Usually I do not post defamatory materials that are posted as comments. However, I make an exception now after getting a completely mendacious attack on me from one of the few remaining elders at Prashanthi Nilayam, 74-year-old Vellor Krishnan Ramakrishnan Raghavan. As a comment to my posting ‘Narasimha Murthy’s imprudent interview & consequences’) Raghavan wrote:
“Robert Priddy came to Puttaparthi after worshipping Bhagawan Baba for over 12 yrs.He claimed that he was called by Swami in a mysterious way. At Puttaparthi he expected special treatment from Swami.But Swami neglected him till he lost his patience. At the last minute Swami granted interview and lambasted him for his impatience and pronounced self-importance. When this half-baked devotee complained to Swami that he could not get shanthi(peace) in the ashram, Swami told him in no uncertain terms that shanthi or prashanthi was not sold across the counter in the shops in Puttaparthi. An aspirant has to earn it by steadfast spiritual sadhana in the midst of chaos. That was the quality of a real devotee.This psuedo devotee who had even authored a book on Bhagawan, should refresh himself by reading his own writings. Millions of learned devotees like me know from our own personal experiences that Bhagawan Baba is God. I am 74 yrs.of age and am worshipping Him for over 42 yrs. I am enjoying every moment of my devotion. I pity this man.Hail Sai. VKR Raghavan,India.”
In response to Vellor Krishnan Ramakrishnan Raghavan, I – Robert Priddy, rebut his deeply untruthful comment. I once knew Raghavan through my close confidante and friend, V.K. Narasimhan, who was incidentally far superior to him in knowledge, world experience and friendliness. I have to say such a liar as Raghavan is no gentleman, also being one who does not even respect the teachings of his swami, (such as do not criticize others, look only at yourself, speak only softly and the truth etc.. which directives I personally reject as being mostly simplistic and unrealistic). Worse still, he contrives despicable lies about me which require a response.
I was a follower of Sathya Sai Baba for over 18 years and the leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organisation for most of that time. I did not go to Puttaparthi “after worshipping Bhagawan Baba for over 12 yrs.” but in 1984, about 2 years after I became fascinated with Sathya Sai Baba. My wife and I had five long (2-hours) interviews with Sathya Sai Baba (with 5 private interview sessions) plus many contacts during darshan over 18 years. Sai Baba never once lambasted me in any way, but on the contrary (and just now for the record) told the interviewees that I have a ‘very good mind’ and am ‘Good, good, very good’ and on more occasions than one. (However, I was not much affected as I know myself for better and worse and have been immune to flattery ever since I grew up). He gave me what he called a diamond (about 6 carat and green set in an 18 carat gold ring. It was much later assayed and found to be a cheap synthetic sapphire with green tinfoil behind to enhance the brilliance). He did so almost certainly because the day before I had told him in interview that I would make a major donation (he asked me how much!). However, I did not have the means to pay then and only did so considerably later on. Sai Baba never said a word about me being impatient either. People who knew me in countless meetings, study circles and so forth were aware that I have shown perhaps too much patience with persistent rule-breakers, profiteers and domineering egos.
I have never complained about not getting peace, as Raghavan writes. It is also a total mendacious invention that “Swami told him in no uncertain terms that shanthi or prashanthi was not sold across the counter in the shops in Puttaparthi.” Nothing remotely like that was ever said in any interview I attended. Raghavan would now have liked it had it been so, so he invented it! What kind of ‘spiritual person’ is that? This is not at all untypical of the countless attackers of all dissidents who have spoken out… disinformation, half-truths and lies were also daily far at Sai Baba ashrams. I did eventually write a positive book about Sai Baba which he signed in 1994 and I know full well everything I wrote there and have commented on it in web pages to put the record straight. Later, after 2000, I felt ti incumbent upon me to take on the onerous duty of setting the record straight and spill the beans about all the countless shocking facts I eventually came to know. I only learnt from several of my personal friends after 2000 – truly honest and good persons – that Sathya Sai Baba took advantage of their devotion to abuse them sexually. The testimonies from literally hundreds of persons altogether that he was a sexual abuser (and that included school children at his school down to 6 years of age) was what caused my final break with him and the beginning of a long and intensive investigation of all aspects of Sai Baba. The results are found on these web pages. As to learned devotees, I have met most of the VIPs and I could only recognise genuine learning in a handful. V.K. Narasimhan, my closest friend at Prashanthi Nilayam was one such and I have recorded his struggles and extensive private views, poor man. That Sathya Sai Baba approved the execution of the four devotees who attacked his servitors in 1993 is certain, there were witnesses and at least one who had a privileged access to the events as they took place that night (Eileen Weed or ‘Divya’ who speaks Telugu and lived for years in the apartment of Venkamma, the unbelieving elder sister of Sai Baba), and she also saw the truly huge bribes paid out via Sai Baba’s private messenger to many resident families to keep silent about what they knew.
See a fuller rebuttal of Raghavan’s spiteful concoction here: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/28/raghavan.html
The sexual abuses are covered in full here
while the murder episodes and cover-up are investigated fully here
Comment from ‘Divya’ (Eileen Weed):
“Excellent rebuttal! I find it amusing that the elderly Indian adherents are not only active online, but keeping up on your blogs! They must surely know about all the horrible sexual abuses done by their ‘god’ and, like several of my foreign permanent resident former friends in Puttaparthi, declare, “He is god, whatever he does is OK and for the best.” They believe such shocking declarations though the failure of all of their god’s predictions are staring them in the face: The whole world is not coming to Puttaparthi as sb predicted, rather it is now a ghost town and devotees are split into warring factions, while the world continues to move further from the promised ‘golden age’.”