Puttaparthi report by former long-term devotee
Posted by robertpriddy on July 31, 2012
The former very devoted and extreme “true believer”, known as Divya, who lived in the Sathya Sai Baba ashrams and was very close to Sai Baba’s sister Venkamma and other prominent elderly Sai Baba ladies for many years has posted a number of letters she wrote during the period of her most unquestioning devotion between 1984 and 1989 (she has stated that they extended to 2005. so more can be expected). This important documentation of a devotee’s mindset and events observed at the ashrams (mostly suppressed by the Sai authorities) will be commented on in a later blog. She writes that she is posting these letters for the enjoyment of devotees. In view of the fact that Divya has not yet posted about her subsequent disaffection and the reasons for it useful that this should be known already. At the time she was unable to make her evidence public as she was still living in Puttaparthi and made clear to us that she felt she could have been in danger were they to be posted by the exposé. This reservation is no longer necessary, since she left Prashanthi Nilayam and India in 2005 and returned to the USA where she lives at present.
Divya’s parents became dissenters in 2001 and made a website (snowcrest) exposing Sathya Sai Baba as a sexual abuser and more. At the time, Divya commented on that as follows:- “when my parents became ex-devotees in 2001, they cut off my funds and sent me some of the negative stuff, which of course I tore up to shreds like any decent sai devotee would do!! I had the impression that one or two devotees were making up stories due to not having their wishes fulfilled – the propaganda given by sai himself!” She maintained her faith until 2005 when she volunteered to work with an international group of students and others on literal and full English translations of Sathya Sai Baba’s actual discourses. They were posted on a website under the header ‘premsai’. These translations showed up by comparison the censorious editing done by the editors of Sanathana Sarathi. Consequently, the group was told by the Sai authorities that they must remove all their postings, but the English versions have nonetheless been preserved in full see here. The reason for her losing faith she stated in an e-mail to Barry Pittard:-
“I became more & more disillusioned while doing the literal discourse translations – all the fumblings, mumblings and contradictions showed this wasn’t the all-knowing god I thought he was. The excuses of him doing it as a “leela” and “playing” became thinner and thinner until I just wanted out. When I heard devotees saying they KNEW what he did to boys were true, but it all had a good reason because sai knows what is good for everyone etc., well, that was just too much for my practical mind to take. I became an ex-devotee without even consciously knowing it. I just went less & less to Darshan and I could not put my hands up in devotion anymore. I just looked at him with a suspicious look on my face! (full text in scanned page above on right).
It was always the former followers who eventually saw most clearly Sathya Sai Baba as he really was because they had already learned through years the gamut of rationalizations about his every mistake, deceit and failing until they realized how it was all simply a façade of organized appearances. Likewise, Divya also wrote:-“I am in a unique position at the moment, to observe the actions of sai without a clouded mind, observations which I have been sharing with my parents. It looks to me like sai is fast becoming senile – all explained away by the avid devotees, including a few friends whom I dearly admire for their sweetness, as “taking upon himself the karma of the world,” “enacting a drama of being an ordinary person”. (NOTE These extracts were written in 2005, years after the various DivyaWeed YouTube videos showing her father and others up until 1999 – the year in which the sex allegations began to flood in).
The Sai ashram authorities were most careful to stop those in the ashram and Puttaparthi from seeing the BBC exposure documentary when it was shown in India on BBC World, as we learned from various sources. Divya told us:-“Guess what? ‘Secret Swami’ on BBC aired here in India on BBC too – about half a year or more after it aired in UK. However, as I sat eagerly down with my TV in Parthi to see it, the BBC channel suddenly went blank after the first five (positive) minutes of the show! It remained blank for over 24 hours, until the last showing was over. Then the channel came back as normal. Quick-thinking Trust Mafia, perhaps?? (Later, I was able to read the transcript from the Internet.)”
Since the letters recording Divya’s experiences in the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba were no doubt genuine and honest, they reveal a lot of facts which the Sai authorities long tried their utmost to bury, they are worthy of further dissemination. Further, they show very clearly the more extreme kind of false hopes, shared delusions and indoctrinated misinterpretations of Sai Baba’s every word and act, they are still of interest when provided with serious commentaries to balance their zealous fervour. This will be shown in subsequent blogs. (See Sathya Sai ashram honeymoon delusions depicted)