"A CRITICAL SITE ABOUT SAI BABA"
Specific issues # 3
Advice to persons, resolution of problems...
The one who were omnipotent, literally he "would be able to do anything": omnipotent derives from the latin omnis (all) + potens, (present participle of the verb potere = to can, to be able to). From the omnipotence applied to the divine power, which as we have seen Sai Baba ascribes to himself, it follows the absence of limits and bounds to God's will and power, to whom nothing would be precluded, in any way. Finally, the one who were omnipotent would sum up within himself any other quality, power and possibility, therefore included all the various manifestations of SB. How much of this all is noticeable in Sai Baba? Let's read some passage:
There is no need for me to command invisible spirits since my own divine will materializes the objects. I am everything, everywhere, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; and so whatever I will, instantly happens. [ ]."
(taken from the"Blitz Interview")
"Since I move about with you, eat like you, and talk with you, you are deluded into the belief that this is but an instance of common humanity. Be warned against this mistake. I am also deluding you by my singing with you, talking with you, and engaging myself in activities with you. But, [at] any moment, my Divinity may be revealed to you; you have to be ready, prepared for that moment."
(quoted from the discourse of 17 May 1968, "the revelation")
"[...] There is no student who, strong of his book study, does not describes the omnnipresence and the omniscience of Swami. The omnipresence is a fact, but you have the right to speak of it only if you have experienced, at least a bit.[...] Swami knows all, but he behaves like if he doesn't know. Try to understand the basic difference running between worldly people and the Divinity. The Divine knows all and has at his disposition every power; however He behaves like if he doesn't have them and he doesn't have knowledge. The human beings instead, that don't know quite nothing and don't have absolutely any power, behave like if they have powers and knowledge. In this is the difference between the human and the Divine."
(quoted and translated from the speech to the students of 19 June 1989)
"Why do you perform miracles like materialising a ring, a medallion, a necklace, vibhuti and other objects? What are you trying to prove by performing these miracles?
Chamatkaar or miracle is a cheap word for what I do. A magician performs his tricks to earn a livelihood and worldly fame. But, I materialise these talismans as my visiting cards, as evidence that divinity can transform earth into the sky and vice versa. To doubt this is to betray an inability to grasp the grandeur of the universe. I get lot of satisfaction while gifting these talismans to my devotees."
(excerpt from the interview to the "Times of India" of 12 March 1999)
"It could result difficult to you to understand Sai. Sai speaks as a common person and moves freelyamong you. You would deceive yourself if you would think that Sai is like every other human being. It is not so. Sai can transform the entire world in a moment. Gold, diamonds, every thing is in the hands of Sai. You don't understand the Sai phenomenon. Well, look!... With a movement of his hand a big diamond will suddenly appear (Swami rotates the hand from which a diamond of extraordinary largeness is materialized) and, as you see, with a breath of Swami it will disappear. Everything that Swami wants, it must happen. The true nature of Divinity cannot be understood from everybody. For this faith is needed."
(quoted and translated from the speech to the italians of 5 August 1988)
Thus, trying to summarize, the question of Sai Baba's omnipotence configures as follows:
This is all on a theoretical level; on the practical ground, where and how Sai Baba's omnipotence do manifests? The real state of things is that SB is endowed with some kind of "restricted omnipotence", and so he claims to be in possession of any power and to be able to do anything, but when it comes the moment to act, he simply could not do it. Whatever field of action we may consider, there will always be an excuse or a process that justifies the lack of Sai Baba's intervention. Let's suppose, since it's one the most typical objections, to concern ourselves with the problem of natural disasters and calamities, of slaughters and carnages operated by man: the presence of Sai Baba the almighty, is someway helpful to the human kind? What does he could do at this regard?
"Q: The critics of Swamiji ask why Sai Baba does not help people in distress by bringing rains in times of drought or creating food where there is famine by means of his sankalpa shakti (divine power, universal energy). Cannot an Avatar help humanity to control the natural forces and prevent calamities like earthquakes, floods, droughts, famine and epidemics?
Baba: This is precisely what I am doing by incarnating the in-dwelling God in man to overcome such calamities. There are two ways in which an Avatar can help people: an instant solution a against a long term one.
