Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Exposing major deceits by guru Sathya Sai Baba in India, incl. murders cover-up & widely alleged sexual abuse

Posts Tagged ‘Colonel Joga Rao’

Murders in The Abode of Supreme Peace temple – 1

Posted by robertpriddy on October 15, 2010

In case anyone might forget these horrendous murders and their cover-up by the Government of India, the graphic description needs to be circulated once again. This murder case will haunt Indian authorities for decades to come, and very rightly so. It is not even one of the most serious miscarriages of justice, because no form of justice was allowed for any of the bereaved or those affected by Sathya Sai Baba’s staff purges of ashramites whose lives had been dedicated to service under the figurehead of Sathya Sai Baba.

'The door and curtains of shame' -Sathya Sai baba interview room door (blue) and temple door. The Prashanthi Nilayam temple (mandir) is the massive building where the 3 domes are covered with gold – the residence of Satya Sai Baba with a plinth area of 35’x90’ with a first floor of the same dimension. The ground floor from left up to 75 feet length is used as a prayer hall and the end rooms on the right is used by Sai Baba for personal interviews with a staircase leading to the first floor which is occupied by the godman, his personal aide Radha Krishna and other body guards including the trust member Col.Joga Rao. Tehelka Com November 29,2000 article states that the Sathya Sai Baba is ringed with two concentric circles of Israel-trained and armed security personnel, close-circuit television, wireless communications with Uzis slung on their shoulders.

When actual murders were carried out and Sai Baba got the case closed, this alone proves he is not one practising Sathya Dharma, Shanthi and Prema. Note  the entrance to the interview room on the ground floor where selected devotees wait. 

We see photos of the interview room where the four Sai Baba aides are alleged to have been stabbed by the four alleged assailants out of which two died. The blue door leads to the staircase leading to the first floor. Strangely the wooden throne used by Sai Baba while giving interviews is missing in the room. There is a pool of blood in the centre of the room on the left side which is alleged to have gushed out of the stab injuries of the four aides.

There is a stick in the middle of the blood pool and a metal rod at the end of the blood pool facing the blue door. How these happened to be in the room is not investigated.

According to the FIR it is alleged that the four assailants entered into Baba’s ground floor room on pretext of handing over a telegram to Baba and the four aides objected them and that said assailants attacked and stabbed them with daggers indiscriminately. It doesn’t look like 8 persons (four aides and four assailants) were fighting and being stabbed When someone attacks, one does not stand still but try to evade the attack and escape. So the stabbing would not have happened at a particular place. If four had fallen down after being stabbed indiscriminately there would have been their foot marks and body marks in the blood pool. The splashed blood would have been in different places in the room. There are rope pieces strewn around the spattered blood. The police have not investigated who were tied with ropes – the alleged aides or the alleged assailants.

If someone had tied the alleged aides with ropes, the question of the assailants stabbing them does not arise. And if the alleged assailants were tied with ropes murdered and shifted to Sai Baba’s and Radhakrishna’s bed rooms, the question of the jumping on police to kill them do not arise. Therefore the police drama of firing 31 rounds of bullets was a farce. These rope pieces prove that the aides were not tied by the alleged assailants nor were they stabbed by them.

Moreover the feet of the 4 assailants would have been drenched with blood if they had stabbed the aides went to upstairs to do away Swamy as stated in the FIR there would have been foot prints of blood leading to the stairs but the floor after the blood pool leading to the door is clean without a speck of blood.

Bottom right is the staircase with doors open (the photograph seems to have been made up out of two exposures). While there are no footprints in blood on the floor after the door, surprisingly blood is seen sprinkled on the steps and 3 streamlets of blood flowing up to the floor on the doorsteps. This is unnatural and the police have not explained how the blood suddenly appeared on the doorsteps and the stairs. They also do not look like the footprints of blood of the four assailants. So if it was true that the four assailants had indiscriminately stabbed the four aides, their foot prints in blood would have been seen surely on the floor and the stairs or where ever they walked. Also when the door to the stairs is seen closed, it is strange that the blood has splashed on the stairs.

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Sathya Sai Baba failing – at the mercy of power brokers

Posted by robertpriddy on February 13, 2010

Shivarathri 2010 - Sai Baba poorly and grim

Shivarathri 2010 - Sai Baba poorly and grim

Through the last 8 years or so, reports have come to me from various persons who either were still visiting Prashanthi Nilayam, or from ex-students and other disaffected followers who all claim that Sathya Sai Baba is no longer in control of his own affairs, neither on the Sathya Sai Central Trust, nor the ashram nor even his own activities. One recent visitor informed me that Sathya Sai Baba’s hands shake constantly and very visibly. Another states ” He has a disease and is at the mercy of his organization”. These reports concur generally with one another and with the information given us by a very long-term follower who was living in Puttaparthi until fairly recently who stated that Sai Baba’s shows many signs of strange behaviour in public, including statements that he would go here or there later that day, which he never did. He also told an interview group in 2009 that he is now 94 years old! (which suggests he may think he will die soon, while in reality he is much younger than that). See this report, which also strongly indicates that Sai Baba was already in a very difficult position by 2006! Some say he is a virtual dummy whose strings are pulled by the smart operators who hide from the public the facts about his physical and mental condition as best they can. He does not look in the least vital or happy in the more recent images of him that have been released despite the censorship of his keepers.

Sathya Sai Baba 2010

Photos from 2010 show apparent lack of facial control

The Sathya Sai Organization has long been a battleground for control of its interests, as was told me by V.K. Narasimhan when I had written a book in which I gave what he considered a far too positive picture of the organization (see here). Numerous unofficial reports and statements show that the same applies to the multi-billion Sathya Sai Central Trust, which Sathya Sai Baba has said he leaves entirely in the hands of the directors. Some of the directors have backgrounds which do not inspire confidence, far from it. The institution which controls and funds all Sai Baba interests, the Sathya Sai Central Trust, was made a tax and custom duty-free organization by special allowance of his devotees running the government. As a Charitable Trust it is under no legal requirement to have rules or guidelines. The Board of Directors runs it, allegedly always deferring to Sathya Sai Baba’s wishes. That may have been so many years ago, but years ago, Sai Baba announced that he had nothing more to do with its decisions!  No known guidelines or principles are exist (unless secretly) and it makes available no minutes from its meetings – remaining a closed book in every way to the public, even to donors.

Sathya Sai Central Trust - can it be trusted?

The man who was selected by Sathya Sai Baba to oversee the Rayalaseema Water Project, a Mr. K.Chackravati – a former government worker who had been sacked for major embezzlement! Later he became head of the ashram at Puttaparthi. It is reliably reported that contractor corruption and embezzlement occurred with a large part of the much-trumpeted Rayalaseema Water Project under Mr. Chackravati, who Sathya Sai Baba selected to the Board of his Central Trust. Just to take one more example of a money grubber who obtained a directorship at this multi-billion dollar trough, consider the credentials of D. K. Adikesavulu (see press report scan).

Some of the persons on the Central Trust have records which do them no credit whatever. Even Sai Baba himself had to sack some members in 1995 who he had repeatedly warned about embezzlement, taking kickbacks from contractors Larsen and Turbro etc. including Colonel Joga Rao who bought an apartment block in Delhi he could not explain and ashram head, Mr. Narayanen [former Head of Prashanti Nilayam ashram and former Secretary to the Sathya Sai Central Trust until 1996]  who was dismissed from his posts by Sai Baba having been  found to have an unaccountable luxury villa in Bangalore.

