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 the ‘Miracles’ Category

Light on Sathya Sai Baba mythology origins + video

Posted by robertpriddy on August 9, 2009

Excerpt from Arnold Schulman's book on Sathya Sai Baba

Excerpt from Arnold Schulman’s book on Sathya Sai Baba

Arnold Schulman was one of the early writers about Sathya Sai Baba. The book  Baba was published by Viking Press, New York and was properly edited. Though he was no doubt perplexed by Sathya Sai Baba’s claims, and was inclined to give a favourable account, he was not devoid of a certain measure of investigative spirit and critical thinking, After 6 weeks of research at the ashrams and interviews with Satya Sai, he concluded “there was nothing the writer could think of that would allow him to accept the idea that this person with the Afro hairdo and the orange dress could actually, literally, be God.” The opposite scan of a page from his book shows some of his grounds for scepticism.

There are many grounds for thinking that the story of Sathya Sai Baba’s childhood and youth as  authenticated by Sai Baba in the ‘official biography’ Prof. N. Kasturi wrote were largely concocted. Schulman gives one small example here. Other examples which show clearly that the actual historical terrain does not agree with the ‘official map’ is found in a hagiography by a very devoted but somewhat frank follower who knew him well as a teenager. .. Smt. Vijaya Kumari (‘Vijayamma’). Further, his role in a family entertainment troupe performing magic tricks, song, dance and other attractions for the unsophisticated village audiences – clearly a matter of an extremely poverty-stricken family earning their bread – indicated where he learned sleight of hand and other prestidigitation. Such performances can be seen on many a street in Southern India even today. See simulation of Sai Baba’s stage act:  Short VIDEO CLIP (only 420Kb) B. Premanand tells of Sathya Sai Baba and his family in his early years)

That Kasturi interpreted all that as a spiritual undertaking and transformed the story – with the eager help of those who no doubt saw an advantage in playing up what they had witnessed (or naively believed) – is highly likely… his writings is so excessively eulogistic and exaggerated that one cannot but suspect him of a great deal of ‘poetic license’.

See also ‘Baba’ – an embarrassment for the Sathya Sai Organization?

How the Sathya Sai mythology emerged beyond India

Sathya Sai Baba’s early years

See also Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Miracles, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘divine magnetism’

Posted by robertpriddy on July 25, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba’s delusions of grandeur on the public record reveals him still to  have much of his semi-literate villager’s ideas, holding discourses which reveal that the Divine Omniscience he claims does not stretch to magnetism, atomic physics, geophysics or a list of other subjects. His world-view is illustrated well enough in his discourse on Sivarathri, March 13, 2002, which was about magnetism with a capital M.

Sathya Sai Baba shows the "3-ton golden linga" in 2002

Sathya Sai Baba shows the “3-ton golden linga” in 2002

He spoke of magnetism as material magnetism, saying it is really divine magnetism which pervades absolutely everything. He interprets magnetism as that which only attracts. (He magnanimously overlooks the facts that physical magnetism also repulses!) He imputes this quality to physical magnetism, adding that it is also found in gold (i.e. in the golden lingam which he pretended to have materialised from within his stomach). However, gold if famously non-magnetic. (though it attracts people).  He compounds this by claiming that  this is also a kind of ‘animal magnetism’. He speaks of magnetic flowers and says the body is a magnetic temple, while physical temples store up the magnetism of devotion and thus attract people! He holds that this same magnetism is ‘embodied’ in the legless, faceless linga and so on…  (see here)

All this shows that Sathya Sai Baba suffers from an uninformed confusion of absurd proportions.

Sathya Sai Baba - from Sanathana Sarathi, April 2002, p. 123

Sathya Sai Baba – from Sanathana Sarathi, April 2002, p. 123

This idea arose, it appears, when Sathya Sai Baba began to stagger during his walkabout ‘darshans‘. The cause was not known to anyone, but later it became clear that it was due to a degenerating hip joint, which finally gave way and caused him to become an invalid. However, to explain that staggering gait, Sai Baba resorted to the ruse that it was the magnetism of the earth, which was so attracted to himself, the Divine Lord embodied, that he had difficulty walking! Amazingly, devotees today still believe such deceitful rubbish! Sai Baba pulled out all the stops, as the quote shows:

Sai Baba later claimed the cause was that the small golden lingam weighed three tons, as heard on the BBC film!

The BBC filmed the lingam production in 2004 – but it failed completely. Sai Baba had also permitted an unprecedented live broadcast in the Indian subcontinent on holy Shivaratri day of his so-called ‘lingodbhava’ (bringing the egg-like ellipsoidal object out of his mouth after what looks like a painful process of ‘regurgitation’). From the very clear BBC filming of the event, however, one can see that NO lingam actually emerged. Instead there was a small spurt of apparently yellowish vomit, which some believers actually claimed was the lingam in liquid golden form! The yellow colour, however, arose entirely from poor video quality (or manipulation of colour) by the devotees who caught this on videocam. By contrast, the BBC film of the very same incident (in the documentary, ‘The Secret Swami’). The BBC team filmed close up and one can see clearly that there was no golden liquid or any lingam coming from his mouth, but only transparent water is seen. Before collapsing, Sai Baba held a towel to his mouth and a golden lingam appeared “somehow” in the towel. The director Eamon Hardy was observing and confirmed that no lingam came from his mouth. It is clear that most devotees will believe just anything they are told by him or his cadre. Sathya Sai Baba’s claim afterwards – stated by his translator Professor Anil Kumar and captured on film – that the lingam weighed three tons should convince any sane person that this was all nothing but transparent fraudulence.

