Sai Baba: Born Of Incest
"A man born of incest
Will become Satan.
And the world as we know it
Will be no more." (Deuteronomy 17)
The subject of Sai Baba's parentage is something that had brought up considerable suspicion in me; much is made of the alliances of Dasharatha and Kaushalya (the parents of Lord Rama), Vasudeva and Devaki - Nanda and Yashoda (Krishna's parents and foster-parents respectively) as well as Joseph and Mary. You'd think that, with Sai Baba allegedly the avatar of the Kali Age, much would be made of his parents too?
I've wondered as to why Sai Baba's father, Pedda Venkama Raju, is hardly spoken about as compared to the mother Easwaramma. I suspect that it has something to do with the Baba's emphatic preaching on motherhood, but it is certainly strange that he is not much spoken about anywhere. In sharp contrast, Easwaramma gets her own designated celebration that is commemorated every year on May 6th as 'Easwaramma Day', and even has a book dedicated to her mothering of Sai Baba courtesy of Prof. N. Kasturi. But even apart from all of that I had noticed that the parents were not much spoken of among devotees very much and this is understandable considering the relative scarcity of information about them, the celebrations and respect being somewhat obligatory. Putting it into persective we note that much more is known about Sai Baba than his parents or any other members of his family at that. I wonder why?
Kasturi briefly wrote about Easwaramma's parentage in his book 'Easwaramma: The Chosen Mother', noting the name of her father as Subba Raju. Describing the pilgrimage of Kondama Raju (Sai Baba's paternal grandfather) to the holy shrine of Srisailam and how he met some relatives along the way, Kasturi related as follows:
"He [Kondama] sought to persuade Subba Raju to sell his lands and home and come over to the Chitravathi area where land fed by the Bukkapatnam Tank was available for cultivation. Sensing Subba Raju's doubt and hesitation, he added an irresistible offer that clinched the matter; his son Pedda Venkapa would wed Subba Raju's daughter. It was in the Divine plan. Subba Raju reached the banks of the Chitravathi and settled at Karnatanagapalli opposite to Puttaparthi. The holy wedding was consummated as promised before God. She was barely fourteen. She came like a ray of sunshine. Beauty is a flower of the tree of virtue; she had it in ample measure."
- Easwaramma: The Chosen Mother, p. 16.
Noting the marriage between a girl of thirteen and a lad of eighteen, I was more struck at the name of Easwaramma's father: Subba Raju. Isn't it strange that the book specifically mentioned Kondama's meeting with relatives who incidentally shared the same surname? I was forced to contain my curiosity due to the lack of further information but after having recently acquired a copy of Love Is My Form, an independently-researched biography of Sai Baba that sheds new light on his early years, I found my suspicions confirmed. I sat open-mouthed in disbelief as I read through the relevant sections:
"Kondama Raju's pious wife, Lakshamma, bore him two sons: Pedda Venkama (Venkappa) Raju and Chinna Venkama (Venkappa) Raju - each, most likely, named after the great Venkavadhuta."
"Kondama Raju's younger sister, Venkata Subbamma, married Meesaraganda Subba Raju of Kolimigundla, a village in the Koilkuntla Taluk of Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, then ruled by the Nizam of Hyderabad. They had six children - three sons and three daughters. Their eldest daughter was Easwaramma."
- Love Is My Form, p. 12-13.
Ok let's just sit back and take another look at that. I've taken the step of outlining the Raju genealogy with some Family Tree software to make things clearer:
Sai Baba is listed therein under his birth name of Sathyanarayana Raju. Acknowledging that the family tree is much more complex than this I have restricted myself to tracing Sai Baba's direct paternal line to keep it simple. It tells us the following: Kondama Raju's younger sister married Subba Raju, which makes the two of them brothers-in-law. The birth of Easwaramma as the offspring of Subba makes her Kondama Raju's niece. Her subsequent marriage to Pedda Venkama (Kondama's son) means that the two of them were cousins.
of incestuous relations.
Not to speak of his siblings. The names and dates are all courtesy of the Love Is My Form text.
I have always maintained that the key to understanding Sai Baba is to understand his past. Even as a devotee I was fascinated by tales of his early life and still am; What this newly-unearthed and scandalous information holds for the future remains unknown at this time. Suffice to say that, at the very least, this is an excellent basis for further analysis of Sai Baba's psychopathology as well as the effects of the genetic predispositions.
This article has six follow-ups:
Sai Baba: Incestuous Reflections
Kasturi's (Incestuous) Revisionism
Far From the Incestuous Crowd
Incest Fiasco Continues To Amuse
Incest Affair Confirmed And Concluded
Sai Baba's Incestuous Sister
DISCLAIMER: I have been made aware that intermarriage is a rather common practice in South India and that the people of that region may find slurs about incest offensive. As Sai Baba was born and raised in South India and still resides there, his questionable family connections may thus be seen as a naturally-occurring event in that environment. I would like to clarify and confirm that I mean absolutely no offence to South Indians and I apologise for any offence caused. The aim of this blog is simply to investigate and research Sathya Sai Baba and that is what this post is about.
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