Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sathya Sai Central Trust’

The Sathya Sai Cult – A Moral Low Ground Wilderness

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 8, 2012

Deeply corrupt himself, and with an inner circle of corrupt men in support, Sathya Sai Baba was in no good shape to forge the universal spiritual and ethical transformation of which he so often spoke.

United Nations and human rights studies reveal an India steeped in endemic corruption and social injustice. He who said that he would transform the whole world in his own lifetime died in a morass of shame. This was so great that, for once, his spin doctors, backroom hacks, editorial weeders, and devotees placed in countless positions of great power were not able to prevent the facts from being reported in an Indian media that for so long had almost entirely suppressed reports unfavourable to him. See:

Sathya Sai Trust In Vast Treasure Scandals: Secret Temple, Van, and Bus Stashes

Exposé writer Barry Pittard on the latest Trust and treasure scandals

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt1)

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt2)

In countries where we can still look to many judges for the utmost probity, such an individual as  one of Sai Baba’s long-serving Sathya Sai Central Trust members, Ex-Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati, would long ago have been exposed. He now has to live out his last remaining days in great ignominy before a nation today far better apprised of the Sathya Sai cult corruptions. 


Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Indian Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati – by a former contact

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

On the work of Sai Baba’s editors forced to great pains to remove, and at least downplay, inasmuch as they could manage, his many statements over decades that were egregiously contradictory, confused and historically and scientific erroneous or prophecies and promises that did not cut the mustard, see:

The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

The scholarly articles of Brian Steel are notable, as in other respects, in elucidating the official tampering with Sathya Sai history. See the Sai Organization’s attempts at ‘Downgrading Divinity’ by Brian Steel.  

See also a summary of his most enormous claims about himself and his missions here and The strong toning down is recorded and discussed in Brian Steels’ Downgrading Divinity
and also at

I am at present working on a song, which recalls to my mind but a few of the corruptions that ALL our societies are falling to deal with, and which Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors and other aiders and abettors, because he and they were so corrupt, were not on any moral high ground to address.

Haul Them In!   Barry Pittard. 7 June 2012

It’s all too little, and it’s all too late

– When the horse has bolted –

To bolt the gate

It’s all too late to cap a stormwater drain

When a soul’s fallen through

To be never seen again

There’s Pisser the Pervert out stalking our kids

If we don’t haul him in

If we don’t haul him in

If we cower, if we shrink, what will our kids think?

What must our kids think?

Of us – our kids think?

When it’s all too late to cap a stormwater drain

When a kid’s fallen through

To be never seen again

There’s Putrid the Pornster and Venom the Pedlar

They want us to cheapen till we’re creepin’ on our knees

Till they weaken when we need them but we’re creepin’ on our knees

These crooks look pretty pleased, and say how stupid we are

How stupid we are

How stupid we are

And it’s all too little, and it’s all too late

– When the horse has bolted –

To bolt the gate

When it’s all too late to cap a stormwater drain

When your soul’s fallen through

To be never seen again

And there’s Bloater the Bureaucrat with Lacky Lick Spittle

Who slick us with figures

Statistical figures

And knock off like skittles all those who blow the whistle

All those who blow the whistle

Heroes – who blow the whistle

When our eyes ignore the dirty domain

The heroes fall through

Till they’re silenced – again

As for pretty Doctor Spin and Spy Tsar The Husher

If we don’t rein them in

If we don’t rein them in

They’ll haul us all in like in old Soviet Russia

Old Soviet Russia

Old Soviet Russia

Will we all be too little? Will we all be too late?

– When the horse has bolted –

To bolt the gate

Will we all be too late to cap a ditchwater drain

Will the soul ditch down

To be never see again?

‘Cause it’s all too little, and it’s all too late

– When the horse has bolted –

To bolt the gate

It’s all too late to cap a stormwater drain

When your soul’s fallen through

To be never seen again

 Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sai Global Harmony Radio International Broadcaster Uses Anna Hazare’s Name In Propaganda Efforts

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 25, 2011

I note that the international Sathya Sai satellite broadcaster, Sai Global Harmony, via the WorldSpace Radio Corporation, has just used a Sai cult member’s account of his ‘meeting’ with Anna Hazare, the courageous and greatly respected leader of the mass, pan-Indian campaign against endemic Indian government and corporate corruption. Allowing for social, political and cultural differences, there are strong comparisons to be drawn between the Indian struggle against corruption among the elite and struggles elsewhere in the world, such as the ‘Arab Spring’ and the ‘Occupy’ movement sweeping the USA and other countries. See my article: Occupy Movement Exemplifies Sathya Sai Baba’s Failure As Social Reformer

Sai Radio Propaganda Uses Respected Names To Cover Up For Sai Corruption

The Sai devotee claimed on-air that Hazare stated to him, in no uncertain terms, the primal divinity of Sathya Sai Baba. I reference:

Locked in a vast effort, following both earlier and more recent exposures, the international Sathya Sai Organization, having lost many members, struggles desperately to rebuild, and at least keep somehow afloat, the Sathya Sai empire.

The Indian media is well-placed to ask Baba Hazare and/or his official spokesperson to confirm or deny the report on Sai Global Harmony? But will they? Will they ever attempt to atone for their shame in allowing the foreign media to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his cult?

Alert sleuths may also like to see whether Sai Global Harmony almost talking to itself, and a smattering of NRI’s and others around the world – speaking essentially to the converted. If not, the Sathya Sai Organisation’s repeated statements (which we can document from official Sai literature) about having vast followings worldwide are yet again exposed as false.

Clearly, the Organisation uses the Hazare name, among other public names (as it does with those such as Gavaskar and Tendulkar), to bolster up what’s left of the Sai Baba ‘name and fame’. This at a time when the discredited cult fights for its survival worldwide. I add that there has been intense pressure to obtain governmental sanctions for a powerful, far-reaching transmitter in the British Isles for Sai Global Harmony satellite radio broadcasts. But the Sathya Sai Central Trust lawyer SS Naganand has just made a watershed statement, which represents a departure from the profound secrecy of the Sathya Sai Organization down many decades. As reported by NDTV – see:

Sathya Sai Central Trust releases annual financial report

by Maya Sharma, Updated: November 23, 2011 17:49 IST

“We are being watched by many organisations, the government and many other institutions in India and abroad. That’s why we thought we will take measured steps”.

Indeed, this international attention of which Naganand speaks has been very much part of our job to ensure. It is our point about the utter failure of the Sathya Sai Organization to show accountability that the cult from top to bottom has reviled and libeled those who have – with rational voice – spoken out. But from the cult, there is not a word of apology for all the hatred vented against former devotees and other critics.

See also:

Ashok Bhagani – Footsying With Top Blair Minister?

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Ashok Bhagani denies fully documented facts

Ashok Bhagani, Sathya Sai Baba cult promoter in UK


Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition):

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


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Sathya Sai Baba Saga: Is There Too Little Indian Media Critical Analysis?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 9, 2011

Let my reader imagine that the following is a note of mine to an Indian media person seeking me out to assist in the development of a news story. It may take no prizes for diplomacy, but it is not far, I think, from the mood of both our former devotee network members from both India and other countries.

First, Sai Baba and his key servitors on the Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization profoundly deceived and betrayd. From circa 2000, owing to both organized and informal activity of former devotees, a great deal of critical exposure of Sai Baba and his cult occurred. In some parts of the world, Sai Centers emptied, while, in general, many left, including many well-respected leaders.

Next, allied with Sai Baba and his cult’s officials, corrupt local, state and national governments in India consolidated the evils done by their complicity in the cover up of the outrages – wide-scale sexual abuse by Sai Baba and some around him of boys and young men, Police executions in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, unaccountable scams in regard to water projects, apartments in Prashanthi Nilayam, unadressed brutality by Sai Baba’s security detail, and much else. 

It has been one of spiritual history’s sorriest examples of perverted religion and spirituality. Even many who admit his wrongdoings, attempt to pass over the evil deeds by saying how much good he has done. Their highly-flawed logic is that if someone does good they should not be held accountable for the wrongdoings.


Dear X (a high-profile media exective)

Thank you for our phone conversations and email exchanges, and speaking with one of our Indian members.

I appreciate your undertaking of security provisions for the safety of our personnel who live in India and security arrangements. As you and I know, many Indian media will e.g., unscrupulously record and quote without permission what, ostensibly, were the words of an interviewee. That your organization can deal with us with the same integrity that we received from Aroon Purie and his team at India today would engender our confidence in you. Our former devotee workers have put vast amounts of time and sacrifice, without payment of cash or kind so as to get their accounts out to the world.

Having lived some years in India, I know how keenly many Indian citizens, with whom I have dwelt and worked alongside, despise the disrepute that her corrupt institutions bring. It always struck me that these wonderfully kind and decent people do not in the least deserve the horribly corrupt elites that for so long have managed to cling on in the top roles.

There is agreement that, yes, hard evidence is important. But the BBC and many other investigative teams who took on the Sai Baba issue were no less aware of this than you are. Does not media have a proper role in eliciting peoples’ experiences whether or not individuals are able to back up their experiences with empirical evidence at every turning. 

The fact is that, except for India Today, which did a terrific job, Indian media might were deaf to our worldwide submissions on the Sai cult. Here was a wide cross-section of those who had resigned – in some cases exceptionally important figures in the Sathya Sai Organization. They were treated to the same high-handedness and deceit that the whole of India has now been able to see because of the revelations. 

The Indian media had a chance to expose the massive cover up regarding the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. With almost no exception, it failed. Lawyers, police, politicians, and so on all know this. Failure is the correct word. If you are prepared to be proactive, we will certainly consider assisting you with witnesses, including those who have not previously spoken out, and who may not be so easy to ignore, as a small number who have fought without ceasing for 10 gruelling years.

 But why should many of our witnesses risk their personal and family safety and jobs and so forth if they are not to be listened to by senior journalists who have – with true professionalism – done their homework, just as was the case of journalists outside India.

You say that there have been, over the years, articles critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult in the Indian media. We shall have to compare notes – I challenge you to provide a list of any hard-hitting examples. Whatever examples you may be able to cite, they are more than contradicted by the many the rebuffs we got. Virtually day in and day out, I was close to the action, and stand witness to say that Sai Baba former devotees made many attempts to engage wide sections of the Indian media. In marked contrast, UNESCO, Interpol, the FBI, etc., and various non-Indian governments treated our workers’ reports, and sworn testimony from various countries, with the utmost seriousness.

I agree with your point about the pitfalls of hearsay evidence. Your point that Indian media did not have sworn testimony is an entire mistake. Where were you and your journalistic colleagues when we made it very clear that not only did we have a number but were in unique position – far better than journalists! – to bring still other sworn testimony, provided that there was a chance of any section of the Indian media doing a good job. Aroon Purie and his team DID not behave like the rest of you.

You overplay the hearsay issue. The matter is not an either/or situation. Both types of evidence, in their varying stages, are important. I think you err too far in the direction of wanting proof, or close to it. Proof often follows, rather than preceeds, proper investigation of allegations, clues, evidentiary contexts, study of credentials of witnesses, and so forth.The BBC not only followed up on our list but actually ventured out and got (I was assured by assistant producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville) and found still further apparently strong cases, such that the individuals and the various families DID NOT appear on our lists, he said. Why has not the Indian media, almost without exception, thus ventured out.

The last two months of daily Indian media reports are a great irony for us. At last, in India, there is wide discussion of the contradictions, cover ups, contradictions, lack of proper organizational.

I am glad that, in our phone conversation, you very strongly reacted to the disclosure right at that time of the Rs 35.5 lakhs from twelve devotees (yet another Srinivasan tale now exploded by the police). You, like I, disdained the manner in which prime matters are being overly focused on, and essentials being forgotten. It will be great to see media as a formidable force in educating a national and international public in how laws are, or may be being, broken, and the model qualities of due diligence, accountability and transparency which those laws expect of organizations, including those said to be ‘spiritual’.

As I look across the Indian media’s handling of the Sathya Sai and his Sai Trust scandals, I see failure – not particularly in the basic reporting but in the sheer lack of qualitative analysis. 

I note a lot of Indian media rely on government and police releases, important though these are in their own place. Yes, juicy for certain readers. BUT too often there lacks focus on essentials, and the acute need to keep the trajectory of main developments in the minds of readers/viewers as further news breaks.

I see news-management-by-Release, rather than by proactive, savvy news and analysis writers and editors who can help contextualize historic background, and intellectual and moral/spiritual issues.

Will your group provide regular overviews, so that the serious tendency for salient factors to be badly eclipsed can, in some measure be overcome. Happily, I have seen three leading Indian television broadcaster shooting hard-hitting questions in some depth and breadth. There was intellectual engagement.See: ‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

But so often, one sees Sai Trust spokespersons getting away with the same ducking and weaving which we have exposed since circa 2000. Surveying a cross-section of Indian media performances, I scribbled the note: please guys, lay on some really trenchant questioning! Is there anything litigious about asking:  E.g.,:

a) How the treasure hoarding and dispositions could have occurred at all – what? Without a moment’s suspicion by ANY Trust personnel? Or knowledge of any of the male students (‘form boys’) whom, for sexual reasons, Sai Baba has long been known to allow to sleep in his room? He himself has acknowledged that certain boys are permitted to sleep in his room. This is recorded in official Sai literature, as WE have accurately documented, along with so much else. Are any of you in the Indian media asking  considerable Sai Baba experts like Brian Steel, Robert Priddy and Kevin Shepherd etc., to assist with ‘chapter and verse? You and other Indian media show few signs of having done so.

Were Satyajit and Sai Baba the only two who knew of Sai Baba’s vast hoard? Did it somehow materialize? What?  No bearers to transport it? No carriers sworn to dread secrecy on pain of some dire threat and/or some handsome reward? No plan for usage of the currency and valuables? No recipients? No presence of smuggling or money laundering? No gifts to Sai Baba from any major criminal or any Croesus-rich potentate (E.g., the Saudi King, one report has it, showering diamonds). No Swiss bank involvements?

b) How a Trust – charged with due diligence! – could, first, dismiss all suggestions that a unaccounted treasure could lie hidden, and issue emphatic statements that all-is-above board – with only cheques from, and receipts issued to, donors – and, YET, later, only after repeated contraindicating detections, come up with another explanation altogether. If they were let loose on the Sai Baba and Sai Trust saga, Indian newspaper cartoonists would have a field day,  ….! You potentially have a great story. But will you and your Team dare to go for it, X? Where are all the editorials? The serious Ed.Op pieces? Where is there a persistent raising of vital questions – e.g., about the circumstances leading up to Sai Baba’s death/ the death certificate circumstances/ the ordering of his golden casket from a source in Bangalore well before his death / his body weight at the time of his hospital admission / the reported concern of Sai Baba’s team of highly senior doctors about lack of information on any medications being given to him prior to his emergency admission to their care / or about the lack of statements from doctors and nurses and, above all, Dr Safaya at the Sathya Sai hospital who resigned en masse / or about Satyajit (about whom there is so much silence, and yet so much noise – indeed bluster! from V. Srinivasan and R.J. Ratnakar)?/ What of the on-again, off-again resignations of Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati? And of the former world Sathya Sai Organization head, Indulal Shah? And so on ……..

I have looked almost in vain in the Indian media for sustained critical responses (except now and then in Readers Comments’ sections in some newspapers) to, among a host of issues, the absurd and contradictory of statements by Trust Officials. For example, the explanation of V.Srinivasan regarding the police van and bus seizures of treasure. Indians traveling India, and travelers visiting her, and foreign government’s with their Travel Advisories regarding India testify to the perils of travel. Yet, Srinivasan and other Sai Trust members constantly skip round matters of grave substance, and a passive media may be their best bet of getting away with it. Of this I have blogged, indeed harped, feeling it a great pity that foreigners like Robert Priddy and me should have to lead with so many of the probing questions and issues while the Indian media do  little but report and move on to the next revelation in the Sai Baba and Sai Trust saga, failing to gather up the strands and show continuities and interweaving relationship. I had the image of the Indian media, by and large, vacuuming up police and government reports and reverse blowing them out to a long-suffering Indian public. Why should Indian editors (and I am tired, frankly, of hearing it from them in our private conversations) speaking about their litigation concerns. What is litigious about pointed questioning? About going hard at contradictions and discrepancies in the stories of those such as Srinivasan, Ratnakar, Bhagwani, et al. In regard to the Sai Trust rapidly changing statements about the cash secretly moved out of Puttaparthi, I wrote (and wondered why the Indian media aren’t far more vigilant here):

“Where, too, has gone any semblance of the Sathya Sai Central Trust’s duty of care for the safety of life and limb of its  workers on a money transportation assignment fraught with danger? This, in an area with trained eyes not only of individual criminals, criminal gangs, and private armies of feudal landlords but of ubiquitous, highly organized, armed political struggle groups such as the Naxalites (with countless splinter groups), the so-called Peoples’ War Group or PWG, etc. Many police and security authorities complain of the emasculation by Andhra Pradesh state politicians of state security and police cadres capable of action, and the pipe dream of thinking that negotiation and accommodation are going to work. Why the earlier Trust assertions that donations are dealt with by cheque? Why such vast amounts of loose cash? Where is the accountability and transparency in all this?  Can we trust a Trust that doesn’t know about vast funds being transported in the dead of night, or carted in a passenger bus in gunny sacks of cash as if it were mere chaff or ragi? When proper practice by a Trust is upheld, who will dare to hump huge fortunes around the countryside like this? Such a Trust lacks due diligence, and is incompetent. What suppose wicked chaff or ragi robbers assail the van or bus and snatch the sacks?” See:

Sathya Sai Saga: Points Lost Among Big Sathya Sai Trust Reassurances of Transparency Posted by Barry Pittard on June 30, 2011

Well, X, I am very much concerned that there is – apart from the basic reporting – a  failure by India’s ramshackle Fifth Estate. Rather, one would like to see hard probing, and far better backgrounding.  If the media is so slack, how can India be bulwark of democracy? For decades, most of you guys grievously failed Sai Baba’s countless victims, who live in India and around the world. If you want sworn testimony, kindly do not make guesses as to whether they were offerred to the Indian media. You offend the facts here. If we decide that your network can do a good job, I rather think that we can provide news about the real treasure that Sai Baba tried to hide away, but did not value. The treasury of victims of his various types of abuse.

True, the key perpetrator is dead, and we can’t pursue him. However, those who were complicit and had knowledge of these various types of abuses, and who extensively covered them up, are still very much alive. They are still on the Sai Central Trust and in his Sathya Sai Organization. Sometimes, great moral outrage takes time to reach the tipping point. Let us see.

Barry Pittard (Former lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore)


Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Sathya Sai Trust’s V.Srinivasan: Defending A Religious Empire Fallen. A Torn House Divided

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 6, 2011

Unfortunately for Sathya Sai Trust spokesman V. Srinivasan and his (and Sathya Sai Baba’s) already badly tattered credibility, last Sunday, still more treasure was found in secret places in Sai Baba’s private quarters. This time, the joint District Collector and her team searched for and found it. But, in a case of caught-out-yet-again, this lot of treasure DID NOT appear in the Trust’s inventory, which the government of Andhra Pradesh had put the Trust on its Boy Scout’s honor to make.

Did the District Collector and her team obtain their spectacles or magnifying glasses from a manufacturer much superior to any the poor Trustees  can manage to find?

Srinivasan’s earlier story was that huge amounts of money which police found being secretly removed by van and bus did not belong to the Trust but to twelve devotee donors.The India Daily reported (Tuesday 21 June 2011):

“According to sources, during investigation, it was found that Pradhan, a retired Air Force official, brought Rs 35.5 lakh out of Yajurveda Mandir, Sai Baba’s personal chamber, and handed it over to Sathya Sai Central Trust members RJ Ratnakar and V Srinivasan at the Shanti Bhavan. The cash was in turn given to Chandrasekhar, driver of Srinivasan, and later, was passed on to Sohan Setty and Harish Nanda.

The trio was caught by the police on Saturday night while transporting the cash to Bangalore. Police are likely to serve notices on Ratnakar and Srinivasan in a day or two, the sources said”.

Srinivasan’s story falls down on at least three counts:

1.  The Sai Trust  markedly departed from its policy of donation by cheque with the administration’s issue of receipts.

2. Perhaps all the more strange in a (so-called) spiritual organization which should have a tender care for the safety of its workers  is the considerable security risk to which Srinivasan and any other accomplices (like the Puttaparthi head of Security) were ready to expose Srinivasan’s driver,  Chandrasekhar, and the Shetty brothers.

3. Commonsense and caution, following nation-wide attention on the enormity of the first, and truly vast, treasure cache, should have set in. The risks Srinivasan took can hardly be stated. Who would be so imprudent? What lawyer would ever countenance such folly? Yet Trust spokesmen are often enamoured of stating what depth of experience and talent subsist in its Trustees.

For one passing moment, a statement of Srinivasan sounded faintly like a Puttaparthi spokesman in the ‘good old days’. He told the Indian media:

“I do not see any need for the government to set up a separate mechanism”. 

But clearly succumbing to a changed reality, where Puttaparthi is no longer shielded from public accountability, he added that he saw no problem if the government should wish to set up a mechanism of accountability. IF …..!  Surely, not ‘if’ – but when. A high level business group CEO, Srinivasan cannot be so simple-minded as believe in such and IF. He gives every evidence of temporizing and trying to play to the naive masses.

But Puttaparthi times have change. Markedly unlike Srinivasan, the then world head of the Sathya Sai Organization in and Trustee, Indulal Shah, was able, in a medieval feudal chieftan-like response, though terrible police executions and other killings had just taken place, to make short work of 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.’”

Background Note:

The then Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and his Home Minister S.B. Chavan and other powerful forces in Indian politics aided Puttaparthi’s extensive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom. We know (via the testimony of V.K.N. Narasimhan, editor of Sanathana Sarathi) that Chavan was in Puttaparthi assisting in the damage control. A former Andhra Pradesh Home Office Secretary, V.P.B. Nair told the BBC of the massive cover up that  prevented police, media and judicial investigation. The Anantapur Journalist’s Union protested the suppression.

Unable to take the haughty approach, Srinivasan keeps making difficulties for himself. For example, it was only days ago, that he maintained, absolutely, the Trust very strictly controls donations. That they must be by cheque. And that receipts must be issued. Next thing, apparently temporizing again, when his own agents were caught spiriting away huge sums of money under great secrecy, he said:

“… most transactions are by cheque but why can’t one be by cash? That money belonged to the trust. We had no other intention than to pay samadhi contractors.’’

He also dismissed any notion that cash, gold and gemstones and other valuables are still concealed in the Yajur Mandir.  Was the Sai Trust’s own inventory just the tip of the iceberg? the media asked. Srinivasan laughed, replying:

“I do not know why such fanciful statements are being made. We took an inventory and took everything into the accounts of the trust. The inventory was taken in the presence of trustees who are respectable bureaucrats, chartered accountants, legal practitioners and businessmen.’’

It is instructive to look at Srinivasan’s statements over recent days.  Two days prior to police questioning him for five hours about the money secretly transported from Puttaparthi by van and by bus (even AFTER all cash and valuable were said by the Trust to have been accounted for), Srinivasan told the Indian Express: 

“The money belongs to the Trust”. 

He said that there could be no more gold, silver and other valuables in the Yajur Mandir. All along Srinivasan has given out accounts as though they are indisputable facts, only to be falsified by the facts. Like his ‘spiritual master’, in fact, as analytical studies of Sai Baba’s discourses  and other documentation clearly show.

In passing, it is interesting that there is no record of Srinivasan saying a thing about any of the many other places in or around Puttaparthi where treasure may, or may not, be hidden – for example, secreted behind walls or in ceilings or in cement tunnels. Such genuine care, accountability, transparency and due diligence are not to be seen in him or this fellow.

Following yesterday’s searches for about a day just yesterday (Sunday), headlines in the Indian media read, for example:

Assets worth Rs77L seized at Sai ashram

See: Yet Another Sai Yajur Mandir Treasure Haul. Stash Not In Recent Enforced Sai Central Trust Inventory.Posted by Barry Pittard on July 3, 2011



Front Page, Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011

‘Rs.35 lakh cash does not belong to Trust’

Staff Reporter

Sathya Sai Central Trust clarifies the money belonged to 12 different people


Trustee V. Srinivasan (right) of the Sathya Sai Central Trust speaking to the media at Puttaparthi on Tuesday. Member of the council of management Naganand is also seen.

PUTTAPARTHI: The Sathya Sai Central Trust categorically stated here on Tuesday that the cash of Rs.35 lakh seized at the Kodikonda checkpost by police recently did not belong to the Trust but to 12 different people.

Trustees R. J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, who were in the thick of controversy following seizure of the cash, had only facilitated the money being placed before the regal chair of Sathya Sai Baba in Yajur Mandir.

Mr. Srinivasan explained at a crowded press conference in Prashanthi Nilayam that the Trust did not wish to get involved with the finances of the construction of the Mahasamadhi as it was a public charitable trust and that the law did not permit them to undertake religious activity.

He said the Trust had decided not to directly undertake the construction but facilitate the devotees to do so under its supervision to ensure quality and aesthetics. The Trust took this decision as it was flooded with offers from devotees to pay for the Samadhi work. Shankarnarayana Consultancy Company of Bangalore was appointed as project consultant.

Mr. Naganand — member of the council of management of the Sathya Sai Central Trust — said there were no restrictions on people giving donations in cash to a consultancy to be used for the construction of the Mahasamadhi. He added that the said company was no stranger to Puttaparthi and had in fact even donated work worth crores of rupees, even when not asked for, out of devotion to the late Sathya Sai Baba.

Asked if the Trust would be compliant if the government decided to take on a monitoring role over the Trust, Mr. Srinivasan said, “I do not see any need for the government to set up a separate mechanism”, and that if and when such a decision was taken, the Trust would not have a problem.

He said even without a demand note from the Income-Tax Department, they had paid Rs.9.75 crore as tax on the income attached to the inventory of valuables found in the Yajur Mandir.



Sai trustee stands by Samadhi story

 Express News Service
Last Updated : 24 Jun 2011 08:23:57 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Breaking his silence for the first time since the seizure of R35 lakh of Sai Baba’s money, Sathya Sai Central Trust member V Srinivasan vehemently denied allegations of wrongdoing and said the amount was meant for a legitimate purpose: building the guru’s samadhi.

In an interview with Express, Srinivasan said, “There is no substance in the allegations being aired. We are not involved in any illegitimate activity. The money came from the devotees. The media is distorting the facts.’’ He laughed off allegations that wealth from the Sai Baba’s estate was being siphoned off. “The truth will come out once I make a statement to the police,’’ he said. Srinivasan is due to give his statement in a couple of days.Pointed out that his driver Chandrasekhar has told the police that it was Srinivasan who had sent him to get the cash from Yajurweda Mandir, the trust member asked, “When the money was meant for a legitimate purpose, where is the problem? Does sending my driver to deliver the money mean that it was being used for illegitimate purposes?’’ Asked if it wasn’t true that all transactions of the trust are normally done by cheques, Srinivasan said, ‘’Yes, most transactions are by cheque but why can’t one be by cash? That money belonged to the trust. We had no other intention than to pay samadhi contractors.’’ Asked if it was true that cash, gold and diamonds are still concealed in the Yajurweda Mandir and that the inventory revealed by the trust was just the tip of the iceberg, Srinivasan laughed and said, “I do not know why such fanciful statements are being made. We took an inventory and took everything into the accounts of the trust.The inventory was taken in the presence of trustees who are respectable bureaucrats, chartered accountants, legal practitioners and businessmen.’’ Asked whether the trustees were preventing government officials from entering the Yajurweda Mandir, Srinivasan said, “What is preventing government officials from entering the mandir now? We have never prevented them and never will.We never said they cannot enter.’’


Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Sathya Sai Baba Scandal: View RJ Ratnakar’s Body Language In NDTV Interview On Sai Trust ‘Transparency’

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2011

Although Sai Baba once famously wrote a letter in which he renounced his family – as renunciates in time-honored Indian tradition do (except for those such as tantricists) – his nephew R.J. Ratnakar is at centre stage . 

The Sai Trust’s R.J.Ratnakar, Renunciate Sai Baba's Nephew. Effective Sai Trust Supremo

Sathya Sai Central Trust. Here is the earlier type of presentation that Ratnakar would now clearly like the public to forget all about. It is a statement a prominent spokesman for Trustees and the Council of Management,V.Srinivasan, chairman of WS Industries, Chennai, South India, made on the same day as the Central Trust made its tediously waffling major public statement, couched verbatim, in this portion, in both cases:  

“In the light of baseless, irresponsible and false accusations of defalcation of gold, valuable artefacts and even money, it is emphatically stated that the accusations are wholly untrue and it is believed these have been engineered by certain vested interests”. (Economic Times article:  ‘Baba had no successor in mind: Trustees, election for Sai Trust chairman next week’, Apr 28, 2011, 09.53pm IST).

In one moment, we are told that ex Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagwati is head of the Sai Central Trust. Next thing, we learn that Ratnakar is at the helm. In fact, many Sai devotees see him as having usurped what many viewed as his most trusted aide, Satyajit. Bhagwati himself had affirmed the value of Satyajit. Word has now come through that Bhagwati and K. Chakravarthi (longtime Trust secretary, and the father of one of my students whom I most respected when teaching at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield via Bangalore, who later went to Oxford University), are resigning. On the other hand, we can produce evidence that K.Chakravarthi was sacked from the Indian Administrative Service for embezzlement.

K. Chakravathi, longtime Sai Trust Secretary. An Expert with a knife

Others, too, have tended resignations, as have the highly reputed Dr A.N. Safaya, along with a number of doctors and nurses. See:  Head of Sai Baba Mega Dollar Hospital At Puttaparthi Resigns. Others Quitting Jobs Too

                                                 Dr A.N. Safaya. Resigns as head of Sathya Sai Hospital Puttaparthi, AP, South India

In viewing the video of the interview just done with NDTV (Indian) with Ratnakar, my reader may be interested to study his body language. He claims that there is no financial irregularity. That the Sai Central Trust is impeccable. That things are fine. In a fashion usual to his master and to certain other officials in the past, such as Indulal Shah and G. Venkataraman, he inveighs – no matter how well-evidenced are reports – against vested interests and malign campaigning against the Trust. First, former devotees were “demons” and “Judases” who would never achieve salvation in this or any other life. For comparison between then and recently, see:

Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up

‘God’s’ Ex-Shah, Indulal Shah

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

V.P.B. Nair Told BBC Sai Baba Bedroom Killings Were “Coldblooded Murder”

Readers who are psychologists, police interrogators and so forth, may especially like to study Ratnakar’s body language – and take careful note of eye movements, gestures, facial expressions such as the smiling, etc. Those scientifically conversant with voice prints may also like to study Ratnakar’s form. Or parents who have a good street sense of when their kids are lying might also like to examine this interview.

At the same time, I do not think that all Sai Baba spokespersons will show up as dishonest. There are some relative innocents among them – but they are, often unwittingly, tools of the dark art players.  But kid me not, you Sai Trust members, I have taught many of your or your associates’ children, and I know from the latters’ and my stimulating conversations that some of my students were sharply familiar with the  ‘Arthaśāstra’ of Chanakya, who pre-dated his kindred spirit in renaissance Italy Machiavelli by 1800 years. It is a legacy Indian ruling class practitioners of the darker political and diplomatic arts pass on to their smarter sons (and daughters, sometimes).

Heavens! – I used to think that Sai Baba was drawing certain of his trustees and other key leaders to him so as to purify his Trust members and other core leaders, hand-picked by Sai Baba as they have long been, who have long raised deep, but often whispered concern among rank-and-file Sai devotees. But …..

There are, by the way, VERY few leaders in this heavily authoritarian cult who are permitted to speak publicly. Indeed, the complex presence of elusive and different levels of official operandi within the Sai Baba hierarchy of leadership was long ago detailed by Hari Sampath, a former member of Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing. I trust that Mr Sampath is well on the way to purification these days.  See:  How It Works (August 2000). It is most instructive to read this article in conjunction with Sampath’s Public Information Litigation suit which he took to the Supreme Court of India. The high-profile advocate Kamini Jaiswal took his case. Even she failed against the sheer weight of judicial corruption, which is common in India. I have written elsewhere:

“I have shown documents in this case to outstanding legal counsel in various democratic jurisdictions, and the repeated reaction was one of abhorrence for the summary manner in which the judges dealt with the case. An expression used was ‘Kangaroo Court’.  Let anyone read, in part, an Indian lawyer’s notes for the case. See the article:  Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India.

They will get their own sense of the corruption of some judges at the epicenter of (so-called) Indian Justice.

Anyone accustomed to democratic court procedures can hardly believe, as one reads the lawyer’s notes in transcript, that judges could be so blatant. See, Record of Proceedings document of Hari Sampath’s 2001 case against Sai Baba in the Supreme Court of India.  See how the case is scuppered by Judges G.B. Patnaik and R.C. Lahoti with the concurrence of then Chief Justice Dr A.S. Anand. Prompted by concern for her client if he were to proceed in and Andhra Pradesh court – the proposed remedy of the judges, Kamini Jaiswal, a senior advocate in the Indian Supreme Court, strongly contested the three judges’ direction to pursue matters in an Andhra Pradesh court”. 

Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

In brief, my current observations are:  Trust players are turning to the best paid lawyers in India, who can be relied upon for use of technicalities and delay and obfuscation tactics. The Andhra Pradesh government, ostensibly chartered to investigate and report properly to parliament and public, is riddled in practically all quarters by longtime Sai Baba devotees, and still others who wheeled and dealed to their own political or pecuniary advantage. 
Central trust personnel first reacted with shock, and confusion. Their communications were sometimes far too little and at other times verbose and careless in that further suspicions among devotees, the Indian media and wider public were aroused. There were panicked attempts to recover lost ground. But now there is the resumption of few but smooth highly tailored statements and carefully measured silences.
See also: 

Sathya Sai Trust’s R.J.Ratnakar – Long Police Interrogation. Intensive Investigations Continue

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Scan of Hari Sampath PIL to Supreme Court of India. Proof of what the Court denied record of when requested by the British Ambassador to India


Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Sathya Sai Trust’s R.J.Ratnakar – Long Police Interrogation. Intensive Investigations Continue

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2011

Latest reports in the Indian media reveal that the Anantapur district police have questioned a leading Sathya Sai Central Trust member, Sathya Sai Baba’s nephew R.J. Ratnakar for over five hours. He has refused media interviews. Police have scheduled for Monday 27 June an interview with another prominent Sathya Sai Central Trust member, V. Srinivasan.

As matters stand, there is glaring contradiction between statements of Srinivasan, who has admitted Trust involvement in extraordinary movements of cash, and of R.J. Ratnakar, who says that the money is actually from 12 donors, and can be explained.

But how does one explain Trust workers clandestinely moving – in a van and in a bus – such vast amounts – and right on the heels of the discovery multi millions of cash, gemstones and other valuables secreted in Sai Baba’s bedroom? Where is the transparency in this?

Information is abroad that R.J. Ratnakar has been attempting to involve a number of Sai Baba students in attempts to cover up certain of the financial irregularities, but that the boys and their families have refused to have anything to do with any improper dealings.

See Hindu Times article, below.


For those with information, I can be contacted at this blogsite. Or via: Where special security/confidentiality needs may be called for, there are protocols available. My colleague Robert Priddy and I have dealt with many international situations involving private individuals, media, government and institutions, and confidentiality is assured.

It may be that some fear going to various agencies in the Indian state or federal police. A former head of Interpol in Australia has assured me that there are workarounds in situations of this kind. Should anyone in India wish to share this level of information, please feel welcome to write to me.

Barry Pittard, former Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India.


For some salient attitudes derived from my several years in India, see portions of my article:

Could Sathya Sai Treasury Scandals Lead to India’s Watergate?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba – The Man Who Would Be ‘King of Kings’

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 27, 2011



This V. Srinivasan is chairman of WS Industries, Chennai, South India. Various Sai Baba devotees have typically referred to him as:  “Venu”.  In certain Indian media reports, there has been a mix-up in with a Mr Venu Srinivasan, one of India’s top industrialists, who belongs to the TVS group, a Chennai-based industrial group. Concerned lest the V. Srinivasan of TVS be harmed by the heavy national media attention to  the Sathya Sai Central Trust’s V.Srinivasan, also chairman of the WS Industries, Chennai,  TVS has sent out a media clarification.

This type of mix-up was addressed, for example, in the Economic Times:

Sathya Sai Baba death: Who will succeed him as chairman of Sai Trust?

ET Bureau Apr 25, 2011, 01.53am IST

“In March 2010, the Trust was reconstituted and included, apart from Baba, the following members: former chief justice of India PN Bhagawati; chartered accountant Indulal Shah; former central chief vigilance commissioner SV Giri; WS Industries chairman V Srinivasan (commonly misunderstood for Venu Srinivasan of TVS Motors); and Rathnakar. Also, the Trust’s council of management has the following members: lawyer SS Naganand; former Canara Bank chairman JV Shetty; former IOB chairman TKK Bhagavat; retired IAS official K Chakravarthi”.


Front Page.

Police grill Ratnakar for over 5 hours Rakesh Reddy V.K

PUTTAPARTHI: R.J. Ratnakar, a Member of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, was grilled by Anantapur district police at the Prashanthi Nilayam on Saturday, in connection with the seizure of Rs.35 lakh in cash while it was being transported from here on June 18.

A team of police led by DSP of Penukonda Kolar Krishna interrogated Mr. Ratnakar, nephew of late Sai Baba, for more than five hours.

The interrogation is significant in light of the “confessions” to the police by K. Sohan Shetty of Bangalore and S. Chandrasekhara Murthy, driver of the car seized by the police. According to the remand report filed by the Circle Inspector of Hindupur One Town, Mr. Shetty (A2) confessed that Mr. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, another trustee, had given him Rs.35 lakh on June 18 to conceal and provide it as and when required.

The driver (A3) said during interrogation that the two trustees had brought the cash bag from Yajur Mandir, residence of Sai Baba, and kept it in a Sonata car. Later, on their directions, he transported the cash and handed it over to Mr. Shetty. “The Trust management or A2, who got possession of the cash, had failed to produce any document or record claiming the money belonged to them,” the report added.

According to sources, the police also questioned Mr. Ratnakar on the basis of the reported statements of Mr. Srinivasan, that the cash indeed belonged to the Trust and that it was just a rare occasion when the Trust decided to pay out in cash for construction of Sai Baba’s Samadhi. This was in contrast to Mr. Ratnakar’s own statement that the cash did not belong to the Trust but to 12 different donors, who would eventually claim it.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people took out a procession in Puttaparthi demanding the resignation of members of the Trust till such time that they prove themselves to be innocent.


Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Watch On Sathya Sai Central Trust. AP Gvt Closing In

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2011

Well wisher from India emails us:  

“It looks like the Andra Pradesh govt is putting the squeeze on the Sathya Sai trust. It appears that the Govt has a definite strategy in mind over a period, and hence the politicians and govt officials have been cold shouldering the SB trust officials (besides giving a silent go ahead for slapping criminal cases against them). The government has already withdrawn 16 exemptions to the SB trust, regarding auditing, some taxes, publishing accounts, being supervised by a govt official etc, among others. Even assets like land as well  as intellectual properties can no longer be sold by the trust without govt permission.

At a high level meeting , Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy (who is not a devotee), brushed aside his cabinet’s apprehensions that SB devotees may be offended by any Govt takeover of the trust. It is strongly indicated that the Govt is moving towards this decision, and the young AP Chief minister (a former state cricketer/wicket keeper) has even put the trust under intelligence watch.

It seems that an “Aurobindo model” as in the Pondicherry Aurobindo ashram is being contemplated, and also possibly the Whitefield ashram may be made an income creating commercial venture or sold off.

If this happens, it could possibly mean the end of the “Sai Baba mission”, and it would exist as just another charity, maybe with a few pictures of Sai Baba here and there”.


India Today

Andhra Pradesh government plans to take over Sathya Sai Baba trust

A. Srinivasa Rao  | Hyderabad, June 24, 2011 | Updated 10:26 IST

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to take over the controversial Sathya Sai Central Trust following the recent seizure of a huge amount of cash from some people close to the trust members.

Chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a high-level meeting with officials of the endowments department, chief secretary S. V. Prasad and intelligence department officials on Wednesday evening to discuss reports of alleged irregularities in the Sathya Sai Trust, which manages the multi-crore empire of late godman Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district.

“In the last four decades, the government has not interfered in the affairs of the trust. But now, we are compelled to intervene in the wake of serious allegations of embezzlement of funds in Prashanti Nilayam. We have sought a report from the trust on its financial dealings and the assets it is holding. Depending on the response from the trust members, we will decide on how to proceed further,” endowments minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said on Thursday.

Sources said the government is also weighing options of taking over the trust, but that would be as a last resort.

Otherwise, it might even consider canceling the exemption granted to the trust under Section 154 of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997, which would enable the government to have direct supervision over the trust affairs.

“The government has no immediate plans to take over the trust. We will wait until the trust members submit their report,” the minister said.

The government has given strict instructions to the police to probe the trust’s financial irregularities and act tough with erring members. The police had already served notices on trust members R. J. Rantakar and V. Srinivasan, asking them to appear before the superintendent of police before Saturday for interrogation.

The government has also transferred Puttaparthi deputy superintendent of police Narasimhulu, who was allegedly cooperating with the trust members in siphoning off wealth from Yajur Mandir, the personal chamber of Sai Baba. Instructions have also been issued to the local revenue authorities to submit a comprehensive report on whether land transactions had been carried out by the trust members or their associates in the recent past.

The Anantapur police have also alerted the income tax authorities to conduct investigations into the unaccounted cash.

Ratnakar has, meanwhile, sought more time to appear before the police regarding the seizure of Rs 35.5 lakh cash which was being transported out of Prashanti Nilayam. On Thursday, he made an appeal to Anantapur superintendent of police Shah Nawaz Qasim to give him more time. He said he was seeking legal opinion in the case and would provide all the information to the police.

“We are ready to provide all the details to the government. Some vested interests are trying to defame the trust and create mistrust among the devotees,” Ratnakar alleged.

Interestingly, Ratnakar had initially said the trust has nothing to do with the money and claimed it belonged to 12 devotees and that they would appear before the police to give their side of the story. So far, not a single devotee has come forward to stake claim to the money.

There are allegations that Ratnakar was bringing pressure on some students of the Sathya Sai University to stake claim to the money so as to save the trust members, but they have reportedly refused to do so.

Trust member Srinivasan, who was also served notice by the police, has been absconding since. There were reports that the police had grilled him a couple of days back on the cash seized, but the police denied it.


India Today

Finally, Andhra govt to rein in Sai Trust

B Krishna Prasad, TNN | Jun 24, 2011, 07.35am IST
HYDERABAD: Facing flak for not monitoring the affairs of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the state government has decided to withdraw some of the 16 concessions that the trust has been accorded to carry out its various philanthropic, educational and charitable activities.In a far reaching decision on Thursday, after detailed discussions with the chief secretary, finance and revenue department officials, chief minister Kiran Kumar gave the green signal to withdraw these concessions. “The exercise is meant to bring about more transparency while not restricting the various activities of the trust including the running of hospitals, university and other missions,” said a senior official dealing with the matter.The 16 concessions, ranging from financial to administrative, were granted to the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sathya Sai University, Super Speciality hospitals, medical trust, Radio-Sai, International Sathya Sai Organisation, Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Sai Sadhana Samithi and music divisions.The financial concessions, which include no levy of VAT, building fee, commercial tax, registration fee, customs and other duty for importing medical equipment for the hospitals and subsidised electricity, will continue for the time being. “Our focus is to enable transparency in the working of the trust and its various bodies. Therefore, the various exemptions granted to the trust under the Hindu Temples and Trusts Act, 1987, will be withdrawn,” said the sources.As per section 154 of the said Act, every trust should file its income and expenditure report with the respective state government at least once in three years. Similarly, exemption given under section 59 of the Act allowed the trust to evade information about the assets and property of different trusts. Exemptions given under sections 58, 60, 61 and 65 of the Act allowed the trust not to entertain yearly audit by the government, supervision by deputy collector rank officer, submission of annual profit and loss account.

Likewise, exemptions given under sections 79 and 80 gave the trust power to sell its land, property, intellectual property, publications, music and film productions without giving any information to the government or pass through the supervisory system provided by the government. All these exemptions will now be withdrawn, the sources said.

“On the request of the trust, the Congress government headed by chief minister J Vengala Rao had granted the Sai Trust these exemptions under the Hindu Temples and Trusts Act in the mid-70s. Since then, the Sai Trust has not been answerable to the state at all. The only report that the trust is submitting annually is the foreign donation figure to the Union home ministry, which is a pittance of the total money and assets it generates every year,” said the sources. The state is also contemplating to bring the trust under the provisions of the Right to Information Act. Having decided to withdraw some of the exemptions, the state government is waiting for the report from the Sathya Sai
Central Trust before conveying its intentions.


Today: Fri, Jun 24, 2011

AP govt may tap Sai trust’s assets after takeover

 P Pavan. Posted On Friday, June 24, 2011 at 03:05:18 AM

In Hyderabad In the backdrop of controversies surrounding the Sathya Sai Baba Central Trust, founded by spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba, the Andhra Pradesh government is studying Pondicherry’s Aurobindo Ashram model to control the Sai trust.Under the Aurobindo Ashram model, a government nominee (an IAS officer) is appointed to oversee the trusts’s affairs. Talks about the AP government taking over the Sai trust have been doing rounds for the past many months.Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy took stock of issues relating to the Sai trust on Wednesday night. He called for a report from the trust on its activities, financial position and other details.

The Sathya Sai trust has been mired in controversies after Baba’s death in April

He also called for an intelligence report on the controversies surrounding it. He may consult the cabinet once the trust and intelligence department submit their reports.

With Baba’s death, the flow of donations to the trust is likely to dry up. Therefore, the government feels it should commercially exploit some of the fixed assets of the trust so that the trust activities aren’t hampered in future.

The Sai trust, whose assets are valued at over Rs 40,000 crore, runs several educational and medical institutions, drinking water projects apart from a railway station and an airport.

“For example, the Whitefields in Bangaluru can be converted into a commercial venture so that the income from it can take care of the recurring expenditure on some activities”, said a government source.

Confirming that the state government is considering replicating Aurobindo model in Sathya Sai Trust, a senior minister said, “We are under obligation to respect the sentiments of devotees, continue Trust activities and control any irregularities.”

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Sathya Sai Health Condition “Very Critical”, Says Sai Hospital Head (21 April)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 21, 2011

Indian media are starting to report that some Sathya Sai Baba forces favour his burial while he is still technically alive. (See news reports, below).

Countries not steeped in the utmost superstition may find it hard to credit yesterday’s bizarre news.

Yes, buried alive ….

Given the terrible and multiple failures of his body to respond, it would not seem that they have long to wait. One might not unreasonably expect to hear the news of his decease at any time now.

When, then, exactly, is Sathya Sai Baba going – as he has long promised – to visit London, Malaysia, Rome and Southern California, USA?

And when will he, for all the world to see, hold aloft a whole mountain range?  And save humanity in its time of greatest threat to civilization?  And rule the whole world? All of these events he has foretold.

If Sathya Sai Baba devotees are to be at all truthful, they will need to intelligibly answer these – and many other leading questions.

Because I have lived in India and spent memorable time across a broad socio-economic strata – from the very wealthy to the very poor – this news, macabre though it may appear in the West and elsewhere, comes as no surprise to me. I was often able to see how many so highly educated Indians are able, conceptually, to compartmentalize their thoughts and attitudes. One part of the mind is for practical or professional reasons and the other part for matters of faith.  Of course, no country can boast that the health of real questioning and debate is assured. But my experiences of India were of a nation in enormous thraldom to many such brands of irrationality.

Anything from one ‘compartment’ that might cause conflict within the other ‘compartment’ is held back, and not allowed to trespass. In short, no student of Indian life must assume that superstition is the exclusive domain of the poor and uneducated. Belief in the efficacy of gurus, astrology, numerology, psychic readings, supposedly auspicious times of day or sightings of creatures, dreams, and many other types of quackery are exceedingly rife across class. Sathya Sai Baba has long believed in ghosts and evil spirits.  See: Robert Priddy diary scan (at the time, Priddy was the longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization), ‘Directly recorded notes 10/10/1998 at Prashanthi Nilayam‘, with comments added.

See some select readings of earlier articles at this blogsite, ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sathya Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime, departing (according to one of two dates he has given) circa 2022 AD. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history. 

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

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …


NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

Part Two Three Four



Sathya Sai Baba very critical: Hospital
Puttaparthi (AP), Apr 21, (PTI):
The condition of Sathya Sai Baba is very critical with all his organs showing very poor response to treatment, doctors attending on him said today.
In view of the deteriorating health of Sathya Sai Baba, the Andhra Pradesh Police have deployed additional forces here to maintain law and order.“Non-functioning of the liver and persistent episodes of low blood pressure are causing great worry to the doctors,” Dr A N Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Sciences, said here.His breathing is still ventilator dependent and the process of slow hemodialysis has been started in the morning to assist the kidneys, he said.The doctors are putting their best efforts to improve his clinical condition, Dr Safaya said.
86-year-old Sathya Sai Baba was hospitalised on March 28 following problems related to heart and respiration.


Puttaparthi security up as Baba is critical again
Puttaparthi (AP), Apr 20, DHNS:
As Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s condition worsened, security at Puttaparthi is being beefed up to handle any eventuality with 4,000 police personnel, including companies from Kurnool and Chittoor districts, expected to land there on Thursday morning.
Doctors treating the 85-year-old spiritual leader are expressing concern over his fluctuating BP for the last couple of days.Sri Sathya Sai Baba Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Director A N Safaya said on Wednesday: “Intermittent low BP is causing anxiety to the doctors treating him.”The Baba’s liver functioning has also deteriorated drastically, causing concern among the doctors. In an official bulletin, Dr Safaya said Dr Yegyaraman, an electrophysiology specialist from the US, had joined the doctors’ panel. Many government-deputed doctors have also been inducted as reinforcement.Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ananthpur District Collector Janardhan Reddy, admitting that the police have been put on an alert, said: “I have been regularly interacting with the doctors and they have expressed concerns over his condition. We are getting ready for any eventuality.Puttaparthi Deputy Superintendent of Police Narasimalu said “all measures are precautionary in nature. There is no need to read anything between the lines.”

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Pacemaker ‘Avatar’ Says ‘I am not this body’. Worried Devotees Pray For His Body

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 3, 2011

As of Monday 28 March 2011, we have a pacemaker avatar. The Lord of Lords, the Avatar of Avatars. The heart of the universe. The now hump-backed, immobile faced, golf-cart-transported God on earth. A golf-cart-carted-around God who imagines himself more famous than Tiger Woods. He says that all the world loves him. But of course most people in the world at large have never heard of him. He has said he will transform India then the world before he leaves it in when about 96 years old.

But he can’t even get a wriggle on so as to perform these feats. He has had successive hip operations. He breaks down with heaving sobs, now recorded for posterity (if it is interested) – see video footage cited below. Practically all that is left of any sign of rulership is the fantastical gold chair and float that bear him around to be worshipped by devotees too blinded to see the sheer scope of all his failed prophecies and promises.

Among many statements that he is wondrously healthy, here are but two. They capture the essence of much of what he has kept insisting down many years:

“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)

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.

The Sheer Attachment of Sai Devotees to the Form of Sai Baba

A constantly harped upon evangel of Sathya Sai Baba is that:  “We are not this body”.

The maxim forever comes up at Sathya Sai study circles around the world. Devotees are treated to barely differentiated statements of his on this theme, reiterated practically ad infinitum among his public discourses over many years. The official Sathya Sai Central Trust publishes these, and the international Sathya Sai Organization sees that study circles do the instructional job Sai Baba has commanded. They dare not do otherwise. They are harshly evicted from the organization if they should seriously question. Like those individuals who were greatly honoured by so many devotees who knew them well, such as Lucas Ralli, when he was Central Coordinator for UK and Ireland, Serguei Badaev, ex-President of the Sathya Sai Organization’s Moscow centre, ex-deputy National Coordinator, and National Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) Coordinator for Russia, and Stephen Carthew, Spirtual Convenor, South Australia.  See:

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

To see just how profoundly his devotees are unable to practise this dictum of non attachment to the body, one can, whenever his latest bout of sickness is announced, look at any random devotee thread on the internet. The glaring fact is that his devotees are extremely attached to the form of Sathya Sai Baba.

The moment Sathya Sai Baba’s ill-health is reported there is great concern – the chatrooms, tweets and facebooks, blogsites, websites, mobile and other phones, burst into super activity – abounding with calls to pray for him to get better. That is to say, via the Internet which Sathya Sai Baba has so mightily inveighed against. When the movement of exposure of him and his cult was gathering force both on and off the internet, he said:

“Swami has nothing to do with internet. Not only now, even in future also You should not indulge in such wrong activities. This disease’ has its roots in cities and is spreading like wild-fire into villages polluting the village environment. Villages are the epitome of peace and love. Do not spoil the village atmosphere by imitating the city culture”. Discourse, 15 October 1999, Prashanti Nilayam

But get better? The guru who has told them that he will be in the body and, effectively, ruling the world until circa 2022?

Get better?  The one who has told them that he will forever look the same after his 60th birthday?

Get better? The one who told them that he would first put India in order, then travel to various parts of the world (some of which he has named), after which he would, effectively rule the whole world before he dies? (Not that he would use the word ‘dies’ in this connection)

The concern over Sathya Sai Baba’s body is seen in both his leaders and in his rank-and-file followers. Their attachment to it is chronic, and in direct contradiction to his constantly preached virtue of non-attachment to the form.

If a drop of hot water falls among ants, they will all scurry. All is agitation, and nothing is of the calmness and non-attachment on which he and his devotees so harp.

When it is announced that their master is sick, they show not a drop of such qualities.



Posted by robertpriddy on April 2, 2011

Pacemaker support for Sai Baba’s weak heart

Posted by robertpriddy on March 30, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba hospitalised for serious illness

Posted by robertpriddy on March 29, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s Pacemaker Implant – His Promised Health and Longevity In Doubt

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 1, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba Hospitalized, Despite Hailing His Extraordinary ‘Health’

See my article: Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs At 85th Birthday Celebration (Video Footage), Posted by Barry Pittard on December 31, 2010.




Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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India, Corruption and Sathya Sai Baba and His Chief Servitors

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 27, 2010

The person who wrote to me the following apparently comes from Andhra Pradesh, the State in South India where Sathya Sai Baba has his chief ashram in Puttaparthi. They commented on my previous blog: Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’. In regard to Sathya Sai Baba-related corruption,  the person speaks of my “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”.

It strikes me that the writer uses the notion of  corruption “parallels” in a systemically misleading way. Surely a more helpful contextualization of the corruption issue to be seen in Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors in comparison to widespread, endemic corruption in India  is a notion not of ‘parallel’ but of symptom. This is to say that – apart from the fact that corruption can be found in any social system – many of the Sai Baba-related corruptions reflect aspects deep-rooted in the Indian social system, and promoted by its flaws. It would, of course, be absurd to say that all the corruptions to be seen in one part of a social fabric are replicated in every other instance. For example there are Sathya Sai Organization programs which serve human beings without discrimination on the grounds of caste or creed. A discussion would need to be complex, and attempt some weighting of relevance among phenomena often encountered in India as guru worship, demagoguery, casteism, nepotism, and elitism of various kinds, superstition and dependence in matters such as astrology (not least among the elites), vast social inequality, dowry, and so on ….

In the above article, I had commented:
“Wikileaks reports of Indian troops atrocities and judicial barbarism by Indian authorities points to but one of a number of huge issues erupting in India right at the moment. Every tragic year that passes shows that Sathya Sai Baba has not “cleaned up (his) own backyard”, as he long ago promised he would do.  India’s security and well-being do not rest in the hands of her superstitious and corrupt leadership – many individuals of which gather around Sathya Sai Baba. They are in the hands of those who, at every level, actively and honestly struggle, with great sacrifice, against the systemic venalities”.

 The correspondent wrote:

“For their own karma, all Gurus deserve a healthy dose of irreverence! However,’guru-bashers’ need to be wary of mixing-up issues. This is particularly true when indulged in by foreigners. Ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba may have legitimate complaints about him, but ‘inferring’ by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses, is silly and counter-productive.

Today, all Indians, whether devotee or non-devotee, atheist theist and agnostic alike, are hugely shamed by the unending exposure of monumental scams in the country. By imputing Sathya Sai Baba for India’s ills, is trivializing and misconstruing the scale and its causes.

Devotees will exploit the opportunity to elevate the aging Baba to someone like Christ being crucified for the sins of others”.
Whereas, throughout my many writings, I have made points of the sort:

1. That there are courageous forces in India – and always have been – which oppose the corruption.

2. That, among a plethora of other mischiefs, Sathya Sai Baba is exposed by his failure to do what he has long proclaimed that he will do – namely, raise India to great moral and spiritual heights and then the world – effectively, within his own lifetime.

3. The term “guru bashers” is a term that needs, case by case in situations of usage, to be analysed. It is often too much of a label and a curse word, which can obscure the real intents and the arguments being advanced.

4. It is correct that devotees can exploit adverse criticism. Or rather, to be exact, some devotees, because many of them avoid controversy of any sort and simply get on with their prayers, bhajans, etc. But when have not some of those blinded by cultic belief NOT attempted to exploit adverse criticism? Yet, silence or watered down critiques are not likely to be helpful, are they? What critics of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult have attempted to do is to expose the huge deficit between precept and example – the monumental cover ups, the sexual and other abuses, the repeated failures of predictions and of promises (such as of healing, placement in his educational and other wings …), large-scale scams in regard to provision of water, of apartments, the lack of duty of care within the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, the vast wastage of internationally-contributed funds in glorifying Sai Baba via luxurious buildings, golden trappings of imperial splendour, lack of accountability and transparency by the Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sai Baba’s countless contradictions that are to be found in his officially published discourses and other such sources; and much else.

 5. The writer speaks of: “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”. In regard to causality, one cannot, of course, willy-nilly deal of all corruptions afflicting India as paralleling those of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. Those who read properly what is actually written will find an avoidance of such simplifying of complex issues in the articles of the most prominent former devotee writers on Sathya Sai Baba, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel or myself, or the independent British author never affiliated with Sai Baba Kevin R.D. Shepherd . They will also find in myriad libraries and on the internet a great many reformist Indian writers who, likewise, cannot fairly be accused of “India bashing”.  


The profound extent of  the grasp of superstition across classes in India  –  not to mention other pre-scientific manifestations – to which Sathya Sai Baba gives credence is exposed in this well-sourced article by Robert Priddy, who writes of how:

and how Sathya Sai Baba aggravates the current witchcraft problems in India

“Sathya Sai Baba holds firmly that black magic is a real phenomenon, as the quotations below prove. His person and his so-called ‘teachings’ are held in awe by Prime Ministers and Presidents of India and – yet worse – Supreme Court judges. How can this country abolish the dreadful ignorance of so many citizens, apparently including supposedly highly educated persons?” 


Some Resources at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’


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Many Contradictions In Sathya Sai Baba Official Literature

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 19, 2010

Worldwide, when deeply concerned people in very large numbers left Sathya Sai Baba – commencing circa 2000 – one of their most typical and prompt responses was to get rid of all the paraphernalia that belonged to devotion to this guru. This meant:  the books, the official newsletter, Sanathana Sarathi,  the photos, rings, pendants, robes, and so on, which would otherwise bring back memories far more painful than joyful.

Fortunately, since the books and publications such as Sanathana Sarathi, individuals of scholarly mind, such as Robert Priddy,  Brian Steel and Alexandra Nagel, realised the importance of preserving documentation. These now prove to be most revelatory in self-damaging ways that could never have been the intention of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult leaders.

Robert Priddy was a contributor to Sanathana Sarathi, and much respected by its editor, the renowned (retired to Puttaparthi) Indian newspaper editor, V.K. Narasimhan (See photo). For those who like to delve into archives, here are Priddy’s articles from that widely-distributed publication. They state positions very different to what he has taken, as a major dissenter, in the last decade. Priddy was co-founder and longtime head of the Sathya Sai Organization of Norway.


Spiritual Insight
Transcends Science
March ’88, p. 63ff
Common sense
and Truth Sept.
’88, p. 246ff
The Eternal Verity
Oct. ’88, p. 269ff
From Fragmentation
to Synthesis
Jan. ’89, p. 17ff
Back to the Source
Feb. ’89, p. 45ff
What is
Inner Reality?
June ’89, p. 147ff
Human Unity
Holistic Understanding
Oct. ’89, p. 269ff
God’s Will
and Ours
Jan. ’90, p. 17ff
Language of Head
and Heart
May’90, p. 129ff
Towards Acceptance
of Suffering
Sept. ’90, p. 248ff
The Challenge
of Sai Baba’s Teachings
Feb. ’91, p. 43ff
Inquiry into
the Self
Apr, ’91, p. 101ff
Faith &
July ’91, p. 189ff
& Fate
June ’93, p. 165ff
Diversity, Unity,
May ’94, 129ff
The Way
Apr. ’94, p. 103ff
The Universal
World Teacher
July ’94, p. 186ff
Science & Spiritual
Sept. 1994, p. 234ff
Reflections on
Seeing Good
March 1995, p. 75ff
The Unfolding
Divine Saga
Nov. ’95, p. 24ff
Self-esteem, Basis
of Spirituality
May, ’96, p. 134ff
Playing the
Game of Life
July ’97, p. 184ff:
On Religious
& Other DifferencesJuly ’98, p. 182ff

 Recent Robert Priddy blogs have made effective use of Sanathana Sarathi. If there were ever to be a law case in which facts and myths could be separated from each other, this newsletter, which goes worldwide to devotees, would be of substantive value as stark  testimony. Unless India were to be delivered from the dire corruption which afflicts that in so many other ways magnificent nation, such a recourse is quite out of the question. In the meantime, such Priddy articles excellently show the dichotomy between Sathya Sai Baba’s officially recorded words, and his actions as we know them to be.

It is not that official Sai editors have not tried, since the glaring spotlight thrown on the cult by critical and competent minds, and the exposure in leading worldwide media, to expunge terrible indicting references from the literature emanating from Sai publishing venues. See:  The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements.

My reader who has time may like to go straight to the Priddy articles. In the meantime, see the sampling below.


‘Everyone’ loves Me’ says Sathya Sai Baba, everyone will visit

Sathya Sai Speaks

“Equally, nobody is hostile to Bhagawan. Everyone loves and none hates Bhagawan. Bhagawan’s mission is well known.“
(Sathya Sai Baba in his discourse 11th August 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam)

“There is no trace of anger or hatred in Me and hence everyone loves Me”

“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all.” (Sanathana Sarathi, January 1999 – page 16)

“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all.” (Sanathana Sarathi, January 1999 – page 16)

Robert Priddy comments:

“If one looks at any website which collects news items from the world, one will not find the name of Sathya Sai Baba there, (unless it is an Indian subcontinent news collection). Sai Baba’s usual pretense that the “whole world” knows about him, repeated yet again in the August discourse, is a directly laughable claim which would suggest how little he knows of the real world!

Despite his life-long afro-frizz and glaring orange robe and many other ways of attracting attention to himself, he is very far from being as oft-mentioned or anything like as recognisable as world-famous people are… such as Queen Elisabeth, the Dalai Lama, Bishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela, or countless presidents and prime ministers  and he can’t even measure his fame against top sportsmen like David Beckham & Tiger Woods, or an entire compendium of stage and screen stars! Does he actually imagine that 1.4 million Chinese have even heard of him, or most of the world’s 2 billion Christians, 1 billion Muslims, not to detail countless others who care nothing for an Indian swami? If so, he is completely out of touch in an ‘eternal omnipresent’ sphere of his own intense imagining”.

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

Robert Priddy comments:

“Any near-exact estimate of the entire Sai holdings is impossible to make due to the extremely secretive Sathya Sai Central Trust and other funds over which he has control , but $10 billion would probably be a conservative guess. Calculating on the basis of membership figures and other estimates touted by the Sathya Sai Organisation, another source put the figure at $45 billion sometime after 2000. Since reliable information on everything about the Sai empire is never declared fully and their accounts are protected by the government, including the secrets of the many sources from which donations come (testimonies of deceased devotees, often their entire estates – such as the fortune of the famous film star James Mason, for one. A close relative of a friend of mine was induced to part with £1/4 million in her last will and testament to the Sathya Sai Central Trust when  Sai devotees – having already extracted tens of thousands of pounds from her for projects which never materialized – further concentrated on ‘love-bombing’ her in her aged frailty, giving her false hopes of salvation and so on”.

No accounts are available to anyone – other than undocumented annual gross sum statements by the authorities, who are often under Sai Baba’s influential thumb – as is well known to insiders -) The Sathya Sai Trust is exempt from taxation, and special freedom from import duties have been granted by his governmental followers. One certainly wonders where it all goes, apart from the opulent luxuries like charter jets, extravagant buildings, apartments and frequent costly festivals and huge ‘birthday bashes’!”

Sathya Sai Baba prophecies on his own death date(s)

Priddy relates:

“Sathya Narayana Raju (later Sathya Sai Baba) is reported by several devotee writers as having said he will die at the age 95 and/or 96 (in some places in India a person who is 95, yet is in-the 96th year, is said to be 96 years old.) On various occasions Baba has reportedly said in private that his life would last 96 years [eg by S. Balu, ‘Living Divinity’ London: Sawbridge Enterprises, 1981, p. 29] which age he finally confirmed in a discourse in 2000. Yet, contradictorily, in two early discourses in 1960 and 1961 respectively, he gave the length of his remaining life as 58 and 59 years (see scan of one instance below). This adds up to a life-span of only either 92 or 93 years! However, Mr. Ratan Lal, who was one of the closest associates of Sathya Sai Baba for many years, reported in a lecture at the ashram that  Sai Baba had repeated the prediction of 96 years personally to him, telling this to a friend of ours who edited his books for him (Anne-Irene). Moreover, Sai Baba had also told him that was no-one’s business when he would leave the body – he could even prolong his life if he deemed necessary! It certainly seems he was covering himself for whenever it actually happens”.

Sathya Sai Baba condemns his critics as “demons”

“The record to date shows, however, that Sathya Sai Baba’s self-described “glory” has not “gone on increasing day by day”. It has diminished in the eyes of the world (foreign devotees have dropped away in huge droves) and he is a wheelchair-bound invalid who very seldom smiles and who is actually reported by close servitors as crying much of the day! (see here)

Among the elite of Indian politics, many worship Sathya Sai Baba. One small example: in an article in the International Herald Tribune, the Indian pundit Shashi Tharoor actually endorsed Sathya Sai Baba as a genuine miracle maker and virtually all-knowing person – see more here“.



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

There is a Spanish version available: 



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Disquiet In India On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 11, 2010

Despite a profound black ban by most of the Indian media on news inimical to Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, various forces of dissent in India continue to protest Sathya Sai Baba related visits involving Sathya Sai Baba devotee Chief Minister of the State of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan. The two news reports below are months apart. 

 In the second report, our ‘old’ acquaintance, Shrivraj Patil, the former Indian Home Minister rates a mention. Patil is one of a number of deeply disgraced former government officials who are devotees of Sathya Sai Baba.  One cannot but wonder whether, in his role as India’s ministerial guardian of internal security,  he had been listening far too believingly to his guru’s badly failed prophecies, instead of to the shrewder species of Indian government security advisor.

Innumerable are Sathya Sai Baba’s failed predictions (just as are his broken promises of healing, places in his education institutions, that he will travel to this and that country, and so on). One of the tragedies of India is that so many of her leaders rush off, at great expense, to listen to the prognostications of gurus and other fortune tellers. His editors have made a desperate, but eventually hopeless to expunge some of his more damaging statements from the official Sai literature. See:  The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements.

Here is but one of his wildly mistaken predictions.  He made it to the American Connie Shaw in an interview in January 2002 on what she says was her thirty-first visit to him:

Baba: Really, no joking (He made some invisible writing in the air) …
five years more. In 2007 there will be no more war. Peace on earth.”

Connie: Five more years?! Then really, truly the war will be over?”

Baba: Yes, you will see.

Connie: Then what about the Golden Age (of Peace and Plenty which
will last for a thousand years) – when will that actually be here?

Baba (Predictably, heh-heh): The Golden Age must begin in each
person’s heart. Then only can we have peace on earth. Each must
start now to make the Golden Age in his heart.

Connie: But Swami, we’re all doing the best we can in that
(department) now. I mean when will (all of) humanity agree “This is
the Golden Age – here, now…?

Baba: In five years. 2007. By then. All must do (their part).”-

Baba: Really, no joking (He made some invisible writing in the air) …
five years more. In 2007 there will be no more war. Peace on earth.”

Connie: Five more years?! Then really, truly the war will be over?”

Baba: Yes, you will see.

Connie: Then what about the Golden Age (of Peace and Plenty which
will last for a thousand years) – when will that actually be here?

Baba (Predictably, heh-heh): The Golden Age must begin in each
person’s heart. Then only can we have peace on earth. Each must
start now to make the Golden Age in his heart.

Connie: But Swami, we’re all doing the best we can in that
(department) now. I mean when will (all of) humanity agree “This is
the Golden Age – here, now…?

Baba: In five years. 2007. By then. All must do (their part).”-

Baba: Really, no joking (He made some invisible writing in the air) …
five years more. In 2007 there will be no more war. Peace on earth.”

Connie: Five more years?! Then really, truly the war will be over?”

Baba: Yes, you will see.

Connie: Then what about the Golden Age (of Peace and Plenty which
will last for a thousand years) – when will that actually be here?

Baba (Predictably, heh-heh): The Golden Age must begin in each
person’s heart. Then only can we have peace on earth. Each must
start now to make the Golden Age in his heart.

Connie: But Swami, we’re all doing the best we can in that
(department) now. I mean when will (all of) humanity agree “This is
the Golden Age – here, now…?

Baba: In five years. 2007. By then. All must do (their part).”

In his  Convocation address, 22 October 2008, Sathya Sai Baba – in an utterance that the history of terrorism discloses as tragically crass – said:

 “India is the only place where people are not worried about any attacks.  In America , Germany and other countries, they can’t eat well or sleep well. There is fear of bombs always in those countries. But in India, there is no fear of bombs. India will never have any such attacks.” 

Patil was forced to resign. See the articles:

Shivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry

Shivraj Patil – Sai Baba worshipper – resigns

Shivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry. Sathya Sai Baba Man 

“No fear of bombs” in India, Said Sai Baba a Week Before Mumbai Terrorist Attack.

A ‘tombstone’ marking just a few of Sathya Sai Baba’s tragically failed statements 

Rediff News
Maharashtra CM postpones visit to Sai Baba ashram
July 20, 2010 20:08 IST
With anger against Maharashtra [ Images ] sweeping across Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan [ Images ] has cancelled his visit to Sri Satya [ Images ] Sai Baba’s Ashram in Puttaparthi slated for Wednesday.Chavan was to arrive at Prashanti Nilayam at Puttaparthy in Anantapur district to seek the blessings of Sai Baba but he had to cancel his program on the request of the authorities.According to the police sources, in view of the threat of Telugu Desam party to organise protest against Chavan in the entire district on Wednesday, the Sathya Sai Central Trust requested Chavan to postpone the visit. Accordingly, he decided not to come to Puttaparthi, police officials said.


Maharashtra CM hosts Sai Baba amid criticism

Dharmendra Jore, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Mumbai, November 01, 2009
First Published: 23:40 IST(1/11/2009)
Last Updated: 23:42 IST(1/11/2009)
Chief Minister-elect Ashok Chavan ignored protests by anti-superstition  activists and hosted controversial spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba at his official residence, Varsha, on Sunday. Off limits to the media, Varsha looked festive – floral arches and red carpets greeted Sai Baba (82) and his entourage.
A political leader, requesting anonymity, said Chavan  and his family performed padyapooja (prayer at the feet) of the guru and later hosted a sumptuous maha prasadam (auspicious lunch) for the guests and devotees including family friends and former Union home minister Shivraj Patil, among several other Congress and NCP leaders.

While anti-superstition  activists phoned news channels and newspapers to protest, Chavan called the programme “my personal matter and nothing to do with politics”.

Narendra Dabholkar, president of Andhashraddha Nirmal Samiti (organisation for the eradication of superstition),  said from Pune: “Chavan has disregarded the Indian Constitution, which calls for a scientific approach to everything. He should have taken a  cue from former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who in his entire political career did not visit or worship any baba.”

The Shiv Sena, which often  violently enforces a version of Hindutva ideology, protested Chavan’s move. “We have no complaints if Chavan visits Sai  Baba at his ashram. But Varsha is not Chavan’s personal property. It belongs to the state’s 10 crore people, so no such event should be held there,” said Subhash Desai, the Sena’s group leader in the Assembly.

Further Resources

There is no end to Sathya Sai Baba’s failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”


False Predictions by India’s Revered “Omniscient Avatar”

  When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises

   Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

   Has Sathya Sai Baba Moved An Inch To Clean Up His Yard?

One Million Rupees Election Results Prediction Challenge to Astrologers



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

There is a Spanish version available: 



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The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba) On YouTube: A Tamil Version

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 21, 2010

முள்ளை முள்ளால் தான் எடுக்க வேண்டும்

Calling Tamilians …. Kindly pass the word along.

Someone has posted a Tamil version of the BBC’s ”The Secret Swami’on YouTube. Amusingly, someone else has gone to all the effort of flooding the consecutive YouTube pages with quotes from Sathya Sai Baba.


Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Part 4

Part 5.

Part 6.


See Also:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba)



Public Petition On Sathya Sai Baba (1)

There is a Public Petition calling for official probing of Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization. (See website details at the end of this post).

The JUST (Just Seekers of Truth) petition is presented by a globally networked group of former followers of Sathya Sai Baba. In the ranks of both devotees and dissenters, there are those who say that Sai Baba is history’s most powerful guru. Some critics regard him as one of history’s arch deceivers – highly charismatic, highly flawed. He may brilliantly inspire good social uplift works, which is why so many earnest and good people are attracted to him, but profoundly conceals, along with his core servitors who keep an vice-like grip on his global organization, what is morally loathsome and criminal.

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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

There is a Spanish version available:


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Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

Dr G.Venkataraman is about as close to Sathya Sai Baba as it is possible to get. His worldwide brief as his international broadcaster and his deputy chairmanship of the Sathya Sai Organization makes it relevant to look at his performance. The reader may keep in mind the question:  Is Venkataraman’s performance what one would expect of a chief disciple of – supposedly – God fully incarnate? Of course, even the most eminent disciples of famous spiritual leaders of the past made some bad showings – but (if the historical records are to be credited) turned out okay in the final run home. But has Venkataraman done so? He has had decades of practice for the “run home”? 

A detailed analyis of Venkatarman at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ .  To see his machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory


Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

“G. Venkataraman, formerly an intimate member of India’s nuclear bomb community, was Vice-Chancellor of Sai Baba’s university at Puttaparthi. He is now second-in-charge of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and head of Sai Global Harmony. The latter entity broadcasts, in affiliation with WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service, 24/7 to many countries. With a behind-the-scenes corporate-style, assisted by the billions of funds that pour from many countries into the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the aim is to penetrate to every corner of the globe. A vital question will be whether politicians in democratic countries will be capable of distinguishing between the issue of freedom of religion and the issue of cults that decidedly do not, whatever may be their rhetoric, respect democracy …. Dr Venkataraman is tantamount to being Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘minister of propaganda’. Practically all heads of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to comment on critical matters, but G. Venkataraman is an exception. The few spokesmen (and they are almost always men!) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization, with a leader and a deputy chairman who can both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba”.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”

“Dr G. Venkataraman speaks of how thrilling was Sai Baba’s account in this ‘Christmas’ 2006 discourse of his 1968 visit to Uganda! But oh, what an inspiring figure was Idi Amin to refer to in a Christmas message! In case G. Venkataraman or anyone badly informed of Idi Amin’s evil deeds and regime, here and here are BBC reports at the time of his death in August 2003 and a list of resources”.

A Bli

(Above photo – is but a graphic art impression of the Dr G. Venkataraman-Sai Baba-Idi Amin Love-Fest).


“The issue is not about high-profile leaders who unavoidably find themselves mixing with monstrous human beings – for example, dignitaries simply going about their formal duties, such as a King, Queen, President etc. The clear issue is that both Sai Baba and G. Venkataraman enthused warmly about recollections of Sai Baba’s visit to Idi Amin in Uganda in 1968, saying how Amin and his retinue were in copious tears of devotion for Sai Baba. Amin was one of the world’s greatest monsters – causing a holocaust estimated at 400,000 people, torturing, raping, engaging in violent orgies and cannibalism. And yet  – Sai Baba (who claims to be all-knowing and God fully manifest on earth and come to save the planet before he leaves it) and Venkataraman showed the most appalling bad taste and absence of judgement”.

Sathya Sai Baba and Dr G.Venkataraman: Will They Disavow Their Idi Amin Fondness?

“Note how Venkataraman, on Sai Global Radio, refers to Mr Idi Amin. I may add that it is interesting that Amin claimed to have a direct line to God. Did he have in mind, specifically, Sathya Sai Baba? Perhaps Amin scholars may have something among their files, and can let us all know.

Sathya Sai Baba-Idi Amin Nexus. Foolish-fond Memories

Sathya Sai Baba-Idi Amin Nexus. Fond Memories

Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion

Robert Priddy is the former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway and a retired philosopher in the Social Sciences, University of Oslo. He has written insightfully on the extraordinary, often Procrustean efforts of Dr G. Venkataraman to rationalise his beliefs in Sathya Sai Baba”.

Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism

”In his article, Venkataraman – the most gullible physicist alive? Robert Priddy (see Wikipedia entry) notes:

Dr. G. Venkataraman reviews at length developments in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos… though nothing scientific that is not found in hundreds of books and other media. Venkataraman was a physicist working for the Indian government’s nuclear programme. However, he has copied his information on astronomy from other scientific authorities. Yet he does not once attribute anything he reports to its originators or to other scientific sources! He has even plagiarised text from the Dennis Dutton website, without any mention …

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

“Despite the alarum and excursions of Dr G. Venkataraman (and informally allied Sathya Sai Baba proxy defenders on the Internet whose libels and slanders are deemed by top lawyers in three countries to be extreme, widespread and highly actionable), the BBC had every just cause to shoot clandestinely. The extensive lack of accountability, transparency and of Duty-of-Care were not only seen clearly by the BBC but have also been noted by other world leading, high quality media in several countries”.

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members. Here is a quote from that document:

“Two semi-official pro-Sai web sites – and – which could not operate without the help of central officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, Radio Sai Global Harmony and Sai ashrams, have links to websites which libel all former members who have spoken out. Such links reveal the obvious inability of Sai representatives in these groups to reply honestly and cogently to any of the many published allegations about Sai Baba made by those who were long respected members, in some cases prominent leaders, of his international organization. Furthermore, some members link to extremist web sites which have as their primary agenda contrived attempts at character assassination of ex-followers who present critical views. The most prominent of such sites are examined here and here.”

See a list (by no means exhaustive) of typical depradations of those Sathya Sai Baba forces (and those caught up in other cults) who claim to be involved in spirituality: Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment. See also, Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters

The one-hour BBC dcumentary, The Secret Swami (2004) on Sathya Sai Baba, is compelling, and was the work of more than seven intensive months. Its scope was, however, narrow indeed in comparison to a vast database that discloses that much else ails Puttaparthi Sai Baba and his forces such as the Prashanti Council and the International Sathya Sai Organization. See: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision


The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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Donors and Would-be Donors Beware (Sathya Sai Central Trust Example)

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 30, 2009

As the years pass, more evidence emerges of the very non-divine manner in which Sathya Sai Baba and his financial wing collect vast funds – particularly from wealthy donors. As with scams the world over, there are methods of ‘spotting’ – in this case, by ashram staff of visitors most likely to donate large sums. The admixture of ‘miracles’ – such as Sai Baba’s ‘materializing’ of expensive rings or pendants etc., for the wealthy – is central to setting up of these traps. This operation involves the participation of the registration office, as well as Sathya Sai Baba’s close servitors, many of them wealthy or those who have given away their wealth to him.
Criminals and police forces often refer to this type of spotting as finding the ‘mark’ or victim to be set up.
Donors and Would-be Donors Beware
There are two classes of individual, and in some cases institutions, who have every reason to be looking at these issues. First, those who have already been donors to Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer, among whom there are those who have serious misgivings about how they were misused. Second, those who are contemplating donation to the Sathya Sai Central trust.
In the first group, there are those who have been far too busy with their business enterprises or professions to have time for deeper reflection on their experiences. It needs to be remembered that deeply emotional, religious or spiritual commitments are far from straightforward and rational. Donors have given, in some cases in many millions, thinking they have found an impeccable cause. However, some are at the stage where they are handing over their prime responsibilities to others in their enterprises, retiring, etc.  The photos below are just a very few examples of that for which of the Sathya Sai opulence, they have already handed over! (For more revealing photos, see bottom of this article).
In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”
Sai Baba on his Golden Chariot
Sathya Sai Indoor Sports StadiumPrashanthi International Sports stadium
The Torment of Awakening From The Dream Splendid
Coming out of the dream splendid can be an emotionally tormenting period, whether one is rich or not. Again, irrespective of status, the wide tendency for individuals is to clam up, and let as few as possible know that one has made some bad choices.
To those wishing to reflect intellectually on their own experiences of donorship, or for those who may be contemplating giving money to Sathya Sai Baba’s organization, I point to the article (4700 approx words) of Robert Priddy, retired academic and former longtime leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization:
Donating to Sathya Sai Baba and His Bottomless Trust Or Other Institutions. How donations are encouraged and devotees are manipulated – with negative experiences reported’
“In my participant-observer sociological study of the International Sathya Sai Organisation, recorded mainly in 2000, I concluded that one of the main functions it actually fulfils, although in theory it should not, is to channel money from the widest possible catchment area of devotees in rich countries. This was implied by the collected data and analyses of its various practices which I interpreted on the basis of my wide-ranging experience – and increasing distaste – of how matters were handled at Organization meetings I attended in various countries. In stark contrast to Sathya Sai Baba pretends, his organisation contributes, indirectly and increasingly more and more directly, to the funnelling of donations in huge amounts into his account and under his control. Why does Sai Baba ‘allow’ this discrepancy between his word and action? The simple answer would be because money is a necessary ingredient of improving education, health and living conditions for the poor. To support this, Sai Baba points to the institutions like colleges, hospitals and village projects he has provided (as if it were not all from his devotees). So why then does he constantly boast that he has no connection whatever with money – saying as but one example, “Where money is present, there I am absent”? Obviously, it is a very clever device to hide the real situation and seem to put him apart from other money collecting ‘men of god’. Money gurus awaken much skepticism, especially among Westerners nowadays, it being known very widely that so many have been defrauded”.

Subheadings in this article:

Sizing up likely donors, and diamond gifts to soften them up?

What is Sathya Sai Baba’s actual relationship to money?

True Believer Devotees as Easy-Touches for Money

Soliciting Devotees for Major Funds

Ashram apartment ‘donors’ – deceptively called ‘owners’

Donors Recruited under False Pretenses


Further Reading

Can We Trust The Central Trust?By Serguei Badaev.  (Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia)

“It is not the Sathya Sai Organisation which is the owner of all the property and estates we can see in Prashanthi Nilayam and Brindavan (Sai Baba’s ashrams in Puttaparthi and in Whitefield correspondingly). There is another organisation which prefers to stay in a shadow. It is Sathya Sai Central Trust (the SSCT), which can be regarded as the highest authority in the Sai Baba movement except Sai Baba himself”


The money behind Sai Baba By Hari Sampath. 08-04-2001. (Member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing between 1992 and 1995)

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues. By Barry Pittard


“The easiest way to look for the source of Sai Baba’s ‘immunity’ from investigation and what exactly all this scam is about is to just take a look at the staggering amounts of money involved, and approximately estimate how much money does Sai Baba actually have?”


Barry Pittard at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Sathya Sai Organization: World Communities Need To Treat This Sect Cautiously

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

Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia



Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or you may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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

There is a Spanish version available:


Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today Sai Kodaihouse Sai Trayee

Sai Dharmak.


Posted in Miracles, Morality, New Age, Opinion, Philanthropy, Religion, Social and Politics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »