20 December 2005

Predetermined Change of Plans?

In a milestone speech that was given on his 43rd birthday (1968), Sai Baba made the following statements:

"Every step in the career of the Avathar is predetermined."

"Let me assure you that this divine body, this dharmaswarupa, has not come in vain. It will succeed in averting the crisis that has come upon humanity."

In another famous discourse entitled 'Who Is Sai?' that was given on the 9th June, 1974, Sai Baba declared thus :

"Now, I must tell you that, during this Sai Avathar, there is no place for even such 'drama' with scenes of failures and defeats! What I will, must take place; what I plan must succeed. I am Truth; and Truth has no need to hesitate, or fear, or bend."

Aside the usual and often-unfounded arguments for mistranslation, it is unarguable that these two discourses are widely circulated within the Sai Organisation and printed on information pamphlets for new visitors, etc. If there was any issue with translation, they could and should have been brought up long ago.

That said, it had always bugged me why Sai Baba would choose to use the word 'must'. It seemed incomprehensible to me that the Avatar, whose will is supposedly unshakeable, would use language that reflects the tiniest hint of doubt. Rather than whatever he wills to take place will take place, the fact that it must take place implies that something may go wrong and that the grand avataric mission might be something of a spectacular failure. Wouldn't it be so much better to use words that impress the reader with a grand declaration of the infallible and supreme unbending will of the Avatar?

On 13th July 1984, Sai Baba made the following statements:

"When I have given a word to anyone, even if they turn against me I will not bear any ill-will towards them. Even if they revile me, I shall continue to love them. I will stand up to my pledge fight up to the end. Some day they will return to the right path.

"Owing to the compulsion of circumstances some changes may take place. They are not permanent. I will not change my course because of such happenings. This is my second resolve.

"This is my third resolve: When I undertake anything because I feel it is for the welfare of all and that it is good for society as a whole, I will not give it up, come what may. Even if the whole world is against me, I will not turn back, I will only go forward.

"These are my three resolves: The foot that is put forward will not retreat. I will not go back on the word I have given. I only give and do not receive. These are my three resolves and I am determined to fulfil them and to set an example."

So some changes "might" take place because of "circumstances". Hmmmm, I do wonder what he could be referring to...

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