Sunday, May 31, 2015

Authoritative & comprehensive archive of MESSAGE of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

"New Initiatives of SSS Central Trust - 2, Conversation with Mr. K. Chakravarthi - Part 04", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUQPUABTs9Q, 14 min. 20 secs, published on May 28th 2015.

The latter part of the above-mentioned video has very interesting info. on the archival centre and the focus on maintaining & disseminating the MESSAGE of Swami that it will have. I think this is a VITAL, VITAL function of the Central Trust. Generations to come should have an AUTHORITATIVE and COMPREHENSIVE archive, which is easily accessible, of the MESSAGE of Swami on various topics of life, across the decades of His role as the Avatar-JagadGuru, This will be of great benefit not only to scholars of religion, spirituality, Bharatiya (Indian) culture, ethics & philosophy, but also to lay persons.

[Ravi: I have given below selected comments, slightly edited, from a related Facebook post of mine here: https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1623830134500224. I have presumed that Sai Das and Eve Gardener would not mind me putting up their comments on this blog post, which is a free service (Seva) activity for interested Sai devotees (and others as well).]

Eve Gardener wrote:
I do feel Sai Das said it all yesterday, that people have access to books, videos, personal experiences of Sai Baba. After all Sai has only been gone 4 years, The Sai material from those years dating back to 1940's etc. is all on record.. Thus, any "so called poser," would, no doubt, have an ulterior motive to want to "improve" on the original Sai.
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Sai Das responded:
Never before has there been such an archive in any major religion of the person on whom it was founded. We should not lose sight or downplay the significance of this.

When it comes to mediums and the like, Swami is crystal clear on this subject. He didn't speak cryptically or ambiguously of this or anything else for that matter. What we are seeing now is a redefinition of Swami's words which is not a good idea to say the very least. We have seen this being done in the world's religions for many centuries now. Many of us Sai devotees somehow think we are special and beyond that sort of thing but we are obviously not.
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Ravi S. Iyer responded:
Sai Das: You have raised a very vital point. We Sai devotees have PROVED that we are NOT beyond diluting and compromising Swami's message. So, as a community, we need to be vigilant about this dilution and compromise by any of our brothers & sisters, and prevent it as far as feasible, as a service to coming generations.
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Sai Das responded:
Indeed Ravi. Just look at the care and attention to detail given even many centuries ago to whatever was said by those like Jesus, the Buddha , Mohammed, etc. This was done to both insure the integrity of what was said as well as to prevent other interpretations, which sadly, happens anyway.

The problem then that we don't have now, was that much of the teachings were hearsay and not written down at the time they were spoken. We have no such problem with that since Swami's own words are recorded for all time.

I think that Swami's own words are the only case that needs to be made against this sham.

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
As somebody who is crazy about scripture, not only Hindu scripture but scripture of other religions like Christianity, I have a decent idea of the battles involved in keeping the messages of great spiritual masters like Krishna & Jesus alive, the way they said it. Actually speaking I think it is quite well established that their messages did get distorted quite a bit over centuries and millennia. For Hindu scripture, say like the Ramayana (account of Lord Rama's advent), scholars of Ancient Indian history (e.g. Romila Thapar, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romila_Thapar) as well as Hindu religion academic scholars (like Diana Eck and Wendy Doniger (Prof. Doniger is not a favourite of mine though :-) ) from Harvard & University of Chicago respectively) will argue that there are hundreds (yes, hundreds) of versions of the Ramayana with quite some differences between them. How do you decide which one is the correct one, they argue? ..... In the case of Jesus Christ, we have the canonical gospels and the apocryphal gospels, the preaching of St. Paul (of Tarsus who did not have contact with bodily Jesus Christ before crucifixion) and those of the apostles who walked and lived with Jesus Christ like Matthew and Peter...... Now, in the case of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the CT should ensure that there is no such confusion, as far as possible. And, of course, there should be CLEAR DISTINCTION between physical form Sri Sathya Sai Baba's message and messages of any claimed subtle bodies/light bodies.

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Eve Gardener responded:
With Sai you already have the material, Back in J.C.s time, nothing was written down until years later. But ah hah, from a scholarly point of view, there will always be differences eh? I mean scholars, I know many here on FB, they love to argue the toss over who is right and who is wrong. They would not be scholars if they did not continuously make a point of discussing and rehashing major religous and secular works.. However, this should not happen with Sai.

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Sai Das wrote:
Yes and it is a historical fact the Council of Nicea in 325 AD actually altered and manipulated the teachings to great extent, suit their interests. We are in no way beyond that sort of thing now believe me.

