Saturday, February 18, 2017

Competent persons can become threats to incompetent ones in ashram; Competent young men with kids, and well paid jobs should NOT rush to join

Last updated on 19-Feb-2017

My apologies right at the outset to those who feel hurt by the title of this post. But I felt that it is better to share my views on these unpleasant aspects of ashram systems rather than shove it under the carpet. Those readers who prefer to avoid reading such stuff may please skip reading the rest of this post.

The trigger for this post came from a conversation I had recently with another person about somebody who earlier was serving in Prasanthi Nilayam ashram, but later quit, got married and has children, and is now seriously considering whether he should consider serving as a full time employee in PN ashram system, if he gets the right job.

It has been my direct experience in Prasanthi Nilayam ashram system, especially after Mahasamadhi, that my high level competence in software development became a threat to the Head of academic department (HOD) I was serving in. The HOD was incompetent in software development and had adopted anti-software development academic policies in the department after he had taken over as HOD. He could not tolerate the ACADEMIC SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT CONTRIBUTION success of students and me in an online schooling project that the ashram system had taken up in a big way, and so used Shakuni poison tactics, with support from higher academic authorities, to force me out of the department. For more details, readers may view my post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with --snip-- administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html.

Essentially I had a choice of lowering my high level of competence in software development to suit the incompetence of the HOD, and become a yes-man to the HOD, to survive in the academic department where I was offering FREE SERVICE as a Visiting Faculty OR I had to leave the academic department. Since I was NOT FINANCIALLY DEPENDENT on the academic institution associated with the ashram system, for my simple ceiling-on-desires single/unmarried life, I chose the latter as the honourable, truthful and ethical option, the Sathya-Dharma option, to take.

Now I don't think my case of my high level of professional competence in my area of professional expertise becoming a problem for others, is exceptional in Prasanthi Nilayam ashram system. I have heard of some similar cases where competent persons got targeted by incompetent heads and peers in the ashram system. I also think it will be similar in many other Indian ashram systems. Ashram systems are typically dictatorial and abuse of power by heads/bosses is common, if not rampant.

Given this situation, I would NOT advise Indian middle class (or lower/poor class) young married men who are professionally competent, and have young children, to leave well paid jobs in outside world and join Prasanthi Nilayam ashram system, UNLESS Bhagavan DIRECTLY instructs them to do so via a dream or vision. In the latter case (Bhagavan dream or vision instructions DIRECTLY conveyed to them), Bhagavan takes over and so we have to leave behind our human analysis stuff.

If such persons join PN system as an employee they have to learn how to survive in the system. If they are lucky, their bosses may be good. But sometimes they may land up with a boss who targets them and makes life miserable for them. They may then find that they cannot easily take the option of resigning from the ashram job and going back to outside world. I mean, it is not easy to get a suitable job again in the outside world and neither is it easy to shift a family with small children.

Higher education expenses for professional degrees like medicine or engineering, which may come into the picture around twelve years down the line for persons with K.G. going children now, is quite high and getting higher and higher in India. I have done some study on this in the past. Here's one of my blog posts related to it: Two Hindu articles on Radically reforming higher education, Student loan procedures and concerns; Aspiring Minds employment linkage to edX MOOC courses, http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/2014/06/two-hindu-articles-on-radically.html, dated June 2014.

I know of cases where Puttaparthi locals (parents typically) have taken loans for the higher education of their children (e.g. Master of Computer Applications degree, Nursing degree) and found it/are finding it quite burdensome to service that debt. Yesterday evening a Puttaparthi local parent sought my advice for his son's engineering degree choices. I told him about Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) being a great private college for engineering (with good job placement record) but whose expenses per year may be around Rs. 2 lakhs for tuition and hostel and other stuff! So the four year engg. degree at VIT could cost around Rs. 8 lakhs for the parents.

Not every student can get a merit seat in good government funded medical and engineering educational institutions whose tuition fees (and hostel expenses) are significantly lower than reputed private colleges.

Given all this background, I think the wiser option for young professionally competent, middle class or lower class/poor people with well paid jobs in outside world, who are married and have young children, is to stay in those jobs and NOT join PN ashram system UNLESS Bhagavan DIRECTLY tells them to do so in a vision/dream. Instead I would suggest they associate in a part-time volunteer capacity with Sathya Sai orgn. or with PN ashram. PN ashram system and Sathya Sai orgn. would need knowledgeable people who donate their free services and/or donate money at times, and they would be grateful for such services rendered. I mean, that's how these ashram systems work. It is an ecosystem of top-level office bearers (like trustees), patrons/donors, ashram paid staff, ashram honorary staff (with lesser workload & responsibility than paid staff typically) and devotees.

