Saturday, January 5, 2019

Miscellaneous posts & comments on Facebook in January 2019

When author of post or comment is not mentioned, it should be assumed that it is me (Ravi S. Iyer).

On FB post,

On my FB post,, I responded to a comment on 30th Jan. 2019, as follows (slightly edited):

Alok Dara Shikoh : Very sorry to know about forcible conversion of your ancestor to Islam. I am fine with people voluntarily, without any threat or without any material inducement, converting to a religion. But forcible conversion is bad.

Regarding polygamy: My views on polygamy in India have changed over the past decade or so, based on my readings about society in India and my observations of life in rural Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. Karunanidhi, the late well known political leader of Tamil Nadu, had multiple wives. Many rich and powerful people either have multiple wives or a wife and one or more mistresses which knowledge is well known in the community. These additional wives/mistresses are even respected as additional wife/wives of the rich and powerful man. These mistresses and their children are happy to be accorded that status and be provided financial and other support from the rich and powerful man.

I have not studied the history of polygamy laws for Hindus in India, but I am quite sure that they would have been introduced by the British. Prior to these British laws, Hindu men were permitted to have multiple wives. Hindu history including Hindu scripture history provides ample testimony to that.

So the British imposed anti-polygamy law on Hindu men, has not really been found acceptable to many Hindus, especially in rural India, not only in the 20th century but even in this early 21st century. So they look for ways to live a polygamous life without getting into legal trouble. Some have mistresses who they do not legally marry but whom they treat as a second wife, with the first wife, even if she is unhappy with the second marriage, not interested in going to court against her husband.

I should also mention that I was told that among Scheduled Tribes at least, polygamy is permitted by ***law*** in India. So ST Hindu men, if my source was correct, are legally permitted to have multiple wives.

Given the milieu of my extended family environment in Mumbai and surrounding areas, where I was raised and which is the educated urban middle class Indian milieu, I and people in my extended family (we are South Indian Brahmins with most of my generation of the family being raised in Bombay and nearby areas) would be aghast at anybody in the family  practising polygamy where it is public knowledge that a man has multiple wives. So let me make it clear that I am ***not*** an advocate for polygamy. But I have ***come to terms*** with the fact that many rich and powerful Hindu men and some not-so-rich and not-so-powerful Hindu men too, especially in rural India, lead what has to be viewed as a polygamous life even if, on legal paper, they appear to be monogamous.

I do not view such persons as unethical or bad people, so long as they take care of their additional wives and children. I am even prepared to respect them. However, I don't think I have personally interacted much with any such effectively polygamous Hindu men.

Regarding Hema Malini, I don't think she uses her Muslim name much. I don't think I was aware that she and her husband converted, on paper, to Islam, as Hema Malini's children use the surname of Deol which seems to be a Hindu surname and not Muslim. Perhaps Hema Malini and her husband converted, on paper, to Islam to avoid being legally challenged by the first wife or others. If so, I think I am OK with that. I would not then say that Hema Malini and her husband are religious Muslim converts as they have just used a technical means to skirt the British imposed anti-polygamy law on Hindu men.

And, of course, I respect Hema Malini and her husband, even if they led a polygamous life.

This article,, states that Dharmendra's first wife refused to divorce him.

On FB post,, dated 28th Jan. 2019:


Tough step, but after having given so many warnings about Muddenahalli spiritual fraud, if a center is still not able to take a clear stand against Muddenahalli spiritual fraud, there is no other option but to take such steps as you have shared. Hopefully, the concerned center will now take a stand against Muddenahalli spiritual fraud.

On FB post,, dated 19th Jan. 2019,

The world does not like truth-tellers so much. Fantasy spinners are more popular. Such is life :-).

I (Ravi) wrote: I would like to add that for those of us who are still on the path of spiritual progress (me surely) and are limited to individual consciousness and do not experience universal consciousness (on a regular basis), what we perceive as the truth in material life may be slightly different from the real truth. We arrive at a view of what the truth is, in a particular matter, e.g. the very divisive split in Sathya Sai fraternity caused by Muddenahalli group, based on information gleaned from various sources about the critical private and public events that led to the split and the growth of Muddenahalli group and its false belief in Madhusudan Naidu. But, if we were not actually present at the private events which is the case for almost all of us who publicly write about these matters on social media, our perception of those private events would surely have some variations from what actually happened. I mean, we base our views on what was communicated to us by others and not on some video footage we have seen of those private events.

