Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Exposing major deceits by guru Sathya Sai Baba in India, incl. murders cover-up & widely alleged sexual abuse

Sathya Sai Baba ‘teachings’ – part two

Posted by robertpriddy on August 26, 2011

Here are some of the underlying fallacies of the entire Sai Baba teaching, also common to much other religious  and pseudo-philosophical mysticism. In Sathya Sai Speaks we read:-

…the world is but a mental image of the individual. (Vol.9. p.168) and “the world is a structure raised on one strong pillar, ‘I’. For, when this ‘I’ is dormant during deep sleep, there is no world as far as you are concerned. (Vol. IV Ch. 48). Further: Whatever is not in man cannot be anywhere outside him. Whatever is visible outside him is but a rough reflection of what really is in him. (Sathya Sai Vahini – paragraph ii)

But if one accepts the above statements as true, one enters a disorienting hall of mirrors – a labyrinth of endless dead-ends. Only by having an Ariadne thread of critical thinking -and a perception embracing whole systems of thought – may one retrace one’s missteps and find the exit. If one only follows Sai Baba’s dictum – to have implicit faith in all he said (being allegedly omniscient), then one becomes trapped in ideas which deny reality to anything but the mind (or insubstantial ‘soul/spirit’). However, one cannot delimit reality in any way… and it is foolish to deny that everything that has any form exists as such (i.e. that ‘reality’ is eternal and immaterial only).

Sathya Sai Baba’s so-called ‘spiritual teaching’ – when one goes beyond the simple aphorisms and moral exhortations – draws his followers into a far-reaching set of false speculations and unfounded beliefs and hopes which create a cognitive disorientation and leads to loss of contact with reality and sometimes worse than that. Of course, many of the elements of these are not unique to him by any means – they are taken from India’s religious monistic philosophy and mikxed up in the confused Sai Baba eclecticism of diverse and opposing systems of Indian theology. He draws on systems which are fundamentally different – either those based on ‘advaita‘ (total non-dualism) on  ‘dvaita‘ (dualism) or ‘vishtadvaita (modified non-dualism)’.

According to Sai Baba, the world we perceive and live in is only a product of each human ego (or self or ‘I’). Since he holds that reality is only what is within each person, the external world is but a distorted, unreal appearance which reflects that reality. This implies that everyone is trapped within one’s own mind in what amounts to one’s own hall of mirrors –  a cocoon which is thereby isolated from any external reality! According to this, what I see and think is only the reflection of my own mind, so I see what I choose to see and think. I cannot know any reality ‘outside’ myself, only the labyrinth of self-reflections. Consequently, as Sai Baba also asserts, the way he appears to anyone is simply a reflection of how anyone perceives him – chooses to see him, but in no way represents him in reality! The same must apply to everyone’s perception of everyone else, including his perceptions of us… but he claims to be the exception to that rule!

Ultimately, this ‘teaching’ has the function of confusing people deeply both about themselves, but equally – or even more so – about him, Sathya Sai Baba. No one can criticize him in any way because he has in advance proclaimed that he is unknowable. Very handy, if one has a lot to hide!

When I first entered the Sathya Sai Baba labyrinth, the problematical nature of such a convoluted ‘teaching’, which almost entirely lacks empirical founding, was already familiar to me, having researched and lectured in (Western) philosophy and science for many years previously and also having studied a wide variety of philosophical cosmologies, including Indian philosophies/theologies and the writings of several widely acclaimed ‘spiritual masters’. I had already been involved with an Indian swami/yogi of the Ramakrishna Math for years, because I had felt the need to investigate religious mysticism, not only from some academic ivory tower, but by involvement in its requirements for insight and ‘spiritual realization’. However, I did not of course know at the time how assuming that supra-mental perception and similar ‘spiritual powers’ might be attainable, would lead me right on further into age-old and bottomless speculations which – as they are studied and developed – lead one further into mental traps through subtle psychic phenomena and deceptive assumptions and conclusions generated from one’s own experiences. My decision to investigate these matters by plunging wholeheartedly into the ‘spiritual search’ led me into deep and virtually endless convolutions of Indian cosmological speculations – which are very pervasive ideas that cannot be conclusively tested. That cost me many years (in spiritual practices). Having invested all possible faith in that search and found the results wanting – checking every nook and cranny for the ‘promised land’ of spiritual liberation – I did not realize the nature of the cosmological trap. Not until circumstances not fully under my mental control jolted me out and finally emerged to see it more and more for what it was: a largely irrational and groundless perspective, one which is deeply intertwined with age-old superstitions and beliefs which are ultimately untestable except by fruitless sacrifice of oneself and even the risk of one’s sanity or life as an integrated person.

I have since observed how many such committed ‘spiritual seekers’ have not been able to free themselves psychologically from such a quest, even when they are confronted with facts which are faith-destroying and so begin to re-evaluate from the ground upwards. I cannot but think that there has to be enough energy and genuine self-confidence – along with other crucial circumstances – before one can smash one’s way out of the hall of mirrors one has painstakingly internalised (from ‘teachings’) and extended further by one’s own mind, creating emotional dependencies, and practicing the prescribed way of life for a long time. It takes years gradually to wean the mind of cherished notions, detach from all that went with these, and so reorient oneself to doctrine-free perception and sane rationality.

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