speak out and act against wrongs and injustices. It is an outward manifestation of an inner state of confusion, a deaf and dumb charade at being so wise that one has no comment on anything! Thus Sai Baba advised many silent practices like inwardly repeating the names of God, mental chanting of mantras, meditating on God (hard to grasp an invisible, silent, absent non-entity), and he was against talking unless quite necessary! This was a central technique in how he controlled his following, deadening their minds to passive acceptance in their narrowing sphere of experience. Thereafter the years brought the stagnation of habitual non-renewal mixed with self-recrimination and guilt at never being able to meet up to his impossible minimum ‘spiritual’ demands to be considered a good devotee. In all of this he was far from original, as these methods are known and used to dominate and manipulate people by all manner of gurus, swamis, would-be masters, saints and avatars, especially (but not exclusively) in India.
The kind of ‘spirituality’ Sai Baba represented is not a reality. It is a self-enhancing prophecy without fulfillment, a self-deluding development of speculative dreaming, hopes contrived as real and an increasingly distorted mentality that even affects and creates subjective perceptions until one comes to inhabit something similar to an opium- or morphine-induced inner world. The human brain is capable of a vast range of contortions of reality – witness extreme forms of madness like schizophrenia, totally deranged minds – and it is also capable of the systematic and controlled investigation of nature and mankind, even of the brain itself. The vital choice is between fiction and fact, belief and knowledge, hopeful wishes and real achievement, deceitful illusion and the critical discovery of truth through tried, tested and demonstrable knowledge. Choosing belief and developing blind faith begins to programme the brain towards a fantasy reality, reinforcing the neural circuits that indoctrination creates… when the process had gone on too intensively for many years, it can be near-impossible to change.
Posted by robertpriddy on August 8, 2012
Highly recommended to those who wish to read incisive analyses by a very well-informed and articulate blogger: see Sai Baba Deceptions and Fraud
Among the latest postings are the following interesting blogs
Posted by robertpriddy on August 7, 2012
The religious endowment department officially requested temples nestled on river banks and those with lakes and ponds including Kollur Sri Mookambika Temple, Kukke Sri Subrahmanya Temple, and Kateel Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple in the coastal region to hold ‘parjanya japa’, homa and special poojas and jalabhisheka poojas in other temples categorised as ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ temples on July 27 and August 2 respective. Defending this Srinivas poojary said the government expected temples to pay for it out of their own revenue. Nonetheless, it is surely a waste of money, time and energy of the superstitious Vedic kind in which the Indian government invests much, such as a series of Indian Prime Minister’s and President’s scurrilous protection and endorsement of the major deceiver and swindler self-proclaimed God incarnate Sathya Sai Baba!
That cultural heritage is the motor which drove religion forth for most of human existence on earth. What is now known to be superstition persisted and is carried along well after it has been explained away by religion’s inertia We know that God does not bring the rain (Latin “Jupiter pluit” – i.e. Jupiter causes it to rain) or the drought. Yet many primitive religions still believe this and even educated people go to church to pray for the end of a drought… and the same with many trials and tribulations. Not least also, of course, thanksgiving to one God or another all manner of things which arise as normal effects of nature and life.
There are various accounts in the Sai Baba hagiographic literature of how he stopped the rain very locally to keep his follower dry while he was giving darshan or holding a discourse, such as in his Easwaramma Day Sandesh (discourse 06-05-2001) as follows:-
Posted by robertpriddy on August 4, 2012
A fanciful account of a supposed Sai Baba miracle was given by Prof. N. Kasturi in his autobiographical book ‘Loving God’ (p. 168-9 – scan inset on right). It concerned the Norwegian shipping magnate Alf Tidemann-Johannessen, who had lost a ring Sathya Sai Baba had appeared to ‘materialise’ and then given him. According to Kasturi, Sai Baba produced the selfsame ring which had fallen off Tidemann-Johannesen’s finger into deep water when boarding a vessel three months previously, saying that it had fallen into his hands. Actually most of the rings Sai Baba produces with enamel pictures of himself on are clones of one another, though sometimes in different settings like panchaloka, silver or even 18 carat gold. Or, as in Tidemann’s case, the traditional 9-gemstone navagraha ring often given by Sai Baba (identical rings are on sale in shops throughout India). It does not take much thought to see that Sai Baba would simply have palmed another identical ring, having observed – or learned from his many servitors and other informants that Tidemann had lost his.
