Who in the West, and well beyond, has not heard Bob Dylan’s 1974 song ‘Forever Young’?
After 60 His Body Would Never Age – But …!
Some of the Sathya Sai Baba’s core, oft-proclaimed virtues are named in the Bob Dylan song, but quite apart from grave difficulties in living up to these, Sai Baba has also failed in his prophecy of looking – after his 60th birthday – forever young. A few lines of the Dylan song run:
May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.
But, as so commonly, Sai Baba, in word and action falsifies what he superabundantly preaches.
“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.
“The attributes of the Avatars are beyond human comprehension…. Rama and Krishna were ever youthful. Have you ever seen a picture of Rama or Krishna with grey hair?….. Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002.
This was what he wanted people to believe:-
On his 60th birthday, he promised to look like this, forever young, as it were:
Now he looks like this:
How many failed prophecies of his do Sai Baba’s millions of devotees have to hear before they start to think critically? That so many of them are scientists, judges, engineers, teachers, politicians, diplomats and so on is cause for real concern. If India does not act to curb superstition in its elites, will it not become the enduring laughing-stock of the world, especially as it, along with China, attains superpower status?
What Sai Baba devotee did not see the early signs of his physical demise? Like the balding at the back of his head, the thinning and greying of his hair? In early 1998, along with horrified and gasping thousands, I saw him fall headlong as he was about to mount the small step leading to the verandah near the entrance to his Puttaparthi interview room. Faith, like the experience of ‘being in love’, is blind.
Although they do not allude to it, Sai Baba’s officials can no longer conceal his declining mental health nor his increasing physical decrepitude. They do not broadcast – and literally in the case of Dr G. Venkataraman’s international propaganda transmissions over Radio Sai Global Harmony – that he has said that his body will not age after he is 60 years. But his official organisation’s videos become increasingly revealing – see http://www.saicast.org/festivals.htm and click on “Christmas Day 2005 morning”. Here, it takes no doctor to note the “stone-face,” (Is it e.g., Parkinson’s disease?), the indecisive bodily movements and the general sense of dithering mental confusion.
One can note, for example, his poor efforts at using the knife to cut his birthday cake. Reports are increasing of his doing strange things, sometimes in full view of the public, like walking in circles muttering away to himself. Here is an Indo-Norwegian devotee report Oct 17, 2006,
“Swami has problems in moving, has had five fractures in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and only one was cured. According to Swami’s close friends, he has become very emotional recently, often sitting in tears …”
Examination of recent photos on an official website show the way in which select students surround him at closer quarters than hitherto and with great vigilance, their faces and body language clearly anxious lest he topple over. Here, too, one observes the immobile face.
On stage before February 2004’s Mahasivaratri crowd, the BBC cameras (in footage that would later become part of ‘The Secret Swami’, which has been seen in over 120 countries around the world) show Sai Baba looking increasingly sick. He produces the lingam, and the materialization trick demonstrated by Professor Narendra Nayak is easy for the viewer to spot, the lingam being concealed in Sai Baba’s handkerchief. In the ensueing documentary, the BBC journalist Tanya Datta comments:
“To the alarm of the crowd suddenly Sai Baba collapsed. His huge coterie of staff swung into action. There was panic. An organisation used to tight control seemed to have lost its grip. Sai Baba was hastily wheeled off stage.”
Later, he is carried hobbling back, with officials claiming that he manifested two more lingams offstage. To the audience, a shaken Sai Baba makes a preposterous claim “Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight of three tonnes. That’s the reason why some strain on the face and the body”:
One can go a deal further back to find other such inane statements. He has made the most garbled, contradictory and unscientific statements about magnetism.
In his public discourse March 13, 2002, he told thousands that his divine magnetism holds him to the ground, impeding his feet and hand movements:
“So when I put My foot down, the whole foot stuck to the ground. It is a little hard to lift a foot that is stuck. Wherever I walk, it sticks there. Whatever is held, it sticks to My (sic) hand. This magnet is not in everyone like this. This magnet is so powerful only in Divinity.”
A native Telegu speaker has kindly translated for me a revealing section of a report. He writes:
‘The translation of the relevant part from the second-last paragraph in the news item from Eenadu, Monday 22, January 22, is as follows:
“Lacking in Clarity: There was a lack of clarity in Satya Sai’s speech because of his old age. The interpreter struggled much to translate his speech into English. Satya Sai was seated in a special wheel chair which was brought very close to the car, so he could very slowly get into it. At the time of the speech, he stood up with great difficulty with the help of his assistants”.
Note: Eenadu is the largest circulated Telugu newspaper in Andhra Pradesh and boasts a daily readership of over 10 million.
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