Various issues and conclusions
Bread to the thirsty
With this sentence I wanted to synthesize the final concept I made by myself of Sai Baba.
He is a personage who says to attract people to himself, to then direct them toward the divinity and to help them solving their problems; but practically, whatever reason makes us turn to him, he could offer us only just one thing, and it's that only hunk of bread. If we are thirsty, or if we feel cold or sick, or if we have any other problem and desire, he will try instead to persuade us that we are hungry, and right of that hunk of bread. If we'll come to believe this, we'll be persuaded that Sai Baba has done something for us, and so we'll try to repress our real needs which remained unattended. Thence we'll interpret the consequent disease and/or pain as "tests" to be faced along the "spiritual path" undertaken by Sai Baba's grace, and we'll thank him of this. This is the core of the "surrendering to Sai Baba".
Sai Baba is a broken record, always repeating the same refrain: "God is one, all is one, all is God, I am God, you are God, give up everything and surrender to me". This is the "hunk of bread" that he offers us. Instead of meeting people on their real lives, experiences and needings (that he would be able to do if he is God), Sai Baba levers up on his "divinity" to persuade us that those needings are unreal and deceptive, that is our fault if we are unsatisfied, and that we only need his "hunk of bread".
Sai Baba doesn't have any power, he couldn't help nobody, he couldn't do anything for nobody. But, ascribing authority to him and having faith in him, we'll come to interpret everything as depending on him, slowly we'll modify our life basing on what he says, and so it will seem to us that "God has intervened in our life".
He is not a cosmic divine incarnation, but an indian, local, material, terrestrial phenomenon, like many before and after him. He's an indian who has a high opinion of his country, and tries with not so much success to promote its supremacy in some field.
Sai Baba proposes generic spiritual recipes (taken from the many, thousands years old sacred scriptures and from some personal idea) for today world's problems, even the most serious ones. These solutions are totally useless and ineffective; instead of urging on the practical solution of world's problems, SB with his "recipes" could create false hopings in those who trust him, and also laxity ("...he will take care of everything, he that is God...").
The human history and adventure, in good and bad, are human things, material and practical, ruled by precise and unavoidable natural and social laws. Sometimes, when life seems to us too much hard and unfair, we may want to illude ourselves that God intervenes to rescue us. When this doesn't happens, we'll anyway invoke the divine justice (or otherwise the karma, if you prefer...), which however acts always "after". Not a single divine intervention has ever succeded in raising humanity from its miseries: every time the perfect wisdom, which would be able to solve problems, is given to the human kind; and every time, in spite of the "perfection" of divine teaching, the humanity goes away from it. The reason for this, it's said to us, would be the corrpution of human kind, that however is a creation (or manifestation) of God himself; thus this human faultiness totally falls on him. If we observe the divine intervention in human history as it was handed down to us from centuries, it is simply faulty and deceptive; nevertheless we desire it. Sai Baba, like other similar phenomenons, is part of these deceptions, and he knows how to take advantage of them. There's already enough wonder and beauty in world and nature, and there's no need of supernatural wonders. There's also much pain and deception in the world; both beauty and pain are almost perfectly explainable and explained by natural laws, which experienceable, comprehensible, communicable and explainable. For what concern me, there's no need of spiritual alibi.
"and I am fascinated by the spiritual man, I'm humbled by his humble nature"
Alanis Morrissette, "All I really want"
"Humanism feels that it is better to be a mortal free man than an immortal slave. Humanism examines everything not in the darkness of fear but in the light of reason."
Dr. H. Narasimhaiah, from the Modern Rationalist's article "Science, scientific temper and humanism"
"I don't know if God exists, but if he doesn't exists he cuts a better figure."
Galles the barman, in the novel "Baol" by Stefano Benni
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General issues: what is this about?
The travel to Sai Baba, and my personal experience
Specific issues # 1
Specific issues # 2
Specific issues # 3
Specific issues # 4
Glossary of terms
Related links (pro and con !!!)
The "Golden Age" of Sai
Sai Baba - the "Bad Side"
Links to the thematic pages