27 April 2006

Speed Demon Part III

I / II / III

Hot on the heels of our last blog, the response of Sai Baba apologist - Gerald 'Joe' Moreno - came to our attention. It is not the policy of this blog to allow him much publicity but on this occasion we feel that his comments were frankly too good to pass up considering how they display the typical head-in-the-sand mentality of many a Sai devotee:

This is an article by Serguei Badaev. He is wondering why Sathya Sai Baba gave cars to 5 long term devotees and criticizes Baba's actions. What Anti-Sai Activists fail to realize is that the five individuals who were given cars have devoted their entire life to Sai Baba and spend most of their time serving others. I personally met some of these individuals and they are well known for their unremitting acts of selfless service. They are well respected individuals who are people of solid character and abiding integrity (wish the same could be said of Anti-Sai Activists: Reference). These individuals were rewarded for their selfless service and good acts by Sai Baba. Anti-Sai Activists have nothing better to do than to engage in petty criticism about cars that Sathya Sai Baba gave to people who deserved them."

I found this to be highly amusing on so many levels. First of all it is important to note how Gerald avoids and skips around very pertinent questions. Badaev has noted that donations to the Trust are made by devotees in a charitable manner and not for giving gifts to Trust trustees, no matter how many years of "work" they have dedicated to Sai Baba's corrupt organisation.

Bear in mind that this public ceremony - full of pomp and splendour - happened straight after Sai Baba spat out a Lingam earlier that day so all eyes were on him. Gerald Moreno defends Chakravarthi and Venkataraman's receipt of cars because they have done "selfless service" and "good acts". That's about right when you consider what Chakravarthi and Venkataraman get up to when they think no one's looking. To recap, Chakravarthi is the guy who slammed the phone down on Daily Telegraph reporter Mick Brown when he simply enquired about the allegations of sexual abuse. He also seems to be a man of two faces; the Dr. Jekyll is all smiles to the BBC Crew when he thinks a positive television documentary will be made and then Mr. Hyde makes his appearance when they ask questions about the sexual abuse allegations.

Venkataraman is the fellow who blatantly denied the truth of Sai Baba's health reports that were leaking out onto the Internet from devotees at the ashram. He has also been known to mock victims of sexual abuse who have been severely raped and/or molested by his guru, not to mention spinning a completely biased and self-serving take on the UNESCO affair. Read Part I for more information.

Apart from all of that, Gerald clearly has no comments to offer on Serguei Badaev's serious points of concern; whose decision was it to present cars? Where did the money come from to purchase these Honda cars? Donations? Are Sai devotees aware that their money is not being spent on supposed charity projects, but on expensive gifts to longtime Sai devotees? Jeesh, when S. Sampath was forced to retire from his job as Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (University), he only got a teeny bracelet!

And then to top all of that, we have just received information from a reputable source about the background and brief financial affairs of the winners of Sai Baba's Shivarathri Raffle:

A. Ramakrishna (now retired), former Vice-President of ECC (a part of the Larsen & Toubro Group) which received many rich profitable contracts from the Central Trust. This group is accused of having paid kickbacks to members of the Central Trust to obtain good contracts, for which reason Sai Baba dismissed at least one of its members, Col. Joga Rao.

Kondal Rao, Senior Technical Consultant to Govt. of Andhra Pradesh for the Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project, and also the Chief Engineer supervising the Chennai Water Supply Project [on a fat salary!]. This project was largely a failure due partly to an unpredicted sharp fall in the water table in the Rayalaseema area which seriously reduced the number of villages actually provided with water. Partly it was also due to contractors who used inferior material (causing supply failures) and some did not complete their contracts. Maintenance of the even the parts which worked proved impossible for the Sai authorities, so the entire project eventually had to be taken over and subsidised heavily by the Andhra Pradesh State government.

