Dalai Lama bows deeply
The Dalai Lama is known world-wide for his courage and often illumining and largely acceptable teachings, but above all for his life, which is truly a message of non-violence and standing for the truth and what is right. His righteous (dharmic) life has been in strict adherence to non-violence, seen in all he has done since his inauguration, and through the tremendously difficult decades through which it has been incumbent on him to try to protect and better his people. He makes himself as accessible as possible to people without them having to kow-tow, while he is open to questions, answers directly and frankly and in intelligible, accurate ways. If one bows to him, he returns the bow and bows more deeply! It would be fitting for Sai Baba to bow to the Dalai Lama, but he bows to no one… he is too high and mighty for that! Yet some of his most deluded followers – like N. Kasturi and V. Balu – once wrote about him as having great humility!
How does Sathya Sai Baba compare with the Dalai Lama?
Sai Baba purposely keeps everyone waiting, many of them almost endlessly, whoever they are. He hardly ever gives a straight answer to any honest question, if any at all, and he is known to everyone without exception not to be able to stand the slightest bit of criticism from anyone. Yet he full of criticism of others – in general in many of his discourses but also personally in interviews where he regularly ridicules people to get laughs. The only person in recent decades who could sometimes question him at all freely was my very good friend, V.K. Narasimhan…who helped Sai Baba by editing out the gaffes from the recorded discourses! Due to his reputation and contacts, Narasimhan was an intermediary bringing many top Indian politicians he had long known to the ashram by endorsing Sai Baba as a social reformer. Sathya Sai Baba is certainly not revered and respected worldwide by the vast numbers of people and governments as is the Dalai Lama.
Sai authorities desperate to get Dalai Lama to endorse Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba is certainly not revered and respected worldwide by the vast numbers of people and governments as is the Dalai Lama, nor is he known to most of the world, like the Dalai Lama. Sai Baba supporters have tried to create the illusion that the Dalai Lama somehow endorses Sai Baba (which he NEVER has done), simply because he once gave a lecture at the Sathya Sai International Centre in Delhi (Jan. 3, 2004), where he generously mentioned Sai Baba just once as follows:“I am happy to see that Sathya Sai Baba has said that his mission is not to convert people to other traditions. He would like a Buddhist to be a better Buddhist, a Muslim to be a better Muslim and a Hindu to be a better Hindu." That was all! The Director of the Centre where the Dalai Lama spoke, Dr. Karan Singh, coupled the names of Dalai Lama and Sathya Sai Baba in his address. However, the Dalai Lama emphasised that those of the Buddhist faith’ should stick to Buddhism, and Muslims to their faith, both of which religions firmly and totally reject the possibility of anyone being God Incarnate. Mahayana Buddhism rejects the existence of a God Creator. This seems one good reason why – in his self-proclaimed Godhood as World Saviour and Avatar – Sai Baba has never so much as mentioned the Dalai Lama!
Sai Baba sweepingly berates just about everyone in the world at regular intervals from his platform but the Dalai Lama never uses such language, even about the despotic and mendacious Chinese government.
Sathya Sai Baba hides in fear while the Dalai Lama does not: The Dalai Lama has real humility and enormous courage – putting himself in the front line – without protection from any troops or gunmen of his own – against one of the worst regimes in history. By comparison, Sai Baba has had 20 full-time plain-clothes security people since about 1994 (costing well over Rs. 200,000 a month by now. And who do you think pays?). These spies mingle undercover in the crowds. V.K. Narasimhan gave me the facts about this already in 1996. Is this for the sake of the devotees or Sai Baba? It is no more for devotees than are the metal detectors, the intensive body searches of men and women going to view Sai Baba (darshan) or the fact that Sai Baba hides daily and at night in a fortress-built apartment palace. He is guarded by additional Israel-trained commandos visibly armed with automatic weapons, he travels in a bomb-proof vehicle. No one can get into Sai Baba’s presence with the tiniest of items that could conceivably be used as any kind of weapon. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama has convincingly lived non-violence in all he does (not just in constant torrents of repetitive words as does Sai Baba) and has never had to conceal himself nearby in a room in his own ashram while four close attendants were assassinated with his tacit and later public approval, or condone subsequent cover-ups and quashing of all legal redress to the victims’ families.
Sai Baba claims that his word is absolute law in all things – whose will is always done by mega-obsequious officials in the ashram – would not even risk answering any questions about the murders, (just reread Sai Baba’s devious, insubstantial Gurupurnima discourse in 1993 about related details!). Also this “ever-tranquil, totally unaffected” Sai Baba dropped his guard and showed everyone his hidden hand in his Xmas 2000 discourse… namely, that by damning his critics to constant rebirths in many shameful lives, he is not compassionate or loving of everyone (as he has always claimed before and since, even of his detractors). More recently, he has damned various Indian newspaper editors to the same fate. Has the Dalai Lama ever damned or threatened anyone like that? The answer is a resounding ‘No!’
