Sai Baba summed up by Italian cultural anthropologist
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.”