Sai Baba Exposed

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Sai Baba’s Karma & Retribution

A veteran of the Sai Exposé from it’s earliest days, Hari Sampath, has provided this report and his own reflections on Sai Baba’s current situation:

Sathya Sai Baba’s extremely negative karma accumulated for long has been slowly catching up with him and approaching fruition. The countless victims of this fraud, victims of false promises, sexual abuse, cheating, deception and every known act of Adharma had been put to physical , mental, emotional and spiritual misery for a lifetime, and the combined effect of these people’s misery is certainly recoiling back on the collosal fraud Sai Baba.

Most people will remember that in the early days in the 1940’s an old saintly man was brought to sb by his disciples. This man was considered a Guru locally, and had 2 stumps for his legs and was carried around by his disciples. Sai Baba publicly scolded him for that and instead of expressing even basic human sympathy, chided him for being a burden on his disciples by being dependent on them to be carried around. Now the wheel has come a full cycle and the poor, accursed wretched soul Sai Baba himself is being carried, wheeled around, and dependent on his personal staff for even performing basic physical functions.

So many thousands of people , promised “divine cures” and stuck to wheelchairs etc , having been cheated by this fraud and even abandoning conventional medical treatment for disabilities like Dorothy/Pink Twins among many others, people without physical vision, hearing, paralysis, mental ill health, and so many other types of physical disabilites, had been cheated deliberately by this false messiah of deception, and Sai Baba’s karma has caught up.

Now he is reduced to a gibbering, senile, drooling, old fool, in a pathetic condition in full view of the world. He is dependent on his staff even for eating food, going to the toilet etc, what a cruel fate he has invited upon himself. His situation is so pathetic that he has asked his devotees to pray for him and also conduct healing yagnas etc.

The hand that promised to lift a “range of mountains” can’t even cut a cake now or wear his dress properly when it slips !

The feet that promised to walk across the skies is unable to even hobble across the hall for a few feet !

While I do feel somewhat sorry for this pathetic condition, I also realise he has inflicted many many times more on innocent sincere seekers of God, who trusted him and were promised solace from all problems, only to be cruelly cheated for the most selfish of reasons by Sai Baba. At least God has been kind in dealing with Sai Baba in that there are people to attend to him and he has material comforts, but then these folks are also doing so so that they may share the loot gathered over years and for their own selfish ends.

Its got to a point that even the SSO officials and gangsters are sick of waiting on him hand and foot, and apart from the outward civil behavior in public, I know that in private they are quite rude to Sai Baba knowing he is an exhausted incapable senile old man, and also he had been putting many of these officials through his spiritual/divine bullying for years, now they are happy to get back at him. I believe these personal staff sometimes don’t even respond promptly to Sai Baba asking to go to the toilet, resulting in even bed wetting at times. How terrible and sad. Just like an old, aged senile relative being barely tolerated because of his bank balance and hopes of being remembered in the will and legacy.

These people are just hoping Sai Baba dies soon, but I don’t think he will die soon, because afterall the god of death is Dharmaraja or Yama, who himself wouldn’t want to come anywhere near sb soon to put him out of his misery, such an extreme case of adharma is Sai Baba.

I in fact feel that Sai Baba’s misery has just started and after losing his legs and one hand, soon he will lose his hearing, speech, eyesight and mental sanity, one by one, and his misery will be shown to the whole world, and he will be exposed for what he truly is : the retribution for a lifetime of massive fraud, debauchery, trickery and self seeking, for name and fame as God, resulting in an old age drooling, gibbering, legless, blind, speechless, paralysed and broken, and humiliated old wretch.

His life will indeed be a message to humankind. And it will end only when God finally acts mercifully to put him out of his misery.

It was not said lightly that “he whom the Gods want to destroy, they make him mad first”, and we would see this too.

Hari Sampath

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August 8, 2007 Posted by | Announcements, Fake Miracles, Fraud, Guest Column, Health, Reflections, Sai Baba | 1 Comment

Sai Baba’s Tattvavada Troubles 2

While reviewing Sai Baba’s Tattvavada Troubles, I realised that I could undertake a little more in-depth clarification of some of the pertinent issues and explain why this is of significant importance for devotees of Sai Baba.

