According to most Hindu gurus and ‘godmen’, we are all divine, while we nonetheless are human with limitations and failings. This was Sathya Sai Baba’s “teaching”, though he frequently stated that he was the actual creator of the universe, the Deity of deities at whose feet all prayers eventually arrive. However, he occasionally stated outright that his body was no different to any body, subject to the same laws and influences. According to this pretension of having essentially a dual human-and-divine nature, there is no reason why he as a human embodiment should not be equally as capable of adharmic (i.e. immoral) behaviour, (i.e ‘bad actions) as anyone else. The evidence that emerged over the decades overwhelmingly shows that this was so. One may conclude that he was essentially like all other human beings and his claim of superhuman power and holiness were a sham.
Many of those who lived very close to Sai Baba for any period of time (and I mean those who speak Telugu or at least some closely related language) have been of the opinion that Sai Baba had what they call a “very human” side (as distinct from a divine or superhuman side’). For example, Prof. Gokak and N. Kasturi would tell that he can be as fallible in daily doings as the next person… sometimes forgetting things, losing things, mis-hearing what is said to him, misunderstanding what is said and so forth. Such very close attendants of Sai Baba include the young man Krishna who shared Baba’s rooms for years when he and Baba were in their late teens/early twenties (Baba declared Krishna as his ‘soul brother’ and was accompanied by him in his chariots even on Gurupoornima days in Puttaparthi). (See Krishna Kumar’s testimony here)
Sai Baba’s closest servitor through decades, who had full access at any time and had rooms beside Sai Baba’s, was Colonel Joga Rao, an ex-Army engineer who designed and directed many of Sai Baba’s major building projects. Joga Rao stated he joined Baba’s service on the understanding that he would work for him but would not believe in the miracles, omniscience etc., a position he maintained even when – with some degree of disbelief and shock – I was told this in 1996 by one of Sai Baba’s favourites, V.K. Narasimhan. This fact was covered up throughout the ashram and organisation so that few knew of it. It would have been critical for all Sai Baba’s materialisation claims had it become widely known. It was later confirmed to me by other persons who knew Joga Rao. Nonetheless, for many years, Joga Rao arranged the picnics where Sai Baba ‘found’ golden statuettes. lingams and the like in heaps of sand at isolated spots, and also followed him at darshans repeatedly taking letters Baba had collected, handing him his handkerchief. Photos and numerous disclosures by students make clear that Baba received vibuthi pills from his attendants which he would shortly ‘materialise’ for devotees before him.
Dr. V. Gokak, who was long the Chancellor of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, also held that Baba had a ‘very human’ side, and – when Baba suffered a hairline fracture of the hip after slipping on a bar of soap in his bathroom in 1989 – Gokak reported to his long-term friend and co-devotee, Mrs Kanta Devi of Hawaii, that Gokak shed tears when he told her how each day he saw the suffering of Baba lying up at in Trayee Brindavan at Whitefield. He told her how Sathya Sai Baba was very depressed and complained to him of his continual pain and discomfort. This conflicts totally with all he repeatedly said at the time about his not suffering anything whatever.
A person’s character depends largely on their childhood environment, education and social development etc. Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson’s view – based on his own experience of Sathya Sai and backed up by both what Prof. Kasturi, Krishna Kumar and Smt. Vijayamma have told him – is that Sai Baba was a coarse villager subject to human failings – very domineering and self-glorifying – despite his reported para-normal abilities and charismatic personality. Haraldsson himself proved some of the biggest claims to be false (the alleged resurrection of Walter Cowan). When the filmed evidence of sleight-of-hand and many testimonies of fraud and sexual abuse surfaced, Haraldsson withdrew from the discussion claiming he had no evidence to go on, while in fact he visited me often and I showed him indisputable evidence of Sai Baba’s fraud and wrongdoing. Only after I exposed Haraldsson’s disingenuity on-line did he try to save his reputation by visiting the ashram well after Sai Baba’s death and collecting stories to support his personal interest as a parapsychologist in believing that Sai Baba was never caught in any fraud and make an extended edition of his lucrative book. He had himself caught out Sai Baba in fraud about bringing people back to life, but he was not shrewd enough to understand that the countless exposers of Sai Baba are in the right. By refusing to contact and investigate the claims of experiencing fraud first-hand by any of the many persons I knew or to whom I could provide him access, he has most seriously impugned his self-proclaimed standing as a neutral scientist.
Sathya Sai Baba regularly showed what many regard as human ‘failings’ – i.e. boastfulness, visible anger, untruthfulness, general avoidance/dislike of women, put-downs of people and jokes at their expense, frequent haughty unapproachability and much more. These he (and his sycophants) claim are part of his ‘Maya’, roles he assumes only to teach and guide. Very convenient explanation to hide from the plain truth of the matter – he has had such failings since boyhood! As Krishna Kumar, his room-mate for years when he was young, told Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson. This ‘very human aspect’ also explains the adharmic activities in which he is alleged to have been so deeply involved, especially in condoning the blackmail by his own younger brother Janakira Ramiah of the Puttaparthi police to murder in cold blood four intruders into his bedroom. His massive bribery of all family members and long-term residents of his ashram was but one instance of his corrupt dealings. (see here). Far from least of his human failings is known through the extensive allegations of his sexual molestation from young men in many countries in different eras from the 1950s onwards of sexual molestations and known and attested paedophile activities with his students and schoolboys.
See a complete documented overview of Erlendur Haraldsson’s failed researches and views on Sathya Sai Baba
See extensive list of mail exchanges between Haraldsson and Priddy