Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Puttaparthi Ashram’

Vast Decline In Numbers At Sathya Sai Baba’s Puttarparthi Ashram In South India

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 3, 2012

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In recent years, in blogs or on websites, prominent commentors such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself, have noted a dizzily steep decline in non-Indian visitors to Sathya Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram.

Will Puttaparthi's economy survive Sai Baba's death?

Sathya Sai Baba In Glass Casket. He is Unresurrected - As Yet ....

Sathya Sai Baba In Glass Casket. He is Unresurrected – As Yet! ….

Around the world, according to a constant stream of travelers’ reports, a great many people have left the Sai Baba cult, including in India. When journalists, scholars and other investigators enquire about this and other aspects, the international Sathya Sai Organization refuse to answer. Because the organization actively interfaces with mainstream civic, political and religious, the chain-mail cloak of secrecy is, of course, reprehensible.

Sathya Sai Baba - the increasingly unsmiling guru, who defined a truly spiritual person as one who keeps smiling. (Hence the ubiquitous fake smiles which many so-called 'spiritual people' fake. Alas, though they fake it, they don't make it

Sathya Sai Baba – in recent years, the increasingly unsmiling guru, who defined a truly spiritual person as one who keeps smiling. (Hence the ubiquitous fake smiles which many so-called ‘spiritual people’ fake. Alas, though they fake it, they don’t make it)

Below, I have excerpted from an website-and-newsletter active devotee’s report. Hope springs eternal in those like Ted Henry, as both excerpted and longer version make clear. Touchingly, to feed a longing far deeper than nostalgia, there is great reliance on meetings with old devotees. The ostensibly ‘real’ thing of Sathya Sai Baba’s daily appearances at dashan is missing. There is a grasping at lonely shadows, mistaking the slight play of light for the substance, when even the substance was false, and embodied one of history’s greatest deceivers.

In Ted Henry’s account, as in so many contemporary devotee accounts, there is constant  iteration of how Sai Baba is present. There is a profound psychological denial of depression. And yet grieving and depression are very natural for human beings who face major loss. There is blindness to large numbers of Sai Baba’s failed promises and prophecies. E.g., –

“You will realize Swami’s glory when I walk across the sky from one end to the other.”(Tapovanam Chapter 11

I will have to forego the car and even the aeroplane when I move from place to place, for the crowds pressing around them will be too huge; I will have to move across the sky; yes, that too will happen, believe Me.”(See scan from Sathya Sai Speaks

Absent is any realistic assessment of the enormous damage to Sai Baba and his cult’s failure to discuss or address the worlwide allegations. Absent, too, is devotee recollection that those who have spoken out were for long highly respected members of the Sathya Sai Organization, including foremost leaders. Yet the same integrity for which they were known while devotees is the same integrity with which they have dealt with investigating the terrible allegations from round the world. This widespread demeaning of former devotees and other critics cannot, even remotely, be called spiritual.

This photo is one of many which belie his own preachments about keeping a smiling countenance – such as when he would say: 

Always put up a smiling face, never a castor-oil face:  Happiness is union with God”

At 85th Birthday, Sathya Sai Baba’s Sobbing Fit

Sathya Sai Baba In Fits of Sobbing: Video Footage Confirms Earlier Accounts

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 5, 2011

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

India Today

Can Puttaparthi Survive?

Puttaparthi struggles for survival after Sathya Sai Baba’s demise
Nirmala Ravindran  May 27, 2011 | UPDATED 15:35 IST

“The problem with Puttaparthi has always been that it functions around Baba. Even when he was alive when he travelled to live in Whitefield in Bangalore or the Kodaikanal ashram, Puttaparthi would become a ghost town. His devotees would follow him. That was our off-season. Now we have a permanent off-season,” says Dhanush, whose family has lived here for over 50 years. A month after Sai Baba’s demise, the flood of visitors has reduced to a mere trickle.


Tourism suffers a jolt after Sai Baba’s demise

July 29, 2011.

A large number of businessmen from Kashmir, Nepal, Tibet and Gujarat had settled in Puttaparthi and were carrying out brisk business for decades.

They are concerned about the rapidly declining number of visiting tourists, and are not in a position to pay their monthly shop rents. Real estate business is also affected as no one dares to purchase lands and plots even at cheaper rates, tho-ugh the price for cent land was once Rs 10 lakh.




