Rege Rebuffs Sai Baba
From a recent article sent to me by email:
"[Narasimha] Swamiji's picture was unveiled on 26th January, 1966 by Justice M. B. Rege in the Samadhi Mandir at Shirdi and was presented to Shirdi Sansthan and this portrait is kept along with those of other devotees."
For those who do not understand, B.V. Narasimha Swamiji became a fervent devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba (after the Baba had passed away) and who spent the bulk of his life's work in collecting stories about Shirdi Baba from his direct disciples in order to publish books on the Baba, which included a four-part biography and a three-part compilation of devotees' experiences. He also founded the 'Sai Sudha' magazine and was responsible for the founding of the All India Sai Samaj, based in Madras. By any reckoning he was a very highly-placed and very important devotee.
The passage above explains that how, after Narasimha Swamiji's passing away, Justice M. B. Rege unveiled the Swami's portrait in the Samadhi Mandir at Shirdi so that Narasimha Swamiji is recognised forever as one of Shirdi Baba's dedicated disciples, even if he never met Shirdi Baba personally. The Swami himself passed away in 1956.
The important part is that this unveiling was done in 1966 which means that Rege was obviously alive at the time. Rege was a direct disciple of Shirdi Sai Baba and who associated with him many times. Rege's experiences are listed in the Sai Satcharita and other Shirdi literature. Ditto for Das Ganu and other direct disciples of Shirdi Baba.
Sathya Sai Baba declared himself the reincarnation of Shirdi Baba in 1940, when we now know that this happened in 1943. His temple, Prashanti Nilayam, was constructed in 1950. In 1961 he went on a massive pilgrimage to Badrinath, not forgetting his regular and constant visits to his devotees all over the country, including royal families, judges and other rich people that have been going since 1948 at the least. In short, he was actively promoting himself as the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. According to Sathya Sai's biographers, we are expected to believe that his fame grew far and wide.
Suffice to say, Narasimha Swamiji, Rege and Das Ganu among other direct disciples must have heard of Sathya's reincarnation claims, yet none of them believed it or declared that he was Shirdi's reincarnation.
Food for thought, don't you think?
I recently spotted this passage from the hagiography of RA. Ganapati, where he attempts to explain his reasonings for why Sathya is definitely a reincarnation of Shirdi Baba. See for yourself:
"If even some of the stalwarts of the Shirdi devotees like Rege and Narasimha Svami do not accept Parti Baba, this is to be taken as an inexplicable leela of his!" - Baba Satya Sai (Part 1), p. 154.
This type of reasoning is almost asinine and at the very least, betrays a complete ignorance of the Shirdi milieu. Justice M.B. Rege was a beloved devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba who embraced him on their first meeting, and the Baba lovingly considered Rege to be his 'Ankita' (child). Furthermore, Rege specifically extracted a promise from Shirdi Baba that the Baba would lovingly protect him and be with him in any future birth which he had to take, to which the Baba graciously promised that he would do.
Several Sathya Sai devotees, who are still alive today, are supposedly the living reincarnations of their Shirdi prototypes just like Sathya Sai is supposedly the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai. Indeed, Sathya Sai has revealed to a "chosen few" that they were with him in his "previous birth". When this mythology is being actively propagated and when Rege himself was still alive as late as 1966, at a time when Sathya Sai was actively promoting himself as the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai and as an avatar, one wonders why Rege was not 'called' to be his devotee?
Rege, of all people who had actively associated with the Baba of Shirdi and was his dedicated devotee, would have had the authority to confirm the authenticity of Sathya Sai one way or another. This is especially ironic in the light of Shirdi Sai Baba's personal promise to him. To wit, if Sathya Sai was really Shirdi Sai, he would have called Rege to him invariably as Shirdi Sai Baba used to famously declare that he drew his men to him just as a hunter catches pigeons with a wire-rope around their feet. Narasimha Swamiji is believed to have met the young Sathya Sai circa 1943 and observed his exhibition of miracle-mongering, but still penned his findings in his 'Life of Sai Baba' that no alleged reincarnation exhibited even a pinch of Shirdi Sai Baba's power, not least the fact that there is no need for any reincarnation as such since Shirdi Baba is still "active from his tomb".
Ganapati is unfortunately ignorant about these things due to his evident bias in favour of Sathya Sai, and to rationalise it away as a "leela" (play) of Sathya Sai's is decidedly unconvincing. I have spotted several phrases in Narasimha Swamiji's books that Ganapati has unashamedly lifted and spun in the same favour for Sathya Sai. This bespeaks of a disturbing trend of intellectual dishonesty that started with Kasturi and continues even today. Perhaps now that the truth is out, people with a critical and rational mind may be able to make use of this information and look at Sathya Sai Baba in an entirely new light. A sinister light.
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