SATHYA SAI BABA'S UNACCOUNTABILITY
NO ANSWERS TO MANY QUESTIONS

The Self-proclaimed 'Universal Teacher' who will not and can not explain what his followers want to know


1) How Sathya Sai Baba maintains his 'mystery' by avoiding giving straightforward answers

2) How Sathya Sai Baba can avoid being unaccountable to anyone for anything


3) How Sathya Sai Baba avoids giving any teaching on sexual issues or related problems (AIDS etc.)

Sai Baba lives within the charmed circle of a cult within which he can never be challenged on the simplest thing.

Through his claim to be the Godhead of all Deities who is totally all-knowing and and all-powerful, Sathya Sai Baba has developed a culture around himself (or more accurately, a full-blown personality cult) where he rules the roost totally. No one who remains within its social and mental confines ever ventures to doubt anything he says, for he is to be regarded as totally infallible, even if one does not understand what he means or why he says it.

Anything a follower does not understand about Sathya Sai Baba - especially anything untoward - is explained by any of a set of fall-back positions, such as: "We human beings cannot understand Swami's Divine actions", "The ways of God are inscrutable", "It is Swami's Divine Play". "Swami is testing us to see if our faith in Him is sound" and other such excuses. This goes for everything he says which is recognisably untrue, vague, ambiguous, at odds with his own teachings, self-contradictory, improbable, nasty, disgusting or outright criminal. This is what makes the Sathya Sai ashrams and main movement an unmistakable cult run by a secretive and clandestine clique - many delude by others merely cynical.

Of course, one cannot understand what he says or why if one has given up the attempt to discover the truth of it beforehand, and this 'giving up' is to 'surrender to his Divine will'. It implies that one never may question anything he says or does, without exception! Not even in the privacy of one's thoughts! Sathya Sai Baba either ignores or fobs off anything remotely like a penetrating question that may still be put to him by some daring person who has slipped through the net into an interview but who is not yet fully obedient to the Divine Will.


Sai Baba maintains his 'mystery' by avoiding giving straightforward answers:

Sai Baba is a practiced master at seeming to answer a question or tell something while expressing it so ambiguously or obliquely that it amounts to saying as good as nothing. Every now and again he suddenly breaks off mid-sentence and turns his attention to something else or another person. The disappointed person soon contrives an explanation, for this omniscient God must be telling something deep and subtle through this behaviour. There is much talk about how to understand in a positive light things that it would be glaringly evident to independent persons are avoidance or manipulations by Sai Baba. I have to admit that I was taken in for a long time by some of his clever comments and half-spoken sentences...

I too spent much time searching to explain his words and acts. It was like searching for a needle in a haystack, and the results were seldom too convincing when I did find any. I even wrote articles in his journal Sanathana Sarathi at the behest of its editor (V.K. Narasimhan), all precisely to try to clear up some of his vague or contradictory statements. I now conclude that he mostly avoids really telling anything when he may be trapped into an easily unproven answer, meanwhile leaving the devotee at least an illusion of having the attention of God Himself and a response the meaning of which will make itself known in good time. Those he talks to (very seldom more than one or two sentences) are told by yet blinder followers that they should be pleased, even grateful, for this divine blessing! Many are overwhelmed with gratitude for this audience which it is said by all devotees to be something one has striven towards through many previous lives packed with good actions! Many people want to believe such things and the more difficult their lives are, the more they apparently do. In the ashrams one believes in 'thinking with the heart, not the head'. No one seems to realise that the heart (i.e. the emotions and irrational impulses) can deceive as much or even more than the head. The so-called 'heart' can be filled with feelings of inferiority, intense unfulfilled longing for love and further, bitterness and hate. Not exactly an infallible inner guru to rely on blindly in the face of sound common sense and informed reason, as most gurus including Sai Baba insist it is!

There is no doubt that the subjective experiences of interviews are felt as very good by most people (though not all, for some are told off strictly too etc.). One can read hundreds of accounts that use superlatives beyond all reason. I can now see myself as misled and so 'naively guilty' of a much too one-sided and gold-tinted account of interviews in my book ('Source of the Dream'). Therefore I choose to describe my summary of Sathya Sai Baba interviewees' from the cold clarity of my eventual disillusion with them. After attending several interviews they tend to become an anticlimax to persons who have still have a mind of their own, because so little can really be learned about anything from Sathya Sai Baba. He just reels off his usual imprecise spiritual directions and follows - with few variations - a set of routines he has practiced and perfected through thousands of interviews. Sometimes it is like a routine he enters, regardless of who is present. But this is certainly not how one's first interviews seem! Interviewees are often so worked up after months or years of his 'Wait! Wait!' instruction - and who can count what sacrifices and efforts many have made- and are mega-relieved (as if they were pools' winners). In interviews, many behave as if in a daze, there is often a sense of staring, hypnotic happiness. Especially ladies, mostly having been constantly starved for the slightest attention at darshan, often give themselves over to an orgy of gushing words about it afterwards, like 'blissed out', 'spaced out by divine love' and 'eternal moments of realisation' and what have you. All of this remind of some psycho-social orgasmic release of pent-up doubts and worries in surrendering to the delightful conviction, 'So I am really one of God's chosen children after all'. This conviction is always insecure, however, and Sathya Sai Baba will shake it time and again with his famous hypothetical 'tests of faith', i.e. his indifference, his neglect and much more besides until death... of that one could invariably be convinced and confident, at least! Meanwhile, the cult of rationalizations and systematic misinterpretation of his words thrives and is passed on to everyone who visits the ashrams hoping for something to convince themselves they have been accepted into the court of God himself. Newcomers soon become vulnerable to these pressures or 'group effect', as it is known. (See more here)

From about 10 hours altogether in the various interview rooms with Sai Baba and from hearing and reading at least 100 accounts of interviews from other devotees (often noted in papers they circulate or in articles and books) and after countless hours of private discussion with Sai Baba's translator at many interviews, V.K. Narasimhan, it is fair to say that Sai Baba seldom responds openly and frankly to what the questioner really wants to know, but turns the question back at the questioner or spins the matter around somehow. If he does reply (rather than, as often, turn to another person instead) what he says is frequently elliptical and off the point. He treats all questions or comments which he does not like in what my elderly colleague Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson characterised to me very fittingly as follows:

"I recall when Karlis Osis and I had our first encounter with Sai Baba we both felt that he, apart from his great charisma, was a great prima donna, with a tremendous ego, and also kind of a Napoleon, with a ruler's mind and tactics. Boasting, and illusions about one's true characteristics is a part of such a psychological makeup, and in Sai Baba this is to a psychopathological degree unless one assumes the split-personality model to explain him, which I find tempting."

What we would not accept as a valid or relevant answer from other people, many devotees will immediately accept as profound when it comes from the one they believe to be omniscient. For example, when asked by a friend of mine from Copenhagen why it was that Jehova (i.e. God, i.e. Sai Baba) had not told the Jews about reincarnation, but asserted the contrary via the Bible. Sathya Sai Baba simply did not understand the question and asked to have it explained. (A divine joke that he can't understand? I think not!). My Jewish friend said that the question was about reincarnation and intended to specify, but - without waiting to hear the actual question again - Baba replied brusquely, and in so many words, "Oh! Reincarnation! You cannot understand it. Do not try to think about it. It is like the seed and the fruit." I saw that this answer was just a brush off, but afterwards my friend claimed that it was a perfect answer! His view was that, because the question was one that his Jewish wife considered very important, Baba was telling that they should rather concentrate on other more important things.

This is not untypical of Baba's way of answering questions. He frequently replies so obliquely that no sense can be made of his words, or he changes the subject unexpectedly, or brushes it aside and the person concerned often takes whatever comes as a significant teaching or even a spiritual directive. This is also typical of evasive deceivers hoping to maintain others' false perceptions, or to avoid being unmasked or incriminating themselves.No one pursues a disregarded or half-answered question to Sai Baba until a satisfactory answer is given, it is simply not done. To anyone who steps out of linein not accepting his total authority and dominance, he can react with wrathful looks, angrily sending them out of the interview room (in disgrace in the eyes of all devotees). This he did, for example, with the world famous Indian stage magician P.C. Sorcar when he produced vibuti in front of Sai Baba! He also banishes some dissenting persons from his ashrams and organization (as he did with Al Drucker in the 1990s).

In short, whatever Sai Baba replies, or however he avoids replying, is taken by devotees as a profoundly meaningful matter! If what he says seems plainly mistaken, based on a misunderstanding or factually wrong , the devotee will twist and turn the words in every possible way and relate them to all manner of events past present, dreams, imagined things and so on until some kind of sense can be derived from the words... however unsatisfactory. This is also the case when he does not reply or is gruff, or gives the brush off. It becomes a subject of constant meditation or worry, self-examination and self-doubt. I have witnessed this on many occasions. What hardly ever seems to occur to the poor person who is struggling with these challenges is that Sathya Sai Baba might be wrong, might not know what he is talking about, may be bluffing or may simply be inadequately equipped to deal with the question. Only after realising that Sai Baba is not at all what he claims to be does all this gradually become as apparent as the sun in daylight!

Sathya Sai Baba can avoid being unaccountable to anyone for anything: Sai Baba is virtually never held to account to his face for anything he says. Most people who qualify to get near him already have too much respect, awe or out-and-our fear to question anything he says or does in any but the most positive or else superficially questioning manner. This is not to say that there have been absolutely no exceptions. There are doubtless those who only pretend subservience, while being self-willed and devious. Most officials in his various institutions who are often in his presence have the 'healthy respect' for him, his will and his word that a schoolboy has for an unpredictably punishing headmaster. Now, is this not what one would expect of God too? In all major religions, God is not accountable for any kind of error or wrong doing. As long as one really believes that Sathya Sai is God Almighty himself on two feet, or something near to that, one thereby surrenders all chance of understanding anything about him. Add to this the indisputable fact that Sai Baba does not WANT anyone to be able to understand him... almost everything he says and does demonstrates this! He also is ever telling people in private interviews to keep things secret, which is a near paranoid precaution for controlling what is generally known about him.

At the same time he is admittedly a master at seeming to tell something, but saying it so ambiguously or obliquely that it amounts to saying as good as nothing. I have to admit that I was taken in for a long time by some of his clever comments and half-spoken sentences... For now and again he suddenly breaks off mid-sentence and turns his attention to something else or another person. The disappointed person soon contrives an explanation, for this omniscient God must be telling something through this behaviour. I spent much time searching for explanations as if searching for a needle in a haystack, and they were seldom convincing when I did find them. I now conclude that, to a large extent, he thus avoids really telling anything, leaving the devotee at least an illusion of having the attention of God Himself. Those he talks to (very seldom more than one or two sentences) are expected to be overwhelmed with gratitude, to see it as a blessing for which one has striven through many previous lives packed with good actions! People want to believe such things, and they do. In the ashrams one believes in 'thinking with the heart, not the head'. No one seems to realise that the heart can deceive as much or even more than the head, and that it can be filled with feelings of inferiority, intense unfulfilled longing for love - or at least acceptance.

There is no doubt that the subjective experiences of interviews are very good for most people (though not all, for some are told off strictly too etc.). One can read hundreds of accounts that use superlatives beyond all reason. I can now see myself as misled and so 'naively guilty' of a much too one-sided and gold-tinted account of interviews in my book ('Source of the Dream'). Therefore I chose to describe my summary of Sathya Sai Baba interviewees' from the cold clarity of my eventual disillusion with them.

After attending several interviews they tend to become an anticlimax to persons who have still have a mind of their own, because so little can really be learned about anything from Sathya Sai Baba . He just reels off his usual imprecise spiritual directions. Sometimes it is like a routine he enters, regardless of who is present. But this is certainly not how one's first interviews seem! Interviewees are often so worked up after months or years of his 'Wait! Wait!' instruction - and who can count what sacrifices and efforts many have made- and are mega-relieved (as if they were pools' winners). In interviews, many behave as if in a daze, there is often a sense of staring, hypnotic happiness. Especially ladies, mostly having been constantly starved for the slightest attention at darshan, often give themselves over to an orgy of gushing words about it afterwards, like 'blissed out', 'spaced out by divine love' and 'eternal moments of realisation' and what have you. All of this remind of some psycho-social orgasmic release of pent-up doubts and worries in surrendering to the delightful conviction, 'So I am really one of God's chosen children after all'. This conviction is always insecure, however, and Sathya Sai Baba will shake it time and again with his famous hypothetical 'tests of faith', i.e. his indifference, his neglect and much more besides until death... of that one could invariably be convinced and confident, at least!


Sathya Sai Baba avoids giving any teaching on sexual issues or related 'unmentionable' problems:


While promoting himself as the 'Universal teacher; Sathya Sai Baba avoids the issue of human sexuality almost totally.  This is very revealing as no sensible advice is given by him on one of mankind's most basic needs and drives - other than in a few words to preach chastity, also praising this as best within marriage. He has never discoursed on human sexuality. Nor does he answer any central questions which bear on sexuality. There is nothing whatever ‘spiritual’ about avoiding the issues connected with sexuality. The sexual impulse is the source of so many personal, social and other problems in the world, and is one which a liberated person should be able to address in an enlightening way, especially if that person were actually 'omniscient', which Sathya Sai Baba has repeatedly claimed he is in discourses and in countless statements in interviews.  Instead he occasional nearly broaches the issue by preaching monastic and sex-repressive ideals of a fundamentalist religious kind. This is more Catholic than any recent Pope (misguided and obscurantist indoctrinators as they are), reminding more of an extreme hypocritical Victorianism.  All this is a parody  of spiritual guidance to mankind by this 'Divine Know-all!

In contrast to Satya Sai Baba's secrecy and his attitude that strongly suggests guilt and shame feelings about sexuality, the great Sufi mystic and famous poet, Rumi (recommended by Sai Baba himself), regarded sexual desires in youth as 'letting one's feathers grow out', without which dangerous problems can be caused later. (The Essential Rumi, p. 64). This is definitely an enlightened attitude and is favoured by an increasing majority in most modern countries nowadays. (So much for the cherished belief that Sathya Sai will rule the world, or his own deranged and megalomaniacal claim that the whole world will be in his organisation!).

That Sai Baba cannot touch on sex discussion strongly suggests that his real views would awaken astonishment and would cause many to fall away from his movement and might also draw more attention to his own very widely testified sexual proclivities and preferences. He lists lust as one of the seven or cardinal sins, without explaining what kind of lust even, though he always claims to have no bodily desires.

Sathya Sai Baba talks about sexual desires to young men in secrecy the privacy of his inner 'private' interview room, admonishing them for contact with girls and masturbation . This is reportedly the introduction to oiling of their lower stomachs and genitals, and subsequently - according to numerous testimonies - to outright sexual advances and practices. Many factual and convincing accounts by a wide variety of young men indicate clearly that Sathya Sai Baba has tried to change them into homosexuals for his own gratification! It has also emerged that Sai Baba jokes with very close confidantes like Col. Joga Rao about sex, who was given to telling constant barrack room dirty stories, which I learned from V.K. Narasimhan who complained how he had to put up with them when forced to share a room with Joga Rao!

In India 2.3 million persons are known currently to be living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which causes AIDS by damaging the immune system cells until the immune system can no longer fight off other infections that it would usually be able to prevent. It takes an average of 10 years to develop AIDS from HIV infection. The shame attacked to this (and all sexual illnesses and to sexual deviance in Indian culture) means that the hidden figure of AIDS and HV sufferers may be considerably higher. The authorities in power, many of whom worship Sai Baba, long argued that it would be offensive to speak to people about sex and AIDS, condoms etc., but experience by independent organisations show this to be wrong. Many leaders still hold puritan and repressive views on sex, sex information and education and as a class the also remain out of touch with the population - their sufferings and needs - from whom the live as far as possible in physical and social isolation.

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