[--snip--]
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Well, some religion scholars do raise fascinating and genuine issues through their research. I got exposed to a lot about the life & times of Jesus Christ from a recent book by U.S. academic scholar, Reza Aslan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zealot:_The_Life_and_Times_of_Jesus_of_Nazareth. Sure, Aslan may have got something wrong. But his analysis with fair bit of what seems to me to be decent supporting data, was fascinating. So, while the academic scholars do have to argue, I think some of their arguments & theories are genuine and not presented simply because they have to. ... In India today, there is a MASSIVE tug-of-war going on between what are referred to as Marxist historians view of Ancient India (that Rama & Krishna are mythological/fictional figures), and the current BJP-NDA govt. supported historians (non-Marxist, if I may use that term) who want to rewrite ancient Indian history viewing Hindu scriptural accounts like Ramayana and Mahabharata as historical sources rather than mythological sources. This battle makes news in the mainstream print media every once in a while. ..... So, CT must go the extra mile, with suitable replication facilities which are ideally separated geographically (like Google (gmail etc.) data servers, I am told), to ensure that such academic (religion, history, philosophy etc.) and philosopher, theologian etc. battles over what Swami actually said or wrote, is completely avoided.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Eve Gardener Sai Das P.S. Those readers who want to get some idea of the current MASSIVE tug-of-war between Marxist and non-Marxist historians of ancient India may want to see my blog post, Comments on Prof S.N. Balagangadhara's paper, 'What do Indians Need, A History or the Past?', http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2014/12/my-comments-on-prof-sn-balagangadharas.html, dated Dec. 22nd, 2014.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Safeguarding against unauthorized use of HOLY NAME of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi

Given below are the slightly edited contents of a few recent (in the past few days) Facebook posts I made on the topic of safeguarding against other spiritual group(s) unauthorisedly using the HOLY NAME of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Ethical question of Muddenahalli subtle body/light body using name of Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba

In a Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10207002748925982, asking questions of somebody who has recently put up a Facebook post of his miraculous experiences with Muddenahalli subtle body/light body, Mr V.R. Ganti raised the following point (and other points too):

Please note that anyone can worship anyone else, including LIGHT BODY and donate as much money as one likes and no one has the right to object the same. However using SRI SATHYA SAI BABA’s name for the above purposes is what really creates the confusion, anguish and the issue that is being faced by many SAI Devotees now.
--- end Mr. V.R. Ganti FB post content extract ---

Ravi: I put up the following comment (main content of comment):
That somebody experienced paranormal power/siddhis of some subtle body/light body in Muddenahalli does NOT bother me at all. Good for the person who experienced such power, I say. Let him enjoy and benefit from the spiritual advise and other advise given too. ..... The BIG ISSUE for me is that the name used by the Muddenahalli subtle body/light body is the HOLY NAME of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. Is it DHARMIC for such a subtle body/light body and its supporters to use this name without any permission from the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and/or the close (bodily level) kith & kin of Sri Sathya Sai Baba? There also is a serious question of whether it is LEGAL to do so, even if the exact grounds of the legal challenge may be obscure as such a claim of a subtle body/light body with a chosen communicator may be happening for the first time in Indian legal system history. ..... I think Sathya Sai devotees who are actively involved with this Muddenahalli subtle body/light body matter (in the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi) must really ponder over the ethical nature of this matter. Is it the right thing to do? Is it the fair thing to do? How would they feel if somebody else started doing some activity using their name without their permission? Would they feel happy about it? Would they not seriously consider legal action against such people?

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Suggest that P.I.L. be filed in Karnataka High Court against MDH for UNAUTHORIZED use of HOLY NAME of Sri Sathya Sai Baba

An exchange from FB post, https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10207002748925982, is given below:

[name-snipped] wrote:
Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati. Entha Maatramuna Evvaru Thalachina Antha Maatramey Neevu...

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
It is good that brother [name-snipped] has commented on this post. I have not had the pleasure of knowing him but I have heard good things about him. I also have been given to understand that he acts as a kind-of counsellor to some who want to know more about claimed MDH subtle body/light body and chosen communicator. Apparently brother [name-snipped] has got convinced about claims of chosen communicator & subtle body/light body due to some revelations of personal matters between him and physical form Swami, that were made to him by chosen communicator.
I hope [name-snipped] will continue to comment on the exchanges going on in this post, including what I will be giving below.

Before I get into the main part of this comment, I would like to state my stand on organization and Sathya Sai. Perhaps some official Sai organization members may be upset with my view - I request their kind indulgence.

In a recent private FB chat I was asked, "What is more important- His Message or His Organization?"

My response was:
Very clearly, Swami's message is the VITAL thing. However, the organization, especially for family people, provides a great platform to learn about, practise and share Swami's message. But if somebody is unhappy with the official organization and wants to steer clear of it and practise his/her Sai path individually or with some other group, I believe physical form Swami was fine with that (though organization heads would not publicize such views of Swami). Essentially, Swami and Swami's message simply CANNOT BE LIMITED by any organization, even the official Sai organization.
--- end my response to (one) FB chat question ---

To reiterate, I believe that Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba SIMPLY CANNOT BE LIMITED to any single organization (official Sai organization). He is a universal, spiritually mighty phenomenon whose teachings & life can be used as inspirational models by anybody in an individual/family capacity, and/or any organization, whether official Sathya Sai organization or unofficial Sathya Sai organization or organization unrelated to Sathya Sai, anywhere in the world. BTW I was in the past associated with the official Sai organization in Maharashtra, India and the Sai university in Puttaparthi (a total of nearly two decades), but now am not associated with any Sai organization and act in an individual capacity.