Sathya Sai Baba’s younger brother, Janakiramiah (deceased) was – after having been kept out of the ashram for many years by SB –  given a directorship on the Sathya Sai Central Trust directly after the 1993 murders episode. Janakiramiah claimed it was an assassination attempt on Sai Baba, but Sai Baba himself firmly stated the exact opposite. Janakiramiah was a multi-millionaire property developer and brother owner in Puttaparthi who conspired with then Home Minister S.B. Chavan – backed by the Indian Government of Sai devotee PM Narasimha Rao. In the presence of my friend V.K. Narashihan (SB’s close servitor and editor) they discussed the cover up of the murders (such as the blackmailing of the Puttaparthi police into executing the four entrapped devotees who had intruded into the temple). The Home Minister congratulated Janakiramiah for his role in that, to which the man replied “Dead men tell no tales” and they both laughed at his wit! I cannot doubt that this is fact because Narasimhan told it to me (in almost a whisper) when we were discussing the incident (see scan of my notes made at the time)  and his many problems of living in the ashram due to his increasing doubts about many things which troubled him more and more, and not least the death of his wife.



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How were the infamous murders covered-up?

Posted by robertpriddy on August 3, 2009

Two of the victims of the Sai authorities' work - photos courtesy of B. Premanand

Two of the victims of the Sai authorities' work - photos courtesy of B. Premanand

The homicides of six devotees in Baba’s quarters in the temple of Prashanthi Nilayam of 6-6-1993 was never ‘officially’ solved, the investigations having eventually been quashed by the Indian Government in accordance with the ashram’s expressed wishes. The recently published 800-page book, Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom by the skeptic B. Premanand, exposes the crimes by presenting all the known facts and their possible significance, including court petitions by Premanand himself and official depositions, plus a vast array of newspaper reports, 16 pages of color photos covering the bloody crime scene, and other relevant materials.

Many facts were left uninvestigated or covered up and prime witnesses were left unquestioned (including Sai Baba, who was present but never answered any questions from the press or investigators on the episode). A fairly brief and consistent outline of the main events that emerge can be summarized, even though it is overwhelmingly evident that the police were shown to have lied and lied and the Central Trust, ashram authorities and the Sathya Sai Organization remained silent about everything.

Above all, no one who reads this with an open mind can deny the depth of compromised involvement of top Sai officials and especially of the identity of a major culprit, Sai Baba’s younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, who thereby demonstrated his control of his brother’s chief affairs and indeed later assumed the overall practical management of the huge assets of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, besides his own millions obtained through property speculation. Since then he has died.

On the night in question Sai Baba’s four attendants on the ground floor of the temple with four persons who possibly tried to force their way in to see Sai Baba when they were denied access (two of the four attendants were as usual to sleep in and guard the temple that night). The exact cause of the fighting, other than that it was an intrusion, and whether or not the killing of any of the defenders were planned, is not definitely established.

The outcome was that two attendants were killed in a knife battle, two seriously injured while a 14 year-old student who was with Sai Baba in his 1st floor bedroom escaped unhurt. Bolting a door, the student boy (or perhaps Baba) set off a loud siren, both leaving the room hurriedly. How the intruders got into Baba’s quarters through the bolted door remains unclear, but once in, they bolted the exits to the whole apartment area and sealed themselves within, if not on the assumption that Baba was still there at least to protect themselves from the angry crowd.

One policeman was nearby at the outset, it seems, but he fearfully left the scene. No police appeared for at least half-an-hour after the alarm siren went off, but meanwhile villagers, residents, foreign visitors and about 60 of Baba’s students surrounded the temple. After about an hour or so of apparent stand-off, during which the police and Seva Dal servitors eventually cordoned the main crowd off from the temple and compound, some of Baba’s MBA students, maybe including some villagers, appear to have broken in the door of Baba’s apartment to get at the four intruders.

Subsequently, according to a consistent eye-witness of the whole affair, a bank official interviewed shortly thereafter by the BBC, the younger brother of Sai Baba (Janaki Ramiah) had a ten-minute discussion with Sai Baba and Colonel Joga Rao in the room at the opposite end of the temple where Baba had fled. The MBA students who had tied and allegedly also beaten the four intruders, left when the police very belatedly arrived, allegedly led by an inebriated officer.

