Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Should people who are fed up with Muddenahalli group confusion in Prasanthi Nilayam consider moving out of Puttaparthi?

Last modified on 3rd May 2016

Given below is a modified version of an email response of mine to a similar question raised by a correspondent.

I faced a similar problem in 2011-12. Let me first tell you about the picture then even if some of my info. below is repetition.

I went through my main trauma from Jul 2011 to around Jun 2012, when I had direct experience of the way Sai university became the KINGDOM of Sashidhara Prasad and those who collaborated with him. I saw that veterans like Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju and Prof. Krupanidhi who were treated very well by Swami (Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), were now treated very badly by then vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad and Registrar Naren Ramji, the two Hitler-Stalins of the Sai university after Mahasamadhi. Of course, I too was treated very badly by these two fellows and the DMACS HOD, Chandrasekaran, but I was not a bigshot in the Sai univeristy neither a veteran like Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju & Prof. Krupanidhi. When these two could be CRUSHED by the new Hitler-Stalin duo of the Sai university (Sashidhara Prasad & Naren Ramji), nobody else dared to open their mouths against them. It had become a reign of terror in the Sai university (though physical threats were not involved; it was just dismissal from service).

I decided to let them know what I thought about them by making my service record matter a big issue but not in public, at that time. [For more details see my blog post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html.] I am quite sure that my issue went up to some higher-ups in the Sai orgn. as I had hinted at legal action before I chose to withdraw the issue.

I had also been given some information by some sources about why vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad could not be removed by the Prasanthi Nilayam authorities. Note that Sashidhara Prasad, for all his dictatorial attitude, was NOT financially corrupt, was providing free service to the Sai university, and had quite some standing as a scientist, academic and an academic administrator (he was vice-chancellor of the much, much bigger Mysore University before he become vice-chancellor of the Sai university).

During my trauma period of Jul 2011 to Jun 2012, as I came to know about all this, it affected my health quite badly. All this stuff was way beyond me then as I was focused on my individual sadhana including some amount of Sai university teacher Seva. I did not even have a Facebook account then and had limited my contacts to only few people as I felt that would help in my sadhana.

Barring Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju, nobody dared to fight these fellows in the Sai university (some chose to simply go away). When I tried telling other people in Puttaparthi/Prasanthi Nilayam about it, nobody was interested to know. It was as if all were leading a grim battle of survival in the overall trauma of the immediate post-Mahasamadhi period. It was a terrible, terrible period for us in Puttaparthi. I don't blame others for not wanting to hear about Sai university dictators from me. Their view was that if you don't like it, just forget it and leave.

Given the above background, after June 2012 I faced a major life decision. I had terminated my association with the Sai university. I had largely stopped going to Sai Kulwant Hall and Prasanthi Nilayam ashram in general as I wanted to avoid meeting most of my Sai university colleagues who stood watching and did nothing as I, Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju and Prof. Krupanidhi were brutally mistreated by Sai university administration. However, most of them behaved that way (watching and doing nothing) out of fear. Many of them were polite with me when I met them on the street. So I knew that they sympathized with me but dared not support me due to fear of the Hitler-Stalin duo in charge in the Sai university then. [Today I am far more understanding of their fear aspect as I later realized that many would have suffered significantly both from an emotional attachment to Sai university point of view as well as from a financial point of view, if they were removed from service for daring to support me.  By God's grace, I was not financially dependent on the Sai university or on Prasanthi Nilayam, neither was I too emotionally attached to the Sai university, and so it was quite different for me.]

My question then was: Should I continue to live in Puttaparthi or should I move on to some other town in India which might be more congenial for my spiritual path? What I had observed was that I had already achieved some level of comfort with an ONLY outside-ashram Puttaparthi life during this period (as I was going only around once a week and that too for only around an hour or so, to the Sai university from Aug. 2011 to Mar. 2012). I decided that I should try out outside-ashram Puttaparthi life fully without any regular contact with Prasanthi Nilayam ashram. I tried that and it worked out well for me. Bhagavan had said that we should try to help ten people (some people) [In Bhagavan's Telugu words: Padi mandiki sahayamu cheeyi]. So I made that my goal and started interacting more with locals in outside-ashram Puttaparthi, understanding their problems and giving some free advise. Over time, I became very comfortable with outside-ashram Puttaparthi life.

Further, I realized that I was quite well established in outside-ashram Puttaparthi with my own flat and some locals known to me. If I had tried to move to a new town, I would have had to face the challenge of adjusting to life there and settling down there.

Perhaps there are others who may be in a similar predicament today, especially with the confusion that Muddenahalli group has created even within Prasanthi Nilayam. Some may wonder whether they should move out of Puttaparthi now. My advise to them is that if they are able to lead a happy spiritual-oriented life without being much dependent on Prasanthi Nilayam ashram (which is how it is for me) then staying on in Puttaparthi may work out for them (like it is working out for me now).

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