Wednesday, January 18, 2017

USA military whistle blower convicted of treason, Chelsea Manning, is given clemency by USA president Obama! Seems to be very controversial decision

Last updated on 19th Jan. 2017

[Note: I have put this up on my spiritual blog instead of my miscellaneous topics blog, as my whistle blowing activity, referred below, was related to Prasanthi Nilayam system in immediate post-Mahasamadhi traumatic period.]

As I have been a much smaller scale and within Indian law whistle-blower (in 2015 & 2016) of some matters in immediate post-Mahasamadhi (period of April end 2011 - around mid 2012) Prasanthi Nilayam system (Puttaparthi, India) including and mainly Sathya Sai university (SSSIHL) related matters, I have an absorbing interest in contemporary and near-contemporary famous whistleblowers in the world. Wikileaks - Julian Assange & Chelsey Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) - and Edward Snowden were the really big whistleblowers, news accounts of whom, I followed quite a bit in the last decade or so. They have surely played a role in inspiring me to become a whistle-blower (using Facebook and blogger) in 2015 & 2016 with an intent on achieving public good via both knowledge of what actually happened in the traumatic immediate post Mahasamadhi period of a year or so (till around mid 2012) in Prasanthi Nilayam system, and then good governance reform, including early 21st century transparency & accountability norms, of Prasanthi Nilayam system.

Now Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden have been either convicted of having broken serious laws of the countries they lived in or served, or are accused of doing so (but not yet convicted as Snowden and Assange are fugitives from justice as viewed by these countries, and have, respectively, sought refuge in a foreign embassy (Assange) and fled their country (Snowden)). So what they have done is very, very serious stuff with great national security implications for their countries. In stark contrast, what I have done is minor and well within Indian law, as far as I know.

So this news of USA President Obama commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning from a long 35 years to effectively around 6 to 7 years (she is expected to be released in May 2017 according to a report given below) is of great interest to me. It seems to be a hugely controversial decision of Obama with USA Senator Lindsay Graham (serves in powerful USA Senate Armed Services committee, if I recall correctly) being very harshly critical of it. USA Speaker Paul Ryan has reportedly called the clemency decision outrageous. Wikileaks has declared 'victory' and Snowden has thanked Obama in a tweet.

I do not have a stand on it, as of now, and am just sharing the big event with the widely opposing reactions to the event.

Obama's dilemma on Chelsea Manning, http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/17/politics/chelsea-manning-barack-obama-commutation/, Jan. 18th 2017

Chelsea Manning has suffered enough. Finally, Obama did the right thing, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/17/chelsea-manning-suffered-enough-obama-commutation-right-thing, Jan. 18th 2017

President Obama commutes sentence of Wikileaks leaker Chelsea Manning, CBS News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa8aoAvJKb8, 2 min 25 secs.

Why Obama's commutation of Manning is a slap in intel's face, Fox News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvnZm4KbcTA, 7 min. 2 secs.
=========================================================

I felt it is appropriate to add that though my whistleblowing in 2015 & 2016, about what happened in the Sai university in particular and in Prasanthi Nilayam system general from after Sathya Sai Mahasamadhi (April end 2011 when he bodily passed away) till about mid-2012, a traumatic and chaotic period for Prasanthi Nilayam system, was within Indian law and minor as compared to what Assange, Manning and Snowden have done, I also faced significant challenges.

Those people of Prasanthi Nilayam system (including some who had left Prasanthi Nilayam system by 2015) who I exposed in my whistle-blowing would have been furious with me for my whistle-blowing. Some of their supporters behaved nastily towards me. Mentally I felt traumatized as I was exposing wrongdoings of some current (and some past) powerful people of Prasanthi Nilayam system. I was attacked on social media for being a "notorious hatemonger" and was advised not to publicly criticize sacred Sai university! Very, very few people on social media supported my whistle-blowing against some then (in 2015 & 2016) current Sai university administrators. Most people of Prasanthi Nilayam system were scared to associate with me, though by that time my contacts with Prasanthi Nilayam system had reduced drastically even though I continued to live in outside-ashram Puttaparthi rarely visiting the Prasanthi Nilayam ashram! It was quite a lonely period. All this did affect my already delicate health.

However, there were no legal actions taken against me. Perhaps that's because what I was doing was within Indian freedom of speech laws. Neither did I get any formal protest/complaint letters from the people I exposed or from the Sai university itself about these whistle-blowing posts of mine. So most of the trauma that I felt due to these whistle-blowing actions of mine were mental and related to people-to-people interactions rather than explicit threats of violence against me or legal actions. I did face some nasty behaviour including dirty looks and a Prasanthi Nilayam system youngster (perhaps associated with some of the persons whose wrongdoing I exposed) trying to brush his body against mine as we crossed each other on a narrow staircase, but nothing beyond that from Prasanthi Nilayam ashram people. However, the fear that somebody might do something against me was there during this period of whistle-blowing and that fear led to me taking actions like having an aggressive physical posture while walking on Puttaparthi streets to send a signal that I was willing to fight back if somebody gets physical with me. That created some misunderstanding with some other outside-ashram Puttaparthi people (mainly shopkeepers but also some youth leaders) not connected with my whistle-blowing matters in any way. But I was able to quickly resolve that misunderstanding with them by letting them know that I had no issues with them whatsoever.

I shared the above in this post to avoid giving the impression that my whistleblowing activity (in 2015 & 2016) did not involve facing significant level of unpleasantness. It certainly DID involve some amount of unpleasantness and did create some mental trauma for me.

Readers may want to read the following posts related to my whistle-blowing activities:

1) How and why I became a whistleblower and publicly named and exposed few persons in Sai university, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/07/how-and-why-i-became-whistleblower-and.html, July 2016

2) Stepping back from Whistle-blower role; Plan to focus more on spirituality & religion, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/12/stepping-back-from-whistle-blower-role.html, Dec. 2016

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I DO NOT QUIT a debate when it becomes inconvenient for me; I only avoid some gruesome topics and some sensitive topics

Last updated on 18th Jan 2017

In Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/vr.ganti.1/posts/10208518716910084, published on Jan. 14th 2017, I had the following comment exchanges with Mr. V.R. Ganti and Mr. Alok Dara Shikoh.

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
Vr Ganti sir, I am a supporter of SSSCT (Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust) in general. The plain fact of the matter is that when Swami was in physical form, that physical form drew donors and service minded people towards him like a magnet. Now that physical form is not there. SSSCT has done a great job in ensuring that even without the magnetic physical form presence they have kept all the ashram institutions functioning. To retain full time paid staff SSSCT seems to have had no choice but to increase salaries significantly after Mahasamadhi. These are the realities on the ground. Blaming SSSCT for anything and everything is wrong. They are doing their best given the challenges, including the Muddenahalli group divisive challenge.
----

Vr Ganti wrote:
No No I dont agree at all and I know you will say that I could always have a different view and so on. No problem Sir. But the fact is that Trustees are compromising. Why should --name-snipped-- send out messages to --name-snipped-- seeking money for Free Meal proposal which I believe is already into problems. In any case what is the latest on that front?

Also I am told that --name-snipped-- is involved with Mhalli though I am not aware of any thing about that. I dont also find time to do research on that for the time being.
----

Ravi S. Iyer responded (branch/nested comment response to above comment):
I do not want to comment on these matters sir. I hope you understand. Thanks.
----

Vr Ganti wrote:
I know Sir, eventually this is how the discussions end up. Never mind. Have great time.
----

Alok Dara Shikoh wrote:
True Ganti ji. When the counters are proposed after a certain limit, the discussions are no longer sustained by some parties... for instance we saw this in the case of discussions on. 'how Britishers used Indian children as baits for crocodile
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Alok Dara Shikoh, Vr Ganti - How many times have I got to say that I typically do not get involved in matters dealing with SSSCT trustees??? If you people get fun from baiting me then it is best that I stay away from such conversations. NO TOLERANCE for a person's choice not to get involved in certain matters!!! And then such baiting!!! If you people have the guts go file a court complaint against whoever you feel is doing some big wrongs. Why be only social media tigers!!! Hai Dum to court me case dalo!!!
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Britishers using children as bait was not part of any discussion I started. Alok Dara Shikoh said it - I was not interested in that topic. So how does that become partial discussion choice on my part??? Who is Alok Dara shikoh to demand that I participate in whatever he chooses to raise???
----

Alok Dara Shikoh wrote:
Ravi sir, my apologies if I caused agony in anyway. You have complete freedom to withdraw from a discussion at any stage and I totally respect your choice it is after all your freedom. My apologies if u felt that I was pressuring you to forcefully participate in a discussion at any point thatyou are not interested in. let me clarify the two citations again:

Citation 1:

Event1: you posted a post and the resulting discussion was tending towards praising Britishers and their rule over India and their supposed humane approach to ruling their colonies.
Event2: I furnished evidence saying that Britishers were savages... that they used Hindu children as bait for their crocodile hunting sport
Event3: you withdrew from the conversation saying that u don't want to participate in that angle of the discussion and I totally respected that and also agreed to the deletion of the post with that had a pictorial proof from a newspaper of Britishers using Indian babies as bait

Citation2:

Event1: you posted material praising mother Teresa as a messiah of service and humanity.
Event2: I posted personal example where mother Teresa's organization denied medical help unless the sufferer converts to Christianity
Event3: you indicated that u don't want to participate in that angle of the discussion and I totally respected that and didn't continue too much further
Event 4: I also asked in passing why you seem to highlight the great work done by missionaries and the people of other religions and not give highlight and importance to the work being done by Hindu leaders (Baba ramdev, Sri Sri etc)
Event 5: you again implied that you wouldn't like to comment on that and I totally respected that. You did mention that Sri Ramana maharshi is someone I do respect however.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
@alok dara shihok. Thanks for your polite reply. Please see my responses below.