Directly after this, the bank employee eye-witness reported, Janaki Ramiah ordered the killing of the four intruders whom he claimed had tried to murder Baba, saying “Vallani kattesinaru, champeyundira…” “They are tied. Now kill them.” What may we suppose was discussed between Baba, his brother, and Col. Joga Rao for 10 minutes while the four intruders lay bound and bloody in Baba’s bedroom? Whatever it was, not not long afterwards it became a bloody slaughterhouse shambles in Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Then came the total police clamp down and cover-up… that turned out to be a cock-up of Keystone Cop dimensions. What emerged as the best substantiated reports from the whole confused mess of reports was that, after shooting the four alleged assailants’ bound bodies (which had been beaten and were either heavily injured or already dead), the police must have moved the bodies and rearranged clothing etc. This was patently to try to make it seem the shooting was done in self-defense by the police as claimed in the Inspector’s First Incident Report.

This report was contradicted by later official investigations, and on some points even by Sai Baba in a later discourse. According to the analyses of independent lawyers (notably New Zealand barrister Warren C. Pyke) and Indian criminal investigators, the report was certainly faked on many points and the scene of the crime had been rearranged. Some of the evidence remains uncertain or inexact, also because the results of further investigations were eventually kept largely secret through direct governmental intervention.

Contradictory to the local police Inspector’s statements is that of V. Jagadish, who observed the broken door before the police arrived and further that of D. Peddireddy, who said that he broke the wooden plank that was holding the door and saw the deceased in the room after he did so. The absence of injury to the Inspector and the minor nature of injuries to the other policemen does not fit with their story of a struggle and their need to open fire. The position of the deceased after death and the very close range gunshot wounds do not fit the police version.

The nature of the gunshot wounds to the deceased are entirely consistent with a very close range discharge. Nor do the number of rounds discharged and position of bullets fit with the police account of shooting in self-defense at specific close-range targets. Independent and reputable witnesses, Balachandra, Sahani, Vatsava all say the shots were heard at 1 a.m., which fits with the post mortem report as to time of death, but contradicts the police evidence of 11.30 p.m. by a full 1½ hours. Further, the photographs of the corpses taken in Baba’s room show many details that cannot be explained if the police account were true.

One photo shows a bloody police lathi (truncheon), an unexplained length of heavy hosepipe on the floor and two heavy bloody poles on Baba’s sofa (probably used for stretchers to bear some of the corpses to their arranged positions in a different room), for which there is no police explanation. The distribution of blood in the rooms and on the bodies is often at odds with the police version of where and how the victims died. Remains of rope (allegedly used to tie the victims, then cut away after shooting) are seen in another room! And so on… the police seriously bungled the remainder of the investigations, avoided interviewing witnesses, gathering obvious evidence etc., most likely so as to try to cover their own tracks. In this they were signally unsuccessful.

Read on… On whom can one really rely? Press interviews with the families of all four victims and with various others who had known them well during their many years of service of Sai Baba were unanimous in their view that they were all deeply devoted to Sai Baba – two of them had been long-term close attendants of Sai Baba. There is abundant evidence that the four intruders, alleged by the police to be assailants wishing to kill Sai Baba (but this was denied publicly by Baba himself and by sources close to them), that they were still devotees in full faith who had another motive in trying to reach Sai Baba that evening. A question arises in every good devotee’s mind: “Was this sinister Divine Comedy of heaven and hell not also staged and presided over by the Divine Director, as most devotees who believe in Baba’s self-proclaimed omnipotence to be so with all other events at the ashram?

Or does this omnipotence not even extend to his own students and ashram staff (when this is not convenient)?” The bemused devotee’s answer to this will probably be, ‘Swami chooses when to intervene and when not, and we cannot understand his mysterious divine motives.’ This mystification puts Sai Baba above the law (which he claims he always respects) and all human standards, but does it not also makes him seem not even human, but without normal care and compassion or even courage?

The Central Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Dept. eventually had to take over due to public unrest with the police and ashram cover-up, and their investigations began to uncover some of the many irregularities, which ashram authorities and police alike adamantly refused to comment on. Though a prime witness, Sai Baba was never officially questioned! The brother of one of the alleged assailants, a Sai worker and former ashram security boss, Vijay Prabhu, and his co-worker Ravindra (earlier one of Baba’s closest servitors), were suspected of complicity with the intruders because of explosives and poisons found in their quarters and they were then hunted throughout India for a month and eventually gave themselves up at Nagpur so as to avoid the danger of liquidation by the already hopelessly compromised Andhra Pradesh police.

