Sai Baba constantly insists that all people, including his devotees,
are themselves are the sole cause of all their sufferings and difficulties
in life. This is the more so if they don't see or experience God, which
indicates is something wrong with them. It has nothing to do with God, if
we are to believe Sai Baba.
In his discourse given in Kodaikanal on 18th May 2003, (Sanathana Sarathi July 2003) one reads yet another mass of fault-finding and criticism of the devotees."Who is God? Does He really exist? Many people are obsessed by such doubts. It is foolish to entertain such doubts. God is present in all. (….) There is no scope for doubt in this regard. You cannot deny the existence of a person who is standing right in front of you. Likewise, you cannot deny the existence of all-pervasive God." [p. 194]
How can one see ' God' to be standing in right front of us? He would imply that no one can doubt that he, Sai Baba, is God in human form? Or is there really 'no scope for doubt' about an all-pervasive God? That is absurd... the majority of humanity doubt that there is a God who is all-pervasive and many doubt there is a God at all.
p.195: "You should not give room
to even a trace of impurity or doubt in your heart. Due to the effect of
Kali Age, man has become a doubting Thomas. One must have a steady and strong
faith in order to realise God. God exists for those who think He exists.
He does not exist for those who deny Him."
So God's existence depends on us (a stange idea to say the least), and if we think God doesn't exist, we in a way cheat him out of his existence, or at least his alleged existence as God… Well, that is much more reasonable!
Sai Baba philosophy is: 'I think, therefore God is'. It is certainly not by logical argument that Sai Baba will convince anyone of God's existence. No valid logical argument for God's existence has ever been found by the world's most distinguised philosophers.
Further, the effect of hundreds of false gurus and Indian swamis is a more likely cause of doubts than the effects of the supposed 'Kali Age'.
"He responds to you in accordance with
your feelings. You have to change your vision to realise Divinity."
If we don't realise that Sai Baba is God like he says, then it is because of our doubts, our feelings, our vision, desires, mind or any number of things, according to his teaching. The bottom line of it is: there is something wrong with us.
"The fundamental principle of all
names and forms is within you. All that you see in the external world is
only a reaction, reflection and resound of the fundamental principle. (….)
You suffer from self-created delusion. In this manner, you deceive yourself.
You betray yourself. Your feelings are responsible for this. Your doubts are
the cause of this."
The boomerang effect! How very convenient to lay all the responsibility at the door of the devotee or the critic as the case maybe. For example, if Sai Baba is a delusion, our feelings and doubts are the cause of it, according to him.
He goes on: "…man should be totally free from doubts.
He should be firm and steady. But today man is filled with doubts. Where do
doubts come from? They arise out of his own imagination."
But doesn't the sort of god who exists only for those who think he exists, also arise out of man's imagination?
"He (man) sees God everywhere, yet he
thinks he has not seen Him."
Sometimes people think we see God when they most likely do not 'see' anything but their own imaginings or false perceptions.
Even though Sai Baba constantly says that God is everywhere, in everyone, and we are all God, yet in the end he always gives the definite impression that he is more God, and if we don't see it, it has nothing to do with him and everything to do with our faulty selves or sight. He is hammering into his listeners again and again how much is wrong with them, how they are failing, forgetting, foolish, ignorant, deluded, craving for the wrong things, thinking wrongly, and so on. Here are a few samples from just one page:
p. 196: "Today man is not able to discriminate between truth and falsehood. He craves for ephemeral things and ignores the true and eternal principle. (…..) He fails to understand that everything is contained in the eternal principle…"
"Why are you forgetting such a compassionate Lord who is so easily accessible to you?"
"You do not realise that consciousness is God, you are ignoring its presence."
"How can you experience God if you do not have confidence? (….) One without self-confidence cannot have faith in God."
"You see God day in and day out. (…. ) Yet you think that you have not seen God. How foolish it looks. You think they are mere external forms. In fact, what you see outside is the reflection of your inner being. You are forgetting the reality and getting deluded by the reaction, reflection and resound."
He says we see God everywhere all the
time, but we think we don't. So he wants to make us believe we see something
that we don't. I suppose it would be greatly to his advantage if everyone
followed his advice to stop thinking and instead mindlessly accepted
everything he says.
If we think that Sai Baba is guilty of sexual abuse, then that, according to his teaching, means that Sai Baba's behaviour is a reflection of our own inner being. Maybe this is why some office bearers in the Sathya Sai Organization accuse anyone who claims to have been sexually abused by Sai Baba, to be sexual abusers themselves?
p .198: "You cannot have the vision of God so long as you do not give up body attachment. God exists everywhere. But you are unable to experience this truth because your heart is filled with doubts."
"God responds to you in accordance
with your feelings. You are unable to see God because you lack love in your
If anyone admits to not seeing God, they would thereby declare themselves to have no love in their hearts. Don't worry, further on he says there is love in every man, only it's being diverted in the wrong direction.
"Body attachment gives rise to doubts
which will ultimately ruin your life."
Is there anyone alive in this world without body attachment? Not many, if any, so we can all look forward to ultimate ruin together. Threatening doom will probably never go out of fashion.
"So long as one is filled with doubts, one cannot recognise divinity. Doubts ruin the very human nature."
"You cannot deny God just because He is not visible to you. (….) Even if there is an iota of doubt in your mind, you cannot see Him."
"Doubt is like a cataract that blurs
our vision. A person with cataract in his eyes cannot see his own wife and
children even if they are standing by his side. Similarly, one with doubts
cannot see God. You have to undergo 'cataract' operation to have vision
Yes, there is something the matter with all of us, i.e. all of those of us who struggle under the delusion that we don't see God everywhere … But I know some people who struggle under the delusion that they see God everywhere, when they don't. Anyway, it was Sai Baba who had to have the cataract operation. What is that a reaction, resound and reflection of?
p.199: "There is love in every
man but he is diverting it towards his wife, children, friends, relatives
and worldly possessions,"
Well, we mustn't love the wife or husband and kids, now, must we?
Although Sai Baba says there is only one divine principle which is the same in everyone, he still talks of his body as a Divine Form and of himself as being within the devotee.
"All of you are the very forms of God. That is why you have gathered here. As there is divinity in you, you have developed love towards this Divine Form."
p. 200: "Do not think that God is present only at a particular place. You don't need to travel long distances to see Sai Baba. He is within you. You cannot attain Him if you look for Him somewhere else."
If you are among the 'deluded' ones who don't experience God everywhere, it might be worth your while to stop struggling, stop blaming yourself and taking Sai Baba's steady stream (Vahini) of criticisms to heart. Maybe it is enough if we surrender to the moment, do our best to be kind and loving and leave the rest to any Almighty God who would - if existing at all - be better able to overpower the effects of the supposed Kali Age when the time is right.
Reidun Priddy. Oslo 28th July, 2003.