K.Chakravarthi, Head of the Prashanthi Nilayam ashram, Sercretary of the Central Trust etc. Was in the Indian Administrative Service (Andhra Pradesh Cadre) from 1960; Commissioner of Relief, and Commissioner of Commercial Taxes. But he had his hand deep in the till! He left the IAS in 1981 in disgrace after a public investigation which found he had embezzled funds! Thus he was qualified to become the first Registrar of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and ably nurtured the fledgling institute in its initial years! SSB made him the first Registrar of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. He is to be seen on the BBC documentary, 'The Secret Swami' directing helpers of the collapsing Swami off the stage after he threw up water but failed to regurgitate a golden lingam. It appeared from his towel, and (on film) he told the amazed audience that it had caused him some difficulties because it weighed three tons! He was already rich before to buy all the cars he could need he entered into the Sai set-up!

Dr G. Venkataraman, who was the Founder Director of ANURAG, a unit of DRDO - Defence Research and Development Organization. He also served at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai and the Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Centre in Kalpakkam. He is the recipient of the Sir C. V. Raman Centenary Award, Indira Gandhi Award and the Padma Shri Award from the Government of India. A former Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, he currently teaches at the Institute and is Director of the Prashanti Digital Studio and Radio Sai Global Harmony. His role in the cover-up of SSB's alleged crimes is made abundantly clear through his own posting on Radio Sai (since erased by him in an attempt at damage limitation), see: He was also extremely well-to-do before he entered into the Sai set-up!

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

Speed Demon Part II

I / II / III

Exbaba.Com is carrying a well-written article ('5 Cars and 5 Questions') by Serguei Badaev on the subject of Sathya Sai Baba's recent and lavish gifting of cars to five senior devotees. Badaev was a member of the Sai Organisation for approximately six years, spending time as the President of the Moscow Sai Center for four years as well as being the Deputy of the Central Council Chairman of the Russian speaking countries (region 16) and the National Coordinator for Education. He should know a thing or two and has much to say about the Sai Situation. The points that he makes in this latest article are well worthy of distribution and rumination. With some minor editing:

1 -
Why were the cars presented to those particular five members and not others?

Are they the most needy?

2 - Who decided to make these gifts?

Was it a personal decision of Sathya Sai Baba or a collective decision of some group in control of Trust finances? Since Sathya Sai Baba has often stated that he does not interfere in the trust which bears his name other than to sign cheques, was he therefore just an instrument in this drama?

3 - Why were the cars presented, not anything else?

Nobody of the gifts recipients seems to be a poor person by Indian standards. Cannot they buy cars themselves? Have not they had cars before? One can hardly believe that. At least in 1999 I remember Mr. Chakravarthi driving a car. It seems to be a new trend in Sathya Sai Baba's gifts: from the reported spiritual gifts of his legendary youth, to jewellery trinkets of his adulthood, to new brand cars of his old age. Strange indeed that Sathya Sai Baba, who is a spiritual teacher for his followers, presented such expensive worldly gifts to his closest assistants!

4 - Why were those cars presented publicly?

Quite probably most of those who witnessed the ceremony of presentation knew very little or perhaps nothing about those 5 people and their work. So they could not judge really how deserved they were of those gifts. Apparently Sathya Sai Baba could understand, if he is a spiritual teacher as his followers believe, that such public ceremonies can inflate "ego" of gift recipients and inflame envy in witnesses. So all that looks like a typical PR action.

5 - What money did Sathya Sai Baba use to buy those 5 cars?

Sathya Sai Baba, according to his own words, has no property and no money. Perhaps he may claim to have materialised those 5 luxurious cars. But if he materialised them privately, he could have presented them privately as well. Since he evidently wanted to attract public attention to the presentation, why didn't he materialise them publicly? Well, I am afraid there are very few people who dare to believe that Sathya Sai Baba materialised those cars. Most probably they were bought and may cost up to altogether about $150,000 . But if they were bought with the money of the Central Trust it may be considered as an abuse of charity money which was donated to Sathya Sai Baba and his Central Trust for various charity projects not for gifts to the members of the Trust. One may think that the cars were not bought but were donated. If so it is still very confusing that Sathya Sai Baba accepts the donations that cannot be used for any charity purposes.

Part III

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

24 April 2006

Bad Hair Day

For Christ's sake, Baba, BRUSH YOUR HAIR!

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

22 April 2006

Coming Face To Face with the Past

I happened to meet a devotee family the other day which was something of a strange experience. This family was one with whom I had intimately associated with in my days as a Sai devotee and I knew all of them very well. I was pleased to learn of their personal developments; all three children (who were my close friends) had got married and two of them now had children of their own. The eldest son's newborn baby was barely a month old and was named - guess what? - 'Sai'.

As it was very nice to catch up, I didn't see any reason to spoil the mood by letting them know that I am no longer a Sai devotee especially as the aged grandfather held my hands and lovingly asked about my current occupation. So although I decided to keep my ex-devotee status quiet, it was something of a slow torture to hear the inevitable discussion about 'Swami' and when their next trip to Prashanti Nilayam will take place. I did feel slightly guilty about not mentioning anything, but it wasn't really an appropriate time or place.

Although I did hear a nice tidbit of info: there's a huge UK pilgrimage going to Prashanti Nilayam this November. By sheer coincidence today I came across the Sai Youth UK site where full details of this pilgrimage have been given. Looks like quite a big affair. What a shame, looks like I've missed the application deadline, boo hoo!

I really enjoyed meeting that family though, although I'm unsure how they'd react if they found that I am now an ex-devotee. Maybe they already know, as I'm sure they've heard whispers from a few years ago. When I said 'goodbye' to the eldest friend, I could see that he was waiting for me to say 'Sairam' or something before he said it himself. With any luck they'd respect me for my choices in leaving, but I'm not too confident when I compare the past experiences I've had. Says a lot for Sai Baba's "Love All - Serve All" tripe, huh?

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

Halagappa Farce Continues

It never stops! An ex-devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, who wishes to remain anonymous, has the following to contribute after viewing the pro-Sai propaganda of Sai devotee Simon Brace:

Simon told that Halagappa has a medallion... he does, but it never used to flow with amrit in former days. He used to stick it on people's foreheads and see if it remained there or not. Just a trick, I guess, to impress humble visitors.

However, Simon knows nothing of the depths of deceit and illusion practised in India in the bitter struggle for existence. I stayed with an Indian who had a bungalow in Yelahanka (near Bangalore) and there was a mild salesman with a cow who passed by every so often selling fresh milk straight from the udder. He found that the milk was very thin so he began to investigate. He learned from Indian police authorities who (being an official himself) he could question that this it is a common trick to have a hollow rubber ballon-like ball in the armpit connected to a flesh-coloured thin plastic pipe running down the inside of his shirt and arm, fixed with flesh-coloured Elastoplast under his wrist. When he milked the udder, he also squeezed water out of the ball into the bottle!

Since Halagappa holds the medallion half on and half off the visitor's hand, he is almost certainly pumping amrit up under the medallion by this simple metod. Easy to conceal... it takes little practice not to turn one's hand around! QED!

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

21 April 2006

Robert Priddy's Nectarean Experiences

Robert Priddy, former close disciple of Sathya Sai Baba and founder of the Sai Organisation in Norway, has some interesting insights into the amrit "miracles":

Sathya Sai Baba's liquid 'amrit' (i.e. honey nectar), a supposedly holy substance, does have a distinctive odour. It can be collected from the doubtful 'Thief's Temple" in South India near Mysore, run by a man called Halagappa, who has two small amulets with Sathya Sai Baba's picture on that supposedly give off amrit into the jar in which they are kept. The sweet, fragrant liquid was analysed and found to be sugar water, according to experts referred to on the Danish video 'Seduced' which caused such a furore in March 2002 in Denmark.