Any instant solution would go against the fundamental quality of nature itself as well against the karmic law of cause and effect. Most people live in the material world of their desires and egos, which is governed by this law. They reap the fruits of their actions. This brings about their evolution or devolution. If the Avatar intervenes to instantly solve their problems, it would stop all action, development, even evolution. This solution can be ruled out because it totally negates the natural laws.
The other and more effective alternative presents a long-term solution whereby the Avatar leads the people themselves to a higher level of consciousness to enable them to understand the truth of spiritual laws so that they may turn towards righteousness and steadfastly work for better conditions. This will relate them back to nature and the karmic law of causation. This would then transcend the cycle of cause and effect in which today they are involved as victims and thereby command and control the natural forces to be able to avert the calamities you mention."
(taken from the"Blitz Interview")
"If a crossway must be crossed and the signal indicates the left, we must go to the left, and who has established this rule must do the same: he cannot go to the right. Now, God who has made the laws of nature cannot transgress them; such observance, naturally, carries some disadvantage."
(taken and translated from the speech of 26 August 1988, Onam festival).
Nevertheless, it was the same Sai Baba who a little above said that "divinity can transform earth into the sky and vice versa", and now we discover that he could not do it... or better (as usual) that he could do it, but since this would go against the karma law, it is better not to do it. To help the humanity he prefers "to incarnate the in-dwelling God", with the purpose to raise the consciousness level of the humanity to the divine level, and so allowing it to control by himself the nature and its destiny (and he defines this way more effective of an hypothetical his direct intervention!). And even if this would really happen, then what about the human intervention on the karma of animals, vegetables, Earth, Universe...? We also must note that ALL THE HUMAN KIND, nobody excluded, would have to reach that level, otherwise the problem of the individual intervention on karma and general destiny would repropose itself; a problem because of which Sai Baba, at all the effects, could not intervene to help us. All this, as correctly SB says, "carries some disadvantage", the first of which is the substantial uselessness of his presence on the Earth.
Thus Sai Baba could not suspend or intervene on natural laws (emanated by himself in that he is God) to help the human kind. Skipping some practical aspect, not worthy of an omnipotent being (like the fact that he speaks only intelugu and he doesn't knows but a very bad english, reason for which he needs interpreters that translate, transcribe and write down his speeches in the good english that we can read; that he needs conveyance means and medical cures; that he has the weak knowledges we have yet examined, etc.), it seems instead that for the performance of his miracles he could violate more than a single a law:
Therefore it seems that, if Sai Baba's miracles were genuine ones, some natural laws would have to be broken; we could take as good this assertion:
"Q: Dr. Narasimhiah maintains that according to science, "Nothing can be created out of nothing." You have evidently negated this law of science with a transcendental formula for controlling cosmic energy and producing paranormal power. Can you explain this mystery?
[...]The material laws and formulas simply do not apply to divinity. For me this is not a matter of any mystery or mystique. What I will, happens: what I order, materializes.[...]"
(taken from the"Blitz Interview")
When and how Sai Baba would have "evidently negated", beyond any possible doubt, the natural and scientific laws? What the hell could it ever mean "transcendental formula for controlling cosmic energy"? Supposing anyway that what is in this passage is true, why then Sai Baba doesn't makes use of his being "super partes" to relief the pains of the human kind? Unfortunately, the above statement is in clear contradiction with this other one:
"Now, God who has made the laws of nature cannot transgress them; such observance, naturally, carries some disadvantage."
(taken and translated from the speech of 26 August 1988, Onam festival)
And what to say of these other ones, again in clear contrast between them:
"The ways of God are governed by cosmic laws ("Saasanam"). Even the Divine cannot act against these laws."
(taken from "Sanathana Sarathi" n. 38 April 1995)
"I do not have a time schedule to adhere to nor can any law bind me. I am the ultimate from whom everything originated, in whom it is preserved and in whom it will be destroyed."
(taken from "Sai Vandana")
"Every step in the career of the Avathar is predetermined."
(taken from the speech of 23 November 1968)
Therefore: first God (i.e. Sai Baba) is limited by "cosmic laws" (whatever they may be), then he's not limited by any law and he's not bound to any time schedule; if it's so, then how his "career" could be predetermined? We come to the usual contradictions... as we'll have noticed by now, Sai Baba says everything and its contrary; he doesn't hesitate to contradict even himself! And finally:
[Sai Baba is talking with a devotee about the curtain of the Illusion (Maya), which masks the vision of the Supreme Reality, Author's Note]
Q: But Swamiji, can you not lift it a little and let us have a little peek, a preview?
Sai Baba: No. Swamiji cannot do that. First you have to eliminate the ego and then Swamis grace will take away the curtain.
(froma a dialogue between Sai Baba and Eruch Fanibunda, 1976)
And in another interview:
Q: Is it possible for Swami to give the lady Self-realization?
Sai Baba: When there is that feeling, that depth of feeling, Swami can give it. Oh, yes. She has such a depth of feeling for the body. If she has the same intensity for God-realization, Swami can give it. Just now.
(from an interview with John Hislop, 1968)
Again, we have an explicit admission of impotence: "No. Swamiji cannot do that", while after SB says that he could grant that woman the Self-realization, but he cannot do so because "She has such a depth of feeling for the body"... so we have an "omnipotent being" who in one case says to be unable to do a given thing, and in another case is bound to the choices of common mortal being. Not so bad. As one can see, the picture which comes out from these considerations is the one of an "almighty who has no power"...
What we have seen above regards the theoretical and collective aspect of Sai Baba's omnipotence, but there's also an individual one. SB, it's alleged, knows past, present and future of everyone, knows what is better for us, cures and consoles the devotees and advises them, he grant to those who turn to him what they ask for. There is no limit to what he could do, there's no illness he could not heal, there's nothing he could not grant.
"[...] You may describe yourselves as Sathya Sai devotee. I am myself a devotee. Whose devotee? A devotee of those who claim to be my devotees. My duty is to fulfill their desires. [...]"
(quoted from the 72nd birthday speech, 23 November 1997)
"The suffering millions flock to you. They want to pass on their problems and suffering to you. How much of these suffering can you take on?
I am only performing a divine mission.
How do you spend your day?
My day begins with granting darshan to my devotees, interviews to people, bhajans, attending to all projects taken up for human welfare. Same cycle is repeated from post noon till evening. Although I know the contents of all letters which I receive, I read all of them for the trupti or satisfaction of my devotees.
I avoid milk, green fruits, dry fruits, sweets, ghee, butter, tea, coffee, etc. I take a skimpy meal of ragi and green grams. For the past 60 years my weight has remained unchanged at 108 pounds.When the world sleeps, I go to my devotees, give them my vision, comfort them, console them and solve their problems. I willingly take on the sufferings of my devotees on myself."
(taken from the interview to the "Times of India" of 12 March 1999)
(It's nice to observe how to the first question, precise and circumstantial, Sai Baba gives a senseless, not pertaining and evasive answer; while to the second question, more generic and "benevolent", he answers with the usual propagandist affirmations, saying the same things he is repeating from at least thirty years like also, after all, here below)
" 'Willing' is superfluous for me. For my grace is ever available to devotees who have steady love and faith. Since I move freely among them, talking and singing, even intellectuals are unable to grasp my truth, my power, my glory, or my real task as Avathar. I can solve any problem however knotty."
(quoted from the discourse of 9 June 1974, "Who is Sai?")
Therefore it seems that Sai Baba has the power and the knowledges to help, advise, heal, etc. those who turn to him. In virtue of his love, he would even seem to fulfill the desires of his devotees, BUT: here again we have some "but" and some "distinction"... !
Many are those who address Sai Baba for whatever necessity: an illness, material desires like a marriage, an help about the job, a personal help even psychological... the very most part of them (I've read and heard personally many stories about this), just because they are so many and only few could have a contact with SB, simply doesn't get what they wanted; others will get different things, which maybe they didn't asked for or thought about. Still here we find the usual "Sai-style" logic in action:
"You come here at Prashanti Nilayam and say: "I wish a husband, I wish a wife" But, also the animals have similar desires! What kind of human beings are you? Are you better than asses and monkeys? All these desires only lead to satisfactions of short duration."
(taken and translated from the speech of 5 August 1988)
You have mistaken the question! This is not what you had to ask!
"Q: Swami my health is no good.
Sai: It's your imagination. You are in a hurry. Hurry makes waste. Waste makes worry. So don't be in a hurry."
(from an interview with a greek devotee)
And more, in this interview:
Q: It is not clear when one should ask God and when one should not. For example: There is a headache that doctors seem unable to cure. I do not ask Swami to cure the headache; I do not pray for a cure. However, in a letter, Swami wrote, 'How is your health? Do not worry about that. Your God is always with you, in you, around you.'
