Saturday, May 16, 2015

BONES IN PRASANTHI NILAYAM, SPIRIT IN MUDDENAHALLI? - A heart-to-heart & thought provoking article by Sai university alumnus

I have copy-pasted below a message by Chiran Basnet, former student of Alike, Brindavan and Puttaparthi also a former employee of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for many years, which was put up by SaiBliss on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/saimemories/photos/a.422242711155641.89985.402496529796926/899676170078957.

BONES IN PRASANTHI NILAYAM, SPIRIT IN MUDDENAHALLI?

An interesting article By Chiran Basnet, former student of Alike, Muddenahalli, Brindavan and Puttaparthi also a former employee of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for 10 years: Here is what he said:

At the outset I simply refuse to believe that He left His Bones to us and installed His Spirit in MDH. I am Swami’s student from SSS Loka Seva Trust Alike / Muddenahalli,Brindavan and Puttaparthy. I have also served in Central Trust office for over a decade. I have pretty much seen and been in most of Swami’s institutions. Well, I refuse to accept that our dedication to The Lotus Feet has been lesser than that of Sri Narasimha Murthy or Sri Indulal Shah even if they have held higher profiles. When we student staff asked Swami to guide us spiritually He curtly said ‘you all are Serving Me that is enough Sadhana’. I don’t remember Him telling us ‘Bangaru , you all r whiling your time now with the Physical Form of Avatar, Only later when my Spirit is in MDH that u may come and be elevated spiritually’. I refuse to believe anything has changed now.

However, one of these days the staff entering offices in Parthy and devotees going to Mandir will be mocked from overloaded buses speeding to MDH ‘Hey Fools why u wasting time, Baba is in MDH, nothing will come out of breaking your heads in the Granite here’. I say this because I remember a MDH devotee saying ‘where else can Baba be than with the Great devotee like Sri Narasimha Murthy’. Perhaps the subtle spirit should have stationed itself in Alike near Mangalore, the head institute of Mudenahalli amidst the finest of the Devotees I have seen, my teachers and Gurus at Alike. I can understand that it is not strategically positioned en route Puttaparthy / Bangalore. I definitely would also like to give some people a tour of Puttaparthy Ashram and Puttaparthy by lanes n show some nameless and faceless humble devotees. Sadly they cannot be bracketed amongst the super achievers such as Mr.Tigrett and Sri Sashidhar Prasad.

There perhaps can be no meeting point between MDH and Puttaparthy. Simply because we here believe that we have His Bones as well as His all pervasive Sprit not only the Bones as the MDH people will like us to concede. They who believe that one day we must resurrect the lifeless Bones here by appealing to the Spirit at MDH are sadly mistaken.

My brothers here will defend MDH undoubtedly because they Believe and want others to be part of the Bliss they are experiencing. We on the other side will vehemently oppose it simply because we don’t believe we have been short-changed by Swami. You try to bring joys to some as we attempt to help retain sanity to some. So why don’t I visit MDH and see for myself? Well if Swami tells me ‘Don’t Smoke’ there is no point telling me the bliss of Havana cigars or Marlborough. You may pity me for missing out but no thank you ‘I don’t Smoke’.

What a tragedy life’s come to! Today I refer to Samadhi as bones and granites, call my beloved institute just MDH, ignore the name of Madhu, a brother who had love and respect for me from over a decade, and dare to compare my dedication to Sri Narasimha Murthy Sir, my warden, Idol, and without whose inspiration in life I would definitely be listening to some hard rock in a bar with that strong Havana cigar in one hand and drinks in other rather than tired hands on a keyboard typing this painful post.

Sorry for offence caused if any.

