It seems that this retired physicist G. Venkataraman had been tempted to take upon himself the mantle of philosopher, without having had the requisite training or having worked analytically on the main philosophies and theologies of the world.Not only that, he has donned the role of a spiritual adviser working directly on behalf of God Almighty, Creator of the Universe. Why then, I ask myself, was he wearing such a long face and showed such lack of animation when I met him on two occasions together with V.K. Narasimhan.
Prof. G. Venkataraman wrote a article called ‘God, the Avathar and the Intellectual’ (see www.saibaba.ws/articles2/god_avathar_intellectual.htm) in which he juxtaposes photos of Einstein, Stephen Hawking with Sathya Sai Baba, Mahatma Gandhi, Adi Shankara, Ramana Maharshi, Shirdi Baba, Lord Rama and the Scottish self-styled ‘religious expert’ writer Bill Aitken. This tabloidal hodge-podge is supposed to be an intelligent article… but it tries to justify – by photographic and general association – the flights of fancy of an under-educated villager like Sathya Sai Baba with the greatest scientists of the modern era (excluding Bill Aitken, an itinerant travel writer published only in India). Einstein and Hawking would most assuredly never have supported the ’teachings’ of any of these solipsistic speculators like Maharshi and Shankara, or deities like Rama, let alone miracle men like Shirdi Sai Baba and the would-be usurper of his local fame and sleight-of-hand merchant, Sathya Sai Baba. So much for Venkataraman’s pathetic idea of what constitutes ‘intellectuality’!
A simple thought experiment for Venkataraman, who believes in ‘eternal entities’ of various kinds. Does the word ‘green’ refer to greenness independent of anything that is or can be thought of as green – or be called green? In other words, is there an universal green, an absolute, eternal ‘green’? The same goes for love… can it exist independently of any instance of a feeling or act which may be rightly called ‘loving’? To say it can is to believe in the independent, non-physical existence of universals. If one thinks so, then one is surely green as a philosopher – still in the era of Plato, and – as a physicist – one is in denial of the very basis of all physics, the principle of the universal conservation of energy.
Venkataraman writes:- Ananthamurthy, I must admit, does not cast aspersions nor sling mud. But he does not hesitate to question, disapprove and dismiss without any semblance, I regret to say, of deep analysis. This of course is quite typical of many intellectuals when it comes to Spiritual matters. Before I come to intellectuals and the problems many of them have in accepting God, I should mention that Ananthamurthy, while dismissing Swami, does not appear to reject Spirituality. On the contrary, he accepts and admires a host of evolved souls like Kabir, Basava, Tukaram, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi. However, he is not sure where to fit in Swami in all this. He is aware that people flock to Swami in hundreds of thousands but dismisses all that with the remark, “But that magnetism is not spiritual”. He adds, “Spiritualism requires a kind of mind like Jiddu Krishnamurthy. I could argue with him. With Sai Baba, either you believe him or you don’t.”
These days, most intellectuals tend to be agnostic at best and atheist at worst; often it is the latter. Dazzled by the achievements of man in so many dimensions, they are unable to accept God because they are confronted with so many questions for which they do not have answers.
Comment: Contrariwise, Venkataraman is dazzled by Sathya Sai Baba’s deceits and legerdemain into believing there are so many questions which he cannot answer, but Sai Baba can! Atheists like Dawkins are not dazzled, but dazzling in their intellectual achievements (in genetics the popular book ‘The Selfish Gene’ is beyond the grasp of amateur philosopher Venkataraman, let alone Dawkins’ far, far more technical and empirical scientific papers.
Venkarataman: “Having said this, I must point out that there have been and there still are many intellectuals [possibly a minority] who do believe in God, scientists included. Einstein was a famous example. He freely acknowledged that he believed in a Superior Being although his God was not One who sat in judgment, inflicted punishment and all that.”
Comment: Most definitely a minority and a very small one, according to all surveys in recent decades.
Venkarataman: “Talking of scientists, I must not forget to mention late Abdus Salam of Pakistan, who won the Nobel Prize for his incisive work on electro-weak unification. …. A Westerner once asked Salam, “How come you, a scientist, believe in God?” Salam gave a terse reply, “Science is all about the outer world. God is all about the Inner world. Where is the contradiction?”
Comment: The contradiction which escaped the Nobel Prize winner is known to practically all other Nobel Prize winners, it lies in the total rejection of science of any inner world independent of physical causation. Such an ‘inner world’ is simply composed of speculation, the store of mental engrammata including figments of the imagination, misconceptions, false beliefs, superstitions and more. It is all of the same epistemological status as Robert M Price pointed out in ‘Christ A Fiction’: ”You ask me how I know he lives?” asks the revival chorus. “He lives within my heart.” Exactly! A figment.
Venkataraman states that he likes best the definition of God given by Gandhi: “Gandhi said, “He is no God who merely satisfies the intellect. God to be God must rule the Heart and transforms the senses. He is LOVE.” Now I ask you. Does not this definition fit Swami like a glove?”
Comment: Sathya Sai Baba certainly is no God who can satisfy the intellect, for a start. His supposed ‘Love’ is in question, as there are many who have been deeply offended by him, who have been swindled of larges sums of money by him, who have worked tirelessly for him for decades but been as if ‘cast into the outer darkness’ by him! He has called his critics ‘demons’ and worse. Is THAT love and compassion?
Many of his followers’ hearts are far from being ‘ruled’ by him, let alone his critics and the rest of the world. He does not transform anyone’s sense but deceives the senses with legerdemain and cause many people to misinterpret the evidence of their senses to a high degree.
Venkataraman quotes the young Sai Baba speaking before the Raja of Venkatagiri from around 1950:-
Swami explained: “The saints and sages you are referring to are humans who were in the process of evolving towards God. I, on the other hand, am God come down in human form – that is the difference.”
Comment: This is what Venkataraman believes totally, and everything else is made to fit this Procrustean bed – that Sathya Sai baba is infallible! Some physicist Venkataraman is.
See also Indian Nuclear Scientist Now Sai Baba’s Global Radio Chief These days Sai Baba’s chief international propagandist (via Sai Global Harmony and WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service) and deputy head of the immensely wealthy and influential world Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, was a top Indian nuclear scientist.
G. Venkataraman – Chief propagandist for ‘God’ G. Venkataraman is keen to imprint on his readers that, in studying anything about science, they are observing “The Glory of God”. This is, of course, an assumption and is not even a testable hypothesis, being a vague (undefined and indefinite) conception which is entirely non-operational.
Apologist for Sathya Sai Baba The only top Sai official who has ever even mentioned the many allegations against Sai Baba – and then only after a period of six years or more had gone by – is Dr. G. Venkataraman. He has shown his true colours, however, in having written a document full of cover-up and false statements aiming [...]
The most gullible physicist alive? Dr. G. Venkataraman writes in Part 4 of his 7-part series entitled “In Quest of Infinity” on his Radio Sai website “You know, when I think about it all, I am simply wonder struck. On one side of it is God who has created the Universe in which all these wonderful things happen.
Dr Venkataraman, a victim of emotional blackmail? One of the many former devotees with whom I correspond privately has commented to me that “Dr.G. Venkataraman lost all his scruples.” Also that he “had a harrowing experience when he lost his son and that is the main reason he is with Sathya Sai Baba who kind of gave him emotional support