I have always held that Sai Baba’s devotees are largely uneducated about the fundamentals of Vedantic philosophy and of the vast body of knowledge that exists in regards to spirituality. Of course, this is not a fault per se on their part but I rather think that simple reliance on Sai Baba’s teachings and a blind belief that they represent the sum total of Vedantic philosophy is extremely foolish. As such, it would be of considerable benefit for Sai devotees to familiarise themselves with the very basics of philosophy if only to increase the scope of their education. It may very well involve breakdowns and renewals, but all for the better.

In the days of yore, young students would be sent to gurukulas (residential boarding schools) and be taught under the instruction of a guru for several years, in which they would learn the classics of Vedanta dialectics and gain some kind of qualification before attempting to speak on any subject. It befuddles me completely when I see Sai devotees discussing lofty spiritual issues with no clear indication of their qualifications on the subject. Needless to say, the reasoning they display in such discussion tends to reveal that they don’t know what they are talking about. It may no longer be necessary for such long-winded processes such as attending gurukulas but the very minimum I would expect is for someone to have some basic understanding of the fundamental precepts of each school of Vedanta before attempting to speak on other elaborate issues.

In any case with all this talk of “poorna” avatars and the like, it is interesting to see that Sai Baba himself is largely responsible for the emphasis on this subject, stating that the hallmark of a poorna avatar lies in his possessing sixteen particular qualities (kalas). The first time I read of this idea was in Dr. Samuel Sandweiss’ first book, ‘Holy Man and the Psychiatrist’, and he didn’t seem very clear on what these sixteen qualities were. In fact, not very many of the Sai devotees I spoke to were very sure about it. I distinctly remember being asked about it even in Sai Baba’s ashram on my first trip there, so it seems they don’t know either! I eventually found an unclear mention from Sai Baba himself:

Now again, amongst the descending Avatars, there are POORNA AVATARS. Poorna Avatars are the Masters of the sixteen kalas. The fifteen kalas are : The five Karmendriyas or working organs which have to do with talking, taking, walking, rejecting (exertion) and eating. The five Jnanendriyas or sense organs: hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell, and Panch Mahabhootas or the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, space. The 16th Kala: the all – knowing Paramatma (the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent aspect).” John S. Hislop, ‘Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’.


In any case, it is repeatedly mentioned in Sai literature that a poorna avatar is defined by the possession of all sixteen kalas, though how one may determine this in the case of Sai Baba remains unknown. However in the light of how this concept is seen within the Dvaita Vedanta philosophy it is safe to say that it would be treated derisively at best. The late Dr. B.N.K. Sharma was a devout Dvaitin and a scholarly academic who undertook valuable research in the subject and produced works of a superior quality in the field of Vedantic philosophy. I recently spotted his brief discussion of this subject in his famous work, ‘Philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya’:

“The Supreme Lord of all creation remains wrapped up in His glory and bliss at a time when the entire universe is in a state of nebulous chaos (Rig Veda 10.129.2-3). Later, He puts on a multiplicity of forms to evolve the universe through different stages. These forms, though innumerable, are nevertheless identical with one another, save for their numerical distinction. The first in the order of divine manifestations is the quarternion of Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Sankarsana, popularly known as the Catur-Vyuha, credited with redemptive, creative, sustaining and destructive functions.

“The Supreme further differentiates itself into ten (familiar avatars) or twelve, hundred, thousand and so on … But there is one important different that in Madhva’s view, these various manifestations are absolutely on a par with one another. There is no gradation among them in respect of powers or potentialities. Madhva is vehemently opposed to the idea of making any invidious distinctions among these manifestations of God or putting some on a higher pedestal than others. There is no room for ‘svagatabheda’ (internal difference) in the Supreme (neha nanasti kincana). It is the same Infinite in every manifestation … To Madhva all avatars are of equal merit and status. There is no question of degree of fullness among them, no ‘partial’ and ‘complete’ avataras. He takes his uncompromising stand on the authority of the Upanisads and Pancaratric texts … He has thus no partiality or preference for any particular avatar of God and treats all of them as equal in rank, attributes and powers”. – ‘Philosophy of Sri Madhvacharya’, p. 353-355.


