What more intimate gift can a person make than to give their heart in trust to someone? With the open-heartedness and implicit trust that came of a sense of spiritual renewal, very many of us put our best qualities - and more besides - at the service of Sathya Sai Baba. He asks everyone to do this! Once we crossed the spiritual threshold of Prashanti Nilayam – either in fact or figuratively – we accepted Sai Baba as divinely perfect and pure and we set out to sacrifice the larger part of our thoughts, energy, time and money in trying to change and improve ourselves and help the world. We took on the desire to become selfless instruments of Divinity, having in one way or another come to put the fullest possible faith in Sai Baba’s claims.

Those who have been touched by Sai Baba – especially in emotive or spiritual ways - found him very beguiling. 'To beguile' means both to charm and to deceive... no doubt a very fitting epithet for Sai Baba. He plays upon people’s best intentions and plays on all kinds of personal and human uncertainty. That he willfully practices wholesale deception is, to the devoted, so unthinkable that they cannot be allowed to penetrate the mind… and Sai Baba’s direst warnings back up this reticence! Head in the sand is the standing order from the ashram and the Sathya Sai Organisation.

Now, all the faith, trust and hope of so many thousands of people has now been abused through lies and deceptions to cover up murders and sexual abuse. What greater break of trust can there be than this? It is hard to think of much that is more despicable!

Do not be Beguiled and Bothered by Sai Baba!

One has to have a strong mind to handle all the many most subtle and well-hidden deceptions and to investigate all the interests – both good and bad - that depend on and want to sustain and expand Sathya Sai Baba’s little empire. The deception is so well organized that even very sensible and mature people are taken in and kept in the dark for years on end. Few among those who surround Sai Baba seem to have very well-developed minds, for this also requires analytical and critical faculties and also the will and intellectual courage to use them. One must also have a stout heart to withstand the shocks of what one will discover. Self-nihilation can and has resulted from realizing the falsity of Sai Baba’s assurances and promises – as shown by a series of known cases of suicide by devotees severely disappointed by Sai Baba’s absurd (and frequently even direct personal) guarantees of health, long lives, happiness, care and compassion for all who put faith in him. Those who are worst hit are those who misplaced their faith because they suffered from too much goodness of heart.

No one but a badly ill-informed person expects Sai Baba to right all their wrongs and generally turn the entire world into paradise free of suffering or any kind of challenge from life. If human existence has a definitive purpose (which is still an open question to an open mind) then developing understanding and goodness must be part of it, and this requires that we live in a dynamic environment with changing circumstances and the problems or challenges this creates for us. If all were knowable in advance, then there would be no need for any mystery to draw us onwards.

These facts are cleverly turned to great advantage by Sathya Sai Baba… He set himself up as God and makes his own conditions. He now has the power and money to deny access to anyone who doesn’t have enough faith in him to come and sit endlessly waiting for him to look at them! If they kow-tow, if they wait endlessly in darshan lines until he can hardly ignore them without seeming totally devoid of compassion, if they grovel, and/or if they make very considerable financial contributions (or have the potential to do so later)… then they MAY be admitted to the ‘holy sanctum’, by which time they have humiliated themselves sufficiently to accept almost anything from the hand of God, be it praise or blame!

The earthly values we learn and follow are most likely preparatory to spiritual discovery, though the growing dominance of anti-values in modern times can sometimes cloud this sunny fact. 'Nothing in nature is in vain', was the Aristotelian tenet, itself the basis of belief in natural laws that can be investigated scientifically. Sai Baba has also used this unfortunate idea to dominate everyone who enters his domain as virtual slaves to his will… nothing can be done without his Divine Will, operating in the ever-unseen, ever-uncontrollable limbo of his inscrutable personality! But this is a travesty of philosophy and all that is best in human civilisation!

There are many indications that the fall-off in new visitors to Sathya Sai Baba from modern Western countries is considerable. Even many Indians seem to be staying away. For example, the last birthday was poorly attended and could be held within the precincts of the Kulwant Mandir (the Hillview Stadium was not needed!). The best advice anyone considering going to visit a Sai Baba ashram would be, ‘investigate and examine’ Sai Baba has said (p. 377 in Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 26) that one should investigate the truth without haste and get all the facts. That is perhaps the best advice he has ever given! A shame that his apologists are apparently too desperate even to listen to him!