Halagappa also had some feet carved in black stone on a pedestal, representing the deceased Shirdi Baba's feet under a small portico, which somehow exude a particularly fragrant 'nectar'. These symbolic 'feet' were installed there on Sathya Sai Baba's directions by N. Kasturi in the 1960s, Kasturi told me. 'Amrit' is itself supposed to be the 'nectar of the gods', which - in the ancient and fabulous Ramayana myth of India - gave eternal life to those who were fortunate enough to taste it. Those who did not succeed were consigned to more lifetimes as demonic 'asuras'. Sathya Sai Baba says of (at least some of) the amrit he claims to materialise that it indicates that the receiver will be free from the cycle of birth and death... liberated. Therefore, it is always spoken of by devotees as having an otherworldly fragrance, unsurpassed sweetness and freshness etc. and is treated with reverence. When they finally taste some they believe they are thrice blessed and so on. Those who have smelt and tasted amrit, know its very distinctive taste and smell, a smell which cloys the more the older it gets.

In my previous days of occasional gaping wonder, I also thought that it might just be something 'out of this world.' But the other day I kept getting a whiff of amrit, as if 'from out of nowhere'. This kind of phenomenon has in fact occurred before to me, and reportedly to many others, not least with the scent of SSB-scented vibhuthi. Though I cannot explain the several previous experiences, the latest one could certainly not have been a 'leela', I figured, for I had just delivered some rather damning evidence against Sathya Sai Baba to one of his leaders in Europe (not an act that the 'so compassionate' Sathya Sai Baba would like or reward thus! Rather, quite on the contrary!). But that distinctive smell kept on catching my nostrils. I soon discovered that I had washed my hands with a new piece of soap. The amrit smell came from that.

In order to test my identification of the smell, I held my hands before my wife's nose and she almost jumped out of the chair. "Amrit!" she exclaimed. "What, what... have you been in the fridge?" [We have some of the stuff from Halagappa, kept for interest's sake - and possible future analysis.] I showed her the soap and, sure enough, she confirmed the unmistakable amrit smell. The soap is made by Yardley's and is called 'Tea Rose'. So there is one little mystery solved, it seems. The odour that is used in the mixing of amrit, is no more unearthly than are tea roses… but they can be rather special, I admit!

(Addition - 2006) To confirm that amrit is based on tea rose essence, one may search the words 'tea rose' on Google and select one of the huge range of tea rose scented products. Tea roses have long been famous for their exceptional fragrance and there are many variants. Some of these are literally identical to the scent of Sai Baba amrit.

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

Insight Into Halagappa Curiosity

In light of the recent postings to do with vibhuti/amrit miracles and Halagappa's Srirangapatnam shrine, I'm reproducing the following entry from the Exbaba.Com Guestbook which has some interesting insights on this matter:

Name: John W. Burkhardt
Home Page:
Date: Sat Sept 10 16:42:32 2005
Referred By:

To Webmaster. I like your site! I read a remarkable interesting reply from way back to Joe Moreno, but now I can't find the page. Is it still on exbaba? If not, fortunately I had downloaded the text, at least, which I give here:

What Moreno wrote was:

"Any one care to divulge the recipe of amrita? I have never tasted anything so exquisite in my life. Anyone who could come up with the recipe (that should not be too difficult considering some poor, conniving person in India is making it), could make a lot of money making amrita. It's taste is beyond description. Everyone single person who has tasted it has had the same response. A taste and fragrance beyond compare. I know I would buy it in the gallons, if I could. Has anyone been able to duplicate the forumula? Why not?"

And replied:

"The recipe for amrita is simple sugar water with tea rose essence, the result is identical to so-called 'Sai amrit'. The tea rose essence in seldom met with, so it make the amrit perfume/taste seem unique. See nectar of the gods? Or rose water? Like most others, moreno believes it 'exquisite' because of what it represented to him :the grace of god to him (in sensory, culinary form!) As conferring eternal life on the devas (in the 'ramayana' myth). One imagines it is often taken in Sai circles to mean that Sai Baba is lining one up for liberation. But it's all in the mind, Moreno.

