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

Most Former Sathya Sai Devotees Respond Without Hatred

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 26, 2009

Former followers of Sathya Sai Baba have noticed recurring features in the notes of Sai Baba defenders who write to us. The most common, by far, is reference to his purported miracles. This tendency is evident in writers whether more sophisticated or uneducated. This despite the advice of a great many spiritual teachers (including Sathya Sai Baba) of various traditions who say not to get hung up by phenomena such as miracles.

Another common trait revealed is extreme attachment for Sathya Sai Baba’s form, which he himself has often also referred to as an obstacle to spiritual development.

As pointed out in the article  Reply To Sathya Sai Baba Defender, most former devotees – leaving aside those few who have much-to-be regretted bad manners – do not respond nastily.

Two writings that would invite the description: grace and self-restraint whilst under fire are by Timothy Conway Ph.D. and Al Rahm (both former prominent leaders in the Sathya Sai Baba movement). See:

The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno

Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter

When those who are now former devotee were engaged in their transitional discovery process – for example, speaking to individuals and famililies with shocking accounts of abuse by Sathya Sai Baba and/or some of his core servitors – they came up with the same questions that some devotees would now aim at them. And, at an earlier stage, when unquestioning devotees, they used the same defences of Sathya Sai Baba when questions were raised by others.

Here is a quite typical note from a defender of Sathya Sai Baba, and the reply from one who is no longer partial to him. The writer had written a number of emails to the recipient, who did not retaliate to any of the points. Some of the language of the other emails was couched more unkindly than anything in the following. The former devotee responded because of the basic decency and sincerity, nontheless, of the person who wrote:

“All your articles written on your websites ( Anti-Sai Baba) seem to be an old type of fairy tales similar to what we have been seeing as a kid in our kindergarten days. The difference in presentation lies in its depth, of hate and malice. The idea of molest is a great hoax to discredit Swami, that’s for sure. When you compare Baba’s materialization of vibuthi and other manifestation as a stage show similar to what magician can do, is very puzzling. Swami’s divine manifestation of vibuthis and other religious artifacts etc;  in various part of the world is a fact. How do you answer to that? There is no need for anyone to cheat on this. It’s a world wide phenomena going on for decades. It’s not a simple paranormal activity. What about prayers? How do you answer to those prayers which Swami has responded to his devotees? How could this be possible, if not for His divine grace? Do not make sweeping allegations. Swami teaches love, not hate. Do take care”

Response (by former longtime devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, who had considerable responsibilities in his service)

“I think that I understand your harsh judgements on us and the driving of very important questions. For many former devotees have had to raise, amid great anguish, the same issues that you raise. Many of them spent years of great devotion for Sathya Sai Baba and dedicated service in the various wings of his organization. How there can be such an incredible anomaly between the uplifting experiences which you have mentioned – which many former devotees have also experienced – and the stark opposites is a very great mystery.

However, what may appear as hatred in the eyes of one devoted is not hatred. It is speaking out the facts as we have best been able to determine them.No doubt,reading such claims can be very upsetting for devotees. That is most understandable. Some have viewed it as a challenge to their own sadhana of calmness and steadfastness.

One of Sathya Sai Baba’s key teachings – and that of many spiritual teachers down the millennia, as you will be aware from your 34 years of sadhana – is to learn to distinguish the form from the formless. When we human beings become defensive about the form, does it not mean that we are very attached to it?

I notice in your prior emails that you have made much of the miracles, and yet Sathya Sai Baba, in his spoken words, has placed a very small value on them. Do not we human beings also become very attached to such manifestations, which are rupa (embodiment), as well.

Do you not think that many former devotees pray? And have lovely spiritual experiences? If we were to be motivated by hatred, do you think that I would write to you (just as other former devotees write to devotees who have written to us) with patience and respectfulness?

Many sweeping allegations, including your own, have been made about large numbers of former devotees, including, I may repeat, some who were important and much-respected leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization, who continue to be loved and respected in their various walks of life”.

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One Response to “Most Former Sathya Sai Devotees Respond Without Hatred”

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