10 April 2007

Sai Baba Slammed By Newsweek

Although I just said I'm too busy for these matters, I found this gem that is too good to pass up. Enjoy!

Samuel H. Sandweiss, M.D. published his first book about his experiences with Sathya Sai Baba, entitled: 'Sai Baba: The Holy Man and the Psychiatrist'. It has since remained a favourite in Sai literature and a staple product in the Baba's own ashram bookshop. Apart from a graphic description of the Baba's fraudulent miracles personally witnessed and rationalised by Sandweiss, I noticed an observation near the end of the book about how Sandweiss spotted a photo of Sai Baba in Newsweek magazine. Well actually, it was a photo of a yogi, and a picture of Sai Baba just happened to be in the corner of that yogi-picture. Sandweiss chuckled to himself as he mused over that extent of the Baba's media exposure to the West, and how he believed it was all in the Baba's hands.

That was in 1976.

It took until April 2007 for Sai Baba to earn a mention in Newsweek, and which is still generally a passing mention and not a public and positive article about him. Rather, a recent article entitled 'The God Debate' features a discussion between atheist Sam Harris and Christian pastor Rick Warren. You can guess what they argued about - the existence of God. Quite a profound subject for some people where you wouldn't normally expect someone like Sai Baba to get a look-in. But there he is, mentioned right there smack-dab in the middle of the debate, in a key point by Harris about the authenticity of Jesus Christ's miracles:

Harris: Now, there are many testimonials about miracles, every bit as amazing as the miracles of Jesus, in other literature of the world's religions. Even contemporary miracles. There are millions of people who believe that Sathya Sai Baba, the south Indian guru, was born of a virgin, has raised the dead and materializes objects. I mean, you can watch some of his miracles on YouTube. Prepare to be underwhelmed. He's a stage magician. As a Christian, you can say Sathya Sai Baba's miracle stories are not interesting, let's not pay attention to them, but if you set them within the prescientific religious milieu of the first-century Roman Empire, suddenly miracle stories become especially compelling.

Oh dear. Yet another major media source lambasts Sai Baba's extremely poor and pathetic magic show as an excercise in futility and showbusiness. And this time the humiliation is greater as it didn't even require a dedicated article to make the point. What is only necessary to observe is how Sai Baba's "miracles" are now openly derided and mocked as uninteresting and stage-managed, things we have been saying all along. It's about time the world was informed about the Baba's cheap parlour tricks through responsible news media like Newsweek inasmuch as serious allegations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by him are now being documented for posterity in college textbooks.

Isn't it time that the old goat takes the hint and buzzes off? He can ride off into the sunset on his wheelchair, incoherently muttering some inchoate and senescent ramblings before looking back, displaying two fingers to the camera before breaking into maniacal giggles.

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  • So what's wrong with miracles? Perhaps your desire to find fault is mired in your fear of something bigger than yourself....magic is in the eye of the beholder after all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 28 August, 2008 16:20  

  • Right, and by any definition, Sai Baba's "miracles" are cheap and unimpressive.

    David Blaine, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, PC Sorcar, and many others, are examples of astounding magicians whose tricks are awesome to see. The difference is that they admit that theirs is all illusion and magic, whereas Sai Baba expects us to believe that his are miracles.

    It is in the eye of the beholder indeed. Sai Baba's followers tend to believe anything in favour of their guru.

    By Blogger Swami Saiexposedananda, at 30 August, 2008 21:45  

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