The Expensive Guru Purnima Anticlimax
Brian Steel (and informants), 28 July 2002
Website: Sathya Sai Baba - an ongoing Investigation into Claims and Realities
For the whole period of the Seva Conference (the promised pro-SSB Public Relations statement is eagerly awaited, but maybe we should not hold our breath!), SSB was under the influence of a noticeable physical disability: the massive abscess - or mumps? - swelling visible in the official photos (see in this page 'Developments': SEVA CONFERENCE AND GURU PURNIMA 2002). Typically, but still slightly incredibly, even to hard-bitten SSB-watchers, this physical and officially documented fact is already being DENIED by some diehard, rhinoceros-hided, devotees!
SSB's darshan performances were brief, and presumably very painful. His Discourses were briefer than usual and not very relevant to this important and highly orchestrated (damage control) Seva Conference. And, as if under strict orders from his "own" SSO, SSB made not a single reference to his
alleged Divinity - except, perhaps, with reference to the "assumed" illness. (His personal stoicism to the obvious pain and discomfort was, nevertheless, highly commendable. Admirable! Get well soon, SSB!)
In his Discourse on G.P. Day (24 July), SSB had the "cheek" (whoops!) to say that the swelling had gone down because adoring devotees had prayed for it the day before. But surely, after 10 DAYS, such an outcome was medically predictable - INEVITABLE. The hideous swelling just had to go down! And it certainly does not take Omniscience to know that those many thousands of adoring (and gullible) devotees present at Prasanthi would be praying fervently for the rapid recovery of their beloved "divine" guru.
After once more registering one's natural sympathy for a fellow human being's pain, on a more objective level, the following observations may be made of this latter half of the G.P. Festival:
In all the Guru Purnima discourses, it was significant that not ONE mention of Divinity was made by SSB - as if kowtowing to "official" orders not to do so!
Other observations on these briefer than usual G.P. Discourses (as relayed by the increasingly sophisticated and powerful websites now administered by the SSO - in spite of the emotionally stated 1999 "veto" of such means of communication by SSB):
The translated and edited Discourse of 23 July 2002:
"Today, the members of Sri Sathya Sai Organisation are undertaking several types of sadhana. But, are they real sadhanas or illusory? No, no; they arenot real sadhanas. They appear to be real for some time and later on they are given up. You start doing japa as a sadhana and continue it for some time. Later on, you give up japa and enter into dhyana. Even this dhyana is only till you achieve your object of dhyana. When once it is achieved, it loses its purpose. Thus, all the sadhanas you undertake are only temporary ."
"Embodiments of Love!
Knowingly or unknowingly you are doing sadhana based on what you think to be correct. If you desire to know what is dhyana in the real sense, ask Me. I will explain to you. In fact, you do not need any sadhana. Do as I say; you will get the result in a moment. Divinity is that which manifests right in
front of you out of His grace. It cannot be obtained with the help of rigorous practices. Everybody is doing sadhana attaching himself to certain forms. In the process, he is trying to establish the glory of his own form.
This is not correct. You should forget your own form and lose your consciousness in divinity. What is the use of doing dhyana, all the while concentrating upon one's own form? When somebody enquires what you are doing, you reply that you are doing dhyana. How do you know that you are doing dhyana when in fact your body consciousness itself is lost in dhyana?
That means, you are not doing real dhyana. Dhyana is that, in which you forget your own self; you develop purity of conscience and establish theeternity of your Atma Thatthwa. Without achieving this, dhyana is a waste and real cheating."
"Embodiments of Love!
I presume you have never undertaken such a great sadhana so far. Do not bother; we will look into it later. First and foremost, begin your contemplation on divinity with pure love. Only then will you gain spiritual strength."
Guru Purnima Discourse 24 July 2002:
A rather lacklustre event:
"Devotees offer their prayers to God. Some people doubt the efficacy of prayer. But, in fact any mighty task can be accomplished through prayer. It makes impossible things possible. Here is a small example. There has been a swelling on My cheek for the past ten days. I never take any medicine.
Yesterday I observed that the attention of all those assembled here was focused on My cheek, not on Me! They were worried that the swelling had still not reduced and that Swami was undergoing a lot of pain. After I delivered the Valedictory Discourse, I retired to My room. As I was resting,
a number of devotees were praying to Me that I should cure Myself at least by the auspicious day of Guru Purnima. All their prayers reached Me. When I got up in the morning, the swelling reduced and there was absolutely no pain whatsoever. In fact, I had not willed that it should be so. It is the result
of the prayers of devotees. Yesterday, many did not even take food. With tears in their eyes, they were praying continuously. My thoughts went to them for a moment. But I never willed that I should be cured. I never do it.
Why? As Sanjay Sahni rightly pointed out, "I and you are one." You are not different from Me. This is not My body, it is yours. So, it is your responsibility to take care of this body. I never think of My body and its well-being. I never make a Sankalpa (Will) that such and such a thing should happen, so far as My body is concerned. There is no selfishness in Me from head to toe. That is why I have got every right to declare that I and you
This is obviously nowhere near a Jonestown situation and never will be, thank (the real) God. However, there ARE serious cult characteristics in the behaviour of the guru and the SSO, and that of well-meaning but gullible devotees, as well as the much more deliberate defence propaganda by
unofficial devotee groups and fanatical devotees.
(To be continued - if necessary.)