Last updated on 11th October 2015
In my considered view, there is NOTHING WRONG (it is not UNETHICAL) if anybody, including me, references PUBLIC WRITINGS of others using the HOLY NAME OF SRI SATHYA SAI BABA, without informing them, even if the reference is critical (negative). What is required from an ethical point of view, is to provide the reference to the public work. Similarly, I don't think there is anything wrong if somebody references PUBLIC WRITINGS of mine on SRI SATHYA SAI BABA, even if the reference is negative, without letting me know. In my considered view, one must accept such criticism (even anonymous criticism) as part of the burden and responsibility of being a PUBLIC WRITER on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
It is the norm in academic, industry and general literary publications world for others to reference somebody's work, positively or negatively, WITHOUT informing the author(s) concerned. One has to keep reading the literature to know whether one's writings are being referenced by others, and whether the reference is a positive or negative one. It is NOT EXPECTED, especially of other authors who are negatively criticizing the work, to inform the author(s) whom they are criticizing. I have only two or three academic publications in the field of Computer Science and Information Technology (I am NOT an academic and so academic publications have never been nor is my focus area), but my work has been referenced by others WITHOUT letting me know. I come to know of it when I use Google Scholar to look it up, or am informed of it by email by services like ResearchGate.
The above contents are on my Facebook pages as well, and have attracted some comments, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1669129999970237.
Given below is the content of my comments (slightly edited) on the above Facebook page:
[Terry Reis Kennedy assured me that I am right (in my views expressed in the post content).]
Ravi S. Iyer responded:
Thanks Terry Reis Kennedy for your words . I am newbie in this public writing stuff, including criticism of inappropriate views and actions using the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba (e.g. Sri Madhusudhan Rao Naidu), which I think may mislead others. So I very much appreciate your wisdom based on your four decades of experience as a professional writer.
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
[Name-snipped]: Who is dividing and alienating? Are Shri Narasimhamurthy and Shri Madhusudhan Naidu by their outrageous claims not dividing and alienating the Sathya Sai community? Do you know that Sathya Sai organization is Singapore is deeply divided on this Muddenahalli matter? Are Shri Narasimhamurthy and Shri Madhusudhan Naidu not going against the teachings and instructions of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba with regard to mediums and communicators?
Why can't they use another name like Madhu Sai Baba for Madhusudhan Naidu's discourses? How would you feel if somebody starts giving discourses in the name of somebody you love and care for very deeply, without taking authorization from that person or his heirs? Would you keep quiet allowing the imposter to say whatever he wants and do whatever he wants, thereby besmirching the name & legacy of the person you deeply love and care about? Would that be the Dharmic attitude?
Should we, in the name of love all serve all, keep quiet when Shri Narasimhamurthy and Shri Madhusudhan Naidu do these acts using the HOLY NAME OF SRI SATHYA SAI BABA, contrary to what Bhagavan has taught us, and are misguiding innocent Sathya Sai devotees?
Bhagavan has been very clear in his discourses about forcefully rejecting Adharma. Love all serve all cannot be used as a reason to ignore Adharma and tolerate Adharma within our fraternity. I can give you a lot of quotes from Bhagavan's discourses on this matter if you want to know about them.
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Yes, we all had great respect for them and looked up to both Narasimhamurthy and Shashidhar Prasad to lead the way forward after Mahasamadhi. But, they went against the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust!!! Was not the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust the vital body that Bhagavan had tasked with for taking the mission further?
Okay, all of us know that Narasimhamurthy and Shashidhar Prasad lost faith in the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Fine! That happens in the succession struggle after even typical ashram founder gives up his/her body, and here it was the Kali Yuga Avatar's mission. But the DHARMIC thing for them to do would have been to break away, form another trust, resign from the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, and take the mission forward in their view. Why did Shashidhar Prasad not resign from the Sai university post and join Narasimhamurthy instead of continuing in the Sai university and becoming almost independent of the Central Trust? Was that Dharmic?
Narasimhamurthy formed another trust - Good. No problem. Indulal Shah joined him. Then Indulal Shah should have quit from Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. And then in May 2014 they go public with this visible only to Madhusudhan Naidu (at least for long periods of time) subtle body of Swami and give Darshan, Interview and discourses? Is that Dharma? Are they being honest and truthful? Are they being transparent?