– LETTER #2 (December 1, 2012)
– SUBJECT: First impressions

…..  There is a plus/minus to all of this which I hope to detail later. I should tell you quickly that the welcome mat is out for all Westerners to visit the ashram. One of my first stops was to pay a visit with Mr. Unni, the dear mature soul who has headed up accommodations office here for decades. His office was always a beehive of activity with many travelers trying to curry favor for a good room in a good building with working fans and a functional bathroom, maybe even one with hot water. On this day he sat alone in his office, willing to share time with me, something he could rarely afford to do before. The last time I checked with him (it’s my reporter’s instinct) during January, 2009 there were 85,000 people in the ashram from 125 countries, and today, only 7000. He tells me the attendance from people in India remains high, but for foreigners the turn out remains slight since Baba’s passing a year and a half ago.

“Please encourage all Westerners to come to Baba’s home. He is here”, he said to me a couple of times. I promised I would do so.

Later in the day while walking past the mandir (Sai Baba’s main open air temple that holds 20,000+ people) I felt a discernible let down. Those present for the early chanting were quite few. The mandir is where Baba would give darshan, where he would show his loving presence, twice a day to the multitudes. Since Baba left his body the schedule here has changed and now begins with vedic chants at 4:30, followed by bhajans (devotional singing) at 5:15, followed by darshan at 6 pm. These days during darshan people are permitted to come up to his tomb and pay their respects.

I was walking past the mandir doing some initial chores on move-in day. As I looked to my right into the giant hall, this is what a saw, seven Sevadals (ushers) at the front on the men’s side and behind them I counted five devotees in the first line. There was no second line. Throughout the rest of the hall there were maybe 40 to 60 men scattered here and there with lots of empty space around them. Only a long time visitor would know how unusual, and sad this was.

Later, I ran in to a good friend, Nooshin Mehrabani, a long time devotee from Iran who has lived here full time for a number of years now. She told me not to worry, that the crowds come later these days and that most people show up when the bhajans begin. She also stressed that Prasanthi Nilayam is a different place, with a different purpose. It used to be that you would come to the ashram to be in the living presence of the highest Avatar, a descendant of the Divine, but now it’s purpose is to serve primarily as a pilgrimage destination. Some of you may recall Nooshin’s name since I posted two video interviews with her on Souljourns ( and She was a long time television journalist in Iran before moving to Canada and the United States. Nooshin had countless interviews with Baba serving as interpreter for visiting Iranian devotees.

More on darshan and the experience of being with Sai Baba in the space many felt most at home with him in the next newsletter when this important subject can be given more time. Being here, inside the mandir at his darshan is THE reason we are here …..

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

excerpt from on Puttaparthi and Isaac Tigrett

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2010

That age has its physical and mental ravages is not the point here.  Who is not privy to these? …. To which Shakespeare’s Hamlet refers in his famous soliloquy – … “The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.”  The only point here is that Sathya Sai Baba has made demonstrably unreal and false statements in regard to prophecies about his own physical state.

At his 60th birthday, Sathya Sai Baba foretold that he would not physically age. But now look! And compare the various older photos with those only of the last days.

The newspaper Eenadu is the largest circulated Telugu newspaper in Andhra Pradesh (the State where Sathya Sai Baba lives), and claims a daily readership of over 10 million. (See my article: Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report). Eenadu reported at the time of the last birthday:

“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”.

Though, with what absurd self-deception, he has said:

“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

“I do not suffer from any kind of disease because there is no trace of greed in Me. That is why I am always healthy…” Sanathana Sarathi September 2001, page 257f, 186

“Many people wonder that I look so young even at the age of 73. The reason is that I have the three P’s in Me. One is Purity, the second is Patience and the third is Perseverance. It is because of these three that I shall remain like this for any number of years to come. (cheers)” p. 302 Sanathana Sarathi, 11-1998

Sai Baba recently claimed he always smiles - but nowadays only this!
“Purity, patience and perseverance. With these three you are bound to acquire good health and bliss. You may believe it or not. But the truth is that these three are responsible for my health (Arogya) and bliss (Ananda)” (Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 173)

60th Birthday Promise Of Not Physically Ageing – Falsified!

Our reports from Puttaparthi from reliable sources include that he has bouts that disclose mental difficulties.

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.”

Former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, Robert Priddy has written:

“In 1998 V.K. Narasimhan (editor of Sanathana Sarathi) told me that Sathya Sai Baba had told him definitively that he had not had his hair cut for 20 years! However, photos taken of Sathya Sai Baba through that period show clearly that (around 1993/4?) his hair was suddenly seen to be about 1/3 or less of the volume it normally had. Then it slowly grew out again. I was present at the ashram at that time and observed this closer crop of his hair. So Sathya Sai Baba can tell his followers anything he likes, whether true or not, accurate or not, and get away with it! There have been any number of photos showing Sathya Sai Baba before and after a haircut (though this fact is never mentioned by devotees, of course. The condition of his thinning hair in 2010 is shown here. Even from these photos, all taken within a few years after 2004, one can see that his hair has been trimmed, fashioned etc. It is claimed too by Indian skeptics that he dyes his hair to keep it black, as he once predicted it would always be, and that he suffers from a bad skin condition as a result”.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deceptive Hair Management


In Februry 2007, I made a note:  “the Australian scholar Brian Steel’s remark of February 2002 seems almost prescient:

‘Since the ‘discrepancies’ appear to be increasing nowadays, is there any possibility that Sai Baba is suffering from a degenerative ageing disease which might have an effect on his thinking and speaking?’

Likewise, in October 2002, a Swedish psychologist and former devotee, Åsa Samsioe, noting physical signs of Sai Baba’s ageing like his development of a ’turkey throat’ and also the “low intellectual level” of his discourses, remarked:

‘He must have one heck of a job, Sathya Sai Baba… it can’t be easy to age in his situation, besides being under so much criticism as he has recently been… not surprising that it leaves its marks. Occasionally I think ‘poor man’… feel some pity for him. A whole life built on lies… captured by the myth about himself… to be the object of the projections of millions… and to be forced , at least outwardly, to live up to all the expectations put to him… to always have to have all those people around him’.

It is just under a decade since Sai Baba informed devotees all round the world that his aircraft is about to take off to bring his mission to the whole world. But the runway, like his own imagination, would seem to have run away on him. He turned 81 last November (though evidence indicates that he has falsified his actual birthdate by three years). Here, in his own words, in almost in full flight, is yet another of his myriad failed predictions:

‘Swami’s mission has made this turn to face the runway. The 70th birthday was the signal from the tower to accelerate. In the 75th birthday, the airplane will leave the ground’.

Further Reading

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Amid a great deal of ostentatious and wasteful pomp in a country wracked by poverty, squalor and corruption, Sathya Sai Baba celebrates his 85th birthday.  See:

Sathya Sai Baba – the Indian Government’s God Incarnate

Posted by robertpriddy on November 23, 2010 (NEW!)

Sathya Sai Baba 85th Birthday: state of India (NEW!)

Posted by robertpriddy on November 21, 2010

Puttaparthi Sai Baba Celebrates 85th Birthday (NEW!)

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

Sathya Sai Baba Tells Untruths About His Health

When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises

Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing

Sai Baba Fails to Grant Great Moon Darshan

Sai Baba Fails To Appear In The Moon, IANS Reports

Is Indian ‘Godman’ Sai Baba’s Moon Waning Still Further

Sai Baba Sparks Political Furore

The Golden Age of Sai Baba

Will World Accept Sathya Sai Baba? He Says Yes. Very Soon

The Ageless 'Avatar' Ageless – Old ‘Avatars’ never die, but merely fade away



Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:



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Puttaparthi Sai Baba Celebrates 85th Birthday

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba: Incredible Pomp In Poverty-Stricken IndiaGolden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday


On 23 November, 2010, devotees from around the world celebrate Sathya Sai Baba’s 85th birthday. Their consciences need to be challenged. They can be asked:  How can they lend themselves to such wasteful displays of pomp and ceremony? How can those of them who have so cruelly rejected their once dearly beloved fellow devotees, whom they knew over decades to be good and decent human beings, proclaim that they are, as Sai worshipers, devotees of Truth, Love and Right Action? How can those Indian government and other dignitaries, whom we know to have been apprised in detail of the many worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, look at themselves and their families with any honesty? Below is a minute list of powerful political figures and celebrities who have used their name and fame to buttress up Sathya Sai Baba, irrespective of probing investigations by e.g., the BBC.  See: 


 For those prepared to look at a number of alternative views of how Sathya Sai Baba continues to bring India, in an aura of shame, to the notice of the world, the following is but the briefest selection of resources.

First Published : 19 Nov 2010 03:32:24 AM IST
Last Updated : 19 Nov 2010 11:11:31 AM IST

“President Pratibha Patil will attend  the birthday celebrations on Friday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh be present at the Satya Sai University’s convocation on November 22. However, his tour was not yet finalised. The President will arrive in Puttaparti by 11.30 am in a special flight on November 19. Later she will address a women’s meet to be organised by the Eswaramma Mahila Samkshema Trust at Sai Kulawanth hall. After lunch, the President will leave for Delhi at 2.30 p.m. Prasanthi Nilayam is geared up for the visit of the VVIPs and the roads are teeming with devotees. Elaborate arrangements have been madefor the one lakh devotees expected on November 23. Around 120 free Annadanam counters would be opened at Puttaparti and Dharmavaram railway stations”.



Sai Baba 85th Birthday: state of India (Just posted!)

Posted by robertpriddy on November 21, 2010

The Golden Age of Sai Baba  (Just posted!)

Posted by robertpriddy on November 21, 2010 

85th Birthday: Golden Age, Prema Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on November 20, 2010

Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba Topic On CNN-IBN – on his 81st birthday

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India

See photos of some of the luxurious venues where the International Sathya Sai Organization – at times hard-pressed for funds in the face of constant public exposure in the media and on the Internet etc., – conducts its recruiting.

Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate

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

Sai Baba, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates, Et Alia

Sathya Sai Baba Video. Too Weak To Cut Birthday Cake

India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him

When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises

‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

See how the BBC cameras catch out the Shiva pretendu. 

Sathya Sai Baba’s Gross Exaggerations of Puttaparthi Crowd Numbers

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Major Downturn of Foreigners Visiting Sai Baba At Puttaparthi


The Golden Age of The World Sai Kingdom Is At Hand.  That gold is now flashing more than Disneyland-like at Puttaparthi, as thousands swarm around the golden honey-pot that he has created for the occasion of his 83rd birthday.

“The success of the task for which I have come will very soon reverberate throughout the world!”
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol XIV, p. 278. 1979

“I do not need grand decorations, huge pandals, arches, flags and such paraphernalia … Even a chair is superfluous! … Spend sparing to the minimum needs; do not involve yourselves in expensive luxury. I would like you to spend any extra money that you have for the feeding of the poor or for any similar beneficial object.” Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol VII, p. 100

Sanghvi, Vir, ‘The Truth about Sathya Sai Baba’, The Hindustan Times (Counterpoint), 25 November 2006.
A highly critical article on the occasion of Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday.

 In his ‘An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba
(in Three Parts)’ , Brian Steel notes:

Shailaja, M. Seetha
1. ‘Is the Sai Baba’s empire beginning to disintegrate?’, 29 November 2000,
The preamble to the article inspired by Sathya Sai Baba’s lavish 75 th Birthday celebrations states: “There is no doubt that the low turnout at his birthday celebrations were an indication of the Sai Baba’s falling clout as a result of charges of child sexual abuse and the inexorable flaking away of his worldwide empire.” Other instances of journalistic hype include a reference to 37 million followers and “It is common knowledge that … mafia dons alike are given immediate audience with the Sai Baba and move around freely within the ashram even when the police are around.”
Note: This and another two articles by the same author have been archived on Steven Hassan’s website:
1., under the Link ‘Sathya Sai Baba: The Avatar Impostor’.
2. ‘Sathya Sai Central Trust: Grab as grab can’. [Recovered from: This short article alleges that “The principal architects of the trust are now reportedly worried about the plummeting devotee numbers and even more desultory recruitment rate (see Is the Sai Baba’s empire beginning to disintegrate? ). They have suggested to the Sai Baba that he should travel abroad and hold sessions with devotees to kill rumours and counter increasingly murky publicity. (The Sai Baba has been abroad only once, to Uganda).” 

Robert Priddy – former long time head of Sathya Sai Organization, Norway – at his blogsite Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health

Sai Baba’s health – miracle or self-sacrifice?

Sai Baba says his close servants live for 100 years

Sathya Sai miracle of transformation of India?

Sai Baba’s failing health

Sathya Sai Baba’s claims of financial poverty, non-ownership and self-sacrifice



Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization 

There is a Spanish version available: 



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  • BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise
  • The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
  • BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)
  • BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle
  • BBC Footage Still Potent In Exposing Sathya Sai Sect (See Video Clips and Secret Swami Documentary)
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