Sai Baba's Internet Ban CONFIRMED!
Shortly after the Finding's release and a mass exodus of Sai devotees from the movement, Sai Baba had the following to say in a public discourse:
"Swami has nothing to do with internet. Not only now, even in future also you should not indulge in such wrong activities." - 15 October 1999
Sai Baba, as usual, did not provide any consistency between his words and his actions; in February 2001, he personally inaugurated the official website of the Indian Sai Organisation. Several endorsed (and blessed) websites have sprung up since then. This exemplifies Sai Baba's typically hypocritical position in regards to any media that he considers a vice; bookish knowledge is geeky unless you're reading books by or about him, movies are evil unless they are about him, television is trash unless he is on it, the Internet is evil unless you are surfing his websites - what's going on here?
And so I heard that a drama was staged by the children of the Deenajanoddharana Patakam in Puttaparthi recently, in full view of Sai Baba and the assembled devotees. According to the report, one of the drama skits was along the following theme:
The futility of cell phones when one is not able to connect with the heart and the dangers of the internet if used indiscriminately for everything was highlighted. They also showed how television has today become televisham [telepoison].
So it seems that Sai Baba's contradictory policies on the Internet have earned their place in Sai lore so much so that they are dramatised by kids! I wonder what Swami had to say about this new and interesting development? Clearly he approved, according to the report:
Tears formed and dropped from the divine eyes. Swami was engrossed in the programme throughout and was very touched.
Yes, you read it right. He cried. The ban on Internet use for devotees is still active and doesn't look like it'll be lifted anytime soon.
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