Recycled Acclamations of Sathya Sai Baba as God and Avatar
Brian Steel June 2008
Copyright © 2008 Brian Steel
For Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th Birthday in November 2005, the Sathya Sai Organisation prepared suitably lavish celebrations. A subsidiary website of its book publishing arm issued glowing tributes from 47 distinguished devotees (and a few other), mainly to an Internet readership of devotees. The tributes were extremely flattering, as one would expect, but only a few of them specifically endorsed SSB’s well known claims to be God on Earth and Avatar. One of the latter acknowledgements, from a distinguished American pediatrician, Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, attracted an amount of critical attention on the Internet at the time for its surprisingly strong assertion of SSB’s Divinity and of the historical prophecies of his alleged Advent. Dr Anand’s participation in the eulogy was commented on in articles by Robert Priddy, Barry Pittard and myself. (See, for example, A New Celebrity Endorsement of Sathya Sai Baba’s Alleged Divinity?)
However, for an undisclosed reason, by the beginning of January 2006, this collection of devotee eulogies was no longer to be found at its original home at www.srisathyasaipublications.org/Voice.htm or at www.srisathyasaipublications.org/home.htm. (The main website for SSB publications is www.sssbpt.org.)
At a later stage, the document resurfaced on the unofficial but highly visible devotee website www.saibaba.ws, which hosts an enormous collection of similar hagiographical and laudatory articles on Sathya Sai Baba. The document is still to be found there – unofficially, of course – at: www.saibaba.ws/articles2/views and voices.htm. It is also to be found, in a slightly condensed form (minus the Anand entry) at www.saibabaofindia.com/voices_sai_baba.htm.
On 26 June 2008, as part of a relentless one-man campaign to rehash old tributes to Sathya Sai Baba in his heyday, the same eulogies have been republished on a Wordpress blog run by SSB’s major Internet activist, Joe (or Gerald ) Moreno. (See http://sathyasaibaba.wordpress.com, ‘Views and Voices’ – one of 16 websites and blogs used by this person on his full-time project.) Now, a few days later, it has been reposted by him (not once but twice) as a blog on the widely read Indiainteracts mainstream website. (A full list of the activist’s sites.)
Once one’s amazement subsides at the reappearance of this barrage of old and highly polemical endorsements of SSB’s alleged Divinity, some intriguing questions arise:
Why does the Sathya Sai Organisation no longer offer this revealing document on its own plentifully stocked official websites?
Does the Sathya Sai Organisation approve of the two unofficial devotee proxy postings of the document referred to above?
Does the Sathya Sai Organisation approve of the lone activist’s recent decision to attract international publicity with these originally “in-house” statements on such a polemical topic which, in recent years, the Organisation has tended to downplay in its external public relations?
On a more personal level, do Dr Anand and some of his fellow eulogists – who may have felt embarrassed by the wide publicity outside devotee circles in 2005 – approve of their alleged words of praise and homage to the self-styled Avatar being broadcast for world scrutiny and comment once again (in triplicate)?
Furthermore, it is relevant to point out that the lone non-devotee (or ex-devotee) activist who has re-issued the effusive eulogies is also conducting a campaign of fierce denunciation of all non-hagiographical work on Sathya Sai Baba. However, since he is on record as saying that he had “issues” with the concept of Sathya Sai Baba’s claimed Divinity, he should not be surprised if readers of the latest 3 postings brand him as hypocritical and/or cynical in trumpeting to the blogosphere, and to the wider Internet community, devotee views which re-assert the Divinity of Sathya Sai Baba as categorically as those selected below (from c. 47 entries).
Air Chief Marshal (Retd.) O.P. Mehra
Former Chief of Air Staff, India; Former Governor of Indian States of Maharashtra and Rajasthan
I have no hesitation…In the final analysis I have no hesitation in saying that I am, what I have had the pleasure of being, and as of today, thanks to Sri Sathya Sai Baba – the DIVINE – the AVATAR – my MENTOR. I am convinced that everything we see, hear, smell, touch and or taste is His. Salvation of all human lies in laying the Soul at His Divine Feet.
Dr.(Mrs.) J. Geeta Reddy
Minister for Tourism & Sugar, Govt. of A.P., India
How fortunate are we to live as contemporaries of the ‘Living God’, our ‘Beloved Sai’.
Anil V.Gokak, I.A.S. (Retd.)
Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning; Former Secretary in the Ministry of Fertilisers, Govt. of India
He has come at the most critical juncture…Sai Baba is, undisputedly, a unique avatar in the history of humanity. He has taken the human form at a time when man has lost his Peace. Man has become more and more materialistic and self-centred, thanks to the advance of science. Ruthless exploitation of nature by man has also created a great deal of disturbance. An avatar is badly needed by mankind and surely, Sai Baba has descended on the planet in the human form to guide humanity at a most critical juncture in its history.