Sai Baba: That is right. What Baba said is enough. For you, body identification is weakening. You have a headache today, a stomach-pain tomorrow. Let it go. Don't worry about it. You are not the body. Once Baba has told you not to worry, no need to ask Him about it. Don't identify.
Q: Does Swami mean that for those persons still fully identified with the body, a continuous headache might be a proper subject for prayer?
Sai Baba: Yes, but why bother Swami about a mere headache. You may tell others the same.
(from an interview with John Hislop, 1968)
And so on... in these cases one must consider at least two factors: the first is that Sai Baba, as we will see from his own words, could cure, could heal, could help, being almighty, but... only if we are "spiritually receptive"! Let's read:
"Q: You are believed to have performed miraculous cures to the extent of resurrecting the dead. There are cases where you reportedly saved people from drowning and other accidents in distant places. Medical experts have attested to remote controlled surgical operations performed by you. How do you manage these?
Baba: By my own sankalpa - that is, divine will and power. As an Avathar, this power is intrinsic, inherent, total and natural to my will and decision. I need no mantra (mystical formula), no sadhana (spiritual practice), no tantra (sacred writings) and no yantra (pilgrimage) to perform the so-called miracles which are natural to my state. My powers are simply the expression or assertion of the reality of goodness which merges me with everything, everywhere, at all times and places. The miracles belong to the boundless power of God.
Now coming to the main points of your question, this healing phenomena has a dual aspect. I can cure, save, even resurrect people provided they are in a spiritually receptive condition. It is like the positive and negative currents of electricity. My capacity to heal can be compared to the positive current. Your devotion to me is like the negative current. Once the two come together, the devotion provides what is called the miracle of healing.
It is man's mind that is really responsible for his illness or health. He himself is the cause or motivator of either. So when it comes to healing or curing, the necessary faith has to be created within his mind for the purpose. All I do is invest him with the confidence, will and power to cure himself. It is my abounding love reciprocated by the intensity of the devotee's faith in me that produce the desired result."
(taken from the"Blitz Interview")
Translated in simpler words, Sai Baba does not cure or heal anyone at all. It's the devotee who, persuaded of his "power", puts himself in such a state of mind that, where possibile, he disposes himself more positively towards the recovery. The mind-body link is known from time, and sometimes an injection of confidence and positive feelings may be crucial. Still in this case we are close to the pair autosuggestion+placebo effect, but it doesn't seems that we can talk about omnipotence; we must also remark again that the two accounts of resurrection of the dead were exposed as false.
The aspect of the auto-persuasion of Sai Baba's power emphasizes the other factor, even more crucial: the surrender. It is a concept on which SB persists like an hammer on the anvil: if we totally, unconditionally surrender to him, his "abounding love" will give us all that we need, even without having to ask for it. If we don't surrender, he couldn't help us (in spite of the omnipotence). When we "surrender" to SB, we must know that:
Practically, the "surrender" is a volountary renouncement to desire, waiting passively that Sai Baba does something for us. With or without the surrender, our life goes on its way, but we will ascribe to SB anything will happen (or not happen), and this is will give us the impression that he directs and knows our life. Subsequently, being him the goal of our life, we'll modify our expectations and requests toward the only few things that SB ccould give us, and this will give us the impression of him to satisfy us; this in spite of the fact that our previous desires remained unsatisifed, and our problems unresolved. Anyway all this it's only our realization, there is no divine power here... it's only psychology.
After all, we can read in this passage:
"Many of you come to me with problems of health and mental worry of one sort or another. They are mere baits by which you have been brought here. But the main purpose is that you may have grace and strengthen your faith in the divine. Problems and worries are really to be welcomed, as they teach you the lessons of humility and reverence. Running after external things produces all this discontent. That type of desire has no end. Once you have become a slave to the senses, they will not leave hold until you are dead. It is an unquenchable thirst. But I call you to me and even grant worldly boons so that you may turn God-ward. No Avathar has done like this before, going among the masses, counseling them, guiding them, consoling them, uplifting them, and directing them along the path of truth, righteousness, peace and love (sathya, dharma, santhi and prema)."
