Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Archive for March 14th, 2013

Love is My Form – Sai Towers publication

Posted by robertpriddy on March 14, 2013

Sai Towers' publication, 'Love is My Form' Volume 1 On the Sai Towers’ publication ‘Love is My Form’ (LIMF) by Brian Steel

“One of the signs that SSB devotee numbers worldwide had reached critical mass in the early 1990s was the opening of a very new type of business venture, the highly efficient city-style Sai Towers building. Set on a prime position of the main street of the growing but still rudimentary township of Puttaparthi, Sai Towers occupied a large modern-style building which offered a superior style café-hotel-bookshop and publishing house. It quickly became the best known and most visited Puttaparthi business, thanks mainly to an enthusiastic clientele of visiting or mail-shopping foreign devotees. The ambitious enterprise was run by a very popular devotee and ex-photographer of SSB, Mr Padmanaban (presumably backed by other local businessmen). A second branch was later opened in Whitefield. Sai Towers became famous for the quality binding and paper of its devotee books about SSB – far superior to the printed products of the Sathya Sai Organization: local and international trade became very brisk for all the Sai Towers commercial offerings.

In early 2000, Sai Towers announced the imminent publication of the first of an ambitious series of (at least) 6 specially researched books dealing definitively with the life of SSB. Research for the first volume and the whole definitive series, involving a team of about forty people, had already been going on for seven years. Advanced subscriptions in rupees and dollars were available for not only the first volume but for the remaining five as well, which were scheduled to be published at two-yearly intervals. Special discounts were available to those who paid for the whole series or other advance orders. If anyone doubted the seriousness of this project, their uncertainty would have disappeared overnight in October 2000 when the first weighty volume was finally published: Love is My Form. Vol. 1. The Advent (1926-1950). (Bangalore, Sai Towers Publishing, 2000, edited by R. Padmanaban, ISBN 81-86-8227-71)

Sai Towers announced: “We propose to produce “Love is My Form” in seven/nine volumes. Subsequent issues will chronicle the decades after the establishment of the pilgrimage centre and the gradual unfolding of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s glorious and unique life and teachings.”

Six volumes were projected to be completed by 2006 and, as the Sai Towers website also made clear at the time, research for the next two (covering the 1950s and 1960s) were well under way. In the first volume, the unsigned Introduction to the series makes its allegiances quite clear, but with the sort of hyperbole which has become identified with descriptions of SSB and his life:

“This biographical series comes to document and record facts and events for posterity on the Life, Works and Teachings of the most extraordinary being to walk the earth in modern times – Sri Sathya Sai Baba.” This hyperbole was accompanied by the sort of unrealistic boast that has become associated with the Sathya Sai Baba Movement: “The series will serve future generations for millennia to come.”

A mere four years later we note that the series will not even be able to serve this generation, let alone those of the coming thousand years – because it has been abandoned. Instead we are now suddenly confronted with the disappointing prospect of a return to the official Kasturi style of hagiography and rumour, which favours the Divine myth and steers clear of anything which might show its weaknesses. However, nearly a quarter of a century after Kasturi’s last volume was published, and in a different ‘climate’, it is to be hoped that some devotees may no longer be willing to accept that sort of bland and imperfect publication, to which the Sathya Sai Publications Trust has cordially invited all devotees to contribute?

The first volume of the laudable LIMF enterprise was a large format (9 x 12 inch), 600-page hardback, lavishly illustrated and full of old and NEW information about the first twenty-four years of SSB’s life (1926-1950). Although relying heavily on the Kasturi volumes and other information from the SSB literature, the research had also included the gathering of material from 140 tape recorded interviews with elderly local people who had known SSB in the earlier years (see the list on pp. 578-579). The volume also included 759 priceless photographs (many seen for the first time and many carefully DATED). These had been painstakingly gathered and presented by Mr Padmanaban, with a special “warm grey and a layer of spot varnish” to revive the dusty and damaged old black and white photos dating back to 1940 (but mainly from 1943 on). LIMF also offers 61 illustrations, 43 documents and 4 maps. The first instalment of a potentially vital record – the sort of work from which a long overdue critical biography might spring.

The rest of the LIMF story is short and, for those who value the truth, quite sad. Among some diehard devotee circles in India and elsewhere, the volume went down like a lead balloon – there are bulletin board postings to prove this; they could see the potential for public embarrassment. Newly disaffected ex-devotees (like me) published comments in 2001 and 2002 on the glaring discrepancies unearthed by the LIMF researchers.” (excerpt from

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