"Same with the amrit at Srirangapatnam 'orphanage'. The 'flow'of amrit from the amulets is just a dribble, not much at all. When visitors increased, suddenly there were two amulets, but there was originally only one!) Halagappa does not allow it to rest on your hand more than a short time. The amulets may well be hollow with concealed opening at top and bottom, which allows more amrit to run out, but Halagappa never allows genuine examination of either amulet (he limits it to seconds)! (the 'Seduced' film team were not able to test it properly. One would think this would be very helpful to all, IF it were genuine). One is not allowed to dry it off and wait for a new flow, for example. Why?

"Sometimes Halagappa scrapes away the flow with his spoon beneath the amulet on your hand to show that yet more will flow, but then the amulet gets more amrit from the spoon as he is scraping up to it. A clever deceit! Then there are the feet of Shirdi carved in stone which allegedly "sweat amrit". Why does Halagappa stand nearby while one tests it? (There is such a thing as a simple hydraulic footpump).

"What happened to the miraculous vibuthi box Halagappa allegedly 'found', which refills itself when shaken? He told one of us it had stopped producing any more! Here the Sai temple orphans wear rags & have no proper books or other facilities, while Halagappa's (second) wife wears diamonds and where the 'temple' has been marbled and beautified at great expense. Yet the donations made by visitors are truly enormous. The taxi firms are hand-in-glove with Halagappa too... One big scam!

"Sai Baba has himself warned in discourses against 'happenings in Mysore and Madras' (Sathya Sai Speaks vol. 10, p. 186) and 'in Mysore state there are some who distribute amrith, vibhuuthi and other articles announcing that they are showering from their pictures at their places... Devotees should keep far away from such places and persons' (Sathya Sai Speaks vol. 11, p. 147). So much for the genuineness of Halagappa's tricks and his collection of funds (another financial competitor to the Sai Central Trust!)."

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

19 April 2006

Killed by Sai Baba

Further discussions of the vibhuti and amrit issues brings to mind another ashram memory of mine. Before I go further, I should make a note for those who do not know: There is a house in Srirangapatnam, Mysore (India), where pictures and idols of Shirdi and Sathya Sai Baba exude a regular supply of vibhuti ash and amrit nectar.

The owner of the building, Halagappa (pictured on the right), is a reformed criminal who also runs a nearby orphanage. Reports in Sai devotional literature invariably describe him as a sweet and humble old man who absolutely refuses offers of donations. The miracles themselves have been described in several Sai books and devotional videos. Several theories and rational explanations have been put forward already by several sources, so I'll not get into discussing them right now. Maybe some other time.

The existence of this place in Srirangapatnam is common knowledge among Sai devotees. Whenever Sai Baba stays at his ashram in Whitefield (near Bangalore), car journeys to Sriangapatnam are regularly booked by devotees in the taxi agencies outside as Mysore is relatively close to Bangalore than it is to Puttaparthi. One time when I was in Whitefield in 1993, the devotees were gripped by "Halagappa Fever" for some strange reason. I tried to arrange a visit to Mysore but was put off by very disturbing reports of severe car crashes that resulted in the violent deaths of Sai devotees en route.

Rumours had also been spreading that Halagappa had started to accept donations in contravention of good 'spiritual' manners and also Sai Baba's exhortations. Devotees were speculating that if these rumours were true, it was Sai Baba who - in his divine rage - was "killing" the devotees who went there for a visit. An 0utlandish theory, I agree, but this was the ashram talk. The devotees even stopped going there for a while. I personally find the numerous incidences of death en route to Srirangapatnam by Sai devotees to be highly suspicious.