Sri Madhvacharya is traditionally believed to be an incarnation 0f the deity Vayu in much the same way as Sri Sankaracharya (the founder of a rival school, Advaita Vedanta) is believed to be an incarnation of Shiva, though it would surprise me greatly if any Sai devotees knew this fact. Equally interesting is that Madhvacharya quotes a well-known verse from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (5.1) in support of his contention of ‘equal’ avatars, a verse that is known very well to Sai devotees and is frequently quoted in discourses by Sai Baba himself:

pūrṇamadaḥ pūrṇamidaṁ pūrnāt pūrṇamudacyate |
pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate ||

“The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.”

Though this translation was chosen in order to provide a broader meaning, the specific import of this terse statement relates to the innate ‘completeness’ of anything that emanates from the Complete Whole, in this case God. In other words, avatars are not regarded as “smaller portions” of the Supreme Lord, they are fully “complete” in themselves and are as complete as the Supreme Lord.

This in turn provides more and more evidence to support my contention that Sai Baba devotees are essentially uneducated about all of these things. In spite of repeating such mantras frequently, they appear to have little knowledge of the meaning of the same (despite Sai Baba’s repeated urgings to chant with full knowledge of meanings!) or of their significance in dialectical positionings within Vedantic exegesis. I even wonder if Sai Baba himself knows the meaning of what he chants and tells others to chant; if he did or if he paid more attention to Vedanta dialectics he wouldn’t make spurious claims to “full” avatarhood or even that his brand of spiritual teaching is all-inclusive! After all, how can Sai Baba claim anything “special” about his status when his claim doesn’t even exist in the Dvaita Vedanta religious paradigm? 🙂

August 7, 2007 Posted by | Outside Views, Philosophical Problems, Religion, Sai Baba, Theological Thoughts, Vedanta | Leave a comment

Sai Baba’s Tattvavada Troubles

In discussing the premise of poorna avatars and how they relate to the Sai Baba schematic paradigm, it might be interesting to briefly discuss the concept for those who are unfamiliar with it: Hindu theology holds that incarnations of God appear on earth at critical moments when there is a serious threat to the natural order and divine intervention is necessary to avert the threat or destroy it completely. There have been many such incarnations (called ‘avatars’) throughout human history, which has led to ten of them being listed as the prominent and known as the Dashavatars. Of these ten, Rama and Krishna are perhaps the most popular deities in the Hindu pantheon and are known as ‘poorna’ avatars (also, ‘purna avatars’), the reason being that they are believed to have fully displayed the fullness of power of God’s glory during their incarnate mission. Poorna means ‘full’ or ‘complete’.

One may wonder why there is a distinction between all the avatars. A popular answer is given is that other avatars advented for a particular purpose, and when that purpose was achieved they returned to their abodes. A good example of this would be Matsya, an incarnation of Vishnu who appeared as a fish to protect the endangered scriptures when the world was suffering devastating floods. The lives of Rama and Krishna were in sharp contrast to Matsya and others in which they lived full humanlike lives from apparent “birth” to “passing” (Hindu theology holds that avatars are never “born” and never “die”, they simply appear to do so). And in so doing, Rama and Krishna performed natural miracles and feats that bespoke of the full glory of God, things that other avatars did not do during their own advents.

For the sake of brevity, I am being deliberately superficial and shallow in describing these concepts, as we would not want to unnecessarily enlarge this article. In any case I suppose that the general ideas about poorna avatars are now clear.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sai Baba also claims to be a poorna avatar. Of course, nothing else would be appropriate enough to describe his great magnificence. 🙂 Sai Baba’s ‘poorna’ status is supposed to be exemplified via the sensational nature of his “astounding miracles”, welfare works, all-inclusive spiritual teachings, and the like. After all, wouldn’t GOD be perfectly capable of transmitting new holy teachings for the benefit of the world, which explain absolutely everything?