So our perception of the truth in some matters may be at some variance from the real truth. Sometimes we may be 100% sure that our perception of the truth is ***the truth and the only truth*** and get very worked up if others do not accept our perception (version) of the truth. But we would be wrong to get so worked up as our perception of the truth may have some errors. One should NOT attempt to dominate others mentally by saying, "I know the truth because I have invested a lot of time to uncover the truth. You just listen to me and believe me." That would not be appropriate. Instead one should present his/her perception of the truth and leave it to others whether to accept it as the truth or not, and one should always be open to publicly expressed dissenting views by people who have the reputation of being truthful and responsible (trolls who hide behind fake IDs certainly do not fall into this category). Such dissenting views may help correct some of the errors in our perception of truth which we believe to be 100% truth.

But great spiritual masters who are at high levels of universal consciousness, I believe, have direct access to the truths of even such private events where they were not physically present. It is my personal experience of our beloved Lord Sathya Sai (physical form) that he would simply know about private matters related to me that were not known to any other normal person.

So for Sathya Sai, it is my deeply held belief that truth and his perception of the truth were the same, for matters like the above mentioned one, and about deep spiritual truths of existence.

On FB post,, dated 18th Jan. 2019 I wrote the following as comments:

(Slightly edited): --Name-snipped-- sir, I am very happy with the categorical condemnation of Madhusudan Rao Naidu spiritual fraud by all the top three official organizations founded by our beloved and revered Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, for our spiritual uplift - Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of India and Sathya Sai International Organisation. I mean, this is from the combined highest level of the official Sathya Sai orgns. founded by Bhagavan Himself. What more can we ask for, in terms of declaration of a clear and unambigious stand against Madhusudan Naidu! I am very satisfied with this stand of theirs.

Even if Shri Nimish Pandya has not publicly spoken against Madhusudan Rao Naidu, his name and designation is mentioned in the document. So, unless he issues a public denial, it has to be viewed as the stand of the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of India. As a former member of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of India from around 1993 to 2002, I am very happy that the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of India is given as a signatory to the document (even though his signature is not there). I mean, in the final analysis, it is NOT the particular individual who holds the post currently that is important, but what is important is the official stand of the All India President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation of India. And this document puts that down as an official record even though it does not carry the signature of the individual who holds that post currently.

(Slightly edited): --Name-snipped-- sir - Comparisons can be odious! Why don't we take a view that those of us who spoke up and acted against Asathya-Adharma of Muddenahalli group which was, and still is, distorting and diluting the legacy and memories of our beloved Lord Sathya Sai, were given an opportunity to be humble instruments of the Lord, and be happy with that? Bhagavan gave us an opportunity to serve the cause of Sathya & Dharma and we should be happy with having served that cause. Let us not get into grading of level of contribution and impact. We did it together. Let the credit go to the group that did it together rather than individuals in it. Jai Sai Ram!

I don't think earlier denunciations focused on Madhusudan Naidu.This one does. Also, I think this is the first time I am seeing a document with name of Nimish Pandya, All India President of Sathya Sai orgn. which denounces Madhusudan Naidu and Muddenahalli group. ... Of course, such denunciations will NOT solve Muddenahalli group and Madhusudan Naidu problem. But it will help some devotees avoid getting trapped by them.

Freedom of religion is a very important concept in many democratic countries of the world. I think that is why Madhusudan Naidu is able to freely come and openly make his false claims in Singapore. The same is the case in India.

But the identity theft case possibility is a good one. However, for reasons best known to them, none of the official Sai orgns/institutions have made a legal challenge on identity theft to Madhusudan Naidu ***anywhere in the world***. It would be great if they do that. But they haven't so far. We have to live with that, I think.

(Slightly edited) Well --Name-snipped-- sir - you and I and others putting up our posts and notes against Muddenahalli group and Madhusudan Naidu are individual actions and NOT official Sathya Sai orgn. denunciations. The Sathya Sai devotee community pays a lot more importance to official Sathya Sai orgn. denunciations and notes, and so ****official Sathya Sai orgns.*** denunciations are important, in my view, in more robustly countering Muddenahalli group's false claims.

Regarding your suggestion that some leaders should go and meet Madhu and Narasimhamurthy to sort it out, I think that could have been a possible solution ***prior*** to Madhu getting firmly set in his madness. Now what can be achieved by leaders going there - they will try to convert them to believers in Madhu!!!

Now Muddenahalli group leaders and donors should wake up and smell the coffee, and ask Madhu Baba to stop his drama, and focus instead on formless aspect of Sathya Sai Baba. That's when Muddenahalli group will come out of the Asathya-Adhrma trap that Madhu Baba and Narasimhamurthy have taken them into.

(Slightly edited): --Name-snipped-- sir, I felt it is important to respond to your comment in a manner which is understood by most readers of your large readership Facebook posts. So I will be mentioning some points which you surely know but it is for the benefit of other readers who may not know.

