SATHYA SAI ASHRAMS – 5
Posted by robertpriddy on June 2, 2007
Quite a lot of visitors to Sathya Sai Baba hope to derive one or another boon of personal power from him, some kind of psychic gift like ‘clairvoyancy’ or healing power. Many may be well-meaning, though misguided in not realising that Sai does not confirm anyone as a spiritual healer, nor does he give any place to ‘healing’ activities in his discourses or in any of his hospitals or other organisations. He does not convey any kind of spiritual illumination, ‘shaktipat’ or kundalini awakening teaching. Many religions have atrophied and become dry and irrelevant, so the resulting vacuum has been filled by spiritual ‘revivals’ of doubtful authenticity. So it is only to be expected that the much-publicised alleged powers of healing, clairvoyance, materialisation and miracles draw people. Prasanthi is like a spiritual , many go there trying to ‘make it big’ with God, and thus they mostly make it a difficult place to be. It has become a self-styled healers, mediums and clairvoyants… It is claimed by devotees who are in denial of the true facts that – when he oils the genitals of boys and young men (and often more besides!) – it is supposed to heal them and control their sexual urges, but none of those who have spoken out claim to have received any lasting benefit or illumination from it! On the contrary, many of those who are free to inform the public because they live outside India (at least 30 separate young men) claim they were actually taken advantage of and were therefore sexually abused, and not healed of anything.
Quite a few claim that Sathya Sai Baba has confirmed their having received powers to heal others from Sai Baba in interviews, but as far as I can judge from knowing some of these – and hearing about numerous others – it only amounts to wishful thinking and, at worst, to varying degrees of charlatanism. Some use Sai vibuthi or ‘nectar’ (sugar water), and water poured over a lingam given by Sai Baba supposedly to ‘heal’ people. Sai has frequently ‘produced’ so-called lingams of differing shapes, colours and sizes by various means (not least obvious sleight of hand), which he has given to devotees and told that they contain healing powers and can be used to help heal other people. In no case which I – or others who have become skeptical – studied can one be sure that reported benefit was derived from those things, though a placebo affect may occur, of course. To cap it all, Sai Baba denies that he gives any powers to anyone or confirms them as healers etc! He has said that healing always comes from God and occurs in the relationship between the sufferer and the Divine source. However, almost anyone cured of a known serious illness by an operation or a medicine would know that God did not appear or otherwise actually enter into the equation – except through hope or wishful imagination). Otherwise, why then have hospitals, doctors, specialists, nurses?
Some who want to be healers doubtless have good motives and may intend to help others selflessly, but far more commonly one sees such followers using any (alleged) sign of association with – or blessing from – Sai Baba to their own ends: to gain popularity, status, and not least income or donations (for example, one more successful than most is the Cockney medium, Stephen Turoff of UK, who rakes in millions per annum for ‘psychic surgery’ and largely due to his use of Sai Baba). Many completely devoted followers report healings from Sai Baba – in dreams, visions, interviews – or even where he figured in no known way at all – and such blind believers tend to attribute all good things that happen to them to Sai Baba’s influence. Even bad things are mentally twisted into ‘blessings from which to learn’! When examined carefully – most of these reports look vague, while faith and a zealous imagination fills in the gaps in the explanation. The super-heated atmosphere of belief in amazing and ‘incredible’ events around Sai Baba itself inflates ideas, language and discourages all sober judgement. One of Sai Baba’s closest servitors, V.K. Narasimhan, told me definitively that he had not seen a single healing in all the 20 years he had been almost daily in the presence of Sai Baba! Further, he never wrote a word to support claims of healing.
On the lighter side; while I was the leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway I was contacted by a wide range of spiritual nut-cases – not least because I had been given a “green diamond ring” by Sai Baba (actually found eventually to be a very cheap synthetic stone with tinfoil behind it to enhance its brilliance . One applicant wanted me to heal him by using the Sai green gem ring to remove cost-free all his silver-mercury amalgam fillings (miraculously, somehow), which were supposedly poisoning him. (Please note, I did not try!) I also received a letter asking for supernatural aid from a person in a psychiatric institutions and on at least three occasions from persons suffering from alleged intense psychic invasions by Sai Baba, reportedly in demonic form. Unfortunately, I was unable to help out much, except with my experiential knowledge of psychic sufferers and kind words. I was also confronted now and again by persons who insisted that Sai Baba had given special secret blessings to them to run the Sai centre, to change the Sathya Sai organisations’ rules (which were strict and demanding written requirements), or otherwise to abet them in getting organizational or other privileges they fancied.