(quoted from the 43rd birthday discourse, 23 November 1968)
It's clear, don't you think? Problems are baits, in reality we should thank SB for leaving them unchanged, to learn some humbleness... beyond the usual propaganda, it's evident that Sai Baba isn't able to help nobody; the only ones who will feel helped, are those who appreciate the only thing that could give, that is, the Nothing:
"Give up your identity, your desires, everything you know,
all your convictions, all your relationships and feelings.
It's all false and deceptive; this is ignorance.
God is One, all is One, all is God, I am God, you are God.
Surrender to me and to my Grace and merge in the Divine Principle."And if possibly you have still some doubts and the accounts seem to be wrong, don't worry, it's just because you have the absurd pretence to understand what's happening (or not happening) to you. But obviously you are wrong:
"Trust in My wisdom: I do not make mistakes. Love My uncertainty! For it is not a mistake. It is My Intent and Will. Remember, nothing happens without My Will. Be still. Do not want to understand; do not ask to understand. Relinquish understanding. Relinquish the imperative that demands understanding."
(from "Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram")
The only real capacity of Sai Baba is to repeat this lesson, and to persuade people that it is true. I have not seen Sai Baba consoling the masses, yet I've seen him going around his temple to be worshipped. The masses to be healed, advised and consoled are elsewhere: they are the starving, the waifs, the himeless, the persecuted ones. They are in Africa, in Kosovo, in all Earth's places where people dies for hunger, for misery, and for weapons: I've not seen Sai Baba neither among those people to console them, nor saying a single word, of the many he says, for those. Surely it's because of the karma.
Sai Baba's contradictoriness
What we'll see now, to conclude, is a review of examples of the ability in which Sai Baba seems to be most skilled, the contradictoriness: meaning with this word, the habit of saying something and its exact opposite, even inside of the same discourse or after some time; examples of affirmations at the limit of hypocrisy or worse are not missing. We must consider that regards someone who affirms affirms the need of "coherence between thought, word, and action" as the only medicine for all the problems of the humanity, and who "gives great importance to his own word, which is not sufficiently followed"...
Let's begin from some principle enunciations which are often showed off by the "Sai propaganda", the one made of books, videotapes, conferences, ecc.:
Q: What is the correct relationship Swamiji, which exists between God and a devotee?
Sai Baba: 'I am yours,' can only be said from the devotee. 'I am yours God,' says the devotee and what does God say? 'You are Mine'. God does not say, 'I am yours.'
Q: In that case Swamiji, a disciple should never say to God, 'You are mine.' Is that correct?
Sai Baba: Yes [...] the appropriate thing for a devotee to say to Swami is, 'Lord, I am Yours.' There is no point in his saying, 'You are mine,' because the Lord can exist independently of the devotee. [...] If you say, 'I am Yours,' that is enough and appropriate. After that if you say to the Lord, 'You are Mine,' it is absolutely meaningless. You could say, 'You are Mine,' if I was separate from you, but since you and I are One the question does not arise.
(from a dialogue between Sai Baba and Eruch Fanibunda, 1976)
As one can easily see, thus, Sai Baba says to his devotee that he has to say to him "Lord, I am Yours", and from the speech it stands clear that Sai Baba identifies himself as Lord and God, and he wants his devotees to regard him as such. Moreover one must notice Sai Baba's ending: "since you and I are One the question does not arise". If ti is so, then why the devotee would have to say to SB "Lord, I am Yours"? It's just another absurdity and contradiction.
We'll see now some practical example of statements in contradiction between them. One must consider that all these passages are taken from public speeches of Sai Baba: his oratorical activity is fundamental in Sai philosophy, because it is the primary source of his teaching. As often has been said, Sai Baba has never written any book; but it does exist a great quantity of book, ascribed to him, on many arguments, and all are compiled as collections of his discourses about the examined arguments. I find important to known this, in order to fully value what then SB says.
Another important aspect is this: in his discourses, Sai Baba constantly repeats a basic core of quite traditional and generic philosophical teachings, which here will not be considered since this is not the right place to do it (it is "standard" hindu philosophy, and as such is not item of discussion). The interesting parts are when SB enters into the specific, into the particular, or into something that is not usual to him: there we'll note the most clear mistakes, contrasts and incongruities, and in my opinion even the most absurd things for "omnipotent ed omniscent" being. Therefore, let's start:
"[...] And, the story says, there was a star in the sky, which fell with a new light and this led a few Tibetans and others to the place where the Saviour was born. This story is read and taken on trust by many; though stars do not fall or even slide down so suddenly. [...]"
