Sai’s puritanical rejections of the value of marriage: – Sathya Sai Baba’s puritanism is complicated by many signs of his dislike and even hatred of women (misogyny) and of marriage, which has been mentioned through the years in various ways by many devotees (not only by ex-devotees!). It is visible in his frequent avoidance of women on most occasions at and the minimal time he spends on their side and the infrequency of his talking to them during his daily darshans. This he cleverly explains away merely by saying that he gives women equal attention in reality. He suggests that they receive extra attention on an astral or subtle level. The literature does NOT bear this out, as accounts of such contacts (dreams, visions, leelas etc.) by males is overwhelmingly much greater than by women.
Sai Baba’s misogyny comes clearly to expression in interviews where he not only makes fun about marriage and of married couples, but makes fun of marriage and family in a number of deprecating (and frankly ignorant and immature) ways, such as in the scanned quotation on the right here.
Some of his well-known derogatory comments to married people are:
“Marriage is 23 hours of problems, 1 hour happiness” (or sometimes he says only 5 minutes happiness);
“Marriage is a sickness“; “The real marriage is with God“;
“One man is alone walks on two feet, when married he walks on four, then children come and after a while he needs to crawl“;
“First man has 2 legs, he gets married and becomes an animal with 4 legs. They get one child, a six-legged scorpion, then another, an 8-legged cockroach. One connection leads to another and you lose your freedom” (Note: I noted this down directly when Sai Baba said it in my presence in an interview on 7th September, 1988 – the first interview given to anyone after he had fractured his hip after slipping on the soap in his bathroom,which he openly told us too. I have also heard others report him using the same analogy about married life in interviews. Sai Baba has even reportedly told those on whom he practices sexual molestation that they are married to him etc., such as Conny Larsson and numerous others, which I have personally heard from several male devotees!).
Further than this, however, there are many reports in books by devotees – and on the internet and ex-devotees – on how Sai Baba tries to break up male-female relationships, especially between young men and women. (See example of Jens Sethi below here) He also very regularly tries to sow strife between man and wife – in almost every interview he brings up negative things he supposes occur between a man and his wife. There are literally dozens of instances of which one can read in books about him. I have heard him do this and he even tried it on me by saying, “Your wife is angry with you”, which we now agree was a wholly unfounded claim. (I replied “Not so bad, swami”, to which he countered ‘Not so good’. This again shows how he hates to lose in any encounter and can’t tolerate any discussion or give and proper explanation).
India still overwhelmingly practices arranged marriages, and ‘love marriages’ are looked down on by the huge majority. Fathers even disown sons who have married for love (without permission). Two families, basing on considerations about caste, social rank, income, settlement, and almost always on supposed compatibility as indicated by astrological charts(!) etc.. Indian newspaper are full of marriage advertisements which set out the requirements and often also the dowry demands by the prospective husband’s family. This is a traumatic time for most parents, especially in poor families (weddings must preferable be ultra-luxurious and expensive too). Brides who the bridegroom’s family dislike or reject are often murdered (dowry deaths in India are astonishingly many – eg. dowry deaths in Delhi alone were put at 6 1/2 thousand official figures. Unofficial ly at 25,000. BBC World (TV). All this expresses the caste, class, male-centered system and has made India famous as a retrograde culture regarding women’s rights.
A young German devotee, Jens Sethi, who had visited the ashram for years and was planning to settle there was taken in at last for a private interview. He has testified on affidavit in his report to the Hamburg police how Sai Baba started to kiss him, stroke him and go into the trousers. When he rejected Sai Baba, he openly called this poor fellow ‘a Hitler’ in front of the entire darsan crowd, because he had refused Baba’s demand to reject his woman friend who was with him. This couple was warned by a friendly soul in the administration to flee the ashram immediately for their safety. They escaped with their lives, as related on the Internet by Jens Sethi. They fled and were nearly caught before they got out of India, all of which they reported to the German Embassy in Delhi and they later laid a formal charge against Sai Baba with the German police. (Apropos the credibility of this, I am in contact with a Danish man who told me how his life was also in jeopardy at the ashram and who was saved from a threat to his life by a person involved with security there: plans he knew were underway against him for trying to get video evidence of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual relations. The number of missing persons from India and abroad who disappeared while visiting the ashrams is not recorded, for such incidents are hushed up immediately by all means at the disposal of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, but about a dozen such cases have been reported either in the press or by the skeptic, Mr. B. Premanand of Podanur, Tamil Nadu.)