HUMILITY vs. GRANDEUR - GLARING CONTRADICTIONS AND BLIND DEVOTEES?
By: Robert Priddy
The following is an extract of a talk by Mirinalini Mata, direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, (Self Realisation Fellowship 1978, Cassette No 2402):
"...There is one quality you will always find in the true guru and that is humility - that humility was in Master. He could speak even about Himself. He could even speak about his accomplishments or even about his qualities, but when he said it - it was not a personality or an ego speaking about God. I don't think I ever heard Master say, 'My disciples.' He would always say, 'The Divine Ones that God has sent to me.' He would refer to them as 'the devotees,' but he never said, 'my disciples, my work, my accomplishments.'
"That 'I, Me, or Mine' just didn't exist in Master. I think that if anyone would to ask us who were around Master, 'How would you judge one who is truly saintly - who is truly divine?' - I would say that if one has not humility that I saw manifest in Gurudev - he is still lacking in spiritual accomplishment. The Guru has no ego. 'The I shall die, than I shall know who am I.' In the Guru the I has died. There is only God. He speaks only of God. He draws others not to himself, not even to his personality...."
This text expressed the nature of spiritual humility, whatever one may believe about the validity of Yogananda’s teaching besides. Sathya Sai Baba emphasizes that we should all learn to recognize the Divinity within, yet he openly encourages and visibly loves his devotees to worship him as God. He looks smug than when they grovel at his feet.
No spiritual figure on the current world stage can lay claim to greater fame and world-wide respect than the Dalai Lama. Beside him, Sathya Sai Baba is merely an also-ran. Yet if anyone bows to the Dalai Lama, he bows back lower. If one bows lower oneself, he bows yet lower. I have two friends who have experienced this independently of one another. It can be observed in his whole bearing and behaviour at any time. He sets people at their ease and invites questions… he replies to all attempts to put him on a pedestal with words like, “I am an ordinary Buddhist monk.”
By stark contrast, SSB is domineering in all his relations to other people, he regularly makes interviewees the butt of disdain and the same cheap jokes at their expense. He accepts only those who come with the attitude: "Swami, you are God Himself, please teach me...." Even the one SSB claims as his son, Jesus of Nazareth, apparently did not adopt such proud behaviour, for instead he actually washed the feet of others. However, despite what is observable to all, some devotee hagiographers, such as the inaccurate and fabulating Mr. V. Balu of Bangalore, are so deluded about SSB that they actually claim he is very humble! However, turning black into white like that is no ‘white magic’. What precisely is so humble about him it is extremely hard to discover, when he constantly boasts that all the entire movement of thousands of people do and give is all done and given by himself!
The round of opulent celebrations at PN have become too much like 'bread and circus'... a means to impress the public and to seem to increase SSB’s prestige. Is all this what his incessant self-trumpeted 'love' is all about? Why does SB need to increase his prestige? Good questions...
After about seven decades protected in his cocoon of continual adulation and life within his fortress-built retreat encircled by trusted servitors and bodyguards, it is hardly surprising that SSB has lost touch with what we all experience as 'reality', that is, the awareness and understanding of sensible, well-informed modern people throughout the world. He became so powerful so long ago that he is by now completely insulated from normal intelligent interaction or frank conversation and genuine feedback from people. He only speaks laughable nonsense about most science which demonstrates how out of touch with common knowledge he is. His discourses convey how completely he is out of step with the best developments in civilization and how dated many of his views are.
SSB speaks as if he wielded absolute power, and we all know what absolute power implies... he appears to be the absolute master of many of his followers and certainly has power in high places, which protects him from all just official investigations. Yet in fact he cannot rule everyone even within his ashrams. He couldn’t stop his students being murdered in his bedroom, nor his own younger brother Janakiramiah from organizing four executions therein! Or could he have stopped him? Well, he rewarded this brother afterwards, making him virtual leader of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Recently SSB also praised this multi-millionaire property-speculating brother for some few charitable works in the village.