The Dalai Lama, however, is never patronising nor does he harangue the whole world for being impure and under the sway of inhuman and demonic forces, as does Sai Baba constantly. Sai Baba talks down to people from a position of claimed eminence. He constantly points to his own works and service and hardly ever attributes any credit to anyone else, boasting most embarrassingly about his achievements: i.e. none do 1000th of what he does, he announced at Christmas 2000. Others do all the work and provide the funds for all to which he so selflessly lends ‘His Precious Name’. He celebrates himself and his birthdays like no other event, claiming it is the devotees who want it. But the fact is, known to those who speak with frank ashramites, that almost only he thrives on it; most residents dread it. It is Sai Baba’s annual super self-praise event at Prashanti Nilayam, where he rides on in his bizarre silver-encrusted motorised chariot-cum-jeep. All that matters is numbers and show!
See 16 points of comparison between the Dalai Lama and Sathya Sai Baba
Above I compared the words and actions of Sathya Sai Baba with those of the Dalai Lama, showing how there was a world of difference between the dharma practised by the Dalai Lama and the deceptive words and action of Sai Baba. I also noted that the Dalai Lama had never endorsed Sathya Sai Baba in anything he had said. However, Chris Dokter pointed out in a comment on that blog, that this was not entirely true:-
Chris Dokter of The Netherlands commented.:-
“Alas, Robert, though I heartily agree with the gist of your post, I think it cannot go unmentioned here that the Dalai Lama DID in fact give some sort of endorsement to Sathya Sai Baba in the end. Posthumously, on April 25 2011, he issued an official message of condolence, which was published in the Tibetan Sun e.g. (See this link: http://www.tibetsun.com/archive/2011/04/25/dalai-lama-mourns-passing-away-of-sai-baba/), and also on the Dalai Lama’s homepage. It attracted international attention. This is what was stated by the Dalai Lama: “I am saddened by the passing away of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the respected spiritual leader. I would like to convey my condolences and prayers to all the followers, devotees and admirers of the late spiritual leader.”
I must say I was quite taken aback by this message.”
Hi Chris! Thanks for the correction. I did not know that. It is extremely disappointing… surely the Dalai Lama knew Sai Baba’s megalomaniacal claims (Creator of the Universe etc. ad. inf.) and would surely NEVER be able to support them, being a Buddhist. I suspect that, dependent as the Dalai Lama and his community in India are on the authorities, he may have been pressured into the statement one way or another. He never said anything like that once throughout the life of Sathya Sai Baba… which fact I consider speaks louder than words, really.
Chris Dokter replied: “I agree with your take on it, Robert. Still, I wish the Dalai Lama would have refrained from any comment on SB ‘kicking the bucket’. More, I would have liked to have seen a moral, if controversial stance of him if he felt compelled to comment at all.”
Kristina Jure commented: Having read the comment posted by Chrisdokter, I would like to share my experience with Buddhists. In 2009 January I have visited one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries in India in Karnataka. There are 5000 monks in this city of monastic buildings with the residence for Dalai Lama and I was accomodated as a tourist by one small community inside the monastery and given the translator to walk around and take pictures, also invited to watch the debates and their rituals and rites. The most impressive experience for me as the former devotee of SSB was the way they reacted to my message that I actually came to them from Prashanthi Nilayam. They started smiling at each other and I could feel they felt sorry for me. I’ve asked the translator whether Buddhists believe that Swami is the creator of the Universe and he replied with the smile that “certainly not”. Nobody in fact believed him at all. And this official statement made by Dalai Lama could be interpreted as his compassion to those who were in suffering, but not as his official acknowledgment of the self-styled avatar, I assume. The reaction of all the monks to the messages by SSB was quite ironic, I should say, and their position was formed by Dalai Lama himself because they were practising absolute respect and obedience to him.
Chris Dokter replied: Dear Kristina Jure. Though I agree the Dalai Lama’s statement can be seen as compassionate towards all those who were grief stricken, I am still troubled by the very fact that he chose to comment at all. I personally have little doubt the Dalai Lama would have laughed at the silly claims by Sai Baba, but it remains a fact that his message was published widely, and was on the whole interpreted as a supportive message by the international press, the Indian media and the SSB Organisation.
Compassion is good. Nothing wrong with it. But timing is everything when you are a public figure. And compassion with followers is one thing. But why did the Dalai Lama not openly show his compassion for all the victims of Sai Baba even once, the ex-followers? Does not compassion need courage in order to be balanced and not give offence? Or do you think the Dalai Lama was wholly ignorant of all the scandal and politics surrounding Sathya Sai Baba during the last decades?
Robert comments: It remains to be said that the comparisons I made between DL and SB stand well. In Gandhi’s own words (used on his tomb as his epitaph), namely “My Life in My Message” (later misappropriated by Sathya Sai Baba for himself and without acknowledgement) the Dalai Lama stands forth as exemplary, while Sathya Sai Baba’s actions and words were quite another story! The Dalai Lama respected the dead and, no doubt, the feelings of loss of SB devotees by his brief greeting, and – humble as he is – he was evidently no better informed about Sathya Sai Baba’s real life than are the majority of his remaining supporters, which includes the current Prime Minister and President and so on.