OK, now to the main part of my comment. As I thought more about the matter I feel that some well placed Sathya Sai devotees should file a well worded Public Interest Litigation (P.I.L.) in Karnataka High Court about Muddenahalli chosen communicator and claimed subtle body/light body USING the HOLY NAME of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, WITHOUT, as far as I know, any permission from Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Puttaparthi and/or close (bodily ties) kith & kin of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Let us know what the interpreters & dispensers of the law of the land in India, i.e. the honourable judges of the High Courts/Supreme Court, say about the matter. And, of course, the decision of the honourable High Court in Karnataka on such a P.I.L. will be binding on Muddenahalli chosen communicator and subtle body/light body associated trusts and organizations. [They could then appeal to Indian Supreme Court, of course.]

In terms of time taken for such P.I.L. cases, what I have noticed in recent times, is that many P.I.L. cases at High Court and Supreme Court levels do get taken up quickly (matter of months and not years), and sometimes, if the matter is not too complex, one gets the verdict in a year or two. The very act of filing the P.I.L. and it getting accepted as a serious P.I.L. by the High Court or Supreme Court, usually puts great pressure on any persons doing something illegal which affects a large number of Indians. So, if such a P.I.L. (on unauthorized use of Sri Sathya Sai Baba's name by Muddenahalli chosen communicator and subtle body/light body) filed in Karnataka High Court even gets accepted and viewed seriously, that itself may go a long way in resolution of this matter. I mean, even before the judgement comes in the matter, the process of the High Court looking into the matter, will itself help in resolution of the matter.

Another point is that such a P.I.L., in my understanding, can be filed by a group of Sathya Sai devotees itself, without the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust or any other part of the official Sathya Sai organization being involved in the filing of the P.I.L. Jai Sairam!

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Update on 28th May 2015
Considering the high level of discomfort expressed by some Sathya Sai devotees online to my suggestion of filing P.I.L. in Karnataka High Court, I now think that this may not be an appropriate time for such a move. I think such a move should be considered only if a large number of Sathya Sai devotees feel that the honourable Karnataka High Court should be approached to get its valuable view of the matter. As of now, I think the number of Sathya Sai devotees who seem to be of the view of approaching Karnataka High Court for this matter, seems to be very small.
Therefore I am now of the view that the PIL suggestion should be kept in abeyance (not used, as of now).

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Who will have the legal burden of proof for chosen communicator claim of seeing & hearing subtle body/light body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi?

If at all the chosen communicator claim of seeing and hearing a subtle/light body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi does get challenged in a court of law, an interesting question that comes up is: who will have the burden of proof for proving/disproving this claim? Will the plaintiff (party making the complaint also referred to as complainant) have to disprove the chosen communicator's claim OR will the chosen communicator have to prove his claim?

Given the fact that the chosen communicator claims to see & hear an invisible-and-inaudible-to-all-but-him subtle body/light body of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, whose bodily form passed away in April 2011, and that such a claim is truly, truly extraordinary and seems to be unheard of in the history of major religions & major spiritual movements in the world, I would not be surprised if the judge/bench of judges will accept the argument that the burden of proof i.e. burden of giving reasonable/substantial evidence for the claim, lies on the chosen communicator.

I mean, he claims that the subtle body/light body he is seeing & hearing is Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. So I think it is fair to expect him to provide reasonable/substantial evidence for that claim. I wonder what such reasonable/substantial evidence could be, which would be acceptable as valid grounds for such a claim in a court of law in India.

For more on the legal burden of proof readers may visit Cornell University, USA's site here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/burden_of_proof

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Why am I writing so much on Facebook opposing MDH, P.I.L. possibility, and not visiting MDH for direct experience of subtle body

Four long comments of mine from FB post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1622647497951821

Please feel free to skip/browse through the long comments :-).

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Brother [name-snipped], thanks for your comment. My understanding of the teachings of our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, is that we must oppose such claims of mediums and communicators, and emphasize that Bhagavan's connection is direct heart-to-heart. If your following was a small one it would have been fine - not too much disturbance to mother Sai organization. But now your following has become a SERIOUS THREAT to the UNITY of the Sathya Sai movement worldwide. You may not agree with my view but a lot of Sathya Sai devotees including me think that way.

Your view may be that I (and others like me) should sit back and be silent witnesses and wait for Swami's will to prevail. My view and the view of some other people is that Swami expects us to act as His instruments by opposing such claims which are a THREAT to UNITY of the Sathya Sai movement.

