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 ‘Venkamma’

Sai Baba ashram – 9-foot python slithered in

Posted by robertpriddy on June 18, 2016

9-foot python slithers its way into Sai Baba ashrampython_in_ashramBengaluru: June 9, 2016, DHNS

Visitors to the Sathya Sai Baba Ashram in Kadugodi received a slithery surprise on Tuesday night when they stumbled upon a 9-foot-long Indian rock python, which wildlife experts say is a rare phenomenon in Bengaluru. The serpent, weighing about 12 kg, was found coiled on the compound wall of the ashram, hiding itself behind the bougainvillea plants. Their excited cries quickly invited many inquisitive onlookers who soon raised an alarm. The BBMP Control Room, too, was rattled with calls about the massive python, following which wildlife rescuers were alerted. Wildlife rescuer C S Nagabhushan, who lives in Hoskote, rushed to the ashram and captured the snake. He said he was amazed to see the huge reptile. “My first impression when I received a call was that it could be a rat snake, which resembles a python. The reason for doubting the input was that Bengaluru is no more a habitat for pythons.

‘Diyya’ writes: In the old days, a snake in sb’s ashram would mean a number of people would come running and worship it with milk, flowers, incense and arathi of lit camphor waved around the confused and frightened creature. I was present or heard of at least a few occasions where that happened in Puttaparthi. Devotees really believed that the snake was ‘swami’ come to visit and bless them!

However now that the devotees have mostly all gone away or are following the ethereal, ‘king’s new clothes’ form of sb in oracle boy, what do devotees do when a large snake appears in the ashram? Call the forest department for easy disposal! Shocking!

As a side note and credit to the practical, unbelieving side of sb’s sister Venkamma, when a large snake slithered into her South Prasanthi room in 1989, she screamed for the nearest sweeper guy to come and slaughter it right there, beating it to death and spreading a long line of blood in her room. It was an outrageous thing to do and tramatic for all the devotees who heard about it. That might have been a form of ‘swami’ that she slaughtered! Of course, no one dared question the actual sister of the ‘god in human (or snake) form’!

Robert comments: Seeing that rock pythons are incredibly rare nowadays in the whole area, it is surprising that nobody announced that it was Swami reincarnated returning to his old devotees (or his lair!). When I was waiting to go into the compound one afternoon a snake came at breakneck speed down the alley and hid under some sandals. The Seva Dals borrowed a big stick and clubbed it to death. The head Seva Dal said, it had come for the darsan of Swami! Not exactly a politically correct viewpoint! The same Janus-faced attitude was prevalent with dogs too… not treated as Shirdi Sai would have, nor even Sathya, who gave lip service to dogs as being far better than his devotees, but was only once photographed with a couple that were given to him. (A prominent IAS official told me that Prashanthi Nilayam was “a snake pit of jealousy”.)

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Sathya Sai’s letters to his elder sister put in context

Posted by robertpriddy on February 3, 2016

The Uneducated Telugu Village Writers: An Essay 

he ‘handwritten letters’ of sb are totally mundane. I skimmed through some of them just now and noticed that even when he was mentioning ‘Tamil New Year’, instead of discoursing or even putting in a sentence or two of the spiritual aspects, all he could think to write was ‘all the shops are closed and that’s why we haven’t gotten our luggage yet’!

‘Garu’ means ‘revered, respected’ and it is a word like the Hindi ‘ji’ which is tacked onto the ends of names when we address elders, VIPs, etc. 
Calling oneself “Garu” is totally pretentious and unheard of (mostly – perhaps sb did it as he was a complete narcissist?). I would say that the letters ending in ‘Baba Garu’ were dictated to someone else and the person writing them put Garu because they couldn’t bear to sign just ‘Baba’. Signing letters ‘Asheesulu’ (Blessings) and ‘Itlu’ (Thus), or just with one’s name, is common for all Telugu speakers (with ‘Blessings’ being reserved for those younger or lower status).

Venkamma could write her own letters, but like car-driving , food shopping, and so many other things in India, even though one may know how to do it, one will try to find someone else willing to do it. So on the rare occasions Venkamma had to write a letter, she would try to find someone else to do it (even me, sometimes!) as she dictated the contents, and I am sure sb did the same thing. They didn’t exactly have a lot of creative writing practice and were not comfortable with it.

Another thing: a wide berth was given by the one who dictates the contents, and the (usually educated) one who writes it all down. When I was the scribe for Mataji Jnaneswari when I was staying at Shanti Ashram in East Godavari District for seven years, she would dictate a paragraph in Telugu which was mixed up, awkward, and struggled to make clear sense. Then she would chuckle and say, “Write it so it makes sense and sounds good!” (Come to think of it, Venkamma did the same!)

