“Be happy. Your happiness is my happiness” - Sai Baba
[from Sathya Sai Speaks Volume 27, p. 10.]
Sathya Sai Baba has constantly repeated the simplistic and usual irrelevant or inappropriate advice "Be Happy" to all and sundry. He might just as well say, "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps". Yet who would not wish always to be happy? Most people, especially those who are unhappy. Yet it is not so easy, not just a matter of will.. except maybe in some peripheral cases where one is unhappy only because one thinks oneself to be unhappy. Such brainless advice is exceeded by Sai Baba with his supposedly "deep insights" like the following:-
"The Divine magnet is in every human being… ...Now the magnetism brings about happiness! Being born is a worry. To be on the earth is a worry. Worldly life is a worry and death is a worry. All of youth is a worry. Old age is a worry. To live is a worry. Injury is a worry. All actions are worry. Troubles are a worry and happiness is a worry. Wondrous worry!" (from Sathya Sai Baba's discourse on Mahashivarathri, 13-3-2002). So how does happiness ever enter the picture, one may ask... though we know it does indeed? He says our happiness is his happiness... but - being as vague as ever - in what sense is this intended though? Is he dependent on us for his happiness, or is he only as happy as all his "worried" devotees are? Sathya Sai Baba, however, no longer lives up to his own advice or claims, judging by the absence of happy-looking photos and videos of him on the Internet these days:-
In a discourse in October 2008, according to one published transcript, Sathya Sai Baba said:-
“The students… …wonder how Swami is able to put up such a smiling countenance in the midst of great criticism and how Swami could put up such great patience!” One the official on-line discourse web site, however, the translation is somewhat different:- "I do not at all get angry against anybody, even though some talk ill of Me. I will always be smiling. Even the apparent anger that I display sometimes is just to correct an individual. The students vouchsafe for this attitude of Mine. They wonder how Swami is able to put up such a smiling countenance in the midst of great criticism and how could Swami muster such great patience!"
Does Sai Baba still appear as a person with a 'smiling countenance' or one of 'great patience' in the above photos? Further, for several years now there has been almost no evidence of a smile in most cases before cameras, not even a "say cheese" snap. Apparently his state of mind is such that he cannot even keep up the required outward Pollyanna smile. As to his claim of never getting angry, that is simple deception - though effective towards blind or gullible devotees. Despite that many talk about whether he is angry with them or not, and fear his anger even when they believe it is feigned simply so as to impress them! Sai Baba could not restrain his anger, no doubt, and let it out in full in his infamous and unforgiving accusatory Christmas Discourse, 2000, against those who allege sex abuse by him. His anger, however, evidently did not "correct" as single one of the many... no allegations were ever dropped! His reaction was against all the talk about his sex escapades which was then flourishing - even among his VIPs on the veranda and was clearly intended to scare devotees into not talking, for he threatened banishment if they did so. Open or semi-veiled threats he makes work well on those thousands who have based their lives and fortunes on his blessings and the prestige - at least among many Indian circles - of living physically near to him at the ashram!
On Christmas Day of 1976, Sai Baba said at Brindavan: "The scriptures say, 'Happiness cannot be won through happiness. (Na sulchaad labhyathe Sukham)! Happiness can only be won through misery. Pleasure is but an interval between two pains. To achieve the Sathwic happiness that is positive and permanent, man must perforce take on trials and tribulations, loss and pain." (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. XI, p. 87f.) This is typical confusing double-talk which gives the appearance of "deep wisdom" only to fully signed-up believers in his self-announced omniscience. The message in its simplest terms is that real happiness can only be had through pain. Sai Baba regards real happiness as "permanent", which is unattainable without "taking on tribulations, loss and pain". Such happiness is not of this world, of course... so how real is it then? It is imaginary, not provable by any means, untested and vaguer as a mare's nest. The testimonies to real happiness from countless people who have attained it in this world, often without taking on loss or pain, is legion. Not only that, but the sufferings Sai Baba sees a requisite to happiness are not described as such - one must guess what is involved, then presumably "take it on", for unwanted pain and tribulation is not taken on by anyone but is simply unavoidable when it occurs. In this light, Sathya Sai Baba's prescription for happiness shows how confused he is.
Sai Baba on the futility of a work, marriage, children and all other worldly strivings.
In identifying marriage only with the first flush of love (in which sexuality is but one central feature) he equated human love in marriage to that of dogs and foxes. Little did he know about married life, which can and does grow more and more happy and unselfish as life proceeds! Admittedly, not all achieve this or even believe it possible, but world literature can assure that it is so, and I concur! What did Sai Baba know even of conjugal bliss (between heterosexual man and wife)? Much of his stunted understanding of people was due to his rigid belief since childhood in the validity of the supposedly "holy" scriptures of India - with all their fantastic and non-credible stories and spiritual "self-sacrifices" of the kind which fakirs and yogis have undertaken in the vain hope of attaining happiness... total seclusion for decades, standing on one leg even until it rots away, creeping, crawling, rolling bodily across half of India, starving oneself to a skeleton and self-tortures of many other kinds too bizarre for words.
He tried in many way to convince those who would follow and worship him that they would no longer really be touched by bad, ill or evil events. This also directly contradicted his 'teaching' that one must suffer etc. in order to reach 'real' happiness. I have met many who cling to this false hope, that nothing ill will befall them as long as they carry our regular worship of Sathya Sai Baba and never raise any doubts or criticism, whatever happens. They are supposedly under special care and protection "Why fear when I am here?" is one of his most blazoned false assurances. Since believers think Sai Baba is God and thus the creator of maya, they feel secure with his boast that no devotee of his will ever come to real harm. There are, however, countless documented examples of the failure of Sai Baba to protect or help those who fall into major problems from illness to destitution to despair and death... matters which those in the Sai movement cover over, explain away, leave strictly unpublicized and hope to forget. At the same time, he preaches that everything that happens has to be regarded as 'maya' (i.e. the illusion of the 'unreal' profane world), so they should learn to see all events - good or bad, as being but an illusion, a passing figment and neither good nor bad in 'reality'. This is loss of reality sense resulting from his very prolonged isolation from ordinary life, worshipped as God in a totally privileged social position always surrounded by his court of yea-sayers without a single voice of dissent, without a court jester to keep him straight.
The quotations scanned here represent adequately enough Sai Baba's whole pessimistic view of human life as being predominantly plunged deep in delusion (maya). It appeals to a certain section of the population which is dissatisfied with life due to personal problems of various kinds (especially the many underprivileged, unfulfilled and suffering millions of 'spiritual India'), but it is hardly a true picture of the lives of people guided by higher ideals about humanity who live in an enlightened world of human values, good education, good social and health welfare. Sathya Sai Baba has never been married, and one can see that what he knows about it is mainly a narrative inherited from others, not least from the otherworldly religious traditions which permeate India and are promoted by countless thousands of Hindus, be they mendicants, guru swamis, yogis, enunciates or those under the sway of their 'teachings'.
Sathya Sai Baba's puritanism is complicated by many signs of his dislike and even hatred of women (misogyny) and of marriage, which has been mentioned through the years in various ways by many devotees (not only by ex-devotees!). It is visible in his frequent avoidance of women on most occasions at and the minimal time he spends on their side and the infrequency of his talking to them during his daily darshans. This he cleverly explains away merely by saying that he gives women equal attention in reality. He suggests that they receive extra attention on an astral or subtle level. The literature does NOT bear this out, as accounts of such contacts (dreams, visions, leelas etc.) by males is overwhelmingly much greater than by women.
Sai Baba's misogyny comes clearly to expression in interviews where he not only makes fun about marriage and of married couples, but makes fun of marriage and family in a number of deprecating (and frankly ignorant and immature) ways, such as in the scanned quotation on the right here.
Some of his well-known derogatory comments to married people are:
"Marriage is 23 hours of problems, 1 hour happiness" (or sometimes he says only 5 minutes happiness);
"Marriage is a sickness"
"The real marriage is with God"
"One man is alone walks on two feet, when married he walks on four, then children come and after a while he needs to crawl";
"First man has two legs, he gets married and becomes an animal with 4 legs. They get one child, a six-legged scorpion, then another, an 8-legged cockroach. One connection leads to another and you lose your freedom" (Note: I noted this down directly when Sai Baba said it in my presence in an interview on 7th September, 1988 - the first interview given to anyone after he had fractured his hip after slipping on the soap in his bathroom, which he openly told us too. I have also heard others report him using the same analogy about married life in interviews. Sai Baba has even reportedly told those on whom he practices sexual molestation that they are married to him etc., such as Conny Larsson and numerous others, which I have personally heard from several male devotees!).
Further than this, however, there are many reports in books by devotees - and on the internet and ex-devotees - on how Sai Baba tries to break up male-female relationships, especially between young men and women. He also very regularly tries to sow strife between man and wife - in almost every interview he brings up negative things he supposes occur between a man and his wife. There are literally dozens of instances of which one can read in books about him. I have heard him do this and he even tried it on me by saying, "Your wife is angry with you", which we now agree was a wholly unfounded claim. (I replied "Not so bad, swami", to which he countered 'Not so good'. This again shows how he hates to lose in any encounter and can't tolerate any discussion or give and proper explanation).
The above quotation descries the value of all worldly achievements, at least as regards their use in obtaining happiness. The world will never accept this as its history shows how much good and happiness has been achieved through science, education, medicine, dedicated work by billions of people, personal relationships and even wealth! Compared to India's historical horrors and the primitive level of understanding, despotism and ruthless war in India's ancient society, it is a truly vast improvement! What use are Sathya Sai Baba's words - his pompous pronouncements and patronising advice about egoism which makes no clear sense and relies on the unfounded hopes and delusions about some unexplained perfect existence in the undiscoverable beyond! Meanwhile he perhaps is the most narcissistic egoist in a luxury showpiece in India today, worshipped in his golden chariots, opulent private palaces and never having had to lift a finger for himself since boyhood).
Sathya Sai Baba has brought all the criticism he has received upon himself through the hundreds of abused persons - sexually or otherwise through massive abuse of trust - and this feedback has definitely and visibly affected him, as some of his comments now and again (mostly to trusted servitors, reveal. That he claims to be unmoved by anything is because that would explode the fond delusion of his claim to be God Incarnate. Now he and his beguiled flock have simply to watch as his own words are fed back at him and his broken promises and conflicting actions recounted by many of his former devotees and organization members and leaders. He cannot respond without getting further into his self-created mire... so he has to appear to be patient! He who rides a tiger cannot just descend... Despite his constant self-promotions as the ultimate God and the propaganda about his "love is all you need" palliative, he is widely and most credibly accused of physical love for too many boys and young men. Also of involvement in a very sinister murder and execution episode in his own bedroom in 1993, about which he has never been questioned and the whole investigation was quashed at the highest level of the Indian Government.