Sai had predicted that he would die at the age of 96. He died at 85. Do you think a ‘God’ can make such a huge error of 11.57%? As the first line has already set the tone of this post that late Sai Baba will be heavily criticised in this article, I would like to make some points clear from the very beginning. I’m sure some people, after reading the post, will think my self to be a non-Hindu or a pseudo secular who feels happy to sniff at anything related to Hinduism. On the contrary, I’m a practicing Hindu and proud of my religion i.e Hinduism which accommodates contrasting views and also gives freedom to think rationally. I neither have any grudge against Sai, the individual nor want to hurt the sentiments of his believers. My point is simple: Sai, thanks to his tactics, was the epitome of Asatya and it is our duty to make others aware about this truth. You are free to disagree but I’d like you to at least mention the reasons of disagreement in the comments section. 🙂
I had never heard of a ‘real, famous’ sadhu of dying due to non-functionality of internal body organs after being hospitalised for 28 days. Certainly dying because of malfunctioning body organs after being treated in hospital for nearly a month is no criteria for being a Sadhu/Guru but it certainly doesn’t sound correct when you say God died under such circumstances. Sai claimed to be the God’s form on the earth; at least his disciples claim so. But doesn’t it sound funny that God died after being treated by human doctors for 28 days? If God knew it’s his time to go back from the earth (it was another thing that the same God had predicted his death at a different time), he could have do it in one day. Staunch Sai believers may argue that as he was God’s human form, his death had to be humanlike. But then producing gold chains, watches, golden shivalingam, ash powders out of thin air wasn’t so humanlike, was it? And there could have been some better humanlike options like cardiac arrest(he had 4 heart attacks in his life time) worth considering.
Sai was better known as the miracle man. Producing costly gifts for his selected disciples, Bibhuti out of nowhere was his USP. Baba perhaps knew that miracle and magic fascinates miracle hungry Indians and can even blind them and force them to believe in anything. In this country people like to side with the powerful and Baba did everything to show that he had powers. His timing was perfect. He born during a time when most of the Indians were based in rural areas with no access to basic education. Communication between different regions was not developed so word of the mouth publicity was the best and the most powerful. Sai cashed the conditions and we must give the intelligent Baba the credit for that. He started showing his powers and claimed himself to be the Avatar of Shirdi Sai Baba. He continued showing his tricks and no one ever questioned it. Gradually a god like image for Sai developed and in very small time he became God for the common man. Successful and rich people along with the common and god fearing people kept joining his ever expanding imperium.
Hindu scriptures have strictly dismissed the idea of showing divine powers (if any) by any Guru. Hinduism directs the true saints to do magic in the lives of people, not to show them in public (if not needed). Hindusim expects its religious teachers to change people’s way of living by their discourses. The holy men of a religion should give people new and good ideas and concepts to reach the god. Then why a man with such vulgar display of power be believed to be a saint/religious Guru/God? Check the holy scriptures of the religion. Did any of the Avatars of God ever exhibit their powers unnecessarily? Then how can a man with few dubious tricks be accepted as God without even questioning him?
Sai rose to Godhood with a few tricks that are considered of low grade for the street magicians. The man in the saffron robe (with plenty of space to hide object in them) sitting in Puttaparthy kept fooling and expanding his empire with petty magic tricks unchallenged. Those who challenged were seen as sinners who could dare to question the authority of God. Famous magician PC Sarkar and many rationalist challenged Sai and exposed his tricks. Yet that didn’t deter people from bowing at Sai’s feet. BBC in its documentary disclosed this master of deception’s truth. Charges of sexual exploitation were levelled. Murder of six close aide happened right inside his bedroom and no investigations happened. All charges were named as part of smear campaign by people envy of Sai. His conjuration had grown powerful and the jinx couldn’t be broken even till his death.
“Sai was God, if not for his tricks then for his work for humanity”, said a Sai believer to me during a discussion on twitter. Fair enough, Bill Gates should also be considered a God then, no? Should we start praising every man/institution doing charity and consider them as God/God’s organisation? Sai’s work for the society, even if not done in a selfless manner, should be praised and welcomed in a country where even basic amenities are dream for a majority of people. True, that he did brilliant job (using his empire based on falsehood and deception) to bring drinking water for thousands, give cheap treatment at his hospitals etc. but does that make him God? Many do that and they can best be called as philanthropist but not god or saint. I’m sure even God wouldn’t call himself God for doing charity.
Motive of his charitable work is another crucial point in this discussion. Was helping poor and needy his only intention? Was his intention pure? Or were all such benevolent deeds actually intended to shield all criticism on other fronts? Who knows these kind hearted gestures might be tools to garner more supporters! Even Jamat Ud Dawa in Pakistan does charity to get more support for the organisation and to fight the criticism that it feeds terrorists. Every time genuineness of Sai Baba’s tricks are raised in discussions, his worshipers raise the point of his charitable work. That often leads me to believe that such acts of Baba was indeed an effort to battle the other charges.
Days ago, somewhere on the internet, I was fortunate to find the following few lines. It was apparently some Guru’s discourse to his disciples. I didn’t knew then that I would use it to criticise another so called Guru’s falsity. The lines were:
This is the Kali Yuga,
Even Rakshashas (demons) will incarnate as teachers to mislead you.
Those who must be destroyed by these demons will be.
Test the Guru by the teaching:
without inquiry there is no teaching.
Shun every teacher who does not teach inquiry.
Directly looking at your own face is the only teaching.
If the Guru says ‘I am enlightened,’
it means the ego is enlightened so stay away.
In Kali Yuga it is the falsehood which will draw the crowds.
The Truth and the true Gurus will be neglected.
In the age of science, it is ridiculous if we get deceived by falsehood of fake god men. Remember “Truth Alone Triumphs”. Let the rays of truth come in and enlighten your life.