About other people who claimed to be like Swami (I don't think anybody assumed the full name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi) while Swami was in physical body: I don't think they were anywhere close to the THREAT that your following is posing to the Sathya Sai movement. For example, I have never come across discourses of Bala Sai Baba of Kurnool being openly sold in Puttaparthi (outside ashram) as Swami's discourses (Sathya Sai Baba's discourses).
About my posts appearing on your wall, I am sorry if it disturbs you, brother. But I am afraid I will be continuing to do what I see as my duty in investigating the truth of the chosen communicator claims via means that are fully constitutional and fully legal in India. Please do not hesitate to unfriend me as I understand your discomfort with my posts. Even if you 'unfriend' me on Facebook, we can continue to be real life friends. It has been a pleasure to interact with you so far, even though we have very different points of view on MDH matters. Take care, brother. All the best with your spiritual journey to/with SAI.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Brother [name-snipped]: Nowadays I don't have time to watch movies. But who knows maybe I will get free later on to watch the movie you suggested. .... I do not know your background as a Sai devotee. Please note that I have been in the Sathya Sai fraternity in India for over two decades now, and that I have spent over a decade in Puttaparthi with a lot of time in the Sai university dealing with students and former students like brother M. I have made a lot of inquiries about the matters on which I am writing about rather regularly. I prefer not to put out matters on the Internet which are personal - but, believe me, I have received a fair amount of information from various fairly reliable sources about what I write about. It is based on a large picture that I have arrived at the conclusion that yes, brother M, chosen communicator, may have some siddhis/paranormal powers either directly or through a spirit, and that power has so far been largely benevolent. But it is also becoming clearer and clearer to me that if it is a spirit that is communicating with brother M (as against siddhis he himself has acquired) then that spirit, even if it has mind & memory reading abilities and some materialization siddhis, is NOT Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. Today, you may rant against my FB posts and my regular comments on this matter. But don't be surprised if sometime in the future you may thank me for these FB posts & comments....... Mind you, I am not saying brother M is doing this out of evil intentions or crooked intentions. In all probability, brother M has got misled by a powerful but so far benevolent spirit that is masquerading as Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I have arrived at this conclusion after a lot of information gathering from various quite reliable sources, and based on my knowledge of scripture & spiritual writings, as well as opinion of knowledgeable people in these matters.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
[name-snipped]: Response to your point, "All i am saying is if you really think this is all lies proceed it legally and make a so called EXPOSE. Posting on fb everyday is not going to change anything".

1) I am not saying it is "all lies". After a lot of discussion & thinking I came to the conclusion that the key issue here is the usage of the HOLY NAME of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi for claimed subtle body/light body. Now, all I am saying is that the idea of the court telling us whether that usage is OK or not, permissible or not, is not a TERRIBLE idea. It will not impact any schools or hospitals associated with MDH. If the court does get approached and does rule that MDH cannot use the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba to refer to MDH subtle body/light body, then I think the main impact will be on its publications and media output and public statements. They may have to use a different name like Sukshma Baba (which is already being used by some MDH supporters, I believe). I repeat, it does not involve any impact to the working of schools, hospitals etc. as well as the activities of chosen communicator & subtle body/light body when done using a name other than that of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

2) About not posting on FB but going to court straight away: Well, now I am playing a community activist role to discuss the matter thoroughly and debate future action. This involves using social media especially FB, in my case. Going to court with a P.I.L. is not a straight-forward matter. First the community has to be sounded out, and if they like it, then it has to be organized and then the move. And I am using FB as a platform for sharing my views. As I am a retired-from-commercial-work guy and as I find this issue as a very vital matter I am spending a lot of time & energy on it (as my duty to Swami).

3) Further I, and others, are also playing an active role on FB giving our view of the MDH matter. We are doing this so that Sai devotees worldwide who are interested to know about such matters easily find our point of view. Once again, most of us are doing this out of what we perceive to be our duty to Swami.

So you may have to tolerate fair bit of such views from me on FB. Sorry if it upsets you but I have to do what I see as my duty to Swami.
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Ravi S. Iyer Brother [name-snipped]: I have already explained elsewhere why me visiting MDH or personally experiencing subtle body/light body is not relevant to my conclusion that it is not Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. But let me try to give my main points for it below:

What can me visiting MDH do? The maximum is that I may experience that brother M via subtle body/light body can read my mind & its memories, I may experience great happiness and peace and joy ... That will help me conclude that there is a wonderful spiritual power in MDH which feels just like Swami.

But for me to conclude that the spiritual power in MDH is the same Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, the vital matter is the study of subtle body/light body discourses and the actions of chosen communicator & subtle body, and then its comparison with the discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi and the actions of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. I have already done that and arrived at the conclusion that the discourses and actions of claimed subtle body/light body of MDH is different enough from discourses and actions of Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, for me to view the spiritual power at MDH to be a different spiritual power which may be appearing as Sri Sathya Sai Baba to chosen communicator.

Now I don't deny your experiences with the spiritual power at MDH. I am happy for you. But I do not accept the claim that it is the same Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi which is the spiritual power behind MDH and MDH chosen communicator.

As you are persistent about your view and perhaps that persistence springs from your spiritual thirst, I feel that I should also share some matters with you, which I had earlier wanted to avoid touching upon. I hope what I will type below will be viewed in the right spirit - you may feel free to disagree with me and dismiss the info. but don't view it as a malicious charge. I am just sharing some info.

Recently I was informed by fairly reliable sources that brother M, the chosen communicator, had met a senior PTP functionary, prior to Swami's hospitalization & Mahasamadhi (maybe even a year or two before Mahasamadhi), claiming that he (brother M) could see & interact with a subtle body Swami! In other words, even when Swami was in physical form in PTP, brother M was interacting with subtle Swami! The senior PTP functionary refused to treat the claim seriously then as we had Swami in physical form with us.

This information reinforces my view that the subtle body/light body that is interacting with brother M is a different spiritual power that appears to brother M as Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.

BTW the same PTP functionary was met again by brother M after Mahasamadhi with a claim that subtle body Swami was with him (brother M) then (in PTP). The PTP functionary again refused to accept the claim.

Now I am not saying that you should accept whatever I have written above as the gospel truth. It came from reliable sources but it is not established fact.

Further, you may come up with some explanation like too much mind is not good for spirituality, or something else, to stick to your faith in MDH. Actually, I don't want to disturb your faith in MDH. Who am I to do so? Even if you believe it is the same Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi who is now at MDH as subtle body/light body, I don't want to disturb your faith.