According to the press, they then explained that the intention of the four who were shot by the police had been to present to Baba facts about major corruption in the Central Trust and by Baba’s present attendants. They had no intention of harming Sai Baba, to whom all were devoted and for whom some had sacrificed excellent careers. The whole case was at length quashed by the intervention of the highest internal authority in India, the Home Minister, S. B. Chavan, who had been called to visit by Sai Baba as soon as the police cover-up became transparent so that the Central Bureau CID took over.

Sai Baba claimed in his Gurupurnima discourse that there had been no attempt on his life. He rambled on in a confusing way about exchanges with his attendant Radhakrishna about drinking buttermilk, visiting the village etc., avoiding giving any real explanation by preaching about the cardinal evil jealousy “in all spheres of life in the world today”, which he said was behind the incident. He added, as if in justification for all the murders, “The final end is the only cure for it.” He also defended all the members of the Central Trust against corruption allegations (though I am most reliably informed that he dismissed several of them for just that when the matter had died down sufficiently).

However, Baba may have inadvertently let out some of the truth behind the confrontation in telling in the same discourse that Radhakrishna had said to him, “Swami has perhaps some doubts that I may go out somewhere and talk to others”. Concealed facts about corruption were claimed by various others involved to have been at the core of the matter. In passing, Baba also timed the death of Radhakrishnan to 10.00 p.m., at odds by several hours with the police report. Home Minister S.B. Chavan revisited Baba five times more in the following months before they could rid themselves of the matter through a confidential government order, administered by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to close the murder case and suppress over 100 photographs (impounded by K.V. Reddy of the police) and also the CB-Criminal Investigation Dept. report.

That this could not even be made public speaks volumes and indicates what astonishing levels of corrupt power brokerage were involved to stop the truth and save Sai Baba’s reputation. The Secretary of the Sathya Sai Trust had asked Chavan to drop the issue as it might harm Baba’s image, which certainly makes honest persons wonder how the truth about it all could hurt Baba’s image? Dramatic new information That the police were pressurized into shooting the four alleged assailants in cold blood by top officials of the ashram and the Central Trust, not least Sai Baba’s own younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, is known to the present author from an extremely reliable inside source, on daily speaking terms with Sai Baba.

That source informed me that ashram authorities knew and could prove that the police had allowed two murderers of a German devotee lady in her new room within the ashram some time previous to 1993 to escape in return for revealing where the money they murdered her for was concealed (about Rs. 80,000.-). The police took the money themselves and this was the ashram’s lever on them. This is known as criminal blackmail. The case of the German lady devotee was never cleared up, her only ‘crime’ having been not properly to conceal while returning through the village the money she had withdrawn from the State Bank in Puttaparthi to pay for improvements to her new room.

Sai Baba had left the day previously, and the ashram authorities cleared the place of all foreign visitors and residents within a very short time in an attempt to conceal the incident, as is their usual practice after murders. The present writer has been involved with sb for decades and has spent much time with him at his ashrams, which is why it took me so many years since 1993 to come to accept and adjust to the otherwise wholly unbelievable facts of the incident described above. At some later date, when it proves convenient, the inside ashram source from which the central facts of this information comes, plus further details, will be made public.

Those top officials and even those MBA students who are more or less ‘in the know’ are still mostly prisoners of their circumstances, often fearing to break faith with such a socially and psychically powerful and imperious ‘godman’. Few of them may so far be free of the bewitchment and fear of possible retribution to dare to speak out, but it is hoped that they will do so eventually. I know that most regular devotees are in much the same boat as to not speaking freely about many facts and their doubts and are, for many personal reasons, unwilling to look beyond Baba’s good words and works, of which there admittedly also have been and still are many.

