According to one of the official Sathya Sai Baba web sites, a cobra appeared under the cradle of the newborn baby but the child was untouched, as follows:-
“Soon after Satya’s birth the baby was placed on the floor on top of some bedclothes. The cloth around the baby began to move in a peculiar way. The women attending his mother immediately looked under the cloth -- there was a live cobra! But the snake did not harm the child. Sai Baba of Shirdi (the previous incarnation of Satya Sai Baba) often appeared to his followers in the form of a cobra. The cobra also is one of the many symbols of Shiva.” Source- http://bhagavat-katha.exactpages.com/saibaba.html
In Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram Vol.I by N. Kasturi we read: "Indeed the village which bears the name, 'Anthill Prosperity' gave the child an appropriate welcome! A snake was there in the lying-in room! The women did not notice it for long; but, when the baby, laid on a bed of clothes, was being moved up and down in a peculiar way by something underneath, they watched with bated breath and when at last they searched, they found a cobra below the bed! The snake was acting the role of Sesha to the Seshasayi!"
This account was refuted by a report from Arnold Schulman, the Hollywood screenwriter who wrote in his 1971 book 'Baba' (Viking Press, New York,).Schulman visited Sathya Sai Baba to investigate if he could be what he claimed - and ultimately remained unconvinced - and he wrote this in his book in 1971 entitled 'Baba' (Viking Press, N.Y.) As Schulman noted:
"One of Baba's two sisters, however, who claims to have been present at his birth, says that the cobra was not found under the blanket, butseveral hours after Baba was born a cobra was seen outside the house, a sight not uncommon in the village."
This contradicts several "official" accounts of the cobra event in three very popular books on Sai Baba's birth and early years: 1) 'Baba Satya Sai' by Ra. Ganapati. 2) 'Easwaramma - The Chosen Mother' by N. Kasturi, and 3) Volume I of 'Sathyam Sivam Sundaram', also by N. Kasturi.
Schulman also wrote this revealing paragraph:
"For every story of Baba's childhood there are any number of conflicting versions and, at this point, the writer discovered, it is no longer possible to sift out the facts from the legend.
For one thing Baba has forbidden his family and devotees to talk about his childhood and 'they all live in terror of Baba,' as one of his most devoted followers told the writer. 'When they do something wrong,' the devotee said, 'he won't look at them or speak to them for days and it's agony for them ..."
In recent years I corresponded with an Indian ex-follower of Sathya Sai Baba who had gone to Puttaparti because he knew some Sai students from his country who had been sexually abused and he wanted to investigate the facts. He became completely convinced that it was true, which is also why he contacted me, though he did not wish to have his name publicised due to his position in that society. Many ex-followers do not wish their name to be connected (through the web, for example) with Sathya Sai Baba, whose name came to be a stigma in their eyes and a possible millstone around the neck in wider society. Thus a bogus name is inserted in the scan that follows, which is just one of his discoveries that deserves to go on record.
The following interesting comment from Cate Murray was received:-
"My mother, who died a Sai devotee, tried to publish a children’s book titled, “The Lonely Little Cobra” about a pariah cobra who finds love, companionship, and fulfillment with the baby Sai. Thank God she was unable to publish another book of Sai propaganda!"
A very frank comment, generous to readers. This reminds me to point out the believe-anything mentality of most devotees I have known through the decades. The hagiography around Sai Baba is full of imagination and fantastic interpretations of the most commonplace events and statements etc.
TRUSTING, FAITH-FILLED, NOT DOUBTING, GULLIBLE VIP DEVOTEES:
Professor Kasturi, who I met on several occasions and interviewed, was evidently a very naive person without any known research qualifications, though he once held a teaching post as professor of history (without having a Ph.D). In his 'official biography' he hardly mentioned the elder brother, Mr. Sesham Raju, who died in 1986 and who was the only properly educated member of Sai Baba's family and was well-placed to have known most of what happened. Kasturi only refers to him in passing in connection with Sai Baba's schooling and the (among devotees) 'famous' letter 'correcting' his elder brother in which he boasted about himself. Most likely Sathya would have warned Kasturi not to listen to his elder brother, whose evidence would probably have destroyed the entire childhood mythology.
It is clear from all Kasturi wrote that he had no idea about research, historical or otherwise. He never even achieved an Indian Ph.D., nor did he publish a single research paper, though he was employed for years in a teaching post as 'professor' of history. He was instead a born believer in Indian mythology, having been a lifelong follower of the supposed 'avatar', Ramakrishna Paramahamsa before he found Sai Baba. The method of his information' about the birth and childhood of Sai Baba shows an agenda to promote his every claim, never to question anything in the least. His flowery adulation in every other paragraph of the 'official biography' 'Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram' (Volume 1 being the source of the cobra story) shows his total belief dependency, as do the various incidents in which Sai Baba punished him relentlessly for mistakes of the most minor nature (as detailed in his autobiography 'Loving God'). As my colleague Professor Erlendur Haraldsson expressed to me when first I met him in Bangalore in 1989 and referred to Kasturi's writing in a positive way - one cannot rely on Kasturi for accuracy in anything. Haraldsson had then already properly researched the famous (or infamous) claim by Sai Baba of having resurrected Walter Cowan from the dead and had definitively shown from the doctors involved that no such thing had ever occurred and no death certificate had ever been issued. The 'reporting' by Kasturi on countless incidents are put in doubt by other sources, for example the incident when young Sai visited shepherds (who he called 'dacoits') and his gaping mind-boggled account of the alleged self-healing of Sai Baba in the 'Shiva-Shakthi' incident, to mention just two of many similar cases. One has to admire, if nothing else, the chutzpah in Sai Baba's words to Kasturi when he wanted to publish the first volume of 'Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram' to the effect that the time was not ripe and that people would think that he and Kasturi had cooked it all up together. That is the most likely explanation indeed, as the world will also judge... if it should ever become more widely known!
See Kasturi as chief subservient grinder of the Sai Baba rumour mill
It is well-know how the impressionable and gullible D r. John Hislop took everything Sathya Sai Baba told him at face value and published it all in his very popular book of conversations with Sai Baba. Most current Sathya Sai Organisation Central Coordinators are no different. Here are some examples concerning just one such, Thorbjørn Meyer of Copenhagen, Denmark - European Central Coordinator.
According to what a close and wholly reliable friend told me several years ago, Meyer, circulated an account of a Sathya Sai Baba miracle which is denied by his close colleague Prof. Peter Pruzan. Meyer apparently managed to convince Pruzan to go with him to India and Prashanthi Nilayam, where together they reportedly witnessed an amazing healing of a person from some Middle Eastern country during an interview they had with Sathya Sai Baba. The Arab man was reportedly said by Meyer to be suffering from a large, prominent scar on his face. Sathya Sai Baba is supposed to have asked him if he wanted it removed (which language was used was not stated). The man replied affirmatively and so Sathya Sai Baba took hold of his cheeks and stretched his face horizontally to double its width. Then he took hold of his jaw and forehead and stretched his face, doubling its width vertically. After that the scar had disappeared. This Pruzan denied to my friend ever happened in his presence. This is a serious discrepancy between Meyer and Pruzan, because Meyer made much of his having got his senior, Prof. Pruzan, to visit Sathya Sai Baba after his return and told the above 'story' to various people.
One almost has to ask, however, since both Pruzan and Meyer have made completely clear in public that they both do believe in Sathya Sai Baba miracles, how two accounts can differ so radically. Though I have long known Meyer is an impressionable person and a blind believer in Sathya Sai Baba, such an account, if not a sheer invention (which I happen to doubt it was), will be based on his subjective perceptions. It so happens that there are many and differing - often well-informed - accounts indicating that Sathya Sai Baba is able to 'imprint' on people's perception. This could account for the many differences in perceptions reported by Sai devotees about the same observed action or words of Sathya Sai Baba. This may be a kind of hypnosis, one that was attributed very reliably to the once-famous Polish psychic, Wolf Messing. By impressing on the minds of those he would deceive that they saw something quite other than they did did not, according to Messing's own account, require any special suggestibility or vulnerability to hypnosis on the part of the 'victim'. He first discovered how to 'imprint' when caught on a train without a ticket in his youth, and thereafter developed this faculty to extraordinary lengths. Many claims about Messing in a Russian biograhy, however, have been soundly refuted due to his presence at quite other places than reported and the fact that he never met Freud or certain others who it was said he could delude. However, Sai devotees become extremely receptive to suggestion by Sathya Sai Baba, and regularly do more than half the work themselves through auto-suggestion, very wishful interpretations, wild inaccuracies, and typical exaggerations (with which the 'Sai literature' is crammed). A full academic study of Wolf Messing, including the alleged connection between him and Sathya Sai Baba, by Alexandra Nagel can be read here: https://www.academia.edu/12957183/Wolf_Messing._First_steps_towards_a_full_assessment_of_the_narrative_of_a_psychic_entertainer
Nonetheless, T. Meyer is known to me as an impressionable and unquestioning man, not least since I and a hundred other people witnessed him telling a Sai conference in Ghent, Belgium, (in 1987) that Sathya Sai Baba had told him he would protect his sight so he would not need glasses. Shortly thereafter, Meyer took out reading glasses and put them on the read from a paper he held! Interestingly, no one commented, no one asked any question or ever mentioned this incident. This succinctly illustrates how amazingly unwilling devotees are to raise doubts about anything at all. A form of 'instant rationalisation'.
Meyer also told me how became convinced that he believed that Sathya Sai Baba had appeared in the guise of an ordinary Indian to help him after he had a bicycle accident in Copenhagen sometime before 1985. Because he could not find the person in question later, when he had recovered, he attributed this to Sathya Sai Baba... another bi-location miracle! But there were hundreds, if not thousands, of Indians in Copenhagen! He has also written about these vague suppositions of his in the hagiographic Sai literature somewhere. In the over-heated atmosphere among blind believers in all kinds of unlikely events, such things are all too easy to imagine or accept... (I know because I was strongly inclined this way myself for more years than I care to number).
Further, Meyer told the ca. 100 delegates at the Ghent conference that Sathya Sai Baba had at the Brindavan ashram had recently called him over with the words, "You... white American, come here." Meyer reported that he had replied that he was not American but Danish. Sathya Sai Baba's reply was, "I know. I know.", one of his constant phrases. Meyer's comment on this was that it just showed 'how Swami plays with us'. But it was just a classic example of how all Sai leaders and most devotees turn everything difficult to accept on its head. His mere words alone serve as the Ultimate Proof for the mentally pre-programmed devotee! It's an easy matter for him to fool most of his followers about anything. All those present at Ghent believed (as required of members of the Organisation) that Sathya Sai Baba really is Divinity Itself etc. For any non-deluded person, the story would surely prove that Sathya Sai Baba made a simple mistake and covered it up afterwards by asserting his 'Divine know-all' attitude. Sathya Sai Baba brushes aside anything he wishes... having preached a whole theology to back up belief in his 'divine mischief ' and 'Swami's omniscience', propagated by him in many published discourses and via many utterances at interviews etc.
Apropos, Thorbjørn Meyer; he is infamous for having falsely supported and furthered false accusations of one of Sathya Sai Baba alleging sex victims of being a pedophile. This accusation has been investigated thoroughly by the Danish journalist and TV director Øjvind Kyrø, who found the information given by Meyer and his press officer' Kirsten P. Mikkelsen to be wholly baseless. See translated documentation.
Meyer wrote to me the following in February 2002: "Larsson also tells abuse stories and refers to young men (for instance a young male in Poland) who according to Larsson certainly were molested. But when approached they deny that any sexual abuse has taken place, at the most the age old Indian oil ceremony." This shows definitively that he accepts the kind of unasked-for molestation this 'oiling' by Sathya Sai Baba involves, yet he should know that it is illegal for anyone to touch another person's genitals unless a qualified doctor who has obtained the consent of patient. There is no documentation in the entire literature to show that this is an "age-old Indian ceremony", and even if there were, it would be absurdly despicable. However, there is massive evidence, of course, to show that Sathya Sai Baba does not stop at oiling.
That Meyer and his cronies like Steen Piculell and others descend to such despicable tricks as trying to ruin the reputation of a victim to divert attention from the massive evidence against their Lord and Master by false counter-accusation just shows how low some Sai Organisation office-bearers will stoop! Meyer is one of those who preaches 'human values' and parrots Sathya Sai Baba's injunction about always speaking agreeably and softly so as never to hurt others'! Fortunately, though, some of us are liberated enough from Sathya Sai Baba taboos to put genuine investigation of facts, telling the truth and defending justice before covering up massive injustices and prolonging a fraudulent avatar's depredations. For the record, T. Meyer apparently also sports a 'diamond' ring given him by Sathya Sai Baba, which he dare not get assayed by the Queen of Denmark's jeweller, Mr. Hertz, as I did with mine. It is almost certainly enclosed at the back, like all the rings Sathya Sai Baba gives and says are 'diamonds'. Like the one Sathya Sai Baba gave me and David Bailey, it doubtless contains tinfoil to enhance the cheap synthetic gemstone's reflection of light.
The primary responsibility for all the untruth purveyed
by Sai officials and devotees lies fairly and squarely on Sathya Sai
Baba, self-proclaimed omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Holy Spirit
God the Father who sent Christ and supposed 'full avatar' come to save
the world and carry off his devotees to eternal bliss and what not else.
Those who believe his totally uncontrollable claims and do their utmost
to infect others with them bear their full responsibility too, of course,
most especially for not seriously investigating - and mostly rejecting
out of hand - the very many and grave allegations against Sathya Sai Baba for sexual
abuse . That so many apparently believe what Sathya Sai Baba says about himself
reminds of a famous quotation from a famous book:
"...the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big!" (quoted from Mein Kampf)
Thorbjørn Meyer was interviewed on national Danish TV about the allegations in the film' Seduced'.