Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I have great respect for Mr. Isaac Tigrett's great act of charity (like Karna's charity) to Sathya Sai trust

Last updated on 14th April 2016

Given below is an extract from a recent comment of mine (slightly edited) on Facebook which I felt was appropriate to put up as a separate blog post.

I think that my continued writings against Muddenahalli FALSE BELIEF may be hurting some financial interests of Mervyn Hughes or the person behind the Mervyn Hughes fake id or may be hurting financial interests of a person from Muddenahalli group who is encouraging this Mervyn Hughes. In particular, my recent writings have been against the PUBLIC announcement by a Muddenahalli group leader (a USA native, Mr. Isaac Tigrett, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Tigrett) at 2015 Christmas eve program on stage in Muddenahalli, that Bhagavan had asked him to open a (gambling) casino in Las Vegas, USA. I view this as an attempt to CORRUPT the teachings of my beloved Gurudev, Sathya Sai Baba, who has spoken publicly against gambling, and so I did my duty to my beloved Gurudev by OPPOSING that CORRUPTION of his teachings. This has been appreciated by a CURRENT Sai university alumnus-teacher (the 3rd gen. Sai devotee) which I have shared in another recent post.

Now I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that I have great respect for the great act of (material) giving that Mr. Tigrett did (tens of millions of dollars donated to Sathya Sai trust; some report the figure to be 108 million dollars) which was an important factor in the FREE MEDICAL SERVICE Super speciality hospital in Puttaparthi, http://psg.sssihms.org.in/, coming up. I honestly think of this act of his as being similar to the great acts of charity done by the Mahabharata hero, Karna, who was the unacknowledged first-born son of Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, but circumstances (and destiny perhaps) made him become a friend and ally of Duryodhana, the leader of the Kauravas. An extract from Karna's wiki page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karna, which talks about the greatness of his charity, is given below [Note that Karna is the son of God Surya (Sun-God) and Arjuna, the arch-rival of Karna, is the son of Indra (Rain-and-thunderstorm God; leader of the Gods in Heaven]:

The Pandava elder brother Yudhisthira always considered Karna as the foremost warrior in the world and worries about this fact in the prelude to the war.
“Bhishma, Drona, Ashwatthama and the illustrious Kripa,are masters of all celestial weapons and devoted to the practice of virtue. I think they are incapable of being vanquished even by gods led by Vasava himself. There is again amongst them that mighty warrior Karna,impetuous, and ever wrathful, master of all weapons, and invincible, and encased in impenetrable mail.Without first vanquishing in battle all those foremost of men, unaided as thou art, how canst thou slay Duryodhana? O Vrikodara, I cannot sleep thinking of the lightness of hand of that Suta's son, who, I regard, is the foremost of all wielders of the bow!”
Indra realized that Karna would be invincible in battle and unable to be killed as long as he had his Kavach and Kundal [Ravi: Kavach is armour/shield; not sure what Kundal means]. He approaches Karna as a poor Brahmin during Karna's sun-worship. Surya warned Karna of Indra's intentions, but Karna thanked Surya and explained that he was bound by his word and could not send anyone from his door empty-handed. When Indra approached Karna in the form of a Brahmin beggar and asked his Kavach and Kundal as alms, Karna reveals that he knew the Brahmin's true identity but assured that he would never turn anyone away. Indra became ashamed and took his normal form. Cutting the armor and earrings off his body, Karna handed them to Indra. As he does so, heavens opens up and all the gods and celestial beings in all realms appeared in sky and showered flowers on Karna. They praised that it was the greatest charity the world have ever witnessed. All Gods, Deva's, sages and celestial beings blessed Karna with glory and fame. They blamed the Lord of Heaven, Indra for such crooked and cunning actions for the benefit of his son Arjuna. Lord Indra justified himself and told, like every father he only wished for the welfare of his child. Celestial beings become very much ashamed of seeing the Lord of Heaven becoming a beggar. In order to escape from such severe shame Lord Indra asked Karna to accept a gift in return. Karna rejected this offer telling that he didn't give charity expecting anything in return. All Gods, Deva's, sages and celestial beings requested Karna to accept any gift in return in order to save them from the insult that was caused by Indra upon them. Obeying the celestial beings and as per the request of Lord Indra, Karna, as his father had instructed him, asked for the Vasavi Shakti. Indra granted the boon, with the stipulation that Karna could only use the weapon once. In some versions of the story, Indra gives Karna the name "Karna" for this great act.
--- end wiki extract ---

The grapevine has it that Mr. Tigrett faces some financial constraints which come in the way of his plans to serve people on a large scale, in the spirit of the Love All Serve All philosophy/teaching that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba taught. I do wish him all the best in his business endeavours which will enable him to succeed in his plans for Love All Serve All kind-of large-scale mission.

If he opens and runs a casino in Las Vegas, USA, based on some PRIVATE instruction that (physical form) Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave him (in a 2009 interview as he mentioned), I have no issues against that. That is his personal life & business decision - I don't want to interfere in such personal and business matters of individual Sai devotees. However, I would request him not to name the casino after Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba as that would send a wrong message & signal about Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to those who come to know of the casino (and its name).

But I must also give my humble opinion that given the stature and respect that Mr. Isaac Tigrett has in the Sathya Sai fraternity, and given that he comes from a family of devout Christians from a Bible belt state of the USA (I have already compared his great act of charity to that of Karna, one of the greatest persons associated with charity in Hindu scripture), it would be much more fitting for Mr. Tigrett to engage in some other business venture not involving gambling.
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In response to a comment in the Facebook post associated with above content, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1729052143978022, I (Ravi) wrote:
I do agree that the hospital is NOT Swami's biggest achievement and that there are bigger accomplishments of Swami. However, I have to say that for the public at large, including chief ministers of states of India, and even the Prime Ministers of India, the SUPER hospital just blows them away. I mean they get totally awed that such services in such a magnificent setting can be provided as FREE SERVICE to the poor. So, in terms of the overall Sathya Sai movement accomplishments, the SUPER hospital at Puttaparthi is a significant accomplishment, IMHO.
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In response to a comment that seemed to disapprove of the above comment encouraging inappropriate (as per that person's view) behaviour, I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
Hmm. Encourage what behaviour, brother --name-snipped--? I have only noted that the SUPER hospital is a significant accomplishment (and not that it is the MOST significant accomplishment).
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[I thank Wikipedia and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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