Sairam
Chiran

---- end Chiran Basnet article/message ----

Ravi: My comment response on another Facebook page to the above message was: That's a direct from the heart and brutally frank message from the one and only brother Chiran Basnet. It is a message worth pondering over, IMHO.
--- end Ravi comment ---

Some comments (slightly edited), mostly mine but a few from others too, from the above mentioned SaiBliss facebook post, is given below:

Vr Ganti wrote:
OM SRI SAI RAM
Very True Sri Chiran and you don’t have to feel sorry. I only wish many Ex-students who BHAGWAN was calling them as His Assets, realize and help in bringing the leaders in Muddenhalli realize their mistakes and join the main stream.
SWAMI said that He will have Direct Contact with His Devotees. Is the inverse of this statement that His Devotees should also have Direct Contact with HIM q correct and desirable approach.
Is this not the way life goes – Quid Pro Quo as it is called. When SWAMI, the creator of this Universe can declare so, why not we all, SAI DEVOTEES also take a vow that we will have Direct Contact with him. Will SWAMI be not happy with this approach?

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Ravi S. Iyer responded to above:
I entirely agree with Vr Ganti sir's comments. I think it the urgent and dire need of the hour for those of Swami's former students who agree with brother Chiran Basnet's views or have similar views, is to openly express them on the vital social media platform of Facebook. Please don't feel scared to openly support brother Chiran, if you agree with his views, as what he has said falls in line with what we have heard from and experienced with physical form Swami. Let the Sathya Sai fraternity worldwide know that there are many, many former Sai students who have similar views to that of brother Chiran on this very controversial and very divisive matter. Silence on part of such former Sai students may be viewed as support for MDH claims, or not being sure about it.

The vital point to note is that it is a former Sai student who is claiming to be a "chosen communicator" and is endorsed by a former Warden and a former vice-chancellor of the Sai university. So the Sathya Sai fraternity worldwide think that as it involves former Sai students and former Sai university leaders, it must certainly be true. I urge those former Sai students including those who are Sai university teachers, who disagree with the "chosen communicator" claims to at least balance such claims with publicly expressed refusal to accept such claims/disbelief in such claims. Please listen to your conscience and do your duty towards Swami in this regard. Jai Sairam!
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Vr Ganti wrote:
Om Sri Sai Ram - To be very honest, I am now reaching to as many Ex-students as possible because Bhagwan in my dram directed me to use His Assets (students). I am also reaching out to Students Alumini. Unfortunately most of them say, SWAMI knows what to do when and so on. Yes they are right. However, we the children of SAI cannot sit tight waiting for Bhagwan to take action but we should do out part. Let us realize and remember that our actions being taken in writing Social Media and writing mails to various people is just 1 step and what SWAMI will do is 99 steps. Did SWAMI not say that earlier - "take one step and I will take 99 steps" So fellow Sai Devotees, especially Students (the assets of Bhagwan), do not feel discouraged, do not be scared (Bhagwan is surely will be with you and guide you) but take positive action. Express yourself and join the path of DHARMA
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Ravi S. Iyer responded to Vr Ganti above:
I entirely agree with you sir. When it is a time to act for DHARMA, my view is that Sai alumni should not sit back, taking a witness approach, and leave the task for Bhagavan to do. They must do their duty towards Bhagavan and not shirk that duty, IMHO.
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[Name-snipped] wrote:
Dear Sai Brother being with Swami for decades how it happened ? Really its very painful to hear all these , why should we think where is Swami's Bones and Soul ? He is Undoubtedly Omnipresent Everywhere not only in Puttaparthi or MDH he is everwhere in the nook and corner of the whole Universe.Is it not True Brother. Being a Messenger of Swami ( Students ) pls dont take any sides for or against. After all we are all Swami's Children nothing more nothing less. Its very sad here in our SSS orgn we never had any problems so far by Swami's Grace everything was sorted out . So my Prayer to Swami is "Bhagwan pls keep All of us United as Sai Devotees, rather than PTP or MDH Group. Let us Remain Only As Swami's Children. Sairam !!! Sairam !!!
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote (response to above):
@[Name-snipped]: Madam, I am sorry that you feel disturbed and hurt by what brother Chiran has written. But madam, is it dharmic/right to keep quiet when Adharma is being done? Is it dharmic/right when a former Sai student, former Sai university warden and former Sai university vice-chancellor propagate a belief in "chosen communicator" communicating with Swami, when (physical form) Swami told us so many times in public discourses that his communications with us is always heart-to-heart?

In the face of this Adharma which is misleading so many brothers & sisters of the Sathya Sai fraternity, my considered view, is that Bhagavan will expect us to speak up, even if it means some disturbance and some hurt. As if we don't speak up now to avoid disturbance and hurt, the Adharma will grow bigger and bigger, and eventually hurt more and more brothers and sisters of the Sai fraternity worldwide.

Therefore, madam, I think Sai students who prefer to follow Swami's instructions instead of following misguided people believing in "chosen communicator" should play their role by speaking up and alerting Sai devotees worldwide to the wrong belief/false belief in "chosen communicator" which is against Swami's instructions, propagated by MDH people in the name of Swami.
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Vr Ganti wrote:
[Name-snipped] - Ah Ah what to say. You don't seem to be knowing what is happening. Your comment is so naïve. Are you ok to see SAI Teachings being flouted left right and center. When my wife and I went to Muddenhalli to see for myself the campus (which incidentally has been financed mostly by Singapore I was told by someone from Muddenhalli and I am from Singapore) that we need not go to Parthi but go to Muddenhalli only. When I gave stern look at that person who told me so, he immediately told me that we can go 6 months there and 6 months to M and so on. Then when we were introduced to one lady who was a visiting faculty from outstation that we are from Singapore, at one she said that all these buildings are your donations only.. Further, these leaders from M keep visiting various affluent countries (they visited Singapore at least 4 times) obviously for money right - where as Bhagwan never asked anybody for even a single cent, how do you ask people to keep quiet and watch whatever is happening Sir. I am prepared for a debate with BNNM, Vijay Sai, etc etc on this subject sir.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote (response to above):
Vr Ganti: Very well said sir. Some of the MDH supporters seem to be like fanatics who expect that all of us will follow everything they say, and that we have no right to criticize them. Further, I have experienced one particular MDH supporter to even write comments which have to viewed as BULLYING comments. Please don't allow them to BULLY you sir. We will support you in your questioning them and in opposing their fanatic tactics to impose their belief on us.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote
[Name-snipped]: You have quite unfairly tarred all Sai students by the same brush. In my view, like in the Sai organization, even among Sai students, there are some who invest more time & effort in the Sai mission, and some who don't. The reason I made a specific request to former Sai students who don't believe in MDH "chosen communicator" to openly state their views is because the leaders of the MDH "chosen communicator" belief are Sai university people, which is what seems to give them a much wider acceptance among some Sai devotees worldwide. Let the Sathya Sai fraternity know that it is not as if that all Sai students believe in MDH "chosen communicator". A large number of Sai students don't. But they have not openly stated these views. As a former teacher in the Sai university, I felt it my duty to make the request, given the HUGE problem it is creating for UNITY in the Sathya Sai fraternity. I have done my duty and my conscience is at rest.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Brother [Name-snipped]: Noted your comment. However, I think we need to be careful not to generalize in these comment exchanges, as that can unfairly hurt people. Let us not forget that Sai students are also human and many of them too have desires and want to lead the 'good life', like most of us.
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Taruni Tarun wrote:
yes I do agree there are many gems of students who are upholding sais mission following his words very sincerely and making sathya sai very proud .Swami bless them all...However personally feel that just like a few rotten apples might spoil a whole lot of good apples too as time progresses....few students who choose to go against swamis words might spoil all students good name too .Agree that we should be careful of generalisng it ...however personally wish to say that the outside world always tends to generalise it easily and we cant stop them....Swami has always said * care more for remarks than for marks* ..Praying that .Those few who are acting against swamis words ..need to seriously read swamis msg again and again and get clear of their confusions and stop briniging bad name to whole sai student community..most of whom are wondeful students .
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Ravi S. Iyer responded to above:
I tend to agree with your words, Taruni Tarun. However, let us not become harsh in our public dialogue. We should not succumb to any BULLYING or such type of pressure from any fanatical supporters of MDH belief. We must use truthful discussions (without harshness or personal 'character assassination' type attacks) in this public forum to force the truth of what I am convinced is the FALSE BELIEF of MDH people involving the HOLY NAME of SAI, even if some of the service projects they do with donor money is laudable. Yes, Sai students should do their duty in this revelation of truth of MDH FALSE BELIEF but let us not get into any harsh criticism of the entire Sai student brotherhood and sisterhood. ..................................................................................... ...................... As a former teacher of the Sai university in Puttaparthi (Prasanthi NIlayam campus) I KNOW how bad Swami would feel (at his human level in the human+god Avatar) if all such students are criticized. Bearing in mind the boundless love Swami had for His students, let us, for Swami's sake, be extra cautious in any criticism of Sai students. I am NOT saying we should NOT criticize Sai students at all. NO, we should criticize those that have not only strayed from Swami's instructions but who are leading Sathya Sai devotees from the world over, astray. But we should not jump to criticize any and every Sai student who was seen with MDH subtle body believers. Who knows the reason for which they met them? Maybe they wanted to find out the truth, and even counsel "chosen communicator" to stop this Adharmic activity and get back to the SAFE and GOOD path by following (physical form) Swami's instructions in such matters.
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Taruni Tarun wrote:
yes @Ravi.s.Iyer noted that we should not become harsh in our public dialogue..and not succumb to any bullying or pressure from mdh and hold truthful discussions ...personally shall bear in mind this point..
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote
[Name-snipped]: I understand your feeling of disturbance and hurt. But is it not the duty of Sai students to speak up against "chosen communicator" which is clearly against Swami's instructions, and which is attracting a lot of devotees in the Sathya Sai fraternity the world over? Keeping quiet in the face of such Adharma is the easy option. But I don't think Bhagavan would approve of being a witness to such Adharma which is misguiding Sai devotees the world over, and is in direct opposition to Swami's instructions. I think it is the duty of those Sai students who choose to follow Swami's instructions to alert the Sathya Sai devotee fraternity worldwide, via social media and other outlets, about "chosen communicator" belief being completely against Swami's teachings and instructions.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
One gentleman writes, "The whole world knows that Madhusudhan is communicating with Swami's Subtle body." This is the typical sign of fanaticism and false propaganda. It is a complete untruth to say something like this. Do Shri K. Chakravarthi sir, Shri S.V. Giri sir, Prof. G. Venkataraman sir and Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju sir, all of whom were and are very important persons in Swami's mission, some for decades (even while Swami was in physical form), and which was clear to anybody who has been in Puttaparthi for some time, believe in the above quoted sentence? Does brother Satyajit Salian who served Swami with so much dedication, and whose service was publicly acknowledged by Swami, believe in it? What is this gentleman talking about! I request readers not to get taken in by FALSE PROPAGANDA from such MDH belief promoters.