My FB posts are aimed mainly at other Sai devotees across the world, who are not sure about these MDH claims, and are looking for information on it. All the best for your spiritual journey, brother. Jai Sairam!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A frank exchange on idol/image worship in Sai fraternity, and on arrogance, pomp & show in Sai fraternity

Last updated on 3rd August 2015

Given below are some parts of a conversation from this Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/urnandakumar/posts/912115322163231 [3rd August 2015: This post seems to have become unavailable/been deleted.]

[3rd August 2015, Ravi: I have deleted the Facebook post content and some of the comments from the comment exchange below as I felt those post-authors & comment-authors may have concerns about it being shared on this blog post.]

[---Facebook-post-content-deleted---]

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
My humble view on the matter (and I could be wrong) is that while Bhagavan SURELY encouraged idol worship (and photo/image worship) and CLEARLY SHOWED that it is NOT WRONG, He also said it is a stage in the spiritual journey from formful aspect of God to formless. A quotation from His discourse, Shivarathri 2002, http://www.sathyasai.org/discour/2002/d020312.html, "Every creature that takes birth in this universe has a form (murthi). Idols are inert in nature and do not possess the qualities of compassion, love, forbearance, etc. It is for this reason that some people are against idol worship. This is ignorance. You use your forefinger to point a specific object, say, a flower or a tumbler. Similarly, idols are like pointers to Divinity. Once you recognise Divinity, you don't need the pointers, say, idols. Such being the case, is it not foolish to object to idol worship?" ... ... Regarding installing a big idol of Swami in Sai Kulwant Hall which is perhaps what your post is suggesting, I simply do not know enough of the various views & issues to comment. .... BTW a recent post of mine, Need to move from physical form Sathya Sai to mental-form Sathya Sai or formless God Within, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1622306014652636, may be of interest to you (and perhaps other readers) in this context.
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[---comment-deleted---]

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Ur Nandakumar: I PROTEST strongly against some words in your comment. Those are not words that we should use about our Sai brothers & sisters. However, I do agree that many in our fraternity are attached to idol and image worship, and that leaders of the Sathya Sai movement should give importance to that aspect of the following.
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[---comment-deleted---]

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Well, I believe Swami had said that His mission is mainly for regular people in the world and not for sadhus and sannyasis/sannyasins who have enough spiritual masters to go to. And, if one looks at Rama & Krishna avataric careers, they too were involved in the hurly-burly of the regular world. So, yes, we (Sai fraternity) may not have illumined souls like a Ramana Maharishi but then we surely have many, many people across various samithis as well as various homes of Sai devotees across the world who are "manchi vaadus" (good persons) to use Swami's term. That's what the world badly needs now - good persons and not people with spiritual powers but without strong moral values who end up misusing their spiritual powers for their individual gain and the detriment of society in general. .... And many of these "manchi vaadus" who may be unimportant from official Sai organization hierarchy perspective, demonstrate that they have moved to mental-form Swami within and sometimes even formless God within, without need for idol worship. Perhaps you may not have had the good fortune to identify the low-profile "manchi vaadus" in the Sai fraternity :-). Jai Sairam!
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[---comment-deleted---]

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Well, there are some of that type too in our fraternity especially in positions of power in the Sai organization and institutions. But let us not tar all with the same brush. Perhaps the physical form presence of Swami led some such organization positions people to become arrogant. But now their arrogance will automatically come down as the physical form is not there, and they have to prove their capability on their own. BTW this problem of arrogance was particularly noticed in Puttaparthi with villagers and townfolk around Puttaparthi getting fed up of "Puttaparthi Poguru" (Puttaparthi arrogance). It changed dramatically after Swami's Mahasamadhi where we Puttaparthi people were plunged into CHAOS & CONFUSION and fair bit of disrespect from the public. NOW, fours years after Mahasamadhi, things have stabilized to some extent. ... I think this is part of life in the career of an Avatar. Just read up on the arrogance the Yadavas had when Krishna was in their midst when a son of Krishna, Samba, ridiculed great Rishis bringing upon the Yadavas a curse that destroyed them. Krishna did not come in the way of that curse and allowed the curse to function even on His own body! See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mausala_Parva.... In comparison we Sathya Sai devotees are far better. Some arrogance among some organization leaders/heads but nowhere near what Samba, the son of Krishna, had.

Need to move from physical form Sathya Sai to mental-form Sathya Sai or formless God Within

In response to a Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/mafalda.casascordero/posts/836951373040843, I commented as follows:

Viewing somebody whom one has grown to admire and trust as an elder Sai (spiritual) brother or sister, or even mother or father, and getting some spiritual advise from them is fine, IMHO. But going to the extent of viewing them as channels/mediums/communicators of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is WRONG as per Bhagavan's own instructions & teachings given many, many times in public discourses. Sorry, if the word WRONG sounds harsh, but it is my duty to my beloved Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, to say the truth about what He said in this matter, however disturbing and unpleasant it may seem to some who like to go to mediums & channels & communicators.

In this immediate post-Mahasamadhi phase it is natural that many Sai devotees feel a deep void emotionally due to the physical absence of our beloved Lord. This emotional insecurity seems to be leading many to go to channels/mediums/communicators. They may get some emotional relief from these persons. But the spiritual trap they can fall into is that they may BELIEVE them to be REALLY communicators of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and thereby become kind-of spiritually dependent on them.

About communicating to Swami/formless God within, my own experience which may be the experience of many Sai devotees, is that it is not as easy as interacting with physical form of Swami. Our mind plays tricks and so what we consider to be the inner voice of Swami/formless God may actually be a mix of our mind + God within. Whereas when one interacted with physical form Swami there was no possibility of such confusion as Swami would simply KNOW and GUIDE us with a look or gesture whether we were on the right track or not.

However, if we keep praying sincerely and earnestly to Swami, and keep trying hard to listen to the inner voice, in an atmosphere of purity, then it is my experience that the inner voice/intuition/mental-form Swami/formless God comes through very clearly, and one REALIZES that it is the RIGHT guidance.

In short, I think all Sathya Sai devotees have to now embark (if they have not earlier done so), with whatever small steps they can take, on the journey from physical-form Sathya Sai to Sathya Sai mental-form or formless God in the very depths of our own hearts. We must wean ourselves away from physical forms not only of Sathya Sai (mental form of Sathya Sai is OK) but also physical forms of mediums, channels and communicators who claim to be intermediaries of Sathya Sai.

-------------------------------
In the associated Facebook post with the above contents, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1622306014652636, there was this following comment exchange:

Mohan MK Kumar wrote:
I think sometimes there is a necessity of going back to a sort of BALAVIKAS classes for all the adults Sai devotees, and to bring in that familiar usual awareness teachings of asking to feel the "BREATH", asking the person to "breath in" and "breath out"...a bit of "soham" explanation...and the fact that only when it is mentioned about breath that one became aware of "breathing"...and the fact that it is taking place....keeping us all ALIVE....no battery or an external energy is required...and the breathing goes on....similarly "the beating of the heart"...no external energy or battery is required.....and that energy to be related to the "ATMIC PRINCIPLE"... that is within all of us and slowly and meditatively leading the person to look within...the mental form...the breath...continuous soham (and the fact the whole humanity is under the process of SOHUM..the 'in' and 'out'...so the the same ATMA IN ALL)....and that Oxygen is so freely available to all mankind...every where (omnipresence) to take in and out.....and this can be elaborated in so many ways...a goods balavikas guru can do it and I feel many of us must have small gatherings...sathsanghs where such exercises, and meditative techniques to be done, and to internalize GOD, whom we have seen and experienced....Sorry....may be rudiments but a necessity to internalize the FORM WITHIN...the same LOVE within....in ALL...
-----------------

Ravi S. Iyer responded:
Interesting suggestion, Mohan MK Kumar. However, what I experienced in Puttaparthi with physical form Swami, was a tremendous emphasis from Swami on worship of the Lord in whatever form (or even formless aspect) that we are comfortable with, with DEEP FAITH that yes, God is there within and that He will respond to earnest prayer in a suitable way (may not be the exact way we wish it to be). So the Bhakti (devotion) aspect with the ASSURANCE that He will RESPOND, is very important. That gives courage to devotees to face the challenges of everyday life. The forceful assertion that "Devudu unnaadu" - God is (there), and a God who DIRECTLY intervenes in human life (like how He intervened for Prahlada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prahlada), or for Draupadi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draupadi#The_game_of_dice), or for Shabari (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabari)), I think was a very important part of Swami's message to humanity. Note that no communicators or intermediaries were involved in the DIRECT divine Grace showered on Prahlada or Draupadi or Shabari. So it would be good if your above suggestion is somehow blended with what I have written above.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Venerable Howard Murphet on Dangers of communication phenomena under guise of great spiritual name

An extract from the famous book, "Man of Miracles" by Howard Murphet (first published in 1971, with this edition perhaps being dated around 1981) available as a pdf download here: http://www.saicenter.us/books/Sathya_Sai_Books1/Sai%20Baba%20Man%20of%20Miracles.pdf, from page 120:

Other psychic happenings reported from here and there include automatic writing, and written messages seen by clairvoyants either in rangoli powder or on plain walls and ceilings. These messages purport to be from Sai Baba. The people closely concerned with such phenomena (at least the ones I have personally met) seem sincere and high-minded. They describe enthusiastically how the messages are used to help the sick, to give ethical training in action and habit, to assist people in distress concerning their personal relationships, their jobs, and so on. So the power at work seems to be a good, compassionate one.

But there is, of course, a danger in communication phenomena. For one thing, as occultists know, the lower astral plane contains plenty of impostors, pretenders and worse, ever ready to seize a chance of communicating with this world. Therefore psychic forces not so good, not so benevolent, might easily begin to manifest under the guise of the great spiritual name. Thus people may be fooled and misled. And the eventual result would be to foster man's pride, egotism and lower desires rather than his higher spiritual aspirations.

There were indications that greed and desire for notoriety were already being stirred among followers when a notice appeared in the ashram magazine, under the direction of Baba. The notice said: "Some persons misuse the name of Baba, and announce that Baba is in communication with them, giving them messages, answering questions and granting interviews, their object being to earn money or fame." The notice goes on to say that such phenomena have to be explained either as the manifestation of spirits or as sheer fakes by cranks or crooks: "It is the duty of devotees to stop all such trickery by wise counsel and firm denial."