Citation 1, Event1: In that discussion did I mention that the British were humane in their colonization of India? I think it would be difficult for both you and me to locate that particular Facebook post. If you could, I would be glad to look up that post's conversation and see the views I have expressed there.

But here are some of my views from one of my blogs: http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/. These reflect my publicly expressed stands & views on the matter.

a) Ravi S. Iyer wrote: The reality of British rule over India was exploitation of India like how many conquerors exploit the conquered. If some good was done by the British to India it was incidental. Their main motive was exploitation and loot. As simple as that. .... The 13 colonies of the USA that revolted against British rule revolted due to similar reasons! So, in that sense, India and the USA share a common bond of exploitation in the past by Great Britain! [Source: http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2016/10/oppression-and-subjugation-in-human.html]

b) This is an entire post giving my views (including views of notable persons with whom I agree): India's education systems would have improved even without British rule; Macaulay's great damage to traditional Indian knowledge systems, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2016/11/indias-literacy-levels-and-education.html

c) Another entire post: MP Shashi Tharoor makes a classy case of why Britain should atone for its colonization sins and say, Sorry, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2015/07/shashi-tharoor-makes-classy-case-of-why.html

d) You may want to see the summary part of my very long post, How the British colonized India, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2016/01/how-british-colonized-india.html. A very small extract from the summary conclusion is given below:

Given the analysis above, I find the view that a lack of cohesiveness and unity as a country allowed 300 Brits to divide and conquer India, to be a false and ridiculous Western-world-centric and Western-world-hero-worshipping view of how the British colonized India.

e) Large extract from my post: Role of Indian Quislings in British conquest of India; De-industrialization of India after 1750; Re-emergence of India (and China), http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2016/05/quislings-role-in-british-conquest-of.html

Ravi: This battle, and Clive directly being kingmaker of the Nawab of Bengal, paved the way for the British to conquer India militarily and then, like all conquerors, use the conquered land and people for the benefit of the conqueror. From the wiki again about the economic impact of British rule in India after this pivotal battle in 1757, "The Battle of Plassey and the resultant victory of the British East India company led to puppet governments instated by them in various states of India. This led to an unleashing of excesses, malpractices and atrocities by the British East India Company in the name of tax collection.
This led to largescale detrimental impact on the economy of India (the Indian subcontinent). Research by Simmons (1985) and Harvard Scholars Clingingsmith and Williamson concluded that India's share of world manufacturing output fell from 24.5% in 1750 to a paltry 2.8% in 1880, 1.4% in 1913 and a 2.4% in 1938, based on earlier findings by Simmons (1985)."

Ravi: Mind you, the scholars mentioned above are Harvard University, USA scholars and not Indian scholars. Essentially, India got de-industrialized BIGTIME, got reduced to raw material provider to the British industries, and a market for some finished goods as well.

The reference for the figures in the last sentence in the quoted section above is as follows:
Clingingsmith, David; Williamson, Jeffrey (2005). India's Deindustrialization in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Harvard, MA: Harvard University.
-----

So it is the Harvard scholars in 2005 who are saying that India got de-industrialized in the 18th and 19th centuries, not Indian scholars or Indian politicians.
============================================

Undoubtedly there were some positive aspects to English rule over India, especially for the Hindus. Mind you, prior to the English, the Mughal empire and/or smaller Muslim kingdoms (ruled by nawabs) were holding sway over large portions of India for centuries, with some of the Mughal emperors like Aurangzeb and also some of the smaller Muslim nawabs, being noted for destroying temples, some amount of persecution of Hindus, and encouraging conversion of Hindus & other non-Muslims to Islam.

I think in those areas that were under Mughal rule (e.g. Bengal and Delhi) as well as in smaller Muslim kingdoms, the non-Muslims (mainly Hindus) may have even welcomed the British as a less oppressive ruler. Some South Indian Hindu kingdoms either managed to somehow fight off Muslim rule or had it for short periods of time (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travancore)

But, the fact was that even under Muslim rule, Indian economy was doing quite well for those days. The British de-industrialized India - this would have been like how in our times, manufacturing jobs of the USA have gone to other countries like China and some services jobs of the USA have gone to other countries like India, leaving the worker and lower-level staff people (large numbers of people) high & dry.

As part of administration of India, the British Raj after 1850s, brought in changes in Indian education, revenue gathering, courts ... (I don't know the details and the dates). Essentially the British systems of administration were introduced in India. That certainly helped India get exposed to and advance in fields like (Western) science & technology (as against traditional Indian knowledge systems related to material world), Western commercial accounting and administration, Western law, Western philosophy etc. A lot was gained from these areas, I am sure. Though I think a lot of ancient Indian wisdom and knowledge systems got neglected. After India gained independence in 1947, slowly and steadily ancient Indian wisdom and knowledge systems have been made more important in India, and a blend of Western knowledge systems and ancient Indian knowledge systems is what is aimed at by some sections of Indian educationalists.

To conclude, surely India did gain some positives from British rule. However, it was not altruism that led the British to rule India. Like all conquerors in history, British rule in India was focused on exploiting India for the economic benefit of the British. By the time the British left India in 1947, a country that was having around a quarter (25 %) of the World's GDP before the British conquest of India started in the mid-1750s, had been reduced to a World GDP share of around one-tenth of that - 2.5%.
-----

... Citation1, Event 2 to be followed.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Citation 1, Event 2 & 3: Britishers using Hindu (or perhaps even non-Hindu) children as bait for their crocodile hunting sport. I avoided this topic as it is a gruesome topic that may put off many people and also that one will need to look at how many such cases occurred and whether it was a practice that significant number of Britishers indulged in. Usually, it seems to me, it is academics who make a study of such matters and then publish a paper in a prestigious peer reviewed academic publication, that become a source of certified knowledge. You had shared one newspaper article clipping image, if I recall correctly. That alone, from what I know about these matters, cannot be accepted as certified knowledge that significant number of Britishers engaged in the horrendous practice of using Hindu (and perhaps other non-Hindu Indians) children as bait for their crocodile hunting sport. An article in a reputed publication documenting such abuses makes it far more credible as certified knowledge. A newspaper clipping image alone is not enough. I did not want to get into these explanations then and chose to simply indicate that I preferred not to get into that gruesome topic. BTW rape of captured women in war or in colonies and their use as sex slaves is another very gruesome topic that I prefer to avoid. For me, it is too ghastly to discuss these topics in platforms like Facebook. But others may not feel that way - I respect that. I leave these gruesome topics mainly for historians to document. I do read such histories at times to note the gruesome realities of such events in history but I typically do not publicly share that info.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Citation 2: I think I was able to locate my Facebook post where we had that exchange. It is this one: https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1786671618216074. Our exchange is a branch within your top-level comment on that post of mine.

Event 3: I DID NOT SAY that I don't want to participate in that discussion. Instead as you can see from the above Facebook post, I responded as follows to your comment:

Alok Dara Shikoh, I condemn any such preferential service rendered on basis of religion/conversion to any religion, to Bhopal Gas tragedy victims. The issue in such matters is evidence. Navin Chawla's book (Navin Chawla is a Hindu, if I recall correctly) does not cover any such stuff in any way.
--- end my comment on that FB post ---

Event 4: In this Facebook post in one comment you wrote, "Indian media tends to glorify non-Hindu preachers, activists, philanthropists in a very grand way and chooses to disproportionately focus only on the bad things about Hindu preachers, activists and philanthropists. " and in a following comment you wrote, "And the sad part is that when I talk to Hindus about this, there is dispassion/disconnection and a don't-care attitude... For instance when I was talking to a Hindu Sai devotee friend about another Hindu guru, he proudly quoted media saying that Hindu guru is all about fraud and was willing to brand him as fraud...". But you DID NOT ASK ME SPECIFICALLY why I don't support and highlight work done by other Hindu gurus (like Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar). So I don't think you are right there.

But let me respond to your point now. See, I do write about some other Hindu gurus who are living now like Mata Amritanandamayi. I have not studied Baba Ramdev's philosophical teachings so I simply don't know enough to comment. On (Hatha) Yoga, I think my only post has been when the Yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar passed away. I mean, (Hatha) yoga is not my area of writing interest, as of now. About Sri Sri Ravi Shankar - I have seen some videos of his. I appreciated some of his work but I felt more comfortable with AmritanandaMayi style/approach. So I don't think I have written any post on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I mean, he is undoubtedly a renowned spiritual leader but I am not into reading about his movement and so don't know enough about him to make a post even if I wanted to.

I have posted about ISKCON as I had some exposure to it. I have posted about Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi as I have studied their writings and have been inspired by them.

I posted about Mother Teresa when she was canonized as I have genuinely been impressed by what I have read about her in Navin Chawla (former chief Election commissioner)'s authorised biography of her and I found it to be inspirational when I had to leave Sai university in very difficult circumstances in March-June 2012, and was wondering about what next to do in my life & in my spiritual journey. How Mother Teresa started her mission with very little money and catered to sick and very poor people, as described in Navin Chawla's book, was deeply inspirational to me.

So your comment that I do not highlight work of other Hindu spiritual leaders and instead highlight great work done by missionaries and people of other religions is WRONG. I HAVE HIGHLIGHTED work of some Hindu leaders besides the two Sai Babas in my blog. However, I do blog about leaders from other religions who I feel inspired by, which includes Mother Teresa.

Now I am not saying Mother Teresa did not have flaws. You alleged one serious flaw that she denied help to non-Christians who refused to convert, and I have mentioned my comment response above. The late Christopher Hitchens was a trenchant critic of Mother Teresa. I have read his criticism and seen some videos of his critical talk(s) too. I do not know enough of Mother Teresa to be able to accept/reject Hitchens' view. But please note that I do not take a view that Mother Teresa DID NOT HAVE FLAWS. There is criticism but I don't know for sure about it. That's my view.
----

Alok Dara Shikoh wrote:
Thank your for the elaborate research Ravi ji. I appreciate your promptness and I will definitely rectify some areas of my understanding of what happened in those posts
----
[Ravi Facebook-liked the above comment of Alok Dara Shikoh.]
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Alok Dara Shikoh, Vr Ganti: I hope my above responses clearly show that Alok Dara Shikoh's view that I choose to quit partial discussions when I want, is NOT JUSTIFIED. In other words, I DO NOT QUIT a debate when it becomes inconvenient for me. It is just that there are some gruesome topics and some sensitive topics which I like to avoid.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Vr Ganti sir, I felt it appropriate to give a longer response to your top-level comment in this branch than my initial response (first comment in the branch) which I repeat here, " I do not want to comment on these matters sir. I hope you understand. Thanks."

Here's my more detailed response to prevent any misunderstanding of my above comment.
You state that you disagree with my view that (overall) SSSCT has done a great job in ensuring that even without the magnetic physical form presence of Bhagavan they have kept all the ashram institutions functioning. Fine. We each have our different viewpoints here and we have also argued about it in the past.

But you also raised some other points like SSSCT trustee compromising, free meal scheme running into some problems supposedly, and one trustee supposedly sending messages to one of India's topmost corporate icons seeking funds for the free meal scheme. You also mentioned that that trustee is involved with Muddenahalli group. It is to these points that I referred when I said in my first response that I do not want to comment on these matters.

But now let me also tell you why I do not want to comment. First and foremost reason is that I am an indirect, and sometimes direct, beneficiary of the free services provided by SSSCT funded institutions in Puttaparthi like the free hospital services. SSSCT also plays a vital role in ensuring water supply to outside ashram Puttaparthi town especially when (e.g. summer time) the individual bore wells do not provide enough water to many private buildings in outside ashram Puttaparthi (I live in one such private building apartment in outside ashram Puttaparthi). And quite importantly, SSSCT is highly respected by local police authorities due to which devotees of Bhagavan who do not involve themselves in business/money-earning activities in outside ashram Puttaparthi, are typically not harassed by outside ashram Puttaparthi youth leaders and other leaders. Without SSSCT being respected by local police authorities I think the situation could easily have been different like in most rural areas in Rayalaseema where muscle power plays a big role. I am very grateful to SSSCT for its influence over, and interactions with, local police authorities in ensuring a peaceful and hassle-free life for non-business and non-money-earning Sai devotees in outside ashram Puttaparthi.

Given the above, it would be ungrateful of me to criticize SSSCT. I believe that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba laid great stress on gratitude to those who help us - "Ingratitude is a sin" or words to that effect were (and perhaps are still) put up in one of the posters in the approach road to the ashram in Puttaparthi town.

But, in this context, as I have been criticized for not engaging with your comment, let me make an exception.

Ganti sir, you are stating that trustees are compromising on Bhagavan's teachings as one trustee has solicited funds from one industrialist. Now my problem is that I don't know what is the truth here. You have named the trustee. Ideally, that particular trustee should let us know whether what you say is truthful or not. But then SSSCT trustees typically do not respond to such questions or comments. That is their policy, which is how it was when Bhagavan was in physical form too.

If the trustee responds confirming/denying your statement, and providing additional info. then, if I wanted to get involved in this matter, I would have some basis to analyze the matter and give my response. Now I just don't know what the truth is!

Then you referred to Free Meal proposal and some problems supposedly with it, and asked what is the latest on it. I simply don't know. And I don't think it is appropriate for me to ask around.

Finally you said that you were "told" that the trustee you referred to earlier "is involved with Mhalli though I am not aware of any thing about that". Now, you yourself are not sure about the matter. Somebody said something and you have conveyed that. In my over fourteen years life in Puttaparthi I have heard all sorts of wild and unfounded rumours many of which turned out to be either completely false or sometimes wildly exaggerated. And for some of the false rumours I have wondered whether they had been DELIBERATELY PLANTED to achieve some hidden agenda of some people. I myself was FALSELY shown along with two other free service teachers in the Sai university ITSELF as Teaching Assistant, even though at least two of us (and probably the third too) were given Visiting Faculty designations on signed identity cards by principal of Prasanthi Nilayam campus!! And the Head of the department where two of us provided free service for years, and the Registrar of the Sai university, seemed to sadistically enjoy their Teacher-Droham-paapam (harmful sinful act against teachers) actions instead of following Sathya & Dharma!!! This is MY DIRECT personal experience of Sai university Asathya-Adharma crook and Teacher-Drohi-Paapi administrators who did these actions in the DIVINE PRESENCE OF PHYSICAL FORM BHAGAVAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA!!!

So, in Puttaparthi especially, one has to first ascertain whether the information provided by somebody, no matter how high his/her official designation may be, is truthful or not. When you yourself have reported the matter about the trustee being involved with Muddenahalli group but in the same sentence you are saying you are not aware of anything about that, I have to view such statements as being an unverified rumour. And that is a serious charge against a trustee of SSSCT!!! How can I comment on such a rumour which is a serious charge against a trustee of SSSCT!!!

I hope this comment of mine explains why it is not appropriate for me to engage in discussions with Ganti sir on such detail level matters related to SSSCT. Thanks.
----

Vr Ganti wrote:
To be honest - nothing new. Ok Sir. Thanks for your comment
----
[Ravi S. Iyer Facebook-liked the above comment of Ganti sir.]
----

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Ravi S. Iyer Sometimes people simply refuse to accept a person's clear statements. This is why it is important to continue commenting. In this way, our thoughts on a subject become clearer. And, there have been instances where a dissenter becomes an ally when the conversations are cordial. Thank you for your post. I, for one, do appreciate your honest opinion regarding the SSSCT. They are doing a superb job. The ashram grounds are so beautifully maintained, for instance. In the 26 years I've lived here, I've never seen them looking so lush and groomed. Aum Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
----

Ravi S. Iyer responded:
Well, Terry Reis Kennedy, the truth is that I try to avoid criticizing SSSCT. But I don't, at least deliberately, say falsehood to support SSSCT. When I am appreciative of SSSCT I say so because I genuinely think so, and not to curry favour with anybody.
----

Why I cannot accept Madhusudan Rao Naidu's communicator claim

Last updated on 20th Jan. 2017

In a comment exchange between Mr. Alok Dara Shikoh and me, in Mr. V.R. Ganti's recent Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/vr.ganti.1/posts/10208531985201783 (see branch comments under one of V.R. Ganti's comments which begins with a reference to me), Mr. Alok Dara Shikoh wrote that he is agnostic towards MDH (Muddenahalli belief in so called communicator and so called subtle body). But about the view that Bhagavan has said that he does not communicate through mediums (or communicators), he offered two possibilities. Possibility1 that "event-1" (events) occur(s) as Bhagavan said they would. I (Ravi) take Possibility1 as having an implication that Bhagavan does not use mediums for his communications even after Mahasamadhi.

Mr. Shikoh then raised Possibility2 that "event-1 does not occur in the way Bhagawan said it(.) (W)hat actually happens is contradictory to what Bhagawan said (again as analyzed by my limited mind and its limited perceptions)". Mr. Shikoh then gave some examples in support of Possibility2.

I (Ravi S. Iyer) responded to him as follows (slightly edited):

Alok Dara Shikoh - Once again thanks for your polite reply. I think like brother --name-snipped--, you too, Alok sir, have the great spiritual attributes of tolerance and politeness. As of now at least, you both are far better than me in this regard, as there are times when I lose my cool and act in the heat of the moment without much politeness.

About possibility2 in your response which seems to be the view that Bhagavan's words or predictions at times do not happen as said ... And you have applied possibility2 to Bhagavan's words that he never uses intermediaries:

Let me stick my neck out and say that I have heard and read some things related to Bhagavan's predictions that did not happen. So possibility2 is true, in my considered opinion. I am prepared to face this reality in some cases rather than take a view that Bhagavan's words can never be questioned and that Bhagavan is right and our understanding is wrong. I think the 96 years prediction of Bhagavan also falls in this possibility2 bucket, in my considered view. I do not accept the lunar years "explanation".

But then how can Bhagavan's words ever be false??? Isn't that blasphemy??? Well, my view is that on some worldly type matters, sometimes events have not matched with Bhagavan's predictions. Why? I don't know.

But what I have noted is that when it came to matters of deep spiritual teachings, Bhagavan was a lighthouse of spiritual wisdom. And when it came to spiritual guidance, Bhagavan was very particular about details and stayed largely consistent on vital matters across his spiritual teacher career. He would not accept dilution of teachings on critical matters related to spirituality. It was very close to his heart and he was very strict about such matters. In contrast, for worldly stuff like marriage (especially love marriage as against arranged marriage) and job and money and all that, it seems to me that he too may have changed over the decades as society around him changed. I mean, when Bhagavan started his mission it was 1940, 71 years before his Mahasamadhi, with India seeing huge changes in prosperity, societal attitudes to marriage and family and all that over these seven decades of Bhagavan's spiritual master career.

But, on core spiritual matters, I don't see much change between Bhagavan's early teachings and the ones he gave in 2000s.

The medium/communicator aspect is a very core spiritual matter with respect to Bhagavan. Even when Bhagavan was in physical body, there were many who tried to use Bhagavan's name for inspired messages/communications they got. I knew of one such case quite well in the 1990s where a person claimed that Bhagavan's written responses would come to some letters to Bhagavan placed in front of Bhagavan's altar in his home. [Fortunately it was on a small scale and so did not create too much disturbance in the samithi activities.]

So Bhagavan was very particular in clarifying this vital matter to the entire Sathya Sai devotee fraternity multiple times, via public statements, that he never uses mediums/communicators. That was a vital spiritual matter which Bhagavan directly clarified. It was such clarifications that led me to avoid getting involved with work of such mediums including the one I mentioned above, even though I saw (knew about) some other Sai devotees giving letters to be placed at his altar and supposedly getting responses from Bhagavan!

Given this background, it is unthinkable and unacceptable to me (but may be acceptable to others) that Bhagavan would change this vital spiritual matter of not using intermediaries/communicators, after Mahasamadhi. So, in my view, it just will not happen.

But, for the purposes of discussion, let us presume that Bhagavan may use a communicator after Mahasamadhi. In that case, how should we test the claim? Shouldn't we do some comparison on important spiritual matters between physical form Sathya Sai and this communicator?? I think not only we should. We must. Otherwise we will be allowing ourselves to be fooled by anybody and everybody who claims to be a medium/communicator of Bhagavan, of which there are many instances today across the world.

So some of my such tests which Madhusudan Rao Naidu failed are:
1) How can Madhusudan say that Kali Yuga is over and that Sathya Yuga has started when physical form Bhagavan told John Hislop as recorded in his book that Kali Yuga will last 5,000 years more??? This is a deep Hindu spiritual matter. Bhagavan will not fool around in such matters, saying things like Kali Yuga is over, unless it really is over.

2) Madhusudan told Satyajit and others at Mahasamadhi time before Swami's body was lowered in the Samadhi, that Swami will rise (physical body will come back to life)! That is a very, very, very big spiritual claim. But Swami's physical body did not come back to life!!!

3) Hindu scripture has accounts of many avatars including Rama & Krishna. We also have accounts of Shirdi Sai Baba as well as many great Hindu saints like Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharishi. In not a single case of these avatars and saints, did we have this extraordinary claim of a communicator who alone, for extended periods of time and on a regular basis, can see and communicate with a so called subtle body of the departed avatar or saint!!! I mean, Madhusudan Naidu talks of Swami wearing this colour dress, and Jesus Christ subtle body being there, Shirdi Sai subtle body being there, and so on. There is no history of any such communicator in all of at least well known Hindu scripture and saint accounts!!

4) Even if we accept that Madhusudan case is UNIQUE in history of Hinduism, will we then not have to look at the past history of Madhusudan to see some signs of extraordinary holiness about him which resulted in Bhagavan choosing him to do this UNIQUE role?? Of course we must. Was Madhusudan a great form boy in Prasanthi Nilayam like a few student-staff who have served Swami at close quarters over the years? NO. He was not a great form boy. Did Madhusudan create a great impression in the Sai university about being a very, very pious soul who was an embodiment of self-sacrifice and holiness? NO. These matters are observed and get known to Sai university hostel teachers especially. Madhusudan did not acquire any such extraordinary reputation as a divinely specially blessed student full of holiness and piety.

5) In fact, the word among the alumni community who were his peers is not all that great about Madhusudan. There are reports from fairly reliable sources about his wealth management/asset management business, which he started after he quit HDFC bank, to have landed into significant losses. This kind of background is hardly the mark of a divinely specially blessed student of Bhagavan, and instead seems to point to somebody who was forced by failure in business to explore spiritual mediumship as a career.

6) Why is there no transparency from Narasimhamurthy about when he stopped getting dream instructions from Swami (after Mahasamadhi)? It smells very fishy. Madhusudan was not in the picture as a communicator in the initial stages of Narasimhamurthy led Muddenahalli group mission. It was Narasimhamurthy who claimed to get divine inspiration and messages like some great prophet (e.g. Moses).

7) As late as May 2010, I have heard, live, sitting in Sai Kulwant Hall, Bhagavan publicly talk about how great Bharat is and why people should not leave Bharat and go abroad, as Bharat is the divinely blessed land (or words to that effect). Bhagavan was focused on Bharat even though he knew that if he made visits to rich foreign countries like some other Hindu spiritual leaders he could attract lots & lots of donation money. How could he change so dramatically after Mahasamadhi and become a globe trotter especially to rich countries!!! I mean, is it the same Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba??? I can't believe Bhagavan can change so dramatically after Mahasamadhi on this matter. Bharath was Punya Bhoomi to him. He would praise it endlessly. He would talk about how Rama's Ayodhya was much less grand than Ravana's Lanka but that Rama did not want to have anything to do with Lanka after he had defeated Ravana and rescued Sita, and so returned to Ayodhya, his mother kingdom (motherland). Bhagavan had a particular contempt for those who dilute Sanathana Dharma ideals by running after money, especially foreign money. How can Bhagavan change so dramatically after Mahasamadhi so that he is focusing so much attention on countries outside Bharath by making personal visits and opening ashrams and hospitals there???

Given the above, to people like me who have studied Bhagavan's teachings and have had the experience of being in His physical presence for some years, it is so very clear that Madhusudan Rao Naidu is not saying the words or doing the actions of the real Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but instead is doing an imitation of Bhagavan combined with some donation earning tactics of some other gurus in India which Bhagavan shunned.
==============================================================

Alok Dara Shikoh wrote:
Ravi ji, great analysis and observations! The respect and admiration is mutual especially after seeing that there is a lot of intellectual honestly in choosing the side you do.

For me unfortunately, only a first hand experience could convince me about the truth or untruth of MDH. Almost all the points that you raised, while they definitely do suggest that MDH is very likely to be fraud, do not give a hard solid evidence of fraud.

And added to that is my dilemmas where I am surrounded by friends and family who are constantly are able to perceive the omniscience of the subtle form (especially there are several experiences where the continuity of the relationship between the devotee and Bhagawan when bhagawan's was in the physical form, is taken forward in an elegant way). Of course, if MDH is fraud, this can be easily explained as the acquisition of mind reading powers (that spiritual masters like swami nityananda impart). So unfortunately I am also exposed to a ton of narratives that seem to suggest MDH is not fraud. But again there is no solid evidence to prove MDH is not fraud in those narratives since one can construct possibilities as to how those narrative can still be true while MDH is fraud.

Thus this lack of solid evidence from both sides, yet very compelling narratives, from both sides leaves me fully agnostic.

This is where I fully agree with Ganti ji, that if only Sri BNNM, or Sri Madhusudan can openly answer his questions, then my own personal predicament of agnosticism will also find a side to choose. It is unfortunate that we didn't have an audience from these individuals because I suspect many are in the same boat as me.

But be that as it may, I thank you again Raviji for taking the time to compose this brilliant writeup which does make a very compelling case.

Samastalokassukhinobhavantu
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Alok Dara Shikoh sir, Thanks for your kind words about my arguments.

I have not used the word 'fraud' in my previous responses wrt Madhusudan Rao Naidu, as far as I know. Instead I state that his claim of being a communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is FALSE. Fraud implies deliberate faking to delude devotees. I am not going that far. Madhusudan could be simply under a delusion (Hindi mein paagal). The word delusion implies that what he is saying is false. People may believe him and also get deluded in the process.

So I will take your words to mean that I have not given "hard solid evidence" of Madhusudan Rao Naidu making a false claim (instead of fraud).

About Madhusudan possibly being able to read people's minds and memories: As you yourself say, "this can be easily explained as the acquisition of mind reading powers (that spiritual masters like swami nityananda impart)". I would not be surprised if Madhusudan does have some paranormal powers like that demonstrated by some disciples of Swami Nityananda.

Now you write that my arguments "make a very compelling case". But I think you have the view that it does not conclusively prove without any shadow of doubt that Madhusudan's communicator claim is a false claim. And as you say that you are exposed to other narratives which are in favour of Madhusudan's communicator claim which too are "very compelling", but also do not present "hard solid evidence", you are in a position of being "fully agnostic" wrt Madhusudan's communicator claim.

I respect your right to have such a stand. Matters of faith can be tricky to conclusively prove without a shadow of doubt, one way or the other.

However, I wonder what is it that will be viewed by you as "hard solid evidence" that Madhusudan's communicator claim is false. I think that only if Madhusudan himself publicly, freely and repeatedly states that his communicator claim is false, and that he was either deluded or was deliberately saying falsehood, will you have the "hard solid evidence" that Madhusudan's communicator claim is false. The probability of that happening is rather low, I think.

BTW there are many who claim to be mediums of Sathya Sai in various parts of the world. I guess you would be having a similar "fully agnostic" view about them too if you come across people who support these medium claims. Mind you, sir, I am not being critical of you here. I am just trying to understand your viewpoint about such matters. Thanks. Jai Sairam!
================================================================

Given below are comments from my Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1848793552003880, which shares/has the above contents.

Alok Dara Shikoh wrote:
Absolutely sir, I am agnostic about every such claim of a medium where there is no evidence... however in some cases the fraud has been established (apparently one lady claiming to be a medium was discovered to be throwing vibhuti swami's picture for which she was claiming Swami's presence).

Whenever I hear of a medium I do feel very sad because it puts in a lot of distraction. I just endeavor to actively ignore it for the most part, because gathering more knowledge about that medium only confounds the puzzle especially if there is no proof of fraud.

It's just tooo much overhead to analyze each case and form an impression... so one reason for agnosticism is also my want to not waste time analyzing these matters.. I tell myself to continue to dig the hole that I have started already until I find water... maybe some other holes will also lead other diggers to water too (the genuine cases of mediums if there is such a thing) and maybe some others are digging holes right above a rock (fraudsters or hallucinators)

In these cases I just affirm to myself, whether or not that medium is true, for sure that path is not for me at this time and it's not my hole to dig... This is the same affirmation I have in terms of MDH at this current time.

Hard solid evidence of fakeness, hallucination or reality in case of MDH could be items like: (1) Other known spiritual masters who have the yogic powers confirming madhu's actions one way or the other. (2) proof that individuals donating money to MDH, in some cases incurring financial hardship, are being actively coerced into donating in return for some reward or are being blackmailed (3) performance of miracles that cannot easily be faked: for instance swami once said that a huge rock will be cracked by the evening and sure enough thunder struck that day and created a fissure in that huge rock.. or when swami calls Geeta ram ji on the telephone and asks her to lower the receiver of the telephone above her palm and lo and behold vibhuti falls from her own phone into her palm.

Most of the time the hard evidence is witnessed only first hand... it's very hard to decipher whether a particular story is true or genuine these days, because it's as easy to spread a lie as it is to spread the truth...

Anyways, apologies for my loosely structured response; finding Little to no time amidst work and family responsibilities

Samastalokassukhinobhavantu
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thank you Alok Dara Shikoh sir for your response and your time. It gives me an interesting insight into a different perspective (view) of claims of Sathya Sai mediums & communicators.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Alok Dara Shikoh sir, I have presumed that it is OK with you for me to have shared your comments in this Facebook post and in my blog post associated with it here: http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2017/01/why-i-cannot-accept-madhusudan-rao.html. Please note that these Facebook and blog posts of mine are freely viewable by others and has no financial profit motive whatsoever. The intent of me sharing our full conversation (both your and my comment responses) on these Facebook and blog posts of mine, is that it may be useful to some other Sathya Sai devotees who read them.

In a similar way, I have shared another recent Facebook comment exchange we had on a Facebook post of mine and my blog post on it here: http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2017/01/i-do-not-quit-debate-when-it-becomes.html. I presume that too is OK with you. Thanks.
----

Terry Reis Kennedy shared an excerpt from my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1848793552003880, associated with this post's contents. Her excerpt is of the 7 points I have given for my conclusion/view that Madhusudan Rao Naidu is not saying the words of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Here's her post,
https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10212000528387345. The notable thing is that it has got over a hundred Facebook-likes (115 'Likes' which includes Thumbs-up (Like) and Heart-icons (Love)) whereas my original post has only 3 Facebook-likes! Terry sure has some Facebook following, and sure knows which short excerpts from my long posts will appeal to her (Facebook) readers.

Given below is a comment exchange on Terry's post mentioned above:

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Ravi S. Iyer People are loving your words. Thank you for this informative list.
----

Ravi S. Iyer responded:
Glad that my words have been 'liked' by so many.
----

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Ravi S. Iyer I counted a few heart icons......
----

Shubha Ramesh Kumar wrote (slightly edited):
10 hearts to be precise rest likes [Smiley-icon]
----

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Shubha Ramesh Kumar thanks for counting the hearts on this post all celebrating Ravi S. Iyer's dedication to helping readers understand why he cannot accept the "communicator claim."
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks Terry Reis Kennedy & Shubha Ramesh Kumar for the kind words. This work that a few of us are doing on social media is quite a lonely one. So it is nice to see that work being of benefit to others and receiving appreciation.

Terry too deserves praise. She sure has some Facebook following, and sure knows which short excerpts from my long posts will appeal to her (Facebook) readers :-).
----

Monday, January 16, 2017

Brother VijaySai B.S. must ponder over Muddenahalli communicators' misguidance damage and associated negative karmic consequences

Last updated on 18th Jan 2017

In response to Facebook post of Clive Raj Valydon, https://www.facebook.com/sathyanarayana.raju.9/posts/943338029136015, and comment exchanges there, I wrote a post on Facebook whose main contents are given below.

I think brother VijaySai B.S. must ponder over the misguidance damage and associated negative karmic consequences of the impersonation of some aspects of Sathya Sai (discourses, interviews, some aspects of darshan) that the so called communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu is doing. Yesterday somebody told me that he had met Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy (BNNM) in person after Mahasamadhi and after he had started making claims that Swami was giving him instructions but before Madhusudan Rao Naidu had started playing this role in Muddenahalli group. This person said that at that time he asked BNNM whether he could see/glimpse this (subtle body) Swami, and BNNM told him that he (BNMM) could actually glimpse/see this subtle body Swami!!! We are not talking dream instructions here, mind you.

This is the first time I have heard of BNNM making such a claim. And that too to a person who has had many interactions with physical form Swami earlier!

I don't know whether BNNM continues to make such claims in private of being able to communicate directly with this so called subtle body of Swami but I would not be surprised if that is the case. In public, BNNM seems to be elder Sai fraternity leader graciously supporting Madhusudan Rao Naidu as the PRIMARY COMMUNICATOR of subtle body and BNNM does not give any hint of he himself (BNNM) having the ability to communicate directly with this so called subtle body. But in private perhaps BNNM is the main communicator who does not have any need to use intermediary Madhusudan Rao Naidu to communicate with this so called subtle body!!

Interesting possibility, isn't it? Public communicator being Madhusudan and private direct channel communicator being Narasimhamurthy with Madhusudan becoming deputy to Narasimhamurthy-communicator in private!

Now brother VijaySai B.S. would know a lot about such matters. After all, he has been intimately associated with Muddenahalli group right from its inception, a few months after Mahasamadhi, and has been a prominent speaker-preacher promoting Muddenahalli group right from end 2011 itself, and has been in the forefront of endorsing and promoting his former student Madhusudan Rao Naidu as the so called chosen communicator.

As a person who is deeply interested in spirituality & religion over decades (even before I got associated with Sathya Sai movement in early to mid 1990s), I have to say that the negative karmic consequences of those who misguide others using the name of their guru like what Madhusudan Rao Naidu and Narasimhamurthy are doing, and which was heavily promoted by VijaySai B.S., will surely be very burdensome. In the spiritual quest, we try to separate Maya (illusion) from the ultimate reality of existence (Paramarthika Sathyam), and thereby arrive at some experience & understanding of the changeless Atma which is the reality of our individual selves, and is a part of the total reality, the Paramatma which powers the illusive universe. That itself is such an extraordinarily though subtly difficult task.

To muddy the waters further by propagating fantasies that some spiritual aspirants unfortunately get caught up in sometimes, or worse to be witting or unwitting participants in a deliberately fraudulent spiritual mission, would make the Mayic illusion even more powerful and thereby harder for such persons to get out of. Not only would such promoters of false beliefs get caught up more deeply in Maya but they would be actively involved in so many others (thousands of Sathya Sai devotees across the world) being caught up in that false belief! How complex would that misguidance karmic entanglement be! Once those devotees who have been misguided realize that they were misguided, how angry they would be at those that misguided them and how much emotional trauma they would be undergoing! What then would be the karmic consequences for those that did this misguidance and helped in promoting it! My mind boggles as I think about these matters. Therefore I would sincerely advise brother VijaySai B.S. that if he GENUINELY WANTS spiritual progress for himself he should seriously think about what I have written above.

If VijaySai B.S. has developed significant doubts about Madhusudan Rao Naidu and B.N. Narasimhamurthy's claims of being so called communicators of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, then it is high time for VijaySai B.S. to simply move away from that association for his own spiritual progress (and also for that of his family, I have to say). Of course, he is always welcome to reassociate with Prasanthi Nilayam based Sathya Sai movement after he separates from them. Prasanthi Nilayam based mission, as far as I know, is not a revenge based spiritual mission. I am sure that he (and his family) will surely be accepted back and be given appropriate opportunities to serve Bhagavan in Prasanthi Nilayam based mission, provided he gives up his association with Muddenahalli false belief.

I had to write the above words as I felt prompted by my conscience and inner being. I have had many private Facebook chat interactions as well as public Facebook interactions with brother VijaySai B.S., a former faculty of Sai university (with me being a former Visiting faculty of Sai university). We both were very frank with each other in our conversations. So I felt obliged by these extensive interactions that I have had with brother VijaySai B.S. and his unfailing politeness to me even when I had to use some harsh criticism against him, to be as truthful as I could in sharing my views on this important spiritual matter. Of course, I too am a spiritual aspirant and I could be wrong as I do not have any paranormal powers of knowing exactly what is going in the minds of Muddenahalli false belief leaders Madhusudan Rao Naidu and Narasimhamurthy. If my words hurt any reader, including brother VijaySai B.S. (if he reads this), I seek their forgiveness for the hurt caused. I genuinely believe that my above words may help brother VijaySai B.S. and that is why I have written them even if the words are rather harsh (negative karmic consequences ...).

I must also say that I have heard Bhagavan speak about Karma so many times, live in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam. Bhagavan did not sugar-coat such matters. I mean, it was not as if Love All Serve All meant a blanket permission to say anything and do anything just because one thinks that one is doing good (one may actually be doing bad).

I recall he would say a Telugu verse about bats having to lead unusual lives (hanging upside down, being nightbirds ...) and ask, is it not their (negative) karma that has caused them to lead such lives? And he would hammer - Daiva preeti, paap bheeti, sangha neeti (Love of God, fear of sin, righteous community living). So simple but yet we tend to not realize how powerful such words are! Today I feel that one of Bhagavan's most important teachings for the 21st century world is Daiva preeti, paap bheeti, sangha neeti. I am so deeply grateful to Bhagavan for hammering that teaching deep into my heart and head through so many discourses I heard from him live sitting in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam.

To understand and try to practice (we may fail at times; I do fail at times) Daiva preeti, paap bheeti, sangha neeti, we need to have enough discrimination to differentiate between what is Godly and what is ungodly, what is sin and what is virtue, what is righteous living in a community and what is not (what is righteous (and acceptable) may vary in some aspects, from community to community across our wide and very varied world, IMHO). All is not good, at least from the perspective of most of us Sai devotees as we (including me, for sure) are spiritual aspirants and not fully enlightened cosmic consciousness spiritual masters! There is good & godly and bad & ungodly. We need to have the discrimination to differentiate between them and associate with the good & godly and run away/keep safe distance from the bad & ungodly.

Jai Sairam!
================================================================

I was reading January 2017 Sanathana Sarathi and came across an appropriate quotation of Swami to share in the context of this post. From Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's discourse in Sai Sruthi, Kodaikanal on 22nd April 1993:
"Whatever actions man performs, he will have equal and appropriate consequences. He cannot escape the consequences of his actions. Man may leave the world at one moment or the other, but the consequences of his actions will not leave him; they will follow him. So, we should do good actions, develop good thoughts and join good company. Only then will we get good reward in future. As is the seed, so is the tree. As is the tree, so is the fruit.".
-----

Given below are some comments (slightly edited) from my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1848313612051874, associated with this blog post:

--Name-snipped-- wrote:
This Is Most Inspiring .. Thanks For Sharing Your Thoughts With Us ~ SAIRAM SAI BLESS [heart-icon].
----

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
A joy to read, Ravi S. Iyer.
----

--Name-snipped-- wrote:
Sai Ram. Thanks for the wonderful post sir.
----

Uma Ragunathan wrote:
Anna, their Buddhi has taken a back seat. So they won't worry of Karmic Consequences !!
----

Ravi S. Iyer responded to above comment:
VijaySai seems to me to be a genuine person based on my extensive interactions with him. Perhaps he got misguided/deluded.
----

Uma Ragunathan wrote:
Anna, i too meant when a person gets misguided, he/she loses his Buddhi. They lose their power of discrimination.
----
[Ravi S. Iyer Facebook-liked above comment of Uma Ragunathan.]
----

Clive Raj Valydon wrote:
Uma Ragunathan this is very true.
Bad company can make you lose your buddhi swami's told this
----

Thursday, January 12, 2017

V.R. Ganti's open letter to authorities of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning

Given below are the contents of my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1846447765571792, which shares Mr. V.R. Ganti's Facebook post.

I fully endorse this open letter of Vr Ganti sir. I hope SSSIHL authorities who are paid good salaries now (some earn/earned in the past Rs. 1 Lakh per month with the top person perhaps getting Rs 2 Lakh per month) which come from the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust corpus created from DONATIONS from Sathya Sai devotees, heed this letter and do their duty to the Sathya Sai fraternity who are indirectly paying their salaries, by responding to this open letter. [One Lakh is one hundred thousand.]

The contents Mr. V.R. Ganti's Facebook post (the open letter), https://www.facebook.com/notes/vr-ganti/an-open-letter-to-the-authorities-of-sri-sathya-sai-institute-of-higher-learning/10208500169086400, are given below.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AUTHORITIES OF SRI SATHYA SAI INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING

VR GANTI·THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2017

Om Sri Sai Ram

I am issuing this open letter to various authorities of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Learning, Prashanthi Nilayam with an appeal to Strip Sri Madhusudhan Rao Naidu of the Gold Medals that were awarded to him while he was a student at SSSIHL.

The above appeal is arising out of the discussions that have been taking place in Sai Fraternity, both in public forums and private discussions that Madhusudhan Rao Naidu, one of the principal leaders of the faction that has developed from May 2014, has been flouting Sai Teachings systematically and continue to flout them till date leading to tremendous amount of confution amongst Sai Devotees. Madhu has been misguiding and misleading Sai Devotees and many have fallen pray to such fraudulent and wrong advices which are totally against SAI teachings.

It has been the practice world over that an award or medal having been given to any person is withdrawn / taken back by the authorities awarding such award/medal once the receipient of the award violates the basic rules and procedures laid out by the organization. Here in the instant case, Madhu has squarely been violating the Sai Teachings and that need not be elaborated as everyone including, you, the authorities os SSSIHL are very clearly aware of the same. Therefore, stripping Madhu of the Gold Medals that were awarded to him is proably the right decision to make, which will send the right signals to one and all.

While this decision to strip Madhu of the medal awarded to him may not resolve the issue on hand in its entirety, in the opinion of Sai Devotees, it will go a long way and facilitate other decisions.

Jai Sai Ram

Thanks and Regards

VR Ganti

Cell No. Singapore: +65-90053742

Email: ganti@jeevosolutions.com

--- end contents of Mr. V.R. Ganti's Facebook post -------

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How knowledgeable about Sathya Sai, the 1st vice-chancellor of Sai university, Prof. V.K. Gokak, was!

Last updated on 12th Jan 2017

Prof. Vinayak Krishna Gokak, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinayaka_Krishna_Gokak, was a scholar of Kannada and English literature as well as an acclaimed writer in Kannada winning the Jnanpith award in 1990 for his epic, Bharatha Sindhu Rashmi, which the wiki says dealt with the Vedic age. He was earlier awarded the Padmashree in 1961 for another work of his in Kannada, Dyava Pruthvi.

I am now re-reading his book, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, The Man and the Avatar, an interpretation. What struck me is how knowledgeable about Sathya Sai, Prof. V.K. Gokak, the 1st vice-chancellor (VC) of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sai university), was. BTW he was VC from 1981 to 1985.

I thought of sharing a few paragraphs from the initial chapters of the book that I have re-read so far. They are given below:
[From pages 18-22 of the paperback version of the book:]

An avatar is a paradox cut in the image of the Divine. He is divine though human. Most people know how Baba, when the right half of his body was completely paralysed, sprinkled a little water over it with his left hand and was 'whole' again. He is human though divine, as when Shirdi Baba shed tears over the death of the cook whom he had loved so well. Sathya Sai Baba is the loving Sai mother pouring her love over her little children. But he is also a real task-master, sometimes relentless when a devotee is at fault and has to be taught a lesson.
...
A poet and an enchanting singer, Baba is also a philosopher and a social worker. He talks away sometimes like a simple and innocent child. But he can be a master diplomat when the occasion requires it. Approach him as a friend and you will find that he is too remote from you. Speak to him with awe as to Universal Man and you will see that he is speaking to you as a friend by your bedside.

The Avatar is there to separate the subtle from the gross, grain from chaff and soul from the desire-self. He sets free invisible forces which change the destinies of nations.
...
When Baba writes about Sri Krishna in Bhagavata Vahini we get to know what an Avataric personality has to say about an Avatar. Baba makes Arjun say, after the self-slaughter of the Yadavas, when he had to return alone tragically from Dwaraka: "We have failed to understand his play. With that deluding human form he moved with us, mixed with us, behaved with us as if he was our kinsman and well-wisher, our friend and guide and saved us from many a calamity. We were carried away by pride that we had His Grace. We sought from him mere external victory and temporal benefits. We ignored the vast treasures with which we could have filled our hearts. We never contemplated his real reality".
...
The impression that one finally has of an Avatar is this unique blend of the human and the divine, - the attributes that go to make up aishvarya or divinity and all those human qualities that make him so sweet and lovable, qualities that may be summed up as madhurya or sweetness.
--- end extracts from Prof. V.K. Gokak's book ---

Ravi: It is so nice to see that the 1st vice-chancellor of Sai university was so knowledgeable about Sathya Sai and could express his views on Sathya Sai so well. I think Bhagavan would have viewed Prof. V.K. Gokak as an ideal kind of Vice-chancellor for his spiritual Sai university, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

I would like to add two more paragraph extracts from Prof. V.K. Gokak's book.
From Page 11:
The West has been reconciled to prophets. But it is shocked by the concept of avatarhood except, of course, in the case of Jesus Christ. An avatar is God Himself descending into human flesh. But how can a two-legged thing be God? How can such an ephemeral creature govern the universe? Avatarhood is therefore dubbed a piece of Indian fantasy or maya.
...
From Page 26:
To the sceptic who thinks it is absurd to take any human being as God, Baba says: "Yes, I am God. What capacity do you have, as you stand, to test this statement? Plunge into your own soul and see from there. You will then realize the truth of the statement. I may add that you are also God." The concept of Avatarhood has to be understood in its proper context. An avatar is the saviour who takes the human evolution a step higher. He is a ray direct from the Supreme and it is because of his presence in a world hemmed in by cosmic laws that there is the possibility of transcendent grace.
--- end extracts from Prof. V.K. Gokak's book ---

Given below are comments from my Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1846072175609351, associated with this blog post.

In response to a comment, "This is indeed wonderful to read. Can we say the same about the VC's that have come after Mahasamadhi?", I (Ravi S. Iyer) wrote (slightly edited):
--Name-snipped--, Very unfortunately, the VC who was in charge at Mahasamadhi time, turned out to be a traitor to the Sai university and to Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, by backing the traitors Narasimhamurthy and, later the so called false belief communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu. That VC was in charge till Nov. 2014. That VC did not make any notable public speeches or comments about Bhagavan as far as I know.

The next VC who is the current VC seems to have not said anything notable in public about spirituality or about Bhagavan.

Both these VCs are scientists. Prof. G. Venkataraman is an outstanding example of a scientist VC who was also able to expound publicly on spirituality & Bhagavan. But these two scientist VCs, who held/are holding charge slightly before and after Mahasamadhi, seem to be only science people who perhaps are rather ignorant about spirituality in general and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in particular.
...
I should also mention the name of Dr. S. Bhagavantam, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suri_Bhagavantam, who would have been a cohort of Prof. V.K. Gokak, as another outstanding example of a scientist who was also able to expound publicly on spirituality & Bhagavan. Note that Dr. Bhagavantam was not a VC of SSSIHL. I am mentioning his name to show that being a scientist did not mean/does not mean that one needs to be ignorant about spirituality and Bhagavan, either in the early stages of Bhagavan's mission, say 1970s and 1980s, or in later stages like the 2000s and now.

Further, I think if the current VC of SSSIHL makes an effort to read up on Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and his educational vision and mission over the decades, I am sure he too will be able to expound on them publicly. I mean, it is not complex rocket science. But there has to be the urge to perform that spiritual duty part of the VC of SSSIHL role.
----

[I thank Prof V.K. Gokak and have presumed that copyright owners of his book will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from the book on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Prof. K.B.R. Varma, vice-chancellor of Sai university, MUST PUBLICLY RESPOND to Sai fraternity demand to condemn Madhusudan Rao Naidu and revoke his MBA gold medal

Last updated on 11th Jan. 2017

Given below is my recent comment on V.R. Ganti sir's post, https://www.facebook.com/vr.ganti.1/posts/10208479865098813, which is a share of my previous post titled, "Will revocation of gold medal & public condemnation of Madhusudan Rao Naidu by Sai university, stop people from associating with Muddenahalli group?", https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1844543592428876.

Thanks for your support Vr Ganti sir.

I think the Sathya Sai fraternity is owed a PUBLIC response by current vice-chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sai university), Prof. K.B.R. Varma, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalidhindi_B._R._Varma, on this matter. He should not shirk his duty by saying that he does not know about Sathya Sai and spiritual matters. That is not an acceptable answer from the executive head of the university founded by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

An excerpt from my post having Bhagavan's words:

I have established these institutions to impart spiritual education as a main component and worldly education as a secondary one. Education should enable one to cultivate good qualities, character and devotion. The teaching of the university curricula is only the means employed for the end, namely, spiritual uplift, self-discovery and social service through love and detachment.
---end excerpt ---

Ravi: Worldly education secondary, spiritual education is the main component - that is what Bhagavan himself is saying about the educational institutions he has established including Sai university. So now the sitting vice-chancellor cannot escape out of his duty to respond PUBLICLY to Sathya Sai fraternity on this matter. Let him not escape the responsibility by asking Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust to respond to this matter. In particular, SSSCT trustee Shri K. Chakravarthi should not interfere in this matter, as from a public perception point of view at least, he has been inactive in combating the HIJACK of Sai university for Jul 2011 to Nov. 2014 by traitors Sashidhara Prasad and B.N. Narasimhamurthy, along with quislings (traitor-collaborators) Sudhir Bhaskar and Naren Ramji, who shamelessly and treacherously forced out of the Sai university, long-time servitor and LOYAL servitor of Bhagavan, Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju. So Shri K. Chakravarthi, in my considered view, should not be involved in future in matters related to the Sai university.

To conclude, Prof. K.B.R. Varma HIMSELF should PUBLICLY respond to this demand from Sathya Sai fraternity. If he chooses to stay silent then, in my considered view, he would be failing in his duty as vice-chancellor of Bhagavan founded DIVINE UNIVERSITY, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sai University).
=================================================================

In response to a comment on Mr. Ganti's Facebook post, which satirically suggested, "Let Ravi S Iyer be made the Chancellor of Sathya Sai University and Mr. Ganti as the head of Sai Organisation world wide. ...", I wrote (slightly edited):

Anonymous user, Parthi Resident, shamelessly uses the image of Sathya Sai, and spews satirical hatred. Let him argue against what I have said instead of stooping so low. And, BTW, after my horrific experiences with academic administrators in the Sai university (for details of it see my post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html) and my attempts at improving practice of software development in Indian Computer Science & Information Technology academia (see my blog Indian CS & IT Academic Reform Activism (table of contents) here: http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/p/table-of-contents.html), I have decided not to associate with any UGC/AICTE/NAAC regulated/accredited academic institution in India. So there is no way that I will associate with SSSIHL (Sai university), a UGC deemed university which is accredited by NAAC, in any capacity in the foreseeable future.
----

In response to a comment by V.R. Ganti sir on his post, " Ravi S. Iyer ... - Do you guys really think that VC of SSSIHL has powers to strip the Gold Medal of Madhu? If VC Varma Garu does that, I think I will start worshiping him", I wrote:
Vr Ganti sir, The vice-chancellor of SSSIHL surely has the power to publicly condemn the so called communicator actions of SSSIHL alumnus, Madhusudan Rao Naidu, which is misleading and misguiding thousands of Sathya Sai devotees worldwide. About the revocation of the gold medal: I don't know. But he surely can look into the matter and publicly share why it cannot be done, if it cannot be done. ... See sir, as of now, the vice-chancellor of SSSIHL has been COMPLETELY SILENT on Madhusudan Rao Naidu and on Muddenahalli group, as far as I know. That, in my considered view, is an abdication of the spiritual leadership role that Bhagavan expected from the vice-chancellor of his DIVINE Sai university (SSSIHL).
----

In response to a comment by anonymous user "Parthi Resident" on his V.R. Ganti sir's post, "... Your friend Ravi S Iyer has condemned his past University colleagues openly on public forums numerous times. All those individuals have been chosen by Swami to serve him in various capacities. I am not sure if he understands the implication of his actions, tarnishing the reputation of a hallowed institution setup by Bhagwan himself to serve as a role model for Educare....", I wrote:

I have exposed the Asathya and Adharma of a few (4) Sai university administrators in 2011-12 who became power-crazy after Mahasamadhi and instead of following what was being done during Bhagavan's physical presence, changed it to their whim and fancy. These persons have, in my considered opinion, done immense damage to the spiritual mission of Bhagavan's beloved Sai university, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

Perhaps Parthi Resident is supportive of the actions of Narasimhamurthy and Sashidhara Prasad as they were appointed to their positions by Bhagavan himself. I think he should then change his Facebook name to "Muddenahalli supporter and Parthi Resident".

What the life of Krishna and Mahabharata teaches us is that even very erudite and capable people like Bhishma and Dronacharya failed to act when needed, and ended up supporting Asathya & Adharma which led to their eventual downfall.

I kept silent about these matters till 2015 when I saw that Muddenahalli group had become a serious divisive threat to Sathya Sai movement worldwide, and that they were misguiding thousands of Sathya Sai devotees. Therefore I decided to become a whistle-blower of these administrators (4) who in 2011-12, committed Asathyam and Adharam, and Teacher-Droham-paapam.

What has Parthi Resident done all this while from after Mahasamadhi till now, to promote Sathya & Dharma, and to expose Asathya & Adharma in Sathya Sai movement? Let him/her answer for us to get some feel of the credibility & contribution of the anonymous person hiding behind the Facebook name of "Parthi Resident".
----

In response to comments by anonymous user "Parthi Resident" on V.R. Ganti sir's post, I wrote:

I had a quick look at the nasty and vicious vitriol being poured against me by "Parthi Resident". I now have the view that this guy is another Muddenahalli troll attacking me and not a genuine seeker and practitioner of Sathya & Dharma. So I have decided to ignore him and block him on Facebook (will do the blocking shortly after I make this comment). Thanks.
----

Have blocked Parthi Resident and cannot see his comments. I request Facebook friends of mine NOT to pass on Parthi Resident's comments to me. I mean, I just want to completely ignore him/her. Thanks.
----

V.R. Ganti sir wrote as a comment in his post, the following (slightly edited):
Dear (Friends) --snip Facebook names of many people--end-snip. Please note that I have tagged a few of my (friends) only due to limitation of the number of people who can be tagged.

I want to convey some very important information to you all.

There is a person named Parthi Resident who apparently lives in Parthi (and) is making some comments on my wall primarily with the intention of bringing a rift between Shri Ravi S. Iyer Garu and me which I totally condemn.

First of all this person Parthi Resident is not identifying himself and he is an anonymous person and so I would like to call him a coward. He does not have the guts to come in the open and make statements. He is crazy indeed.

Secondly, what is he trying to do, cause disunity? Is that what a Sai Devotee would ever do. If there is (likelihood) of some misunderstanding creeping in between 2 persons, I would think (it) should be the endeavour of Sai Devotee to try and remove that misunderstanding rather (than) exhibit "add fuel to fire" type of attitude. I would like (to) say that all of us should say CHI CHI TO THIS ACTION OF PARTHI RESIDENT.

Since September 2014 when I undertook the task of exposing Mhalli Gang / Saga and also work towards TRUTH & DHARMA, I always wanted UNITY between both Parthi Camp and Mhalli Camp. Also Ravi Iyer Garu has been working in his own way in accomplishing the same objectives as of mine. Yes, approaches have been slightly different though not totally different and in my view that is perfectly OK. I cannot expect the whole world to be agreeing to what I say and/or what I do. However Ravi Garu and I have been working for the same cause of exposing fraudsters of Mhalli. This Parthi Resident guy is trying to bring a rift between two of us and I dont know whjy.

In any case who is this guy is the big question I have.

My request to all of you is to totally condemn this Parthi Resident guy and let us try and teach him a lesson.

Parthi Resident Sir - come out in the open and tell us what is the point you are trying to arrive at and we can all work together because we LOVE ALL Sir.
----

I (Ravi S. Iyer) responded to the above comment:
Vr Ganti sir, Thanks for your unstinting support for me as I have come under vicious attack from the anonymous user, "Parthi Resident".

My stand is that as I write about Sathya Sai fraternity matters on social media, I must be accountable to fair criticism about my writings. I am certainly not perfect and do have my fair share of human flaws. I responded to some comments of "Parthi Resident" in that spirit. However, he/she then went overboard in his criticism like Mervyn Hughes of Muddenahalli group and so I felt that his criticism was no longer fair criticism and I suspect that he is a Muddenahalli group supporter trolling me like Mervyn Hughes. So like I blocked Mervyn Hughes, I have blocked "Parthi Resident" too.

Regarding "Parthi Resident"s attempts to create conflict between you, Ganti sir, and me - don't worry about that. I think both of us are mature enough, have seen enough of the world - India as well as other countries - and have held responsible positions in our professional fields to be able to handle such attempts.

Ganti sir, I have publicly been appreciative of your very courageous and hard work (done for free) in sharing the truth about Muddenahalli group with Sathya Sai fraternity. I repeat that appreciation now. You have been ready to even lay down your life in your quest to remove Asathya & Adharma from Sathya Sai movement after Mahasamadhi, and foster Sathya & Dharma. I will never forget that courage that you have shown. It is due to that courage of yours that a lot of very unpleasant and sad happenings in Sathya Sai movement after Mahasamadhi got shared with Sathya Sai fraternity on the Internet. You have done a great service to post-Mahasamadhi Sathya Sai movement, in my considered opinion.

Given this track record of courageous fighter for Sathya & Dharma in Sathya Sai fraternity, that you have earned, Ganti sir, if there is some allegation about me which bothers you, please feel free to simply mail me about it. I will respond to the allegation to you over mail. You can ask me about any allegation that Muddenahalli trolls like Mervyn Hughes or now Parthi Resident, make against me. If the allegation is about something personal I may refuse to entertain it on those grounds but I will say that to you.

And yes, there are differences in the approach that Ganti sir and I have taken in our efforts to defeat Asathya & Adharma in post-Mahasamadhi Sathya Sai movement and foster Sathya & Dharma. Mr. Ganti can be very aggressive at times and is sometimes very critical of Prasanthi Nilayam. At times, I have even vehemently disagreed with some of Ganti sir's criticism of Prasanthi Nilayam and Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.

I think I am less aggressive in my approach than Ganti sir, and I typically steer clear of financial, police and legal matters. Further as I am a direct/indirect beneficiary of services of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, I try to avoid any criticism of SSSCT and its trustees. I must also say here that on rare occasions, I make exceptions and am very politely critical of SSSCT and/or its trustees.
----
========================================================
Terry Reis Kennedy shared my Facebook post corresponding to this blog post. Here is her share: https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10211925291786477.

Given below are few comments from that shared post of Terry Reis Kennedy:

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks for sharing, Terry Reis Kennedy. I think it is high time SSSIHL vice-chancellor acted in this matter by living up to the spiritual leadership role expected from the vice-chancellor of Bhagavan's DIVINE university (and not just a mere deemed UGC university), SSSIHL.
----

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Agreed. I can understand that very few people want to do the needful when it will involve upsetting the status quo, a valued situation, because it infers that all is well. So many world university heads, particularly in the USA, have ignored any number of bad actions by graduates and staff in the past only to end up finally having to expose the truth of misconduct and abuse. Madhusudan Naidu has abused his right to that medal by going against the very teachings of his only True Mentor, Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Such a grave sin has to be exposed and the Sai Fraternity has a right to make such a demand. That is my humble opinion. Devotees are going to stop funding Bhagawan's DIVINE educational institutions if the people who are in charge do not keep them in the manner that our Beloved Guru instructed.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
What you said is the plain and simple truth and also the wise truth, Terry Reis Kennedy. Thanks for your valuable view.
----
=============================================================