Phyllis Krystal, the prolific and most uncritical propagator of Sathya Sai Baba’s “teachings” claimed that they are so clear that a child can understand them and follow them. Were that so, it would be a real problem for anyone who would take them seriously in an adult world! However, the much-trumpeted teaching are superficial when they are simple… known to most devotees only in the form of aphorisms, a few sayings and statements. When they are not simple outpourings of the wonderful ‘eternal’ nature of universal love for God (i.e. for Sai Baba himself not least) and not least its otherworldly benefits, they are often little more than penny proverbs (eg. ‘see, hear, speak no evil’, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’, ‘nature is the best teacher’). However, those who study the discourses and books by Sai Baba in any detail will soon find his “teachings” to be an amalgam of all manner of religious speculations, overwhelmingly of ancient Hindu origin or taken without acknowledgement from Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Shivananda and other Indian figures. The teachings are often inseparably intertwined with mythological stories, or contemporary sayings and beliefs that circulate among the Indian populace, spiced with what amount to Indian ‘urban myths’ (known to those who have mixed with the lower classes of Indians, such as I did when a young officer cadet on a ship with an Indian crew). Sai Baba also promotes diverse and often mutually inconsistent Hindu theologies and philosophies with convoluted speculations, from the Vedas to advaita… not as “clear and simple” as children can understand, nor even at least 90% of adults. This cult of the simple and psychologically superficial is Krystal’s forte.
Phyllis Kristal is known for having based her life and work exclusively on Sai Baba, writing books with spiritual advice of a simpler but as unrealistic content and Sai Baba usually expressed. She has no known qualifications as a psychologist or recognised practitioner of professionally accepted therapy, which is all too evident from her writings and also from her various talks to audiences of Sai Baba devotees. Her writing can be classified as New Age non-realism, the excessively positive thinking (Pollyanna) approach to problems, seeing them as overwhelmingly due to wrong thinking and attachment to desires and habits, nothing more. Her titles encapsulate the essence of her philosophy (‘Cutting the Ties that Bind’ and ‘Taming Our Monkey Mind’) She also made it known to devotees – including those who were defecting after the wave of sex abuse testimonies appeared on the Internet, that she accepts that Sathya Sai Baba molests young men and boys sexually, but attributed it to the fact that he is God and God can do anything since his ways are inscrutable. This belief has been stated in terms of (pseudo) Hindu theology by a person calling himself Datta Swami, as shown on a recent blog here.
See also Phyllis Krystal: Sathya Sai Baba believer