Apparently the shrine is still as popular as ever, and the donations are still rolling in. Interestingly, Sai Baba is believed to have remarked about this place in a 1971 discourse:

"In Mysore State there are some who distribute Amrith, Vibhuthi (holy ash) and other articles announcing that they are showering from my pictures at their places; they do this free for some weeks, and later, they start begging for money, like any common mendicant! This is sin, to ask so and also to give so. Devotees should keep far away from such places and persons ... In some other places, they announce that I make Myself present and communicate through writings on Rangoli powder etc.! I do not do such things, if I come at all to any place."

From this it appears that Sai Baba - Mafia don that he is - has given the order and expects it to be followed. Show no disrespect.

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

18 April 2006

Sai Baba: A Whiff of Fraud

Recent discussions on the subject of Sai Baba's 'paranormal' phenomena, like vibhuti (holy ashes) and amrit (nectar) oozing from his pictures and idols, prompted me to relate an experience that I once had while a Sai devotee.

Back in my college days, travelling to the college naturally required me to cross a few streets when walking to the building. One morning, just as I was about to turn into a street crossing and walk over, the most fantastic smell entered my nostrils. It was the well-documented jasmine smell that is associated with the Baba and it was unmistakably 'his' scent, and which led me to the conclusion that Sai Baba was near me in a disembodied and etheric form. Similar experiences have been reported by other devotees. I would have liked to have stopped there and inhale more of "the divine presence" had I not been conscious of my educational committments, and so I thanked Sai Baba for his presence with me that morning and moved on.

A few months later I found the same smell assaulting my nostrils. I was initially filled with a sense of wonder and was about to thank Sai Baba for his divine omnipresence again when I suddenly realised that I was at the same street-crossing and it was around the same time as the previous experience!

Something sure smelled fishy, pun not intended, and I took a few minutes to do some detective work. I discovered that the smell was originating from a shop about 4-6 meters away from the street-crossing, a dry-cleaning business run by an Indian family. As a part of their own religiosity they had the custom of offering prayers to God before they started work, and sure enough there was a couple of agarbatti (incense) sticks burning in front of a deity's picture. The smell had wafted out into the street because the shop door was kept open, and as I neared the entrance to the shop the smell became stronger. Incidentally, this family were devotees of Sathya Sai Baba though I do not recall noticing his picture there.

I was disgusted. Sick and thoroughly disgusted. Not only did I have to suffer the painful realisation that Sai Baba was not with me at those instances, but I had to deal with the fact that I had bought into the propaganda that such events were typical of Sai Baba's "omnipresence" when they had a perfectly mundane and rational explanation. It also made me wonder about the authenticity of the other experiences recorded by Sai devotees. Knowing their capacity for exaggeration, it's perfectly possible that a large number of "omnipresence" instances accompanied by otherworldly smells and other 'signs' can have their occurrences explained in a similarly rational manner.

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

10 April 2006

Why Fear When Sai Is Here And Does Nothing?

One of those English bhajans was playing in my head which just drove home how impractical and disingenuous the Sai Movement is with some of it's creative legends. "Why Fear When I Am Here" - yes, why indeed?

One of it's verses goes like this:

"Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Allah
All came to this land.
All of them brought the message of love,
'Love Your Fellow Man.'"

Aww, sweet. Except for the tiny fact that it is not only historically incorrect but spiritually incorrect too. Fair enough, Krishna lived in India. Buddha lived in India too. Apparently Jesus visited India too if you believe certain stories, but Allah? Aren't we stretching things a bit here?

Neither Allah nor the Prophet Muhummad touched Indian soil, and when the "message of love" (aka Islam) finally came to India, hmmmm, I don't think most Indians were too concerned with with embracing their fellow men when they were forced to convert to Islam or face death. According to one account, the Prophet Muhummad is reported to have said: "Two groups of my [followers] Allah has protected from the hellfire: a group that will conquer India and a group that will be with Jesus, son of Mary."

