Clumsy Attempts at Persuasion
Brian Steel November 2002
Copyright © Brian Steel 2002
Readers who have not already seen these translated and officially edited extracts from SB's Deepavali Discourse (4 November 2002) will be interested in, and perhaps concerned about, the following thoughts of SB, seen on the official website <www.srisathyasai.org.in> . Now that we are deprived of the literal translations from Premsai, we can only guess how much more interesting the direct translation would be.
"Some ten years ago, a gentleman came here and proclaimed that Sri Sathya Sai Baba was God. Not only that, he also proclaimed and propagated that not only Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but every living being was permeated by divinity. After sometime, when some of his desires could not be fulfilled, he propagated that Baba was not God. The same individual proclaimed at one time that Baba was God and at another time that He was not God. How should we believe such a person with a double tongue? This type of double-speaking is a demonic quality."
Here, in a feeble attempt to dismiss and discredit the idea that people have actually found out and told the truth about SB's Divine claims, he dogmatically labels this activity as double-speaking and as a demonic quality (with the now familiar and unconvincing defence chorus about "desires not fulfilled" crudely added). No further comment necessary, except to deplore the use of such a primitive and inadequate damage control technique, which seems to echo SSO pronouncements on anything critical of SB.
2. Does the following make sense?
"For those who say 'yes', I say 'yes'. For those who say 'no', I say 'no'. 'Yes' and 'no' are related to you, but for Sai, everything is 'yes', 'yes', 'yes'." (Telugu Poem)
"For Me, all are good. There are no bad people. Those who develop negative feelings without enquiring into the good and bad of things in this objective world, will only spoil their own life. So far as I am concerned, I love everybody. All are equally dear to Me. Some people may have some doubts. But, they must be made to see reason with a proper explanation and counselling. As far as possible, you should not give room for doubts, for so long as the doubts persist, you will not have peace of mind." [italics added]
Over the last 50 years, SB has made many strong statements about doubt, doubters and Doubting Thomases, as anyone can see if he/she consults Robert Priddy's massive 300-page Index of the volumes of Sathya Sai Speaks - a real labour of intense devotion and scholarship, which is enhanced rather than devalued now that Robert is no longer "with " SB. (Consult it at http://metasci.tripod.com - 'Back to the Source Sai Index')
In the above 4 November extract, SB's usual considered opinion that doubt (especially about him) is a bad thing is extended, obliquely, in the direction of brainwashing. He suggests that the only way to peace of mind for people who have doubts is that they "must be made to see reason with a proper explanation and counselling". Otherwise they will spoil their life. But what is so intrinsically wrong or dangerous about doubts? Why should doubters be made to see reason? Why should reason be assumed to be on one side alone (here, SB's, of course)? If someone doubts, why not offer counsel and then leave him/her alone to reach a suitable solution, EITHER way? Why is SB afraid of the risk?
It is not clear whether SB is now taking lessons from the counselling activities of his evangelists and apologists on the Internet (for example, 'Sandeha Nivarini' and its similar cultic motto which guarantees to dissolve ANY doubts about SB) or whether the inspiration of the latter groups and individuals stems from this teaching of SB's? Did SB really mean what he said in that sentence when he appeared to leave the door open for all of us who DO enquire "into the good and bad of things"; his words imply that he condones or understands "negative feelings" in those circumstances. Probably more confused expression on his part, and perhaps a freudian slip. In any case, SB or the SSO can always blame the translators and editors if they choose.
4. Extraordinary new linguistic decree by SB:
"Today, several people wish "Good morning, good night", etc., when they come across somebody. This is not our culture. This is an alien culture. Instead, if you say 'Namaskar', how happy you as well as the other person will feel? Today, even to say 'Namaskar' has become burdensome for people who consider themselves modern. What is this 'Good morning' and 'Good evening'? Even a rustic person is able to say 'Namaskar'. If you delve into the scientific truth, there is nothing like morning and evening or sunrise and sunset. All these changes are happening due to the earth rotating around itself."
So, from now on, according to SB, saying "Good morning" and "Good evening" is not only culturally incorrect for SB devotees in India but scientifically incorrect everywhere in the world (and presumably in any language: Bonjour, Buenos días, Guten Morgen, Buon Giorno, Goede Morgen, Dobriy Dyen, Dyen Dobra, etc.).
Incidentally, the Communist regime of Stalin (the ex-seminarian-turned atheist, who had some odd ideas about language) is alleged to have tried to abolish the Russian for 'Thank you' which is derived from a form of 'May God save you'. Nevertheless, the word 'Spasibo' ('Bog' means God) remained firmly rooted in the language throughout the Soviet era. In a similar way, I can't imagine that 'Good morning' (or 'Bonjour', etc.) is under any real threat anywhere from this latest idiosyncratic diktat by SB.
Everybody enjoys the special effect of wishing and receiving Namaste and Namaskar!)
Back to Brian Steel's Home Page
Back to Beginning of this article