 I’m quite sure that, like Anil Kumar’s and the published translations of sb’s discourses, a fair number of ‘sb’s handwritten letters’ out there, especially the brilliantly composed ones, only have a skeleton of his original thought. (Telugu speakers from villages like I’ve known, are also loath to write anything of substance so their written letters are generally short and to the point – so the letters complaining about cheating laborers might be straight from sb’s pen, haha!)

 As for sb’s ‘real’ handwriting, it would take a comparison of handwritten letters over the course of decades and my guess would be, the writing that looks almost the same throughout a 50-60 year period, is his. As we all know, sb’s personal assistants changed every few years. From the online sample, anyone could tell the writing styles are wildly different depending upon where he was staying so obviously they are not all his.

 I took the photo of Venkamma on the bottom of page 67. My friend Vidya (Lynn Wyle) got her best pal, Maynard Ferguson’s wife Flo, to lend me her camera for two days, when I took a lot of pics. That photo album of all of those pics was stolen by her grandsons from my personal suitcase in Venkamma’s room, when I was in the hospital during her last illness. Later I paid a visit to her grandson Subrahmanyam’s house, and took back a few of those photos. I felt it was their family so I didn’t take all or even many of them, and there was no cheap method to make copies in those days. Subri claimed the negatives were lost. (Another one in the series is attached, the one that I took instead of the one of her smiling in the online book. She was saying, “What are you taking my picture for, you kothi munda? (translating literally as “monkey-widow!” – an insult?)
by Eileen Weed (‘Divya’)

The accounts by Eileen Weed must be regarded as the ONLY fully frank and honest insider account of Sai Baba’s sisters and how their brother related to them. Her indisputable insights are recorded in her extensive collection of own letters through decades living in the ashram as the only non-Indian Telugu speaker. Her credibility is 100% and her privileged access undisputed. This article is a further illumination of the information she provided in 
Sai Baba’s letters to his sister Venkamma

These letters were posted by the Muddenahalli ‘oracle boy’ group. They also wrote:-
“The latest efforts of the Sai Love Team from Puttaparthi is Bhagavan’s Handwritten Letters. It’s a draft for an e-book and paperback book. These are 50 letters from the 1940s to 1960s. https://gallery.mailchimp.com/72d97e32d741a4b68382758b7/files/Bhagavans_Handwritten_Letters_Draft_for_E_Book.pdf

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In 1971, U.S. journo Arnold Schulman investigates Sai Baba claims

Posted by robertpriddy on May 11, 2015

The cobra under the child Baba’s blanket story is debunked by Sai’s two sisters, Venkamma and Parvatamma and Schulman found that, for every claim or story about Sai Baba, there are conflicting versions. This should be sufficient to cast utmost doubt on most of Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged ‘Divine childhood’.

Schulman

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Venkamma: little or no faith in her brother Sathya Sai

Posted by robertpriddy on August 14, 2014

Sathya Sai Baba's elder sister Venkamma profiled

‘Divya’ (Eileen Weed) with Venkamma in 1993

The former long-term resident of Prashanthi Nilayam,  Eileen Weed (aka ‘Divyya’)  who lived for years in the apartment of the elder sister of Sathya Sai Baba, Venkamma, and who learned Telugu to a high level, answered a question asked by a former devotee about the faith of that sister. Here is her illumining reply:-

“Your question about Venkamma’s faith is a difficult one, however. The short answer is, I am not entirely sure what her faith was. Since I knew her better than anyone else in the world in her last years, I can state that I don’t think she thought about it (questioned herself about having faith in sb as god) deeply.

She was just a simple village lady and I suspect she knew about sb lying and faking materialization’s when he was younger BUT simple villagers look beyond inconsistencies (look at all the examples in the puranas about the doings of naughty gods & sages!) and depend more upon the amount of confidence and charisma someone has. I think for decades she had faith in sb as a divine being, just because of what he declared to the world (due entirely to his narcissism). That is why so many of us developed faith: he TOLD everyone he was divine, and we were surrounded by people who enforced that with all their stories (often imagined and embellished) of his presence and wished-for blessings.

However, in the last years of Venkamma’s life when I knew her, there was some inconsistency in her faith that had arisen. She was very distressed at troubles with her son and his family, she was depressed at her own declining health, and frustrated because for years her access to sb had been limited to touching his feet and saying a sentence or two to him every few months. As an answer to her queries or moanings about troubles, his answer would invariably be, “It will be all right” or, “What can I do?” That was his standard answer to all the family members during their times of need. In fact, they used to laugh about that fact with each other! Or else, he would send money, food or objects like gold jewelry. (Which caused a lot of gossip and jealousy amongst his always-feuding siblings and their families.)