Dr. G. Venkataraman
Former Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning; Formerly Director of Anurag, Defense Research and Development Organisation, Hyderabad, India
Preoccupations take you to miss His wonderful shades…Most devotees are generally preoccupied with miracles and experiences that border on the miraculous. This obsession with the paranormal is understandable, but, in the process, we also tend to miss the wonderful shades of the Divine in human form.[…]
Lt. Gen. (Retd.) S.P. Malhotra
A highly decorated soldier of the Indian Army; retired as GOC-in-C, Northern Command
Love all, Serve all Help Ever, Hurt Never. Baba’s teachings which He gives in His discourses are profound, put in simple league so that everyone can understand them. His command over language and fluency is phenomenal. His discourses are in Telugu but He can speak all other languages. Baba’s knowledge not only of the scriptures, but medicines, science, technology and all other subjects is unlimited.
C.L. Kaw, I.R.T.S. (Retd.)
Former Chairman, Indian Railway Board
Miracles are in the very nature of God because He operates at a totally different level. Moreover, He is very compassionate towards His devotees. He is in the real sense Karma Dhwamsine(destroyer of evil effects of bad actions). Normally every individual has to bear the fruit of his karmas and as per karmic theory there is no escape from this. But Swami as the most compassionate God many times helps His devotees by softening the effect of karmas – on some occasions, suffering Himself to reduce intensity for devotees.
Dr. S.V. Chittibabu
Former Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University; Former Vice-Chancellor of Annamalai University
Is it not our immeasurable good fortune that Sri Sathya Sai Baba should have come into the world as the Purna-Avatar of Sriman Narayana in human form during our lifetime for the redemption of humanity? Swami’s sublime teachings imparted through His lofty discourses, writings, conversations as well as His living example are nonpareil with respect to their contents and efficacy in metamorphosing the hearts of countless millions for the better. … On this memorable occasion this is my fervent prayer to Bhagawan Baba, the Living and Loving God, the Enchanting Charioteer and Singer of the world with abundant love and tender patience leading us all by his vision of truth and beauty, love and goodness: … Above all give me the strength to surrender my strength to Thy Will with Love.
Formerly, Chairman of World Council of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations
If one has to ask a question as to what is the one single largest contribution of this Avatar in the 21st century, what would the answer be? It would be “en masse transformation of mankind and thereby the whole world”. The approach of Bhagawan Baba makes Him the most scientific Avatar when He says, “Come, examine, experience and only then develop faith”. There is no question of just blind faith.
K.R. Paramahamsa, I.A.S. (Retd.)
A Civil servant borne on the Cadre of the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai is the present day spiritual guide and companion to humankind, leading us by hand. […]
The spirit of the humankind, therefore, considers in reverence that He is God-Incarnate that walks among us in human form for our deliverance, allowing us to bask in the aura of His Divine Resplendence. Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai is ‘Tat’ embodied.
Prof. H.S. Bhat (FAMS)
Academician of repute in the medical field of Urology; Currently head of the department of Urology, SSSIHMS, Prasanthigram
It is a tragedy of circumstances that our livelihood should be dependent on the sufferings and pain of our fellow beings. We firmly believe that, while we can only cut, we have minimal or no control on the healing which ultimately is in the hands of God - a God who may be addressed in any way we wish to. We continue to see the miracle of healing everyday by the Divine Physician in every field of activity. His discourses are messages of life and the purpose is love in action. He demonstrates that His religion is love; His language is the language of the heart. His food is Love and what He does for humanity is His Love in action.
Dr. R.S. Padmanabhan
Dentist of repute from Bangalore. Member, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Karnataka, India
People ask me why Swami calls a few and not others for interview. […] One has to work out one’s karmas. When Swami sees a person, it is sufficient. The Divine Glance sets things in the right direction.
A practising Advocate from Mumbai; Pioneer in Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas and Education in Human Values Programme
Indeed, for the first time in eons of time, has the Master Himself come on Earth and is asking from within each one of us, a very simple question “Will you be my friend?” and the only simple answer He awaits from us is “Yes, I will… I will.”
Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand MBBS, D.Phil., FAAP, FCCM, FRCPCH
Pediatrician of repute from United States… Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences UAMS College of Medicine; Board of Directors, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute
All of Humanity is beholden that Sri Sathya Sai Baba has taken a human form that lives in Puttaparthi, in the Southern part of India. He was born on Nov 23, 1926 and announced his Divinie Mission in May, 1940. Millions and millions of instances have proven to the world that God Almighty, the Absolute Reality, the Divine Cosmic Being, the Creator of the Universe has set aside His difficult to grasp Immanence and manifested in the form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. HE has assumed a human form to guide humankind towards their own Divinity within and to save humanity from its own annihilation.
The Advent of this Divine Form is referenced in the Book of Revelations of the Bible, in the Holy Koran, in the Vedas and Jaimini Mahabharatha, in the Guru Granth Sahib, and in all of the major religious texts of the world.
With Divine Grace, I have personally met the greatest of scientists, industrialists, politicians, world leaders, or members of the Royalty in several countries, but to compare all of these great personalities with Sri Sathya Sai Baba is like holding a candle to the Sun.
(Selected from www.saibaba.ws/articles2/views and voices.htm)
Other relevant background references:
New Factors for Researchers to Consider
Part 2 of a 3-part annotated Bibliography on Sathya Sai Baba