Some mails from V.K. Narasimhan to Robert Priddy between 1989 and 1998
By providing some excerpts from my extensive private correspondence with V.K. Narasimhan while he was one of Sathya Sai Baba's closest servitors and editor of his monthly journal, investigators of my writings about this gentleman can at least establish the fact that we knew each other very well indeed and that he was concerned to keep in touch with me closely. VKN claimed he always had found letter writing a heavy toil and apologised regularly for not writing enough to me. He found both reading and writing more and more demanding as his eye problems and physical condition worsened. Most of our contact, however, took place during eight of my visits to Sai Baba ashrams, we spent countless hours in close discussion - mostly in private, sometimes with groups, visitors and staff at Prashanthi Nilayam. I have never known a gentleman who is older than myself with whom I have been able to converse so deeply and widely on everything under the sun. He confided in me many details I do not reveal - about his family life, his constant doubts about many things Sathya Sai Baba
said and did (despite his support for the project as a service to India's poor and suffering, which was his single main motivation throughout most of his life, and the overriding reason he followed his wife to Sai Baba when her greatest desire was to live in the presence of Sai Baba.
After submitting my first
articles to Sanathana Sarathi, and when we met after a lecture he gave, Narasimhan said, "we want to ask you to
write for Sanathana regularly." He eventually published about 26 articles
that I sent him,. often on request. It took some while before I realised that he
was an unusual fellow, not so much because he was Sathya Sai Baba's trusted editor, but
rather because of his charming disposition, his mind, and all that he had seen
and done in his life prior to coming to Sathya Sai Baba. Besides he had known many
personages, not only having been educated together with India’s President Dayal Sharma and other top Indian leaders, but also a wide
range of other interesting persons from Annie Besant to teenaged Prince Charles. VKN had many friends, and was friendliness itself
towards most people. He and I had in common a very large segment of English and
colonial culture, no longer known to but very few people, as I had read widely
in the literature and journalism of his contemporaries and I shared many of the
fields of interest and thought that he knew. During my years of closeness to
him, he related to me during hundreds of hours of private contact - rather as a father would entrust his personal history
in all its details to a son - all the notable events of his family, personal
and professional life... most of it several times over, and engaging each time.
If he thought I might be taking leave of him because of some visitor or other
he had, he would get a firm hold of my hand and not release me until we were
left alone again. He even sometimes delayed visiting Sathya Sai Baba when called so as to
finish our conversation.
Incidentally, outright lies have constantly been spread about me and my accounts of what VKN really believed and thought. Most challenging to devotees has been the shocking revelations he made to me about how the four intruders were executed by Sai officials and his younger brother [Janakiramiah] blackmailing the Puttaparthi police. One remorseless Sai fanatic who never once met either Narasimhan, his family or myself and has denounced as lies all crucial factual statements I have made. Virtually every promonent dissenter against Sai Baba has been charged with "blatant", "shameless" lies by this [unnamed] street fighter. Those who follow this issue will know to whom I refer [one who incidentally defended Sai Baba for years even while believing him to be a sexual abuser!]. He covers for Sathya Sai Baba and leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization throughout the Internet.
Note: some of the typed mails below were done by VKN's Indian student assistant due to VKN's having lost an eye in a failed operation at Sathya Sai's hospital, [taken by him on Sai Baba's direct advice]. The ink corrections are VKN's.
Note: VKN wanted me to write many more articles for Sanathana Sarathi than I eventually did. The reason I did not provide more than about 26 articles was that I did I want to push myself in the Sai movement and felt uncomfortable when VKN favoured my input over that of Sai Baba's Chancellors and prominent politician's talks etc. I wrote from the same sense of duty as I do now... to contribute within my own remit to advance understanding and truth. That my position on Sai baba's truthfulness has reversed is not in fact my fault, for it is his use of lies, fraud, deceptions and worse that caused it.
VKN only made about three small changes altogether to a couple of my articles - unfortunately one title he changed made me seem to be 'preaching', which was the last thing I intended as even then I never could approve of the self-righteous gang of Sai parrots! My aim was to try to make sense of otherwise vague, obscure or even contradictory statements by Sathya Sai, thinking there must be a good reason to any mistakes he made. Now I know far better, of course.
note - VERY LONG LETTERS - HENCE ONLY SHORT EXCERPTS