The text on the left shows excerpts from Haraldsson's reprint of
'Miracles are My Visiting Cards' as 'Modern Miracles' pages 25-27.
Erlendur Haraldsson records that, he and and Karl Osis left their cards with the head of the ashram upon their arrival, with the Head of the ashram, Kutumb Rao, and asked for an interview explaining to him they were scientists wanting to investigate the phenomena. SB knew they were parapsychological 'scientists' since his ashram offices held visitors' where one registers with passports in a detailed registers. SB always received reports from the ashram officials early every morning on who was present in the ashram and details of interesting visitors, their background and behaviour. Next day they received an interview, where SB waved his hand like a magician and produced a standard enamel 'Baba ring' for Osis and a double-rudraksha for Haraldsson. There is all reason to question whether this was a clever 'set up'. Indeed, both EH and KO were suspicious of that, though they were deeply impressed nonetheless and could not discover any deception nor couldd they explain the apparent materialisation (and alleged dematerialisation of the stone in Osis' ring too).
Knowing what has emerged concerning the wide range of Sai Baba's devious methods, and the debate that had raged in periods in India about his alleged 'materialisations', it is certain that he understood the importance to his credibility of a visit by the first Western para-psychological scientist and took measures to mislead and deceive them. Sathya Sai Baba certainly would have wanted to get - if possible - the endorsement of Western scientists, so he had time to conceive a plan to deal with them. However, the description of the incident scanned here on the left shows that, if so, it was extremely cleverly handled by Sai Baba. The circumstances in that room and the style of the interview was described well and remained always very much the same for the next two decades, at least.
It was Sathya Sai Baba who introduced an irrelevant subject in which he referred to a 'double rudraksha', which few Westerners had ever heard about and about which Haraldsson naturally asked him. An unsatisfactory explanation was provided, which only piqued Haraldsson's investigative curiosity the more. This bears the character of Sai Baba's well-known manipulations of his questioners and it is far from impossible that he had set up the conversation together with Mr. Khera (close devotees are known to collude with Sai Baba as he wields so much power over them through indoctrination and psychic means). SB would easily have known Haraldsson was unaccustomed to being in India (the signs are obvious to every street beggar) so mentioning the double rudraksha and not giving a clear answer would intrigue any serious investigator. A likely explanation of the event is that he already had two double rudrakshas under his cushion, considering how he has been exposed as having taken objects from it by number of interviewees, even several devoted believers including Bon Giovanni (see below) and UK Sai Organisation former top leader, Central Coordinator Aime Levy (who my wife and I knew well in London). The first 'materialisation' was an unadorned 'double' or twin-conjoined rudraksha nut, the second one (produced after apparently blowing on the first one) being the bejewelled variant. By prestidigitation Sai Baba could easily have produced first the one, then drop it and produce the other after blowing on his closed fist. Sai Baba was a master of misdirecting attention, even by a piercing glance at someone irrelevant (all eyes would follow his every facial expression, such was his command of his audience).
The double rudrahaka seed - or nut or 'bead' - one of which Sathya Sai Baba allegedly 'made' for EH is not an uncommon occurrence at all, though Haraldsson concluded after strenuous efforts to find out about this phenomenon at botanical museums and elsewhere that it was probably a most rare natural anomaly. (Had he known more religious Indians, they could have told him where to find other examples and in the ashram there may well have been persons who wore them.) I found out that double-rudrakshas are not so rare for there are a fair supply, a number being on sale on the Internet - and not at exorbitant prices (see the images here). The double rudraksha has long been a common object of devotion in India. I was first told of the fairly common natural occurrence of double and even treble rudraksha beads by an Indian academic in Europe with whom I am in regular contact. It is rather obvious that biological anomalies or mutations occur with some regularity, seldom just once, though they may be difficult to find as relatively rarely occurring. I have studied Haraldsson's trinket carefully - he told me usually takes it wherever he goes to show to interested persons.
Rudrakshas of all shapes and sizes have long been venerated by spiritual and religious sects in India, used as rosary beads and as ornaments (usually for worship). The specific symbolism the double rudraksha has for many Hindus is that they represent to form of Shiva and Parvati, the unified form of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Uma. It is supposed to make the husband and wife identify with one another, creating peace and comfort in the family. This 'Gauri Shankar' is supposedly endowed with properties helping one find the right mate, and even removing obstacles in childbirth.
The rudraksha seed (nut or bead) has a long history in Hindu religious sects, often being a sumbol of Shiva's 'third (all-seeing) eye'. See a paper listing rudraksha beads and what they are supposed to be good for here below.
The website once at http://www.geocities.com/the_sai_critic/ was closed after being on.line for 10 years and its records are almost totally eliminated from the wayback archive machine. I had scanned part of one page and wrote about Bon Giovanni's statements as follows:-
Mr. Bon Giovanni has published the most pretentious speculations purporting to explain why Sathya Sai Baba cheats people (which he has had admit does occur) by giving them what he calls 'diamonds'. All of these that have ever been assayed by professional jewellers have turned out to be cheap synthetic stones, tricked up with silver foil held in the casing around to make them shine more (a once-established practice in jewel setting Click here to see the case of my 'green diamond' from Sai Baba). Giovanni pretends to know that this is "a test of faith" designed to make the receiver carry out more self-investigation!
The following was posted by Sai devotee and defender Bon Giovanni on Sai Critic. On the left is an event he reports as really having occurred. Then the function he supposes this calculated deception has, followed by his own ‘wise comments’. On the left is an event he reports as really having occurred. Then the function he supposes this calculated deception has, followed by his own 'wise comments':-
|1. vibhuti pellet - mind of the witness||Exposes disbelief (seen reflects the seer)|
|2. vibhuti on Sai Baba picture overseas||Sathya Sai Baba Guru's shakti not limited to ashram|
|3. diamond ring given to devotee is shown to be fake||Witnesses have to assess what they have seen and take it into their self-enquiry|
|4. Sathya Sai Baba obviously palms a ring||Sathya SB is playing on devotee projections (Guru task is to expose doubt)|
|5. Sathya Sai Baba changes a 3 stone ring into one stone ring||Sathya SB creation is leela vinodi, the sport of the Lord|
|6. Sai Baba materialises article used by Krishna||Guru has mastery of time and space|
|7. Film evidence shows a necklace is handed to Sathya Sai Baba||Sathya SB provokes controversy about his nature and his actions|
Bon Giovanni has been challenged as an outright liar by one of the testifiers to Sai Baba sexual abuse, see http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/sathyasaibabadiscussionclub/conversations/topics/1845