However, Tidemann-Johannessen was known to some of us in the Oslo centre. He defected from Sai Baba around 1979, calling him a cheat and a thief… and was never seen at Sai Baba ashrams again, according to a long-term devotee in the Oslo group – Reidun Lindstad of Skjetten who since died of cancer (of course, not saved by Sai Baba). She knew him and last met him around 1988 when he visited Norway from Mexico. He was then writing a long, rambling book (unpublished but seen by Oslo followers) denouncing Sai Baba, whom he claimed he was a deceiver. He told that Sai Baba had failed in his promises, and had deceived him about the helicopter that Tidemann claims to have provided to Sai Baba for travel purposes and, not least, giving darshan at his 55′th birthday. (A film showing this helicopter darshan was made and distributed by Richard Bock of California as a 3-art series entitled ‘The Universal Teacher’). Tidemann-Johannesen died in 2001. The ‘official’ Kasturi autobiography was, of course, not amended or commented on by Kasturi in any way.
Very similar stories of ‘dematerialization’ by Sai Baba – whether to ‘teach a lesson’ to a doubter or to enhance his own reputation as a man of miracles – have circulated since Sai Baba’s earliest years, when he surrounded himself with impressionable street children and youth in Puttaparthi, a village where the most superstitious Hindu beliefs in miracle-performing yogis, saints and deities were daily fare. Once enough credulous people there believed he had miraculous powers, the word spread and his following gradually grew as other religious seekers visited, no doubt many being all to eager to find what they sought. Once an aspirant actually believes the many accounts so glowingly described in the literature that Sai Baba can materialise anything from anywhere due to his ‘omnipresence’, it is a small matter for him to repeat the trick… such believers never question further, and so the deception spreads to others
Unfortunately, my (former) friend Professor Erlendur Haraldsson, together with another parapsychologist Karl Osis, was duped by Sai Baba into thinking that he had dematerialized a gemstone in a ring given the day previously to Osis. The two were very impressed. However, there are possible other explanations. The gemstones in Sai Baba rings (which he called diamonds but were synthetic gemstones) had a tendency to fall out. Even to get splintered when the wearer squatted on the marble floor outside the interview room (as a green ‘diamond’ given to Lucas Ralli did just minutes after he had received it!). Sai Baba can have noticed that this had occurred before Osis realized, and so capitalized on the fact. That two supposed ‘scientists’ so readily endorsed this apparent ‘miracle’ as an inexplicable fact caused many doubters to believe Sai Baba had special physical powers (including the very prominent psychologist, Professor Eyesenck). Actually, on questioning Haraldsson about his knowledge of fraud both with sleight of hand and as regards where such items could have been obtained (H. claimed no supplier could be found, though there actually were several), I found him to have not studied the matter at all deeply. He was inclined to believe that Sai Baba had such powers, though he carefully never endorsed them in writing. (see overview of my documentation etc. about Haraldsson here)
Please note: A mistake in attribution was made in previous posting where it was stated: “Alf Tidemann-Johannessen – One of the first Norwegian devotees in the 1960s, described at length in Kasturi’s official biography of SSB”. It was, however, in his own autobiography that Kasturi wrote about Tidemann.
Posted by robertpriddy on August 2, 2012
Blog continued from Puttaparthi report by former long-term devotee
Once very close to Sathya Sai Baba’s sisters, Venkamma and Parvatamma, the young US devotee ‘Divya’ recorded a number of her experiences at the ashram in letters to her parents who, at that time, were still devotees. In 2001 her parents rejected Sai Baba as a sexual abuser and more and started a web site to denounce him (see at foot of blog)… quite a brave action at that time since no one knew whether the super-rich Sai authorities would reacted with lawsuit harassment or worse. With the fervour of a typical Sai Baba zealot, ‘Divya’ then disregarded all her parents’ warnings (as she informed the exposé later on – see previous blog here). In recent times, ‘Divya’ has posted a number of the many letters she wrote, her motive in this being to give enjoyment to devotees, a few of whom have maintained contact and trust in her. At all events, the letters give a rare insight into the ashram, the nature of Venkamma and others and the exigencies of life as a self-denying and servile devotee within the narrow rules and custom-circumscribed semi-existence within the sphere of Sai Baba ashrams.
In order to appreciate the mindset of a sincere – but mentally vulnerable – young aspirant to the promised self-realization and liberation from all cares and problems forever, one can hardly do better than read some excerpts from Divya’s first letter to her parents after her first few days in India at Sai Baba’s Prashanthi Nilayam. The enthusiasm in her attitudes and sentiments were not at all uncommon among foreign devotees, especially many ladies my wife knew… though among the more hardened elderly residents it tended to wear down into a kind of patina of resignation to being neglected by Sai Baba. In the “honeymoon period” everything was made to look rosy, the ‘spiritual hormones’ were raging and hopes were not (yet) dashed by any circumstance in the blind faith that Sai Baba had personally arranged for every tiny detail of one’s life, good, bad and indifferent.
|Comment: To accept himself and all he says or does was the main agenda that Sai Baba imposed on his followers, one way or another, by hook or by crook. Blind acceptance covers over a multitude of errors, lies, sins, crimes and abuses. Even body-consciousness is deemed sinful, unworthy of a true devotee which could only cause guilt and self-rejection whenever the body made itself felt (though one cn also rationalize away body feelings as temporary tests sent by God or whatever attracts one’s fanciful ‘wondering’ mind.