I must also say that if a person is unmarried, or is married but does not have children dependents, and is willing to lead ceiling-on-desires life, OR is so rich that he does not have to worry about money at all, Prasanthi Nilayam ashram system job and life can be very good and spiritually quite fulfilling. One learns over time how to compromise when dealing with powermongers and envious persons who may be in powerful positions, so that one survives in PN system. There is some level of moral challenge in having to employ such compromise tactics for survival in PN system, but it is not too bad, especially as compared to the moral challenges one faces in the outside world e.g. corporate power politics in Mumbai or Bangalore or Chennai.

I think what I have written above would be applicable for most ashram systems in India, irrespective of whether it is Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jain, Buddhist or multi-religion ashram.

I would like to end this post by sharing with readers a difficult story, in short, about a Christian pastor in a village near Puttaparthi. Note that this is about Telugu language Christian pastors catering to Telugu speaking villagers. Further note that I have been told that this(ese) particular Christian church(es) do not accept the divinity of Sathya Sai, BUT are NOT critical of him and are thankful to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for all the good that he has done to Puttaparthi and surrounding villages.

Pastor P was assigned by a seemingly medium sized Christian mission based in a well known city of Andhra Pradesh, to cater to a church in this village that was built by the Christian mission. P did the typical pastor job of conducting services, building the church community and visiting the homes of the members of his congregation for prayers and other religious activities. P seems to have been paid a regular salary for this work by the Christian mission.

A few years later the senior people in the Christian mission decided to get involved directly with this village church managed by P. This seems to have created a problem between P and his mission elders resulting in P moving away and starting a separate church in the same village! The congregation got split. P no longer seemed to have got his salary from the Christian mission (naturally), and became dependent on those congregants he was able to attract to his new church. That seems to have brought great financial pressure on pastor P and his family having three children!

Now if pastor P was an unmarried priest like Catholic priests then it would not have been such a sad situation. Note that pastor P seems to be of Protestant Christian faith which allows for married pastors.

I wish Pastor P all the very best and pray to Lord Jesus Christ to help him and his family meet these challenges that he faces. I don't know whether Pastor P got some dream/vision of Jesus Christ advising him to part ways with his earlier Christian mission and start off on his own. If so, then it is a matter of faith and I will stay silent. But if Pastor P did it on his own urge then I have to say that it seems to me that as a family man with three children he should have acted more responsibly.
==============================================================

Given below are some comment exchanges on Facebook post of mine,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1865009940382241, associated with this blog post.

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Over the years I have observed the difficulties, first hand, of people with children trying to live and work in Parthi to be in the divine atmosphere. What you have written, Ravi S. Iyer, is so accurate. Thanks for posting this article. It may help people to re-think their life goals, for instance.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks a ton, Terry Reis Kennedy for your encouraging comment. It really helps me when I get such encouragement.
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Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Many people just love your writing, Ravi S. Iyer. But hardly any take the time to express themselves. Usually, they don't understand how difficult writing and researching and organizing are. Readers assume that writers just sit down and toss things off the top of their heads.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks once again, Terry Reis Kennedy. My writing style could surely be better. However I have consciously chosen to focus on truthful capture, analysis and sharing using a hurried software developer/software analyst kind of writing style. If I take more time to polish the English language in the posts, I will not be able to cover as much ground as I do now. In other words, I am focusing on quickly logging the data and the analysis, and not bothering so much about writing style and ease of comprehension for the reader.

This leaves open the possibility that somebody down the line finds some of this content useful and decides to change the presentation of the content using more polished English language and better organization perhaps. Note that I have clearly written on my blog associated with these posts that any of my content in these blog posts can be FREELY REUSED in any way (including adaptation). That also leaves open the possibility of somebody, acting as an editor of interested posts (my content part) on my blog, creating a copyrighted work which can earn the person money (for the time & effort put in). Note that the copyright and money would be for the edited work and will NOT impact the original work being free for anybody to see and reuse.

I am not interested in having any part of such money earned by such editing work, and I would be happy for the person who earned some money from some edited versions of my posts.
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Terry Reis Kennedy wrote:
Earning money for writing is so difficult. You need to find the publisher first....who really wants the work. then you give him/her what he wants......
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks for your experienced view, Terry Reis Kennedy. I think earning money for spiritual writings would be even more difficult!

I think that is why a lot of spiritual writings stuff, including editing I guess, is done by spiritual aspirants who view that work as a sadhana/spiritual effort, rather than a money earning opportunity. However, sometimes they may keep a money earning angle, at least to recover costs incurred for the work they have done.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I should also add that low-cost-publishing (also called self-publishing if I recall correctly) seems to have come of age in India. So people can come out with printed copies of their books, at their own cost. However, book sales without the marketing effort and sales channels that a regular & reputed publisher provides, is another matter altogether.

I got some exposure to such low-cost-publishing as a correspondent of mine, a senior Indian computer scientist, Mathai Joseph, used that route or similar route, to publish his book, Digital Republic, http://mathaijoseph.com/. I mean, he did not have a regular publisher like Penguin as I think the regular Indian publishers were (perhaps rightly) skeptical of the market in India for such a book. Note that the site has review comments from some top people in Indian and international IT field.