(quoted from the Crhistmas 1973 discourse)
"[...]When Jesus was born three Arabian kings came to see Him. They were overjoyed at seeing the newborn babe.[...]"
(quoted from the Crhistmas 1998 discourse)
Apart from the consideration on sliding stars, which is almost delicious, then who would have been gone to pay homage to child Jesus? Some Tibetans or the Arabian Kings? Let's see more on Christmas:
"[...] Two thousands years ago, in a region called Palestine, in the village of Nazareth, lived Maria and Giuseppe. It was winter.[...] It was the night between 24 and 25 December. Maria gave to the light the child between midnight and one. There was not any comfort to make more comfortable that birth.[...]"
(quoted and translated from the Christmas 1988 discourse)
But in another discourse:
"[...] Truly speaking, Christmas falls in the month of March, not in December: Since it is very cold in December and people are confined to their homes, they use this time to celebrate Christmas. Actually Jesus was born in the month of March. With the passage of time, this fact has been distorted and misrepresented in the Bible.[...]"
(quoted from the Christmas 1998 discourse)
Then, when does Christmas falls? In March or in December? We also have, on the "Jesus" theme, this other example we have already seen before:
Amsha Avatara. He stated: "I and the Father are one" and, declaring this, he did not abandon the concept of Father. In the expression "I and the Father are one" there is dualism, and Jesus still lived this kind of dualistic feeling. When he was crucified and he was to give the last breath, he exclaimed: "Father, Father, Father! Have you forgotten me? Have you forgotten me?" And he repeated three times "have you forgotten me?". Still in the last moments, Jesus had conserved the feeling of being different from the Father. In this is the difference between an Amsha Avatara and a Purna Avatara [like Sai Baba...]."
"[...] Jesus considered himself an
(quoted and translated from the Christmas 1988 discourse)
"[...] Jesus pointed to three stages. The first one is, "I am the Messenger of God." He wanted to propagate the message of God. The second one is, "I am the Son of God." The son has a claim to father's property. What is the property of God ? Truth, Love, Forbearance, Peace and Righteousness are the properties of God. So, man has to strive to attain these qualities. [...] Only then man deserves to be called Son of God. The third one is "I and My Father are One." This stage is attained when the principle of unity is realized. When Jesus reached this stage, He had no suffering at all. [...] Even at the time of crucifixion, Jesus was smiling, because he realized that He was not the body."
(from the Christmas 1998 discourse)
Here is now an example from indian traditional philosophy, which SB belongs to:
[SB makes Krishna speak]
"[...] I am in every living being - he asserted - that dust is Mine, those feet are Mine, the head and every other thing is Mine. My feet and My head are wherever and all belongs to Me. Who can understand Me? Who can contain Me? I am in all the shapes, I am part of them... I am more thief than thieves. Who can catch Me? Who can hold Me? [...]".
(quoted and translated from the speech of 3 September 1988)
According to hindu philosophy (and other eastern doctrines), the divine summarizes ALL within itself: all we consider good or bad, higgh or low, female or male, quite every quality and pair of polar opposites. In this passage Krishna (who is God) seems to state right this concept. Let's read now the next passage:
"The bad tendencies come out only from you because God is perfect. All the Thoughts of God, all the Words of God and all His Actions, are perfect! The imperfections that you see in God are only your feelings, your thoughts and your imaginations returning back to you under glare shape. All this is of psychological nature and these are things that don't appear in front of you the way they are. Since you see them reflected in God, you believe that He is the Responsible of all this. But God gives alone the good. ONLY GOOD AND STILL GOOD!"
(taken and translated from the Christmas 1998 speech)
Suddenly, God becomes only the Good, the Perfect Good, and the negative and "defective" aspects of the world become our total responsibility: God bestows only the Good, we are the ones doing the evil and being faulty. God's "faults" are really ours. Why this affirmation? Maybe because even in Sai Baba himself, who would be God, are recognizable some faults, which by this way are ascribed to his devotees? It's remarkable the fact tha (always according to hindu doctrine) all the world, ourselves included, is nothing more than a manifestation of the unique God, who is the only true actor and witness of this drama; this is analogue to what we have seen in the first quote. But, according to the need, the "incarnated God" abstracts himself from his own responsibilities ascribing them to his followers, eliminating this way any possibility of doubt, or feelings of expectations disappointed by the guru... we'll close with this other passage, still on theme:
"[...] the cosmic Principle of the Divinity is limited and confined to the four walls of the temple; but is it an appropriated thing to adore the universal omnipotent God in such a simple way?
