The Truth About The Sai Baba Rock
"People came into the garden from all directions bringing flowers and fruits. The grove resounded to the voices of hundreds, singing in chorus the lines that Sathya Sai taught them. The first prayer that He taught them that day was, as many still remember:
'Meditate in thy mind on the Feet of the Guru. This can take you across the difficult sea of existence in birth after birth.'
"... Three days passed thus in that garden, three days of worship. A photographer came who wanted Sai Baba to remove a crude stone that was right in front of Him, but Baba did not pay heed to that prayer. The photographer took the picture nevertheless, and lo, the stone had become an image of Sai Baba of Shirdi! But only in the photograph, not for all the people who had assembled there." - Sathyam Sivam Sundaram Part 1, 'The Serpent Hill'.
Or so they say. Take a good look at that picture, it is renowned throughout Sai literature as being the 'first photograph' of the "Avatar" after officially embarking on his mission, widely believed to have taken place on 20th October, 1940. Sathya Sai Baba himself told it like it was:
"At that time, the Commissioner’s son ran inside, brought a camera and clicked a photo. In the picture, Shirdi Sai could be seen in front of Swami." - Summer discourse, 2000.
We now know that this took place in 1943 thanks to new research. What the above narrative doesn't say is how there was something of a strong culture of Shirdi Sai worship in Uravakonda too, just like in Puttaparthi. 'Love Is My Form', a well-researched devotional biography, informs us that Anjaneyulu was a devotee of Shirdi Sai Baba and was requested by the young Sathya Sai (then known as Sathyanarayana Raju) to procure a small statue of Shirdi Sai Baba from the nearest marketplace. This took place on 9th March 1943:
"Anjaneyulu ... created a personal shrine for [Shirdi] Sai Baba in his garden, spreading a tigerskin on a boulder and placing the statue there for puja [worship] every Thursday. The boulder later became a landmark with the name Sai Baba Gundu (Sai Baba Rock)." - LIMF, p. 134.
Needless to say, Raju attended these Shirdi Sai worship services regularly just as he used to do in Puttaparthi, which shows that - contrary to official information - the fame of Shirdi Sai Baba was so much widespread that it was possible for the residents of remote backwoods villages like Puttaparthi and Uravakonda to procure pictures and small statues of the Baba. And Anjaneyulu's statue is still being worshipped in the personal shrine of Goddumarri Sai Maruthi, his youngest son. Interestingly, LIMF doesn't mention a single word about the "Shirdi statue declaration miracle" that is described in official sources although that same photo is carried within it's pages (the picture above is scanned from LIMF), even when the narrative reaches the point at which Raju threw away his schoolbooks and announced his mission.
Given that LIMF has explained the truth behind the Shirdi statue and how it had been present on the Gundu for months before Raju threw his tantrum, there is yet another reason to believe why the popular story is a fraud. The international website of the Sathya Sai Organisation carries an old photo in it's picture gallery of this event that is still there at the time of writing:
Immediately the difference is obvious: the camera is at a slightly different angle and young Raju is looking even further away from the camera than in the other photo. The background is different and there is no tigerskin on the boulder. It is possible that the two photos were taken on the same day, however, and that this discounts the "miracle" even further. If Raju refused to move out of the way because of a crude and obstructive stone with the intention of performing a miracle (that the stone would transform into a small statue of Shirdi Sai Baba), how can this be possible for two different photos? To my knowledge this alternative photo has never been published before (it's not in LIMF!) so very few could have known of it's existence, while the large majority believes the official narrative of the miracle.
To highlight the differences between the two photos, I created this composite:
The uncovering of this bald lie represents yet another mephistophelian working of the Puttaparthi Propaganda Machine generated by the dynamic duo, Kasturi and Sai Baba, in a shameless and deceptive attempt to divinise each and every mundane event of his life in order to impress and attract followers. The arrogation of Shirdi Sai Baba's legacy has continued throughout his life and continues to be bowdlerised and plundered.
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