Here comes the crunch: Dvaita Vedanta is one of the three major philosophical schools of Hindu theology, the other two being Vishishtadvaita Vedanta and Advaita Vedanta. Whereas seekers of Eastern spirituality are likely to have heard of or be influenced by Advaita above all, Dvaita (also known as Tattvavada) has an increasing reputation for having formed its conclusions on a strong basis of sound reasoning, admirable rigorousness and textual clarity. In other words, Dvaita followers have extremely good reasons for believing the way they do, and Dvaita holds that there is no such thing as poorna avatars. 🙂

The reason for this is rather simple: Since avatars are descents of one deity, Vishnu, it naturally follows that they are all emanations of his and would naturally possess all of his potencies. In theory, it is possible for Matsya and other “minor” avatars to exhibit and fully display all the astounding powers of God displayed by the ‘poornas’ like Rama and Krishna, and the reason for why they didn’t do so is really because there was no call to do so. Otherwise it is regarded that each and every incarnation of Vishnu is possessed of ‘full’ and ‘complete’ power and are thus equal to each other. There is no gradation among the incarnations of Vishnu as they are all him.

Not everyone will agree with this, but there you have it: the viewpoint of Dvaita Vedanta on this subject. This leads us to the natural consequence that Sathya Sai Baba’s claims to ‘poorna’ avatarhood will have no credibility among the followers of Dvaita Vedanta and they are not likely to brook such nonsense either.

At the very least, this is a perfect example of how Sathya Sai Baba’s divine and supposedly all-inclusive teachings are incompatible with Dvaita Vedanta philosophy. 🙂 One of the Baba’s oft-quoted platitudes urges Hindus to be better Hindus, Christians to be better Christians, Muslims to be better Muslims, and so on. This will not apply for the Dvaita Vedantin, as Sai Baba’s meaningless witterings about ‘poorna’ avatars will hold no weight with such people. After all, how can Sai Baba claim anything “special” about his status when his claim doesn’t even exist in their religious paradigm? 🙂

For further discussion of these issues, please see Sai Baba’s Tattvavada Troubles 2.

August 6, 2007 Posted by | Outside Views, Philosophical Problems, Religion, Sai Baba, Theological Thoughts, Vedanta | Leave a comment

Sai Baba – A Pointless Guru?

I caught this extract from MotherTalkers.Com:

Years ago I was involved with a man who was a guru-phile. He was always looking for God in human form, someone to worship and stand in the presence of. Someone to set up little altars for. I didn’t share his psychology; my cynicism is like a mothball around the neck, keeping me guru-free. For awhile my boyfriend glommed onto Sai Baba, a goofy orange-robed guru with a ‘fro who performed miracles. His miracles–like making great quantities of ash billow out of an empty urn–didn’t seem useful to me. If God were to manifest as a human, surely he wouldn’t waste his time performing lame magic tricks. Like, who needs ash?


Indeed. Who needs ash?!

July 20, 2007 Posted by | Outside Views, Sai Baba | Leave a comment

"I’ll Be Back."

Dear readers and friends,

As you may already know, this blog has not been updated with any new articles in several months. The main reason for this is that I am now at a sensitive stage in my personal life that requires more time and commitment than I can presently afford to update this site. I would like to thank those who have written to me in support and encouragement of my efforts to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his massive deceptions, and also to enquire about my whereabouts. I am still largely unavailable via email and such although comments to postings will continue to be published.

I also need to consider the fact that spending a a significant amount of time on Sai Baba topics tends to overtake other hobbies and interests of mine, so it is beneficial every once in a while to take a well-earned break. Please feel free to read and review the archives; there is much to read, discover and expand upon, even I look to them occasionally to gain inspiration for a new topic. You may also like to look over a new blog run by Barry Pittard that is updated regularly with fantastic articles:

I will certainly return to this blog when I have gathered up even more energy and resources that are needed for this task, and to present a whole range of hard-hitting exposés that will continue to display Sathya Sai Baba to the world as an utterly hopeless conman, cheat, fraud, liar and deceiver.

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet! 😉

April 10, 2007 Posted by | Announcements | Leave a comment

Sai Baba Slammed By Newsweek

Although I just said I’m too busy for these matters, I found this gem that is too good to pass up. Enjoy!

