Sai Baba's Tattvavada Troubles
One may wonder why there is a distinction between all the avatars. A popular answer is given is that other avatars advented for a particular purpose, and when that purpose was achieved they returned to their abodes. A good example of this would be Matsya, an incarnation of Vishnu who appeared as a fish to protect the endangered scriptures when the world was suffering devastating floods. The lives of Rama and Krishna were in sharp contrast to Matsya and others in which they lived full humanlike lives from apparent "birth" to "passing" (Hindu theology holds that avatars are never "born" and never "die", they simply appear to do so). And in so doing, Rama and Krishna performed natural miracles and feats that bespoke of the full glory of God, things that other avatars did not do during their own advents.
For the sake of brevity, I am being deliberately superficial and shallow in describing these concepts, as we would not want to unnecessarily enlarge this article. In any case I suppose that the general ideas about poorna avatars are now clear.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Sai Baba also claims to be a poorna avatar. Of course, nothing else would be appropriate enough to describe his great magnificence. :-) Sai Baba's 'poorna' status is supposed to be exemplified via the sensational nature of his "astounding miracles", welfare works, all-inclusive spiritual teachings, and the like. After all, wouldn't GOD be perfectly capable of transmitting new holy teachings for the benefit of the world, which explain absolutely everything?
Here comes the crunch: Dvaita Vedanta is one of the three major philosophical schools of Hindu theology, the other two being Vishishtadvaita Vedanta and Advaita Vedanta. Whereas seekers of Eastern spirituality are likely to have heard of or be influenced by Advaita above all, Dvaita (also known as Tattvavada) has an increasing reputation for having formed its conclusions on a strong basis of sound reasoning, admirable rigorousness and textual clarity. In other words, Dvaita followers have extremely good reasons for believing the way they do, and Dvaita holds that there is no such thing as poorna avatars. :-)
The reason for this is rather simple: Since avatars are descents of one deity, Vishnu, it naturally follows that they are all emanations of his and would naturally possess all of his potencies. In theory, it is possible for Matsya and other "minor" avatars to exhibit and fully display all the astounding powers of God displayed by the 'poornas' like Rama and Krishna, and the reason for why they didn't do so is really because there was no call to do so. Otherwise it is regarded that each and every incarnation of Vishnu is possessed of 'full' and 'complete' power and are thus equal to each other. There is no gradation among the incarnations of Vishnu as they are all him.
Not everyone will agree with this, but there you have it: the viewpoint of Dvaita Vedanta on this subject. This leads us to the natural consequence that Sathya Sai Baba's claims to 'poorna' avatarhood will have no credibility among the followers of Dvaita Vedanta and they are not likely to brook such nonsense either.
At the very least, this is a perfect example of how Sathya Sai Baba's divine and supposedly all-inclusive teachings are incompatible with Dvaita Vedanta philosophy. :-) One of the Baba's oft-quoted platitudes urges Hindus to be better Hindus, Christians to be better Christians, Muslims to be better Muslims, and so on. This will not apply for the Dvaita Vedantin, as Sai Baba's meaningless witterings about 'poorna' avatars will hold no weight with such people. After all, how can Sai Baba claim anything "special" about his status when his claim doesn't even exist in their religious paradigm? :-)
For further discussion of these issues, please see Sai Baba's Tattvavada Troubles 2.
Copyright © Sai Baba EXPOSED! 2005-2007. Discuss this post!
Return To Main Page