The Sathya Sai 'Deemed' University
aka Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
In 2011 after the death of Sai Baba - a brilliant exposure of life at the Sathya Sai University was posted by a former student, Kartik Vadaddi. Through his most convincing report on his experiences there, he vindicates all I have written about the failings of the Sathya Sai educational prgrammes, educational methods and ideals. See: Life at Sathya Sai University
Some excerpts from his article are as follows:-
"I doubt many people will want to study at his university. In fact, I don’t think it made sense to study there even when he was alive."
"The problem with the university, which is residential-only, is that it’s a bad place to learn stuff, and more generally a bad place to live or grow. The first thing anyone needs to learn is opportunity, which is highly restricted here. I studied computer science, and we were allowed practically no access to the Internet, and having a laptop of your own was frowned upon. Why?"
"…you are given no room to figure out what principles and practices you want to live your life by… it's intellectually and emotionally crippling…. the place is an intellectual prison". "Students are allowed to leave campus only once in six months, and sometimes not for a year. This place is not just a metaphorical prison, but also a literal one."
"Watching movies, or listening to music, is considered immoral. This is like the Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. They have approved kinds of music, approved plays (spiritual, most of the time)" It is o.k only "if you have no tastes or preferences of your own"
"And you can't question anything. The place expects mindless compliance rather than a healthy give-and-take. You are not allowed to question "elders"… Baba's philosophy is like something out of Monty Python. Everyone knows that when a group, in any society, gets unconditional respect, they tend to become undeserving of that respect".
The university's staff have "knee-jerk reactions to suppress anything and everything that might look bad, no matter the human cost to the victims." "it’s ironic that the authorities are more immature than the students they are nominally looking over"
The Sathya Sai educational institution are unaccountable to any questioning by whatever person or body, and there have been many sworn testimonies and other accusations of sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba, but also by his favourites against other students, and by wardens and teachers at various schools and colleges.
The well-known Indian skeptic, Basava Premanand, received a very alarming letter in December 1998, written by one of the students at a Sai Baba school in Puttaparthi. Concerning that, Alexandra Nagel wrote already in 2001, as follows: "The student explained in detail how some teachers make sure that the good-looking, young boys (age seven and up), are in front when coming for darshan. If a boy pleases Sai Baba, ‘Babaji’ offers him an invitation." Excerpt from the letter follows:-
"This is the story of life in [the] Sri Sathya Sai Hostel for Boys. (…) The Principal of the Primary school Mrs. Munni Kaul knows it only too well that her survival there purely depends on sending in the front good-looking, usually fair and sometimes girlish boys, because as is well known Baba Ji has a weakness for such boys. These are the innocent boys you see, who are forced to come in the front, on some pretext or the other, holding cards, trays etc. This in itself is nothing serious, but what follow[s] later is.
These young, good-looking boys who are generally not even in their teens are for some time closely watched by Babaji. Later some day these small boys are called for personal interview. What happens to these tiny tots in the interview room is known to many but all keep mum because their very survival depends on it. These small boys are taken one by one in the inner interview room behind the curtain by Babaji. For some time he fondles them and then suddenly he opens their zippers and pulls down their pants and underpants. Now Babaji massages and fondles the sex organs of the small boys, who know nothing and take it as some form of spirituality. Babaji generally hugs and kisses the boys while they are stark naked, then sends them back. This is in itself a traumatic and sickening experience for a boy of about 5th of 6th standard. Then there are certain advantages too, these boys are labelled as FORM BOYS and are kept in the forefront by the Headmistress, who actually is well aware of the fate of these young ones. These boys generally get chains, rings and watches from Babaji as special blessings or in a worldly sense, the ‘payment’ for ‘selling’ their bodies without their knowledge."
Nagel continued: "The apparent abuse does not stop at the primary school. The author of the letter stated that it continues with college boys. He even mentioned a teacher who, abused himself by Baba, had become sexually interested in boys as well and got away with his activities. Premanand – following up on this letter, out of the several on the subject he had received – sent a registered letter on December 9th, 1998, to the Vice Chancellor of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning asking for permission to investigate the truth concerning the content of the letter. No answer followed, and Premanand decided to publish the letter in the Indian Skeptic of August 1999. Having read it in July 2000, ex-devotee David Bailey knew it to be true. He remembered the teacher referred to, and had always wondered what could take place with those little ones who entered Sai Baba’s quarters and looked sad and timid when they emerged."
In a discourse in 2004, Sai Baba made a number of wildly excessive and highly diversionary false claims and vainglorious boasts about the students of his colleges and institute, as in the following excerpts:-
He denounced highly educated people across the board:
“There are many in this world who are highly educated, but are they rendering any service to the nation? No.”
He bragged that his students surpass others: “In other academic centres students are interested in pursuing higher studies for their own selfish ends, but our students are not interested in accumulating degrees, but in disseminating their knowledge for the benefit of others.“ "To know and recognise a truly educated individual, you have to look closely at our students. They are not satisfied with mere acquisition of degrees. They utilise their knowledge for the benefit of society." "Our students are incomparable. They are taking up the roles of teachers all over the world and are helping society by moulding ideal students and men of character."
"In our Institutes, students are provided education totally free of charge. In addition to this, scholarships are provided to deserving students. If you ask what is Swami's property, I say, "Students are My property." Without the students, I will not be able to do anything." The self-professed 'ominscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God head was powerless without a bunch of students? How come?
"Our students are like diamonds. They are obedient to elders, courteous towards relatives. Seeing their good conduct and listening to their sweet words, the guests who visit their houses are highly impressed. They are creative in their thinking and shine as role models. We do not wish to praise the qualities of our own students." No, but we do praise them to the heavens nevertheless. They are forced into obedience by one of the strictest near concentration-camp like institution and dare not speak their minds (unless the actually believe all the hypocrisy forced upon them. They are certainly not recognised as creative by society at large, nor can one see them anywhere held up as role models, except by Sai believers..
"Men of eminence like the President of India, the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers are all praise for our students. They extol our students whenever they visit this place." Yet no Sai university student is known to have been given any high position in the Government or associated institutions by these compromised political worshippers of Sai Baba, who were far less eminent examples than they are self-interested power-brokers and corrupt nest-featherers.
and finally: “In future, many great events are going to take place. The country need not fear. Bharat will certainly become a land of plenty and prosperity. Our students will contribute a lot to the development of the nation. They are the future leaders. It is a matter of great joy for Me to see the students as future leaders.“
However, so far not one former student can be located who is a leader of any account in India! As for "a land of plenty and prosperity?" Alas, India is a land of penury and calamity, constant corruption and bribery, for the vast majority.
Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 21st August 2004 at Sai Kulwanth Hall
NOTE! A fuller overview of the Satya Sai University - up-dated to 2015 - is to be found here