I approached Sai Towers to put up his book on their shop window, which they agreed to when I provided a free copy for that purpose to them. But nobody showed interest in buying it even though it was there on the shop window for months!

You would know more about these Indian "self-publishing" websites. But here's one such site's plans: http://www.self-publish.in/plans.html, in case you want to have a look.
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Uma Ragunathan wrote:
Anna, i support your point of view :-)
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks sister Uma Ragunathan.
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Kallepalli Lakshmi Narayana Deepak wrote:
Very good post sir. One point I would like to tell; there are people at lower cadre who flatter these power mongers and hence they are able to do such asathya and adharma activities. If people at lower cadre are united, these power mongers would definitely become fishes without water. Essence is that part of the blame goes to selfish people under them
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks brother Kallepalli Lakshmi Narayana Deepak for your appreciation of my post and other parts of your comment.

See, I would not be so harsh on lower cadre paid (or honorary) ashram staff. In dictatorial/feudal systems which is what PN ashram system is, some level of sycophancy is inescapable. Those of the lower cadre paid staff who seek higher position and pay, and sometimes even honorary staff who seek higher position and power (but not pay), would note that sycophancy leads to more opportunities for career growth in the ashram system. So some of them who are keen for career growth will indulge in sycophancy. Expecting everybody in the lower cadre staff to be above such desires is not realistic.

In dictatorial/feudal systems like PN ashram system, the saying, Yatha Raja Tatha Praja (As is the King so are the subjects), is very much applicable. If the heads/bosses of various departments discourage sycophancy and encourage fair criticism within their departments, then it creates a healthy working environment even within a dictatorial/feudal system like PN ashram system. Mind you, fair criticism is based on evidence and logically developed opinions. Personal level abuse, fabricated evidence and motivated criticism to **fix** somebody is unfair criticism and should be rejected outright.

Unfortunately, in many departments of dictatorial/feudal type ashram systems like PN ashram I think that department heads/bosses view even fair criticism as attacks on them and show their displeasure when such fair criticism is made. That scares lower cadre staff into quiet submission, which in turn, over time, leads such heads/bosses to become more intolerant to fair criticism, and more encouraging of sycophancy. It is not uncommon for such heads/bosses to then live in a sycophant created artificial reality bubble, quite disconnected from the reality on the ground. Eventually the sycophancy created artificial reality bubble bursts but by then lots of damage would have been done to the department headed by such a boss.

Heading departments in dictatorial/feudal type ashram systems like PN ashram is a test of character, in my considered opinion. Can such a person stay away from abusing his/her power? The words of perhaps the most famous USA president, Abraham Lincoln, in this context, are very apt: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Source: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin101343.html. Perhaps this quote should be framed and put up in corridors of power in PN ashram system and other Indian ashram systems.
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Friday, February 17, 2017

I condemn the racist slur against Nepali and Nepali origin Indians made by Muddenahalli group troll Fake Id Venkatesh Babu/Parthi Resident

Given below is a comment I made on Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/shubha.kumar/posts/10157972934605538, which I felt appropriate to share as a blog post:

I unequivocally condemn such a racist slur made by the MDH troll against Nepalis and Nepali origin Indians. That's an unacceptable low in this back-and-forth going on, on Facebook, between the MDH troll and others including Chiran Basnet.

Nepal is a Hindu state - one of the world's few Hindu states. I am given to understand it has stayed true to Hindu traditions. No wonder many Nepali and Nepali origin Indians became staunch devotees of Kali Yuga Avatar, Shiva Shakti Swarupa Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I should also say that India and Nepal share a very close bond even if there have been some periods of strain.

My first exposure to Sathya Sai organization was Sathya Sai Seva samithi, Dombivli (near Mumbai, Maharashtra). It had a Nepali/Nepali origin Indian, an ex Indian Navy person, hailing from Darjeeling area, as its convenor. I am not mentioning his name as I don't want to drag his name into this conversation. If I recall correctly, he had served on INS Vikrant, India's first aircraft carrier, and also sustained a significant injury while on duty on INS Vikrant (or perhaps it was on some other Indian Navy ship). He was living in Naval quarters then in Colaba, South Bombay, I believe and so attended Sai organization functions in Colaba. Later, after retirement, he moved to Dombivli, got associated with the samithi and later was made convenor.

If I recall correctly, he had multiple interviews with Bhagavan where Bhagavan was encouraging him and giving him more vigour in handling his Sai organization responsibilities. I recall how he told me that in one interview he sought permission from Bhagavan to kiss his lotus feet, which permission Bhagavan gave him and so he could satisfy his heartfelt desire of kissing Bhagavan's lotus feet.

He also would come to Prasanthi Nilayam for Seva, and on at least one occasion was assigned the duty of guarding Swami's Poornachandra residence. That was a natural fit for him given his Indian Navy background. He also told me of an incident, I think before 1995/96, when a huge Croatian, overcome with emotion, had tried to rush towards Swami (perhaps not with any violent intent). I don't recall clearly whether he was one of the people then who had to stop the huge Croatian from getting physically close to Swami and doing some harm at physical level to Swami, even if it was unintentional (I mean, a huge Croatian rushing at Swami may have led to Swami falling down or something like that).

When I first associated with the official Sai organization in the early 90s (in Dombivli), I was stunned to see such dedication from this gentleman in his capacity as convenor and also from his wife. They showered me with their love, told me a lot about the organization, and were very devoted to Bhagavan. Uncle was also strict in his discipline being a former Indian Navy man. Both uncle and auntie did tremendous loyal, courageous and devoted service to Dombivli Sathya Sai organization and through it to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and I was a direct witness to it during the years 1993 or 1994 until 2002 when I moved to Parthi from Dombivli. At a personal sadhana level too they both were very, very devoted to Swami.

Very, very unfortunately, convenor uncle did face a less harsh but still racist slur from a splinter group head in Dombivli. I commiserated and sympathized with him when he told me about it (it had happened a little before I joined the samithi).

I shared the above to show that I personally have benefited from my association with Nepali/Nepali origin Indian Sai devotee office bearers of Sai orgn. Not only did they guide me about Prasanthi Nilayam and Sai orgn, and Swami at physical form level, their satsang helped me imbibe some of their deep devotion to Swami.

By the MDH troll casting such a terrible racist slur on Nepalis, in my considered opinion, the MDH troll has cheapened the Muddenahalli group. What would Nepali and Nepali origin people who are believers in Muddenahalli group feel when they read such comments? Pathetic stuff! And if these comments have come from a Sai university alumnus, it is a matter of SHAME for Sai university that one of its products has descended to such low racist slur level for our valued and loved Nepali and Nepali origin Indian people.

Madhusudan Naidu is growing in holy man stature among his followers; Why can't he follow Premananda by becoming Madhu Baba!

Last updated on 17th Feb 2017

Anonymous Facebook (FB) user wrote recently on private FB chat (slightly edited):
Dear Ravi, keep it up. Your journalism and reporting of the truth as you and many see it is heroic. I turn to your pages these days to hear about the Alike developments, --snip--. The vibhooti spectacle proves nothing. Even IF he can materialize it it means nothing. See this video of Swami Premananda materializing vibhooti and lingams. Sai ram --name-snipped--

Swami Premananda Mahashivarathri 1994, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTjVC4EuB7o, 8 min. 32 secs.

Plus I wanted to share a way to fill the day with Sai Darshans you might not know. Go to the Sai Love youtube site access their playlist and press 'play all' then 'shuffle'. Enjoy, Sai Ram
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8JK6SDU9RI&list=PLD9aFxIvO8i8-sd5L4FK2Boq80JR4g7LB
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I responded (slightly edited):
Thanks --name-snipped--. Went through the videos. May I share your message ANONYMOUSLY on Facebook and my blog? Please don't feel obliged to say, Yes. It is OK if you prefer that it is not shared.
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Anonymous FB user responded:
Hi Ravi. A big YES. it is an honour for me that you share the post. Sai Ram
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I responded (slightly edited):
Thanks --name-snipped--. Jai Sairam!
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--- end FB chat conversation ---

Ravi: I later looked up the wiki page on Swami Premananda. I have given some extracts later on in this post.

I think it is clear that Madhusudan Rao Naidu is steadily expanding his "godman" role. We now have pics of him giving vibhuti powder (not vibhuti packets) to a devotee like how Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba used to give vibhuti.  I have been told that Madhusudan is referred to as Swami by many in Muddenahalli ashram. I think it is a natural growth in holy man type stature that Madhusudan has acquired among Muddenahalli group devotees over these past few years. Now some readers may vehemently disagree with my above statements referring to Madhusudan as "godman" and as having acquired holy man type stature among Muddenahalli group followers. But I think what I have written seems to be true. Note that I am not accepting his FALSE CLAIM of being a communicator of Sathya Sai, and neither am I saying that he is viewed as a holy man by all Sathya Sai devotees. All I am saying is that within Muddenahalli group/following Madhusudan has acquired a holy man stature.

I am NOT BUGGED or ANGERED in any way with Muddenahalli group followers viewing Madhusudan as a Swami/holy man. I believe that Madhusudan, as an Indian citizen has the right to preach and cater to his following. Further his followers have a right to worship him and follow him.

The ONLY ISSUE I have, which is a VERY BIG ISSUE, is that he is using the name of my beloved Guru, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, for his (Madhusudan's) darshan, interviews and discourses. And there, in my considered view, he is MISGUIDING thousands of Sathya Sai devotees worldwide. That part really BUGS ME.

What Madhusudan should do is to follow the example of Swami Premananda or Bala Sai Baba of Kurnool or Sanjay Sai Baba of Nepal. Madhusudan could get known as Madhu Baba. Instead of his discourses being published as Sathya Sai Uvacha they can be published as Madhu Baba Uvacha.

Then he can use all kinds of fund collection techniques including what was initially planned at MDH group event in Colorado, USA, which event seems to have now been cancelled. I mean, Madhu Baba can charge people money for attending his darshan events! I will not have any issue whatsoever.

While I know some readers may disagree vehemently with my view, I do not mind if Madhusudan even uses the name, Madhu Sai Baba. But let him STOP using the name of Sathya Sai Baba!!!

[Update on 17-Feb-2017: Before the wikipedia extracts below I would like to inform users of a comment put up on my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1863943040488931, associated with this post.
Vivek Chhibba wrote: In the name of objectivity, I think it's fair that your readers also view this page to get the background of the court case on Swami Premananda. It can be seen here: http://justice-for-premananda.org/.
--- end comment ---

There are some other interesting comments too from Vivek Chibba on the above mentioned Facebook post.
end-Update]

Some extracts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swami_Premananda_(guru):

Prem Kumar (Nov. 17 1951 – Feb. 21 2011), better known as Swami Premananda, originally from Sri Lanka, was an Indian guru who founded the Premananda ashram. He was convicted of multiple counts of rape and a murder in 1997.
...
Originally from Sri Lanka, Kumar had an ashram and orphanage there, in Matale. He moved to India with his followers in 1984 to escape the Sri Lankan Civil War, bringing with him undocumented Sri Lankan orphans who had been in his care. He initially opened an ashram in a rented building in Tiruchirappalli, then moved to Fatimanagar in 1989. The ashram there covered 150 acres of land with plantations of flowers, fruit, and teak. The ashram served as a shelter for women and orphan children. About 200 people lived in the ashram, most of Sri Lankan origin. Branches of the ashram later opened in the UK, Switzerland, Belgium and other countries.
...
On 20 August 1997, Premananda was sentenced to life imprisonment and fined 67.3 lakhs for 13 counts of rape, molestations of two girls and a murder. Failure to pay the fine was to carry an additional term of 32 years and 9 months. He was also convicted of cheating the residents of his ashram, which carried another one-year sentence. Six others were also found guilty of conspiracy to commit rapes and destroying evidence. Five were given life sentences. In view of the severity of the crimes, the judge denied them any future remission of their sentences or amnesty by any state or central government.

Premananda appeared unperturbed by the sentences and while talking to reporters, said: "Truth will ultimately triumph".
...

In January 2000, the Madras High Court ordered that 36.4 lakhs from Premananda's frozen accounts should be placed in a fixed deposit for three years and the resulting interest should be paid to the victims as compensation. The original guilty verdict was appealed to the Madras High Court and the appeal was rejected in December 2002.

In April 2005, the Supreme Court of India rejected an appeal. On 5 February 2009, the Madras High Court rejected a habeas corpus petition, keeping in view the recommendations of the district sessions judge at the time of conviction and the previous Supreme Court order. On 26 June 2010, however, the same court accepted Premananda's petition requesting a three-month parole to undergo medical treatment.

As of 2005 a European named Doris was running the ashram who said that Premananda was innocent.
...
Premananda died on 21 February 2011 of acute liver failure, while being held in Cuddalore Central Prison. Until his death, he continued to say he was innocent.
...
On 16 November 2014, Swami Premananda's birth anniversary was observed by his devotees at the residence of C. V. Vigneswaran in Colombo, Sri Lanka. On 22 February 2015, the Swami Premananda International Conference was held in Colombo. It was attended by A. T. Ariyaratne, founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, D. M. Swaminathan, a Sri Lankan Cabinet Minister, C. V. Vigneswaran, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, and about 50 delegates from various countries including Argentina, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Nepal, the UK, the US, Sweden, Switzerland, India and Poland.
--- end extracts from wiki page of Swami Premananda ---

Here is an interesting video of Swami Premananda perhaps while he was allowed to go out of prison for a short while for medical treatment, Swami Premananda - Satsang : "I am not in prison", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAzf_wu4sAk, 11 min. 20 secs.
======================================================================

Some comments of mine, besides update comment given earlier, from associated Facebook  post of mine, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1863943040488931, are given below.

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
--Name-snipped--, I am not saying that Swami Premananda or Bala Sai Baba were/are con artists. They were/are holy men with a following. Swami Premananda claimed that he was framed/conspired against. I don't know what is the truth. But it is well known that spiritual ashram heads in India do become a target for false conspiracies made against them by their enemies and vested interests. There is quite some history related to it in India.

I read the article, "THE TRUE STORY OF THE CASE AGAINST SWAMI PREMANANDA AS TOLD BY ARULJOTHI", http://justice-for-premananda.org/aruljothi/. It portrays the conspiracy side of the matter.

If you can make the time, do have a look at this video: Swami Premananda - Satsang : "I am not in prison", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAzf_wu4sAk, 11 min. 20 secs. I found it to be quite impressive. Premananda comes across as somebody who has maintained his spiritual balance even when he was under a prison sentence. The video seems to have been made when he was allowed out of prison on parole for a short while for medical treatment.

But his case judgement went from trial court to high court and to Supreme court of India, with the trial court judgement against him being upheld. And he was represented by one of India's leading lawyers, Ram Jethmalani. That's the other side of the matter.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I found this Premananda Mahasamadhi video to be quite interesting. Undoubtedly he had won the hearts of many people who adored him as their Guru and Swami. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqoiUHGmi8g, around 18 mins.
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[I thank wikipedia and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sathya Sai: I do not involve Myself in money matters. But people today consider money as God. How can such people be called devotees?

Given below is a message from a former Sai university student of mine, sent over Facebook private chat yesterday, 15-Feb-2017, afternoon, which I felt appropriate to share publicly. I have edited it slightly to make it more readable but have not altered the content.

--- start Facebook chat message from my former Sai university student ---

Sir, listen to discourse of swami on 22nd july 2002 in asia stream now.

We are undertaking so many social welfare activities, but I have never asked anybody even for a paisa. You are all aware of this. I do not involve Myself in money matters. But people today consider money as God. How can such people be called devotees? I told you earlier about this. I

[168 Sathya Sai Speaks - Volume - 35]

have started a service programme to look after children who do not have parents. One lakh rupees would be deposited in their name, which will take care of their needs. I have not asked anybody for any help in this regard. But today some people are collecting money saying that they would donate the amount to Swami for this purpose. Some others are proclaiming that they have taken up the responsibility of looking after the children. Can there be a worse sin than this? All such people are betrayers of God. Better they beg in the streets, than use My name to collect money.

By Swami

He clearly told:

Marketing with Swami’s name is highly disgusting and distressful. There can be no commerce in matters of devotion. Even the salty ocean may yield drinkable water, but this kind of devotion is worthless. It is already late. Swami never solicits donations from anybody nor He has agents for propagating His Message. I do not have any association whatsoever with these deceitful persons. Swami needs no material wealth. The only need of Swami is genuine love.

Earlier, it was quite different; devotees were few, but they were genuine. Nowadays, there are too many self-seeking cheats masquerading as devotees. First thing in the morning, they adorn their forehead with vibhuti, wrap a scarf round their neck and roam about freely in the guise of devotees. Even the stray dogs scrounging around for something to eat are better than such fake devotees!

Your Heart Only Need Be My Temple

Embodiments of Love!
Develop love in you. Swami needs no temples or rest houses. The temple of your heart is more than enough. Swami shall stay happily therein. The news that I get from those so-called temples is highly distressing to Me. The amount of anguish that I undergo because of these is beyond your imagination. Do not do bad acts in the name of God.
--- end Facebook chat message from my former Sai university student ---

Ravi: I wrote back to him, "Interesting! Why don't you share it on your Facebook post?".

But there has been no response from him. So I decided to share his message publicly. Perhaps that's why he sent it to me.

I would also like to use this opportunity to advise Sai university alumni, especially former students of mine, to be COURAGEOUS in freely sharing Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's messages on their Facebook pages. Don't be afraid to share such messages of Bhagavan on your Facebook pages! Muddenahalli group will not be able to do anything to you just because you have shared Swami's message. I have the firm faith that Bhagavan will protect you, his students, when you are spreading his messages on social media.

[In Telugu (please excuse mistakes in my not-so-great Telugu)] Dhairyam undala! Mana Sathya Sai Devudu maata prajalalo dhairyanga cheppandi. Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha! Sathya Sai Devudu, elanti vishayamlo, tappaka mimmalni kapadatadu.]

I would also like to say that institutions built using large money donations like free hospitals and schools should not be confused to be proof of the claims of anybody, no matter how senior in Sai fraternity and no matter what his association is with Sai university, of being medium or communicator or dream-instruction-successor of Sathya Sai. If a set of associated trusts gets around Rs. 1000 crores as donations in a key year of its operations, surely it will be able to build a lot of free hospitals and schools. It is COMMENDABLE that they have done such free service to humanity institutions. But it is CONDEMNABLE that they are using these institutions to promote FALSE CLAIMS of some person(s) being a communicator/medium/dream-instruction-messenger of Sathya Sai as Bhagavan has on so many occasions, publicly said that he NEVER communicates with his devotees through intermediaries (communicators/mediums/dream-instruction-messengers) and that his communication with his devotees is DIRECT between him and the devotee.

In my considered view, devotion to Sathya Sai should NOT BE MEASURED and TOM-TOMMED by number of free service schools and hospitals some people create. I think that alone is a FALSE MEASURE. It is the Bhavam (feeling) with which that free service is conducted and the purity of thought, word and deed associated with that service that is the most important devotional aspect. NOT the number of free service schools and hospitals created!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Madhusudan Rao Naidu now gives Vibhuti powder to Sai devotees taking his imitation of Swami to higher levels

Facebook post, "HORRIBLE EVIDENCE OF HOW THIS FRAUDSTER & IMPOSTER MADHUSUDAN NAIDU IS IMITATING SWAMI BY GIVING VIBHUTHI TO INNOCENT DEVOTEES", https://www.facebook.com/saimemories/posts/1332942350085668, dated Feb-14-2017 of Facebook user Saibliss has the pictorial evidence of Madhusudan Rao Naidu taking his impersonation/imitation act of Bhagavan to the higher level of supposedly blessing devotees by giving vibhuti powder (not Vibhuti packets) to them. Those pics are given below with the lady devotee's face blanked out:



Pics courtesy: Saibliss Facebook user

I don't know whether Madhusudan Naidu has the siddhi power of materializing vibhuti or procuring vibhuti using paranormal powers from some nearby place, or whether he just acts as if he has materialized vibhuti, or whether he simply takes vibhuti powder from elsewhere in the room openly in front of the devotee and gives it to the devotee, thereby not giving any impression of materialization.

Given below is a comment of mine made yesterday night/today early morning on the original post shared below:
Hmm. So it seems Madhusudan Rao Naidu is now acting as if Bhagavan has materialized vibhuti in his palm and is giving that to the lady. I mean, it is not taking a plastic vibhuti packet from his pocket and giving it to the lady, which is what I had presumed he was doing earlier.

This is very worrying as it will fool more & more devotees into believing his imitation actions.

And I agree, to some extent, with the statements, "Madhusudan naidu has become a blot on the student community, tarnished their image to such an extent that people have lost respect for the Sai Students. It is high time Sai brothers who owe everything to Swami voice out and openly condemn this blasphemy and sacrilege."

But I think most Sai students have taken a vow of silence in public on such matters. SILENT WITNESS to Madhusudan Rao Naidu imitation of our beloved Lord!

And people like us who write about it, get requests by elders to stop such writings - I got one today. I unfriended the gentleman as I saw there was no point in trying to explain to him that being SILENT WITNESS to Asathya & Adharma in this Muddenahalli group matter is NOT WHAT Bhagavan has taught as per his public discourses over the decades. Jai Sairam!
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Sri Narasimhamurthy is plain wrong in reported criticism of Prasanthi Nilayam devotees as doing pradakshina of samadhi thinking Swami is not in Muddenahalli

Comments I made on the Facebook post of Shubha Ramesh Kumar, 'Shirdi Baba said "My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees" It is therefore only natural that we worship and throng the Samadhi of our beloved Sai Ma in Prashanti Nilayam', https://www.facebook.com/shubha.kumar/posts/10157957648230538 dated 15-Feb-2017, are given below:

This comment of mine presumes that sister Shubha's English translation of the audio she refers to is correct.

I think it is very rich for Sri Narasimhmamurthy (BNNM) who has DISOBEYED the instructions of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba with respect to mediums and communicators, and who is promoting the FALSE BELIEF in so called communicator Madhusudan Rao Naidu, to criticize people who worship the samadhi of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Prasanthi Nilayam. I don't think such devotees who worship the samadhi at Prasanthi Nilayam say that Bhagavan is not there in Muddenahalli. So BNNM is plain wrong there.

What many people of Prasanthi Nilayam say is that Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claim of being a so called communicator of Bhagavan goes against the public instructions and teachings of Bhagavan!!! Madhusudan Rao Naidu is not saying the words of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba!!!

Creation of many free schools and colleges and free medical service institutions cannot JUSTIFY promoting an imitator who may have some siddhi powers, as a communicator of Bhagavan. Neither can many such free service institutions be a proof of Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claims being true!!!

The International Red Cross, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Committee_of_the_Red_Cross, and Medicines Sans Frontieres, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9decins_Sans_Fronti%C3%A8res, do extraordinary and much required medical relief work in many places worldwide. There surely must be Christian missionary educational institutions which are far bigger in their operations than what Muddenahalli group is doing. But they do not promote mediums and communicators of divine figures like Jesus Christ and use their vast institutional network to justify such medium and communicator claims!

For spiritual work, not only should the ends be good but the means also should be good. By using the not-good means of Madhusudan Rao Naidu FALSE CLAIM of being a communicator of Bhagavan, it is my considered view that Sri Narasimhamurthy and other leaders of Muddenhalli group have chosen a false belief and therefore fragile foundation for the spiritual movement they are creating. They are misguiding thousands of Sathya Sai devotees worldwide by endorsing and promoting this FALSE CLAIM of Madhusudan Rao Naidu.

Sathyam Vada Dharmam Chara is what Bhagavan told us to follow. How can using the Asathya & Adharma of Madhusudan Rao Naidu imitating some aspects of Bhagavan, and DISOBEYING the instructions of Bhagavan by claiming to be a medium/communicator of his, be viewed as following Bhagavan's teachings and instructions???

It is very sad to see a close and long-time servitor of Bhagavan, a former warden of Bhagavan's university, publicly endorse and promote such false belief. Jai Sairam!
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[In response to a request to sister Shubha to take the "sickening" pics down, I wrote as follows (slightly edited):]
No --name-snipped--. The pics should stay up. I plan to share them shortly (from SaiBliss post). We have to inform and educate the Sathya Sai community about what these FALSE BELIEF purveyors are doing using the HOLY NAME of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
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[In response to comment of Ajith Padyana who is a former student of mine from Sai university, and so personally known to me, "What Shubha madam has written is absolutely nice translation from Kannada to English. Swami has to take care of these fools. No more respect to these frauds", I wrote as follows: ]

Thanks Ajith Padyana for backing up Shubha Ramesh Kumar's translation from Kannada to English. As I don't know Kannada I needed some confirmation of Shubha's words before I shared this post on my timeline, as the words are related to Sri Narasimhamurthy and are sensitive. Will share this post shortly.
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Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust board reconstitution resolutions removing S.S. Naganand as trustee, stayed for 15 days by Karnataka High Court

Last updated on 16-Feb-2017

HC stays board resolution removing trustee, http://www.deccanherald.com/content/596482/hc-stays-board-resolution-removing.html, dated Feb. 15th 2017

A couple of sentences from the above article are reproduced below:
Justice V Veerappa [of Karnataka High Court] passed an interim order, staying for 15 days the resolution of the board of trustees [of Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust] at a meeting held at Muddenahalli in Chikkaballapur district on January 21, 22 and 23, and ordered an emergent notice to the respondents.

In the petition, Nagananda said he was removed for questioning the illegal acts of the trust secretary B N Narasimha Murthy and other trustees ...
--- end short extract from deccanherald news article ---

Ravi: I would like to inform readers that I have read the main part of the Writ Petition filed by Sri S.S. Naganand in Karnataka High Court which has been referred to in the Deccan Herald article above. As it is a legal matter, I will need to take permission from my elder sister if I were to share details of this writ petition. I don't want to bother her right now.

But I can say that my reading of the main parts of the Writ Petition tells me that Sri S.S. Naganand is fighting very hard for Sathya & Dharma in challenging and trying to reverse the HIJACK of Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust and associated institutions by Sri Narasimhamurthy & others of Muddenahalli group.

I thank Sri S.S. Naganand for this fight he is waging for Sathya & Dharma in the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust and associated educational institutions. I pray to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to continue to shower His Grace on Sri S.S. Naganand and give him (and his family) the courage and strength to keep fighting this Sathya & Dharma battle. I also extend my full support to Sri S.S. Naganand in this matter.

I urge all readers, and in particular those readers who want to save Muddenahalli and Alike schools from the HIJACK by Narasimhamurthy, Madhusudan Naidu and group, to give their full support to Sri S.S. Naganand in this matter. If I recall correctly, Sri U. Gangadhar Bhat sir's removal from the Loka Seva Trust as trustee was also part of the above mentioned resolutions of Loka Seva Trust which has been stayed for 15 days by Karnataka High court. So those readers who want to save Alike school from Narasimhamurthy and Madhusudan Naidu group control, and want Sri U. Gangadhar Bhat sir to remain in charge of Alike school should also support Sri S.S. Naganand in this matter.

I earnestly pray to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to ensure that Sathya & Dharma are followed in this matter related to trustees removal or addition in the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Trust, Muddenahalli, Karnataka.

Jai Sairam!
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Given below are some comment exchanges from my Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1863156837234218, associated with this blog post:

Name-snipped wrote;
Iyer sir, this is the beginning of the END. jai sai ram
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
--Name-snipped-- sir, the case seems very strong against illegal actions of Loka Seva Trust trustees. Sri S.S. Naganand seems to be pursuing the right course of action, as I see it from my layman (non lawyer) eyes. Eventually when the case does get heard properly in court, I think all the trustees illegally added will be ordered to be removed by the court. So, from that point of view, I tend to agree that it seems to be the beginning of the end of the illegal HIJACK of Loka Seva Trust by Narasimhamurthy, Madhusudan Naidu & co.

However, I do hope that our Sathya Sai devotee brothers and sisters of Muddenahalli group do not face any problems in the service activities that they are engaged in, under a different platform. What they should do is COMPLETELY STOP the DRAMA of Madhusudan Rao Naidu so called communicator stuff. Then they may not face any issues for their service activities done in a different platform from that of official Sai orgn.
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Terry Reis Kennedy wrote (slightly edited):
Thanks, Ravi! I appreciate you(r) support of senior advocate Sondekoppa Sundaraswamy Naganand. He is doing great work. Aum Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
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[I thank DeccanHerald.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extract from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]