Sai Towers’ Booksale and Diversification - a Metaphor?


Date: 06 April 2004

By: Brian Steel   


Website: An Ongoing Investigation into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba

Online Bargains!

Purchase Love is My Form (Vol. 1 - and only?) for only US$13 (saving $55 - actually, $130 off the original price of this huge and valuable volume). Buy a copy of penitent exposé CEO Robert Priddy’s Source of the Dream for a mere $1-19 (saving a whole $5 to purchase TEN other ‘classics’, like those by hagiographers Lowenberg, Rao, etc., priced at rockbottom 59 cents each, saving $2-50 on each of them too)!


What is going on?

Sai Towers, the tentacular and already diversified enterprise set up over a decade ago by devotee and ex-SSB-photographer Mr Padmanadban (and others?), which offers both books, hotel accommodation and antiques for Puttaparthi and Whitefield visitors, has had a meteoric rise over the past 15 years or so. (For a brief period around 1999-2000 it was also engaged in importing books and antiques to a posh hotel in Sydney, Australia.)

If you now access the Sai Towers website, you may be surprised to find that most of the pages dealing with books are mere shells, that the glossy magazine ‘Spiritual Impressions’ seems to have dried up in 2002 (am I wrong about that?), and that none of the ‘buttons’ on the magazine’s page (Archives, Trivia, Readers’ Articles, Contact Us, etc.) lead you anywhere. If you follow the Sai Towers book pages, you are immediately shunted to another (commercial) website (, which is full of practical and commercial information for visitors to Puttaparthi, and which appears to be a reincarnation, or alter ego, of Sai Towers.

The separate linked page for the very ambitious Sai Towers ‘Love is My Form’ project of producing six expensive, lavishly illustrated and heavily researched biographical volumes dealing with each decade of the life of SSB is equally stagnant now. The page had offered (and still offers) advantageous pre-purchase rates ($US435, or 25,000 Rs. for 6 volumes) but the advertised publishing schedule was already over 2 years behind schedule (Vols. 2 and 3). Don’t rush to pre-order, though, because the Order Form is now ‘frozen’. Another facade!

My uncharitable suspicion is that, for reasons which we can only guess, Volume 1, which leaked so many ‘inconvenient’ unknown facts about SSB during the remote period of 1935 to 1950 (school register details, Shirdi Sai worship in Puttaparthi, early self-doubt, etc.), will not have any companion volumes. (I would LOVE to be wrong on that, mainly because there are so many other murky events, especially in the 1950s, for which - God help us! - we are left with hagiographer Prof. Kasturi as the major chronicler. Kasturi has a lot to answer for in the promotion of the mythical aspects of SSB. Prof. Kasturi is also quoted quite uncritically as a reliable expert by academic specialists on New Religious Movements - NRMs (many of whom also have a helluva lot to answer for).

Although it is not clear whether Sai Towers is merely clearing out its book remainders to rationalise its stock or preparing to abandon its publishing wing altogether, we do know that since January 2004 its Kadugodi offices are being shared by a new Indian branch of the multinational digital delivery specialists, Quickcut (

Don’t forget that book sale!