Sai Baba - Good and Evil


Date: 02-29-02

By: Robert Priddy



What is perhaps most shocking about the evidence that has emerged about SB's active involvements in unjust and illegal matters, from the murders' cover-up to the weighty evidence of his homosexual and pedophile activities, is the huge gap this opens between his words and reported actions. There is no other word but willful deception on a grand scale for these discrepancies. That a self-proclaimed holy avatar can condone the unjust repression of truth and justice and even allegedly carry out sexual acts of a sort that the Pope has recently - if only for the first time - condemned as evil requires a thoroughgoing reevaluation by followers of what this person actually represents.

In this respect, I am reminded of SB's words in a public discourse in January 1995 (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol.28 new ed., p.1) as follows: "The good and evil in the world are expressions of Divine consciousness. Man should not be misled by these expressions. Behind all the various actions of the actors, the Divine Director is at work."

How is this to be understood? Since SB has often proclaimed for himself that divine directorship, are we to take it that whatever this avatar does - good or evil - is merely an expression of divine consciousness? SB has also said:
"The 'bad' too is in fact 'good' in reverse. It serves to teach what has to be avoided. It would not be 'bad' for all time; it is ever short-lived. Neither 'good' nor 'bad' can be pronounced as 'absolutely unrelieved' states. Knowledge (vidya) reveals and makes clear that 'good' and 'bad' are only the reactions caused by the failings and feelings of the mind of man." (Vidya Vahini, p. 22.)

Philosophically seen, this is a far-reaching assertion, and it is also one that can easily lead to the total confusion of values with anti-values and vice-versa when acting in the real world. As the divine director, therefore, could not an embodied avatar just as well do evil as good, since it makes no difference 'ultimately' and from the Divine viewpoint?

If this is what Sai Baba means and intends, then it would make a complete mockery of most of his other statements about how he, the avatar, is only pure, expresses nothing but love, is without desires and so on. Therefore, one almost has to conclude that - even from an imagined Divine viewpoint - it makes a lot of difference whether any human being, including the avatar, actually does good or evil (these being judged as such according to the five universal human values which are presented as being at the core of Sai teachings). The avatar, who claims 'My Life is My Message' and sets himself up as the prime example of righteousness and goodness, must exceed all human beings in purity, selfless desirelessness and truthfulness.

Baba has said, for example, "God assumes a role in the dharma of the world in human form. He has to behave as a human being only. This should be clearly understood by all." (Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 26 new ed.p. 229f). Does this indicate that he has to have human failings too? Well, if his role is not one of the purest dharma, then the answer must be a resounding 'No!' How can serious self-contradictions, lies, broken promises, cover-up, complete unaccountability be reconciled to dharma?

Anyone who holds, therefore, that Sai Baba can carry out any kind of sexually-oriented interferences on boys and young men against their expectations and despite their wishes - or yet worse acts - without it affecting his purity or his truthfulness is also in denial of Baba's own words, as well as common sense and ordinary decency as these are understood in civilized and morally-enlightened society. That would be a perversion of spirituality!

Robert Priddy