Samuel H. Sandweiss, M.D. published his first book about his experiences with Sathya Sai Baba, entitled: ‘Sai Baba: The Holy Man and the Psychiatrist’. It has since remained a favourite in Sai literature and a staple product in the Baba’s own ashram bookshop. Apart from a graphic description of the Baba’s fraudulent miracles personally witnessed and rationalised by Sandweiss, I noticed an observation near the end of the book about how Sandweiss spotted a photo of Sai Baba in Newsweek magazine. Well actually, it was a photo of a yogi, and a picture of Sai Baba just happened to be in the corner of that yogi-picture. Sandweiss chuckled to himself as he mused over that extent of the Baba’s media exposure to the West, and how he believed it was all in the Baba’s hands.

That was in 1976.

It took until April 2007 for Sai Baba to earn a mention in Newsweek, and which is still generally a passing mention and not a public and positive article about him. Rather, a recent article entitled ‘The God Debate’ features a discussion between atheist Sam Harris and Christian pastor Rick Warren. You can guess what they argued about – the existence of God. Quite a profound subject for some people where you wouldn’t normally expect someone like Sai Baba to get a look-in. But there he is, mentioned right there smack-dab in the middle of the debate, in a key point by Harris about the authenticity of Jesus Christ’s miracles:

Harris: Now, there are many testimonials about miracles, every bit as amazing as the miracles of Jesus, in other literature of the world’s religions. Even contemporary miracles. There are millions of people who believe that Sathya Sai Baba, the south Indian guru, was born of a virgin, has raised the dead and materializes objects. I mean, you can watch some of his miracles on YouTube. Prepare to be underwhelmed. He’s a stage magician. As a Christian, you can say Sathya Sai Baba’s miracle stories are not interesting, let’s not pay attention to them, but if you set them within the prescientific religious milieu of the first-century Roman Empire, suddenly miracle stories become especially compelling.

Oh dear. Yet another major media source lambasts Sai Baba’s extremely poor and pathetic magic show as an excercise in futility and showbusiness. And this time the humiliation is greater as it didn’t even require a dedicated article to make the point. What is only necessary to observe is how Sai Baba’s “miracles” are now openly derided and mocked as uninteresting and stage-managed, things we have been saying all along. It’s about time the world was informed about the Baba’s cheap parlour tricks through responsible news media like Newsweek inasmuch as serious allegations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by him are now being documented for posterity in college textbooks.

Isn’t it time that the old goat takes the hint and buzzes off? He can ride off into the sunset on his wheelchair, incoherently muttering some inchoate and senescent ramblings before looking back, displaying two fingers to the camera before breaking into maniacal giggles.

April 10, 2007 Posted by | Fake Miracles, Fraud, Media, Outside Views, Religion, Sai Baba, Sex, Sex abuse | Leave a comment

Sai Baba: Riding His White Horse

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

‘KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.'”

Sound familiar? Yes, that’s from the Bible, Revelations 19.11-16 to be precise. This is a staple of Sai literature by way of their incorrigible attempts to prove that Sathya Sai Baba is the Messiah and his coming was foretold in ancient scriptures. Without complicating the present issue, we may also observe that such claims of messiahship extend to other religions besides Christianity.

I say incorrigible because history bears witness to the justification of the vilest acts that were legitimised by the twisting of scripture. Irregardless of the intent of Revelations 19, Sai devotees interpret all of the scriptural qualities as being present in the person of Sai Baba, not least the fact that the Baba himself is responsible for this. Let us take a look at his own words of Christmas Day, 1972:

“There is one point that I cannot but bring to your special notice today. At the moment when Jesus was merging in the Supreme Principle of Divinity, He communicated some news to his followers … The statement itself has been manipulated and tangled into a conundrum. The statement of Christ is simple: ‘He who sent me among you will come again!’ and he pointed to a Lamb. The Lamb is merely a symbol, a sign. It stands for the Voice – Ba-Ba; the announcement was the Advent of Baba. ‘His Name will be Truth,’ Christ declared. Sathya means Truth. ‘He will wear a robe of red, a bloodred robe.’ (Here Baba pointed to the robe He was wearing!). ‘He will be short, with a crown (of hair). The Lamb is the sign and symbol of Love.’ Christ did not declare that he will come again. He said, ‘He who made me will come again.’ That Ba-ba is this Baba and Sai, the short, curly-hair-crowned red-robed Baba, is come.”

No, there is no use rubbing your eyes in disbelief, he really did say that in front of a packed crowd of Westerners on Christmas Day. Talk about seizing opportunities, just check out the way that he is not content with declaring himself the Messiah (Christ come again) but insists upon being recognised as GOD, He who supposedly sent Christ into the world.

One thing that I absolutely love about Sai devotees is the way they manage to take everything completely out of context while keeping a straight face. By this I am referring to the ‘Rider of the White Horse’ mentioned in Revelations; Verses 19-21 speak of both a ‘beast’ and a ‘false prophet’ who will war with the horse’s rider (ostensibly the Messiah) and be defeated by him by a sword that emerges out of the rider’s mouth. All’s fair in love and weirdness as some may say, but who are these beasts and false prophets running around all over the place? For that we must turn to Revelations 13 (of course, which other number would work?) to find out all about the Beast and the infamous ‘666’ number. Yup, it’s our old friend the Anti-Christ.

Now if Sai Baba is identifying himself as the rider on the white horse mentioned in the Bible, what does it mean to suggest that he will be responsible for the killing of the Anti-Christ? What does it say about Sai Baba’s leanings towards Fundamentalist Christianity? What does it say about Sai Baa-baa’s apparent endorsement of mythical and devilish figures? What does it say about Sai BlahBlah’s infinite capacity to talk crap?

In any case, isn’t it ironic how Sai Baba is viewed in some quarters as being the Anti-Christ incarnate? With all his relentless self-flattery about being the very same God who sent Jesus Christ, he can’t even get his story straight about that. Constant confusion is par for the course with this Baba, and it was one of the reasons why I felt unable to continue following him in good conscience. Sai Baba could perhaps redeem himself and return to his former glory as Superbaba again if only he made the effort, bearing in mind that claims to be God or Jesus have lost their novelty when they are made by practically every drunk, drug addict or schizophrenic. There’s an idea I’ll submit to him for his New Year’s Resolutions; Think up some more creative ways to keep a grip on your dwindling followers by re-asserting your godhood and absolute control over their lives. If in doubt, hire a good PR consultant.

Happy Holidays. 🙂

December 25, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sai Baba Caught In British Controversy

The Hindustan Times has published a follow-up of sorts to the recent Guardian and DNA articles about the 200-boys Sai Youth trip to Sai Baba, and the embarrassing connection to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Some extra information has been added:

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Satya Sai Baba caught in British controversy

Indo-Asian News Service

London, December 22, 2006

Satya Sai Baba, one of India’s best known spiritual leaders, has triggered a fresh controversy in Britain after association with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity involving young people.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a London-headquartered charity whose patron is Prince Philip.

It gives three kinds of awards (bronze, silver and gold) to anyone aged between 14-25 for achievements in four categories: community service, skills, physical recreation and expeditions. Each year it is estimated that over 2,25,000 youngsters vie for the honour in Britain alone.

This year, when the charity celebrates its 50th year, it has chosen to send about 200 young volunteers to India to work with the Sri Satya Sai Organisation.

However, the feat, pulled off by Sai Youth UK, a division of the parent body, has created a furore. Several people, including some of the Satya Sai Baba’s former Western disciples, questioned the decision in view of the mixed reputation the godman enjoys. Sai’s devotees deny the allegations.

The Guardian was the first to raise its voice saying the award scheme had chosen as its accredited partner a spiritual group “whose ‘living god’ founder has been accused of sexually abusing young boys”.

Satya Sai Baba hit bad press in Britain two years ago when a BBC programme, The Secret Swami, interviewed young Western disciples who alleged that the godman had sexually coerced them.

The Guardian quoted Tom Sackville, a former Home Office minister and chairman of Fair, a cult-watching and victim support group, as saying: “It is appallingly naive for the award scheme to involve young people and the royal family with an organisation whose leader is accused of paedophilia. Parents who plan to send their children on this pilgrimage… should be aware of the danger their children are being exposed to.”

The daily also said Michael Gave, a conservative MP, planned to write to the charity to say it should monitor the organisations they chose as partners more strictly.

“As a society we need a more determined effort to identify and expose those religious cults and extremists that pose a direct threat to people, so that they do not enjoy patronage that should be directed elsewhere,” he was quoted as saying.

