Questioning Sathya Sai Baba: India’s Most Famous and Politically Powerful Guru
Posted by Barry Pittard on December 9, 2009
In 1999 came the publication of three articles in Nexus magazine (August-September). A person close to me, who knew well that I had deafened my ears to anything inimical to Sathya Sai Baba, strongly urged me (putting the magazine right into my hand) to read these articles, one of which was by the head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman of Kyama, New South Wales, Australia. The editor, Duncan Roads, wrote of this own experiences of disillusionment with Sathya Sai Baba, but, more particularly, printed three articles that were already to be found on the Internet. See also: ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba) and Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion
Before returning to Sathya Sai Baba for a few months in November 1997, and sensing a momentous issue looming, I had somehow briefly dared to look at writings on the Internet. I read the Canadian academic rationalist philosopher Professor Dale Beyerstein (now deceased) of the University of British Columbia. His very incisively-written book: “Sai Baba’s miracles: and overview” is HERE. There was also the writing of the likewise articulate Italian former devotee Paul Holbach.
Across a range of Sai Baba issues, their writing was disciplined; they raised sharp questions which, by any token, deserved proper answers. Some of the questions, if not answered frankly and truthfully, could best be answered by properly consitituted processes, such as a police, court of law or government enquiry. It was not enough for Indulal Shah, head of the Sathya Sai Organization, to make blatantly antidemocratic proclamations in June 1993, at the time of the Puttaparthi police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom. For example, it was reported in one of India’s elite newspapers The Hindu, June 10, 1993:
“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.’”
Where were all the other leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization? Were there evidences, under real testing conditions, of that truth, right conduct, love and peace, everywhere evangelized by Sathya Sai Baba and his followers? Were there voices of independence, clarity and conscience? No. There was glacial silence. The smell of suppressed fear. Smiles that did not smile. Eyes that looked away. There was the ruthless driving out of those who questioned. Were the questioners mavericks? Typical trouble-makers? Deficient of intelligence and efficiency in their lives? No, they were not. Those who started to investigate the first hand accounts of terrible, and in many cases criminal, abuse were longtime stalwarts, some of them highly-respected leaders. The Sathya Sai Organization perfectly well knew of the years of signal devotion and service of those who were now questioning.
But Sathya Sai Baba and his servitors remain tight-lipped to this day, all these years after. As well as the terrible abuses that occurred in the first instance, to their undying shame, they have allowed many fine man and women to be execrated and slandered. With incredible mendacity, they tell their congregations – inasmuch as they tell them very much at all – that ‘the allegations’ are made by a small handful of disgruntled individuals.
Select Further Reading
Story of My Disqualification, and other articles by Serguei Badaev
Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:
There is a Spanish version available: