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of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

India’s Chronic Addiction To anachronistic Gurus. Any Sea-change?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 7, 2009

India has lonf suffered the grip on her life of powerful, corrupt gurus. Since the 196o’s many thousands of foreigners – especially westerners – have gone there in search of their soul. Frequently, they have gone to the ashram of gurus, little realising that the factors in human nature that degrade the ideals of philosophies in their own culture are the same ones, though often in very different dress, are the same factors of degradation that exist in the institutions of their own cultural milieu. Each society has their own depiction of them. Since early Christian times, there have been the list of ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’, which the Catholic Church codified thus: 

  1. luxuria (lechery/lust)
  2. gula (gluttony)
  3. avaritia (avarice/greed)
  4. acedia (acedia/discouragement)
  5. ira (wrath)
  6. invidia (envy)
  7. superbia (pride)

Devotees of gurus in the long Hindu traditions are familiar with the list of six primary ills that that Sathya Sai Baba would frequently reel off in his discourses and in interviews. These are the The Six Passions (or Enemies) of Mind, called the Ari-shadvarga: 

kama : lust; krodha : anger; lobha : greed; moha ; delusion; madamaathsarya : envy;

There is nothing amiss with such codifications, so long as they are not used for striking puritanical fear into human beings. And here lies the problem, many gurus in India, just as in many ‘priestcrafts’ elsewhere use such classifications to enslave. Given that profound superstition in virtually all quarters of Indian life, one wonders whether new generations in India’s ruling elites can rid themselves of the oppressions that are so deeply embedded.

Can India find a solution to the embarrassment that attends the spectacle of a great many foreigners – especially Westerners – drawn to her shores in search of replacement for their own abandoned belief systems, and, often, being profoundly misled?

The extreme grip of the gerontocratic, nepotistic and corrupt political old guard in India (and other power sectors) is now, in a post modern world, rapidly being culled by mortality striking down those who deadly grip on power has lasted for so long.

It does not matter which party or coalition of parties rules. There has long been the obsequious running to highly flawed gurus and astrologers. They are wrong in their predictions, and the leaders so often reliant of a huge network of astrologers.  The same mental befuddlement can be seen in those devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, who blind themselves to his many mistaken predictions and unfulfilled promises. At his ashram, too, we see a long processions of Indian Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers, Presidents and Vice Presidents and other social elites flocking to his ashram in Puttaparthi. Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister, is no exception.  Atal Behari Vajpayee, the previous Prime Minister was a long-declared devotee. 

One wonders where is the pride at being Indian, when there is such reliance on the inpouring of billions of dollars, over time, that Sathya Sai Baba, along, what to speak of other gurus, suction in from foreign sources.

See:

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television and

Flag Follows Trade. Abetting Indian Government Corruption

Fmr Indian PM Vajapayee. Sathya Sai Baba devotee

Fmr Indian PM Vajpayee. Sathya Sai Baba devotee. Our Indian sources who were then at the power hub inform: Then Deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani outlined to Vajpayee the case against Sai Baba in relation to wide-scale serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, but Vajpayee became distressed, and, heedless, wrote flowery 'poetry' in praise of Sathya Sai Baba. Advani himself continued to visit Sathya Sai Baba when he wanted some advantage or other.

                                           Dr Mohan Singh dressed to the nines by Sai Baba for a glittering parade

India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh dressed up by Sathya Sai Baba for a glittering parade, not disimilar to Imperial notions of ‘bread and the games of the circus’ of ancient Rome

                                              Fmr Indian Pres. Shankar Dayal Sharma. Dresses To Please Puttaparthi Baba

Former Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma. Also dressed to the nines to please Puttaparthi Baba

India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Sathya Sai Baba devoteePresident Pratibha Devisingh Patil

Her mentor was the exceptionally powerful late  S.B. Chavan, the former Home Minister who presided over the profound cover up of attempted police and media investigations of the April 6, 1993 police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Only feebleness and death release the claw-like deadly hands of State. Their talented heirs (often the children and relatives of the old guard) and aspirants of a younger generation increasingly make their run to assert a modernity.  See:

Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel and

The Guru Trap. Will India Be Forever Trapped?

But at their backs they always hear the old-timers’ blinking chariots hurrying near (if I may twist to haplessness the English poet Andrew Marvell).

Will a somewhat younger India come to evince an efficient modernity, and be much less corrupt ?  We shall learn soon enough.

Some Resources

Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony

India’s Painful Experience of Corrupt Leadership

Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise To “Clean Up” His “Own Back Yard (India) Unfulfilled

CNN-IBN Reports Action On Corrupt Indian Gurus

General

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One Response to “India’s Chronic Addiction To anachronistic Gurus. Any Sea-change?”

  1. […] India’s Chronic Addiction To Anacronistic Gurus. Any Sea-change? […]

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