The comments by Srila Prabhupada comes from the VedaBase CD-ROM and leaves no room for mental speculation and is direct and to the point. Srila Prabupada was an eminent scholar in the Vedic knowledge and knew all about the described signs of an avatara. He never accepted Sai Baba as anything other than a simple fraud.

(c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Prajapati: No. There is one rascal, Prabhupada, who can do tricks. His name is Sai Baba. He can make jewels appear, give people photographs of himself, give them to people like tricks.
Prabhupada: But another rascal will be victim of that tricks. Why shall I accept him as God?
Karandhara: Besides, they're insignificant tricks.
Prabhupada: Insignificant tricks. So if gold is the standard of becoming God, then there is gold mine. So who has created the gold mine, I shall accept Him God. Why shall I you. If gold is the standard, why a little chataka(?) of...? We are not so fools. You can make this trick for other fools, not to us.


(c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Prabhupada: Here Krsna is addressed, "Yogesvara," because the yogic power, that is estimated very much important by the ordinary class of men. So He is the master of all yogic power. Just like here, that gold maker?
Giriraja: Sai Baba?
Prabhupada: Sai Baba. He is showing little yogic aisvarya. But people are, because they do not know, they are not aware of Krsna, they are taking him as God. You see?
Giriraja: (reads rest of synonyms for this verse) "Translation: If you think that I am able to behold Your cosmic form, O my Lord, O master of all mystic power, then kindly show me that universal self."
Prabhupada: Now, here is the description of how God manifests. So unless one reads Bhagavad-gita carefully, they will be misled by this avatara, that avatara, that avatara. You see?
Dr. Patel: Shall I read?

sri bhagavan uvaca
pasya me partha rupani
sataso 'tha sahasrasah
nana-vidhani divyani
nana-varnakrtini ca Pasyadityan...

Prabhupada: No. One after another.
Giriraja: (reads synonyms) "Translation: The Blessed Lord said: My dear Arjuna, O son of Prtha, behold now My opulences, hundreds of thousands of varied divine forms, multi-colored like the sea."
Prabhupada: This is another instruction. That I explained, that before accepting a so-called incarnation of God, one should ask him to show that "How you are God?" But they do not ask him. A group of persons...Because he is accepted by a group of persons, not by all... There are so many avataras. But who knows them?
Dr. Patel: Shall I read?
Prabhupada: Let us understand it. Don't be anxious to go forward. This is the..., that... Suppose a man declares himself that "I am avatara." So intelligent man should test him, how he is avatara. We accept Krsna or Lord Ramacandra for their uncommon activities. But what is the uncommon activities, so many avataras? Simply being praised by a group of persons. That's all. Yes.


(c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Prabhupada: Actually, if we become successful then all these things will be finished. Yes. (break)
Devotee: They are attracted by wonderful things such as Sai Baba. He is doing so many wonderful things. People...
Prabhupada: That is, means rascal. He does not see Krsna's wonderful. If you want to see wonderful things, why don't you see the more wonderful things? But they are foolish; they are captivated with small wonderful things. That means less intelligent. Just like small children, they will be amazed by seeing small wonderful things, but his father will not be. What is the amazement, wonderful thing, Sai Baba has done? If he is creator of gold, then why he is doing business of incense? You know that? He has a big incense business exactly like us. He can create gold? Why there is incense business?


c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Prabhupada: Sai Baba, he also says, "I am Bhagavan." Therefore he's bogus. How you can say yourself that you are Bhagavan, God? What is your power? What you have shown? And this is cheap. Now, supposing Sai Baba is God. So people accept him God, why? Because he shows some jugglery. He creates little gold. Is it not? So if, by creating gold, he is God, then there is bigger God who has created gold mine. Why shall I go to this tiny god? I must go to the big God who has created gold mine. This is common sense. But foolish people, they have no common sense even. Therefore it is called mudha. Mudha nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam. Tribhir gunamayair bhavair mohita, mudha nabhijanati. Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita.


(c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Reporter (2): Your Divine Grace, this is actually not very relevant to the press conference, but have you ever met people like the Sai Baba or Bala Yogeshwara or...

Prabhupada: Why shall I meet these nonsense? Why shall I meet? What is the business? Fools and rascals may meet them. Why shall I meet? What can I get from them? What is their special value? Tell me, why shall I meet? What is the business I have got to meet him? You are suggesting?
Reporter (2): No, I mean...
Prabhupada: No, no, why shall I meet? Why you expect like that, I shall meet?
Reporter (3): He just wanted to know if you have ever met them. They are also...
Prabhupada: No, no. Why he is...? Why he is asking this? What business I have got to meet with them? What shall I get from them?
Reporter (2): Just to discuss metaphysics.
Prabhupada: Yes. If I am taking lesson from Krsna, why shall I take lesson from such bogus things?
Reporter (3): No, they have also been recognized...
Prabhupada: Who recognized? Who recognized?
Reporter (3): As exponent of Hindu thought and...
Prabhupada: \~No,\~no,\~who\~recognized?\~First\~of\~all,\~who\~recognized?
Reporter (3): No, they too have a following in the West.
Prabhupada: That is the defect. That is the defect of the modern civilization. They vote. Just like in big democratic country like America they voted Nixon to become president, and when they found that "This man is a bogus," they again dragged him down. So this is going on. We vote somebody to the topmost position, and we see that he's a rascal. So therefore we do not advise. We say just take lesson from Krsna, who is recognized by everyone. That is our Krsna consciousness movement. We don't say, "Go to a bogus man and take instruction." We don't say.


(c) 1991 by Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

Guest (7) (Indian man): Satya Sai Baba says...
Prabhupada: Satya Sai Baba is not authority.
Guest (7): No, no, I don't accept.
Prabhupada: Then why you quote him? We are not prepared to hear his words.
Guest (7): Kindly clear off my doubt.
Prabhupada: No... That is another thing. That is another thing.
Guest (7): All the miracles only just to increase confidence and...
Prabhupada: Why...? Magic is magic. That is another thing. That is not knowledge.
Guest (7): Suppose if I want to talk here Krsna consciousness among the masses...
Prabhupada: No, we have to push on Krsna consciousness according to the direction of Krsna, not by the ways and means by Sai Baba. That is foolishness.
Guest (7): Can I attain such magical powers?
Prabhupada: So why? What is the use? We are not using any magical powers.
Guest (7): Just to convince the people.
Prabhupada: Why this foolishness? We never... Ask my disciples. I have never shown any magic. Why?
Bhagavata: That is a cheap business.
Prabhupada: That is cheating business. That is not required. It is meant for the foolish men.
Guest (7): ...Suri Bhavantam (?), he was convinced by him just because of his magical powers.
Prabhupada: Who?
Guest (7): Suri Bhavantam (?) is a scientist. He was convinced by him just because of his magical powers. Otherwise he could not influence
me. One of my friends who was sitting there, he told me, "Satya Sai Baba, he won't come this side," he said. I said, "I'll make him to come
this side."
Prabhupada: No, these are words. He has been challenged also by a group of educated men. So there are some fools, rascals. That is all...
Guest (7): I have got belief in God, and so Narendra, my friend was sitting by my side. "No, if I sit there only, he will go that way. I want to see him this side."
Prabhupada: Do you accept Sai Baba as God?
Guest (7): No, no, not at all.
Prabhupada: Then why do you speak all this? That's...
Guest (7): Not even greater than me. I don't think like that. He is also a human being like me.
Guest (6): In the Bhagavatam it is said that (quotes Sanskrit verse). (indistinct)
Guest (7): And he could not do his siddhi before (indistinct). If it is real siddhi he could have showed all his powers even before (indistinct).
Prabhupada: Go to the standard of knowledge. Bhagavad-gita is accepted by the the acaryas, Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Visnusvami, Lord Caitanya. So take that standard. Why do you go to the rascals and fools? Unless you are rascal and fool, you cannot go to the rascal and fool. Why? You take. If you want to know God, take the standard knowledge which is accepted by the... Acaryopasanam. You take the knowledge through the acaryas. Why from a rascal? That is not knowledge. Krsna recommends how to take the knowledge. Eh? Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa ksantir arjavam acaryopasanam. Worship the acarya. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet. Just read this.

Devotee (3): Amanitvam adambhitvam...
Prabhupada: This is the process of knowledge. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa ksantir arjavam acaryopasanam. Acaryam mam vijaniyat. If you go to acarya, then you'll know the knowledge. What is this, go to a magician, a rascal? Magician is authority? There are so many magicians. So one should go for God to a magician? Acaryopasanam. Go to acarya. That is recommended. Why should you go to the magician? That is your fault. You go to the wrong person, and you are cheated because you want to be cheated. You want to see magic; you don't want to see God. God is personally speaking, accepted God, not that by magical... And who can show greater magic than Krsna? Krsna, when He was seven years old, He lifted the Govardhana Hill. Can this rascal do that? Who can be greater magician than Krsna? So we shall go to the greatest magician. Why shall I go to a tiny magician? That is our misfortune. If you want to see magic, see the magic, what Krsna has done. This is our misfortune, that we go to a wrong person and misled.

If you want magician, see Krsna, how great magician He is. He married sixteen thousand wives. Is there any instance in the history of the world that one has sixteen thousand wives and maintaining each of them? And he expanded himself in sixteen thousand husbands. Not that one wife is waiting: "When sixteen thousand, after sixteen thousand nights, He would come here?" No. He is present everywhere. That is magic. Narada was surprised that "How Krsna is maintaining sixteen thousand wives?" He saw in each and every home sixteen thousand establishment and Krsna is present everywhere. So this is magic. Why don't you see Krsna's magic? Why you are so much allured by a tiny magician? That is your misfortune. Poor heart, poor magic. See the real magic. If you want to see magic, see the Krsna's magic. Krsna, when He was three months old, the Putana came to kill the child by poisoning but she was killed. So in this way, from the very beginning of Krsna's appearance, He's killing so many demons. So why don't you see this magic? If you want to see magic, see Krsna's magic. Why the poor magic? Krsna says, sarva-loka-mahesvaram: "I am the proprietor of all the lokas." And each loka... Suppose this loka, earthly planet. There are hundreds of gold mines. Why you are captivated with the chataka gold? Why don't you be captivated by the person who has millions of gold mines by His wish?

So we are poor; therefore we are captivated by poor magician. If we are intelligent, then we should be captivated by Krsna's magic. That is intelligence. But we are poor; we are captivated by poor magic. That's all. Don't be poor. Mudho nabhijanati mam ebhyah param avyayam. Don't remain mudhas. Try to understand Krsna. Then your life will be successful. That is Krsna knowledge. Janma karma ca me divyam yo janati tattvatah. Anyone who understands Krsna's activities, then he becomes liberated. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti. Why don't you use your valuable time for understand Krsna? Why you are captured by the poor rascal magicians? That means we are unfortunate. If we become captivated by tiny magician, that means we are unfortunate. Be captivated by the magic Krsna has shown. That is the point.


Thanks to Ole Alstrup for providing these quotes.