Saturday, May 9, 2015

Should we simply ignore Sathya Sai Baba Subtle Body claims, and just focus on our spiritual journey?

Well, the truth of the matter is that India does have many people who have some tantric type of powers which enable them to materialize things, read people's minds & memories. Further, there is also the invoking of spirits. That this happens in some parts of India is indisputable for those who have read up and/or have some experience about these matters. A famous tantrik in India (famous in the past actually) is Chandraswami,, who had a lot of influence on some top political leaders of India. Their powers are real - otherwise they will not be able to attract such a following including some top leaders from political, business, film/movie industry etc. areas.

The question that then pops up is whether somebody has acquired some tantric powers or has invoked some spirit, which is allowing him to reveal private matters of individuals (including private matters involving physical form Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba)? And is that power being falsely (knowingly or unknowingly) portrayed as communications from subtle form of Bhagavan? If the answer to the two questions is yes then the persons following the so-called communicator may be following a FALSE prophet. And FALSE prophets can be devastating for the spiritual journey of their followers as one day or the other the truth will come to light, with the followers of the FALSE prophet feeling completely betrayed.

Another big, big issue is the bad name that such movements, if they are being led by a FALSE prophet, bring to the HOLY NAME of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Swami has said that the name (nama) is more powerful than the form (rupa)! So the name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba should be protected, as far as we can (in our capacity as instruments of the Lord Sai), from any blemish as that will hurt the Sathya Sai movement and Sai devotees.

If the group is a small one then one can ignore it as the impact is not much. But if the group is travelling worldwide and preaching what seems to be a FALSEHOOD related to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (subtle form) then it is a serious matter for the future of the Sathya Sai movement, IMHO.

So NO. We Sathya Sai devotees should not simply ignore Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba subtle body claims (with significant size following) and just focus on our spiritual journey. We must do our best to force the truth to be revealed about such claims.


The Spirituality Daily (an online spiritual blog post aggregator) has put up this blog post under World category for the daily dated May 9th 2015,


  1. yes ...As time progresses it surely would be having an impact on Sathya sai babas name and fame as well as the future of the Sathya sai movement as the subtle body claimers are going places like overseas.
    . Also Like you have said the name (nama) is more powerful and hence there is an urgent real need to see that it is not being spoilt by false claims..
    The final sentence in this article says^^^We must do our best to force the truth to be revealed about such claims.^^^
    This says it all and that is what some of the devotees are asking or requesting them that .Kindly show us the authority / support evidence from swamis own words and in his own physical form for claims like this .when sathya sais own words when he was physically alive are all against all such claims..

    1. Thanks for your comment, anonymous. I tend to agree with you. But as of now I think their "business model" is working great with lots of big donors & donations getting attracted to them. I think many people are getting carried away with the service activities and other activities that are made possible by such big donations, and are not questioning the "chosen communicator" belief. Trying to argue with them on logical grounds is completely rejected by them. They refuse to accept criticism of any kind and label it as "character assassination" or bad-mouthing.

      I guess there is no point in trying to talk to them. They are rather fanatical in their belief in "chosen communicator". However, Sai devotees who do not know much about them and want more info. may benefit by reading conversations like ours, and be prevented from getting led astray into belief in "chosen communicator" by some possible mind-reading and by the momentum of their service and other activities.

  2. It would be nice if it were otherwise, but it seems that many devotees are being very reserved about voicing any opinion on this subject (Ravi, as always, your blog is very thought provoking). When I try to take the long look at things, I consider the following: At the end of the day, is it not Bhagavan Himself who is pulling the strings? - is the presence of the organization His will or not? Is its fate in His hands or not? For me, I am not worried much about false prophets - it has never been our job to 'root them out' and 'reveal them for what they are' (nobody ever seemed to mention, let alone worry, about figures like Bala Sai - after all these years, I still wonder what that is about!). Likewise, it is not our job to 'find true prophets' - if they are true, it becomes known. Swami's mission was about service, spirituality and education. Another point for me is this: Historically, after a great leader has left the physical, their followers divide, and those divisions in turn split again; though the Sai movement is not a new faith, per se, it follows human nature that without the direct presence of the master, folks are going to take His words to suit their own need and start doing their own thing. Where has it been otherwise? I'm still neutral on Muddenahalli because I have not experienced the phenomenon for myself - and though we have strong proponents for and against it, I have to rely on my own judgement, just as I did when I first found Swami, for back then, many tried to dissuade me. If the connection with the divine is 'heart to heart' - then what person can tell me to go north or south? Swami used to say, 'expect the unexpected' - whoever guessed it meant he would leave the Form so early? When he did that, we got perhaps the biggest 'unexpected' event of our lives - still, there may be more to come. We may be equally surprised, or even more surprised inthe future.
    The name of God cannot actually be tarnished, so I don't feel it needs to be defend. Why do people worry about the name of Sai? In his own life there were various allegations, murder at the ashram, metal detectors in the home of God as a result, anti-Baba websites - do we worry about 'fighting' these and 'defending' the Name? If you google His name, you get various results - any damage, real or perceived, was already done years ago. Can we control that? It was ever in His hands. If I'm a warrior, my character is my shield and love my prefered weapon. We all must become Sai by connecting with the God within.
    Lastly, I will conceed this to Muddenahalli: they may in fact be affording everyone a crucial avenue for dialogue; a chance to look in the mirror and re-evaluate. And even though at the end of the day it may turn out that I disagree with them, the upside will hopefully be a better sense of where I am going and where I want to go. I don't as yet know about the veracity of any claims to mediumship, but they appear to be active and to carry the banner of Sai. I will continue to ponder this scenario with my eyes as wide open as they can be.