But the BBC filmed it most clearly and tellingly – see fuller captures here

A film clip of the ‘actual emergence’ has been posted on the internet by devotees. One can pause the video and examine each frame separately to analyze the movements. (”>View the Indian poor quality film-clip- NOTE Site since removed by owners but archived). Some claimed that, because the lingam did not appear from his mouth, it was formed in the towel from vomited ‘liquid gold’ (though the liquid only appeared to have a yellow colour on the badly made cheap video, while it was clear as water on the BBC professional film). From before the alleged ’emergence’, Sathya Sai Baba is clearly seen to be holding something just about the size of the lingam inside the towel between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand! Now what on earth could that be, one wonders? After the vomit, he lets go of what he was holding in secret and fumbles to extract it with his right hand, taking the lingam from under the towel just where it was being held earlier, and we see a rather confused look of resignation cross his features.

It seems that Sathya Sai Baba must have lost his nerve on this occasion, for he did not even try producing the lingam from his mouth this time. We know from a private source who observed the event that Sathya Sai Baba collapsed directly after that and was in a terrible state when he was carried off. Very likely partly a reaction to the stress of being on live TV and of realizing he had not managed to pull it off convincingly to conceal his fraud from the cameras. But his favourite, Anil Kumar, reported that Sathya Sai Baba had to go away to ‘produce’ two more ‘atma lingams’ in private out of sight of anyone! (believe it if you can!). Was Sathya Sai Baba feeling too ill, or too camera shy? Those with perspicacious and open minds can decide the nature of this ‘divine mystery’? He answered this when, having been off-stage for some time, he returned and told the audience (in front of the BBC camera!)”

TRANSCRIPT (view actual brief video clip – filesize 1Mb) :-
Tanya Datta:- There’s always an explanation for everything.
(Anil Kumar’s translation of Sai Baba’s words in Telugu): “Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight
of three tonnes. That’s the reason why some strain on the face and the body

It was Sathya Sai Baba’s translator ‘Professor’ Anil Kumar, who translated Sai Baba’s words saying that his debilitating collapse at the Shivarthri festival in 2004 was due to the three tonnes of weight of the golden lingam. He claimed it emerged from his body (see here – also view how the BBC camera showed that no lingam actually emerged). Probably the fatuous blind believer Anil Kumar mistranslated Sai Baba’s words… for the Sanathana Sarathi printed version of Sai Baba discourses in which he claims that the weight of the gold in the human body – and in the gold lingams he produces – was ‘three tolas’. This is equivalent to the weight of three original silver Indian rupees of 11.4 grams each. So Sai Baba’s lingam of three tolas would weigh just over 34 grams. In an earlier discourse he made the quite different claim that every human body contains ‘five tolas’ (ca. 60 grams)

In his discourse after the Shivarathri lingodbhava two years previously (13/3/2002), Sai Baba stated: “(Showing the golden Linga to the devotees, Swami said). “As you can all see, this Linga is rather bigger in size. There is a meaning behind this. This is five Tolas in weight. [one Tola is 11.66 grams. 5 Tolas = about 60.0 grams] Every human being possesses five Tolas of gold essence known as Hiranyagarbha… Gold represents energy in man and is the cause of his radiance. The gold content within each body is this size only. It is gold essence in the body that makes the eyes see, ears hear etc.” (Sanathana Sarathi – April 2002, p. 127)
However, the human body cannot possibly contain so much gold! In Wikipedia we find that the amount of gold in the human body is vanishingly tiny:-

ElementPercent of Atoms Atoms
Gold0.00000030 2 x 1019

Further: “only salts and radioisotopes of gold are of pharmacological value, as elemental (metallic) gold is inert to all chemicals it encounters inside the body” (see here)

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Sathya Sai Baba: lingam photos-liberation from rebirth

Posted by robertpriddy on July 23, 2009

Promises of liberation? In common with most other Indian gurus, Sai Baba has promised liberation from the cycle of rebirths to a number of his followers… sometimes in private, sometimes in public. That this is a much sought-after boon is perhaps hardly surprising, not least when considering the longing for salvation that is a driving force in much religion, frequently doubtless stronger even than the desire to be physically healed of serious chronic or fatal illness. This makes a bond with very strong binds!

Black lingam allegedly manifested by Sathya Sai Baba

Black lingam allegedly manifested by Sathya Sai Baba

Since 1999, Sathya Sai Baba again produced Shiva lingams from his mouth during Shivarathri (after over 20 years of not doing so in public) and has said that all those who see one actually emerging will get liberation. This is a guarantee he had announced on a few occasions during past Shivarathri celebrations and again after the Shivarathri celebrations in 1999.

The promise of being free from the necessity of being reborn certainly exerts one of the most powerful psychological bonds there is, in this case to the guru. It has long been part and parcel of the guru-disciple relationship in India. To keep believing in the guru, obeying him implicitly in all things, is apparently most often ‘part of the deal’, but the guru’s promises may only be conditional… for who can ever tell? This definitely applies to Sathya Sai Baba’s promises of liberation too, judging by the people I know who imagine they can be granted such a boon, or actually believe that they have been promised it.

Naturally, those who consider they have achieved this apparent boon will be very loath to relinquish it, such as by refuting anything Sathya Sai Baba says or does. Such a promise by someone one accepts on his own word to be the God Avatar of an entire aeon – once given – ought to be as if ‘set in rock’. However, there are instances where this promise is not to be honoured, according to Sathya Sai Baba’s own (self-contradictory) words. Dr. John Hislop, who passed over in 1996 without taking any medication for his cancer – wrote that he had once seen Sathya Sai Baba bring one linga out of his mouth complete with a 3-legged metal stand. Another time he is said to have witnessed the linga coming from the mouth as a blue light that then coalesced into the object. Despite this, he was told by Swami that he would have to be reborn:-

Baba said: “Another birth is best for you…”
Hislop: “No freedom yet!”
Baba: “Yes, another birth is best. In that you will get total, final liberation”
Hislop: But, Swami, I don’t want to go through youth again. Youth is not a good experience – it is dangerous and difficult.”
Baba: “It will be a better life than this one. Don’t waste time thinking of the future.”
(“Conversations with Bhagavan SSSathya Sai Baba” by J. Hislop. 1996 revised extended edition, p. 227)

Photo of lingam claimed by Sai Baba to heal those who see it!

