Suffer Even More Children Unto Sai Baba
"'Later, for High School studies, I had to go to Uravakonda. Till it was time to leave for school, I had to attend to many strenuous domestic chores. I had to go to a distant well to fetch water. My shoulders became sore from carrying the pole that had pots slung at either end. Though I worked so hard, my paternal aunt would beat me mercilessly for no reason whatsoever.'
"Listening to this, we all shed tears. He continued, 'One day, she slapped me so hard that my cheek became swollen. Next day, her son suddenly fell seriously ill and died. They never gave me food on time.'" - Anyatha Saranam Nasthi, p. 217
This is a little difficult to explain to the unfamiliar reader but I shall try as best as I can; In India there is a very far-reaching and extremely broad tradition of superstition that affects every dimension of life, and which is interspersed with the doctrine of karma ("As you sow, so shall you reap").
This karmic connection is especially notable for it's prevalence in everyday life. Let me give an example from my own life: Once when I was young, my cousin doubted that I was telling the truth about some childish affair (something like if I had drunk milk that day or not) and asked me to swear by God that I was telling the truth. Even though I deliberately lied, I proceeded to swear by God in a bid to prove that I was telling the "truth". Later that day I had an accident; I was combing my hair when I was called away by my cousin. I absent-mindedly put the comb on the dressing table and unwittingly knocked over a glass bottle of aftershave which smashed on the stone floor and the aftershave went everywhere. I was in mid-step and before I could realise what had happened in the flash of a few micro-seconds, it was too late and I slipped on the aftershave and twisted my ankle - The long and the short of it is that my cousin instantly knew what had happened; I had lied and had even sworn by God and what had happened to me was instant karma. As she was correct about the swearing issue, I could not refute her argument and, needless to say, I never swore by God again and even found some good advice on this matter.
Even though there was a perfectly reasonable explanation for my accident (inattentively and carelessly placing my comb), the above example as a whole serves to illustrate the concept of instant karma, a fundamental belief held by the vast majority of Indians and some other cultures too. With regards to the extract from Vijayamma's book, how does the concept of instant karma sit with Sai Baba? The very statement of the child's death is by way of clearly implying that it happened as a result of Sai Baba's allegedly being beaten. Why mention it otherwise?
In light of reports about Sai Baba's alleged superanatural powers, some have postulated that he indeed had something to do with the death of his cousin. And rightly so; what does this say about Sai Baba's supposed unconditional love towards all beings, not to mention his "legendary" tolerance of attacks from critics from all corners? He famously says: "Take one step towards me and I'll take ten steps towards you." What is this? "Slap me once and I'll kill you"? What is there to say that Sai Baba didn't physically kill the fellow, leaving aside the possibility of occult interference?
This is indeed a most harrowing development in the ongoing critical examination of Sai Baba's history. One can only wonder what effect he has had on the lives of many children, especially those whom he has sexualy abused in the most brutal manner. The earliest recorded instance of child abuse occurred in 1949 and has only grown in leaps and bounds. From simply boxing ears and a few slaps to outright killing is doubtlessly a most gruesome observation. And to think that he manages to get away with all such behaviour with impunity!
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