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Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 21, 2009

Some of Sathya Sai Baba’s propagandists, and many devotees, strive to make it appear that an assertion disfavouring him is an assertion against Hinduism and India.

In actual fact, a great many Hindus do not at all approve of Sai Baba, as anyone who has travelled extensively in India or who knows many non-resident Indians knows only too well.

A Simple Test to Guage Sathya Sai Baba’s Wider Prestige

A small but powerful test:  simply,  if you are not Indian, ask your Indian friends their reaction to the name Mahatma Gandhi

Father of modern India, but 'belonging' to the world

Loved 'Father' of modern India, but 'belonging' to the world

or Shirdi Sai Baba

Shirdi Sai Baba. Great renunciate and servant of all

Shirdi Sai Baba. Great renunciate and servant of all

and then their reaction to the name Sathya  Sai Baba.

For Pomp and Sai-cumstance Baba (Puttaparthi Sai)

More gold for Pomp and Sai-cumstance Baba (Puttaparthi Sai)

Sathya Sai Baba in pure golden pomp and circumstance

Sathya Sai. All that glitters is not true gold.

The qualitative difference of reaction to your question (which is actually about what constitutes true gold) will commonly be altogether striking.

Many Indians – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists, Humanists, Rationalists and so on – are appalled by the incredibly lavish pomp and circumstance that surround Sathya Sai Baba. They do not want his going around in a golden chariot and all the rest of the panoply to represent the greatness of their country. See:

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

Sai Baba, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates, Et Alia.

Interfaith Movement Far Ahead of Sathya Sai Baba In Bringing Mutual Diolog

Moreover, the ‘sarva dharma’ (respect for all faiths) emphasis that Sai Baba has long driven is not repaid by any significant signs that the officials of the world’s religions have recognized Sai Baba. It is abundantly clear that the interfaith movement throughout the world has done infinitely more effective work in getting divers faiths talking to each other in amity. See:

Muslim Leaders Initiative Bold. Sai Baba’s Efforts Fail

(I have written elsewhere – Saudi King Abdullah: Jews, Muslims, Christians Must Diolog – of the interfaith call by King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia. It is a very partial one. At least millions round the world who know nothing of Sathya Sai Baba have heard of King Abdulla. If any such friendly get-togethers were to occur among  the Muslims, Jews and Christians to whom the king refers, there would need to be the focused avoidance of any entanglement in the  harsh world of realpolitik – in which King Abdulla is no doubt highly troubled by Iran, which is a non-Arab country).

‘Considerable Concern Among the Hindu Community’

A major Hindu leader (to whom on request I shall gladly direct responsible and reputable media) once wrote to me:

“There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.

An example in which a major leader in the Sathya Sai Baba movement can be seen, with great slides of fallacious reasoning, playing the culture ‘card’ as though the case for Sai Baba is somehow settled among “the Asian Community” is Ashok Bhagani, head of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization in the UK. Referring to the BBC’s The Secret Swami, he told The Asian Voice, June 26, 2004):

“I saw the documentary on Thursday and it made my blood boil. The BBC is a premier channel and it was irresponsible of them to show a totally one-sided, biased and unbalanced documentary that they knew may stir something amongst many members of the Asian community”.

Further Reading

Ashok Bhagani denies fully documented facts (by Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway)

Robert Priddy, former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway

Robert Priddy, former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway

UK Sai Baba Head, Ashok Bhagani Exposes Himself

Some Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):

(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)
(21 MB, Modem)

‘The Secret Swami’ showcased with selected transcripts and brief
video clips

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