Photo of lingam claimed by Sai Baba to heal those who see it!

What does this tell us about Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘guarantee’ of liberation for all those who see the lingam actually emerge from his mouth? It has been pointed out to me that Sathya Sai Baba – being God -may countermand this or any other promise (for one lifetime… or more?) and this could even be a boon… to be reborn, for example, to accompany Prema Sai, as two others who also often saw the lingam emerge, Prof. Kasturi and his closest attendant Swami Karunyananda (both now deceased), were both told they would. But this is certainly not how Baba many times has described rebirth… which he holds to be the greatest tragedy that can befall anyone, to have to cry ‘Koham?’ in complete ignorance of our nature and so forth! He had even once before told Hislop, as recorded in his writings, when he had suggested it could be a boon to be reborn with Prema Sai, that it was definitely not so!

It is frequently described by devotees how Sathya Sai Baba makes promises, but fails to keep them. These broken promises are usually ‘explained away’ somehow by the writer. Sathya Sai Baba has himself sometimes tried to explain them away too. He will promise an interview next day, but ignore this completely when the time comes, and so on again and again. Like many people I have met at the ashrams, I have experienced broken promises by Sai Baba both as regards trivial matters, such as when he promised my wife and I a room in Brindavan, but also as regards several much more weighty matters, one of which was a promise of ‘a healthy life’ and ‘I will look after his health’. However, my chronic back problems have slowly deteriorated, while various other ailments have come (all this long before I began to discover things which made me doubt much and consider Sathya Sai Baba as something quite other than what he claims to be). Why should he promise so much if he doesn’t (intend to) carry it out, or can’t manage it? Does he wish to play on our hopes so as to bind us to his purposes? A question worth asking, also whether this is deceitful and immoral too! Therefore, Sathya Sai Baba’s promises of liberation also look decidedly shaky!

Lingam produced by Sai Baba at a picnic in former days

Lingam produced by Sai Baba at a picnic in former days

Sathya Sai Baba has time and again made a great fuss about how “it is impossible for anyone to understand or explain the meaning and significance of Swami.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 10 new ed., p. 170) and, “In truth, you cannot understand the nature of my reality either today, or even after a thousand years of steady austerity or ardent enquiry, even if all mankind joins in the effort.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol II. Old. ed. p. 90). If this is so, how can one really trust anyone who is so non-understandable, so unpredictable? And who makes greater boasts than any person ever known! Good luck to those who can swallow it all, they’ll most probably need it, but rather them than I!

It certainly seems that Sathya Sai Baba needs to get more and more followers so badly that he now promises to anyone who will come to his ashram at Shivarathri, not the earth, not even heaven, but eternal bliss in some undefined, unproven limbo. It is remarkable that so many so unquestioningly take all these guarantees as more than boasts and entrapments…. but then most people choose to believe just what they want should be true, even though they don’t have a clue what this might involve. However, billions of people – including Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and many another denomination – will obviously never accept Sathya Sai Baba’s claims about this, that is for certain. This does not look tremendously positive for Sathya Sai Baba’s claims about his effect on world affairs!

See also previous postings on Sai Baba’s ‘Shiva lingams’:
the magnetism of the lingodbhava here
and proof of faked emergence on film here

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
See also Devotee attacks on the Sai petition and petitioners

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Manifestations, Materialization, Miracles, Reincarnation, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The magnet of Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘lingam’ miracles

Posted by robertpriddy on July 22, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba vomits up another lingam

The Sathya Sai Baba Lingam Question: The production of lingams at the Shivarathri festival was discontinued in the 1970s, according to Sathya Sai Baba, because the crowds were too large and injuries were being caused. It is of note that Sathya Sai Baba started up the lingodbhava in public again when the allegations had broken and the crowds were thinning and the donations doubtless too. (Note: The whole 76th birthday crowd – overwhelmingly Indian – fitted into the Kulwant Mantap with max. capacity ca. 15,000, so the Hillview Stadium was not needed).  films, from 2000 and 2001, show Sai Baba apparently ‘regurgitating’ a golden lingam. In the sequences from 2001 (one taken head-on, and one from the side filmed by Dr. Sara Pavan) we see that Sathya Sai Baba holds a towel before his mouth and fiddles for about 5 seconds, appearing to put the regurgitated lingam back in his mouth, before letting it come out in full view slowly, but it drops before he catches it. In another strangely comical sequence – for what he speaks of as a tremendously auspicious holy regeneration fo the cosmos – he bounced it had on a table and it landed on the ground and rolled into the crowd!

Sathya Sai Baba lingam 'regurgitations'?

Sathya Sai Baba lingam ‘regurgitations’?

There are three main possibilities involved here: 1) It is a genuine lingam production in the stomach emerging through his throat? 2) It comes up his throat when he gags, but he puts it back into his mouth behind the towel to let it seem to emerge. 2) It is brought into his mouth by hand behind the towel (the violent seeming regurgitation being only a fake movement)? I find 3) the most likely in after 2000 then 2) in earlier years and then 1) very unlikely.

Due to the massive cocksure testimony by many writers, I came to believe for about 18 years that the lingam productions were most likely genuine. I also have also films of lingodbhava from before he stopped this showpiece in the ’70s. The whole episode looked very much the same as nowadays. The reasons for believing most in 3) are several. The obvious one is that this is a trick which Houdini invented. Sai Baba was losing credibility and devotees were shocked over the massive sex abuse allegations against him. In 2000 that everyone who saw this actually emerge would gain liberation from the cycle of birth/death, and this would apply again in future! That is the magnet for devotees who believe in all that. There were much larger crowds than usual at Shivarathri from then on. Further, he had said before that only by seeing the lingam actually emerge could one get liberation. So as not to disappoint all those there, he presumably put it back in his mouth after it ‘came up’ (if he had swallowed it before). Most people would feel they had actually seen it emerge. The obvious question then is, did he want to give people the false belief that they would achieve liberation? Despite the unlikelihood that such ‘liberation from rebirth’ is more than a wishful miasma and could possibly ensue from seeing the actual emergence?’

Some reasons for considering lingam regurgitations are fakes: One can see a lingam production from the mouth by some yogi the a German film crew around 1990, which shows how common this ‘feat’ is in India. See video clip here. (‘Das Mysterium Der Shiva – Heilige Männer‘ . It was shown in Germany in a series called ‘Terra X – Rätsel alter Weltkulturen’

Harry Houdini's needle trick, swallowing dozens of needles and yards of thread and then regurgitating them back up all strung together.

Harry Houdini’s needle trick, swallowing dozens of needles and yards of thread and then regurgitating them back up all strung together.

Regurgitation a stage illusionist trick: The famous illusionist, Houdini, experimented at swallowing balls and re-gurgitating them, firstly with a piece of string attached. Later he did it without any aids, and regurgitated them with ease on stage. The object can be kept in the stomach or throat for several hours at least before regurgitation is stimulated by some physical means (massage, vomit-inducing medicines etc.).

As far as can be established, his is the first ever reported performance of this feat. Lingam-regurguitation is not described anywhere so far discovered in Indian scripture or esoteric literature before the 20th century! Swami Premananda (formerly of Sri Lanka and Tiruvannamalai, now in prison in Tamil Nadu for life for rape and murder) produced three lingams at Shivarathri (before his trial) witnessed by a good French friend of mine. There are many reports of him having done the same as Sathya Sai Baba year after year, once even when visiting UK. He was also celebrated as ‘ the avatar’ in his ashram’s publications etc.

There is no reason why the very young Sai Baba should not have learned this technique at the time when he got involved in activities in a troup with his magician uncle performing in public and doing peculiar feats, as described once even in Prof. Kasturi’s ‘official’ biography ‘Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram‘. (See end of 3rd chapter of Vol. 1., p. 20 in some eds.) Sathya Sai Baba copied another artist – a young girl – who picked up a kerchief with her eyelids from the ground when bent over backwards. Sathya Sai Baba reportedly surpassed this “tortuous feat” in public by picking up a needle with his eyelids from the same position. A kind of Tantric or fakir performance, for which feat Sathya Sai Baba was said to have had to suffer a dreadful eye affliction afterwards! Somewhat unbelievable, but still revealing – even that Prof. Kasturi believed it.

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Close-up photo of Sai Baba ring materializing?

Posted by robertpriddy on July 21, 2009

A gold and enamel ring Sathya Sai Baba supposedly

‘created’ with a wave of his hand?








Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
See also Devotee attacks on the Sai petition and petitioners

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Manifestations, Materialization, Miracles, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Fame of Name and Person – Sai Baba part 4

Posted by robertpriddy on June 19, 2009

“Miracles” are the bait: Sathya Sai Baba claims to perform countless major miracles, even that he could change “sky into earth and earth into sky”. Believe this if one can. He says “miracles are my visiting cards”, and indeed they are the bait which – if swallowed – hooks many so-called ‘spiritual seekers’ who wish to penetrate beyond the limits of ordinary perception. His attraction works not least through his apparently inexplicable manifestations of objects despite the fact that much of it is now known to take place by sleight of hand. Further, it is widely claimed to be the spontaneous appearance of traditionally holy substances (ash, nectar, kum kum, turmeric powder, milk etc.) on many pictures of himself in distant parts of the globe.

Sathya Sai Baba has charmed royalty, statesmen, and many politicians, plus rich and famous persons from many countries, to whom he gives pride of place before all other followers whenever they visit his ashram. Thus, he has influenced many followers to believe that he will become (some even believe he already is) the de facto ruler of the whole world! This is remarkable to anyone with knowledge of the world and religious cults… to believe such a thing is certainly nothing but to be badly deluded, if only due to ignorance of Sai Baba’s own published words, which demonstrate fully to any educated, independent person the ignorance and inconsistency that runs throughout his ‘teachings’.

If one is to credit the ‘incredible’ stories about his childhood and youth, many things supposedly set him apart from most spiritual leaders and gurus. The most primitive superstitions held in his poor peasant family and their village were supposedly disregarded by him from an early age. His insistence on vegetarianism from earliest childhood despite a meat-eating family is taken as an example of his ‘divine childhood enlightenment’. However, he has reaffirmed traditional superstitions on a grant scale in many ways and in many discourses since he became an adult! He preaches as literal truth most of the myths of Indian scripture and legend! (i.e. evil ogres, giant men, air vehicles, ancient moon travel, miraculous powers of sages and in idols of worship such as statues and Shiva lingams, plus much more in that mythological vein). Likewise his unperturbed behaviour when tortured by the magician after being thought to have become possessed by some entity (the marks of deep cuts on top of his head are still visible sometimes).

Through his apparently inexplicable manifestations of objects, even though much of it is now known to take place by sleight of hand, he has exerted great attraction on so-called ‘spiritual seekers’ who wish to penetrate beyond the limits of ordinary perception. His attraction also works through what is widely claimed to be the spontaneous appearance of traditionally holy substances (ash, nectar, kum kum, turmeric powder, milk etc.) on many pictures of himself in distant parts of the globe. He has charmed royalty, statesmen, and many politicians, plus rich and famous persons from many countries, to whom he gives pride of place before all other followers whenever they visit his ashram. Thus, he has influenced many followers to believe that he will become (some even believe he already is) the de facto ruler of the whole world! This is remarkable to anyone with knowledge of the world and religious cults… to believe such a thing is certainly nothing but to be badly deluded, if only due to ignorance of Sai Baba’s own published words, which demonstrate fully to any educated, independent person the ignorance and inconsistency that runs throughout his ‘teachings’.

