Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘South Asia’

Will Andhra Pradesh, South India, Only Appear To Address Sathya Sai Baba Scandals?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba certainly lives on, though not in the fashion in which his devotees commonly conceive. The revelations of scandal and duplicity among those left behind to clean up the unholy mess have kept coming. So far the Andhra Pradesh government has shown a number of signs of being accountable. Its police and revenue seems to have been doing their job. Even so, questions need to be driven here – for example, why did the AP government leave the Sathya Sai Trust un-superintended after the first massive haul of treasure was exposed?  Why did it allow the Trust to appear to be a good taxpaying citizen when it allow the Trust to pay taxes on the vast millions of booty that has already be discovered?  This government will be under much scrutiny. But then, again, how can one scrutinise governments notorious for secrecy and duplicity?

So far the AP government has ordered some arrests, though we must notice that this has been of footsoldiers. Poor wretched minor players. Of the type who tend caught. But such a scenario is common the world over – the Mr Bigs usually are exempt and the Mr Smalls cop prison.

For decades, Andhra Pradesh has been complicit in cover ups of Sathya Sai Baba. Many sides of politics are riddled with Sathya Sai Baba devotees, many of them in the highest echelons of power. This is true throughout India but, after all, AP is the Sai Baba home ground. Even here, there is the factor that political horse-trading knows few boundaries when it comes to interstate influence by political parties that are India-wide.

Exposure of any improper procedures by the AP government may have to remain discoverable by what does not happen and what is not seen, when it should have happened and should have been seen. One factor that may somewhat save the day may be the actions of those Sai Baba devotees who have had their eyes at least somewhat opened, particularly those many who appear to have had more than enough of figures such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan who are on the profoundly untrustworthy Sai Trust.

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Sathya Sai trust submits report to Andhra Pradesh government

Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: July 11, 2011 20:57 IST

Hyderabad:  The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which manages the affairs of late Sathya Sai Baba’s spiritual empire on Monday, submitted a detailed report to the Andhra Pradesh government on its functioning as well as financial details.

Responding to the government’s notice, the trust submitted the report to endowments secretary K.V. Ramnachari.

The report contains details of the trust’s finances, its activities, revenues, institutions run by it, members of the trust, their addresses and their professions.

The trust has also reportedly provided details of the trust’s objectives, its day-to-day functioning, details of the officials who run the trust and various institutions, assets, income and expenditure.

 The report also contains details of the trust’s bank accounts, the subsidies given by the central government, exemptions from income tax regulations and also the names and other details of its auditors.

Officials said the government would evaluate the report before taking a decision on the demands from a section of devotees to take over the trust or at least set up a mechanism to monitor the trust.

It was on June 27 that the government had asked the trust to submit the report in 10 days. The move came amid allegations that the trust members are involved in financial irregularities.

It is for the first time in nearly four decades that the government intervened in the affairs of the trust. The trustees were facing allegations of irregularities after Sathya Sai Baba’s demise on April 24.

Anantapur police had last month seized Rs.35 lakh from a car and arrested three people, who revealed that they were transporting the cash from Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi to Bangalore on the directions of two trust members.

Though the trust has claimed that the money was donated by some devotees for building Sathya Sai Baba’s samadhi, the police are continuing the probe amid allegations that huge cash and valuables were shifted out of the ashram.

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BBC South Asia

8 July 2011 Last updated at 15:08 GMT

Satya Sai Baba Trust ‘has $190m cash reserves’

By Swaminathan Natarajan BBC Tamil

Sai Baba pictured in 2004There has been wild speculation about the value of Sai Baba’s assets.

A trustee in charge of managing the vast empire of the late Indian guru Satya Sai Baba has revealed that it has $190m (£118.3m) of cash reserves.

The trustee says media reports have wildly exaggerated the true value of assets managed by the trust.

Media reports have put the value of all trust assets at between $10-25bn. This is thought to be the first time its cash reserve value has been revealed.

Satya Sai Baba was one of the most influential Indian spiritual leaders.

He enjoyed support from all areas of Indian society and had millions of followers around the world.

But he was dogged by controversy including allegations, never proven, of sexual abuse and charlatanism. He died on 24 April at the age of 84.

He used his wealth to carry out number of social welfare activities, including building a hospital and a university.

After his death, wide-ranging concerns were expressed by the public about who would inherit his massive wealth.

“We have about 8.5bn Indian rupees ($190m) of cash reserves. The interest we get from this will be used to run our hospital and university,” Madras-based industrialist V Srinivasan said.

But the trust does own huge assets. It runs a big hospital in Bangalore, it has a university and it owns land in various places around India.

“The properties we have are all for specific purposes. In Bangalore, we have 60 acres of land where our super-speciality hospital is already built,” says Mr Srinivasan.

“This land is not used for commercial purposes, nor will it ever be. So the value we will fix in our balance sheet is the value at which we acquired the property,” he says.

“Our trust is not speculative. It is very specific. We don’t hold any property for commercial development,” he adds.

But Sai Baba’s organisation also has property abroad.

“The properties that lie abroad don’t come under the central trust. They are run from respective countries. We have no control or knowledge of the value of properties abroad,” he says.

There are growing calls for the government to monitor the activities of the trust.

“[The] Andhra Pradesh government has asked certain details about the trust. We will furnish all the information that they have asked for by next week,” Mr Srinivasan said.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

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”.

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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.

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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.

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2011

I have listened to many country’s national anthems. But, I must say, for purely musical reasons, the Indian national anthem has long been my favourite. The melody unfailingly tugs at my heartstrings. Even so, when I listen to it these days, there is an extra freight-load of poignancy to it. I think back to the Indian homes, from rich to poor – sometimes, VERY poor –  where I lived for lengths of time with Indian families – forever the honorary ‘uncle’.

Joys and sorrows well up when I hear the Indian national anthem, although I know some families equally dear to me wish that the words used are  in, or not in, the Hindi language.

Janaganamana-score.pngSheet music for Jana Gana Mana.  Words and Music by the great Nobel Prize-winning Indian poet-dramatist, musician-dancer Rabindranath Tagor, whose then still-living relatives, as well as the younger generations of the Tagore family made me feel at home when, in early 1976,  I spent time, and performed, at the Shantiniketan University, Bolpur, West Bengal.

At the same time, whatever may seem to be the contraindicators, there can be few, if any, countries in which, in general, those of different persuasions can get along together. Too often, it is the hotheads whom we come to hear about. We don’t always hear, for example, of how some Hindus and Muslims risked their lives to save Sikhs who were set upon in pogroms, after two Sikh bodyguards assassinated Mrs Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984 . Following the assassination, there were four days in which marauding maniacs killed thousands of Sikhs in a retaliatory blood let. The bloody-mindedness of some of the top leaders (like longtime Sathya Sai Baba devotee) PM Narasimha Rao, and Rajiv Gandhi with his utterly callous  “when a big tree falls” pronouncement, and many newspaper editors are appalling. From time to time, India gets some good people on Commissions of enquiry. But she needs good leaders, so that there is not the dire need for Commissions.

A number of times, in widely different parts of India, courageous, quick-thinking Indians have saved my life or limb. Once, I was spared the blade of an RSS thug, when RSS workers mistakenly thought that I was a Christian missionary. Another time, Indians in a huge crowd making for a ‘sacred’ spot lifted me aloft and bore me to safety. In another far part of India, the police had to assure my safety, because a westerner been arrested on charges of spying.

As a poor traveler, I have been nursed back to life by Indian families who had been strangers, and so tenderly as if I had been of their own family. The list of beneficent occasions is much longer, and knows no Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian etc., distinctions. The poor of India, among whose hovels I have worked, have, touchingly, been no less generous-spirited to me than the rich, even – or perhaps especially! – when these ragged and destitute people saw that I was traveling poor myself.

Therefore, as my regular readers may have noted, I speak not too kindly of the Indian elites. They are venal. They are selfish and cruel. They heavily support a system of brutal suppression and torture by sections of the armed services and police. Without their endemic corruption, India would stand tall in all the world.  See my articles:

Police and Army Rapists Rarely Punished, Says Kavita Krishnan (Of AIPWA)

Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’

These rulers, time and again, betray my Indian brothers and sisters. I will say it, although I hesitated, because I do not want anyone to presume upon the common and all-too-decent Indian type. Indians at large are very gentle, tender and infinitely patient. Those of their fellows who are not, or who are selectively so, presume upon the others. But Indians can be tigers, especially in parts of the north, and one enclave in the south, where martial traditions remain strong. In general, though, to my mind, I spot a fierceness more often on the cricket field  than off it.

Sachin Tendulkar looks heavenward. But Sachin, I don't think your Sathya Sai got admitted to Swarga Loka. But why not look down here in the real world, and with compassion, where you will find his many sexual abuse victims, boys and young men (many grown much older now), round the world? Do you not have a brave heart when off the cricket field?

Frighteningly, what Manmohan Singh so gravely risks is that, because he has shown his teeth to peaceful anti-corruption protesters – or to be more accurate – got his security forces and police to do the tooth-showing and bovvyer boy musclework, his piddling weakness in the face of immense corruption could plunge the Indian nation into the most terrible bloodshed. By which I mean – he should fix cankerous corruption in his own house, and not ‘fix’ honest and decent protesters.

However, I am encouraged by a number of tidal changes that I now see.

Quite apart from his deep prostrating, longtime association with Sathya Sai Baba, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh now looks to be a spent force. His government is mired in many scandals. Given the evidence so long in front of international former devotee coordinators like Robert Priddy and myself, one can really raise a question:  Will the revelations now exploding in the Indian media about Sai Baba and key players on his Sai Central Trust broaden out to include some of the figures in local, state and central government spheres?

India's PM Manmohan Singh. At the Feet of the Late Sathya Sai Baba

Might Manmohan Singh and others be about to face their Watergate? 

It will be a test of what the producer of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami”, Eamon Hardy, threw into question, to use his words, of “India’s maturity as a democracy”.

Manmohan Singh and other members of his government, and a succession of past Prime Ministers and Presidents, and countless other high-ranking individuals in Indian politics, the armed services, police, government, and so on, have protected Sathya Sai Baba. Will, now, the wealth, the family connections, the underhand political wheeler-dealing and other antidemocratic tendencies in India thwart attempts at genuine reform? Will the big Sai Baba-prostrating money-bags like the Tatas, the Rais (the scion of the latter family threatened to sue us and got told firmly where to go!) at last, after too many decades, find that there is something in India that money won’t buy?

Or will the legions of corrupt misleaders continue to overpower democracy? Here is our chance to see.

Anti-Corruption Rallies In Upsurge Across India

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi by Sathya Sai Baba's golden casket

Large numbers of Indian citizens are rising up. Are they rent-a-crowds fomented by his immediate political rivals to power? Or by the Pakistan government’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)? It would not surprise if any or all of these should want to have a hand. But good Indian citizens inform me that many of these marches against government corruption are deeply genuine, no matter under whose banner the crowds protest.

Some masses rally to the call of solid, old-fashioned anti-corruption crusaders such as Anna Hazare. Others to Swami Ram Dev, whom a range of serious commentators depict as somewhat a religious fundamentalist, politically naive, and a bit of a hot-head, but well-meaning and brave nonetheless. Certainly, both have daily put their lives on the line. Both have also embarked on fasts-unto-death, in the way the better-informed still remember of Mahatma Gandhi.

Are the Indian People Sick of Their Leaders’ Golden Casket Worship?

Anna Hazare. Widely respected, old-style Indian anti-corruption crusader

The Wikipedia entry on Anna Hazare states:

Kisan Baburao Hazare (Marathi: किसन बाबुराव हजारे) (born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare (Marathi: अण्णा हजारे), is an Indian social activist and anarcho-pacifist who is especially recognised for his contribution to the development of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishing it as a model village, for which he was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the government of India in 1992.[1]

After leading a number of nonviolent protests in Maharashtra state against corruption, Hazare started a fast unto death on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the government of India to enact a strong anti-corruption act as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, a law to establish a Lokpal (ombudsman) with the power to deal with corruption in public offices. The fast led to nationwide protests in support of Hazare. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, the day after all of Hazare’s demands were agreed by the government of India. The government issued a gazette notification on the formation of a joint committee (of government and civil society representatives) to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.[2][3]

Another prominent Indian social justice crusader who has risked his life many times is Swami Agnivesh.


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Friday, May 27, 2011

Mahant held for slapping Agnivesh

Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: In an unsavoury incident, the human rights activist, Swami Agnivesh, who was accompanying the anti-corruption bill crusader, Anna Hazare, to a visit to Gujarat on Thursday, was slapped by a Mahant.

The incident occurred before the start of a public meeting to be addressed by Mr. Hazare. While meeting people, Swami Agnivesh tried to greet Mahant Nityanand Das, the chief of a temple near Nadiad, while the latter he slapped him.

The Mahant, who was arrested by the police, told journalists before leaving the venue that his anger against Swami Agnivesh was for his comments about the holy Amarnath shrine of Lord Shiva.

Swami Agnivesh, on the sidelines of a recent peace conference in Srinagar, had allegedly commented that the ice lingam of Amarnath was “artificially made,” and that the annual “Amarnath yatra” was a “religious deception.”

The Mahant had earlier announced a “reward” of Rs. 51,000 for anyone who would dare to hurl a shoe at Swami Agnivesh in public. He said he had nothing against Mr. Hazare and totally supported his crusade against corruption, “but I cannot take the Swami’s comments against a holy shrine of the Hindus.”

Human right activists strongly condemned the incident. “We condemn the attack on Swami Agnivesh.” Said Father Cedric Prakash, a human right activist and convener of Prashant, a voluntary organisation.

Swami Ramdev, anti-corruption crusader, dragged off by PM Mohan Singh's militia

India’s billionaire “heroes” get humbled

By Alistair Scrutton | Reuters – Sun, 27 Feb, 2011 12:31 AM EST
NEW DELHI (Reuters)

But a Who’s Who of corporate India has now been mired in controversy in the past year. Even the icon of India Inc, Ratan Tata, went to court to stop the release of leaked taped conversations of lobbyist Nira Radia and top industrialists, politicians and journalists, with talk of swinging deals, granting favours and ministers taking bribes. The tapes published in local media showed Radia, whose lobby company represents Tata and Mukesh Ambani, speaking to politicians to ensure Andimuthu Raja was appointed telecoms minister. Raja is now under arrest over the graft case. The founder of Satyam Computer was arrested in an accounting fraud — software services had previously been seen as one of India’s cleanest sectors — and the head of India’s $4 billion cricket premier league was fired over alleged irregularities. “The image of the socially responsible businessman, the untainted hero, has taken a beating,” said V. Ravichandar, head of Feedback Consulting in Bangalore, which advises multinationals.

Even the slightest selection of recent Indian newspaper headlines tend to tell the story quite well.

India: Protests against corruption spread

Reuters

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi have come in for criticism for sending hundreds of police using batons and tear gas on Sunday to break up a hunger strike by Swami Ramdev and tens of thousands of his followers in Delhi.

“India is a democratic country. Peacefully protesting and assembling without arms is legal,” said Arvind Kejriwal, an associate of Mr Hazare.

Teachers stage protest against corruption

TNN Jun 18, 2011, 10.51pm IST

DHARWAD: Inspired by the tirade launched by social activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev against corruption, teachers in Dharwad staged a protest against corruption and exploitation in the education sector.

Responding to the call given by Karnataka State Secondary Teachers’ Association (KSSTA), large number of teachers from Dharwad, Belgaum, Haveri, Gadag, Bijapur and Bagalkot districts participated in the sit-in protest in front of the office of the additional commissioner for public instruction here from 3pm to 5pm.

MLC Arun Shahpur, KSSTA vice-president R M Kuberappa, general secretary M G Sindagi and others spoke on the occasion. They said that corruption in education sector is spoiling the atmosphere as those who are compelled to pay bribe tend to recover the money by resorting to illegal means. “It also encourages people to get illegal things done by offering inducement. This trend will make life difficult for law-abiding citizens. Immunizing education sector is the need of the hour,” the speakers said.

Students protests against corruption in India – Dimapur

DemoTix. 25th of April 2011Student activist from Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) burns candle during a candle light protest called by North East Student Organization (NESO) to show solidarity to the anti- Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA) campaign by Iron Sharmila and anti corruption Lokpal Bill by Anna Hazare. The seven Indian north eastern state has, today called a protest to show its solidarity to Iron Sharmila, who has been on fast for more than tens years to remove AFSPA in the region and to Indian social activist, Anna Hazare corruption campaign against the prime minister and cabinet

Churches in India endorse protests against corruption

By: Anto Akkara
Ecumenical News International


“The poor are the worst victims of corruption,” says India’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao. Photo: Shutterstock

Bangalore, India
Churches in India have joined the growing support for social activist Anna Hazare, who launched a hunger fast on April 5 to call attention to the problem of corruption in government and is urging the passage of a strict anti-corruption law.

Corruption has become a major national issue in recent months, with allegations of massive corruption running into billions of dollars in wireless telecom licensing and in the preparation for Commonwealth Games that was held in New Delhi last October.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Has Sathya Sai Baba’s Will Been Found? Which Will will Prevail? Divine Will or Earthly Will?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 19, 2011

In a communication just received, a private source of information relates:

“Bhagwati is pro Satyajit and hence threatened to quit the trust, but was pacified. Day before yesterday in a trust meeting, several trust members walked out in a huff. Some trust members are being spied upon by Ratnakar’s agents. My sources tell me that Trust legal advisor Naganand has actually admitted a will was found”.

I feel that we have reasonably, and at quite some length, exposed ex-Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati.

                                                                                       Sri Sathya Sai Trust’s P.N. Bhagwati – “No Replacement For Baba”

See my articles:

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 4, 2011

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2011

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

I regret, however, that I am not able to proceed with information that I have received, separately, from legal and retired diplomatic sources, which wish to remain highly circumspect.

I will say, however, that I trust there will be alert researchers from the media and other investigative areas who are able to get a bead on how Bhagawati went in pursuit of his United Nations and Chief Justice of India jobs. There is salient opinion of him around Lincoln Court Inn and other legal watering places redolent of his London days. If bona fide investigators contact me, I should be able to point in some useful directions. Email address:  barpittard@gmail.com

Such alert investigators may like to see what they can uncover about the jeweller in Bangalore who long made many gold and silver ornaments, subsequently “materialized” by Sathya Sai Baba. Even nearer to Puttaparthi, journalists should not have too much difficulty in tracking down another such jeweler. Further afield, we are informed, are a jeweler in Mumbai and another in Hyderabad. Still another lost his deal, and was, apparently, deeply upset. Again, we have some direction-pointing resources sleuths may like to use, if it would not lose too much face for them to ask a foreigner:  barrypittard@gmail.com, with professional assurances of confidentiality where required.

Among those sleuthing in and around Puttaparthi are:  Daijiworld Media Network—Anantapur, near to Puttaparthi in the State of Andhra Pradesh,  and feeders for The New Indian Express Group.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Sai Trust divided over Sathya Sai’s will

The New Indian Express
Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 09:36am IST
 Anantapur: By opening the doors of the Yajurveda Mandir, the legatees of Sathya Sai Baba may only have prised open a pandora’s box.

Along with large quantities of gold, silver and cash, the Sathya Sai Central Trust reportedly found the Baba’s diary and will, the contentious contents of which are widening the rifts within the trust. One group in the trust says the will mandated that prominence be given to the Sai Baba’s long-standing caregiver Satyajit. Another group is denying that a will had been found at all.

The issue of Satyajit’s role in future was the focus of a two-day meeting of the trust on June 14 and 15. Reliable sources say senior trust member and former Supreme Court judge PN Bhagwati is all for prominence to Satyajit.

Sai Trust divided over Sathya Sai's will

When this was opposed some members, he felt hurt and volunteered to withdraw from the trust.

But he was pacified and persuaded to reconsider his decision.

All the same, some senior members are in a serious sulk. One of them is said to have stomped out of Puttaparthi on Friday night, miffed that Satyajit has not been given prominence.

Source say that one member, a Sai veteran of 35 years, was so put out by alleged spying on his office in Puttaparthi, that he would leave Prashanti Nilayam.

Given such rifts in the trust, chances are the governing body may be dissolved, or its aged members allowed to retire after putting in place a working system. But it is highly unlikely that any one person will be given complete control. “Trust members may each be given a specific activity or Seva programmes to handle. This will prevent power being concentrated in a single individual,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Sai diehards, however, say that “things are slowly settling down” in Puttaparthi.

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Anantapur: Will Satyajit Head Satya Sai Baba Trust?

Daijiworld Media Network—Anantapur Anantapur, Jun 17: From the time the doors of Sai Baba’s personal chamber were opened on Friday June 17 and Ratnakar confirmed that about Rs 12 crore in cash and 98 kg gold were found inside the chamber, the media has been awaiting news of the appointment of a new head of the Trust.Satyajit, who hails from the coastal city of Mangalore, was in the news for taking over the Satya Sai Central Trust after the demise of Satya Sai Baba.However, the trustees denied that there were any plans of appointing Satyajit as the head of the trust though he was regarded as being the closest to Sai Baba. Satyajit was the caretaker and a disciple of Godman.According to reliable sources from Puttparthy, three members of the Trust – former Supreme Court judge Justice Bhagavathi, S V Giri, and L Srinivasan  proposed that a prominent post be given to Satyajit which was opposed by R J Ratnakar, nephew of Satya Sai Baba and a member of the Trust.It is learnt that Ratnakar wanted the Trust to give no importance to Satyajit under any circumstances.Reportedly, Baba had written a will appointing Satyajit as his successor. But Ratnakar denied this, saying no such will was found in Sai Baba’s chamber.

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Reports of Sathya Sai Central Trust Van Laden With Treasure Seized By Andhra State Police

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 19, 2011

FLASH

This story seems only broken as yet via the India Today television news channel.

Overnight (Australian Eastern Standard Time), a usually reliable source of ours with Andhra Pradesh-related police sources reported that Andhra Pradesh State Police have intercepted a Sathya Sai Central Trust van heavily laden with treasure, and arrested three. It seems that the driver has confessed to being  an employee of the Trust. 

Key words noted in the India Today news segment include:

 “Puttaparthi cash haul”……. ” huge cash seized from Sai Baba trust van”………. “Sathya Sai Trust van intercepted and huge cash haul in bags” ……” Van and occupants arrested in Kodikonda checkpost in Ananthapur” ……. “driver confesses being Sathya Sai trust van driver coming from Puttaparthi”…….. “cash seized being held on the spot” ……currency counting machines being rushed to the spot”

Interesting Earlier Sathya Sai Central Trust Statements

This date of this Megamedia News article coincides with the day of Sai Baba’s death:  Sai Baba’s wealth in distress now. 3:22 PM, Monday, April 25th, 2011. But, as reported in an Economic Times article:  ‘Baba had no successor in mind: Trustees, election for Sai Trust chairman next week’, Apr 28, 2011, 09.53pm IST, a prominent spokesman for Trustees and the Council of ManagementVenu Srinivasan stated:

“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 a very long Press Release by The Trustees and the Council of Management of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust on April 28, 2011 (four days after Sai Baba’s death), it is stated:

18. In light of the baseless, irresponsible and false accusations of defalcation of gold, valuable artefacts and even money, it is emphatically stated that these accusations are wholly untrue and it is believed that these have been engineered by certain vested interests with a view to defame the fair name of the Trust, its functionaries and the Trustees. There is no truth whatsoever in these allegations.

19. All transactions of the Trusts are duly accounted in their books of account. An experienced and qualified chartered accountant oversees the accounting and financial management. The accounts are duly audited by a reputed firm of Chartered Accountants based at Delhi. Periodical returns, accounts and audit reports as prescribed by law are duly filed with the concerned authorities under the Income Tax Act, FCRA and other applicable statutes. There is no proceeding initiated against any of the Trusts by any authority under any statute alleging any impropriety or violation of law.”

But who can possibly believe them?

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An old article of mine springs into relevance: 

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2007

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See next article to follow the above – to be front paged tomorrow: 

After Decades of Dormancy, Some Indian Media Now Question Sathya Sai Baba

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The Telegraph. Calcutta

Open sesame! Baba & his chamber of secrets
G.S. RADHAKRISHNA
From the Telegraph, Calcutta article “Open Sesame! Baba and his chamber of secrets”


June 17: Nike and Adidas sneakers. Whole cupboards of perfume and hairspray. Packets full of — and gold crowns studded with — diamonds.

Total worth Rs 35 crore and counting.

The world knew that Sai Baba lived in a cocoon of riches. Only since yesterday has it seen for itself.

Around 8.30 on Thursday morning, the doors were thrown open at Yajur Mandir, the late spiritual leader’s two-storey living quarters at the centre of his Puttaparthi ashram that had been out of bounds for almost everyone for the past 25 years.

A team of chartered accountants, income-tax and bank officials, and members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust walked into the half-dozen rooms to which only Satyajit, the monk’s personal attendant for the past 20 years, had so far had access.

What they found, after Satyajit negotiated the combination locks and biometric security, left everyone staggered, ashram sources said.

If the Rs 11.5 crore in currency notes stashed in cabinets were a surprise, hardly anyone had expected separate almirahs for hair spray and expensive shoes, for dry fruits and biscuits. (See chart)

Thirty-six hours on, the bank officials and student volunteers from the Sathya Sai Educational Institute had just finished counting the cash, aided by three machines from the State Bank of India (SBI). The inventory of jewellery and stones was still incomplete late tonight.

“There are numerous cloth packets with diamonds, whose number and value has not yet been assessed. They and most other valuables will be shifted to the vaults of the SBI’s Puttaparthi branch,” said a trust member.

Some of the gold, silver and personal belongings will stay on at Yajur Mandir, which will be converted into a museum for the monk, who is believed to have left behind assets of Rs 40,000 crore to Rs 1.5 lakh crore.

Only a handful of VIP visitors had ever been inside the building, and even they would have seen only the outer chamber where the Sai Baba received them.

The complex was locked immediately after the monk was admitted to hospital on March 28, four weeks before he died on April 24. Even yesterday and today, nobody other than the official team was allowed in. Nobody except one unexpected visitor.

Tata visit

If the riches were a surprise, a second surprise greeted the ashram authorities this morning. Industrialist Ratan Tata, a Sai Baba devotee, arrived unannounced at the Prashanti Nilayam.

Tata flew into Bangalore by a chartered plane and drove in a Mercedes to Puttaparthi, 435km from Hyderabad. He was allowed to enter Yajur Mandir as a special case and spent 45 minutes there.

“He was searching for something he wanted to check. We don’t know what he was looking for and whether he found it, but he did not take anything,” one of the trustees said.

A Sai Institute student who was there said: “Our trust member Ratnakar Raju (a nephew of Sai Baba) spent about 15 minutes with Tata discussing something.”

Tata left Puttaparthi in the evening.

Related Readings

Sathya Sai Baba Buried Treasure: Media and Government Need To Probe Sai Central Trust

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011

‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s Residence Unlocked. Vast Treasury Uncovered

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 17, 2011

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

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 Buried Treasure: Media and Government Need To Probe Sai Central Trust

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011

The Indian correspondent whom I mentioned in my blogs of the last two days has, in addition, raised a number of questions that may fairly be asked of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. See below. The preceding blogs are: – see:  ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple and: ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple

Events preceding and following Sathya Sai Baba’s death on 25 April, 2011, show how enmeshed in succession struggles the Trust has been, and also how the Trust now stands glaringly exposed for having attempted to blame the media for reports which, as it turns out, has proven remarkably correct.

It is the type of vilifying attacks that the Trust made on many former Sai devotees (including former highly respected leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization), and on the BBC and other western media which ran investigative stories on Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult.

It can be seen in a Central Trust public statement published in a number of Indian newspapers. Speaking on behalf of the Trustees and the Council of Management, Venu Srinivasan stated: 

“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 his  Christmas Day Discourse 2000, as our movement of exposure gained tremendous impetus – greatly enhanced  by the exponential rising power of internet communication –  Sai Baba, loudly thumping his lectern several times during the discourse, made statements such as:

“These types of publicity are shameless. Truly they are not human beings at all. The ones who put obstacles in the way of all sacred works are demons, not human beings. The determined vow of Sai will never change, even if demons like this may be all over the world”. 

The insidious technique is typical of cover up the world over:  depersonalize and libel the perceived adversary.  Sathya Sai Baba himself had long set the tone among his chief servitors.  Those such as Dr G. Venkataraman have used it unconscionably. See:  Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

The full Central Trust statement our Indian correspondent refers to is to be found at: 

http://www.saibabaofindia.com/press-release-trustees-sri-sathya-sai-central-trust-28042011.htm

The writer says:

“Note the points 18 and 19 in that statement:

18. In light of the baseless, irresponsible and false accusations of defalcation of gold, valuable artefacts and even money, it is emphatically stated that these accusations are wholly untrue and it is believed that these have been engineered by certain vested interests with a view to defame the fair name of the Trust, its functionaries and the Trustees. There is no truth whatsoever in these allegations.

19. All transactions of the Trusts are duly accounted in their books of account. An experienced and qualified chartered accountant oversees the accounting and financial management. The accounts are duly audited by a reputed firm of Chartered Accountants based at Delhi. Periodical returns, accounts and audit reports as prescribed by law are duly filed with the concerned authorities under the Income Tax Act, FCRA and other applicable statutes. There is no proceeding initiated against any of the Trusts by any authority under any statute alleging any impropriety or violation of law.”

Today, after the staggering amount of cash and gold, silver and jewels were found in Sai Baba’s personal chamber, and with the national print and electronic media blasting SB in their headlines…perhaps the SB trust, left with no choice have issued a press statement….curiously, it’s from Ratnakar who was from the beginning accusing other SB trust members.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/sai-baba-trusts-statement-on-cash-gold-discovered-113053

Now here are my questions  for the Sai Baba trust.

1. That seized wealth consisting of 100 kg of gold, 300 kg of silver, diamonds and almost Rs 12 crores of cash in Sai Baba’s personal chamber , now common public knowledge, whose is it ?

2. Since the SB trust had categorically denied presence of any gold or cash earlier on April 28th, what is the explanation now ?

3. Is it the personal property of Sai Baba and not that of the SB central trust ?

4. Since Sai Baba had no known occupation and had not filed income tax returns even once in his life, how was he in possession of the above enormous wealth, with no papers with them ?

5. According to Indian law, anyone with intention of transacting more than Rs 20,000 has to furnish PAN ( permanent account number for Income tax assesses) and do so with proper documents. Did Sai Baba have such a PAN and how did he have such a huge cash/gold stock ?

6. If it is not Sai Baba’s wealth, then whose is it and who gave it to him ? If so, why did he not issue a receipt for it (in the name of the SB trust, and make it official)?

7. If it was part of genuine donations given by devotees, why was donations of 100kg of gold and 300kg of silver and Rs 12 crores of cash accepted by the SB trust ( or SB himself), and not declared to the income tax and govt departments ?

8. If the above discovered wealth was neither the property of Sai Baba nor the property of the trust, why has it been deposited in the account of the SB trust in State bank of India ? shouldn’t it be turned over to the Income tax authorities or Enforcement directorate with a proper official statement that says “we found it, we don’t know what or whose property this is, there are no papers or documents about this, so we are turning it over to proper authorities ” ? Isn’t this the legal , ethical and moral duty of any charity organization?

9. On a larger issue, irrespective of the several legal questions, can the SB trust explain why its founder and “avatar” Sai Baba thought fit to hoard 100s of kilograms of gold, silver, diamonds and several millions of dollars in hard cash in his own bedroom ? Even multi billionaires don’t keep this kind of wealth under their beds. What did Sai Baba need it for?

10. As it is clearly indicated now that far bigger loads of wealth had been spirited out of the residence the moment Sai Baba was hospitalized, will the SB trust retract its earlier statement of April 28th, and acknowledge the fact that huge sums of money and gold had indeed been kept hidden by Sai Baba in his bedroom, and that this is illegally concealed and unaccounted black money with no source shown, no papers and not accounted anywhere. Will the SB trust do so to devotees of Sai Baba at least, or will the SB trust be willing to face a press conference consisting of senior media personnel and members of civil society ?”

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Further Reading

Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

Sathya Sai Baba World Cult At Odds With Itself

How Sai Baba devotees behave and why

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

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 Central Trust Says “millions and millions” of Devotees Worldwide. But Who Counted?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 25, 2011

Below is the report of The (UK) Guardian’s report on Sathya Sai Baba’s death yesterday morning. I shall excerpt from, and comment on, it.

Sai Baba, spiritual guru to millions, dies at 85

• New-age icon dies of heart and breathing problems
• Reputation marred by sexual abuse allegations

By Jason Burke in Delhi guardian.co.uk, Sunday 24 April 2011 19.46 BST

Sai Baba

Guardian: Sai Baba had an estimated six million followers, but critics said his ‘miracles’ were simple magic tricks. Photograph: AP
But though revered by millions around the world as a living god, he was a controversial figure, criticised by some as a fraud protected by political influence. His later years were dogged by allegations of sexual abuse.
 
Comment:  For backround, see:

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards


The UK Guardian Exposes Indian Guru, Sai Baba

                                                                                                                               Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian (UK)
                                                                                                                                                   on Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Guardian:   Among Sai Baba’s estimated six million followers are hundreds of top Indian politicians, industrialists, tycoons, Bollywood stars and sportsmen such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Overseas, they include Goldie Hawn and Isaac Tigrett, the founder of Hard Rock café. Sarah Ferguson has visited one of his ashrams.

Comment:  It is refreshing to see a more conservative head count of Sathya Sai Baba followers than e.g., fifty million. But no bona fide researcher has ever, in my or our several avid researchers’ wide Sai-Baba related research experience, been able to come up with the small matter of what ‘head’ counted all the millions of heads. See:  Many Contradictions In Sathya Sai Baba Official Literature and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Gross Exaggerations of Puttaparthi Crowd Numbers.

Is this sort of estimate very much a ‘guesstimate’?  A matter of the ‘gut’ feeling of devotees? A gutstimate!  If so, whose gut? Even the figure of one hundred million has been mentioned. An example of this occurred  in a high-profile talk aimed at  thousands of devotees. If some rank-and-file devotee made such a claim, we might think:  a simple-minded excess of devotion.  But here, making a grossly unsupportable statement was:

Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, of Akansas, USA, MBBS, D.Phil., FAAP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences UAMS College of Medicine; Board of Directors, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute.  Anand, for long well-known in official Sathya Sai Baba affairs in the US, was a medical advisor to George Bush when he was US President. See:  Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor. It is the constant, most irresponsible repetition of such figures which leads to the sort of reportage we find in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (UK), which mentions “up to fifty million devotees”.

Guardian:  Since Sai Baba founded his first permanent meditation centre more than 60 years ago, a vast construction programme funded by donations has converted the remote village where he was born into a thriving small city with dozens of temples, its own 220-bed specialised hospital offering free treatment, a university and an airport where charter planes bringing devotees from around the world arrive every day.

Comment:  The airport detail is very outdated. In the article: Sathya Sai Baba: opulence, show, extravagance and waste, Robert Priddy writes:

The Sathya Sai International Airport, Puttaparthi: Nonetheless, in such a desperately poor State as Andhra Pradesh, it seems very wasteful, as did the airport beside it which stood unused for years and is still used less than ca. 5% of each week. V.K. Narasimhan was present at the interview in 1990 where airport authorities were present. He told how SSB convinced Indian Airport authorities to finance and build the large (allegedly Jumbo jet capacity) airport near Prashanthi Nilayam, telling them that they would earn 10 lakhs of rupees in the first year. No paying passengers even flew in or out during the first year. The frequency of traffic, at best about 2-3 flights of medium jets per week for several years at periods – and when SSB was in residence – ensured that earnings were minimal and well below costs. It was virtually closed often in the 1990s and it hardly justifies its existence at all nowadays. It is truly hard to rationalise such a huge waste of funds in such an impoverished land! The reason can only be Sai Baba’s patently obvious desire for ‘name and fame’. See Sathya Sai Airport “white elephant” for sale!

Guardian:  Volunteers working with Sai Baba’s NGOs have effectively delivered disaster relief and undertaken large-scale developmental works that have brought water or sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people.

Comment:  None should doubt the devotion of a great many Sathya Sai devotees to service activities.  But there is a fallacy – heard repeatedly from many Sai devotees who admit that he routinely had, among what countless communities would regard  as  terrible, ethical and legal abuses of power, sexual relations with boys and young men. Their position is similar to that of close associate of Sai Baba, one-time billionaire Isaac Tigrett who told the BBC that he did not doubt the truth of the sexual allegations but this did not prevent his devotion and fealty to his guru. Devotees and others, mindless of how serious a crime sexual abuse is, say:  But look at all the good works he does!

Guardian: There are thought to be more than 1,200 centres of his Sathya Sai organisation in over a hundred countries around the world.

Comment:  How, then, does the international Sathya Sai Organization, manage to fit the “millions and millions” into all the halls, and temples, and houses where Sathya Sai bhajans are typically held? It seems like herds of elephants pressed into a sardine can.

Guardian:  Sai Baba did not appoint any successor to run his sprawling spiritual and temporal empire, currently run by a trust, after his death. The local Economic Times newspaper estimated its worth at up to £5bn though admitted no accurate valuation was possible.

Comment:  Refreshing to find acknowledgement that “no accurate valuation was possible”. 

Guardian:  “Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba. I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day,” the guru told followers in 2000.

Comment:  Sai Baba was anything but calm and happy about the upsurge of revelation alleging his abuses. An historic watershed allowed word to get out as never hitherto. Sai Baba’s and his cult’s increasingly top-down, authoritarian style of operation, and the scandals  that the top leadership were previously able to suppress, faced a great dilemma. This owed prfoundly to the exponential uprise of the internet around this time. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were palpable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judas’s, saying that there could be no salvation for people who speak against him, and vaunting his accomplishments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique when one thinks of the countless great charitable organizations in the world), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Guardian:  In 1993, six people died violently in the spiritual leader’s private rooms. The incident has never been fully explained. One possibility is a dispute between followers over money.

Comment:  A source of mine, a friend of the boys whom the Puttaparthi police shot down in Sai Baba’s bedroom told me (and, via a particularly eminent elder of his, to the BBC) that the actual wish of the boys, in their confused state, was to plead with Sai Baba to stop using boys for his sexual pleasure. The police action was, said V.P.B. Nair, a former Home Secretary of the state of Andhra Pradesh, a case of “cold-blood murder”, and a profound cover by local, state and central government up of police (CBI) and other evidence. See: Will V.P.B. Nair Keep His Word To BBC On Sathya Sai Baba?  and: V.P.B. Nair Told BBC Sai Baba Bedroom Killings Were “Coldblooded Murder” and: V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and: Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

Guardian:  His followers claim that, as he has died earlier than foreseen, he could return as early as next year.

Comment:  Heaven knows!  Not nearly so long, according to some reports. Like this one, as reported yesterday in the Times of India:

Baba had said he would come back stronger, claims book

TNN | Apr 24, 2011, 03.38am IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Did Sathya Sai Baba have premonition 10 years ago that he would fall seriously ill? Yes, claim his followers. According to them, Sai Baba had predicted in 2000 that he would be indisposed for 40 days but would come back strong to give darshan to his devotees.  This was revealed in a book ‘Tapovanam — Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba Satcharitra Nityaparaya-nam’ in which the author Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry has written an essay on Baba’s ill-health. Sai Baba had told his students at his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal in 2000: ”Though most of my disciples fall at my feet, they don’t know my real value. A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. During that phase, my body would face serious health problems and devotees would be desperately praying for my recovery. The Baba also goes on to say, according to the writer, that several gun-toting cops would be guarding the premises where he would be hospitalised. As Saturday marked the 27th day of his stay in the SSSIHMS, many devotees said Baba would soon give darshan. “Time and place cannot hold me captive. I decide when to come back. If I want I can go anywhere and come back any time,” he is said to have told students during the discourse. He had said that he would live for 96 years in his present avatar. After 40 days, he would come back. Just watch out,” a devotee said even as he prayed for the Baba.

Comment:  Since when were gun-toting cops NOT around Sai Baba?!  See: 

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions.   “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, too:  Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit.  Or sample the account of 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:  ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him 

Below is Tanya Datta’s obituary. She was part of the BBC team which made ‘The Secret Swami’.  See my view as having been closely involved with documentation and international coordination of primary and other witnesses in the making of this 2004, hour-long documentary:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision  See too Robert Priddy’s Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC. And for a man upon whom many duties will now focus, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman:  Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. 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 the prominent British journalist 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

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

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Sathya Sai Baba Is Dead. Said He Would Rule the World and Die Aged 96

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2011

SATHYA SAI BABA DEAD THIS MORNING ….

Sathya Sai Baba died today, Sunday morning.  A Puttaparthi hospital official says:

“Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He breathed his last at 7:40am and died due to cardio-respiratory failure.”

The self-described fullest incarnation of God ever to visit the earth has been clearly documented as saying that he would live until circa 2022, aged 96.  But 85 years of age cannot, by any miracle, be said to be 96. There are his well-documented promises that he would rule the world before leaving it. That he would avert the worst calamity mankind has ever faced. That he would usher in a long ‘Golden Age of Sai’. These and other declarations have clearly not even begun to look at all likely. See: my article: Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions.

The late Howard Murphet, an Australian journalist, and author of best-selling hagiorgraphical books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote:

“Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

In a February 1 16, 2007 ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said: 

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

Godman proposes, God disposes, it would seem.

Sathya Sai Baba was perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history. As of today, the world shall have just have to battle things out without him.

I was a faith-smitten devotee of 25 years, and a lecturer in his Whitefield College (via Bangalore, South India) – 1978-9), at the ashram where Sai Baba mainly lived in those days. I taught the 3 years of the degree course, a source of greatly happy memories. I have him to thank for that, and for his protection of my innovations in what was a very conservative, rote-dominated learning milieu. He showed me other kindnesses, too, which I shall always treasure as I do my own breath. 

But October 1999 marked the beginning of my intense and far-reaching investigation of profoundly disturbing accounts from around the world. Until then, I thought he would usher in a spiritual and social revolution, the like of which the world had never seen.  See:


It must seem odd to anyone but a faith-smitten devotee, but here were just some of the assurances he gave:

“Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. (The official monthly official journal: Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002)

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

“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” (Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.)

“Millions and Millions” of Devotees!  But Has Anyone Done A Proper Head Count?

His devotees – very inattentively followed by many duty-derelict sections of an unquestioning media – speak, as did a Sathya Sai Central Trust bulletin of only days ago, of “millions and millions” of devotees around the world. See:  Sathya Sai Trust Officials Say Sai Baba Out of Hospital Soon.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011.  This statement appeared in the long and anxiously awaited “Important Press Release by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust”, Friday, April 15, 2011. This read, in part:

“His residence is being got ready in all aspects to receive Him and provide Him the required level of follow up medical care as also emergency services.

…. The Trustees are gratified to note the spontaneous upsurge of prayers, bhajans, namasmarana, candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe for His very early and total recovery”.

As anyone in any virtually any street around the world knows perfectly well, this talk of “millions and millions” is a nonsense, where faith and imagination far outrun reality. Let Sathya Sai devotees provide some facts, figures, television footage of these alleged remarkable turnouts round the world. Or ask all the candle manufacturers if they ran out of candles owing to extreme demand by these candle-carrying “millions and millions” of Sathya Sai devotees ….

Let anyone in countries round the world stop any passer-by and ask whether they have heard of Sathya Sai Baba, and they will, frequently, get blank looks for answers. On the other hand, ask people if they know of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Prince William and his wife-to-be Kate Middleton, and one will fare a great deal better.

Will One of So Many Failed Prophecies Fare Any Better With His Foretellings Yet To Be Tested?

Times of India’s report hands us the excellent opportunity to do a countdown for the next 40 days – for that is the amount of time to be taken for the fulfilment of his reported prophecy of returning from the dead. 

PUTTAPARTHI: Did Sathya Sai Baba have premonition 10 years ago that he would fall seriously ill? Yes, claim his followers. According to them, Sai Baba had predicted in 2000 that he would be indisposed for 40 days but would come back strong to give darshan to his devotees.  This was revealed in a book ‘Tapovanam — Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba Satcharitra Nityaparaya-nam’ in which the author Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry has written an essay on Baba’s ill-health. Sai Baba had told his students at his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal in 2000: ”Though most of my disciples fall at my feet, they don’t know my real value. A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. During that phase, my body would face serious health problems and devotees would be desperately praying for my recovery.”

But  can we take his word?  See:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing PredictionsIn fact, many are his failed predictions, and broken promises of miraculous cure. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sathya Sai baba said: “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, too:  Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

Or for further solemn unreality, read and account of what 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:  ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him 

Below is Tanya Datta’s obituary. She was part of the BBC team which made ‘The Secret Swami’.  See my view as having been closely involved with documentation and international coordination of primary and other witnesses in the making of this 2004, hour-long documentary:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision .  See too Robert Priddy’s Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC. And for a man upon whom many duties will now focus, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman:  Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard.

Further Reading

My obituries for two men of remarkable courage, compassion and determination in standing up to the execrations and, indeed, serious defamations of many Sathya Sai devotees from the most prominent to the rank-and-file:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

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 BBC News South Asia

24 April 2011 Last updated at 05:03 GMT
Obituary:  Indian guru Sai Baba

By Tanya Datta Documentary maker

Sai BabaSri Satya Sai Baba, India’s revered spiritual guru who counted presidents, prime ministers, judges and generals amongst his millions of followers around the world, has died at the age of 84.

Until the last, he was a man who inspired passionately conflicting emotions (as I discovered when I made a BBC investigative documentary about him in 2004 called Secret Swami).

To his devotees, Sai Baba was an avatar, an incarnation of God in human form, who appeared on Earth to preach his inspirational message in one of India’s poorest corners.

To his critics, he was a fraudster dogged for years by controversial allegations of sexual abuse yet protected from prosecution by virtue of his powerful political sway.

Whatever he was, there was no doubt that over time he rose in prominence to become India’s premier “god-man”, eclipsing the likes of Maharishi and Shri Rajneesh who had first drawn Westerners east in the Sixties and Seventies.

A petite, softly spoken man dressed in full length saffron robes and perpetually sporting a trademark afro hairstyle, Sai Baba’s appeal was not limited to Western hippies but cut across Indian society from its lowest to highest echelons as well as spreading to many other countries beyond.

‘Immaculate conception’Satya Sai Baba was born Sathyanarayana Raju on 23 November 1926 in the remote village of Puttaparthi in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, although like many born at this time, there is no proof of his date of birth.

Stories abound of the early signs of his divinity.

It is said that his mother claimed her son was born out of an immaculate conception just as Jesus Christ had been, another messiah who Sai Baba often identified himself with.

On another occasion, he was alleged to have survived a scorpion bite and on his recovery, was miraculously able to speak Sanskrit, a language he did not know before. Indeed, throughout his childhood, he was said to have been abnormally gifted in artistic pursuits such as music, dance, drama and writing.

Supporters of Sai Baba Sai Baba had a huge following

When he was 13 years old, the young boy announced to his family that he was the incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, a 19th century Indian holyman who had been equally venerated by Hindus and Muslims alike. Changing his name was a key spiritual metamorphosis.

The teenage Sai Baba soon began to attract followers and by 1950, had constructed an ashram called Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Peace) near his village to accommodate them.

It heralded the start of the transformation of Puttaparthi into a Sai Baba wonderland spread over some 10 square kilometres; the vast complex of hotels, resorts, university buildings, speciality hospital, airport and enormous ashram thronged with devotees that I witnessed while making the documentary.

Non-dogmaticPart of Sai Baba’s huge global popularity may be explained by his non-dogmatic, non-doctrinal approach to spirituality.

In contrast to many sects, followers were not required to give up their previous religious beliefs as the guru stated that he believed in the one God that lay behind all religious paths.

Certainly, Sai Baba inspired love and admiration.

During our time spent filming at the ashram, devotees from around the world would volunteer stories about how Sai Baba had visited them in a dream or had called to them though moments of curious serendipity.

In addition, his mystical ability to manifest vibhuti (holy ash), food as well as jewellery and watches out of thin air was often cited as further proof of his divinity and akin to the ‘miracles’ ascribed to other past prophets.

His opponents, however, refuted this to me.

In the Secret Swami, I was shown how these manifestations could easily be explained by illusionists’ techniques and sleight of hand tricks.

A hospital built by Sai Baba A hospital in Puttaparthi set up by Sai Baba

For decades, various scientists, rationalists and magicians have in turn, attempted to challenge the guru to perform his ‘miracles’ under controlled conditions.

Sai Baba always refused to submit to these tests, once saying: “Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science.”

Sexual Abuse

The most damning allegations against the “god-man”, however, concern the sexual abuse of young boys and male adults during private interviews with him.

Damaging rumours have circulated since the seventies of the guru’s sexual exploits but have always been dismissed out of hand by the tightly controlled Sai Baba organisation.

We interviewed the Rahm family in America who had been Sai Baba devotees for years. Both father and son stated that they had been subjected to Sai Baba rubbing oil on their genitals.

“He took me aside,” said Alaya Rahm, “put the oil on his hands, told me to drop my pants and rubbed my genitals with oil. I was really taken aback.”

Former Indian PM Atal Behari Vajpayee with Sai Baba Sai Baba counted former Indian prime ministers as his followers

Dr Michael Goldstein, chairman of the international Sai Baba organisation, admitted he had heard rumours, but told us that he did not believe them. He said: “My heart and my conscience tell me that it is not possible.”

Sai Baba was never investigated on this issue. All attempts to prosecute him failed.

Nor was there any satisfactory resolution to the gruesome killing of four male devotees in 1993 who allegedly entered Sai Baba’s bedroom, armed with knives.

The police claimed they had been shot in self-defence.

The lack of any legal proceedings against the guru was perhaps not surprising in light of the level of influence that he commanded.

A previous Indian prime minister, Atal Vajpayee, once issued a letter on his official notepaper calling the attacks on Sai Baba “wild, reckless and concocted”.

Since 2005, Sai Baba’s health had been deteriorating. Although he once predicted he would die in his mid-90s, he also claimed he could choose the moment of his death.

In death as in life, he remained an enigma to the last.

Tanya Dutt is a London-based radio and television broadcaster and writer. She made Secret Swami, an investigative documentary on Sai Baba for BBC Two.

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Sathya Sai Baba Teaches: ‘We are not this body’. Why Are His Devotees Such A Police Security Problem?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2011

Cited several times in the Indian media’s sudden, unaccustomed, large coverage of Sathya Sai Baba, are accounts of “eminent” Sai devotees stating that he will not die because he has promised to remain in the physical body until he is 96 years.

Outside India, the notion of outstanding professionals giving credence to such way-out beliefs must seem strange. For the facts to sink in to a foreign brain’s grappling hooks, one has to live and work in India. One has to experience at first hand the sheer extent of superstition from top to bottom in that society of such mutual kindness and cruelty, beauty and tragedy. Valiantly, many Indians struggle on behalf of sense and reason, but what they face is formidable in the extreme.

The Times of India reports:

Sai Baba’s devotees believe he will live for 96 years

IANS, Apr 21, 2011, 03.45pm IST

HYDERABAD: Though the condition of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba is worsening, some of his devotees are confident he will recover and live for 96 years as he had once predicted.

A group of eminent devotees, including former judges, police officers and physicians, believe that the 85-year-old Sathya Sai Baba’s present condition is because he has taken on himself the sufferings of one of his devotees.

 For decades, Sathya Sai Baba’s constant evangel has been for his followers not, except for a few concessions to practicality, to regard the body – a decaying, temporary encasement. In hundreds of his discourses, he has told them not to become attached to his, or indeed, to anyone’s bodily form. Why, then, the overwhelming scenes of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth?

 And why are so many of his followers now  – in being so disrespectful of life and limb with all their intemperate milling and thronging at Puttaparthi – causing such trouble to the local and state police?  According to official statements, there are some 2000 police engaged in crowd control and other security duties at Puttaparthi, with another 2000 or so on standby. This is in addition to Sathya Sai Baba’s large cadres of well-drilled Seva Dal (service volunteers).

One may ask, too, why such unseemly arguments attend the deliberations among some of his closest servitors?

And how, given such scenes of chaos, his devotees could ever have supposed that, within his own lifetime, as he has on various occasions promised, he could ever transform the entire world, bring it to his feet?  For he, relatively, despite all the social good works of his organized followers, has been hardly able to apply a hoe or a rake to his own backyard.

My colleague Robert Priddy has just received this note from one who is well-connected, and long known to us:

“As of 4 pm ( April 23rd)…the news coming through is the SB trust, the AP govt administration and members of the SB immediate family have been in an important meeting since 11 AM….to “discuss the health status of Sathya Sai , to decide future course of action and matters of the Sai Baba trust etc”…more than 20 members are said to have been in the meeting which had adjourned at 2PM for lunch and yet to reconvene. Significantly, Ratnakar was absent in the meeting, and the official reason is he had a “knee problem”. I am reliably informed that the compromise formula is not working out, and that Ratnakar has been legally advised by his counsel not to attend the meeting and be any party to any resolution passed…in view of the fact he can legally exercise his control over the trust at a later date, and should not be party to anything now either in his capacity of the legal heir of sb or as a SB trust member. I am informed that this is delaying any “announcement”….and a deadlock has been reached. Apparently, Ratnakar wants 2 trusts to be formed,  one dealing with the Ashram itself, the samadhi of Sai Baba and all activities there..and another dealing with the sb educational, medical and all other activities. He wants to be exclusively in charge of the Ashram/shrine/samadhi activities, while he is willing to concede the 2nd to other trust members, provided he still remains on the board. The SB trust is not inclined to accept this formula, and are trying for a compromise solution without dividing anything. Hence the deadlock. the SB trust has issued a message that they would address the media meet later today.”

Reading both the note above, and then the report below, perhaps there is no need to offer any prizes for guessing the identity of the individual whom the Indian newspaper The Economic Times refers to, when it states:  “The presence of one family member of the Baba will complicate matters”.

Sathya Sai Baba’s condition deteriorates as multiple organs stop responding

ET Bureau, Apr 22, 2011, 08.16am IST

The 85-year old spiritual guru, who counted many powerful politicians and bureaucrats among his devotees, was admitted last month to the super-speciality hospital run by his trust. With Baba’s condition not letting up, fears have grown of a battle for control at the mega-rich Sri Satya Sai Baba Trust, which controls a number of hospitals, universities and other institutions. The trust claims to have operations in more than 166 countries.

While there is a suggestion that the government must take over the functioning of the trust, many devotees are opposed to it, saying the activities of the trust will suffer. Former Supreme Court chief justice P.N. Bhagwati, chartered accountant Indulal Shah, former central vigilance commissioner SV Giri, WS Industries chairman V. Srinivasan and Sai Baba’s nephew J Ratnakar are members of the trust.

Reports suggest that Bhagwati had recently met the Prime Minister to brief him of the activities of the trust. But in the absence of a clearly identified successor to Baba as the head of the trust, many fear that infighting will break out. The presence of one family member of the Baba will complicate matters.

Born Satyanarayana Raju in November 1926, the Baba has attracted legions of devotees around the world. He was known for materializing holy ash and small objects such as gold rings, coins and chains—a subject of much myth and controversy. While Baba’s charitable work and his ability to give solace to millions brought fame and following of powerful people, Baba’s career has also been daunted by allegations of sexual abuse—subject of a controversial 2004 BBC documentary titled The Secret Swamy.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. 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 the prominent British journalist 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

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

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Barry Pittard’s Articles Most-Sought During Sathya Sai Baba Health Crisis (Part 1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 23, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s life hangs on by a thread no larger than the electrical impluses of his life support equipment. He is not rallying.

In the present climate of heightened enquiry, the links I give below may be useful for readers – especially those new to, or less familiar with, this blogsite. I shall give below a list of links that are being especially well-visited at this time at this blogsite ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. As I can see from WordPress-provided internal statistical read-outs, these articles are getting solid ‘hits’. To put the matter mildly ….!

Over the next days, I intend to follow up with Parts 2 and 3.

Well may Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees – in particular, the profoundly non-consulted rank-and-file – begin to question what is happening. If they persist, they will find that appalling unaccountability and transparency have been happening all along.

Perhaps not since the heady days of considerable exposure commencing circa 2000 has there been such a ferment of questioning regarding the trustworthiness or otherwise of Sathya Sai Baba.  Over the intervening years, former devotee analysts, researchers and commentators have worked extremely hard to gather documentation (often from official Puttaparthi sources). As well, there has been the work of supporting individuals and families worst devastated by their contact with that version of Sathya Sai Baba that the BBC named ‘The Secret Swami’.

Plenty of these usages of this blogsite originate from:  * Google and other search engines. * Our allied blogsites and websites, such as Robert Priddy’s highly organized main website: Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action  and his blogsite:  Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed and from the general website Exbaba.com which contains a huge amount of contribution by former devotees from many countries. * Important locations, especially for those who wish extensive, scholarly presentation are Brian Steel’s writings at:   Sathya Sai Baba: The Guru Who Claimed to be God on Earth and Recent Research on Sathya Sai Baba and A Bibliography of Apologetic Writings. Many ‘hits’ come from:  * Individuals who search within this blogsite,  ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’.  * Surfing from the internal links – article to article.  * No, doubt. information passed on by recommendation by word-of-mouth , internet chatroom discussions, emails, the various forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and so on.  

I see a large inflow of ‘hits’ that I cannot explain by reference to other statistics.  I am supposing that many people are referring each other via word-of-mouth. It was the internet enablement, beginning to develop exponentially from that time, which caused untold damage to the repute of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization. It is difficult to suppose other than that the exposure Sai Baba’s health woes have brought that these instrumentalities will receive another bout of powerful blows to both membership and wider public image.

Both Robert Priddy (retired academic University of Oslo and former longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization) and I (retired college teacher and former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, 1978-79) are experiencing a huge and unabating upsurge of interest for many days – to be exact, since great turmoil and search have erupted following Sathya Sai Baba’s hospitalization and insertion of a pacemaker, on 28 March.

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Current In-Demand Barry Pittard Articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip). The BBC shot this devastating exposure of Sathya Sai Baba fakery for its documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ at the Maha Shivarathri Festival at Puttaparthi (2004).  The carelessness with which Sathya Sai Baba botched his trick may be explicable by reference to other serious mistakes, in the context of his declining mental and physical health. See: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? and Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions and When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises and Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away and Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman. More detailed information to that below is found in the article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. This four-part piece was co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. It responds to points Dr G. Venkataraman raised against a number of exposure activities by globally networked former followers of Sathya Sai Baba. (See too: Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion.

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings. Many Indian journalists and editors and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, and central, Andhra Pradesh State and local governments. It is a pity that very few have had the courage to speak out publicly on the issue, as has former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair, who was in office at the time of the killings. It is a sad commentary that very few had the courage in speaking out displayed by those such as Nair and B. Premanand. See transcript of Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions. A decade ago, Sathya Sai Baba informed his devotees that his aircraft is about to take off to bring his mission to the whole world. That this was stated in no metaphorical sense is well-indicated, for he has told various of his key leaders that he would visit Rome, the UK., Malaysia, southern California. We know that the wealthy Robert Baskin, a key lawyer to the Sathya Sai Organization, has bought a luxury mansion in southern California, equipping it to receive a visit from Sai Baba. See: Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit. The late Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and author of best-selling books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote: “Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick. There had been, especially from 2000, tremendous international pressure for Sai Baba and his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization. (See, towards the end of the article – Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin” – a number of heavy stressors that were being applied by globally networked former devotees known as ‘the exposé). One outcome was the display of an anger Sai Baba has long kept behind-the-scenes. Bad cracks began to appear in the Sai monolith, and the world began to peep through. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were remarkable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judases, and vaunting his accomplisments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report. Telegu Press Report Cites ‘Old Age’ Signs In Sai Baba. ‘Eenadu’, with over 10 million daily readers in Andhra Pradesh, the state of India in which Sathya Sai Baba lives, reports a speech in the guru. See also:  Sathya Sai Baba Tells Untruths About His Health? and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Hip Joint Injury and Surgery – 2003. What are the actual facts of the matter? and: Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail.

‘SECRET SWAMI’ ARTICLES. Busy journalists, scholars, institutional researchers, and the probing reader in general can do with shortcuts. The piece:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba) Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010 –  is a guide to my articles written across some six years on the BBC’s one-hour documentary, The Secret Swami (2004) which, according to the BBC itself, has been aired in some two hundred countries. The articles referred to in this guide are those mentioned below. To give enquirers – in one fell swoop as it were – the opportunity to view the scope of these articles in prospectus, the guide has key quotations from each of the articles.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard. 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. 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 get direct documentation of Venkataraman’s machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville, although this part was pushed out by other foci of the television documentary, along too with Saville’s verification of the U.S. State Department’s that Sathya Sai Baba was, in fact, the person they had been investigating in regard to sexual molestation of US boys and young men), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory, and:  U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’.

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. 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 the prominent British journalist 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

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

(Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

 Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.

Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.

Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – Barry Pittard

Sathya Sai Baba (and Wikipedia) – website of author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Sathya Sai Baba – The Truth

Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish  Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)

Other European languages German exposé websitePolishRussian.

Exposé in Spanish and second site in Polish

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’ 

Kevin R.D. Shepherd blog and The Sai `Baba Movement

Robert C Priddy philosophy and religious issues web log Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster?

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

                                             

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Andhra Opposition Want Release of Gvt Spies’ Reports On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2011

This Friday afternoon, The Times of India Reports:

Make intelligence reports public: TDP

TNN | Apr 22, 2011, 03.33am IST

HYDERABAD: The TDP on Thursday demanded that the government make the intelligence reports on the state of affairs of Satya Sai Trust and the health condition of Sai Baba public.

Opposition leader in the legislative council, D. Veerahadra Rao at a press conference on Thursday alleged that the state government has full knowledge of the activities going on in the trust and the health condition of Baba but was not making it public. The state government had appointed four intelligence officers four years back to monitor the health condition of Baba and submit its reports to the government. These officials have been following Baba round the clock. The government should now make those reports public, Rao said. The silence on the part of the government gives rise to several doubts, he added.

Referring to the allegation that Baba was under sedation for long, he said if that was the case then why was the government silent all these days and an inquiry not ordered into it.

“What is causing concern is why the government is showing more interest in the assets of Baba than his health ever since he was admitted to the hospital on March 28. The government did not even consider necessary to call for a team of expert doctors from AIIMS. What is also not clear is why the team of doctors, led by Dr Raviraj, was recalled. The government also needs to explain as to what happened to the earlier medical reports of Baba’s health,” Rao said and demanded that the video footage of Baba’s health condition be made public immediately.

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One may raise the question:  why would four very experienced Andhra Pradesh intelligence operatives between them keep round-the-clock watch, that has been continued unabated for four years, on affairs at Puttaparthi?  What else might they wish to know? After all,  inner-circle Puttaparthi corruption is common knowledge among Indian state and central governments? So what might be new?

One may add that, since money laundering occurs on a national – not to mention international level – and since both the central government of India and the state government of Andhra Pradesh are both in the hands of the Congress government that the intelligence data relating to Sathya Sai Baba and his outfit, gained via the Andhra Pradesh service, may by no means be expected to stop within that state.

Because Sai Baba has so many Indian and overseas billionaire and millionaire supporters, the dimensions of the wealth flowing to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust are on a scale that beggars the imagination.

A speculation:  By any chance, is the intensified interest related to extremely vast money laundering operations involving India and offshore tax havens?  Are elements among Sathya Sai Baba’s key servitors – but by no means all of them – involved in money laundering?

 See: Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia.  Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2007. In this article, I wrote:

His splashy-colored and sometimes vast buildings rise up at enormous cost. Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer owes to vast donations to his Central Trust via his powerful organisation spanning more than 150 countries, and not least to the donations of the extremely wealthy – like James Sinclair, the Canadian cable and minerals magnate, Isaac Tigrett the American founder of the Hard Rock Café and House of Blues, the Rai family in India in steel and technology, and an astounding number of other hugely wealthy and influential individuals and families from many countries. Rediff News, July 06, 2005, reported:

“The Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the largest recipient of foreign contributions. The Sathya Sai Trust received Rs 95 crore (Rs 950 million) during 2003-04″.

This figure – which is well over US $20 million – is but the officially declared one and does not account for contributions of those foreigners who donate when they are in India. One can observe how at Sai Baba’s establishments at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and Whitefield, Karnataka, in South India, the Indian and foreign mega business fraternity swap business cards – within what devotees regard as the so-called Holiest of Holy precincts! – and thereafter mutually thrive. At the Puttaparthi temple, on June 6, 1993) police executions took place in Sai Baba’s bedroom, with his close proximity and command of the situation.

A few years back, a remark to me of a well-wisher – who was formerly one of the top police chiefs in the world, and, more recently, a major international consultant in black money investigations – suggested to me that Sathya Sai Baba may be regarded as the “arch criminal of the century” (meaning the 20th century). The remark has nagged at me several times since. This is largely because a conflict between my perception that a) an ex Inspector-General of Police in one of the great democracies would not likely be given to hyperbole and b) that I couldn’t see how Sathya Sai Baba could operate at such a level of criminality. This was despite the fact that our huge documentation over the years (much of which we have not been able to disclose) has shown a great deal that is venal in Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his key servitors.

At the research stage of ‘The Secret Swami’, BBC researchers (Iris Asic, David Saville) were about to put me in touch with an international illicit money trails expert, Patrick Masters. However, right at that time, the thinking of the BBC team was swinging more to investigating issues which, in themselves, required enormous time and effort:

–  the allegations from many parts of the world against Sathya of serial sexual molestation of boys and young men

–  the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 June 1993

As readers can see by clicking on the following link, I mentioned something of this in my article:  Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2007.  I wrote:

Although we know too well that he has formidable protection from successive Indian governments, both State and Central, some of our personnel in India have sacrificially put themselves at considerable risk in raising the allegations with Indian authorities. The Sathya Sai Organization arms itself by aligning itself with the power-brokers of trade, finance and politics, both Indian and foreign, who ensure that the vast funds that pour to its Sathya Sai Central Trust are not affected. One of the foremost officials in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked Hon. Tony Colman, former MP for Putney to back off in regard to Sai Baba because the Blair government did not want to rock the boat with India. It is, therefore, a pity that the BBC’s intention to engage a financial investigator Patrick Masters was not able to occur in the several months of intense research for ‘The Secret Swami’.  But then there were so many components that vied for attention. Again, always with the current consent of those involved, the details of such activities are ready to be shared with bona fide, notably trustworthy experts.

Much turmoil and wide public notice attend the drama of Sathya Sai Baba’s extreme nearness to death. Hitherto, almost entirely, the Indian media has grossly failed to publish anything seriously critical about Sathya Sai Baba and his outfit. Perhaps India’s fifth estate may now begin to make some sort of amends. And to do some substantive investigative research and hard-hitting reportage.

Or do they, like boutique newspaper proprietors and editors, and spotty, wetnosed cadet reporters, want – yet again – the foreign media to do it for them?!

…………………………………………………………….

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. 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 the prominent British journalist 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

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard.

Part Two Three Four

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Sathya Sai Baba Hardly Alive. World Attention on Kate and William Instead

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2011

To this point, reports in the Western media of Sathya Sai Baba health troubles are hardly to be seen. So much, then, for the untiring and misleading claims in Puttaparthi propaganda that Sathya Sai Baba is known and honoured by many millions throughout the world.

After no question of life-support apparatus can be further entertained, and when it is announced that Sathya Sai Baba is officially dead, we may see some coverage of it in foreign media. (We shall add our efforts to that end). But this attention will be miniscule beside focus on countless other events. At the moment, the ‘world’ is far more fixated on the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, April 29th, 2011. Rather, the talk is, and will be for many days, of Saint James’s Palace, not of Sathya Sai Baba’s palace at Puttaparthi.

Here is the Indian Express report of Sathya Sai Baba’s medical state, as of last night:

         Sai Baba’s health worsens; prohibitory orders in Puttaparthi

 Thu Apr 21 2011, 09:23 hrs Puttaparthi (AP):

 The condition of ailing Sathya Sai Baba deteriorated today with doctors saying that all his organs were showing poor response to treatment.

“Low blood pressure and the non-functioning of liver have become a major cause for concern. The Baba continues to be on ventilator support,” Dr A N Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Sciences, said here.

The Andhra Pradesh government, which has clamped prohibitory orders in this town and deployed additional forces, said doctors were making efforts to save the 86-year-old Baba.

“The condition of the Baba has deteriorated. Most of his organs have suffered severe damage and stopped functioning. Doctors attending on him are making attempts to save the Baba. Let us pray,” state Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad after a high-level meeting with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in the Secretariat.

But Indian editors and journalists might be wise to consider a point. When the foreign media does report on the death of Sathya Sai Baba, one of the issues that will be glaring is this:  in regard of any news inimical to Sathya Sai Baba and his politically very powerful Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization, the Indian media has, for many decades, profoundly failed to be vigilant. With rare exceptions – like India Today and The Caravan – it has decidedly not done its job. Media in India have long failed to check on the propaganda that has always emitted from Puttaparthi.

At the cost of an enormous amount of work, networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers and well-wishers managed, from time to time, to get the facts about Sai Baba and his cult, so heavily suppressed by Puttaparthi and successive local, state and central governments, out to international fora.

If the rest of the world gets to see such absurdities by eminent judges, physicians, scientists, police officers (including police chiefs) and government and political officials, as reported in yesterday’s Times of India, India’s international repute is hardly likely to be enhanced. Nor are the observational powers of top Indian cops likely to do anything to improve their poor image among efficient international police forces, as witness the statement of former Andhra police chief R. Prabhakar Rao who says (see Times of India report, below) “Sai Baba is incarnation of god. He will recover and live for 96 years as he himself had once said”.  Are the Intel cadres in the (commonly deeply hated) Indian police asleep? Or do they turn a blind eye to incredibly rich and powerful gurus like Sathya Sai Baba? How can anyone trust them?  That most exposure has had to come from efforts outside India, against huge odds, is to the undying shame of successive Indian governments, political parties, judiciaries, media, and so forth. It will, in the long, historical haul, redound to India’s international shame. Let any  reader examine the following brief selection of video clips:

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

thumb-secretes-miraculous-ring-under-sai-babas-hand-blow-up1

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009

Sai Baba’s devotees believe he will live for 96 years

IANS | Apr 21, 2011, 03.45pm IST

Eminent Sathy Sai Baba Devotees Claim He Will Do Great Miracle Of Self-rescusitation

In the article Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens, I wrote:

“Breaking decades of virtual Indian media silence on comment critical of Sathya Sai Baba, a number of major Indian news organizations have run (mostly November 22, 2006) the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) report on Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian, The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards’:  Several times attempting to draw comment from the Awards representative, Shona Taylor, the IANS met with the same evasions from the Palace authorities as investigators like Paul Lewis”.

However, on one issue, an extenuating circumstance may be made for it. Many in the Indian media cannot be expected to know about the absurdly flawed, achronistic and other errors in statements he has made about e.g., Jesus, Moses, Catholics, Martin Luther and the Reformation, etc. These are officially recorded in the official Sai literature, and, for exposure, rely on no other documentation than publications like Sanathana Sarathi and discourses published under the aegis of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. The errors are so glaring that they can be spotted by historical scholars and schoolchilren alike.

Nor, when some of the statements – scattered across Sai Baba discourse over the years – can be collated viewed simultaneously, is there need for any scholarship or cultural familiarity. The contradictions and anomalies are at once apparent. See, for example:

Sai Baba on the Birth date of Jesus

Sathya Sai Baba said:

“Truly speaking, Christmas falls in the month of March, not in December. Since it is very cold in December and people are confined to their homes, they utilise this time to celebrate Christmas. Actually, Jesus was born in the month of March. With the passage of time, this fact has been distorted and misrepresented in the Bible.” (25.12.1998, Sanathana Sarathi, Vol.42, #1, January 1999, p.6)

“There are various theories about the birth date of Jesus based on the ‘bright star that appeared at his birth.’ It is visible once in 800 years, it is said. Some say he was born on the fifteenth day of September. But, he was born at 3-15 a.m. (early morning) on December 28, 1980 years ago. It was Sunday. “ (25.12.1979, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.24, p.288)

“The 25th is not the birth. It was on the 24th, near midnight.” (quote of Sai Baba from Dr. John Hislop. Conversations with Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. Ch.XXIX, p.92)

“On December 25th, when Jesus was born, three kings came to his birth-place.”(25.12.1992. Sathya Sai Speaks Vol.  XXV, p. 397.)

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. 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 the prominent British journalist 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

Sai Baba’s on Jesus’ own words about himself
Sai Baba about Jesus’s sufferings
Sai Baba on the early years of Jesus
Sai Baba on Birth of Jesus/and 3 kings from the East
Sai Baba on the Status of Jesus
Sai Baba about (St.) Paul and the closest devotees of Jesus
Sai Baba on Romans and Jews
Sai Baba on Jesus and the term Persona
Sai Baba on Jesus and animal sacrifice
Sai Baba on Jesus and his disciples
Sai Baba on Moses love of Jesus!

Part Two Three Four

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Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 19, 2011

In the last hours, many Indian newspapers have run the story on the direction by the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission to the State government to produce a report on Sathya Sai Baba’s health condition.

None too early in the piece, Sathya Sai Baba devotees themselves are now, at least via their lawyers, demanding answers concerning the workings of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Readers of this blog, and that of Robert Priddy and of related websites, have long been presented with evidence of grievous lack of accountability in the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, and, at large, the international Sri Sathya Sai Organization. There are trust issues indeed.

Since circa 2000, when the internet began to allow the rapid universal spread of information and communication, constant execration and libel have been heaped on the efforts of former Sathya Sai Baba followers to present a critique of the corrupt workings of the Sathya Sai apparatus.

It is one of history’s odd ironies that Sai devotees themselves are now to the fore in wanting to tear away the iron mask of secrecy that dons the face of the Sathya Sai Trust. It is a further irony that only now is the Indian media really attending to what is happening. We just about busted several of our guts to make it otherwise. We have done our job. They have not done theirs. Decades of Indian media tolerance of the Puttaparthi scandal have allowed India’s ignominy given that it took the efforts of foreigners, working under immense strain and terrible odds, to expose the Sathya Sai cult via major media in the West.

Nor should it be offered as an extenuation that the Indian media is too ill-equipped to research accounts of foreigners. First, it did not even investigate on its own turf. Second, it did not carry feeds until, terribly late in the case we were able to make a strong showing of ourselves with IANS, Indo Asian News Service, which shook up some of their clients enough to get into India some aspects of The Guardian story on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the related Sathya Sai mischief involving Dr Venkataraman.

Foreign media we were able to convince of our excellent credentials include:

BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In paper media – Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Marie Claire Magazine, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Age, Australian Financial Review, West Australian (a major front page article by an award-winning journalist (Torrance Mendez) was pulled at the 11th hour!), Adelaide Advertiser, etc., …..

In corruption torn India, there are nevertheless some extraordinarily fine workers in Human Rights. Trustfully, there are enough of them available to resist the powers of Andhra Pradesh State government – which, irrespective of any party hue or coalition, have long been awesomely predisposed to protect Sathya Sai Baba. 

Will so many politicians of all parties in India want transparency and accountability from Puttaparthi? They! – who are so known for their endemic corruption via nepotism, casteism, gerontocracy, brutal, illicit use of the police and security forces and goondas (hired thugs), and so forth. Will they be too willing to let go the golden – though not indeed at all cosmic! – egg, that Sathya Sai Baba has for so long represented for them – especially the billions of dollars flowing to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust from abroad? 

There is the lonely example of one outspoken Andhra Pradesh former Home Secretary, V.P.B. Nair, who attempted to whistle blow to the BBC in its 2004 exposure of Sai Baba, The Secret Swami. And of the very courageous and unputdownable (late) B. Premanand. See: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

This concerned the massive cover up following the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in Puttaparthi, 6 June 1993. Further resources on the BBC documentary and the murders documentation are found here

I see that, overnight (mytime AEST) my colleague from Norway Robert Priddy has blogged suggesting the sort of reports we might wish to expect if only the official health reports on Sathya Sai Baba were more factual. See: Sathya Sai Baba life support problem Posted by robertpriddy on April 18, 2011.  He writes:

Without the life-support system, independent medical opinion would surely expect him to die sooner than later. The malfunctioning of the chief body organs are like this:-

1) the heart (which stopped and had to be operated with a pacemaker) and which now shows fluctuating low blood pressure levels

2) the lungs (which are not muscularly strong enough to keep him breathing sufficiently and cannot expel mucus, so needing medication against spreading infection and a respirator)

3) the kidneys (which have been on more or less continuous dialysis because they cannot expel bodily waste materials which accumulate there as poison)

4) the liver (the very name of which indicates its vital importance to life), was and likely still is badly infected with jaundice and requires constant monitoring so it will not worsen.

5) Last but far from least, the digestive system – unable to eat food, Sai Baba is on intravenous sustenance.

The doctors do not spell things out like this, however, they are both devotees and therefore extra careful diplomats – not least considering the powerful emotions raging around the guru, the diverse accusations of misdeeds by SB’s minders and the litigation against those in charge of his assets and person.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. 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

TIMES OF INDIA

IANS | Apr 18, 2011, 09.46pm IST

Andhra rights commission seeks Sathya Sai Baba’s health report

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission on Monday directed the state government to submit a report on the health of spiritual leader, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Puttaparthi for the last three weeks.

The commission has asked chief secretary SV Prasad to submit a detailed report before April 29 on the condition of the 85-year-old spiritual leader and the treatment being given to him.

The order came on a petition filed by an organisation Dalit Jana Sabha, seeking directions to the government to come out with facts relating to Baba’s health.

The petitioner alleged that the authorities of the Sathya Sai super speciality hospital and Sathya Sai Central Trust were not giving a true picture of his health, causing concern to millions of his devotees in India and abroad.

A team of state government doctors, led by director of Medical Education, Department of Medical and Health, Ravi Raj, is also monitoring Baba’s condition.

Baba, who was admitted to hospital March 28, remains critical. He is suffering from multi-organ dysfunction and continues to be on life support system, doctors attending on him said.

Meanwhile, a group of devotees on Monday lodged a complaint with the Puttaparthi police station that there is a threat to Baba’s life from Sathya Sai Central Trust members.

The complainant demanded that the devotees be allowed to see the spiritual leader.

A petition has already been filed in a court in Penukonda, Anantapur district, seeking direction to the hospital authorities to let the devotees see the spiritual leader.

A section of devotees alleged that trust members were responsible for Baba’s illness and were trying to deny them access to him.

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Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard.

Part Two Three Four

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Sathya Sai Trust Officials Say Sai Baba Out of Hospital Soon

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011

A Sathya Sai Central Trust “important press release” just to hand (see notice below) has begun to appear on various prominent Sathya Sai Baba related sites on the web. It notes that “for several days, His (sic) condition was a cause for concern”.

In other words, presumably, there is now NOT cause for concern. But how can it be? Given his advanced age (supposedly 85 years, although this has been disputed in scholarly discussion), and the severity of his many symptoms, one might expect an even more reduced shell of his former self to appear than hitherto.

The bulletin refers to:  “the spontaneous upsurge of prayers, bhajans, namasmarana, candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe for His very early and total recovery”.

I invite my dear reader to use the simple expedient of sticking his or her head out the nearest window just to check whether they can see any of it ….. If you should enjoy processions, some you may have to wait for Saint Patrick’s Day in, say, New York, Chicago or Dublin, or the Carnival in Rio, or the Berlin Love Parade, or some such.

But for a rational analysis of Sai Baba’s and his officials’ gross exaggeration of devotee numbers, see: Sai Baba’s exaggerations: The Numbers’ game – the wilful falsification of numbers by Sathya Sai Baba & his organization and: Sathya Sai Organization practices and problems – documented and with official and anecdotal evidence,  and:  Sathya Sai Organization – False Propaganda

The irrefutable fact is that he has had poor health for recent years. What the eyes of devotion may see – or refuse to see – is likely to be very different to any rational person’s examination of photos of him over the last years.  His advanced senescence  is clearly visible in recent videos. See: The 85th birthday showed an aged and semi-demented figure crying (brief video) and:
A very reduced and senile-looking Sathya Sai Baba at his 85th birthday (video)

Can the Gravity of Sai Baba’s Health Breakdown Allow For Any Real Recovery?

The Sai Trust bulletin states that  he “is responding satisfactorily to the treatment being given to Him by the team of doctors, though somewhat slowly”.

But the real question is:  how slowly is – or will continue to be – “slowly”? Nothing more sure than that any progress is bound to be slow. The devotees can have it both ways: 

If slow turns out to be very slow, then Sai devotees can say (as they characteristically do) – look how our Lord suffers for us and intensifies our efforts of service in his name, and our faith in him. See below, too, the type of official note that has gone to Sathya Sai centers in various countries.

If on the other hand, some improvement occurs, they can say – see how our Lord, in his Mercy, has come back to us from such a terrible health crisis, even though his body is 85 years.

Apropos, a prominent Sai devotee, who never gives up in the hope that I and my like will eventually see the light, has just emailed to say what a wonder it is that Sathya Sai Baba could pass through the ordeal for over two weeks on a ventilator, and undergo such chronic organ failure, and yet still live.   

My response to this sort of assumption is reflected in my post of two days back: Is Sathya Sai Baba’s Survival Divine? But Treatment Keeps Many Elderly Sick Alive. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 14, 2011. There, I noted that considering the intervention of all the advanced care teams of foremost doctors that India can provide, Sathya Sai Baba’s survival factor is, of course, likely to be increased (and indeed perhaps the health of their many other patients correspondingly decrease!), but that devotee reactions make it sound as if doctors around the world, routinely, are unable to keep elderly and very sick patients alive. Of course they do. But then, blind faith is, by its very nature, unreflective. 

A Senescence that Sai Minders Cannot Hide (and which falsifies his many self-prophecies). See:  The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements, and see, too, the video clip of the sobbing Sai Baba, which a tech person was able to extract from a large amount of official recent footage:  Sathya Sai Baba In Fits of Sobbing: Video Footage Confirms Earlier Accounts

When one does a comparison between them, Sai Baba’s statements about his health, and the non-ageing of his body could not be more falsified by even the most rudimentary examination of photographs taken of him across subsequent years. Here are but a few of his statements:

“Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. (The official monthly official journal: Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002)

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

“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” (Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.)

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Important Press Release by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

Friday, April 15, 2011:  

The health status of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is under constant review by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust in the light of the medical bulletins issued by the Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, since the time of His admission to the hospital on the 28th of March, 2011. For several days, His condition was a cause for concern.

In the latest review, as of today, the doctors attending on Him have expressed confidence that He is in a stable condition and is responding satisfactorily to the treatment being given to Him by the team of doctors, though somewhat slowly. They are confident that, if the progress continues to be stable and satisfactory as at present, it might be possible to shift Him from the hospital to His residence at Prasanthi Nilayam in about a fortnight. His residence is being got ready in all aspects to receive Him and provide Him the required level of follow up medical care as also emergency services.

The Trustees are gratified to note the spontaneous upsurge of prayers, bhajans, namasmarana, candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe for His very early and total recovery. Radio Sai, through its Musings, messages and mails from all over the world has been continuously articulating this upsurge. As Bhagavan has repeatedly said on several occasions, it is only the sincere prayers of His devotees that can cure Him. The Trustees consider it their sacred duty to appeal to all the devotees to be calm and sustain their prayers to restore Bhagavan to His normal health at a very early date.

Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam

The Sai spiritual ‘climate’ has been cool in Delhi   ……

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) Unperturbed by reports of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba’s health condition, the staff at the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre here said this was just a test of belief for his followers and that they were confident the bad phase will pass.

‘We were not worried. There was no special prayer service because we know this is just a test of belief for his followers,’ Rakesh Joshi, administrative officer of the centre, told IANS Wednesday.

…..  But rather warmer around the world among all those “candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe”, mentioned in the Sathya Sai Central Trust bulletin, as witness a typical official Sai circular sent racing round the world (this one is from Canada) -: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On April 12, 2011, Indulal Shah, International Advisor for the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, requested the following:
For the earliest recovery of Revered Bhagavan’s health, all Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samitis in India as also Sai Centres and Sai Groups all over the world are hereby requested to organise an offering of Joint Prayers and Bhajans as per the SCHEDULES as mentioned below:

 
Saturday, 16 April, 2011 4 pm to 4 am (Local Time)
Sunday, 17 April, 2011 5 pm to 5 am (Local Time)
Monday, 18 April, 2011 7 pm to 5 am (Local Time)
 
The original letter is attached for your reference. At the bottom of the letter, he has stated that it is extremely important to strictly and exactly maintain the above schedules.
 
In unison with our brothers and sisters all over the world, the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Toronto South will be adhering to the above schedule. We kindly request all devotees to carefully consider this request and participate as much as possible. Devotees from all centres are welcome to attend and participate.
 
This type of request is unprecedented and it is a unique opportunity to be a part of this historic occasion. We will need the love, support, and participation of as many devotees as possible.

Centres wishing to joing the Book Centre in this prayer are requested to contact one of the following persons:
 
– Brother Anil Mislankar (647) 227-0300
– Brother Subrata Mitra (416) 362-2530
 
We look forward to the speedy recovery of Bhagavan.
SSSBIC
 
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Book and Information Centre of Canada 
 

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 NEWS Update
 
From Telegufirst.com
 
Satya Sai Is Held Captive Says Adikesavulu
Friday, 15 April 2011 21:52

Written by Nayanika

 Former TTD Chairman Mr. Adikesavulu Naidu has alleged that Bhagavan Satya Sai Baba was being held captive in the hands of the Trust members.Talking to newsmen here on Friday, he has alleged that a retired IAS officer was controlling the affairs of the Trust and  said that Trust members Satyajit and Aiyar were responsible for Baba’s present condition. He said facts would come to light if these two were enquired.

Alleging that Baba was being betrayed by the Trust members he said he was not being offered proper treatment. He has also alleged that when world famous doctors offered to treat Baba, Trust members and Super Specialty Hospital members had not accepted. He said the doctors appointed by Satyajit were not doctors at all. He has wondered why minister Dr. Geeta Reddy who  knew every thing,  was keeping quiet. Alleging that the government was not taking proper care about Baba’s health, he has demanded the appointment of a committee on the affairs of the Trust. (NSS)//

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction) (Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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Sathya Sai Baba’s Health Condition Again At Grave Risk

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 5, 2011

In a matter of days, rosy reports emanating from official Puttaparthi sources about Sai Baba’s condition are now shown to be either pipe dreams or deliberate gloss. Of course it is conceivable that at least some his leaders who control the bulletins to the media, government and Sathya Sai Organization etc., are unable to believe that their guru can die very soon. He had long prophesied matters very differently.

Sathya Sai Superspeciality Hospital - Where Sai Baba Lies Critically Ill

By a number of usually well-informed sources , we are told that there is a battle royal going on for control of his organization. We learn of serious chicanery leveled against Sai Baba family members and others. Alert media, law firms and other investigators will need for example – very quickly, before witnesses are hushed up – to get hold of stakeholders who have been disaffected, and also those, including many leaders in India and abroad, who have resigned from the Sathya Sai Organization on a matter of ethical principle. Robert Priddy and I can coordinate contact with many individuals of excellent repute in their professions, trades and wider communities, who have provided evidence for major world media, governments, institutions, and so forth.

Experts in law, media, etc., well know that, well-handled and cross-checked, disenfranchised individuals and groups can yield accurate information. At the moment, we are doing some cross-checking of our own. Readers can watch this space.

Note: Investigative media and other serious enquirers can contact me at:  barrypittard@gmail.com

Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? is referred to here:

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

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See articles on Sathya Sai Baba’s Health Crisis

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 3, 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’

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 29, 2011

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Latest Major Indian Media Reports

Hundreds of his followers rushed to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences here Monday night after doctors confirmed that his condition is critical.

However, in an attempt to control the anxious crowd of devotees, Sai Baba’s nephew Shravan said he has opened his eyes. A police officer also made an announcement over public address system outside the hospital that Baba’s condition is stable.

‘Sathya Sai Baba continues to be on ventilator support for helping his respiration and suction of the secretions from the lungs. He continues to be on CRRT (continuous renal replacement therapy) system to help the functioning of the kidneys,’ said a statement issued by the hospital.

The 85-year-old was admitted to hospital March 28 with pneumonia and breathing problems. The doctors also implanted pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat.

‘His vital systems are not adequately responding. The panel of doctors treating him are doing their best to make the system to respond,’ said the statement by A.N. Safaya, director of the superspeciality hospital.

For the first time the hospital authorities allowed Ratnakar, another nephew of Sai Baba and a member of Sathya Sai Central Trust into Sai’s room in the intensive care unit.

Senior officials of the trust and a large number of policemen rushed to the hospital, triggering apprehensions among the devotees. The restive crowd also stoned few police vehicles, demanding information about Sai’s health.

The trust officials appealed to his devotees to pray for the speedy recovery of Sai Baba.

The hospital health bulletin came hours after two Andhra Pradesh ministers told reporters that the guru was stable and all his vital parameters were functioning well.

The state government has also sent a team of doctors from Hyderabad to monitor his condition.

In Hyderabad, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy held a high-level meeting with officials Monday night to review the situation. Minister for revenue Raghuveera Reddy and minister for major industries J. Geeta Reddy, who are camping in Puttaparthi for last days, briefed the chief minister about Sai?s condition.

Sathya Sai Baba, whose real name is Sathyanarayana Raju, had claimed in 1940 that he was an ‘avatar’ (incarnation) of god.

He became famous with his miracles but for the last two decades he had been focusing on social and charitable work.

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Sathya Sai Baba’s health condition critical: doctors

United News of India
Puttaparthy, Andhra Pradesh, April 4, 2011

Even as large numbers of devotees from India and abroad prayed for his speedy recovery and well-being, the health condition of spiritual leader Satya Sri Sai Baba remained critical today.

Sai Baba, who is on ventilator and dialysis to assist his kidney function, was critical as some of his organs were not functioning satisfactorily, Sri Satya Sai Baba Institutue of Higher Medical Sciences Director A N Safays said in the latest bulletin released here today evening.

The doctors’ team was still attending on Sai Baba to save his life, he said.

The 85-year-old Sai Baba was admitted to Satya Sai Super Speciality Hospital here on March 28, following pneumonia and respiratory problems.

After hearing the news of the critical condition of the spiritual leader, a large number of devotees and leaders from various political parties were rushing to the hospital.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made around the hospital.

Andhra Pradesh Major Industries Minister Geeta Reddy, an ardent devotee of Sai Baba, is monitoring the situation here.

NNN

(Note – misspelling of Dr Safaya’s name).

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Condition of Satya Saibaba critical

2011-04-04 19:00:00
Last Updated: 2011-04-04 19:08:12
 

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Anantapur: The condition of Sri Satya Saibaba, who was admitted to hospital following lung and chest congestion, is critical, doctors treating him said on Monday evening.

“Bhagwan Satya Saibaba continues to be on ventilator support for helping his respiration and suction of the secretions from the lungs. He continues to be on CRRT system to help the functioning of the kidneys,” a health bulletin issued by the Director of the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences said.

“The vital systems are not adequately responding. The condition of Baba is critical. The panel of doctors treating him are doing their best to make the system to respond,” it said.

A media release issued earlier in the day said Saibaba was showing improvement though he continued to be on ventilator support.

85-year-old Satya Saibaba was admitted to the super-specialty hospital at Prashantigram at Puttaparthi near here on March 28 following respiration-related problems.

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Sathya Sai Chief Doctor Safaya Gives ‘Comforting’ News.  Soon Dispelled

General

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »