Date: 05-27-03

By: Robert Priddy



History is replete with self-proclaimed God Emperors, Divine Avatars, World Saviours, reborn Christs... right up to the present day. Millions still believe that this or that person is wholly and fully God. The various Indian modern avatars or divine saviours include Ramakrishna, Meher Baba and any number of other claimants, each having more or less success or failure. In India there are always a surprising number of persons claiming to be avatars... still today.

Add to the above the teaching of Sathya Sai Baba and others that no one can ever aspire to be anything better than servants of the Lord himself (i.e. SSB!) and to work for him selflessly in total obedience to his all-powerful will. This is a teaching that allows for the complete manipulation of persons to do the will of the guru. No more clever way of taking away people's freedom - making them censor themselves entirely and give up all autonomy and all rights - has ever been devised. It is the subtlest of means of gaining power.

Countless millions of people have, through the ages, grovelled and kow-towed to personages they imagined to be either God in person, or the highest representative of Divinity. One small example, little known nowadays: the Mahdi in Sudan whose followers - imagining themselves invulnerable to Maxim guns - were mown down by the British at Omduran.

Any number of 'Divinities' - whether God-Kings, Pharaohs, Caesars and so on, have come and gone. Claimants to Divinity with multi-million followings are dispersed into the mists of time and almost forgotten but to historians.

We can confidently await the further fall of the highly questionable Sathya Sai Baba, whose adharmic activities have already been exposed to the world. His claims will not hold, he will not lift mountain ranges or fly through the air. He will not live to be 96 (he has himself said in published discourses that he would live until, age 93, but some fool devotee author got it wrong and wrote 96 and this figure was the one that stuck!). At whatever age he departs this earth, the believers, having been deluded by his many deceptions, including his psychic powers (none of which are not found elsewhere, even today), will find a rationalisation for it, as they do for everything else.

The state of his health is a closely-guarded secret... were it to be known, for example, that he suffers from osteoarthritis, the consequences for many followers would be further to doubt his claims of perfect health as a concomitant of his alleged divinity. The very considerable social environment built up around him and his ashrams and dependent on the flow of donations, the consequences will be serious as his reputation further collapses. For the poor believers, it will be another of his 'lessons', another 'test of faith' doubtless...