21 April 2006

Insight Into Halagappa Curiosity

In light of the recent postings to do with vibhuti/amrit miracles and Halagappa's Srirangapatnam shrine, I'm reproducing the following entry from the Exbaba.Com Guestbook which has some interesting insights on this matter:

Name: John W. Burkhardt
Home Page:
Date: Sat Sept 10 16:42:32 2005
Referred By:

To Webmaster. I like your site! I read a remarkable interesting reply from way back to Joe Moreno, but now I can't find the page. Is it still on exbaba? If not, fortunately I had downloaded the text, at least, which I give here:

What Moreno wrote was:

"Any one care to divulge the recipe of amrita? I have never tasted anything so exquisite in my life. Anyone who could come up with the recipe (that should not be too difficult considering some poor, conniving person in India is making it), could make a lot of money making amrita. It's taste is beyond description. Everyone single person who has tasted it has had the same response. A taste and fragrance beyond compare. I know I would buy it in the gallons, if I could. Has anyone been able to duplicate the forumula? Why not?"

And replied:

"The recipe for amrita is simple sugar water with tea rose essence, the result is identical to so-called 'Sai amrit'. The tea rose essence in seldom met with, so it make the amrit perfume/taste seem unique. See nectar of the gods? Or rose water? Like most others, moreno believes it 'exquisite' because of what it represented to him :the grace of god to him (in sensory, culinary form!) As conferring eternal life on the devas (in the 'ramayana' myth). One imagines it is often taken in Sai circles to mean that Sai Baba is lining one up for liberation. But it's all in the mind, Moreno.

"Same with the amrit at Srirangapatnam 'orphanage'. The 'flow'of amrit from the amulets is just a dribble, not much at all. When visitors increased, suddenly there were two amulets, but there was originally only one!) Halagappa does not allow it to rest on your hand more than a short time. The amulets may well be hollow with concealed opening at top and bottom, which allows more amrit to run out, but Halagappa never allows genuine examination of either amulet (he limits it to seconds)! (the 'Seduced' film team were not able to test it properly. One would think this would be very helpful to all, IF it were genuine). One is not allowed to dry it off and wait for a new flow, for example. Why?

"Sometimes Halagappa scrapes away the flow with his spoon beneath the amulet on your hand to show that yet more will flow, but then the amulet gets more amrit from the spoon as he is scraping up to it. A clever deceit! Then there are the feet of Shirdi carved in stone which allegedly "sweat amrit". Why does Halagappa stand nearby while one tests it? (There is such a thing as a simple hydraulic footpump).

"What happened to the miraculous vibuthi box Halagappa allegedly 'found', which refills itself when shaken? He told one of us it had stopped producing any more! Here the Sai temple orphans wear rags & have no proper books or other facilities, while Halagappa's (second) wife wears diamonds and where the 'temple' has been marbled and beautified at great expense. Yet the donations made by visitors are truly enormous. The taxi firms are hand-in-glove with Halagappa too... One big scam!

"Sai Baba has himself warned in discourses against 'happenings in Mysore and Madras' (Sathya Sai Speaks vol. 10, p. 186) and 'in Mysore state there are some who distribute amrith, vibhuuthi and other articles announcing that they are showering from their pictures at their places... Devotees should keep far away from such places and persons' (Sathya Sai Speaks vol. 11, p. 147). So much for the genuineness of Halagappa's tricks and his collection of funds (another financial competitor to the Sai Central Trust!)."

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