There are hundreds of accounts of individual experiences of Sai Baba’s alleged ‘healing’ of all kinds of ailments and other ‘miraculous’ interventions. How much of this is over-positive interpretation, wishful imaginings (such as to raise one’s ‘spiritual status’ in the eyes of oneself and/or others) is an open question. Testimonies, of which there are a large number – including about 400 books in English – are weighted strongly in favour of Sai Baba having para-normal powers of thought transference, healing, manifestations of objects and many other inexplicable phenomena. See the definitive bibliography of Sai literature by academic Brian Steel. These he speaks of as being true, divine miracles. However, testimonies that show the limitations of these powers, that question the authenticity of the many excessive accounts or which expose fakery, have been relatively few, though these are increasing via the Internet. It is surely largely due to the fact that, until this technology existed, Sai Baba had virtual control of nearly all information about himself. He has long had mastery over whom he will allow into his proximity, guarded as he is by a very large number of servitors and security men.

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Black magic, Cults, Gurus, Miracles, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba blessings

Posted by robertpriddy on May 14, 2009

Sai Baba has repeatedly stated in his discourses that he  knows everything about everything and that nothing he does is without meaning. This opens for many ways of interpreting anything Sathya Sai Baba is seen to do, or does NOT do, as a blessing. There is a group indoctrination which begins as soon as one enters an ashram in explanations to newcomers by believers of how to understand Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged “mystery” and of the many ways one can supposedly derive a “divine” benefit, blessing, or boon. Blessings are supposedly given by Sathya Sai Baba in numerous ways:-

– by his supposedly “materializing” vibuti ashes or a ring or other small objects for a person
– by his handing out ‘prasad‘ (blessed foodstuffs) like laddu or sweets, mangoes or saris or whatever
– by talking to or touching a person
– by allowing his feet or the hem of his robe to be touched by a person
– by receiving a letter proffered to him.
– by raising one or two arms towards the crowd in a posture said to convey blessings (like the Pope)
– by touching any object proffered to him at darsan
– by his uttering a word to (or even within earshot of) a person
– by a nod or other gesture towards a person, including simply looking at them
– by ‘writing on air’ in front of a person, or other gestures which the person hopes to see or expects as a blessing
and so on…

For decades, Sathya Sai Baba has been unable to give interviews to more than a tiny fraction of those who visit him, and now they hardly ever occur at all. Many followers travel very far to his ashrams and then wait for very long periods day after day in the hope or expectation of getting some notice, response, message or blessing to confirm their efforts and themselves.

There is a group indoctrination which begins as soon as one enters an ashram in explanations to newcomers by believers of how to understand Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged “mystery”. Followers are very inventive in interpreting anything he is seen to do, or does NOT do, as a personal blessing. The informal system of supposed  ‘communication’ with Sai Baba is sustained by the fact that he is so very hard to get access to, so normal communication and interaction being excluded, followers learn from those “in the know” how to extract meaning from just about any perceptible movement he makes. every word he is heard to  say or any other detail about him which  could be taken as a sign (i.e. which way he turns when he comes from the veranda, what colour his robe is that day and so forth.

Anyone who checks experience with some vestige of an inquiring mind soon discovers that the various forms of ‘blessing’ that Sathya Sai Baba gives do not lead to the desired or expected result in the great majority of instances. This is most evident with projects that he ‘blesses; but which come to nothing… anything good that follows is attributed to his mystical machinations behind the scenes of the mere physical world, whatever it is… Of course, the unfulfilled blessing is also rationalised as being “for ones own good”, which good one cannot possibly know oneself! The ‘blessing’ is turned completely on its head and becomes a ‘test’ or a ‘lesson’. Knowing all this, one simply has to pity the believers…

Many observers are somewhat puzzled that many books Sathya Sai Baba ‘blesses’ and signs for publication are poorly written by any literary standards and often contain inaccuracies and direct errors of fact, besides copious exaggerated language, transparent ‘projections’ and what one comes to learn are largely wishful imaginings about Sathya Sai Baba. Nearly all books in the Sai hagiographic ‘literature’ lack sources and documentations. Hardly any of the quotations of Sai Baba are sourced and they are sometimes garbled in reproduction. On one occasion, long after publication, Sai Baba has himself stated that his meaning was completely misinterpreted and his words misstated by Dr. Hislop (i.e. Sai Baba’s words on kundalini shakti in Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) and on another he has actually refuted that the fanciful Howard Murphet (“not perfect Murphet”) was incorrect in claiming that some light on a photo of ‘the avatar’ was caused by his miraculous leela. Otherwise, he has remained silent on the content of most writings about him. These authors’ books have served to increase his reputation, particularly among impressionable followers who take too much at face value. Most prefer to believe at all costs, whether or not it is hocus-pocus.

More on interpreting Sathya Sai Baba and his blessings

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Nectar of the Gods? Or tea rose essence & sugar water?

Posted by robertpriddy on March 29, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba’s liquid ‘amrit‘ (i.e. honey nectar), a supposedly holy substance like the Bible’s ‘ambrosia’, does have a distinctive odour. It can be collected by visitors from the doubtful ‘Thief’s Temple’ in South India near Mysore, run by a former baggage lifter called Halagappa, who has two small amulets with Sathya Sai Baba’s picture on that supposedly give off amrit into the jar in which they are kept. Those who have smelt and tasted amrit, know its very distinctive taste and smell, a smell which cloys the more the older it gets. Sai Baba so-called ‘amrita’ usually develops fungi if left in a bottle for some months.


Halagappa does not allow anyone to hold the medallions which supposedly exude ‘amrit‘ so they can’t see properly for themselves whether it runs out or whether it comes from his spoon, which he repeatedly uses to scrape the palm where the medallion lies, thus interfering with observation. He keeps tight hold of the chain attached to the medallion. Why?

He could hang the amrit-dripping medallions above a jar for some time so that everyone could see them dripping. But no.

He has not invited a single reputable, independent observer – such as scientists or engineers – to inspect the “miraculous amrit flow”.

The same lack of independent observation – allowing rigorous control of the surrounding conditions- applies to all the temples and houses where vibuthi and amrit are claimed to manifest? Not one single scientific experiment nor other unbiased examination of these phenomena has been allowed.

