Sathya Sai Baba Sai Baba's long-term degeneration into senility and power loss
He always had claimed his health was and always would remain perfect in every way
"That is why I am always healthy...". Further, in his discourse at the hospital in Whitefield (June 3, 1995) Sathya Sai Baba also said: 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). I am always happy. I should like to run but there is no place where I can do so. I can lift anybody at this age. (Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 173).
In his last few years after becoming a wheelchair invalid, however, the worsening of his health became more and more visible and evident from his behaviour. Before he was carted off to his hospital with heart disease, followed by the brekdown of all his vital organs one by one, he had bcome dependent on medicaments - stimulants and tranquillisers provided by his only trusted consort, Sathyajit. So he was certanly not 'always healthy'!
Barry Pittard noted in 2010 that: "Although they do not allude to it, Sai Baba’s officials can no longer conceal his declining mental health nor his increasing physical decrepitude. They do not broadcast – and literally in the case of Dr G. Venkataraman’s international propaganda transmissions over Radio Sai Global Harmony – that he has said that his body will not age after he is 60 years."
This was borne out by his statement in public as seen on the right:-
In 2002, Sai Baba collapsed with a decayed hip-joint and was operated on and a replacement was inserted by six of his best doctors. It came of his slipping in his bathroom (in 2002 - having had a hairline hip fracture from the very same cause in 1988). (See more detailed facts). The operation left him crippled, either because it was a botched operation (less likely) or because he explicitly stated he would be cured by his devotees prayer and since he visibly ignored the professional advice about physiotherapy and exercise. He never recovered the ability to walk properly. From that event onwards, one could begin to notice his gradual mental degeneration There were increasing signs that he was 'not all there', but these were never mentioned by any devotees or officials and were covered up as best as his minders could manage it.
Eileen Weed (aka 'Divya') who knew well Sai Baba's female relatives and lived years with Venkamma (Sai Baba's sister) and obviously had more opportunities of knowing what was going on in the secretive ashram and with Sai Baba than any other non-Indian. She lost faith in him finally around the time that his degeneration became obvious to insiders. All the evidence point towards Sai Baba as a classic example of the consequences of the fall of persons of supreme power (see Forsyth's view inset on right). It was noticed how he shows more signs of ageing and disability, including evident thinness and weight loss until, on his last birthday celebration in 2010, he was distant and wooden in appearance and also broke down in tears repeatedly during the celebrations (something he had stated before was a great weakness and sign of undue attachment). It is now known that at the time he was being medicated alternatively with both sleeping pills and stimulants by his closest friend, the very young man Satyajit. It is known that he suffered a lot through his life from sleeplessness (his sister Venkamma told this to her companion and helper, Eileen Weed). The cause of the gradual loss of his faculties remains professional undiagnosed, as did the real cause of his successive body organ failures (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, brain), since no legally valid death certifical was issued (one was signed by Dr. Safaya, apparently under protest causing him to resign, which named only 'heart failure')
The following e-mailed testimony (inset) is from the former chief translator (from Telugu to English) of Sai Baba discourses for the 'premsai' translation group (which was stopped from posting by the Sai authorities because the results were too revealing and clashed with the official, doctored Sanathana Sarathi journal edited discourses).
"It was about how sb's speech in later days was "hard to understand due to old age." I had previously seen a video online of a more recent discourse (from mid or late 2009, I believe). I was taken aback by hearing it - no, it is NOT just the hard to understand way elderly people talk" - it was downright SLURRED SPEECH, exactly how someone with a stroke would talk!
Believe me, while in India I mainly hung around elderly Telugu ladies and NONE of them had slurred speech like that (except one, who had had a stroke some years before). I was freshly impressed with translator Anil Kumar, who performed a magic trick by taking completely nonsensical, un-understandable speech and basically giving the bulk of the discourse himself, by putting masterful words into sb's mouth, so to speak! I could not make heads or tails of what sb was trying to say with his totally slurred speech, and knew that if I was still translating discourses, I couldn't have translated that particular speech. Interestingly enough, there doesn't seem to be any easily available audio links online anymore, of the discourses from later days.
Speaking of audio of discourses, I remember when we were translating discourses in 2002, the bookstore stopped selling the audio cassettes at one point, so a couple of members took it upon themselves to illegally record the discourses while sitting outside by a speaker (they were doing that anyway, before the cassettes stopped being sold - sometimes the bookstore would be too long in getting the cassettes and we would want to start our translations immediately: plus on at least two occasions, we compared tapes and noticed with horror that a couple of juicy parts had actually been EDITED OUT of the audio cassettes that were sold in the bookstore!). All our secretly recorded cassettes, as well as the bookstore ones, were kept safely by several members of our group. In fact I could have had a complete set also but unfortunately, due to my heavy vairagyam streak, I would get rid of as many material possessions as I could, so didn't keep a single cassette.
Of course, anyone who could understand Telugu would realize how muddled the discourses were: however that didn't seem to be an issue because as I mentioned before, Indians generally are not M concerned or judgmental about the perfection of the gods they worship, as we are. There must have been a tipping point where outsiders came to the bookstore and were alarmed at the inconsistencies of the discourses, and got them removed (as well as much of the telling audio)."
Eileen Weed refered to Barry Pittard's blog of August 2009 where he summarized some of the evidence of Sai Baba's senile degeneration (http://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/sathya-sai-babas-slurred-speech-due-to-old-age-eenadu-news-report/)...
Excerpt from an e-mail sent by Divya 11/10/2012
Pathetically, On Christmas day, 2006, Sai Baba opened his discourse with a Telugu poem, as follows:´ The pompous person with unclear mind, what chance has he of realising the true self? Then, on Jan. 29, 2007, we could read:- from news in Telugu (no longer unavailable on www but see scan below):
Translation by Eileen Weed of Telugu News item:-
SAI BABA'S LACK OF CLARITY IN HIS SPEECH DUE TO OLD AGE