Ordinary mortals in critical condition need life support systems, but why does a so-called God-man need them?
“I do not suffer from any kind of disease because there is no trace of greed in Me. That is why I am always healthy…” (Sanathana Sarathi September 2001, page 257f) 186)
Purity, patience and perseverance. With these three you are bound to acquire good health and bliss. You may believe it or not. But the truth is that these three are responsible for my health (Arogya) and bliss (Ananda)” (Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 173).
Well it is said that it is bad to hit a man who is down. But, the same does not apply to God himself! Today, the God of Puttaparthi Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba, whose real name happens to be Satya Narayana Raju is in the ICU on a ventilator and other such life support systems. While ordinary mortals like us require such things, one always wonders why a God should need all those? In fact, the newspaper reports have stated that at one point of time there were 27 doctors attending on him! Certainly these doctors are not any ordinary ones but those with a roaring practice considered quite competent in their field. One wonders what is happening to their other patients when they are all busy attending on this God. Anyway, it is a wonder as to why someone whose miraculously materialized holy ash or vibhuti and has allegedly cured thousands of people from various diseases from Arthritis to Zollinger’s syndrome has to be attended on by mundane humans! Is it that as many claim, one’s own medicine does not work on oneself?
This 85 year old god started his career as a small time prestidigitator ‘materialising’ things like sweets for his school mates. He also claimed to be an avatar of the Shirdi Sai Baba who is a much revered saint from the eponymous place in Maharashtra. However, he was not allowed to step into that place! The temple there is a very prosperous one and those controlling that would have been certainly scared of him taking over the place! Starting with small time miracles like materialising things such as small trinkets and vibhuti or holy ash, he soon moved to the big leagues. He started with his present headquarters in Andhra Pradesh called Puttaparthi, which grew from a small village to the major pilgrimage center that it is now with its own airport and railway station. He started attracting devotees from all over the world particularly from the very materialistic West and those people who were spiritually minded, and started his missions all over the world. As his fame grew, politicians from India started flocking to him probably seeing him as a store house for their ill-gotten black money. These so called ashrams of these alleged godmen are a major store house for the ill-gotten wealth of these politicians and a source of corruption too. It would be very appropriate to bring these too under scrutiny of the to-be-drafted Lokpal Bill! However, one can be sure that this will not be done as many such are the supporters of Anna Hazare, the new middle class messiah. His supporters have managed to keep away whom they call corrupt politicians but the same yardstick has not been applied to such so -called godmen!
More than anything this so-called god has been ascribed many miracles. There are numerous biographies of him, or rather hagiographies, crediting him with a plethora of miracles. One should take a look at these as they are what he calls his visiting cards. His most famous ‘miracle’ of materialising holy ash or vibhuti has been exposed innumerable times with video clips all over the web making their rounds. A series made by the Channel IV called Guru Busters that exposed how this trick is done with a pellet of ash hidden in between the fingers and crushed with the rotation of the palm. This has been ascribed miraculous powers by many of his gullible devotees which include eminent physicians too! In fact one such person has gone on record claiming that her patients had been maintained on doses of this panacea. It has been claimed to cure a variety of disorders of organic and functional origin. It has been credited with providing solutions to a number of family, social and probably national problems too. This holy ash however is the present to ordinary mortals who flock to Puttaparthi for a glimpse of their god.
The VIPs who visit him are presented with a variety of trinkets like rings, chains and such. However, all the objects which he claims to materialize can be easily hidden in a closed fist and then this is rotated to make it appear as if the object is appearing from thin air. He has been caught in this act many times particularly in video footage by Doordarshan the national channel controlled by the government, when he tried to ‘materialise’ a gold chain from under a memento at a function held at Hyderabad in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India P.V.Narasimha Rao and a number of other VIPs. He wanted to show the whole nation his greatness by getting the same broadcast on the national news to snub his detractors. On the contrary, this video footage showed clearly his modus operandi! This was noticed by an editor of the footage and it was not broadcasted. But, the same was obtained by our movement and started making its rounds all over the country and is now on youtube too. The very same happened to his regurgitation of a gold Shiva lingam on Shivaratri, when he used to bring out the object hidden in a towel, put into his mouth under the pretext of wiping his face and making it appear as if it was coming from his stomach. It was claimed that his body contains a lot of gold which comes out as these lingams. On a particular occasion in 2004 when BBC was filming this, the lingams failed to ‘materialise’ and he vomited some bile. His devotees claimed that what used to come out as solid has emerged as a liquid this time! That was the last time he tried this trick.
Likewise, he has been credited with bringing back to life dead people, converting water into petrol, sand into Bhagavdgita, many different types of fruits from a single tree and many such “miracles”. However, not one of them has been corroborated by independent witnesses or under experimental conditions. He has been challenged innumerable times by us to let his so called miracles be investigated, or perform them under experimental conditions after scrutiny. Abraham Kovoor from Sri Lanka was one of the first to publicly challenge him. Dr.H.Narasimhaiah, a former vice chancellor of the Bangalore University, had constituted a committee for the scientific investigation of so called miracles in the 1970s and had written to him asking for those to be performed under controlled conditions. He had explained that as a physicist he could not believe that something could come from nothing and had requested him to be a subject for an experiment to verify his so-called materialization of things from thin air. He was met at first with silence and was then subjected to vicious personal attacks.
Later Premanand took on this so-called godman by performing his so-called miracles in public and explaining the tricks behind them. He trained thousands of volunteers to perform these and they started doing these all over the country to demonstrate to the common man how they are done. Now, I am continuing this work at the national and international levels giving these demonstrations and training thousands on how these tricks are done. We have laid down challenges to anyone claiming to have such powers, to come forward and perform them under controlled conditions and win huge awards. But so far none has come forward.
Sai Baba’s devotees defend him by pointing to the so-called charitable work which he has been doing. They don’t realize that the whole thing is a facade behind which a huge empire thrives. This is now said to be in billions and there is a big struggle to seize control over it. On one hand there are his relatives who want to take over everything, while on the other there is the trust which has many so called VIPs including retired judges and other bureaucrats. He has also many public figures in the list of his devotees. Now that he is on his death bed these have been threatening to come out into the open. One of reasons why he has been kept away from the public is that all the legalities have to be done when he is alive. If he has not made any will and the whole empire is in his name, then his family will inherit it all! On the other hand if he has made one bequeathing his property to the Trust, he has to live for a year after making one. One has every reason to suspect that he has been kept on life support systems to wait for an appropriate time to switch it off. No one is allowed to see him because of this. Occasional reports are put out that he is improving just for public satisfaction. It would be the best if all his properties be taken over by the government and used for the public purpose they were supposedly intended for. The claimants for the assets should not have any objections to that! Anyway, none of it is his personal property. They are all built from the contributions from the public.
By the time this comes into your hands I am sure that things would have reached a stage where state intervention will be needed. What is made from public contributions for supposedly charitable purposes, should be used for that purpose only. His super specialty hospitals, educational institutions and such are all for such purposes and should be put to such uses only. This would prevent any ugly turn of events and will also be a way to satisfy his devotees who supposedly number in the millions.