I decided to start this blog as a way to pen my thoughts about the Sai Baba situation. One of my big regrets about being a SB devotee is that I never kept some sort of journal that properly described my progress in the organisaton as well as all the realisations that I had, both political and spiritual. This need was more poignantly felt at the time of my exit from that whole belief system. At that time I had quite a disillusioned ooutlook as well as some interesting points that I wished I had had the time to jot down somewhere. I did once keep a diary of the numerous "blessings" and such that I received from him during my 1997 visit to him, but nothing seriously deep or thoughtful.
I hope that this blog will lead somewhere in that direction. I cannot promise that it will all flow through, but just that I might have some interesting anecdotes, realisations and memories to share, as well as some description of the theological and philosophical inaccuracies that Sai Baba passes off in the guise of "divine teachings".
For me, this was one of the worst aspects of his whole sideshow. Aside from the immoral acts that he perpetrates and also the corruption within the organisation, the one issue that really affected me on a personal level was the way he misleads his followers by:-
a) pretending that he in an avatar (incarnation of God), and
b) teaching wrong things.
By "wrong", I do not mean that he teaches people to do wrong things such as kill and loot, and so on, but just that from the standpoint of philosophy, his teachings are largely one-sided and myopic. It is sometimes sad to see how his followers blindly believe him and his teachings simply because they do not know any better. These are some issues that I plan to expand upon in future writings.
I should probably also get around to penning some sort of descriptive record of my experiences with SB and the organisaton and put it up somewhere on the net. For now I can introduce myself as someone who believed in Sai Baba as God for a period of 10 years. I made several trips to India to visit him at several of his ashrams, and I had the opportunity to view him at close quarters on two specific occasions that are commonly referred to as 'interviews' amongst his devotees. I would like to quote from a recent post that I wrote on a discussion forum dealing with one of the issues that led me to leave him and his organisation:
"I was a devotee of SB for 10 years and I also had many dreams, leelas, interviews, and so on. I also did not change my mind because of what someone told me; I changed my mind and stopped worshipping Him as God because I actually followed his teachings.
"Would you like to know how I did that?
"You know how Sai Baba always says that only those who study the scriptures are able to actually gain some insight into who God is? Well actually, that's his roundabout way of saying "if you want to understand me, study the scriptures." The implication is that if you read the scriptures, you will be able to understand who God is, His activities, His qualities, and so on. He also likes to identify himself with God often.
"Well, you know, that's what I did. I've always been interested in scriptures anyway and it was a pleasure to read them yet again. The interesting thing is that as I was studying, I began to realise that Sai Baba was not God at all. I mean, all of the qualities and attributes and descriptions of God in our scriptures, they do not fit Sai Baba at all!
"Let me give you an example: God is FULL of six major opulences. These opulences are strength, fame, wealth, knowledge, beauty, and renunciation. Mind you, God being all in all must be FULL of these six opulences, not just a little bit. In other words, He is the MOST beautiful, MOST famous, MOST strongest, and so on. So at the risk of being superficial, is Sai Baba MOST beautiful? No. MOST strongest? Hell no, he gives darshan in a wheelchair these days, or was it a golf cart? MOST wealthiest? I don't think he's made anyone's Rich List. In any case you get the point, right?
"So in the same way, if you actually get around to reading proper scriptures and analysing tall of the points in different ways, you'll see that they do not describe SB at all, but rather the "real" God. And since it was SB himself who advised me to do this in his teachings, it is SB himself who is pointing the way to his own downfall. Isn't that hilarious?"
I have about this elsewhere but the above just about sums up the gist of the issue. Of course there were many other factors that caused me to leave, and I hope to deal with and discuss them in future posts on this blog. It is interesting to see that the discussion forums that served us very well at the beginning of our quest to bring Sai Baba to justice no longer serve a good purpose. They now appear to be arenas of constant spam and fruitless discussion with heavily-influenced followers who are not prepared to engage in mature and thoughtful discussion about the various concerns surrounding this figure. Add a healthy dollop of ad-hominem attacks and character assassination at every step and it soon becomes clear that a battleground is not necessary any longer.
In any case, it has become abundantly clear that while discussion served us well in the past, the majority of ex-devotees who currently contribute their efforts to bring him to justice are focusing most of their energies on that purpose. As such, discussion forums no longer serve a healthy purpose for such undertakings except perhaps for clarifications needed or to make some announcements. The days of fruitful discusson are long gone, and while there may be occasional glimmers of light in the darkness, they are by and large unworkable and a complete waste of time.
Surprsingly, with Sai Baba's huge emphasis on truth as one of his cardinal expectations of his devotees, it appears that most of his followers who pose themselves as the "defence counsel" have scant regard for truth and facts. They seem to spend a lot more time concerning themselves with the supposed faults of the ex-devotees whether they exist or not.
Anyway, I've rambled on long enough for an initial post. I guess the value of this blog will become obvious in the days to come. Let's hope that this becomes a fruitful undertaking and the start of something new.
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