Sai Baba put in a wider perspective


By: Robert Priddy

Date: 03-04-02

Compare one well-known person among many great examples, the Dalai Lama, to Sai Baba. Though I am no follower of the Dalai Lama, I cannot but see how he has lived dharma and non-violence: it can be recognised in all he has done since his inauguration. He is accessible in many places without people having to kow-tow and he answers questions very directly and frankly and in intelligible, accurate ways. SB is imperious, he keeps everyone waiting endlessly. He hardly ever gives a straight answer to any honest question, if any at all, and he is known to everyone without exception not to be able to stand the tiniest bit of criticism from anyone. Interestingly, SB has never mentioned the Dalai Lama. Or vice-versa!

Meanwhile, SB sweet-talks and blesses all royalty, politicians, and known criminals that visit him, always giving them pride of place and priority over all those who work selflessly for him. For example, the despotic rulers, the super-rich King & Queen of Nepal, were blessed by him, as is shown in a photo in Sanathana Sarathi (March 1999). They were foully murdered by their own son in 2001. "Why fear when I am here?" says SB, but the Dalai Lama makes no such megalomaniacal and unfulfilled claims. Nor has he been heard to boast that his actions have helped save so many Tibetans from total cultural elimination. Sai Baba sweepingly berates just about everyone in the world at regular intervals from his platform (I have twice read and closely indexed the contents of every SB discourse published until 2000), but the Dalai Lama never uses such language, even about the despotic Chinese government. He has real humility and enormous courage - putting himself in the front line - without protection from any troops or gunmen of his own - against one of the worst regimes in history.

By comparison, SB has had 20 full-time plain-clothes security people since about 1994 (costing well over Rs. 200,000 a month by now. And who do you think pays?). These spies mingle undercover in the crowds. V.K. Narasimhan gave me the facts about this already in 1996. Is this for the sake of the devotees or SB? It is no more for devotees than are the darshan metal detectors, the intensive body searches or the fact that SB hides daily and at night in a fortress-built apartment, said VKN, with balconies designed so they cannot be scaled. He is guarded by additional Israel-trained commandos visibly armed with automatic weapons. No one can get into SBs presence with the tiniest of items that could conceivably be used as any kind of weapon.

The Dalai Lama has convincingly lived non-violence in all he does (not just in constant torrents of repetitive words as does SB) and has never had to conceal himself nearby in a room in his own ashram while four close attendants were assassinated with his tacit and public approval, or condone subsequent cover-ups and quashing of all legal redress. He whose word is absolute law in all things done by mega-obsequious officials in the ashram would not even risk answering any questions about the murders, (but reread SB's waffling, devious, insubstantial Gurupurnima discourse about related details in 1993!). Also this "ever-tranquil, totally unaffected" SB dropped his guard and showed everyone his hidden hand in his Xmas 2000 discourse… namely, that by damning his critics to constant rebirths in many shameful lives, he is not compassionate or loving of everyone (as he has always claimed before and since, even of his detractors). More recently, he has damned various Indian newspaper editors to the same fate. Has the Dalai Lama ever damned or threatened anyone like that?

The Dalai Lama is never patronising nor does he harangue the whole world for being impure and under the sway of inhuman and demonic forces, as does SB constantly. SB talks down to people from a position of claimed eminence. He constantly points to his own works and service and hardly ever attributes any credit to anyone else, boasting most embarrassingly about his achievements: i.e. none do 1000th of what he does, he announced at Christmas 2000. Others do all the work and provide the funds for all to which he so selflessly lends ‘His Precious Name’. He celebrates himself and his birthdays like no other event, claiming it is the devotees who want it. But the fact is, known to those who speak with frank ashramites, that almost only he thrives on it; most residents dread it. It is SB’s annual super self-praise event at Prashanti Nilayam, where he rides on in his bizarre silver-encrusted motorised chariot-cum-jeep. All that matters is numbers!

Now, his demonstrably untruthful lackey, Indulal Shah, in his pitiful ignorance of the real world beyond the pale of India, is planning for world-wide "nation building" in the name of SB. Shall we suppose that he wants to instruct nations in the totalitarian style of the Prashanthi Nilayam township, where murders were suppressed and investigations quashed? What a pathetic sham! "When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Satya Sai World Trust, he said, 'the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it." (from The Hindu, 10-6-1993). His attitude is despotic and despised by all decent, law-abiding people. Mr. Shah has, though a circular, instructed his lackeys in the Sathya Sai Organisation around the world that THEY do good works so these will reflect back on SB and "enhance the Divine glory of the Avatar of the Age" Rather pathetic! Statesmen and important people are clearly earmarked for this campaign. Here are two quotes from the circular this devious politician had the temerity to send out:

"You are aware that these are testing and difficult times. Even the Avatar faces denigration and attempts to undermine His Glory by resorting to distorted statements and falsehoods made by the ignorant. It is not as if the Avatar needs human effort to glorify Him or that He needs any protection from any such despicable efforts to denigrade Him, but the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation has a great role to perform to enhance the Divine glory of the Avatar of the Age. This has to be achieved by us with a great sense of sincerity and dedication not with an aim of defending the name of the Avatar in the face of negativity but by positive pro-action of making the world aware by our programs and the Vision Message and Mission of the Avatar. Our Organisation must reflect what we are and what we do as also our impact on others by living Sai's message in all spheres of life - local, regional, national, political or economic - of each country. In this context, I have to request you to compile information of all such impacts and expressions of work of nation building carried out by our Organisation in your country by way of news items, press coverage, photographs, message or letter received from a Local Community, Political, Government or Religious Leader acknowledging our work etc. and send the same to me by the end of February 2002."

"Once the above information is received, the same will be compiled and published through all aspects of media (print and electronic ) throughout the world as a major Awareness exercise for the world community of the Sai Avatar. The above will be presented to Bhagwan and featured in a Website to show the work being done by the Sai Organisation around the globe that is helping in Nation Building efforts. Also, it is intended that these be published into a book to be released at the earliest."

But SB has done more than enough to "denigrade" himself and supply his name with the indelible taint it has acquired worldwide, so Shah is clearly in damage limitation crisis, needing positive support from anywhere as a smokescreen. Well, at least the British P.M. was not fooled by the invitation from the Sathya Sai Organisation to visit SB, who went from Prashanthi Nilayam to Whitefield so as to be there when Tony Blair was due there in connection with the opening of the new IT center near Whitefield!

By Robert Priddy