Swami Ambikananda at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram
Posted by robertpriddy on September 19, 2016
The London-based Swami Ambikananda who was originally from Mauritius visited India and lived a while in the Himalayas, and also visited South India to see Sathya Sai Baba, the supposed reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba who Ambikananda worshipped. The above scene could have been either at Prashanthi Nilayam or Whitefield near Bangalore. Swami Ambikananda certainly visited Whitefield as I was present when he said the name was most unfitting, the place was a run-down dirty place. He had told that no words passed between Sathya Sai and himself, but that they had an unspoken understanding. He spoke frequently and reverently of Sathya Sai Baba during the 1970s (and probably until his death). At that time, Sathya Sai Baba was widely recognised as a pure, holy man and even an avatar (except to a very small number of critics). Not until around 2000 did the flood of testimonies of fraud, sexual abuses and involvement in bribery and murder surface, nor was the intensely secretive cultist nature of cover-up by all officials around him yet widely known.
Had Ambikananda lived long enough to become aware of the massive allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, the chances are that he would have ignored them out of hand due to the respect he expressed for Sathya Sai Baba and the similarity between the teachings behind the spiritual endeavours they recommended. Not least, had he been truly prescient and had psychic powers to gain full insight into others, he would have known about Sai Baba’s massive failings. Had he been able to realise the extent and depth of Sathya Sai Baba’s deceptions, breaks of trust, countless abuses of young males and direct involvement in bribery and murder, he would have had to condemn them. He was perhaps fortunate to have died before the storm broke. Some of his former prominent followers had left him in favour of Sathya Sai Baba, but these too had later realised that Sai Baba’s fraud and deception was rife and consequently rejected him too.
I have written a thorough account of my involvement with Swami Ambikananda in the 1970s on my home page website here.