Does the World Protector Need Security?


June 2003   

Date: 06-13-03

From: Serguei Badaev


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Sathya Sai Baba (SSB) proclaimed himself Purna Avatar, that is an embodiment of the Divinity that came to this world to protect Dharma (Righteousness) and eliminate Evil. A core idea of what SSB has been preaching for so many years is that one is not a body but eternal undestroyable Atma (that is the Divine Principle). That is why it was quite natural to hear from SSB in his discourse of 13th January 1993 that if someone has any fear it is due to his false identification with his body and as a result to some wrong doings.

"When Chandrasekhar came here, a hundred security men also came. Swami asked him, why do you need so many people? He said that security is very necessary. Then Swami said that there must be some mistake in you. Because of mistake, you have fear, and when there is fear, you need security".

(13.01.1992 Prashanthi Nilayam, from materials of the ESSE Institute) 

But in a year and a half, on 6th June 1993 an event occurred in Prashanthi Nilayam, SSB's ashram, that apparently made SSB undertake some special efforts to protect his physical existence. Four armed intruders tried to reach SSB, but he successfully escaped. The intruders were caught and killed in SSB's rooms, after they had killed two SSB's assistants. You can get more information about this incident from shocking revelations of Narasimhan, a former editor of Sanathana Sarathi magazine, which were published by R. Priddy on his site Priddy also reports that Narasimhan told him already on January 1, 1996 that SSB was spending 50 lakhs of rupees per month on keeping 50 private plainclothes security operatives in the ashram. Moreover, the so-called ringleader of the temple intrusion  incident, Vijay Prabhu, who escaped on a bus, was himself at that time the security chief of Prashanti Nilayam! 

Nobody really knows what the motives of the intruders were as these murders were left uninvestigated. But some evident changes happened in  ashram life. In the mandir (temple) area the metal detectors, like those at airports, were installed at the entrances on the men's side and on the women's side as well. SSB moved to live in the Poornachandra building where he has some rooms upstairs. But no stairs lead to his rooms. SSB gets there by an elevator, which is under control from his rooms and is blocked at night to prevent unexpected intrusion. In front of the entrance to SSB's rooms there is a military guard with a gun for 24 hours a day. It is widely known that very often some students spend nights with SSB in his rooms (see Sanathana Sarathi, June 1998, p.142-143). Although some people believe that it is SSB's sexuality that is the reason why boys stay with him at night, it may contribute to his security as well. 

I can also share my own personal experience of visiting SSB in Prashanthi Nilayam repeatedly during 1995-2000. I was surprised to see during every darshan (daily meeting with devotees) as two young bodyguards in the white clothes of ordinary devotees provided God's security. Before darshan they stayed near the entrance of SSB's rooms and immediately after SSB passed this place they ran around, entered the mandir hall and sat down in the arranged places reserved for them by sevadals in the front rows among male devotees. They changed places following SSB's movement through the male side of the mandir area until they positioned themselves on the veranda among top devotees and VIP guests. When SSB left the mandir these two body guards left the veranda and went out of the mandir and ran to the SSB rooms' entrance. 

SSB devotees have a number of explanations to put to these facts. For example, they believe it is not SSB who has fear for his life, it is devotees who are afraid, and SSB lets them protect his life out of his great love for his devotees. In fact, it is just a part of his leela (Divine Play) because it is he who is the Protector of the whole world. After the 1993 murder episode, the Indian Government bent to pressure from prominent devotees and proclaimed SSB to be a "national treasure" and sent a military guard to protect him. 

In the discourses following the murders in June 1993 SSB emphasized repeatedly that nobody really understands the role of the Avatar in the cosmic play, that God's ways (= SSB's ways) are inscrutable, and all devotees need is to keep their faith firm and accept everything that happens in their lives as being for their good. In spite of this sophisticated logic for an unbiased observer the true reason is clear as day. The following words of SSB, said a year and a half before the murders of June 1993, testify against his own deeds:

"We do not need to fear anyone. Why should one be afraid of Truth? When there is a defect, there is fear. When there is fear, you need security. No mistake, no fear, no security."

(13.01.1992 Prashanthi Nilayam, from materials of the ESSE Institute)