Humble ignorance in ‘knowing’ God!
Posted by robertpriddy on March 6, 2009
Sathya Sai Baba claims that everything he does is for the ultimate best of everyone. To be accepted by him, one must have complete faith in him, that he is who and what he claims to be – God Incarnate. Believers accept his claims that all is under the ‘Divine Control’, that he alone of all humanity knows everything.
This leads to some most peculiar ideas. It has become customary for devotees to think they themselves know virtually nothing with certainty, certainly not Sai Baba’s inscrutable motives and plans. The very same persons will nevertheless claim to KNOW that Sai Baba is God, the Avatar Himself – a complete exception to their proclaimed cosmic ignorance. Further, nothing concerning Sathya Sai Baba can be questioned by a devotee, ono ne has no right to know anything about him. This applies not least to money matters. If one donates to his Central Trust, one relinquishes the right to know anything about how the money will be used. No accounts are published, everything is secret.
Sathya Sai Baba makes many proclamations about himself, far exceeding in megalomania any previous figure in known history, and that IS saying something. See some of them here.
Outward humility is almost de rigeur at Sai Baba ashrams, and many are no doubt genuinely humble – and many of them apparently with good reason too. There are also those who will not be stifled by unreasonable demands and petty restrictions, which ashram staff enforce often misguidedly in the belief that it could lead to undue ‘gossip’ about Sai Baba or somehow expose something about what really goes on there. Such free spirits soon end up blacklisted by the office from visiting the ashram again. There is something basically wrong in being like a rabbit frozen in the glare of some headlight, but that feeling is induced in most visitors who want to show that they are minimizing their egos, behaving with forgiveness, and generally ‘passing the guru’s test’ of not being defeated by adverse events.
Sai Baba plays the role of the master, turning this devotee humility and subservience to his own ends, and many end up like rabbits frozen in the glare of a headlight. This deceiver plays upon every kind of human weakness to keep followers in submissive ‘surrender’ to his unceasing advice to worship him and to submit under every circumstance, accepting or doing whatever may be required. The group pressure is very strong, at the ashrams and also throughout the Sai movement. Much of this servility is actually based on fear, both religious fear of retributions and social fears. Compared to this, the free spirits recognise their own reality, responsibility and freedom to act as conscience dictates (whatever the social or doctrinal pressures). This is not conceit or even to deny that another may know more or be better than oneself, but it is the integrity of personal autonomy – our own truth. One sees above all among Sai followers how their birthright – human intelligence, and autonomy with individual potentialities – are all too often projected onto some charismatic figure who constantly demonstrates that he is certainly not at all everything he claims to be!