---Comment: The desire to return to Prashanthi caused numerous people I knew (especially those who Sai Baba gave privileges as VIP visitors) to go there over 100 times (on very expensive return jet flights – expenditure on a large scale by Indian standards… money which could have been far better used in service or sacrificed to ‘ceiling on desires’). Sai Baba encouraged some to return to “get their batteries charged” (spiritual batteris evidently run down in a worldly fashion?) or in some cases the “get retired”. Amusingly – or sadly – one young Australian I knew took this literally and left his family to settle in Prashanthi (wearing a kaftan, which looked rather quaint). V.K. Narasimhan heard this and told him that Swami meant to get re-tired, like a car that had word down too much! The sense of spiritual emptiness felt by most Sai devotees brought them to seek fulfilment at the ashrams in the first place. As the first flush of enthusiasm waned and the perception that, really, nothing much had changed in their lives (except their imaginings), they would return hoping that next time things would be very different!
--- Comment: It is pitiful and sad that a young life should be so divorced from life in nurturing such vain hopes. Another world, indeed … the exotic change from plain old home made life colorful and the delusion that God Incarnate was presiding over it all with all his stars… such things helped keep people going in their daily struggle to manage, conform, accept (which was the plight that staying at the ashrams truly were for all but the pampered VIPs)
As the above exemplifies, in the Sai movement there were and still are those whose unfettered enthusiasm and zealotry knows no bounds. The surrender themselves without knowing what it is they are surrendering to, nor do they care… they have a mantra or a vision and it blots out everything else. The ashrams were often plagued by very unruly crowds pushing for places, unpredictable and often unreasonable ‘servitors’ who took no account of fairness (often uncouth recruits from any Sai group in India). Envy and jealousy were rife, as Sai Baba himself repeatedly complained in his discourses). The so-called ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’ was a cauldron of noise, building work, hammering, grinding, stones rattling on corrugated iron, mangy dog packs barking much of the night, monkeys visiting the accommodation and causing havoc. Constant problems with the imperious staff – too many little desk Napoleons harassing those seeking a room or the like with a few really kind and helpful among them. All this was well-known to every foreigner (except perhaps a few self-satisfied VIPs who could come and go as they wished and overstep the usual rules with impunity). Yet all this was blindly regarded as “Love just everywhere” and so on.
There are a hoard of well-worn ways of ‘explaining’ everything about Sathya Sai Baba, some ingenious rationalizations, many plain nuts. When these are too evidently inapplicable or wholly beside the point, the devotee falls back on: “We cannot understand his inscrutable, divine ways”, or other words to similar effect. One cannot understand, of course, if one has given up beforehand, and this ‘giving up’ is precisely ‘to surrender to his Divine will’ as he required. It is a most deleterious surrender of up one’s autonomy and a responsible persons, the suppression of common sense and natural reasoning in never questioning anything he says or does. He insisted that he was to be regarded as perfect and infallible in all things.
Snowcrest web site URLs :
Posted by robertpriddy on August 2, 2012
August 1, ANDHRA WISHESH web site posted an archived news item in which Ms. Chetana Raju, the granddaughter of Parvatamma, (Sai Baba’s sister) accused Sai Trust members of threats to her life! She also claims that – when he fell ill – the treatment of Sathya Sai Baba was unnecessarily delayed several hours by those in charge. The likelihood of members of the Sai Trust having made a death threat is far from low, considering the fact that Trust members in 1994 were involved in blackmailing the Puttaparthi police to shoot down in a veritable hail of bullets four intruders (armed only with knives) trapped in Sai Baba’s bedroom (this was confided to me by my close confidante – a very worried V.K. Narasimhan – who had been present to a discussion between then Home Minister an Sai-devotee S.B. Chavan and SB’s brother Janakiramiah where they laughed over the matter, saying “Dead men tell no tales”! Sathya Sai Baba was close by and was involved in discussions with Trust members which negotiated with police during the long stand-off between police and the trapped devotee intruders took place. Murders have been frequent both within and close by both the main ashrams of Sathya Sai Baba (see massed evidence here). Though Sai Baba actually admitted in a discourse that he knew his attendants would die in advance, Sai Baba was NEVER QUESTIONED by police or the CBI and the entire case was quashed by the Sai-devotee Narasimha Rao government before a verdict could be reached.