So at one point Venkamma declared to me, “There is no god, there is no heaven and there is no hell. All of that is only a story elders tell to children to make them behave.” She was dead serious. At the same time, in the midst of physical pain at the end, she would fold her hands and bow at the picture of her favorite god, Rama, and say his name.

But I can say definitely that I NEVER saw her pray to sb or call out to him as she would to a god. I am fairly confident in saying that she did not have faith he would hear her cries from afar. She’d avoid questions of devotees who pressed her to tell stories of sb’s divinity or to outright declare him as god. She would laugh and say, “I like Rama! He was my favorite even before there was a ‘sai baba’!”>Pressed for stories, she would repeat a few things that are already published in books, but which however didn’t particularly point to any diving powers. She loved to remember the journey to the Himalayas with him for example; or to describe opulent festivals in Puttaparthi.

When she was ill she used to desperately ask doctors to tell sb and ask him to visit her, but it seemed to me that was only wanting to see her dearly loved, revered brother rather than wanting darshan of a god. Hope I helped to answer your question!”

In fact, Sai Baba’s family had from the start been unable to believe his various excessive claims, such as when he wrote them around age 13 with the aid of a teacher with semi-literate English in his booklet ‘Hisstory’ (now suppressed and replaced with a different ‘Hisstory’ book made by zealots). His parents considered him possessed by some underworld spirit and had him exorcised, which did not help. His well-educated elder brother, Sesham Raju, expressed his scepticism in a famous letter to Sai Baba, to which only his famous boasting reply is allowed to be printed. …. also told various people about the falsity of some of the mystical claims made about him, notable the ‘story’ about a cobra rocking his cradle. His mother, though held up as blessed etc. by Sai himself, had been left by her husband for a paramour and was very badly neglected by him and Sai Baba (read of her plight with photo of her tiny dwelling here), and was constantly worried that he was pushing his luck too far, which indicates her doubts… though this could not be said by her in Puttaparthi, where his influence over his followers and visitors would soon put a stop to it.

See also Venkamma, Sai Baba’s elder sister in focus

Venkamma; by Divyya – her lost writings, an anti-climax

COMMENT

eileenweed

One must conclude that the family knew he was a fake from the beginning but when they saw the wealth start to pour in, they shut up and silently took all the many bribes sb constantly gave to them. (Venkamma, like other family members, was always receiving packages from sb, I often opened the door to receive the good looking young boys who worked in sb’s house who brought the gifts of clothes, money, jewels, food, and news of land gifts, etc.). One must put, not sb, but his brother Seshama Raju on a pedestal, for sticking to the truth despite the incentives to retract his complaints!

I also think that due to the later-day family members (children and grandchildren of sb’s siblings, and other more distant relatives) being brought up on a diet of sb’s greatness (and gifts), surrounded by the faithful and sent to the brain-washing schools, that many if not most have complete, pure and naive faith in him, as all of us ex-devotees did.

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Easwaramma – the chosen mother in poverty, scorned by her husband!

Posted by robertpriddy on May 10, 2013

Eashwaramma
The Westerner with the absolutely most privileged access to the family of Sathya Sai Baba, who lived for years in Prashanthi Nilayam with his sister Venkamma and tended her on her deathbed, ‘Divya’ (Eileen Weed) has told what she knew about Sai Baba’s mother, Easwaramma. Her information shows how the glorified presentation of the fate of this poor woman was falsified. Known as “the Chosen Mother”, Eashwaramma had died in 1972 – long before Divya came to India. Divya has written:

I only know stories the family told me. Such as, how much she suffered disgrace when her husband Pedda Venkappa Raju left her to live with his concubine!  Easwaramma had to deal with sb joking about her “sister” (the concubine) and sending her the same silk saris he sent Easwaramma! 

NOTE THAT THIS WAS EASHWARAMMA'S 'HOUSE' (OR SHACK) NOT A FAMILY HOME!

NOTE THAT THIS WAS EASHWARAMMA’S ‘HOUSE’ (OR SHACK) NOT A FAMILY HOME!

Easwaramma had to suffer a lot of tragedy when her children underwent troubles, too. Like when her daughter Venkamma’s baby daughter died only 10 days after being born, and how her other daughter Parvatamma accidentally dropped her newborn son and he died several days later, from head injuries. Or when Venkamma’s husband died young of rabies due to a dog bite, and Parvatamma’s husband died young of cancer. Parvatamma had told me of how blood came out of all the openings in his body – gruesome! Parvatamma’s son lost his hearing due to a childhood disease and had to be sent away, at age 7, to Madras to a school for the deaf & dumb.

Easwaramma also must have suffered a lot when her son Janakiram got TB as a teenager and had to stay for a year in an Anantapur hospital, losing a lung in the process. His sister Venkamma nursed him back to health but it is not clear to me why Easwaramma wasn’t the one staying there. All this, not to mention all the long and ongoing stories of ill-health and tragedy in the family. Hospital stays of someone or the other were always going on.

