Sai Baba EXPOSED!

09 October 2005

Disturbing attitudes to philosophical treatment

Continuing with the views about SB devotees' attitudes to philosophy as a whole as well as their subjective and relative disregard for scripture, it becomes disturbing to note that even SB himself regularly quotes scriptures (albeit randomly) in his discourses! Considering this fact, one has to wonder why his followers maintain a healthy disregard for scripture on matters of spiritual philosophy and generally only show token respect and lip-service.

This is a disturbing trend that sometimes surfaces amid forum discussions whenever philosophical points come up for discussion. The discussion and it's pursuance is usually a waste of time given the lack of knowledge exhibited by most devotees, but the attitude towards scriptural authority itself is a concern. One should do well to remember that even SB includes it in his "mission statement" to re-establish the authority of the Vedas and Shastras as his mission and educate humanity about them.

Besides that, the excuse is often made that since SB was born and raised in India it would naturally be the case that he affords importance to the Vedic body of scripture. As far as I know, this sentiment first openly appeared in David Bailey's book that he wrote when he was a devotee. I disagreed with it then just as I do now. To be devoted to an "avatar" such as Sai Baba means that you are affirming your belief that he is an incarnation of God. As such, would it be proper for any so-called devotee to subject the words of "God" to his own myopic and narrow relative standards? In other words, as far as the devotee is concerned, the word of his master is law and if Sai Baba makes it a priority in his mission to re-establish and affirm the authority of the Vedas and Shastras as he says, then the matter is final.

In this way, some SB devotees appear to have the impression that, upon reaching an "advanced" stage in their spiritual life, they have no further need for scriptural guidance and that it becomes obsolete or even irrelevant. They claim that this is the position of Vedanta also. This is a factual error for Vedanta says no such thing. In some circles it would even be considered a blasphemy to say such things.

What the Vedanta does say, however, is zAstra-yonitvAt (shaastra-yonitvaat). This is the third sutra of Vedanta, and it roughly means that God is the source of the scriptures and thus there are no other means of knowledge to seek God apart from them. Rather interesting, I'd say. And considering that this is the actual Vedantic position, I'd say that you'd be hard-pressed to find a scholar who'd agree that scriptural guidance becomes irrelevant at some point in time. For a start, this would render meaningless the claims to eternal guidance, as well as the fact that even fully-realised gurus who factually have no need of scripture (as they have attained realisation) would still follow scriptural rules for the purposes of setting an example for the populace to follow. As the Bhagavad-gita (3.21) says:

yad yad Acarati zreSThas
tat tad evetaro janaH
sa yat pramANaM kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow.
And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

Since you rarely find a saint disobeying scriptural regulations, the conclusion is clear.




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3 Comments:

  • The writer it seems, has a very limited understanding of Spirituality.
    This whole article is riddled with inaccuracies, regarding Sai Baba, and also, regarding what is required to actually transcend the "ego"

    There are many sources, and from the greatest, and most respected sources, that would disagree profoundly with the writers conclusions in this regard, of scripture being the "way"

    See Ramana Maharshi

    See Nisagadatta Maharaj

    See Jesus

    The list goes on...
    and on...

    It is a fact, that there comes a time, when the written word - the need for it is transcended.

    It is hoped, that this writer will realise this for himself oneday.

    At that time, he will also be in a position, to actually understand, the deeper meaning of scripture itself, and not, as at present, misrepresent it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09 October, 2005 05:50  

  • -----------------------
    See Ramana Maharshi

    See Nisagadatta Maharaj

    See Jesus

    The list goes on...
    and on..
    -----------------------

    You have a right to your opinion. But also please conisder this:-

    Here is a list of recent(500 -700 years max) great sadhus who follow the scripture rigidly and were known to be sadhus of greatest caharcter and had a huge impact on a large section of the pious population, moving them towards dhrama and transcendence.

    Sripad Sankaracharya
    Sripad Madvacharya
    Sripad Ramanujacharya
    Sripad Vishnu Swami
    Sripad Nimbarkacharya
    Sripad Sridhara Swami
    Sripad Jayadeva Goswami
    Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
    Sri Vallabhacharya
    Sri Raghavendra Swami
    Sri Rupa Goswami
    Sri Sanatana Goswami
    Sri Jiva Goswami
    Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana

    Most of these people were sanyasis and celibate. They owned nothing and many did not even have a house to rest. They slept under different trees each night, and yet they were most loved by the people and they influenced many towards dhrama and transcendence.

    And here is what Sri Rupa Goswami factually explains :-
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sri Rupa Gosvami says in Bhakti Rasa Amrit Sindhu 1.2.101

    sruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina
    aikantiki harer bhaktir upatayaiva kalpate

    explanation
    sruti-smriti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina [BRS 1.2.101]. So he has taken puranas also as evidences, Vedic evidences. So sruti, the Vedas, smriti, the Puranas and other literatures, dharma-shastra, smriti-shastra and Purana, pancarati-vidhi—without reference to all these authentic literature, any kind of devotional activities are not accepted by the Gosvamis. They say, “Without any reference to these all Vedic literatures, any kind of devotional service is simply disturbance.” Pancaratri-vidhim vina aikantiki harer bhaktir upatayaiva kalpate. Utpat, disturbance.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Also Krishna explains in the Gita like this :-

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gita : Chapter 3. Karma-yoga
    TEXT 21

    yad yad acarati sresthas
    tat tad evetaro janah
    sa yat pramanam kurute
    lokas tad anuvartate

    SYNONYMS

    yat--whatever; yat--and whichever; acarati--does he act; sresthah--a respectable leader; tat--that; tat--and that alone; eva--certainly; itarah--common; janah--person; sah--he; yat--whichever; pramanam--evidence; kurute--does perform; lokah--all the world; tat--that; anuvartate--follow in the footsteps.
    TRANSLATION

    Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
    PURPORT

    People in general always require a leader who can teach the public by practical behavior. A leader cannot teach the public to stop smoking if he himself smokes. Lord Caitanya said that a teacher should behave properly even before he begins teaching. One who teaches in that way is called acarya, or the ideal teacher. Therefore, a teacher must follow the principles of sastra (scripture) to reach the common man. The teacher cannot manufacture rules against the principles of revealed scriptures. The revealed scriptures, like Manu-samhita and similar others, are considered the standard books to be followed by human society. Thus the leader's teaching should be based on the principles of the standard rules as they are practiced by the great teachers. The Srimad-Bhagavatam also affirms that one should follow in the footsteps of great devotees, and that is the way of progress on the path of spiritual realization. The king or the executive head of a state, the father and the school teacher are all considered to be natural leaders of the innocent people in general. All such natural leaders have a great responsibility to their dependents; therefore they must be conversant with standard books of moral and spiritual codes.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Now as per my understanding jesus was preaching to what we followers of sanatan dharma would call mlecchas and yavanas. These people as per the time place and circumstance had to be precahed in a that was most effective and Jesus did just that and succeded wonderfully in the same. There is no question of mlecchas and yavanas, understanding vedic scriiptures. Their prayers are "God give us our daily bread", in our case Queen kunti prays "O Lord give me more suffering as when i am in misery i remember you better". So you see there is no common platform for comparision.

    Now as far as Sre Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisagadatta Maharaj, i do not know much about them, so i cannot comment as to why , if ever they said one should never follow scriptures or that one should discard the scriptures.

    FYI
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here are some verses glorifying rupa goswami , sanatana goswami , jiva goswami and other goswamis by Srinivasa Acharya who was personally present and witnessed their actions.

    Sri Sri Sad-goswamy-astaka

    "Eight Prayers to the Six Goswamis" by Srinivasa Acharya


    1.
    krsnotkirtana-gana-nartana-parau premamrtambho-nidhi
    dhiradhira-jana-priyau priya-karau nirmatsarau pujitau
    sri-caitanya-krpa-bharau bhuvi bhuvo bharavahantarakau
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    1. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who are always engaged in chanting the holy name of Krsna and dancing. They are just like the ocean of love of God, and they are popular both with the gentle and with the ruffians, because they are not envious of anyone. Whatever they do, they are all-pleasing to everyone, and they are fully blessed by Lord Caitanya. Thus they are engaged in missionary activities meant to deliver all the conditioned souls in the material universe.


    2.
    nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
    lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
    radha-krsna-padaravinda-bhajananandena mattalikau
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    2. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds and they are worth taking shelter of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopis and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Radha and Krsna.

    3.
    sri-gauranga-gunanuvarnana-vidhau sraddha-samrddhy-anvitau
    papottapa-nikrntanau tanu-bhrtam govinda-ganamrtaih
    anandambudhi-vardhanaika-nipunau kaivalya-nistarakau
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    3. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who are very much enriched in understanding of Lord Caitanya and who are thus expert in narrating His transcendental qualities. They can purify all conditioned souls from the reactions of their sinful activities by pouring upon them transcendental songs about Govinda. As such, they are very expert in increasing the limits of the ocean of transcendental bliss, and they are the saviors of the living entities from the devouring mouth of liberation.