From my perspective, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT) is a body of nine trustees. Note that the document you shared in this post was signed by the member-secretary (a trustee who is also playing the role of Secretary) of SSSCT on behalf of all trustees. I think it is inappropriate to talk about any particular trustee, in this regard. What should be discussed is the action of the body of SSSCT as a whole.


What power does SSSCT have over Muddenahalli group for Muddenahalli group to entertain such a demand for explanation? Muddenahalli group may use such a visit by SSSCT to humiliate them as revenge for the criticism SSSCT has made against them. If Muddenahalli group was interested in having talks with SSSCT to resolve this major divisive problem and get united with official Sathya Sai orgns and institutions, they surely could have approached SSSCT. They want to have their own show with the spiritual fraud Madhusudan Rao Naidu being their cash cow. Why will they want to give up that cash cow and unite with official Sai orgn. which will ask them to first stop Madhusudan Rao Naidu spiritual fraud?

As I understand it, in such power and authority matters, SSSCT is a charitable trust organization like Shirdi Sai Sansthan (official Shirdi Sai Baba temple orgn.) - that's it. For us devotees of Sathya Sai, we may give a lot of value to words of SSSCT. But that is limited to us devotees of Sathya Sai. SSSCT's power and authority is over the private institutions it manages, including Prasanthi Nilayam. As you surely know, it does not extend to governance and power and authority in the whole state of Andhra Pradesh let alone the state of Karnataka which is where Muddenahalli group is based.

Power and authority in such matters is vested in the Hon'ble Chief Minister of the concerned state who has to act within the laws of the state and country. The Hon'ble High Court of that state is the topmost body in the state to which an Indian citizen or Indian trust like Muddenahalli trust can go to, to seek relief from any illegal action taken by the state government against them, with the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India acting as a body for appeal against verdict of the High Court. That's it, I think. Nobody else has the authority. SSSCT trustees have no authority over Muddenahalli group, including over Muddenahalli group's Loka Seva Trust, as things stand now (the court case against Loka Seva Trust deed amendments making it a Muddenahalli group controlled trust has yet to be decided).

May I ask you --Name-snipped-- sir, why did you not LEAD A DELEGATION TO MHALLI group events in Singapore where Madhusudan Naidu and Narasimhamurthy were present, AND DEMAND EXPLANATION FOR SETTING UP A CULT ORGANIZATION? I think you may not have done so because you felt you did not have power & authority to force a proper explanation from Muddenahalli group in Singapore. Am I not correct there?

Similarly, I think SSSCT trustees going to Muddenahalli group to demand an explanation from them is not a good idea as SSSCT has no authority over Muddenahalli group and its leaders like Narasimhamurthy and Madhusudan Naidu.

On FB post,, dated 12th Jan. 2019, I wrote as a comment: "Great to see a pic of Penang Sathya Sai center. Jai Sai Ram!".

In response to a comment, I wrote, "Ah! Then we share something in common as I too am poor in singing. But then the Sathya Sai congregational singing allows me to sing in chorus and enjoy the benefit and happiness of singing the Lord's name and His/Her praise. So I am very comfy with that :-)."

FB post of mine,, shared this post of Dr. David Frawley,, with my share-comment as follows:

Resharing the post as I want the original post to be shared with Dr. David Frawley's comments.

I also feel it appropriate to add some Puttaparthi related comments. Bukkapatnam (city of Bukka) which is very close to Puttaparthi and where Sathya Sai did part of his schooling, is named in honour of Vijayanagara king Bukka, I believe. Now there seem to be three different kings named Bukka in the dynasty, So I don't know which King Bukka is associated with name of the town - Bukkapatnam.

Here's the wiki page for Bukkapatnam:
Dr. Frawley's above post shared this article (along with his intro comments): NYT lists Hampi as the second must-see global destination for 2019,

A comment on the post shared that Hampi is important in history of Sathya Sai, giving this Radio Sai article link: TRIP TO HAMPI, I thanked him for his comment.

In response to a comment disputing my statement that Bukkaputnam was named after a Vijaynagara king, I wrote:
From Sathyam Shivam Sundaram Vol 1, :
"With the Chitravathi River descending the gorges and flowing as a moat on one side, set like a green gem in a ring of hills, with temple bells pealing on all the eminences around, enriched by the reservoir built by King Chikkaraya, adjacent to the town that bears the name of Bukka (the far-famed Emperor of the City of Vijayanagara), Puttaparthi is the abode of the Goddess of Fortune and the Goddess of Eloquence." Such is the eulogy showered on this place by an anonymous poet of the past. Puttaparthi was the cradle of poets and scholars as well as heroes and philanthropists.
--- end extract ---
The above indicates that Bukkapatnam is named after one of the Bukka Rayas (Bukka kings) of Vijayanagara empire.


