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Sai Baba

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

When contemplating this religious worldview it has many attractive features and noted philanthropic works which include hospitals, schools and water projects. It also holds to the concept of loving others and this has been demonstrably expressed through the equality of women and the denouncement of the caste system. Additionally they have the belief that religion can only be valued if it is socially proactive rather than merely supporting philosophical propositions.

The position in which I challenge is when they transgress these social boundaries by establishing a religious belief system which is defined as the quintessential truth.

For instance when communicating the idea of God as being the same person with many different titles or names is a contradiction based on the study of comparative religions which show that God is not universal and in turn many of these religions have antithetical views as based on a God concept along with their associated doctrinal beliefs which at times are completely irreconcilable. This pluralistic and syncretistic ideal of having one God sounds nice but to try to distill or coalesce the essential part of all religions will only lead to having no God at all.

According to this movement if love is to be the basis for ones religious views then how about religions that support violence? Also if religion is supposed to be determined on commonalities then what happens to the movements which value exclusivity as a vital part of their religious view which would otherwise leave them unrecognizable?

If God is just a relative concept and is not a reality then all of this doesn’t really matter anyway and religion only becomes a matter of preference much like it is when choosing a brand of car or a sports team. Essentially most religions would not even consider this option and without distinctions religion would become extinct.

So essentially the idea that all paths lead to God is an over simplification of these religious systems and when you begin to study them you see that these paths don’t always converge but rather at times they are going in the opposite direction. Also to be sincere in your religion isn’t the measure of truth as you can be sincerely wrong in your religious views. Anyway I have written a post about this at

In getting back to my subject of Sathya Sai Baba he is really just capitalizing on many of the ideas as already expressed through Hinduistic thought by applying a more moderate view therefore reorganizing this religious system to better suit the needs of the people. However, to reformulate different doctrinal views from its mother religion shows that distinctions are important and necessary rather than emphasizing the commonalities that they share. It is interesting how that Sai Baba indicates that he has not established an exclusive religion and yet it was necessary for him to assign his movement with a religious status as The Satya Sai Baba Society in 1976.

There are also specific teachings related to Sai Baba which is referred to as Sai truth which means if there is truth then there must also be non-truth as one pole can not exist apart from the other and therefore this shows the individualized nature which characterizes this religious culture.

Additionally, there is an emphasis on the Vedas by which they are given more of a precedence over the other supplemental religious texts which have been downplayed as being unnecessary for extensive study and perhaps that is because it would display the contradictory beliefs as associated with these other religious worldviews in contrast to the ideas of the Satya Sai Era.

Also if there is no distinction then why don’t they recognize all religious festivals as equally valid instead of just celebrating the predominantly Eastern holidays?

Another controversial aspect of Sai Baba’s religious views is that he is a self realized god(s). The irony is how can he be elevated by his devotees when according to their pantheistic views they are all gods anyway?

It’s one thing to have a “rock star” status but it’s quite another to be honored as a deity.

According to Sathya Sai Baba he is the reincarnation of the former guru Shirdi Sai Baba who supposedly was the incarnation of the god Shiva and yet Shirdi had been dead for about 8 years before Sathya was even born and so how does he account for this discrepancy in time. Also Sathya claims to have a dualistic god nature as both the embodiment of Shiva and Shakti and yet how was he able to take on another deification without the ontological problems of a split personality?

Also he claims that 8 years after his death that he is to be reborn as Prema Sai Baba in which he somehow loses Shiva in favor of Shakti by returning to a single identity apart from this previous schizophrenic state. Again what about the time lapse between his reincarnations? Is there some state of limbo by which he is to exist temporarily?

Also if he received enlightenment then why is it necessary for him to be reborn in this earth as the next Sai Baba since rebirth constitutes karma which signifies a lack of perfection?

When looking at  Sai Baba’s  biography I find it  questionable as it mimics somewhat the life of Jesus as far as a having some form of a miraculous conception along with the working of signs and wonders.

Yet the examples of some of these alleged miracles could be described as either occultic or trickery. Many of these manifestations only satisfy the allurement of curiosity and is not even beneficial except for the dramatization that occurs with such actions.

Also these kinds of demonstrations do not prove deity as these same types of things have occurred among other spiritual leaders.

Additionally, a supernatural phenomenon does nothing to prove the nature of the being which can either be good or evil. Miracles or signs and wonders are not purely the grounds alone to judge or determine deity but rather it only communicates the reality of what can be termed as paranormal or maybe metaphysical in origin or it could just be that the hand is quicker than the eye.

Also if he has a divine status with miraculous capabilities then what has kept him from being bound in a wheel chair and sustaining a broken hip unless of course he is just as mortal as anyone else?

When Sai Baba was confronted to be studied for his miraculous powers he declined and then stated that visual manifestation can be deceptive and yet by saying this he has become his own critic concerning his actions.

In addition to this I find it incredible the statements that he makes regarding himself as being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. That’s means that he knows everything and can ultimately control everything and if that is the matter then why doesn’t he completely eliminate all elements that cause human suffering which he has tried to do but with limited success.  As far as having all knowledge well that is just how cult leaders brainwash the minds of others by which they are not allowed to think or question the authority of their spiritual guide. Of course omnipresence can no be achieved either because he still retains a material body and even if he could achieve bilocation as being present in two places at the same time this is still not the same as being everywhere all at once which is what is meant by being omnipresent.

He also makes humble statements as not wanting disciples or followers but in turn has called people to worship him.

On one hand he states that he doesn’t want fame or publicity and yet he alludes to his glory.

Also why is it necessary if he doesn’t want any followers to have 1200 religious institutions or centers along with various temples? Also if he doesn’t desire to have an established creed or doctrine then why is it necessary for him to teach things that is distinctly refereed to as being Sai truth? What he says is a contradiction to what is going on and this should alert those who are the practitioners of this religious movement.

As far as the occurrence of his enlightenment this did not take place through years of devotion and good deeds but rather it happened at a young age under the bad karma of being stung by a scorpion which somehow awakened his spiritual aptitude. What significance does a scorpion have in achieving enlightenment? I think his father may have had it right when he thought his son was under the influence of demonic powers.

There are also doctrinal contradictions which arise when facing his appeal to remove the social hierarchal system within Indian culture. The paradox is that if he holds to the retributive nature of karma, then the caste system becomes a necessary means by which to punish people as social outcasts in being born into a lower echelon of human existence and therefore to refute this system is to challenge the karmic forces which he prescribes to. I also wrote more about this at

Another contradiction of impossibility is to uphold the no harm policy of himsa which even the Jains through their strenuous and stringent efforts are not able to perfectly keep because it is very difficult to refrain from drinking microorganisms or trampling underfoot living beings as a part of their day to day living.

In conclusion I won’t go as far to support the claims of ex-members who have made allegations of abuse about Sai Baba and as far as I am concerned for now he remains innocent until he is formally tried and charged.

However, what I believe he is guilty of is his fraudulent claims as being a deity in which there is no credible evidence in proving himself to be a god.

My position on this matter is not one of needless slander but of observation and a challenge for you to rethink your position regarding the status of this man.

Like mother Theresa he may have been a great contributor to humanity but that doesn’t qualify him to be a divine avatar.

Also he has accomplished great things in life but to put him in the category as the Savior of the World is too gratuitous in light of the eternal work of Christ.

Finally Sai Baba’s father was an actor and it is said that Saytha is likewise gifted in the area of the fine arts and I am just wondering if this isn’t his drama and show by which he has followed in the footsteps of his father in taking the stage of a religious backdrop?


How to know God

Sai Baba Resources


Excerpts taken “From Handbook of World Religions, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission”