Deep schism between two major core factions in the Sathya Sai movement
Posted by robertpriddy on January 4, 2015
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
(W.B. Yeats: ‘The Second Coming’)
There is a major turf war going on between different factions in Sai Baba land, a major schism in the Organisation and movement between two factions. The former warden of Sathya Sai hostel Brindavan, Mr Narasimha Murthy, appears to be leading one faction. He currently resides in Muddenahalli, which has long had a Sai Baba mandir and school. There were 2 educational institutions set up – one in Muddenahalli about midway between Puttaparthi and Bangalore by the late Madiyala Narayan Bhat, a service minded devotee of Sai Baba, and another in a place called Alike. The ownership of both these institutions was taken over by Sathya Sai Baba in 1978-79. Mr Murthy was a follower of Narayana Bhat and upon his advice, entered the Sai movement. He initially worked at Muddenahalli and then was posted to Prashanti Nilayam and then to Brindavan. Read of his excessive claims here
Mr Indulal Shah, a powerful figure in the movement (formerly the International Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organisation for decades, but was removed by Sai Baba in favour of the rich US businessman, Dr. Michael Goldstein, not least since Shah used his world-wide contacts to block many of Sai Baba’s directives. My informant points out that “Indulal Shah has sided with Mr Murthy and they have built a new college campus in Gulbarga, Karnataka. It looks like they are going full bore with an aggressive attempt to win over devotees. The beauty of it is that SB is supposedly talking to them and making them do plenty of good deeds such as build massive buildings. What better way to impress devotees than to erect grand edifices? Now, he has been promoting a former Sai student Madhusudhan Naidu (who conveniently happens to be an expert in drama acting) as the leader of the movement because apparently, SB speaks through him! You can find detail about this in this blog below. Apparently, “Swami gave a discourse full of wit and wisdom” (hopefully, not the usual boredom) via Madhusdhan Naidu. (http://childrenofsathyasai.org/blog/confessions-of-the-one-who-experienced/)
Asserting similar crackpot psychic claims,but possibly not in their camp as such, is the former Hard Rock beefburger millionaire, Isaac Burton Tigrett, who has shown himself to be of unstable mind and morals for decades (son of John Burton Tigrett who had made a fortune on things like the ‘Glub-Glub drinking duck’ novelty). Isaac’s megalomanic ‘Mystic Inn of the Seventh Ray‘ ashram-cum-spiritual and healing mega-project in Coorg has not come about, despite his claiming it was developed in intense sessions with Sai Baba in has last years. (Sai Baba’s subtle body being poor at financing him, could he be hoping from finance from the influential Murthy school-building faction at last?). See inset text:-
And then, on the other side there is the Sathya Sai Central Trust with Ratnakar, Srinivasan and others, who have posted a warning about Shah/Murthy etc. in a terse Press Relase ‘Advisory to Devotees’. The official Sai propagandist of Radio Sai, Dr. G. Venkataraman (a former nuclear bomb maker for India, confused scientist and believer in Sai Baba as existing behind the scenes of duality etc.) has – in response to those agitated by the huge doctrinal and organisational cleft that has arisen – held a talk on RadioSai entitled ‘To Follow Swami’s wish or not? That is the question!‘ He is in the Ratnakar camp and contra against the Murthy/Shah/Tigrett faction, of course.
In effect, Venkataraman rejects what lies at the heart of the dispute, that Sathya Sai Baba is still ‘alive and well’ though in a subtle body – invisible, ethereal (though physically disconnected). Venkataraman said that Sai Baba requires one to be ‘extra careful in understanding and interpreting My teachings‘,but it is surely most confusing for him, since he also totally believes Sathya Sai is eternally in existence… but fails to consider where, how, when etc.
Likewise, the self-promoting ‘superstar’ of the Sai movement, Mr Anil Kumar has a Facebook page where he speaks out against the attempted hijacking of the Sai movement by a bunch of self-appointed agents (Sri Sathya Sai Sri Saraswati Trust or the Bhagawan Hospital, Raipur, Chhatisgarth)). He says Swami never named a successor, so there is no question of him using anyone as a medium to speak to devotees. He expresses regret that Indulal Shah has sided with the Muddenahalli faction. From Anil Kumar’s Facebook page:- “…No member of the SSSSO should have any connection with these Trusts and Institutions/Organisations started by them. Sri Indulal Shah, Trustee of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, has regretfully in his advancing years, made his own individual decision to be associated with functions organized by these other” (December 3rd. https://www.facebook.com/saimemories)
My informant also writes: “SB passing on is actually the best thing that has happened in my opinion. Students are safer, and devotees will no longer be misled with his empty promises and asinine instructions (such as making a devotee spend a fortune to realize the promise of becoming a Sai pilot and then just ignoring him like he doesn’t exist, etc). It appears that funds are drying up and a few divisions within the super specialty hospital have closed down. I sincerely hope they continue to function because medical treatment in India has become super expensive and unethical. It will be interesting to see who wins turf war. I think the Muddenahalli faction has the upper hand right now, thanks to SB giving Darshan, giving discourses, etc albeit through a conduit. The Anil Kumar faction comes across as a bunch of sour grape suckers because all they can do is regurgitate SB’s old teachings and prostrate in front of his tomb.“
Photos of Sai Baba’s ethereal visit to Kodaikanal 2014 Where Isaac Tigrett and other deluded devotees welcomed a bodiless, speechless, invisible ‘heartfelt form’ or Sathya Sai Baba to a huge charade connected to the Narasimha Murthy faction. See also Tigrett’s ludicrous fantasies about Sai Baba’s ‘return in subtle body’
Submitted on 2015/02/21 at 9:16 pm
Unfortunately this new faction has the potential to be quite dangerous. I personally know of close friends of mine caught up in this nonsense. According to them “Swami” provides various instructions to believers, including where to buy their house, to come work for Muddenahali etc. These people need to be stopped before they harm innocent people.
A recent revelation by “Swami” is that Prema Sai has already been born and that he will reside in Muddenahali (who didn’t see that coming). He will apparently be a silent avatar and barely speak. God only knows the nefarious purpose behind this declaration.