Then the same gentleman writes, "Swami has communicated his message to us using many communicators in the past." Which Swami is he talking about? I don't know of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi ever saying that he has communicated his message through a communicator. Can the gentleman please provide references for this statement of his so that readers can judge for themselves whether he is saying the truth or not?

Regarding my usage of the word, Adharma: When Swami has so many times told us in public discourses that his connection is a heart-to-heart connection between Him and his devotee, and that he does not need any medium (communicator) to communicate to us, is it not Adharma when a former Sai student, a former Sai university warden who had spent close to five decades serving Swami, and a former Sai university vice-chancellor, choose to ignore such publicly given instructions of Swami, and become "chosen communicator" or promote "chosen communicator" belief to some innocent Sathya Sai devotees worldwide? Of course, it is ADHARMA. Further, such people should FEAR the negative KARMA that comes from such actions. I am sorry if the words are harsh, but I have no option but to use such words, in the face of such atrocious FALSE PROPAGANDA in the name of our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. If it hurts some MDH believers I am sorry. But dear MDH believers you are being MISGUIDED. Please give up the WRONG PATH and come bace to the SAFE & STEADY path given by (physical form) Swami, and go for direct communication between you and Swami, without any medium/communicator/dream-instruction persons in between, in this post-Mahasamadhi phase of the Sathya Sai mission.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Well, Mr. [Name-snipped], perhaps some of my comments have hurt you. I do acknowledge that my comments have been harsh, and I apologize to you if it has caused you hurt. But I had to do what I did, as after a great deal of examination and discussion I have come to the conclusion that MDH belief is a FALSE BELIEF. But then I do not have any special paranormal powers and further, I do have my fair share of human flaws too. So, even if I am convinced that MDH belief is FALSE, to be completely honest, there is, what I view as, a very small probability that I am wrong and that you are right in the MDH belief aspect.

I do not know how much experience you have had with physical form Bhagavan. Many of us (but I concede not all of us) at Puttaparthi/Prasanthi Nilayam completely disbelieve MDH "chosen communicator" claims as we have had DIRECT experience of the awesome mystical/miraculous powers as well as spiritual genius of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

As you have made some allegations about Prasanthi/Puttparthi supporters, one of which I certainly am, I would like to say that I personally am writing my comments, some of them quite harsh, out of a sense of duty to Swami and the Sathya Sai fraternity, in the face of the very controversial and very divisive "chosen communicator" of MDH claims.

You wrote, "You ain't seen nothing. The real show is yet to begin. Amen". Well, I wish you and co. the very best in your service activities, some of which are truly laudable and I have publicly acknowledged that multiple times on Facebook. But I do hope and pray that you get proper guidance directly in your hearts from our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Love, peace and joy to you, brother. I repeat my apologies for any hurt you have felt.
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Ravi S. Iyer
OK Mr. [name-snipped], you seem to want to have a debate on it. I am ready for it.

You wrote, "You all know, Buddha was born near Lumbini, but he travelled all around the world to spread Buddhism." I believe something similar was conveyed by the "chosen communicator" in a recent 'discourse'. Well here's what wikipedia says, under 'Travels and Teaching', "For the remaining 45 years of his life, the Buddha is said to have traveled in the Gangetic Plain, in what is now Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and southern Nepal, teaching a diverse range of people: from nobles to servants, murderers such as Angulimala, and cannibals such as Alavaka.", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha. Perhaps you may want to pass this info. on to appropriate MDH folks so that they can be more accurate about Buddha's life in future 'discourses'.

Tell me which great spiritual figure/avatar in any major religion of the world, had a subtle body and "chosen communicator"? Did Jesus Christ have it? Did Rama and Krishna have it?

In one of the 'discourses' the "chosen communicator" has said something like when I came as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Allah ... Do you think Sathya Sai Baba who was completely conversant with Shirdi Sai avatar's life where Shirdi Sai outwardly lead a Muslim fakir's life, saying "Allah Malik" and encouraged chanting of the Holy Koran, would ever commit such a HUGE BLUNDER like saying that he came as Allah? Allah is the formless God in Islamic theology. It is utterly inconceivable that any Muslim pir/maula of some standard would ever commit the HUGE BLUNDER of attributing a form to Allah.

Have you seen how respectful Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba would be towards visiting spiritual leaders (in public)? He would almost treat them as equals. It is UTTERLY UNTHINKABLE to me that Bhagavan in supposed subtle form would change so much that He would allow supposed subtle form of Jesus Christ to take His Padnamaskar, as one of the MDH write-ups claimed happened during a Christmas event, if I recall correctly. Come On! Jesus taking Padnamaksar of Swami! What's going on!

I could go on and on. But I think what I have given above will suffice for now.

Please bear in mind that the history of spiritual movements is full of charismatic and very capable leaders, full of energy and vitality, who lost their way and created havoc in the lives of their followers. If you do not know of Jim Jones, I suggest you read up on him or view videos on him. Here's his wiki page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones. Jim Jones was not an ordinary person. He was truly charismatic and very energetic, and had lots of noble intentions for the poor in USA society (including African-Americans), but eventually it ended up very badly for him and his followers. From his wiki page, here's what he told his followers: Jones also began preaching that he was the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi and Father Divine, as well as Jesus of Nazareth, Gautama Buddha and Vladimir Lenin. Former Temple member Hue Fortson, Jr. quoted Jones as saying, "What you need to believe in is what you can see ... If you see me as your friend, I'll be your friend. As you see me as your father, I'll be your father, for those of you that don't have a father ... If you see me as your savior, I'll be your savior. If you see me as your God, I'll be your God." [end-wiki-page-extract]
So Mr. [name-snipped], the history of religious and spiritual movements has seen a lot of such claimed communicators to and reincarnations of major spiritual figures. So far, as far as I know, all such claimants have been proved to be FALSE by the test of time. So yes, even with MDH belief, the test of time will tell us whether it is TRUE or FALSE, with me convinced that it will be proved FALSE.

I could choose to take a witness like back-seat and watch the drama unfold. That is the easy way - no need to face tough, and sometimes nasty, comments on Facebook. But when I see that my friends and even some former students of mine have got caught up in MDH belief, which I am convinced is FALSE, my love for them and my duty to Swami and the Sai fraternity from which I have gained immensely, does not permit me to take a witness view and watch the 'entertainment' of the trauma of people caught up in FALSE BELIEF, when they really come to know of it/realize it. Jai Sairam!
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[name-snipped] wrote in response to above:
Too much mind is not good for spirituality.
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Ravi S. Iyer responded to above:
@[name-snipped]: But mind is required for discrimination between TRUTH and FALSEHOOD :-). Too much heart with little mind can easily lead somebody astray.

4 comments:

  1. Nice text. I also feel/think that it is only some astral projections there, and astral chanelings (which are not, by their nature, true or 100% true). But I also think that tolerance should be practised and shown, and that you can ignore that differences between devotees. Its better to concentrate on things that unite us. We can ignore temporary differences. Just follow the teaching and try to follow the teaching. In proportion to whole Sathya Sai story and name - these things are minuscule...

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    1. Well, as I live in Puttaparthi, I have faced and also see the damage caused due to lack of unity over this even in Prasanthi Nilayam since Muddenahalli FALSE BELIEF stuff started. I have also heard of wife separating from husband, son not seeing eye-to-eye with father etc. on this Muddenahalli matter in long-time devotee families. It is not pleasant to get caught up in this divisive matter. But, perhaps from a distance, this may seem to be a minor matter. I can understand that point of view, even if I am currently not in a position to agree with it.

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  2. Man's belief is a weird thing, as I witness again and again. Often, no matter you can say, you cannot cheange it, even in the cases when it is totaly crooked belief. I think that you have just take you rsance, as you probably did, and than ignore the thing. On stories from some devotees from my country, I didnt give any reaction. Maybe you think thats wrong. But I know that there wouldnt be any use. For me its more important to concentrate on seva activities I can do, with whomever wants to do the same, weather Sai devotee or not.

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    1. If you choose to stay silent on Muddenahalli matter when some devotees from your country say it, I don't have any issues with that at all. That is your choice. In my case, I do not usually comment on those Facebook pages and blog posts of Muddenahalli supporters which deal with Muddenahalli subtle body belief, as I want to avoid confrontations. However, I write my views frankly on my Facebook pages and blog posts, and if somebody chooses to engage in a discussion with me about my views on the Muddenahalli matter, I do it freely & frankly.

      It is great that you see your focus as Seva activities (irrespective of Sai devotee group or not, and within Sai devotees irrespective of Muddenhalli group or Puttaparthi group). So long as the Seva activity is done in a spirit of it being a service offering to the Lord, I think Bhagavan would approve of it.

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