08 November 2005

Baba continues with the boo-boos

In his discourse dated 09/10/05, Sai Baba declared:
"Sage Narada affirmed that God could be realised through the nine forms of devotion, namely, Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His lotus feet), Vandanam (salutation), Archanam (worship), Dasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship) and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender)."
This is not strictly true. This verse is actually spoken by the boy Prahlada, who provided the famous catalyst for the descent of God in His form as Nara-Simha, the half-man half-lion. This is a very famous verse from the Bhagavata Purana (7.5.23) yet I decided to give Sai Baba the benefit of the doubt and checked out the text of the Narada Bhakti Sutra, a treatise on devotion that was supposedly authored by Narada. Unfortunately there was nothing there to confirm Sai Baba's statement.

In all fairness, the flow of the Bhagavata narration presents the entire story of Prahlada as a conversation between Narada Muni and Maharaja Yudhistira. However as far as the interpretive context of the situation is concerned, as well as for all intents and purposes, this verse was not spoken by Narada and thus it is incorrect of Sai Baba to say so.

Other points relate to Sai Baba's famous coupling of "Vishnu" and "smaranam" together to make "Vishnu smaranam", remembrance of Vishnu. Although there is no strict philosophical objection to this, it should be noted that the meter and grammar of Sanskrit verses are there for a reason. 'Vishnu' is referred to in the context of hearing and chanting rather than smaranam per se. Grammatically speaking of course and not spiritually, since there is no real objecton to remembrance of Vishnu.

It is also a mystery why Sai Baba replaces 'sakhyam' with 'sneham'. Although both words mean the same, why does Sai Baba replace Sanskrit words arbitrarily? In other places, SB states that Sanskrit verses (due to having a Vedic origin) contain great power when chanted with correct pronunciation and intonation, what to speak of getting the words correct. In this way, what effect is being achieved by a unnecessary replacement of one word in this verse?

Copyright © Sai Baba EXPOSED! 2005-2007. Discuss this post!

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