In the 1990s, when Prince Charles visited India, he had expressed a desire to visit the Sai Baba but was quietly dissuaded by the British Embassy in New Delhi.

Since The Guardian‘s article, it was reported that there was mounting pressure on the charity to distance itself from the Sai group.

However, charity spokesperson Shona Taylor did not answer repeated queries as to whether the volunteers had left for India and how they could be contacted.

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Also carried at: KeralaNext.Com, India4u.Com, Nerve.In, IBNLive.Com (“Brit Boys To Keep Off Sai Baba’s Reach”), and WorldWide Religious News.

December 24, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sai Baba on Gender Equality

Sai Baba is not well known for his views on gender equality. In private he harbours views that are repressive and controlling, despite externally allowing celebrations such as “Ladies Day” in his ashram in order to give an impression of equal rights.

Some extracts from past Ladies Day discourses do well to illustrate his views on this matter:

“Today women, because they are educated, compete with men to take up jobs. There is nothing wrong in going for a job. However, they must take care of their home needs before taking up a job. When wife and husband go to offices, who will look after their children at home? As the mother is not at home to guide them properly, the children go astray. If both the parents go out for jobs, they may be able to satisfy their desire for money, but there is every possibility of their children getting spoiled, as there will be nobody at home to discipline them. Whatever moral values you have learnt, you have to teach your children.” (19th Nov. 2002)

Sai Baba is a proponent of the traditional Indian view that women must stay at home and look after the children, and only gives permission for women to work in the case of dire financial need. In private he has told his close disciple, Prof. Anil Kumar, that women are good for nothing except cooking and cleaning.

“Today we find many children with bad character and bad behavior. The reason for this can be attributed to the bad thoughts of their mothers.” (19th Nov. 2000)

That’s right, he blames the parents just like everyone else!

December 5, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sanghvi’s Truth About Sai Baba

Vir Sanghvi, a journalist for the leading Indian newspaper – Hindustan Times – has published a scathing exposé of Sathya Sai Baba to mark the occasion of the Baba’s 81st Birthday. Read on:

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COUNTERPOINT – The Truth About Sathya Sai Baba

If Sathya Sai Baba is a sort of God come down to earth to help us, credulous humans, then why doesn’t he use his powers for the public good? What’s the point of materialising a sandesh when you need to materialise mounds of rice for the poor?

Vir Sanghvi

So, The Sathya Sai Baba turns 80 this week. The celebrations have already begun. TV channels show us footage of an Afro haired old man in a saffron robe being wheeled out for the adoration of teeming devotees. And naturally, all the old staples of the Sai Baba story have been pulled out: the ‘miracles’, the claim to be the reincarnation of the Sai Baba of Shirdi, the assassination attempts (two that I know of), the legion of celebrity devotees (including, apparently, former President R Venkataraman and current incumbent Abdul Kalam — perhaps there is a vibhuti corner in Rashtrapati Bhavan), and, alas, the sordid controversy about the old boy’s behaviour with little boys.

As you may have guessed from my tone, I am not big on the Sathya Sai Baba (I have more time for the Shirdi original), but I am continually amazed by the unwillingness of his devotees to concede that there is any truth to the many allegations made against the Baba during his long career as king of the godmen.

The homosexual abuse allegations are now too numerous to dispute. (Enter ‘Sathya Sai Baba’ and ‘homosexuality’ on a Google search and you will get an astonishing 18,000 references.) I am prepared to believe that at least some of the young men who claim to have been fondled or otherwise assaulted by the Baba are liars. But can every single person who claims to have been fondled be a liar? By now, the list of complainants runs into triple figures. And that’s just the Westerners. (The Indians seem less able to speak out against the Baba.) Surely, there is a case for the old boy to answer?

Bizarrely, none of the fondling-of-devotees stuff seems to perturb any of the Baba’s high-profile followers. And, when you ask the many senior politicians, who turn up at the Puttaparthi ashram to fling themselves at the Holy One’s feet, whether they are legitimising the Baba’s activities, the only responses you get follow predictable lines: “Even Jesus had to face criticism” etc etc.