Despite this, numerous websites and blogs promote this with uncritical fervor as a major Sathya Sai Baba miracle – and even though Sathya Sai Baba has himself repeatedly wanrned people about going to Halagappa’s ‘Thief’s Temple’ orphanage.

All this speaks for itself – and loudly so!

Further analysis of amrit from Halagappa’s temple shrine

The so-called “Sai amrit” with its distinctive ‘perfume’ consists mainly in sugar water with added tea rose essence (possible with a touch of jasmine or sandalwood essence in some cases). Perfumed tea roses come in several varieties and many variants of perfume are made from them and are marketed (see here)

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Does Sathya Sai materialize money?

Posted by robertpriddy on March 3, 2009

Here follows a brief excerpt in transcript from the TV documentary ‘LA HISTORIA DE SAI BABA (I)’ as shown in Argentina.  It demonstrates  the extent to which devotees believe in the reality of hearsay. Cristina is the TV interviewer and the Central Coordinator of the South American Sathya Sai Organization, businessman Leonardo Gutter, is the devotee telling the stories:-

TAPE 0063




to 09:69

interview with devotees

De 14:49:10 hasta 15:43:11








Cristina’s eyes:



From 10:00 to 10:15

Baba hands ring to adepts

“Some young men from Argentina went there with one way tickets. He told them to return to their country to live and study. The young men told him that they had no money for the return ticket and Sai Baba stretched his hand an what was amusing was that one kid had to give each a bill…The bills were stuck together, like a photo that has just been developed…and he would give one to each…when he finished distributing them…

Cristina: Are these regular legal bills?

Legal bills. When he finished distributing them, the one he owed 300 dollars to had 300 more than the other one.

Cristina: How can you be sure that the money that Sai Baba materializes is legal?

Well, the people who have received it, has used it and they have not had any problems. They’re legal …

Cristina: But, money has a serial number

It is absolutely incomprehensible. They are absolutely normal…The only difference is that they look as if they had just been made.

The investigator Basava Premanand took Sai Baba’ case to court years ago because of violation of the Gold Control Act that restricts the making, possession, sale and transfer of gold.

Cristina: But where do they come from? If you explain this at a bank, they are going to say that you are laundering money…

It’s incomprehensible… Once, people from the government of India, from the tax department, came to see him because Sai Baba not only materializes money, but precious stones, necklaces, rosaries and then they came to question why Sai Baba makes gifts of these to many people who leave India. Sai Baba gave these two persons an audience. He stretched his hand and in front of them appeared a small mound of precious stones and when the inspectors saw this they fell at his feet and asked for forgiveness…”

Note: This fantasy story has circulated in different guises through the Sai movement’s monkey telegraph… as can be seen here


The Judge at the Court, Y.V. Anjaneyulu, a Sai devotee, rejected the case presented by Premanand because those articles “were materialized through spiritual powers”. See here

See transcript of Part Two  of A Sinning God here

and Sathya Sai Baba exposed in Argentina


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Wild Baseless Claims about Sai Baba Materializations

Posted by robertpriddy on March 2, 2009

In the film ‘LA HISTORIA DE SAI BABA (I)’  by the Argentinian broadcasting company, Zona de Investigacion, the leader of the South American Sai Organisation, Leonard Gutter demonstrated his inaccuracy as regards facts about Sai Baba, for he stated:Leo Gutter

1. “There are thousands and thousands of cases and proofs of the legitimacy of Sai Baba’s materializations.” There is not one single scientifically controlled study of his supposed “materializations”. There are thousands of reports, but these are mostly made by advance believers in his powers, and he is proven on film and by testimony to have been using sleight of hand many times. So Gutter not only overstates wildly, but has no substantial proof to point to anywhere.

2. “Sai Baba’s powers violate the laws of physics”. This is Gutter at his wildest… what does he know of how the supposed materializations in relation to the laws of physics? He is a psychologist, not a physicist… No physicist has been able to study Sai Baba’s claimed materializations in the laboratory, which would be necessary even before starting considerations about physical law in such a case.

3. Of Sai Baba “he even took a person out of the morgue of a hospital 12 hours after he had died.” This has been definitively proven not to be the case by the researches of Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson of Iceland, who investigated thoroughly and interviewed all the doctors involved. All denied that the patient, Mr. Walter Cowan, had died or that any death certificate (as claimed) had ever been issued. What Mr. Gutter believes on the basis of hearsay is refuted by the facts and also by the testimony of another devotee, a young man known to me too, as reported on the web by Sharon Purcell, who was there with the Cowans throughout that period.

4. Of Sai Baba: “he says he is going to live to be 96 and that he will reincarnate 8 years later”. This is in contradiction of Sai Baba’s own statements in two discourses, where he clearly predicts he will die at the age of 94.

5. “The owner of the Hard Rock Cafe, Isaac Tigrett, sold his corporation and said to Baba that he wanted to give him the money. Sai Baba told him to keep half and if he wanted to, he could donate the other half to build a hospital.” This is incorrect. Isaac Tigrett had reportedly placed money aside in a fund over a long period of time, intending to donate it to Sai Baba. It was from this fund that the hospital and its equipment were financed, not from the sale of the Hard Rock Cafe chain. Tigrett reinvested his money in other projects, such as ‘The House of Blues’, from which he was eventually forced out, and a failed Internet site for alternative spirituality.

See transcript of Part Two  of A Sinning God here

and Sathya Sai Baba exposed in Argentina

continued tomorrow – Does Sathya Sai Baba materialize cash, as reported?

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Sathya Sai Baba in hindsight

Posted by robertpriddy on March 1, 2009

I first wrote the following around 2001 in a web page: “Some of what I experienced of Sai Baba’s extraordinary and positive powers through many years is undeniable, even after the most rigorous sceptical investigations, and I do not regard him as any ordinary person. After much soul-searching and disturbing discoveries, however, I have simply had to realise that his actions in the worldly and human sphere are not infallible and are not always setting a perfect example for others”.

