From "The world of gurus" 1977
From: xnagel Alexandra Nagel on:
Sathya Sai Baba Discussion Club, message 1321:
Date: 12/4/00 12:36 a.m.
Excerpt from: The world of gurus
By Vishal Mangalwadi
New Delhi: Vikas Publ. House
1977, pp. 167-168.
The growing popularity of Sri Sathya Sai Baba recently met with a set-back when the seven-year old miracle boy, Kitti (better known as Sai Krishna), was exposed as a fraud, by the committee set up by Bangalore University, to investigate superstitions and miracles.
Hundreds of people became followers of Sri Sathya Sai Baba because Sai Krishna started miraculously producing sacred ash, and other objects from the air. He and his parents claimed that these were given to him by Sai Baba. Thousands flocked to see the boy at Pandavpura. An Australian devotee of Sai Baba, apparently, made a movie on the boy to be shown abroad.
For a long time the 12-member committee of Bangalore University tried to obtain permission from the boys parents to be allowed to investigate the authenticity of his miracles. Finally they were invited to attend the weekly bhajans as ordinary devotees, but were prohibited from touching the boy. No miracle took place on July 8, 1976, when three of the team members went officially. On July 15, three other members attended the bhajans incognito, and exposed the origin of the sacred ash. They found that the ash was hidden in the boys (vest) and came out when he pulled a string hidden in his clothes! This naturally brought great embarrassment to the followers of Sathya Sai Baba. Ardent followers made loud but fruitless attempts to disassociate Sathya Sai Baba from Sai Krishna. But obviously no reasonable explanation is possible. Why did God allow a family to fool the world for eight months and to trick hundreds into his fold by deception? Did he not know that this was all a fraud?
The Current weekly (September 11, 1976) in their cover story featured a professional magician, Niranjan Mathur, and a renowned Hatha Yogi L.S. Rao, both of whom claimed that the miracles of Sathya Sai Baba were only a sleight of hand. Niranjan Mathur who performs better miracles of materialization, claimed that he was willing to serve Sai Baba as a slave for the rest of his life, if the Baba could prove to him that his miracles were supernatural. His standing challenge is: I can trap them (godmen) while they perform their tricks if I can examine their hands just before they perform their so called miracles. But they wont be able to catch me, when I perform them.
The Bangalore University committee has repeatedly requested Sathya Sai Baba to permit them to examine the authenticity of his miracles, but he has refused their request.