And Swami who focused on India - suddenly changed after getting into subtle body by going to rich countries like USA, Australia, Singapore? What do you think about these things?
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Well, that is just too far back [Ravi: About some 1978 trust matter]. And anyway I did not raise any issues about Narasimhamurthy forming another trust. I raised other questions. ... Do you know that Madhusudhan Naidu claimed to be talking to this subtle body BEFORE Swami Mahasamadhi, according to fairly reliable reports? What do you think of Satyajit's revelations regarding Madhusudhan Naidu's so called subtle Swami prophecy of resurrection at Mahasamadhi time, which was a failed prophecy?
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
You and I may have reached points in our spiritual journey where we have faith in the inner voice (heart) and also some ability to be able to tune in to it by stilling the noise of other thoughts. But for so many others it was not so. They would treat Baba's words as DIVINE COMMAND or at least DIVINE ADVISE. ..... And now many treat Madhusudhan Naidu's words in that way. One father in Puttaparthi had appealed to me to save his son who was then in the Muddenahalli school of Loka Seva Trust in 12th standard he was in the hostel), from getting out of the influence of Madhusudhan Naidu who was advising/instructing him to join B. Ed. course in the Loka Seva Trust college there. The father told me that he was worried that his son has been brain washed by Madhusudhan Naidu. Fortunately, before I met the son when he came home (Puttaparthi) for the holidays, the parents themselves were able to convince the son to follow a different career path not involving the Loka Seva Trust college. Make no mistake ... by using the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Madhusudhan Rao Naidu (and his mentor & boss, Narasimhamurthy) are acquiring tremendous influence over some people including students and devotees. That is the big thing that I feel is Adharmic. In your book, you wrote about how much value you gave to Baba's words. Now some people are giving the same value to Madhu's words as they are convinced that Baba is speaking through him! Should we just be onlookers while this is going on? Who takes responsibility for misguidance in the name of Sai Baba, if Madhusudhan Naidu has simply been deluded? These are the tough questions for me. And I felt that I need to do my bit to prevent MISGUIDANCE of young students and innocent Sathya Sai devotees by Madhusudhan Rao Naidu, in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Ravi S. Iyer Sairam [Name-snipped]: You wrote, inconvenient history goes too far. So let me take that up. What did Swami tell Shri Narasimhamurthy (BNN) to form - a separate trust in 1978? Why did BNN not form it then? Perhaps he was stopped by others.
Okay so BNN formed the Saraswathi education trust in 2011 or 2012, I guess. I don't have any issues with that. He wanted to break away, and so broke away and formed another trust. That part was clean from an ethical point of view, in my opinion. I don't have any issues with that. I have issues with other things that I mentioned in my comments above which you have chosen not to respond to and I respect your decision not to respond/comment on them.
You wrote, "If someone gives their power away to someone or something outside of themselves that is their choice. Is it my duty to police them? I suppose that is also a choice."
Policing is a strong word. The right words in the context of this discussion, IMHO, are advise and endorse.
I see it as my duty to Bhagavan to advise those who are interested to know about my views on this matter, that Shri Madhusudhan Rao Naidu is NOT speaking the words of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. You have chosen to publicly state that Sukshma Sai (referring to so called Muddenahalli subtle body, I presume) is genuine, which may influence readers of your post to have belief in so called Muddenahalli subtle body and its so called chosen communicator Shri Madhusudhan Naidu.
I think that's fine. Both of us are writers on Sathya Sai matters and both have taken different public positions on it. And there is nothing wrong in others quoting us on our public position, without informing us about it.
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I think you are saying that knowing the truth about so called communicator claim of seeing and interacting with subtle body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, has to come from within the hearts of each of us. And we should not look at external indications for it. If I got you correctly, I am afraid I have a different view that it has to be both external indications as well as what we feel within the heart. The external indications involve a study of the history of the so called communicator, the "discourses" the so called communicator is giving and comparing it with Bhagavan's discourses, and comparing the way the so called subtle body is operating with how Baba was operating the mission. All these external indications confirm to me that what the so called subtle body is doing as per so called communicator's communications, are significantly different from the actions and words of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. [At the supeficial, love all serve all kind of teaching level the so called communictor's words are similar to Bhagavan's but that is nothing great as even a decent Bal Vikas student should be able to say such words. The test comes in the so called communicator's words about deep spiritual matters and there I find that there is just no comparison whatsoever between the so called communicator's words and that of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.]