If the family members had been spared from so much awful tragedy, we could have said it was the blessings of God. But no opportunity to say that. However, that means nothing to devotees! Everything is a blessing, and sb must have taken away all their karma so they don’t have to be reborn again!”

Shamefully, these facts about the tribulations and separation in family of the ‘full avatar’ and the ‘mother of God’ etc. have all been carefully buried in all the Sai literature so that the mythology seems perfect. In another mail, Divya (Eileen Weed) replied to a linked page I sent her about the possibility investigated by an ex-devotee psychologist from Sweden that Easwaramma lost some babies through infanticide, as follows:-

Re: the first link you sent, “Abortive pregnancies or Sathya Sai Baba’s missing sisters?

“Since I knew that Indians regularly call miscarriages “abortions,” I didn’t think much of Easwaramma’s four failed pregnancies, except to wonder how she easily had three children but then four miscarriages in a row? Odd! However, after reading this article it suddenly struck me – yes, there is a possibility of girl children being born but then “disposed of”. Everything that Asa Samsioe wrote of regarding the preference of girl children and many people outright murdering girl babies, is completely true. Girls are a burden and if one after another was born, there is tremendous pressure from other family members to quietly dispose of them. I do not recall Venkamma saying anything specific about it, though, other than the four failed pregnancies – she was probably still quite young and unaware of what was going on.

Besides that, Sai Baba’s father was already settled down with his “keep” (I think he had children with her also) and struggling financially so, it is entirely plausible that he would not want more girl children. Venkamma told me many times that now and then Easwaramma would send her to the keep’s house, to beg her father for clothes, as they had no money. Venkamma said she would stand at the door crying and crying, being very young, and asking for money to buy clothes. And even when sb made it big and sent them over frequent baskets of produce and money,  I think it is a well-known ‘open secret’ that sb’s father (Venkappa Raju) died in the keep’s house, and the body had to be quickly brought to Easwaramma’s house, where he had not been living for years, before his death was announced. Venkamma also complained bitterly to me how, after sb became better known, he would send lavish silk saris and other items to the keep, along with sending them to the rest of the family! He would even merrily laugh and give an extra one to Easwaramma saying, “Give this to your husband’s wife,” or some such thing. (I wonder what happened to the keep’s family? I never inquired about it – the subject would make Venkamma tooooo mad!

After years in India mingling with Telugu villagers, I never got over the shock that it was widely practised for men to have one or more keeps besides their wives. Here in the West, people may have affairs and often go their separate ways. But if married men “ruin” a women in an Indian village, they often have to take care of her for life! Especially because since their reputation is ruined, their families don’t want them to live at home any more (and of course, they can never get married!) I’ve met women who were wives and keeps – and sometimes they have to live together in the same house (which gets really, really ugly – but what the man says, goes!), sometimes in a separate house, and sometimes in a tent in some field, depending upon the man’s financial capabilities – but it is understood that the guy just can’t walk away from his indiscretion.”

Sai Baba's sisters who Eileen knew so well

Sai Baba’s sisters who Eileen knew so well

Venkamma: There’s also the terrible thing that happened to Venkamma’s son (her only child) – after three children were born, when the youngest, a girl baby, was only 3 months old, her mother (Venkamma’s daughter-in-law) died. The three young children were instantly without a mother and Venkamma took them all in and raised them (her son later remarried and had an additional three children). That was several years before Easwaramma died so she would have seen the awful tragedy up close.”
——-
“I posted a letter recently where I describe Venkamma getting ill, first sai says, “It’s nothing, it will get better” and he doesn’t give permission for her to go to the hospital – until it gets much worse (and docs probably convince him she has to be sent there, or die!). Just another aspect of how he was so often so, so wrong. He played with people’s lives and they STILL continued to have faith – awful! Everything was met with the assurance, “He is God – he knows what he is doing!”

One wonders how much sb was supplicated by his relatives, begging for blessings? However as his sisters told me time and time again, ‘”It was never useful to tell Swami anything. Swami always just laughed at us and our problems, and would answer, “What can I do?”

Many close devotees have reported about sb’s lack of compassion. I might have written before about once in darshan when an elderly lady in front of me cried out prayerfully that her eyesight was failing. The answer from sb? “What is there in this world to see?” Said with a self-confident smirk and a chuckle as he walked by. Ultimately, he got his karma I guess, if all that crying in the later days means anything.”
And not least his calling out to devotees ‘Save me’ when he was taken away by his minders to the hospital, then his sufferings, gradual destruction of his organs and disconnection from ‘life support’!
See also Venkamma Passes Away – Sept 1993 
http://www.wattpad.com/7119533-letters-from-india-part-2-62-venkamma-passes-away

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