Will the true birthdate of Sai Baba
ever be known?
http://www.quicktopic.com/8/H/qYarJBpGLW7G6 Message 1463
RE: SB's OLD SCHOOL DOCUMENT DISCUSSED ON A YAHOO
The following letter from a Premsai member was received at Sunrise today. The writer is fluent in Telegu.
"I immediately recognized this document as one that was published in Padmanabhan's biographical series (only the first book completed so far, LOVE IS MY FORM, the years 1926 to 1950). It is a huge book, meticulously researched and packed full of old documents, photos and memories of/ interviews with scores of people who knew Swami right from His birth.
"The document is just a list of students in a school, with Swami's name circled. The headings in Telugu simply say name (Sathya Narayana Raju), lineage (Ratnakaram), father's name (Pedda Venkama Raju), village (Puttaparthi), profession of father (cultivator), date of admit, date of birth, vaccination, religion (Hindu), caste (Rajapuri), grade (8th), and date that it was confirmed that He would not return to school (scribbled long after He left).
"There is also an explanation in the book of the loose system of registering birth in those days. When anyone entered school who did not have a birth certificate, the principal or teacher would simply put any date they wanted.
Not only then: even today in all the villages around (X) Ashram in south India, birth certificates are not given to most babies born (that I know of). When kids enter school they could be any age, and many are admitted at a later age (4th graders are 14 to 16 years old etc.).
"If the parents aren't sure of the year or date of birth, the teacher puts down any date of their fancy (usually dates that are near or on holy festivals, on the date that they fall in that year). Even if birth certificates are found later, they are ignored because it is too much of a hassle to change all the records.
"Just before I left (X) Ashram I was shown a ration card of the wife of the water boy who works in the Ashram. Looking at it I said, "I thought you said your wife was 20 years old. Why does it state her age as 26 here?" David replied, "Ration cards are only given for people over 25 years old! So we had to swear her age was that."
"A boy in (X) Ashram school told me they found his birth certificate which was one year and a few months earlier than his stated age on school reports and bus pass. I asked why he didn't change it officially on the records? He said they refused to because it would cause too much confusion! So he is stuck with the other, "official" date.
"So I would not give too much weight to dates of birth on school records.
"This is a sort of thing that only people like me, with experience in Indian villages, would understand."
Quote from the book:
"Sathya's date of birth in school records, however, is recorded as the 4th of October 1929. Talipineni Kesappa, son of Talipineni Ramappa, maintains that Sathya was one year senior to him at school. Therefore, Kesappa's date of
birth being the 11th of June 1927, Sathya's year of birth definitely is 1926. It has long been a practice in the schools to record a date of birth as being much later than the 'actual' date of birth, in order to facilitate career prospects."
"Sathya's parents wanted Sathya to become an educated officer. This, possibly, could be the reason for the discrepancy. In addition, in 1926 people in remote villages like Puttaparthi, in pre-independent India, were not very particular about dates and birth registration was done much later."
Comment: It seems that there is no way we can ever know the true birthdate of SB! Astrologers like the November 23, 1926 birth chart.
Re: SB's Birth Certificate
I was pleased to see Dragonslayers recent message about the VERY important book: "Love is My Form", Vol 1. (Sai Towers, October 2000)
I can comfortably accept his correspondent's expert remarks about birthdates in India and the need not to rush to judgement over that particular detail.
However, since the devotee correspondent gives the book a deserved recommendation for meticulous research, I wonder what his/her attitude is to the book's other important (and original)items of convincing factual evidence which seriously conflict with some of Sai Baba's (and the Sathya Sai Organisation's) statements and SB's stories: for example the Date of the "Declaration of Sai Baba-hood"! (1943, with convincing School Register photostat evidence -, as I pointed out in my November 2001 web-book - SSB-GOG)
Also the (Sathya Sai Speaks) Discourse "story" about helping his schoolmates to (cheat and) pass an exam that the book shows he was not even allowed to take! ETC. ETC.
Please READ "Love is My Form". I don't have shares in Sai Towers but this deeply researched book is already proving to be very important in this search for the truth. But if you use its information, please acknowledge the fact. It is simply a question of normal good writing/research manners.
Has Volume 2 appeared yet? I can't wait!
(And please forgive the unaccustomed intrusion but I had to speak up on these vital and very topical matters)