Letters in India Today
LETTERS in India Today December 18, 2000, p. 8-9
Oh My God!
Sathya Sai Baba: Divinity or Deceit?
Jesus was betrayed by Judas for money. The allegations against Sai Baba could very well have been paid for ("A God Accused", December 4). Several institutions are insecure about his growing popularity and uncomfortable with his universal approach to spirituality. See the positive side of Baba. Take into account a super-speciality hospital run free, educational institutions which dont take a penny, a water projects quenching the thirst of thousands, feeding the poor, the list is endless.
Ambika Nehru, on e-mail
It was inexpedient on your part to publish the allegations made by a few foreigners. It has been acknowledged beyond doubt that Baba has done yeomans service to society. It would be impossible for millions of people could be stupid to show devotion to Sai Baba unless they were fully convinced that Baba deserved all the reverence and more. The achievements of Baba are being sullied by unfounded accusations.
Justice Y.V. Anjaneyulu, Hyderabad
Allegations do not necessarily constitute the truth. Spreading rumours mars your magazines image and hurts millions of people. This kind of reporting gives pleasure only to sadists or atheists.
G. G. Suresh, Karimnagar
The mere manifestation of ash or necklaces is not the only reason why his devotees revere Baba. The story failed to maintain a balance and stank of blasphemy.
It has been mentioned in our scriptures that actions should determine a mans status. Consider Babas developmental activities that benefit millions of poor and needy. It cannot be that 25 million people have been taken for a ride the past 75 years.
Srikant K., on e-mail
India has a long history of Tantric tradition in yoga which prescribes certain sexual practices under the guidance of the guru. Perhaps, in surrendering to a guru, sex is the last boundary of the ego.
Susan Olorenshaw, Bangalore (Is a devotee of Sai Baba and was never an ex-baba devotee.)
All avatars have had people opposing them. During Rams reign there was Ravana, in Krishnas time there was Kansa. During Christs period there were the Pharisees. And in Sathya Sais reign there is INDIA TODAY. Why cant the magazine and the country at large appreciate the good he has done for the benefit of humanity?
Let me applaud the genius of P.C. Sorcar in exposing Babas tricks. But can you, Mr Sorcar, explain other miracles? Can your fill my heart with love for everything around me merely by your presence? Can you make me feel guilty for all the wrongs Ive done and all the bad habits I have, so much so that I desperately want to reform? Can you make such an impact on me that I want to help and serve everyone from an ant to a human simply because I see you in everything?
Nares Sharama, Bangalore
The media has an uncanny ability to put the right people in the news for the wrong reasons. Babas educational institutions help students excel. This has great relevance in the contemporary world where education is totally commercialised and campuses are rotting with filthy politics. These institutions are unique exceptions, preaching universal love and brotherhood. Not a single day has been wasted in the past two decades on account of any bandh.
M. Nagesh Baba, Chittor
For an establishment like the Sai organisation that shuns critical scrutiny by the media, your cover would have come as a rude shock The mass hysteria over this mysterious messiah is a case study fit for sociologists and psychiatrists.
Venkatasubramanian, on e-mail
It is only in India that God-men emerge regularly and make fools of our gullible masses. After these sordid revelations, Sai Baba should be denounced. But the bigwigs will continue to flock around him, seeking favours.
Prabir Nath Banerji, Meerut
At last someone has exposed the dark side of the self-proclaimed godman. Like his peers, Chandra-swamy and Premananda, Sai Babas day of reckoning has come.
S. Sriram, on e-mail
Sai Baba and Veerappan share a lot in common. They both wield a lot of power, both cheat people but have not been caught. And despite being thieves, they are both heroes to a group of powerful people.
Saleem, on e-mail
It must have taken more than persistence to deliver a story like this despite knowing at least 25 million people might not buy the issue. It is a revelation how people blindly follow a wave, and like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, even follow it to their doom.
Shyam V., Chennai
Prasanthi Nilayam is an example of an institution growing too big and devouring a pious idea. A might empire is bound to swallow the very ideology of selflessness on which it was born, no matter whether it is presided over by God or a mere sanyasi. Wheeling-dealing, money-spinning and power-brokering are the hallmarks of the present social milieu and Prasanthi Nilayam has also succumbed.
V.K. Mohan, on e-mail