Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Gruesome murder reported at the ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’

Posted by robertpriddy on November 1, 2014

Sathya Sai Baba was reported by Kasturi as having fetched the one-time dacoit  (i.e. brigand), Kumar, from a group of which Sai Baba had surprised in the hills in his younger days. He made Kumar his main gate watchman at Prashanthi Nilayam. Kumar was known as a very offensive person towards all poor Indian visitors, using his stick on defenceless visitors and also on beggars etc. and had become a general tyrant, having made a lot of enemies within the ashram and outside. He sometimes even abused foreign visitors, such as when he locked an American girl in his concrete hut for over 24 hours for infringing some petty rule of the ashram.

Examples of Shiva priests

Examples of Shiva priests

Kumar was killed in early 1987. Two different accounts of this have circulated. One account I head at the time (in January 1987) from a an ashram resident who spoke Hindi and Telugu was that a Shivite priest who Kumar had abused physically and became his enemy had pretended to apologise to him, asking to take padnamaskaar (i.e. touch his feet). Kumar was sitting on the bench before the accommodation office. He agreed but , when the priest put his lips to Kumar’s feet, however, he instead bit his big toe clean off, having filed, sharpened, pointed teeth as some Shiva priests have to bite the heads of cockerels etc. Superstition about Shiva priests who live in graveyards or at burning grounds is very intense among ill-educated Indians – and even among some educated ones too. Kumar was reportedly refused entry to the small Sai hospital and died, allegedly of shock, within three days in Bangalore. This is the more credible account, which I heard personally in Prashanthi Nilayam from a Malaysian resident and an Anglo-Indian friend (Alfred Brinnand) days after it happened. They also told me in private that Chiranjia Rao (temporary head of the ashram at that time in February 1987 deputising for Kutumba Rao) carried out regular surveillance of persons who mixed too freely with  residents, and were especially vigilant in trying to suppress such contacts after the brutal Kumar’s murder.

Another differing account – told me much later in 1996 – by Mr. V. Ramnath of the Indian Administrative Service, was that Kumar was killed by a cook in the Prashanthi Nilayam Indian canteen who Kumar had been harassing very badly, supposedly with a large kitchen knife in self-defence – Kumar had reportedly assaulted him in the grounds of Baba’s parents’ mausoleum in Puttaparthi. I have since had strong reasons to doubt the credibility of V. Ramnath, who I came to know well and who held strongly biassed opinions about various events.See scan of notes I made at the time)

In both reports, however, the guilty party went straight to Sathya Sai Baba to beg forgiveness. He was given money (either by Sathya Sai Baba himself or by the ashram staff?) and told to leave the ashram and to stay in some village until further notice. The person later returned to the ashram as usual. No one was arrested or charged with the killing. Which account is true, or whether both incidents occurred (perhaps in sequence), is uncertain. But it is certain that Kumar was killed, because when his rooms in the small watchman building just inside the ‘gopuram’ gate were cleared, 50,000 rupees in small denominations were found behind a picture of Baba. This money had been extorted from visitors to the ashram, mostly poor Indians. Kumar was known for aggressive behaviour, using his stick on defenceless visitors and also on beggars etc. and had become a general tyrant, having made a lot of enemies within the ashram and outside.

After the discovery of Kumar’s death and embezzlement of poor Indian visitors, Sai Baba was seen on the veranda in visible fury at the then head of ashram (Kutumb Rao) and his assistant (Chiranjia Rao) when they approached him. Only later did the infamous murders in Sai Baba’s apartment occur (June 1993) and since then much first-hand evidence has emerged to substantiate that violence, murder and other forms of extreme abuse were not uncommon within the Sai Baba ashrams and that intense efforts to cover up all such untoward events were made by Sai Baba’ s staff and organisation… all under his leadership and  supposed ‘omniscient and omnipotent’ control.  

Comment & reply:-
Eileenweed said

November 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm e
I remember Kumar, who was a very prominent figure in those days with his stick, whipping and running after anyone he deemed should not be admitted into the ashram (more often than not, due to not paying him bribes – and that was a well known fact even amongst us foreigner newbies!). All of us devotees heard at that time that Kumar was bit by someone he had abused (the Shivite priest, perhaps), which led to an infection (some even said rabies), and he died several days after the incident. Either the incident or his death occurred in the coconut grove by sb’s parent’s samadhi, we heard.

Robert replies: Indeed, I also heard those things. I now know it was typical of the ashram officials – no doubt acting on higher orders – to put out different stories so as to confuse and thus cast doubt on the original reports of the facts made by any independent witnesses who had told what they saw and/or knew. This type of confusion through conflicting stories’ happened in connection with almost every matter that did not further unstinted praise and worship of Sai Baba. That this is a fact is supported by the sparsity of ‘official’ information to clear up in any credible detail the differing accounts. Questions about any such matters were often very gruffly rebuffed by unpleasant men who handled public relations. The few honest and really civil individual officials were represented best by Mt. Hejmadi, husband of Prashanthi’s chief Seva Dal (Mrs. Hejmadi). He was Head of the Central Office, an entirely pro forma post without any influence on events there, allowed to send out vapid circulars to office-beareres in the Organisation. Sweet Mr. Hejmadi would reply kindly to you, but would still be unable to shed any light as he was evidently not allowed to do so. I also witnessed on occasion that even my very good friend, the outspoken V.K. Narasimhan, would be very guarded and economical in his answers to people who came to ask him such things when I was present, as I often was for hours almost every other day.

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One Response to “Gruesome murder reported at the ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’”

  1. eileenweed said

    I remember Kumar, who was a very prominent figure in those days with his stick, whipping and running after anyone he deemed should not be admitted into the ashram (more often than not, due to not paying him bribes – and that was a well known fact even amongst us foreigner newbies!). All of us devotees heard at that time that Kumar was bit by someone he had abused (the Shivite priest, perhaps), which led to an infection (some even said rabies), and he died several days after the incident. Either the incident or his death occurred in the coconut grove by sb’s parent’s samadhi, we heard.

    Robert replies: Indeed, I also heard those things. I now know it was typical of the ashram officials – no doubt acting on higher orders – to put out different stories so as to confuse and thus cast doubt on the original reports of the facts made by any independent witnesses who had told what they saw and/or knew. This type of confusion through conflicting stories’ happened in connection with almost every matter that did not further unstinted praise and worship of Sai Baba. That this is a fact is supported by the sparsity of ‘official’ information to clear up in any credible detail the differing accounts. Questions about any such matters were often very gruffly rebuffed by unpleasant men who handled public relations. The few honest and really civil individual officials were represented best by Mt. Hejmadi, husband of Prashanthi’s chief Seva Dal (Mrs. Hejmadi). He was Head of the Central Office, an entirely pro forma post without any influence on events there, allowed to send out vapid circulars to office-beareres in the Organisation. Sweet Mr. Hejmadi would reply kindly to you, but would still be unable to shed any light as he was evidently not allowed to do so. I also witnessed on occasion that even my very good friend, the outspoken V.K. Narasimhan, would be very guarded and economical in his answers to people who came to ask him such things when I was present, as I often was for hours almost every other day.

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