Then I did still think things undeniable which I am now fully aware are not so! I was then still suffering from a degree of denial about Sathya Sai Baba himself. I should have noticed this before and corrected it long ago, but better late than never! One lives and learns. Many of what I believed to be Sai Baba’s extraordinary and positive powers I have since had increasing reason to doubt. The still emerging evidence of fakery and fraud, miracles that never occurred, deceptions and lies has mounted to proportions which cause me to consider him a charlatan, though not any “ordinary” one but rather a particularly gifted one. At that time I had not, despite the depth of my investigations while still a devotee (i.e. which automatically means  basically biased towards excessive positivity about him and all reports about him) reached the level of “most rigorous sceptical investigations”. This is proved by my record in the past decade during which I have unearthed more and more fraudulent claims, doubtful testimonies, conflicting accounts and counter-evidence concerning Sai Baba’s activities, especially his bogus materializations.

It will probably never be possible to reach conclusive evidence that all of Sai Baba’s supposed ‘powers’ are bogus since these events are in the past and were never observed by independent witnesses trained in detecting false or confused claims, crony-assisted ‘tricks’, sleight-of-hand and even virtual ‘instant hypnosis’ (as demonstrated extraordinarily in many different settings by Derren Brown of Channel 4 TV in UK). Even my friend Erlendur Haraldsson, who had consulted with magicians, did not look for Sathya Sai Baba’s hand to move behind his cushions in advance of ‘materializations’ (which Sai Baba does at the best psychological moment of misdirected attention), nor did he investigate the genuineness of the alleged ‘diamonds’ or availability of trinkets identical to the Sai “materializations” at many shops in Bangalore. (Neither did I do that until after 2000, unfortunately). He stated his opinion that the objects Sai Baba gave to people were unlikely to be provided by shops, and failed to consider that they could be brought in surreptitiously by a helper, as we now know from a student witness was done on a regular basis.

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Howard Murphet on the ‘Man of Miracles’

Posted by robertpriddy on January 27, 2009

Howard Murphet was once a budding Theosophist, also a devotee biographer of Madame Blavatshy and other discredited theosophists before he stumbled further along his spiritual path until he ended up with Sathya Sai Baba.  After a few years he wrote a book in a popular and sensational style called “Sai Baba, Man of Miracles”. This book was one of the main reasons for non-Indians to be drawn to visit this self-proclaimed God Incarnate, avatar of the age and much more, whose miracles were supposed to be hooks to attract people.

Howard Murphet

As with everyone who gets to gets at all close Sathya Sai Baba, he has to be  put down in some way in front of other interviewees, and Murphet was often referred to as “Murphet, not Perfect”… not perhaps the most ingenious pun from the Director of the Cosmos! But it raises a laugh and such things keep people in their place. Indeed, not that Murphet ever presumed to admit the slightest critical thought or questioning word to enter any of his many published eulogies of  Sathya Sai Baba and his miracles.

Murphet is nothing if not full of incredulity with fantasy stories, such as when he enthuses about the battle between Light and Dark forces since the “at least the age of Rama”. He pronounces that “World War I was really a forerunner of the next war involving almost the whole of the world and known as World War II…”
How interesting, not many people know that. Murphet also states authoritatively that “The young Avatar, Sathya Sai Baba, was twenty years old when this war ended. His spiritual power had no doubt helped in the victory of the forces of Light.” This is more like hysterics that history. But there is more to come:

“Sri Aurobindo…  stated during the war that if the Axis forces of tyranny and darkness won the war, the divine plan would be set back by a thousand years. So he himself played a powerful part to ensure that victory went to the Allied forces of individual, democratic freedom.” Aurobindo took Hitler literally about the Thousand year Reich, it seems. Murphet also uncritically repeated how Aurobindo meditated hard and managed to change Hitler’s mind so he attacked Russia at the wrong time, so losing the war! Well, not many historians know that, for certain!

Such credulity hardly strengthens Murphet’s  credibility with educated persons, no more does his unquestioning acceptance of hearsay about miracles which he published without more than cursory questioning. He has plenty more like it when he relates other personal experiences around Sai Baba which his mind span into the shape of proofs of transcendental powers in his guru. His writings are confined within the ‘received wisdom’ that controls the minds of the converted.

Murphet also wrote some highly imaginative ideas about Gorbachev. Some while after he came to power, Murphet was at an interview, but did not dare ask Sai Baba about Gorbie. Instead he wrote: “A mental question is as good as a verbal one to Swami. His eyes gave me the affirmative answer but all his lips said was, “Gorbachev is a good man.” I knew then that he had played some wonderful, powerful tune on the akashic strings that had manoeuvred circumstance and brought about the great change.” (ital. above are mine)

In one book, Murphet thought that a speck of light on a photo of ‘the avatar’ he took was caused by his miraculous leela (i.e. divine miraculous sport). Anyone who knows a bit about photography in India knows that such spots occur often on developed prints, the cause most likely being heat during the developing process. Murphet asked Sathya Sai Baba if it as his leela, and for once Sai Baba said it was due to a flaw in the photography.

Read more Murphet imperfections

Pro-Murphet propaganda stuff is found at (see

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Sathya Sai Baba Miracles, truth and misconceptions

Posted by robertpriddy on January 20, 2009

Yogeesh on YouTube

Dr. Acharya Yogeesh of the Hindu-Jain ashram was very negative about Sathya Sai Baba’s miracle claims, such as the production of ‘holy ash’ (vibuthi). He is a fairly standard type guru and is not very convincing when he tells that one can “never trust anyone”  except oneself. In fact, he did not forward  any new counter evidence to speak of but he holds that Sathya Sai Baba ‘miracles’ are no different from the tricks done on the streets by performers. On the other hand, he said “…and when I was visiting his ashram one time, I met his family. I think they belong to that category (i.e. street performers) so he is learning those tricks. They are not miracles, they are tricks.” (see YouTube here)

Legerdemain and deception by Sai Baba is a fact
That Sathya Sai Baba uses sleight-of-hand tricks is established beyond any reasonable doubt and this is seen on numerous videos, and it is attested by numerous former followers that he fetches rings, watches and other objects from behind himself on his chair.. and even by some current followers too! Whether all his very many reported miracles are merely tricks, or over-zealous interpretations, or have other causes is still an open question, despite what Yogeesh says.