Meanwhile, let us offer our condolences to all those sorely bereaved and maltreated in this matter, who have been allowed no recourse to justice or compensation of any kind, and not least to the countless followers of Baba who have sacrificed so much time, energy and not least money with such good intentions and trusting faith (not forgetting that the good social services and works are actually financed and carried out by them). The grieving process and self-liberation from the person and symbol of Sathya Sai Baba as the Godhead Incarnate – made unavoidable by the major conflict between his words and his actions in all this – may be long and painful. However, greater self esteem, confidence and further realization can be achieved .MurderBook

Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom by B. Premanand. Price India Rs. 400/-, Overseas US $40/- (free postage). Publ. by B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podnadur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India. Send money order or bank draft for copies.




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Murders in the Prashanthi temple – reflections 1

Posted by robertpriddy on May 29, 2009

Concerning the 1993 murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s temple bedroom apartment


Two decades of experience of Sathya Sai Baba, mostly apparently very positive, led me to believe that he could have had no part whatever in the six murders that were committed in June 1993. So unquestioning was my faith (as required of followers) that I accepted what little was said about it by officials in the Sai movement and in a discourse by Sathya Sai Baba himself some weeks afterwards. I put them matter behind me… like almost everyone else in the Sai movement.

I accepted, in the main, what later were seen to be the mostly irrelevant statements he made in the admittedly vague and rambling discourse some weeks later on Guru Purnima day in July 1992. Even some of the emotional outbursts and unbalanced ramblings  of the Interntional Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization – Dr. Michael Goldstein –  in his letter to Sai devotees seemed to make things seem somewhat like a divine enigma that we could not hope to understand. (But this ploy is often used by Sai Baba and his trusted officials so as to avoid telling or explaining anything that does not suit him). The old excuse, ‘only Swami knows the reason’ soon clicked in with the followers. But then, I knew virtually nothing about the circumstances at that time, mostly only the carefully contrived bits of Sai Org. ‘information’ (cynical disinformation, actually).

Written instructions were sent out by leaders of the Sathya Sai Organisation (eg. Indulal Shah, Central Office and Michael Goldstein) not to question or discuss anything about the incident, but to ignore it and rather concentrate on oneself and one’s own spiritual practice (i.e, based on the same twisted principle as ever, namely: God does only what is good, any bad is done by us)! All that smacks of  criticism of anything Sai baba say or does is always turned back on devotees by the trusted ‘leader VIPs’ (who often defend their own actions likewise as done by persons sanctioned by Swami). This is all very well, if you care nothing for the victims, the truth of the matter, justice or if one accepts the clumsy and despicable cover-up attempted by the ashram, the police, the Andhra Pradesh State authorities and the Indian Government (in the person of then Home Minister of the Indian Government, S.B. Chavan).

In 1995, at the 70th birthday celebrations, I began to hear about the whole episode from an Indian Administrative Service Vigilance Officer, V. Ramnath, whose close colleague had been personally involved in the early investigations. The entire account was so shocking and so many confusing points remained unanswered that it seemed impossible to evaluate what was false witness and what genuine, and to piece together the evidence so as to see who might be responsible and what motives the various involved persons could have had. I set about getting inside information from persons whose judgement and honesty I could really trust. This I collated with the many press reports. Eventually the invaluable book by the award-winning skeptic and iconoclast, internationally-known Basava Premanand (Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom see also here) provided a mass of documentary transcripts and other evidence which helped me to understand how massive the cover-up to protect Sathya Sai Baba and his brother was.

click to enlarge

During the hours that passed while the four intruders who had killed Sathya Sai Baba ‘s two attendants were locked in his apartment, various persons reportedly visited Sathya Sai Baba in the garage annex to the temple. Witnesses reported seeing his younger brother Janakiramiah, Joga Rao enter and exit shortly before the shots from police rifles were heard by many residents and visitors. Were Janakiramiah, Colonel Joga Rao and Sathya Sai Baba just discussing the weather, or maybe Sathya Sai Baba was further repeating his compassionate teaching, ‘Help ever, harm never’ and “See no evil, hear no evil, do no evil”?

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