WHY SATHYA SAI BABA STOPPED CHEWING BETEL
Comment on the posting 'Sai Baba's Chewing Habit'
By: Robert Priddy
The occasion of SSB's deciding not to chew betel was not because of any medical advice or insight.
The fact is, as Prof. Kasturi has related, SSB had previously, during a tour of North India, severely corrected him for taking snuff, which he regarded as 'a filthy habit'.
Later on, when taking Kasturi somewhere with him in his car, SSB took betel. Kasturi noticed that a gob of red spit had soiled SSB's robe and pointed this out so that it could be removed before others saw it. SSB evidently realised that he was as guilty of 'a filthy habit' as Kasturi ever was and thereupon stated that he would cease chewing betel.
So, in addition to his recommending betel chewing as good for the digestion and saying that it is not harmful, we see that he did not stop for any medical reasons.