Introduction to this Topic:
Sathya Sai Baba: The Guru Who Claimed to be God on Earth
Brian Steel June 2003
Copyright © Brian Steel 2003
Public falls from grace by spiritual gurus are relatively infrequent but, given the intense personal trust and the total faith of the follower, any strong suspicion or clear evidence of deceit or wrongdoing on the part of the guru can provoke or threaten trauma for many people and prolonged public polemics. Major recent upheavals of this type have been caused by revelations concerning the sexual activities of the prominent gurus Rajneesh (Osho) and Muktananda.
The important case examined on this web page involves an Indian guru who, over 60 years, has become internationally famous for his alleged miracles and Divine powers. He is the most widely known living Indian guru, with an alleged following of millions worldwide. Among his many unique features, he is the subject of the greatest number of books and articles of appreciation and hagiography (mostly by grateful and adoring devotees - two of them by the author of this Introduction when he was a devotee). The guru's spiritual name is Sathya Sai Baba and his main ashram is in Puttaparthi, India.
SSB's spiritual teachings and the charitable social work undertaken by his Organisation and by his devotees are not the subject of scrutiny of this investigation. Instead, the web page presents simple factual evidence (mostly glaringly obvious to objective study but hitherto unnoticed or ignored by Sathya Sai Baba's unconditional and uncritical devotees) which shows that SSB is NOT what he initially claimed (boldly, unequivocally, and frequently) to be and what a large proportion of his devotees consequently believe and openly proclaim him to be: God on Earth, with fully Divine Powers of Omnipotence. Omniscience, and Omnipresence (or, in Hindu terms, a rare Purna Avatar, equal to the legendary figures of Rama and Krishna).
Other important snowballing controversies about Sathya Sai Baba currently attracting a great deal of attention on the Internet (on an almost daily basis) and in the world media (occasionally) are:
- his alleged paedophile and homosexual actitivities with a number of his male devotees over the years;
- the controversy surrounding the killings in his ashram in 1993.
This investigation does not examine those unresolved matters, but suggests suitable sources of information about them. (The topics are so delicate that they would be sub judice if any Indian court would agree to hear them.)
Most of the critical references given are to Internet sites like this one, so, to a large extent, the demystification of SSB has so far been a "Trial by Internet". However, there are also other important media references, which are given in the text or in the separate Bibliography. Although the main ongoing investigations of this subject are Internet-based, the final complete revelations about this ageing guru and his Organisation will certainly take the form of printed books.
The real portrait of SSB that is emerging from these close independent studies, far from that of a credible Messiah, is of an extremely charismatic and self-confident person with mysterious psychic powers, fully supported and promoted by his close associates, his Organisation, and the unconditional faith of his countless converts, or devotees (most of whom are still unwilling to read even the most incontrovertible and freely available evidence that their 'Divine Avatar' is anything other than he claimed 60 years ago and they have been proclaiming ever since).
My Research on Sathya Sai Baba
Back to Beginning of this Introduction