UPDATE AUGUST 2016: The major schism that arose between Prashanthi Nilayam and the Muddenahalli fraction over many aspects of the legacy of Sathya Sai Baba continues with full force. To gain an overview of this controversy and its developments through recent years, one can visit articles documenting the contrary positions and the events that have ensued by clicking here
A foreign lady who lives in Puttaparthi reported the following to our chief ashram contact person:- “Don’t worry about not being a devotee; many devotees are now going to Muddanahalli twice a week (where they say Swami is!!!) and bring all their money there. The ashram has other problems to deal with now. Actually Puttaparthi has become a nice quiet little town and as long as you don’t meet with the ‘spiritual’ side it is OK.”
Muddenahalli Sai temple
There are evidently diverse groups meeting in Muddanahalli centered on the Sathya Sai school and temple there. One ‘figurehead’ – Madhusudan – claims to have a special channel to Sai Baba, and reportedly even to be a manifestation of Sathya. He was groomed for this by the elderly Narasimha Murthy, who was inducted into Sai Baba’s clique in early manhood and became the warden of the hostel in Whitefield in which capacity he was accused of sexual molestation of students and procurement of victims for Sai Baba. There is a young man – his age is in question – a former gold medallist student there, who behaves very like Sai Baba did and who apparently channels Sai Baba interviews inspired also by his dreams. Former students who received gold medals were largely indoctrinated since boyhood with ‘Swami’s teachings’ and in most cases by his so-called ‘form boys’, (his privileged ‘chics‘, especially winners of Gold Medals who won their kudos be good performances in Swami’s carnal presence).
Mahdududan, Narasimha Murthy and his gang have already become rich by Sai Baba devotees who have long been despairing at Sai Baba’s death and are now flocking to the place in belief that Sai Baba is behind all this. It is even claimed that Sai Baba has already been reborn as Prema Sai and will be based there in Muddenahalli in future, and many confusing claims are being circulated in this hotbed of rumour and hopeful speculation. It was only to be expected that the Prema Sai gravy train would be set going by money-seeking individuals who want name and fame. No wonder the Central Trust is angrily denouncing all claims to mediumism through a circular letter.
Sathya Sai Baba always claimed that he never conveyed any kind of spiritual illumination, ‘shaktipat‘ or kundalini awakening teaching. It is admitted by his officials that he did oiling of the genitals of boys and young men (and many claim he did a whole lot more than that besides, not one of whom report having benefited from this by way of any illumination, but only by privileges given them in the hostel and in awards of degrees by Sai Baba! On the contrary, many of those who are free to inform the public because they live outside India have provided evidence on oath and affidavits of being sexually abused.
Seekers of boons, powers, endorsements… While many of those who want to be healers have good motives and even the wish to help others selflessly, quite a few claimed that Sai Baba has confirmed their having received powers to heal others from him in interviews. There is some evidence that he says this too, but then again a lot also seems to be wishful thinking. To cap it all, Sai Baba (at least outwardly) denied that he gave any powers to anyone, and he NEVER confirmed that he has blessed anyone with healing powers. nor did he endorse anyone as a healer! Despite this, he frequently ‘produced’ so-called holy Shiva lingams of various shapes, colours and sizes which he gave to devotees and told them that they contained healing powers and were to be used to help heal other people… which claim is medically totally unconfirmed.
Many others say that Sai Baba spoke (or speaks) through them. To ‘channel’ Sai Baba is a favourite among clairvoyants, New Age mini-gurus and even ordinary followers who have some feeling of his presence have claimed this. Sai Baba repeatedly warned:- “Take it from Me, I am not given to such absurdities! I do not use others as My media” (Sathya Sai Speaks new ed. Vol. 2, p. 167). In 1997, after putting the matter of the misuse of Sai Baba’s name to him in person, Dr. Michael Goldstein, the current head of the Sathya Sai Organisation in the Western hemisphere, appealed and warned everyone that Sai Baba “has not conferred upon anyone special powers to lead us, to heal us or to solve our problems. Swami has not given anyone special authority to intervene in our lives. Swami has not appointed anyone to be an intermediary in our heart-to-heart relationship with Him. Let us not be gullible in accepting such false claims.“
The big existential questions of life and death, its meaning are the stock in trade of religions, and their many and conflicting answers to the mysteries of life and the universe are most often tools for recruitment to their faith and all that follows from its organised sects. Many are indoctrinated into a religion long before they can think much for themselves. It is easy to be deceived and cherish illusions about gurus, religions and promises of realisation or salvation, far easier than liberating oneself from mere beliefs. The Sai cult is based entirely on beliefs and ancient speculations made in ignorance of nature, evolution and all science.
The ‘Veil of Maya’ Those who mature and seriously seek intelligent and satisfactory answers to such questions – and who readily admit that science has not so far reached all the answers – are often likely to view human minds as incapable of penetrating ‘the mysteries’. While many shrug off such cares, the persistent seeker take the next step and can soon fall prey to some kind of theology in which the meaning of life and the cosmos is veiled or shrouded by ‘god’ for good reasons. This supposed veil beyond which neither mind nor science can penetrate has been called ‘the cloud of unknowing’ and, more anciently, ‘maya‘ (briefly ‘illusion’ or the God-created delusion to hide the truth from undeserving persons). The original Hindu doctrine of maya is a key to all religions with a mystical bent, claiming that there is but one antidote to ‘maya’: spiritual practice so as to ‘realise’ God. There are, however, innumerable reasons for asserting that – as soon as anyone adopts this ‘spiritual conjecture’ – they take on a self-indoctrinating delusion. The doctrine of maya does not explain illusions, but itself creates an overall delusion! That is all one can find at places like Puttaparthi and Muddenahalli.
Shortly this will be continued with fresh evidence of the increasingly heated war – now in Indian media -between Prashanthi and Muddenahalli adherents.
Comment from Eileen Weed: “Both sb himself and the sb org did everything in their power to keep the brainwashed devotees for themselves, by saying no one is sb’s medium. However, it is incredible how so many diehard devotees run after the fakes, just transferring their fanaticism to someone else, meanwhile insisting it is still devotion to sb! They are expert at making excuses to explain the discrepancies, thanks to years of brainwashing.”