Date: 08-10-02

Document date: 08-09-02

From: Jose Santiago


This article is an explanative addition to 'Letter from Jose Santiago'.

It is the most common thing in the ashram: the desire and craving for an interview with Sai Baba. Some fact that many people have not considered, is that about ninety percent of the times, Baba chooses groups of foreigners, specially from Europe. About ten percent of the times he selects Indians. In the mandir (the temple where Baba gives darshan and interviews), about 30 percent of the people there are foreigners. The rest are Indians. Even at Christmas, foreigners may not exceed the number of fifty percent.

Who can give bigger donations, foreigners or Indians? It is very obvious that Europeans, Americans, Australians, can give more money on donations, than most of the the Indians. A happy Scandinavian with three interviews in his trip, is worthier for the economic goals of Baba, than an Indian who has
the same interviews. The average income of an Scandinavian is 2000 dollars a month or maybe more. For the USA and the rest of European country this is about the same. The average an Indian can earn is 50 dollars a month (...but maybe its less than that).

And it is a fact that the groups of Denmark and Sweden are Baba´s favorites for interviews. A devotee who is reading this article might think "this is an angry ex devotee who never got an interview". Let me tell you that I had three interviews with the Venezuelan group and I am not saying this with the proud I had when I was a devotee.

The defenders of Baba may point that Swami gives interview for foreigners because they come from very far and its a hard trip, and Indians live near Baba. No way. For most Europeans and Americans, it is affordable to pay the trip and they can stay in the ashram or in hotel comfortably. But for almost all Indians is valid, that they had to spend most or all their savings to visit Baba, if they can collect the money. But for even an Indian who lives in Kerala or in the same Andhra Pradesh, a train ticket and accommodation can be very expensive.

One devotee defended Baba saying that Swami didn't give lot of interviews to Indians because there are lots of uneducated people among them. It is true, that a large number of peasants finds his way to the ashram, who doesn't respect the rules and they do smell badly. But it is clear that there are lot of Indians who are very educated, respectful and dressed properly, maybe not in expensive Panjabis worn by Westerners to look like Indians, but they look good.

The Indian VIP's and the Government ministers that come to the ashram, are also favorites of Baba for interviews.

And if Swami chooses only the people for the interviews that are prepared for it, are Westerners spiritually superior to Indians? Do they grow up faster than Indians?

To have doubts when something is unfair and wrong IS NOT an spiritual weakness. To overlook, ignore or excuse bad and wrong things IS a spiritual weakness.

Jose Santiago from Venezuela