Gurupurnima nonsense by Sai Baba
Gurupurnima nonsense by Sai Baba
By: Sanjay K. Dadlani
Comments on parts of: http://sathyasai.org/discour/2003/d030713.html
"People attribute various names and forms to God on the basis of their own feelings...God has no specific name. All names are attributed by man to God."
This is just a typical example of the consumer-friendly philosophy that is preached by Sai Baba. The unsuspecting spiritual aspirant is led to believe that God is a nameless, formless entity who will answer to or appear in any form that is desired by the aspirant. This is clearly a backwards philosophy, as no attempt is made to research what divinity is actually all about. Shouldn't that be the very point of spiritual search?
Most spiritual aspirants often say that they "wish to find God." The wording of this desire clearly indicates that God is a person (or entity for the nirakara-lovers) with His own identity, Name, Personality, etc, and is waiting to be "found." The very fact that Sai Baba suggests that God is an amorphous entity who is answerable to any name that is born out an aspirant's "own feelings" shows that the philosophy that he preaches defeats the very point of a spiritual search.
"True spirituality lies in realising the truth that man is but a spark of Divinity. This is what is declared in the Bhagavad Gita: Mamaivamsho Jivaloke Jivabhuta Sanathana (all beings are a part of My eternal Being)."
Kudos to Sai Baba for quoting a verse from the Bhagavad-Gita, though not with a reference. We can try to understand if Sai Baba himself really knows the meaning of the Gita verse that he quotes. If all beings are a part of Him, then what is the foundation for the "I am God" philosophy that Sai Baba preaches? Either you are God in fullness or God in a small part. You cannot be both. Most certainly, the living entity is not God since our everyday life and experiences are ample testimony to this.
"There are many who have deluded themselves that they love God. But they are full of body consciousness and crave for money and material things. Such love cannot be true love at all. It is artificial love. Many people write to Me, 'Swami we love You. Please keep us near and dear to You.' In this context, let Me emphatically tell you that Sai cannot be attained so easily. You may say that you love Me. But how can I believe you? Is there a spirit of sacrifice in your love? There is no consistency in your words and deeds. You make a promise one day and go back on it the very next day. How can one believe the love of such impostors?"
Considering that most people these days are not inclined to believe in God and are veritable atheists, shouldn't Sai Baba be grateful that there are at least a small percentage of people who are willing to find God in a spiritual search? "Please keep us near and dear to You," isn't that a remarkably selfless prayer that can be addressed to divinity? Surely God is not so heartless that He would not reciprocate with such a prayer in at least some way. After all, since Sai Baba is such an expert on the Bhagavad-Gita, he would surely know of those verses in the Seventh Chapter (21 and 22) in which Krishna clearly states that He indirectly grants even material desires. What reason, therefore, can Sai Baba have to hold back on his "love" against such impostor prayers? If Sai Baba is truly God, then how can God have a double standard? Either God is merciful enough to answer even materialistic prayers or He isn't.
"Devotees of modern times are trying to hoodwink even God with sweet talk and artificial love."
Is Sai Baba actually prepared to testify that God is some sort of a trusting innocent person who would believe any kind of "sweet talk" and false sentiments? Just a while earlier, we heard Sai Baba say that God (actually, Sai Baba himself) is not so easily attainable. Presumably, Sai Baba is a God who is smart enough to distinguish between sincere and insincere prayers. Now we are led to believe that it is even a possibility to 'hoodwink' God?
Am I the only one who can see this contradiction?
"Nobody needs to be worried or anxious about Swami's well-being. No danger can ever befall Swami. Swami comes out of all difficulties and troubles unscathed. He will achieve all success. There may be some changes at the physical level. They are only temporary and not permanent. Hence, Swami wants all of you to be courageous. Now I have recovered and am standing before you."
Sai Baba is evidently describing the events of his recent hip and eye operations. Isn't it contradictory that someone whose eye and hip were affected is indeed befallen by a form of medical danger? In the same breath, Sai Baba says that he has "recovered" from something when he is supposed to have been trouble-free and unscathed. What shady path is Sai Baba leading us down?
"What medicine did I use? The intense prayers of the devotees are My medicine. During the last one month, be it in Madras (now Chennai), Hyderabad, Bangalore, or Mumbai, devotees have intensified their prayers and spiritual activities. Each and every house conducted bhajans and Namasmarana. Some devotees undertook penance and performed Yajnas. In this manner, a number of spiritual activities were undertaken praying for the well being of Swami. It is as a result of such fervent prayers that I am able to stand before you and address you. Neither did I want this suffering nor did I desire its cure. You wanted this body to be cured of the pain, and you achieved it through your prayers. This body is not Mine. It is yours. Hence, it is your responsibility to look after this body."
Now if the prayers and spiritual activities of the devotees were enough for Sai Baba's total recovery from his hip and eye problems, then what was the need for two operations? Why didn't Sai Baba just sit back and let the magic bhajans work? What exactly does Sai Baba have more faith in, bhajans or modern medicine?
"When I fractured My hip, it was not possible to even move My leg. The slightest movement caused excruciating pain like that of an electric shock. I told the doctors, 'This is not My body. This is yours. You may do whatever you deem fit.' One who has given up body consciousness will have no suffering at all."
So the answer to the question is ...? Did Sai Baba feel pain or didn't he? Was there no suffering experienced or did he experience excruciating pain? Confusion confounded!
"After the operation was over, he [Satyajit] asked, "Swami, how could you bear such pain and suffering?" I told, 'The love of devotees like you is My strength.' The power of love is the ultimate. You can overcome any pain or danger with the power of love."
So if Sai Baba was not feeling pain, why would someone like Satyajit (Sai Baba's personal male servant) ask the question in the first place? Surely Satyajit would be more than familiar with the Baba's capacity to be unaffected by pain.
"During midnight, at the odd hour of 1 o' clock or 2 o'clock when I get up from the bed and look around, I find these two boys Satyajit and Dilip sitting one near My head and the other at My feet, safely guarding this body."
What is the need to guard a divine body that is free of suffering and does not experience any pain due to a lack of bodily consciousness? As if the ashram itself isn't heavily guarded, what is the need for two boys in the Baba's own bedroom? And since when did the laws of space and time change so that the hours of 1am and 2am are to be included in the 'midnight' category?
"Even at an odd hour, if I just utter the word 'Satya' in a feeble voice, the boy would immediately get up and attend to My needs. He was so alert and attentive. They used to attend to all My needs, including feeding Me."
Earlier, Sai Baba was explaining to the large crowd that he comes out of all troubles unscathed, is free of pain and is generally unaffected by mundane ailments. Now we see Sai Baba clearly admitting that he communicates in a feeble voice and was unable to even feed himself! Is Sai Baba a firm adherent of the principle of Truth, so much so that he takes it as his name (Sathya)? Is he telling the truth about his medical problems or is he simply interested in presenting a confused picture to his loving devotees.
We see that even thoughtful devotees are aware that there are many conflicting reports on the Baba's medical health, and are in confusion about which one to believe. One devotee in particular even went as far to say that "we [devotees] are being kept [in the] dark ... as it had been customary thus far with both good and unpleasant events happening/happened in Prasanthi." This itself brings a new angle to the point under discussion. It would be understandable (?) if the Prashanti Nilayam spin-doctors would want to present a sanitised explanation for the Baba's recent medical problems if not a full-blown cover-up, but what is the need for keeping devotees in the dark even about the "good" events that take place in the ashram? Clearly the revealing comment by this devotee itself shows that the devotee community is aware of the atmosphere of secrecy that pervades the ashram.
"Another small incident I wish to reveal to you. There was a patient in the U.S.A. She was extremely afraid of the disease diagnosed by the doctors. The diagnosis revealed that she had cancerous growth in the heart region. She and her husband came to Bangalore praying for Swami's grace. I assured them that I would cancel the cancer and that they should not have any fear in the matter. She took treatment for one week and the cancer disappeared! A little malignant portion was left and I instructed the doctors to remove it by surgery. The doctors performed the surgery as instructed by Me. On the very next day she started walking!"
Very interesting. And in a famous discourse given on July 6 1963, the Baba said:
"..When I save a person I save him completely. I do not wait until he gets the disease, and I do not leave him a fraction of a disease so that he may be identified later."
Obviously there has been a decline in Sai Baba's healing standards. From being able to save a person fully even before they become affected by an ailment to just leaving a little bit behind is a comedown indeed! And how would Sai Baba know if the cancer might disappear or not? Even a layperson knows that if cancer is caught in the early stages, there is a good chance of making a full recovery. This appears to have happened in the incident described by the Baba above. There is simply no direct evidence to suggest a healing caused by the direct intervention of Sai Baba. Simply assuring the devotee that nothing would happen while the devotee is taking (chemotherapy?) treatment does not constitute a divine cure.
"I have cured several people of the most dreaded and incurable diseases. There are also a number of people whom I have helped in ever-so-many ways. All of them have now prayed for My recovery. It is only their prayers that helped My speedy recovery."
Wait a minute. I thought that God was supposed to be unaffected by disease and general problems. What sort of behaviour is this when "God" is affected by eye and hip problems, then NEEDS PRAYERS to recover? And what of the curing of several people of their incurable diseases, were those diseases "completely cured" before they were contracted as well?
So what great and astounding revelation did Sai Baba give to the crowd on the holy day of Guru Purnima? What elevated teachings were bestowed upon the spiritually hungry seekers that were congregated from all over the world? Did they expect Sai Baba to whine about his medical problems and present a medical report, as well as tawdry tales of two young males in his bedroom? And here were all of us thinking that this day should be a pompous celebration of the Guru's glories!
01: Responses to Gurupurnima Paper