Sunday, May 31, 2015

Authoritative & comprehensive archive of MESSAGE of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"New Initiatives of SSS Central Trust - 2, Conversation with Mr. K. Chakravarthi - Part 04", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUQPUABTs9Q, 14 min. 20 secs, published on May 28th 2015.

The latter part of the above-mentioned video has very interesting info. on the archival centre and the focus on maintaining & disseminating the MESSAGE of Swami that it will have. I think this is a VITAL, VITAL function of the Central Trust. Generations to come should have an AUTHORITATIVE and COMPREHENSIVE archive, which is easily accessible, of the MESSAGE of Swami on various topics of life, across the decades of His role as the Avatar-JagadGuru, This will be of great benefit not only to scholars of religion, spirituality, Bharatiya (Indian) culture, ethics & philosophy, but also to lay persons.

[Ravi: I have given below selected comments, slightly edited, from a related Facebook post of mine here: https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1623830134500224. I have presumed that Sai Das and Eve Gardener would not mind me putting up their comments on this blog post, which is a free service (Seva) activity for interested Sai devotees (and others as well).]

Eve Gardener wrote:
I do feel Sai Das said it all yesterday, that people have access to books, videos, personal experiences of Sai Baba. After all Sai has only been gone 4 years, The Sai material from those years dating back to 1940's etc. is all on record.. Thus, any "so called poser," would, no doubt, have an ulterior motive to want to "improve" on the original Sai.
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Sai Das responded:
Never before has there been such an archive in any major religion of the person on whom it was founded. We should not lose sight or downplay the significance of this.

When it comes to mediums and the like, Swami is crystal clear on this subject. He didn't speak cryptically or ambiguously of this or anything else for that matter. What we are seeing now is a redefinition of Swami's words which is not a good idea to say the very least. We have seen this being done in the world's religions for many centuries now. Many of us Sai devotees somehow think we are special and beyond that sort of thing but we are obviously not.
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Ravi S. Iyer responded:
Sai Das: You have raised a very vital point. We Sai devotees have PROVED that we are NOT beyond diluting and compromising Swami's message. So, as a community, we need to be vigilant about this dilution and compromise by any of our brothers & sisters, and prevent it as far as feasible, as a service to coming generations.
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Sai Das responded:
Indeed Ravi. Just look at the care and attention to detail given even many centuries ago to whatever was said by those like Jesus, the Buddha , Mohammed, etc. This was done to both insure the integrity of what was said as well as to prevent other interpretations, which sadly, happens anyway.

The problem then that we don't have now, was that much of the teachings were hearsay and not written down at the time they were spoken. We have no such problem with that since Swami's own words are recorded for all time.

I think that Swami's own words are the only case that needs to be made against this sham.

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
As somebody who is crazy about scripture, not only Hindu scripture but scripture of other religions like Christianity, I have a decent idea of the battles involved in keeping the messages of great spiritual masters like Krishna & Jesus alive, the way they said it. Actually speaking I think it is quite well established that their messages did get distorted quite a bit over centuries and millennia. For Hindu scripture, say like the Ramayana (account of Lord Rama's advent), scholars of Ancient Indian history (e.g. Romila Thapar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romila_Thapar) as well as Hindu religion academic scholars (like Diana Eck and Wendy Doniger (Prof. Doniger is not a favourite of mine though :-) ) from Harvard & University of Chicago respectively) will argue that there are hundreds (yes, hundreds) of versions of the Ramayana with quite some differences between them. How do you decide which one is the correct one, they argue? ..... In the case of Jesus Christ, we have the canonical gospels and the apocryphal gospels, the preaching of St. Paul (of Tarsus who did not have contact with bodily Jesus Christ before crucifixion) and those of the apostles who walked and lived with Jesus Christ like Matthew and Peter...... Now, in the case of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the CT should ensure that there is no such confusion, as far as possible. And, of course, there should be CLEAR DISTINCTION between physical form Sri Sathya Sai Baba's message and messages of any claimed subtle bodies/light bodies.

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Eve Gardener responded:
With Sai you already have the material, Back in J.C.s time, nothing was written down until years later. But ah hah, from a scholarly point of view, there will always be differences eh? I mean scholars, I know many here on FB, they love to argue the toss over who is right and who is wrong. They would not be scholars if they did not continuously make a point of discussing and rehashing major religous and secular works.. However, this should not happen with Sai.

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Sai Das wrote:
Yes and it is a historical fact the Council of Nicea in 325 AD actually altered and manipulated the teachings to great extent, suit their interests. We are in no way beyond that sort of thing now believe me.

[--snip--]
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Well, some religion scholars do raise fascinating and genuine issues through their research. I got exposed to a lot about the life & times of Jesus Christ from a recent book by U.S. academic scholar, Reza Aslan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zealot:_The_Life_and_Times_of_Jesus_of_Nazareth. Sure, Aslan may have got something wrong. But his analysis with fair bit of what seems to me to be decent supporting data, was fascinating. So, while the academic scholars do have to argue, I think some of their arguments & theories are genuine and not presented simply because they have to. ... In India today, there is a MASSIVE tug-of-war going on between what are referred to as Marxist historians view of Ancient India (that Rama & Krishna are mythological/fictional figures), and the current BJP-NDA govt. supported historians (non-Marxist, if I may use that term) who want to rewrite ancient Indian history viewing Hindu scriptural accounts like Ramayana and Mahabharata as historical sources rather than mythological sources. This battle makes news in the mainstream print media every once in a while. ..... So, CT must go the extra mile, with suitable replication facilities which are ideally separated geographically (like Google (gmail etc.) data servers, I am told), to ensure that such academic (religion, history, philosophy etc.) and philosopher, theologian etc. battles over what Swami actually said or wrote, is completely avoided.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Eve Gardener Sai Das P.S. Those readers who want to get some idea of the current MASSIVE tug-of-war between Marxist and non-Marxist historians of ancient India may want to see my blog post, Comments on Prof S.N. Balagangadhara's paper, 'What do Indians Need, A History or the Past?', http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2014/12/my-comments-on-prof-sn-balagangadharas.html, dated Dec. 22nd, 2014.

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