    1. Thanks for your response, @The Old Manvantara. I presume you don't live in Puttaparthi, and perhaps don't live in India and not deeply involved in the Sai organization. If I were living far away from Puttaparthi and not-so-involved in the Sai organization, perhaps I too would have taken a philosophical kind-of view, a witness approach, watching the post-Mahasamadhi drama unfold.

      But for some people like me who are based in Puttaparthi and were quite actively involved in Swami's Puttaparthi mission (in my case from Jan. 2003 as 'staff' in the Sai university; till Mar. 2012 at which time I parted ways with the Sai university), our conscience and our gratitude to Swami, does not allow us to take that witness approach. I got a decent understanding of Swami's expectations from those involved in His mission (as against inactive in mission but devoted to Swami persons) even while He was in physical form. You had to take responsibility for the part of the mission you were involved in and deliver. REALLY. It was like what the Vanara Sena had to do as part of Rama's army fighting Ravana and his army. No witness approach, fight the rakshashas with as much might as you can. Of course, in Swami's mission there was no need to physically fight but one had to do the work allotted to one properly. So, as a teacher in the Sai university, I was expected to teach well. If I was a great devotee of Swami but did a poor job of teaching students I would not be doing my part in the mission properly. That was as clear as daylight to anybody who spent reasonable time in Swami's mission in Puttaparthi.

      In the post-Mahasamadhi phase, my view is that the responsibility of the missionary workers in Swami's mission has gone up even more. It is one thing for an outsider to claim to be somebody like Sai Baba (e.g. Bala Sai Baba) as that does not impact the core devotee following so much. But it is completely another when a very respected leader and a former Sai student together launch an audacious divisive threat to the official Sathya Sai mission by making claims which were unheard of in physical form Swami days, and in direct contradiction to what physical form Swami had said Himself in public discourses! My view is that sincere and committed workers of Swami's mission must challenge this divisive threat and force the truth to be revealed about their truly extraordinary claims, due to the big negative impact it is having on the official Sathya Sai mission.

      About protecting the name of Swami. Well, I said that one should do it within one's limitations. One can't control everything. But at least one can condemn blatant misuse of the name of Swami for doing things which Swami Himself in His physical form discourses condemned. So other devotees also hear the stand of committed workers of the official Sathya Sai mission. Then one would have done one's duty, IMHO, in this post-Mahasamadhi phase of the mission.

      About Swami doing the unexpected: Well, I don't think the unexpected can go to the extent of Swami in subtle body doing things very contrary to what he preached while in physical form. I think that is taking the 'unexpected' part just too far to justify just about anything one wants to do using Swami's name.

      BTW you may want to read my facebook post (but do first read the warning note at the beginning), A debate related to Prof. Shashidhar Prasad and Muddenahalli subtle body believers.

    2. Sathya Sai Baba doesnt need from us that we prrotect his name. I think he needs from us that we follow his teachings.
      (Also, BTW, Sri Bala Sai teachings are the same, his workings are the same, both humanitarian and spiritual, and if looking proportionally by number of devotees, seva activities are in fact much larger scope. From personal experience, energy is also same Christ energy, and same God's omni knowledge. It is not either this or that, but both. )

    3. Well, Sathya Sai has, in public discourses, INSTRUCTED devotees to strongly criticize anybody who claims to be a medium of his. So by criticizing the Muddenahalli so called communicator we are following Sathya Sai's teachings. About Sri Bala Sai - I have not criticized him as he is not using the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba for his darshan, interviews and discourses. But Madhusudhan Rao Naidu is using Sri Sathya Sai Baba's name for his darhsan, interviews and discourses. That's the big problem. If he uses a name like Madhu Sai Baba and give his darshan, interviews and discourses with that name, then the situation will be drastically different, for me at least.