By all accounts (and I know there'll be some debate on this) but on the whole, the Islamic invasion and subsequent Mughal rule of India was not a good thing. Apart from forced conversion, around a thousand years of genocide, temple violations and destructions, scripture burnings, and other crimes against humanity were perpetrated freely. As Sai Baba himself writes:

"Until the ravaging Muslims sprang on this country no one in this land of Bharath [India] knew what was meant by violence. It is only when foreign hordes fell upon them and resorted to violence that the people came to know how intolerant man can be." - Sathya Sai Vahini

And there sit the white-clad devotees singing bhajans about it to Sai Baba, as if a part of India's oppressed history is a very good thing. This just goes to show what kind of activities the Sai Organisation are engaged in when minimising Indian history in the name of love and piece, especially in a country like India which is a political powder keg and where Hindu-Muslim relations are strained and sensitive at even the best of times.

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09 April 2006

Shirdi Sansthan Nullifies Reincarnation Claims

According to a recent article in the Mumbai Mirror, the Sai Baba Sansthan Trust (Shirdi) are cracking down on 'imposter' temples who try to con gullible devotees and trade off Shirdi Sai Baba's name in various creative ways. At the end of the article comes a message from the (Shirdi) Sai Baba Trust which, among other things, states the following:

• Please do not believe anybody pretending to be a reincarnation of Shri Sai Baba.

• Shri Sai Baba has no disciple, nor an heir and nobody is seated on his aasan.

Interesting. Despite reports that the Shirdi Sansthan are "warming" to Sathya Sai Baba and/or his devotees on account of the large number of Sathya devotees who visit Shirdi (as reported by Marianne Warren in her book, 'Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism'), I think it's safe to say that the official position of the Shirdi Sansthan is that the Old Baba never reincarnated himself and thus Sathya Sai's claims of being his reincarnation are patently false.

Of course, this is not to say that reincarnation for the Shirdi saint is impossible. However, considering that he made several statements about being active from his tomb even after his death, the case for reincarnation appears to be thrown into doubt.

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

04 April 2006

"Sai Krishna" LIE Surfaces Again

I just came across the blog of Raghav Subramanian, where he claims the following:

"I took Baba's photo in my camera & Baba Appeared in his Avatar when the photo was developed & printed. In Lord Krishna's form. I'm really delighted to share this photo with all of you. this photo was taken in the year 2000."

There's just one small problem with this; the fact that I've already dealt with this issue. I've told him this by registering a comment. Go and see it and his possible reaction quickly before there is a chance he deletes my comment and advocates censure with this shameless example of mischievous pro-Sai propaganda.

For the record my comments are as follows:

Really, Raghav? Are you sure this is not an April Fools fib?

I was there in a devotional Sai group when this photo was declared as having been snapped by a certain Luther Christ from Australia, who also claimed to have snapped Baba in darshan and returned home to find this "miracle photo" when developing the film.

While Sai devotees were stunned at this picture's beauty, I knew that this was a very poor composite using an ISKCON picture as a source.

Read all about it here:

- The "Sai Krishna" Picture Imbroglio PART ONE

- The "Sai Krishna" Picture Imbroglio PART TWO

- The "Sai Krishna" Picture Imbroglio PART THREE

Sai Baba exhorts his devotees not to lie, and 'Truth' is his first human value.

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

Sai Youth: ROCK & ROLL

Sex / Drugs / Rock & Roll

With the final(?) installment of this series I'll close with a description of Sai Youth and their 'rock & roll' development.

At the outset I'll be very clear and say that the Sai Youth are by definition of a young age and so it is not abnormal for them to have hobbies, interests and music tastes that reflect their interaction with the world at large. It is also very common for youngsters to listen to the type of music enjoyed by their peer group even though they may not necessarily like it themselves. Consequently there isn't much to write by way of having a "shock" factor, unlike the recent Sex and Drugs articles, except just to relate my own experiences in this area.