That Sathya Sai Baba has ‘religiously’ avoided any genuine scientific controls or submitted to test or questions by independent researchers is a well-known fact. Naturally, all open-minded people would ask why he cannot allow such investigations of his ‘miracles’ – or of anything else to do with him – when these matters are so controversial. He insists on blind belief and no investigation of himself whatever! That should be sufficient to show that he is deeply involved in deception, but there is massive documentation from hundreds of persons that he is a deceiver and this is a unscrupulous abuser of people’s trust and faith

Sathya Sai Baba did grow up in a family of village performers and act with them

The grandfather of Sai Baba was a performer, as Prof. Kasturi – made clear in Volume 1 of the official biography of Sai Baba (Satyam,Sivam, Sundaram) and he taught the family who also often performed in villages around the area. Judging by the constant references to their involvement in village plays and wandering musical groups by Kasturi, it seems to have been their main employment. He wrote: “Because the brothers and the father were all extremely interested in the village operas on the legendary histories of India, and since plays were very often rehearsed at home…” and “He could sing all the songs rehearsed at home for the village operas and mystery plays.

What is meant by “village operas” and “mystery plays” one may guess, most likely Kasturi’s way of making what were itinerant “street performances” seem nobler, for nothing he wrote about his Lord and master was ever less than exorbitant praise and poetic euology. They were “open air” performances, as Kasturi also makes clear. Though the emphasis is put heavily on the religious nature of all this – and that proceeds were distributed to the poor and so forth – no secret is made of money being collected. Further, one notable incident Kasturi records proves that not all Sathya’s performances had any religious content.  One suspects there were other such too. Sathya Sai copied and improved on the gymnastic feats of “…a girl dancer whose stage name was Rishyendramani, who performed a series of gymnastic dances with music. Her highlight was a dance in which she kept time to the music while balancing a bottle on her head” “Sathya’s sisters dressed him as Rishyendraman, complete with hair-do and personal decoration…” and so on.

This incident indicates that much of what went one was described by Kasturi on the basis of hearsay (he was never there at the time) and his blind devotion to Sathya Sai Baba, and that much less savoury was omitted. This  is also proven by the account of the young Sathya given by his contemporary, Smt Vijayamma, herself a blind devotee yet who writes a far less one-sided account of Sathya Sai Baba’s personality and activities from her own experience. See review of ‘Other than You Refuge I have None’ and a very revealing account from that book

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Study of Sathya Sai Baba’s Miracles

Posted by robertpriddy on January 17, 2009

An on-line web paper (by Ted Powell) is adapted from the  book “Sai Baba’s Miracles: an overview” by Dale Beyerstein. The extensive paper has considerable food for thought for any intelligent, educated person who is interested in Sathya Sai Baba. It is found at the BC Society for Skeptical Inquiry website here

Sai Baba is an example of a God-Man: a man who claims to be a god. While God-Men are abundant in Asia, Sai Baba has been very successful in not only attracting followers in that continent, but also in the rest of the world. The contents of this papers are as follows (click on links):-

* The Purpose of This Study
*    Background Information About Sai Baba

*    Claims Made About Sathya Sai Baba
2. Sai Baba: Omniscient and Omnipotent?

3. Did Sai Baba Resurrect Someone From The Dead?

4. Does Sai Baba have telepathy

5. Accounts of materializing objects
6. Sundry Miracles
7. Healing
8. Fulfilment of prophecy
9. Bibliography

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Sathya Sai Baba books and publications

Posted by robertpriddy on January 16, 2009

Books and writings endorsed by Sathya Sai Baba There are hundreds of books about Sai Baba in English alone. Sathya Sai Baba has stated to his servitors like V.K. Narasimhan that he loves to read books by authors who praise him. He is lauded by most writers, not only to the skies, but to above the highest heaven. He showers his supposed ‘grace’ only upon writers of  rose-coloured and totally uncritical accounts of himself.

Unbelievable eulogies came from such writers as his biographer N. Kasturi, the Balu family, John Hislop, Howard Murphet, Samuel Sandweiss, Peggy Mason, J. Jegathesan, Phyllis Krystal, Joy Thomas, Rita Bruce, Birgitte Rodriguez and many more.  I admit that I was deceived at the time I wrote my positive book about him – though it as one of the most restrained of all of them (excepting Prof. Erlendur Haraldssons occasionally critical book). Only when I learned so much that I was forced – against my inclination –  to re-evaluate nearly everything about him and to think critically and investigate thoroughly, did I begin to do so.

Meanwhile, most of the other authors have invested too much of their prestige and lives in their writings and engagement with this supposed ‘avatar’ of Vishnu, Rama and Krishna etc. to be able to be honest enough to investigate the evidence and realise many of their mistakes about him.  This is reprehensible, of course, but the world will judge them when all the evidence is in, and it will certainly be to consider them major dupes, even though well-intentioned ones. Knowing a good deal about the tribulations at the hands of Sai Baba and his minions of several of  the authors, their books are now mostly noteworthy to me for what they do not tell or consciously suppress!
Authors who lavish praise on Sai Baba whose books he has in general said he enjoys reading include:-

Howard Murphet – earliest promoter of Sathya Sai Baba as the ‘Man of Miracles

Smt Vijayamma ‘Refuge other thn you I have none’

Rita Bruce – hagiographer

Birgitte Rodriguez – Glimpses of the Divine

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘pet’ psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Sandweiss
Robert Priddy

See here for selections from the text of ‘Source of the Dream’ with my present comments

See a comprehensive, fully sourced bibliography of all extant books by or about Sathya Sai Baba and his movement in English:
“An Annotated Working Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba. Part 1” by Brian Steel (WORD doc.)
To Part 2 of the Bibliography

To Part 3 To ‘New Factors for Researchers’

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