YOU ARE RUINING GOD'S REPUTATION!!
The vastness of the infinite God, cannot be confined in a portrait; God's Omniscience cannot be limited this way! If you really want, is sufficient to have a single photography. Having a lot of photographies all around ruins the reputation of God!!"
(taken and translated from the speech of 23 November 1997)
Apart from the flimsy philosophy of this "teaching": in the Veda vision, God is the Perfection in the Totality and in the Multiplicity, immanent in every place and in every kind of matter and creature, he is incorruptible and untouchable quite because he is everything and everybody. Thus how could someone "ruin God's reputation"? How could it be disgraced the Perfect, the Infinite, the Absolute One? If Sai Baba would speak coherently, he would say that no matter how much do you strive, the "infinite vastness and omniscence" of God could not be limited, and that's enough! And now, something more practic, during a meeting:
[24 November 1998, Sai Baba answers to some questions from the audience]
"Why does Swami appear in the dreams of only a few and why not in all?
It is naive to think in such a manner. You cannot have such dreams as and when you would like to. You think of many people, but do they all appear in your dreams? No. It is a mistake to think that Swami does not have compassion on you just because He does not appear in your dreams. Swami's compassion is very much there on one and all. Dreams are nothing but reflections of the subconscious mind. Swami appearing in dreams is very auspicious.[...]
Let's note the opening, where the questioner is gratuitously defined naive. However it would seem all OK: dreams are only dreams, reflections of the subconscious which is not controllable; even if dreaming of SB is auspicious... but some lines ahead the surprise:
[...]Dreams are the reflection, reaction and resound of that which is within you. The same does not apply to the dreams in which Swami appears. Swami appears in dreams only when HE wills it and not when you want to.[...]"
First he fixes the above concept, then (surprise!) the dreams in which he is the protagonist become his property. This conclusion gives full title to the opening question: if SB decides when and to whom appear in dream, why he does with somebody and he doesn't with others? And why he has dodged as usual the answer calling instead "naive" the questioner? Maybe dreams (and all our life) are only ours and he has not any power at all... It seems to me a very simpler and coherent explanation...
Let's come now to a series of statements which are half way between the gratuitous and the vaguely hypocrit:
"[...] Also the mountains have their lesson. [...] With the cold, the mountains don't cover themselves with warm blankets and, with the torrid warmth, they don't resort to some climatic station in order to enjoy one pleasant freshness. With the rain they don't look for an umbrella in order to repair themselves. Therefore, the mountains are a second master, because they teach not to care too much of the comforts and the physical aspects of life.[...]"
(quoted and translated from the speech of 18 July 1989)
Passing over again on the philosophical consistency of the "lesson" (I feel like going back to primary school), It seems that Sai Baba has not learned so much from the lesson of mountains, since his Whitefield's ashram (called Brindavan) is his summertime abode, where he moves where Puttarparthi is too hot. Caution, not that this is wrong: simply, SB could avoid these little flimsy lessons with a kind of hypocrit flavour, like the following ones:
"[...] But the knowledges supplied from science, rather than to enrich to you, have damaged you. The health and happiness produced from the modern technology don't balance the deterioration of society and don't allow man to experience true peace in his daily life. Thanks to the technological and scientific progress, we have had an invasion of radio and TV. Cinemas have been multiplied and a great number of airplane furrows our skies. [...] One has not to show what he cannot afford, because it would be a useless waste. A doctor, a lawyer, a public official need a car in order to move. Even when in troubles and financial difficulties, they must get a car at any cost or, at least, a motorcycle. Without these means, they would risk to lose clients. These are the problems that people have to face continuously and, in order to solve them, they take immoral paths. To say it clear, the responsible of this immorality is science. Science itself doesn't have nothing bad: the error is in its undue use."
(quoted and translated from the speech of 22 November 1988)
[Mother earth is speaking through Sai Baba]
"[...] Scholars and intellectuals are cutting me to pieces to acquire knowledge and conduct their experiments", laments mother earth. "They are subjecting me to great suffering by their diggings and blastings." [...]"
(quoted from the discourse of 8 October1997)
Unfortunately for us human beings, to work and carry on our "miserable" life we need deplorable instruments such as cars, motorcycles, etc... would be Sai Baba so kind to consider that:
Another passage about another argument, the respect for animals:
"[...] But the Indian people respect also the ants and supply to their feeding with sugar and flour, and recognize the divinity in all the animals, either asses, monkeys or dogs. Unfortunately the people who don't have such ability of views, judge fools the Indians; that is not true.[...]"
(taken and translated from the discourse of 3 September 1988)
As a fact inside the ashram, and I have seen it personally, monkeys and dogs are brutally beaten from the Sevas, the monkeys because they sometimes go in the rooms to steal items, the dogs because they are in a huge number, they always look for food and they reproduce themselves too much; anyway because animals "disturb the devotee". For hard works are used some male bovines (kind of buffalos), exhausted to the unbelievable, maltreated and reduced to the bone. Cows are safe (in India they are sacred) as well as Sai Gita, the personal female elephant of Sai Baba, which is treated even better than a human being. Finally here is a nice example of "download" of responsibility:
"[...] Refererring to the Water Project, peoples speak in various way of Swami. Swami is not content of that. Nothing belongs to Swami. All is given from the devotees. Only the riches of devotees are giving form to the Water Project. I have promoted this project with the only purpose of giving an example. I am only the guarantor, the postman. The content of the letter, either good or bad, doesn't touch in any way the postman. In the same way, nothing belongs to Me. To say that Swami has made this or that is not exact.[...]"
(quoted and translated from the speech of 17 November 1995)
Paraphrasing an italian saying, we could say that "at Puttaparthi it doesn't moves a leaf if Sai Baba doesn't want it"... all the activities of Sai Baba's organization are decided, approved, directed and supervised by him, or by some of his officers. Here is an excerpt from article by B. Premanand:
"...in Sanathana Sarathi Vol.2 No.2 March 1959 (we read) that every article dealing with the experience of devotees passes through the hand of Sathya Sai Baba and even the tiniest chaff of untruth is winnowed out in the process, (Read page 17 of the book "Sai Baba and his Message", edited by Dr. S.P.Ruhela and Dr. Duane Robinson which proclaims as follows:
NOTHING IS DONE THERE OR IN OTHER PLACES WHERE ORGANISATIONS FUNCTION IN HIS NAME, WITHOUT HIS EXPRESS PERMISSION AND BLESSINGS)"
(From "Indian Skeptic" vol. 1 n. 7)
In spite of this fact here SB keeps a distance from his own works, turning the responsibilities on devotees, posing as "impartial divine witness" of what happens around, while he himself is the first cause and the engine of anything that happens there.
And finally a lasting "pearl", on the "food" argument:
"I require neither food nor sleep. If I needed rest, I would not have incarnated. I have no need to see places. I am everywhere, always! I have no craving for change or recreation. I am always in a state of bliss."
(Sai Baba, from a compilation of sayings on the "Advent of the Sai Avatar" website)
Well, hey... a true superman, a true God, who is able to make fun of our basic needs... maybe... or maybe not:
"All that she [SB's mother, Author's note] had to eat was Ragi Sankati (gruel prepared from a coarse grain). Even I too eat Ragi Sankati only. Many people in Karnataka eat Ragi Sankati. I like it very much. I do not relish rice, Kurma (curry), etc. Ragi Sankati with groundnut chutney is My favorite food. Both Ragi and groundnut are available in our village. When I come here from Puttaparthi, I bring Ragi flour with Me. Even when I go to Kodaikanal, I tell the boys to bring Ragi flour for Me."
(from a speech of May 6 2000)
"[...] Baba came up to me, looked in my eyes, patted me on the head and said not to worry, it was just the heat. Then at 4 p.m., when Baba usually came down after rest, I did not wait, but sent a note upstairs that the situation was steadily getting worse [...]"
(from John Hislop, "My Baba and I", pp. 49-51)
Unbelievable! Sai Baba eats and sleeps just like all the other human beings... but at this point that thing wouldn't have to surprise that much.
And the review could go on... those who want to deepen the argument could read on the manybooks and internet sites related to Sai Baba, a huge quantity of material.
"A brain forced to accept contradictions, to ignore them,
to pass over them, it couldn't do anything but to change in mash".
(Fred Hoyle, on spiritual-religious contradictions)
Go to the Next page, go back to the Opening page, or choose another page:
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