Then, there’s the business of the ‘miracles’. There’s enough evidence to suggest (eye-witness accounts mainly) that Sai Baba can materialise rings, expensive watches, sacred ash and the odd locket almost at will. It is also true that portraits of Sai Baba have been known to ‘weep’ even when the swami is far away. And, the Baba has been able to regurgitate a shivling from his insides on days of special significance. It is clear that no ordinary man can do any of these things. But does it follow that, by virtue of these ‘miracles’, the Baba is some kind of God as many of his devotees argue?

There are two objections to this claim. The first is that while sacred ash may be unavailable to the average Joe, there are large numbers of people to whom it is as easily accessible as it is to the Holy One.

I refer, of course, to stage magicians.

The sad reality of the Sai Baba’s ‘miracles’ is that every single one of them can easily be duplicated by even a moderately talented conjuror. In the old days (dating back to the 1960s), when scepticism was first expressed about Sai Baba’s ‘magic’ powers, critics asked why it was that the watches he produced, seemingly out of thin air, all said ‘Made in Switzerland’ and why they tended to be much advertised brands. (Rich devotees got Omegas, the poor just got sacred ash.) Sai Baba’s defenders retorted that the great man had never claimed to be a holy watchmaker. His skill did not lie in creating watches or rings. These already existed. All the Baba did was to invisibly teleport them through solid matter till they reached his sacred fingers.

Problem: this is exactly what magicians claim to do. No magician claims to have created the rabbit that emerges from the hat. He claims to have teleported it. And so, what is so special about a man whose tricks are roughly on par with K. Lal but well below the standard of David Blaine or David Copperfield?

Sai Baba devotees are sensitive to the ‘Afro-haired conjuror’ sneer. Over a decade ago, the magician PC Sorcar was refused entry into Sai Baba’s presence. He went under a false name and when the Baba miraculously produced a sandesh, Sorcar returned the compliment by miraculously producing a rasgulla. The Baba began shouting and Sorcar was physically evicted from the ashram. The magician wrote about the encounter in Sunday magazine. But since then, he has come under so much pressure from the Sai Baba lobby that he’s reluctant to repeat the experience. No matter. There are enough people who can do the same tricks. Sanal Edamaraku of the Indian Rationalist Association, who does not even claim to be a magician, will cheerfully reproduce any of the old boy’s ‘miracles’ on demand.

The second objection to the Baba’s ‘miracles’ is also fundamental. His devotees now take the revised position that the Omega watches are merely his ‘calling cards’ meant to show ordinary mortals how cosmic he is. The real God-like stuff, they say, consists of the Baba’s ability to see into the future, to change destiny and to heal the human body. All this is highly dubious. If he can heal other people, then why doesn’t he just heal himself first, and kick away that wheelchair? If he can see into the future, how come he failed to predict the two assassination attempts? And if he can change destiny, why doesn’t he start by changing that Google search that portrays him as a bit of a sicko?

I am familiar with all the arguments against my position. There’s the traditional one of how the Baba does not want to interfere with the karmic cycle of good and evil. Well, in that case, he should stop pretending that he can heal people and remove karmic sickness. The moment he bends the laws of nature, he is already mucking about with the karmic cycle anyway. Then, there’s the he-does-so-much-charity argument. I do not for a moment dispute that he spends many of the crores his devotees shower on him for very good causes. And I accept that he has built hospitals, colleges (and, incongruously enough, a planetarium) for the people of Puttaparthi. But all that this proves is that he’s a philanthropist of some description. Nor is religious philanthropy novel to Hinduism. The Ramakrishna Mission does much more than the Sai Baba has ever done or ever will. (Actually, it’s done more work in Calcutta than Mother Teresa’s better-publicised missionaries — but that’s another story.) However, none of its monks claims to be God. And they don’t need to produce Omega watches out of thin air. They are too busy helping the poor.

But, my basic objection is this: if this man is a sort of God come down to earth to help us, credulous humans, then why doesn’t he use his powers for the public good? What’s the point of materialising a sandesh when you need to materialise mounds of rice for the poor? Why bother giving some crooked politician an Omega watch when you can stop the Tsunami? Why do these Godlike powers never extend to any more than mere conjuring tricks? Why do they never translate into anything that is substantial and truly helpful?

If this is the best that God can do, then surely PC Sorcar is God too?

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November 29, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment