Date: 05-23-02

By: Robert Priddy



For the sake of those who have not had the advantage of knowing people who are extremely well-informed about the daily doings of SB, I have written a series of papers on my very close interchanges with my very excellent deceased friend, V. K. Narasimhan (renowned journalist and editor - latterly of Sanathana Sarathi, where he published dozens of my articles). Narasimhan was very important to the respectability of SB in leading Indian circles, but he harboured many and persistent doubts.

These articles tells about the legacy of facts and inside knowledge that I was left with by V. K. Narasimhan, a burden of unspoken truth that will be very unpalatable and extremely disturbing to many, as they were to me at the time. Let me state at the outset that I swear on all the scriptures and/or my personal honour that all I relate here is nothing but the truth to the very best of my understanding and recollection (which is based on copious notes made at the time).

Themes I discuss in detail in three related webpages include:-

'My close connection with VKN' 'Karmic Inter-connections?' 'SB's telling of his meeting famous spiritual gurus' 'Common sense vs. diverse SB claims', 'No cure for VKN, a favourite servitor of SB', 'VKN's scepticism of omniscience, and omnipotence', 'VKN's ridicule of miracles' 'VKN and SB's 'manifestations', 'VKN's views on avatarhood', 'VKN under subtle SB pressures', The "taming of the lion"; 'Faith-shaking events - the 1993 murders', 'How the police chief was blackmailed'.

I present all this in three articles on my informative/critical website at:

Narasimhan often repeated that he really didn't understand why SB was so nice to him... describing himself as a rather non-religious and even cynical person. However, it is quite evident that SB found VKN a very valuable asset to his social credibility. VKN's huge journalistic prestige, his known social ideals and not least his well-known decency and honesty gave a kind of guarantee of SB's genuineness and bolstered his image in the eyes of the more enlightened middle classes of India. Yet why did VKN, who was known for honest journalism and was not a little proud of this, go along with an entirely non-negative presentation of absolutely everything to do with SB and all his works, both in the monthly SB journal and in his own public talks, when he so well knew about failings and worse that occurred around him? One reason is that VKN always felt great respect for SB, and - like most others - was strongly affected by his invigorating (and intimidating) presence. Moreover, a journalist who had seen so much failure, incompetence and corruption in his journalistic travels, VKN had admiration for SB's public works and personal engagement, as well as his stated determination to raise India and protect or regenerate all that was good about its culture and people.

Certainly, after VKN's wife died, SB called him for something or other practically every day and he spent many long hours close by SB at festivals, in occasional interviews, and rode about with him in cars etc. It is significant that a person so often with SB - frequently on a daily basis - held the opinions he did, and voiced them. Meanwhile, I am taking sole responsibility for making this information common knowledge, both about the amazing abilities and activities of SB told me by VKN and about the doubtful and darker sides of what has gone on very close to him. Especially after VKN's wife died, he became virtually dependent on living in the ashram for he had grown into the way of life there after 20 years in frequent association with SB. Since he gave up his house and resided in the ashram, VKN had virtually - if gradually - fallen more and more under the charm, but also the power, of SB. While all devotees do this to a considerable extent, those coming from abroad can more easily break out if the need should arise, as is seen in the fall away of prominent foreign devotees after the 1999 revelations, and by the fact that very few prominent Indian followers revoke SB, and certainly not in public.

It is not without some misgivings that I report these matters; I am impelled by my duty that certain facts should be recorded accurately and truthfully - I am possibly indebted to Sathya SB for some form of physical healing, and spiritual sustenance at times, plus many paranormal experiences. Unlike the majority of Sai followers, however, my gratitude does not extend to gagging myself about important negative facts at SB's ashrams, and I have come to know of plenty such, not least from V.K. Narasimhan, including the gravest kinds of criminal behaviour.

The most important piece of information I ever received from Narasimhan, was also the most shattering. It had sometimes caused me some problems and doubts that VKN confided to me experiences and facts known to insiders of the ashram but which he was unable, not least for reasons of his own and others' security, to speak openly about there. Still, I was determined to rationalise everything nicely to make it all fit the Procrustean bed of SB's claims about himself, his work and 'mission'.

Had Narasimhan - in whose integrity I had full faith - not been willing to give me a frank account of what happened, I would still have believe that Sai Baba, his brother, the ashram and the Central Trust were entirely innocent.
But they were not! I guarantee on my honour that what follows is an accurate a report as my notes at the time. When I asked Narasimhan in January 1996 in private what had occurred, he said of SB's top officials, "they did a terrible thing", using those very words. Those involved were some top ashram officials and Central Trust members, and particularly SB's younger brother, Janakiramiah. The police, once they finally arrived on the scene, were blackmailed by these people into shooting the four intruders and claiming it was in self-defence.

Narasimhan attested the above to me as an indubitable fact, though he was not personally present to the killings, being asleep in his apartment. He further recounted to me a conversation at which he had been present when Baba's younger brother, Jankiramaiah (a multi-millionaire property owner and entrepreneur who now also virtually heads the Sathya Sai Central Trust) discussed the incident with "a very high official in the Indian Government", who it later became clear was the Home Minister, S.B. Chavan. (Note: Janakiramiah openly claimed to the press repeatedly and insistently that the intruders had intended to assassinate his elder brother, SB!) Chavan had congratulated Janakiramiah on having had the four intruders shot by the police and one of them commented "Dead men tell no tales", whereupon they actually laughed together. Narasimhan was deeply shocked. When one considers his position at that time, it is easy to see how powerless he was to stand up and announce what he knew. His life would almost certainly have been in danger.

VK Narasimhan, whose word I just cannot doubt on this, also told me how the ashram/Central Trust authorities had a lever with which to blackmail the police to execute by shooting the four youths who had knifed to death Baba's two attendants... and they used it! Learning all this to be indisputable fact shook my view of everything around SB worse than anything before or even since. It has also obviously had repercussions on my faith in Baba's alleged universal benevolence, even though he may well have given no instructions himself but just let things happen. Armed only with knives, the youths could have been disarmed one by one before they were allowed to exit the room or, at least only shot to disable them if they threatened the police.

I recount the blackmailing episode in full, and many other details of the 1993 murders in the third paper on VKN entitled 'Shocking Revelations from V. K. Narasimhan' at

I, Robert Priddy, will be most pleased to try to answer any questions about the above - or any related issues - to the best of my abilities and knowledge... whoever you are. Simple mail me at

Thank you.