On FB post of mine,, where I shared a pic of Hindu Russian family with their Guru:

For a Hindu Indian like me, it is quite extraordinary to see such pics showing embrace of Hinduism in Russia. ... Of course, those who embrace it in the right spirit with right interpretation of Hindu holy scripture will surely benefit. I have no doubt about that whatsoever. Hinduism is a very powerful religion grounded on eternal truths and based on traditions that have endured through many millennia. These traditions and faith in Hindu scripture have been fostered and preserved through divine figures taking birth as human beings from time to time for that very task (Karana Janmas).


FB post of mine, :

One of my favourite Marathi devotional songs which I have heard countless times in my youth (mainly on radio - so audio versions of it). Sung by the great Sudhir Phadke (,  Dehachi Tijori,, around 3 mins.

A comment on the video gives the Marathi lyrics and the English translation by a Kiran Urs. I do not fully agree with the translation though my Marathi is barely OK and not great. But overall it does give the sense of the song. So I have copy-pasted that below:

देहाची तिजोरी, भक्तीचाच ठेवा
This body is a safe for devotion only
उघड दार देवा आता, उघड दार देवा -- 2
Open the door, Lord, please open the door

पिते दूध डोळे मिटूनी जात मांजराची
The cat's nature is to drink the milk with her eyes closed
मनी चोरट्याच्या का रे भीती चांदण्याची
Why is there fear of moonlight in the heart of the thief?
सरावल्या हातांनाही कंप का सुटावा
Why do expert hands tremble when they do something wrong
उघड दार देवा आता, उघड दार देवा
Open the door, Lord, please open the door

उजेडात होते पुण्य अंधारात पाप
Good deeds are done in daylight; evil, always in the darkness
ज्याचे त्याचे हाती आहे कर्तव्याचे माप
Everyone has the measure of responsibility in his own hands.
दुष्ट दुर्जनांची कैसी घडे लोकसेवा
How can evil people do community service
उघड दार देवा आता, उघड दार देवा
Open the door, Lord, please open the door
स्वार्थ जणु भिंतीवरचा आरसा बिलोरी
Greed is like the tricky mirror on the wall
आपुलीच प्रतिमा होते आपुलीच वैरी
Its our own reflection, and is our own enemy
घडोघडी अपराध्यांचा तोल सावरावा
From time to time the crime must be balanced
उघड दार देवा आता, उघड दार देवा
Open the door, Lord, please open the door
देहाची तिजोरी, भक्तीचाच ठेवा -- 2
This body is a safe for devotion only
उघड दार देवा आता, उघड दार देवा -- 2
Open the door, Lord, please open the door


The video has 3 robbers entering the hours with an objective of breaking a safe and stealing from it. But as they hear the song, with the words seeming to reference them, they drop the plan and join the devotees (a family, I guess) in worship.


FB post of mine,, shared the following video (Om Jai Jagadish Hare song sung by Canadian children) with my comment "Wonderful!":

Anuradha Paudwal singing it:, 5 min. 18 secs.
The wiki page on the song giving the English translation of it too:
Sung by Mahendra Kapoor, Brij Bushan and Shyama Chittar in the Hindi movie: Purab Aur Paschim [1970] (audio with still pic),, 5 min. 40 secs.
A variation of above song rendition:, 6 mins
I think one or both of the above song renditions were very popular in my youth and I have heard it many times, including at community puja functions in Bombay and Dombivli.

FB post,, dated 5th Jan. 2019, there was mention of lack of unity and my name was tagged. I (Ravi) wrote:
Calls for Unity sound great, Vr Ganti sir. But what is the reality? There is UNITY in the group that opposes Muddenahalli group, on Madhusudan Rao Naidu being a spiritual fraud. But on other aspects, there are different views, including on how to effectively oppose Muddenahalli group's misuse of Sathya Sai name.

I think this is similar to how in democratic countries, there are multiple groups of people, each with their own understanding of social problems of the day and how to solve them! This diversity and accommodation of such diversity is the hallmark of democratic countries.

Now there is no single leader under whom all the anti Madhusudan Rao Naidu people will work. That is the reality. Expecting that all will coalesce under a single leader and follow his/her instructions is something that happens in dictatorial regimes and not in democratic societies.

What we should do is accept the reality that there are diverse views among the group that oppose Madhusudan Rao Naidu. Initiatives against Madhusudan Rao Naidu spiritual fraud, like the current petition, may come from any activist in this group. It is up to others then to examine whether they are willing to support the initiative or not. Some may support it as it aligns with their views. But some, who are against Madhusudan Rao Naidu spiritual fraud, may choose not to support it as they have some differences or some issues with it.

So there will be multiple lines of action initiated by different activists opposing Madhusudan Rao Naidu spiritual fraud rather one line of action initiated by one single activist-leader. That is how I view this matter.

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