You'd think that Sai Baba, with all of his exhortations to listen to bhajans and to engage in group chanting/singing of the names of God would be impressed with the current crop of the Youth Wing? Nay, he'd be horrified to see his tender saplings nourish their (spiritual!) growth by partaking of gangsta rap, trip-hop, trance, happy hardcore, house, dance, and a host of other styles of music. At least that's what was in vogue at the time of my leaving the Sai Organisation, I have no idea what crap they must be listening to these days.

For those who are not in the know, gangsta-rap is a particularly violent form of hip-hop. The vast majority of gangsta songs concentrates on themes that glorify gang violence, sexual objectification of women, alcohol, drugs, fast cars, and the like. Trip-hop, trance and happy hardcore are types of electronica that can only be understood and appreciated while under the influence of drugs such as Ecstasy or LSD. Dance is, well, dance, a type of electronica that I thought as relatively harmless and enjoyable to listen to until I found out that bands such as The Prodigy were listed in that genre.

Ah, The Prodigy. I thought it was a great day when their third album was released. This band had enjoyed more than it's fair share of controvery in it's heyday, primarily due to their offstage behaviour and drunken/druggie antics. Not least producing songs with creative titles such as:

  • Their Law
  • Poison
  • Firestarter
  • Smack My Bitch Up

Unsurprisingly, that last track received an instant ban upon it's release - the single (with just one notable lyric that urged violence against women) was never broadcasted on radio, and the music video (which featured graphic scenes of cocaine-snorting, drunkenness, vomiting and lesbian sex) was never aired until at least three years later. Naturally, a ban brings instant notoriety (as if they weren't notorious enough to begin with!) and their third album went straight in at No. 1 in the Dance Chart. I'll admit that I quite liked The Prodigy and managed to acquire a cassette of their album as well as several Indian remixes of 'Firestarter'.

If any of the above was not clear enough, just take a look at a typical picture of the Prodigy's frontman, Keith Flint, which may go some way in explaining exactly why this band was considered extreme and offensive:

Lovely chap eh? Just the type you'd bring home to meet the parents.

The funny thing is that, I played one Indian remix tape in the car of a fellow Youth devotee and all the boys went crazy over it. They were specifically disappointed when the 'Firestarter' music stopped and switched over to the Hindi lyrics. It only left me wondering why they enjoyed it so much. Hey, I was aware of my own "depravity" in listening to The Prodigy, but why is a Sai devotee who has life-size pictures of Sai Baba at home that shower holy ash listening to such a shocking band?

And if that wasn't enough, "Mike" asked to borrow my Prodigy tape. Yes, the same Mike who attempted to initiate the drug deal at the Sai Center. He never gave the tape back either.

It goes without saying that Sai Baba would never approve of these types of music. If he had it his way he'd arrange for his own bhajans to be pumped through the speakers 24/7. Why, whenever he gives a discourse it is broadcast live all around the ashram! You don't even have to attend the event and you can happily catch every word while munching on a veg-roll from the ashram bakery. It's so loud though, I'm surprised that the stray dogs who plague the ashram don't bark back in anger.

It is a common sight to see young devotees at Sai Baba's ashrams even now with walkmans, discmans, and what have you. Although I haven't been there for the last six years, I'm absolutely sure that there will be iPods aplenty. Whenever I had casually asked these devotees what they were listening to, nine times out of ten it would be something 'mundane'. One fellow Britisher told me (in 1994) that he was listening to Bob Marley. Doesn't seem very much inspiration for a spiritual pilgrimage, does it? No wonder Sai Baba spits venom now and then about how his devotees do not follow his teachings.


For the record, my own tastes in music vary greatly. I am equally at ease with the beautiful Sufi qawallis of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to the crash boom bang of heavy rock. As I had missed out on a lot of 'normal' teenage experiences during my time as a Sai devotee, I attended my first rock concert in November 2005 at the age of 27. It was a part of Motörhead's 30th Anniversary Tour and it was definitely an experience that I'll be having again. :-)

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