When the computer revolution was well underway in the 1980s, Sathya Sai Baba entered the debate about their usefulness in a way one might expect from a revanchist who looks back to the supposedly great non-technological past of ancient India. Though he lays claim to knowing every detail about everyone and everything from the most distant past to the future, he failed to recognise that computers would not make people abjectly dependent on machines, but that they would use them to increase their own autonomy, the communications possible and save undue labour and much more, whether in writing, composing, graphic work, film, video, mathematics, astronomy, all manner of management system and so on ad infinitum:-
In 1980, Sai Baba was in two minds about computers... when Dr. John Hislop dares to put a challenging question, he had to admit that computers could be used in "a constructive and beneficial way", but then added that the results only "seemed" to be good, but were not "in the long run".
The rapid deterioration of intellect Sai Baba expected from computer use is rather achieved far more effectively by his own indoctrination of his followers... to consider the mind as a trickster, the intellect as unreliable and instead to rely on prayer, meditation and make great efforts to 'kill the mind altogether'.
He opined that "Some student committed suicide" due to distress caused by computer error... this is simplistic thinking taken to an extreme. The National Exams at that time did not need to be put on computers to make them a disaster... the fraud practiced was on such a scale that universities around the advanced countries of the world are all highly skeptical of students producing their results as part of admittance attempts.
Sai Baba takes over two hundred words to explain the what is really a simple concept as is characterised by the misleading idea that a computer cannot deliver anything but what is put into it. Computers can calculate faster and more reliably than any human brain can... put in dozens of variables and complex software and results which surpass hundreds of people working hundreds of hours can figure out... and without human error.
His view that "crores of rupees are being wasted on computers" clashes with the completely undeniable subsequent enormous profits India has made precisely from the use of computers!
His simplistic comparison between computers and flour grinders implies that he considers all machines as being at the same level. No doubt he prefers that the coolies who work for him building his ashrams for a pittance should - for example - continue to sift sand by letting handfuls fall and be spread by the wind so as to separate the grains and provide a small heap of finer sand for quality mortar.
Sathya Sai Baba is further patently unaware of the very increased predictive accuracy possible with computers, such as the average chances of the time of death of an individual. He even tends to suggests that the time of death can be decided by putting faith in the "natural human brain"... and he has already made predictions as to his own death, ranging from age 93 to age 96 and even possibly at some other time!
"The scientist puts into the computer what he knows" And that is one vast amount more than Sathya Sai baba shows he knows.
By 1988, it was a completely different story. Sathya Sai Baba now appears as a fan of computers, inaugurating the Prashanthi computer centre and viewing each computer with keen interest. Clearly this self-proclaimed all-knowing deity did not know about computers and had to be shown it all. His former skepticism was forgotten.
In the same report, not that the totally false claim is made that "The Institute was unique among universities in offering completely free education al all levels". My education was completely free in the 1960s in Norway, and the same is the case today - also throughout Northern Europe. Only in recent years have British universities charged for university courses (not least due to their popularity among foreign students from the entire planet, which put too big a strain on the heavily subsidised system where formerly stipends were provided to all who qualified.
In 2001, Sai Baba angrily denounced the allegations made internationally by more than a dozen independent sources about his sexual practices - and he proclaimed, ‘I am not on the Internet’ (despite his claimed Omnipresence). Nonetheless, his ashram, the Sathya Sai Central Trust and many national branches of the Sathya Sai Organization advertise on the Internet. We find the Sathya Sai Organization very active with his connivance at http://www.sathyasai.org/ and in other media such as the radio, e.g. a 24-hour Digital Radio Broadcasting Station on Bhagawan's 76th Birthday -- 23 Nov. 2001 in Asia, a service available through Worldspace ASIA's STAR WEST, the Sathya Sai Organization official web site informs us. Many National and other Sathya Sai Organization centres have their own web pages.
The obvious reason for this is that the revelations of sexual abuse testimonies and murder cover-up in Sathya Sai Baba's private apartments is easily found on many Internet sites.Return to index menu