    4.
    tyaktva turnam asesa-mandala-pati-srenim sada tuccha-vat
    bhutva dina-ganesakau karunaya kaupina-kanthasritau
    gopi-bhava-rasamrtabdhi-lahari-kallola-magnau muhur
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    4. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who kicked off all association of aristocracy as insignificant. In order to deliver the poor conditioned souls, they accepted oincloths, treating themselves as mendicants, but they are always merged in the ecstatic ocean of the gopis' love for Krsna and bathe always and repeatedly in the waves of that ocean.


    5.
    kujat-kokila-hamsa-sarasa-ganakirne mayurakule
    nana-ratna-nibaddha-mula-vitapa-sri-yukta-vrndavane
    radha-krsnam ahar-nisam prabhajatau jivarthadau yau muda
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    5. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were always engaged in worshiping Radha-Krsna in the transcendental land of Vrndavana where there are beautiful trees full of fruits and flowers which have under their roots all valuable jewels. The Gosvamis are perfectly competent to bestow upon the living entities the greatest boon of the goal of life.


    6.
    sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih kalavasani-krtau
    nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau catyanta-dinau ca yau
    radha-krsna-guna-smrter madhurimanandena sammohitau
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    6. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord.


    7.
    radha-kunda-tate kalinda-tanaya-tire ca vamsivate
    premonmada-vasad asesa-dasaya grastau pramattau sada
    gayantau ca kada harer guna-varam bhavabhibhutau muda
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    7. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis, namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were sometimes on the bank of the Radha-kunda lake or the shores of the Yamuna and sometimes at Vamsivata. There they appeared just like madmen in the full ecstasy of love for Krsna, exhibiting different transcendental symptoms in their bodies, and they were merged in the ecstasy of Krsna consciousness.


    8.
    he radhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-suno kutah
    sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vane kutah
    ghosantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau
    vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

    8. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvamis,
    namely Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, who were chanting very loudly everywhere in Vrndavana, shouting, "Queen of Vrndavana, Radharani! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you all now? Are you just on the hill of Govardhana,
    or are you under the trees on the bank of the Yamuna? Where are you?" These were their moods in executing Krsna consciousness.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 18 October, 2005 10:01  

  • The first anonynmous poster (an SB devotee from the UK named Simon) says:

    >> The writer it seems, has a very limited understanding of Spirituality. This whole article is riddled with inaccuracies, regarding Sai Baba, and also, regarding what is required to actually transcend the "ego" <<

    If this is so, the can we ask Anonymous Simon to point out specifically what "inaccuracies" are present in the article, or perhaps spend some time clarifying what it means to transcend the ego? I don't believe I mentioned anything about ego so it is puzzling as to why Simon brings this issue up.

    >> There are many sources, and from the greatest, and most respected sources, that would disagree profoundly with the writers conclusions in this regard, of scripture being the "way" <<

    And Simon proceeds to name such sources, who I am assuming are the very ones who he refers to. In response, the question of how "great" and "respected" they are is a subjective consideration and not an objective one. To factually determine the greatness of such individuals, it is necessary for a student of Vedic theology and philosophy to compare their positions with the positions of the foundational Vedic scriptures. If this is not done, then it is near-impossible to determine anyone's "greatness".

    >> It is a fact, that there comes a time, when the written word - the need for it is transcended. <<

    However, as I have shown, this is not supported by the Vedanta philosophy. The fourth sutra clearly states the use of the scriptures as a way and means to find and understand God, and the same is confirmed in the prominent commentaries. If Anonymous Simon wishes to continue arguing this position, he will have to present an argument from a source whose authority is universally acceptable.

    >> It is hoped, that this writer will realise this for himself oneday.

    At that time, he will also be in a position, to actually understand, the deeper meaning of scripture itself, and not, as at present, misrepresent it. <<

    Again Anonymous Simon makes the claim that I am "misrepresenting" the scriptures, and again he fails to tell us all exactly how I am doing so.

    Besides quoting scriptures to back-up my points, which is a common and accepted strategy of Vedic debate and discussion, I'm not sure what more I can do besides point the readers to the original sources themselves.

    Perhaps I should say here that it would be much better of all involved if Sai Baba devotees take the time to sufficiently educate themselves in the basics of Vedic philosophy and theology so that their claims can be taken with a bit more than a pinch of salt.

    By Blogger H.H. Swami Saiexposedananda, at 31 October, 2005 19:26  

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