Huge Sai Baba Gaffes
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 3, 2007
Note, 26 April 2010: No amount of faith-blinded rationalizing can successfully elude the striking fact of Sathya Sai Baba’s many gaffes. I re-run this article of early 2007, and trust that further circulation of such compelling documentation will result in ever more widely exposing those aspects of Sathya Sai Baba that his often frenetic and over-worked minders go all out to hide or minimize. Some of his actions are very absurd and self-contradictory.
The readership includes those who are, in swelling numbers, coming out of the Sathya Sai Baba cult. Typically, many have taken a long time to begin to sort their lives out. Emerging from a cult in which one’s deepest hopes and dreams have been invested is not easy. Some are shattered, and we know of suicides. Some plunge into other cult figures. Some grasp at the comfort of mainstream religions or philosphies. Some learn to sit on slippery fences, and whistle in the dark. Some hide from themselves and others just how much they have been affected. Many have slunk off without formally resigning. The numbers of westerners going to Sathya Sai Baba’s ashrams has reduced by many thousands.
But his resolute defenders cannot hold back the existence of commonsense and the spirit of many individuals sooner or later doing some serious examination of their often long-held concerns.
In one of the great deceptions of history, Sai Baba has misled millions of worshippers in many countries, including an astounding array of followers in the sciences, medicine, the arts, education, government, the judiciary, politics, industry, and so on.
A few quotes from the simultaneous English translation of the Sai Baba’s Christmas Discourse, 1996, indicate that palpable nonsense in some of his pronouncements must be added to the “divine” attributes of one who would be King of Kings.
James Redmond of the USA was for many years Sathya Sai Baba’s official videographer. Finally, he was able to see from examination of his vast array of film footage the many instances of Sai Baba faking materializations. There is another kind of Sai Baba deception that does not get into printed material. Fortunately, it is preserved on video, the provenance of which can not be faulted by Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization.
The nonsensical material deserves much wider notice than when in February 2002 the Australian linguistic scholar Brian Steel
first drew attention to some of the extraordinary inanities in Sai Baba’s discourses – preserved in video materials but quickly expunged from the written records. These acute embarrassments to Sai Baba are excised by Sai Baba editors before they get into publications like Sanathana Sarathi, the official Sai Baba magazine that is distributed to some hundred and fifty countries, not to mention other publications from Sai Baba’s very busy press. That this process of removal of embarrassing material from his discourses goes on I had my own proof when I was working as a publisher’s editor at Sai Towers, Puttaparthi. I once myself had a hand in reconstruction/excision of a terribly jumbled Sai Baba statements about ghosts, which I sought help to unscramble from (the late) V.K Narasimhan, a warm and dear friend, who had been one of the most famous and respected editors in India and then Editor of Sanathana Sarathi. He too had edited out the embarrassments in his version for the upcoming edition of Sathathana Sarathi. I may add that I was working from the penciled translation by Professor Anil Kumar himself, Sai Baba’s official translator, who used to slip (or I think recall on this occasion actually hand-deliver) his translation over to Sai Towers. Also called in at Sai Towers on the rescue operation was Sai Baba’s Professor of English, Sandeepan Chatterjee. On another occasion, a whole issue of the expensively produced – which I was essentially editing (on the basis of service, not as paid work) had to be ditched – a large number of copies destined for worldwide distribution. Because of this small bit of print, the whole magazine had to be reprinted, a mammoth operation. This was because Sai Baba wanted to suppress a prophecy he had just made at Kodai Kanal. Of the Redmond material, Brian Steel comments on and quotes the egregious Sai Baba blunders:
“NONE of this astonishingly confused information was finally printed in the official version in Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIX, but in a note on page 393 we learn that:
“[Bhagavan gave a brief account of the Jewish concept of the creation of the cosmos and referred to the birth of Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph.]”
Doubtless, the editors saw that SB had had a ‘bad day’, but readers of their version will never know that”.
“Three hundred and fifty years B.C., before Christ, Jews lived. However, among Jews, there were religions such as Islam and Christianity. People of that land, they are all Jews. That land is the birthplace of both the religions, Islam and Christianity. The Hebrew language was very prominent. This Hebrew language is more or less equal to our Sanskrit. …”
“Christianity is not just 2,000 years in its origin. It was there even before Christ, 350 years. There the divinity is explained very clearly.”
“The name and the fame of Jesus Christ have spread far and wide. Here, at this moment, there are two schools of thought. The first group of thought – Roman Catholics. There is another group that fought with this group. This group is called Protestants. As they protested, they are Protestants. So among Jews there are these two groups: Catholics and Protestants. The difference of opinion has increased day by day. This led to Jesus, whose life was in danger. Jews there in Jerusalem did not permit Jesus to go there. Like this, religious conflict and fighting was ever on the rise. There were 250 schools of thought, divisions there. They also monopolized certain countries.”
“Because of so many groups there, they all attempted even to harm Jesus. Romans on one side. Catholics on the other side. Luther on another side. There were so many groups that went on changing. All these differences are based on violence, and that led to madness. Because of this attachment to group affiliations, naturally there was conflict and fighting.”
“Religious affiliation leads to ego. This led to confusion among them as to what Jesus said right or wrong.”
Is this the Avatar of Avatars – or a schoolboy vainly trying to write a potted history, conflating early Christian history with Martin Luther’s 16th Century Protestant revolt?
Brian Steel concludes:
“More seriously, perhaps, such idiosyncratic pronouncements cast a very heavy shadow over Sai Baba’s general credibility and even his thought processes – whatever his other powers and characteristics”.
Former Sai Baba devotees worldwide are ready, as indeed many times before over several years, to submit our credentials and findings to bona fide independent third party adjudicators.
In an attempt to obtain proper investigation of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and his powerful and influential worldwide organization, we have closely cooperated with major world media and other reputed agencies and institutions. He and the entity he calls the “Divine” instrument for bringing about the greatest spiritual revolution the world has ever seen, the Sathya Sai Organization, have not.
International billions flow to Sai Baba
In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”
(21 MB, Modem)
Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,
at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability
Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)
(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):