Baba makes it clear that recipient must judge the genuineness of any psychic happenings for themselves, but they should never use them as a means of drawing a crowd around for publicity, fame or making money.
--- end extract ---

Ravi: Let us examine these words of the venerable Howard Murphet more carefully.

"But there is, of course, a danger in communication phenomena. For one thing, as occultists know, the lower astral plane contains plenty of impostors, pretenders and worse, ever ready to seize a chance of communicating with this world. Therefore psychic forces not so good, not so benevolent, might easily begin to manifest under the guise of the great spiritual name. Thus people may be fooled and misled."

Did Mr. Howard Murphet foretell the future, or what!!! And these words are from the venerable Mr. Murphet who, I presume, knew a lot about such occult matters. Very interestingly, Mr. Murphet uses the words "communication phenomena".

Then Mr. Murphet quotes the ashram (Puttaparthi ashram, I presume) magazine: "Some persons misuse the name of Baba, and announce that Baba is in communication with them, giving them messages, answering questions and granting interviews, their object being to earn money or fame."

Once again, uncannily, the term used is "communication"!!! What more clear messages from the dynamic & youthful years of Bhagavan and Puttaparthi ashram, do people with reasonable and balanced minds need to differentiate between the TRUE Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi and the impersonators/imposters elsewhere, irrespective of any psychic powers that the impersonators/imposters may display!

Then the ashram magazine is quoted saying, "It is the duty of devotees to stop all such trickery by wise counsel and firm denial."

I think the above quote of the ashram magazine mentioned by an unbiased Western author in the 1970s (or perhaps early 1980s) makes it absolutely clear that devotees, including former students of the Sai university, SHOULD NOT BE SILENT WITNESSES to these happenings, especially if they are DIVIDING the mother Sai organization worldwide, and instead DO THEIR DUTY TO SWAMI (PUTTAPARTHI SATHYA SAI BABA) by contributing to efforts to "stop all such trickery by wise counsel and firm denial".

It does not matter if a few former Sai university students, a former Sai university warden and a former Sai university vice-chancellor are supporting such organizations. What REAL devotees and Sai university former students and teachers should do is to follow Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba teachings in this regard. And IGNORE any former Sai students, former Sai university warden and former Sai university vice-chancellor who have MOVED AWAY from the teachings & instructions of Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba.

Do some leaders of spiritual movements get into Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

Last updated on 26-Apr-2017

In a facebook conversation I saw a video link to this documentary on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Warning: The youtube video link given below has rather graphic content related to both violence and sex.

[23-Apr-2017 Update: The original video link mentioned later, seems to have been taken off youtube. Browsed for other youtube video copies of it. This seems to be a copy of that video which I found to be very informative: Shocking full documentary - narcissism / narcissistic personality disorder ( psychology ), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG7rvOsE2ws, 47 min. 25 secs. end-23-Apr-2017-Update]

"Narcissists - Full |Documentary Full Lenght 2015", https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zB2-xdDX9c, 47 min. 25 secs.

It is a pretty stark documentary with a lot of disturbing case studies. However, it certainly is very informative and towards the end, does come up with quite an interesting surprise. So, if you can handle some level of disturbance, you may find the video worth viewing.

Even if one does not view the video I think it may be very useful for people to know something about NPD, especially if they are involved with a spiritual/religious group/movement (with some such groups/movements being labelled as cults).

I think this link from Psych Central, http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/, gives a pretty good overview of it. 

A small extract from it:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.

--- end extract ---


Symptoms of this disorder, as defined by the DSM-IV-TR, include:
  • Expects to be recognized as superior and special, without superior accomplishments
  • Expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement from others
  • Envies others and believes others envy him/her
  • Is preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of great success, enormous attractiveness, power, intelligence
  • Lacks the ability to empathize with the feelings or desires of others
  • Is arrogant in attitudes and behavior
  • Has expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic
Other symptoms in addition to the ones defined by DSM-IV-TR include: Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends, has trouble keeping healthy relationships with others, easily hurt or rejected, appears unemotional, and exaggerating special achievements and talents, setting unrealistic goals for himself/herself.

Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by an over-inflated sense of self-importance, as well as dramatic, emotional behavior that is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

...

People rarely seek therapy for NPD. This is partly because NPD sufferers deny they have a problem. Most, if not all, cannot see the destructive damage they cause to themselves and to others and usually only seek treatment at the insistence of relatives and friends.

Psychotherapy is used to treat NPD.

--- end wiki extracts ---

Ravi: I think it is true that spiritual movements/groups/cults where dissent is suppressed (usually in the name of DISCIPLINE), do attract some people who are of the NPD type, and some such people get into positions of power in the movement/group/cult which allows their NPD to become full-fledged! Ideally, such people should be told by their near-and-dear ones to consult a mental health professional to check whether they really have NPD and if so, take psychotherapy for it. Not only will that help such leaders in the spiritual movement but it will also help their sub-ordinates, and be good for the spiritual movement as a whole.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Muddenahalli light body Sai Baba is NOT related to Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba - Conclusion drawn from 1st Jan 2009 Swami discourse

Last updated on 20th May 2015

[At the outset, if some MDH belief folks are hurt with this post, I am very sorry about it. However, I have no option but to pursue the truth of MDH belief in the light of (physical form) Bhagavan's discourses, as MDH belief has become a MAJOR threat to the mother Sathya Sai organization that Bhagavan PERSONALLY created and nurtured with so much time, effort, emotion, love ... etc. for the benefit of Sathya Sai devotees, or to be more accurate, for mankind as a whole in the decades & centuries to come.]

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (physical form) said in a discourse on 1st Jan. 2009, the following (rough English translation & Telugu transcript with detailed Telugu transcript, English translation and references given later on in this post):

"Krishna also (after) showing many miracles/divine sport, attracting many people, at the end, gave up the body. So, this Avatar (phenomenon), for some limited amount of time, (engages in the divine activity/sport), then He does not have any connection with anything."

[Telugu transcript: "Krishnadu kudanu aneeka leelanu chuupinchi, aneeka mandini aakarshinchi, kattakattupudiki dehanni vadalyaadu. Ayite, ee Avataramu aneettuvanti matramu eppadiki edo konni unnantha varaku anni (..puga) meghaale, tarvatha edaaniki sambandhamu undadhu."]

In my view/interpretation of the above, as late as 2009 when Bhagavan's physical health was failing and He, in all probability, knew that He will be giving up the body in a few years time (actually He gave up the body less than two and a half years later), Bhagavan told us that after the Avatar gives up the body, the Avatar does not have anything to do with the activities He was engaged in as the Avatar. This may be difficult for us Sai devotees to accept. But that's what He said! It is my experience with Bhagavan that on such deep spiritual/religious matters He simply said the truth, whether people could accept it/digest it or not.

He also said later on in the discourse, the following:
"But God (Bhagavan) is always in your heart. (He) is listening to all your prayers. (He) is giving suitable/appropriate results for them (prayers)."

So, Swami also said that Bhagavan in the formless absolute aspect of God will listen to our prayers and respond to our prayers. So praying to Hridayanivaasi (heart-dwelling) Sai for directions for the running of His mission will, as per Swami's words, get a response from within.

In other words, we Sathya Sai devotees have to now turn to the Sathya Sai within our hearts/formless aspect of God within our hearts, to get "communications" from Swami/God.

The other aspect of this analysis is that clearly Swami's words in Jan. 2009 rule out any possibility of Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba appearing as "light body" or "subtle body" somewhere which can be seen almost exclusively by a "chosen communicator" (and not by others barring very, very few exceptions). I mean, Swami has said that once the Avatar gives up the body - FINISH, OVER. He does not get involved again with those activities. [It is up to others to take the mission forward, taking inspiration from the Sai within and from the memories of interactions and experiences with, and the discourses & teachings of the Avatar.]

Therefore the Muddenahalli "light body" and "subtle body" phenomenon/claim is NOT the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba that we Sathya Sai devotees were privileged and BLESSED to see and hear and, for some, even touch and interact with. It is some other Sai Baba. Like we have Kurnool Bala Sai Baba for many years now, there is an addition to those ranks with the Muddenahalli light body Sai Baba/subtle body Sai Baba. These Sai Babas have no relation to the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba.

Of course, both Kurnool Bala Sai Baba and Muddenahalli light body Sai Baba may be doing good work and preaching good things. I have no objection to such aspects of their work at all. I wish devotees of these Sai Babas all the very best in their spiritual journey. But Sathya Sai devotees should know that their teachings & instructions may be common, in part, to Sathya Sai Baba, but they are NOT from the lips/mouth of Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Baba.

Now here are the details about the 1st Jan. 2009 Swami discourse extracts, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1Z9YZRC5D0. I thank brother Pardha Saradhi Uppala for this significant contribution. [See note at the bottom for corresponding Radio Sai audio download and related info.]

[Note that I have transcribed the first nearly three minutes of the video in Telugu. However, as my Telugu is not great, there may be some mistakes. Those who are knowledgeable about Telugu who find mistakes in both my Telugu transcription and English translation, may please let me know of the corrections.]

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba (physical form) says:
A) From 0:00 to around 1:00,

In Telugu (with a few English words):
Rajuduga puttyaadu. Sri Ramachandraduga puttyaadu. Ramachandraduga (...aadu). Krishuduga puttyaadu. Anni leelanu anni chuupinchaadu. Ramalu anni vidhimulaga kudanu kashtamulu anubhavinchaadu. Krishnadu kudanu aneeka leelanu chuupinchi, aneeka mandini aakarshinchi, kattakattupudiki dehanni vadalyaadu. Ayite, ee Avataramu aneettuvanti matramu eppadiki edo konni unnantha varaku anni (..puga) meghaale, tarvatha edaaniki sambandhamu undadhu.

[Rather literal English translation mainly from my limited understanding of Telugu but also borrowing from Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju's on-the-spot English translation, at times. The literal translation may help non-Telugu people to better interpret Swami's words.]
(He was) born as a king. (He was) born as Sri Ramachandra (Lord Rama). (He) lived as Ramachandra. (He was) born as Krishna. He showed/displayed/demonstrated all miracles/divine sport. Rama suffered all kinds of difficulties. Krishna also (after) showing many miracles/divine sport, attracting many people, at the end, gave up the body. So, this Avatar (phenomenon), for some limited amount of time, (engages in the divine sport/activity), then He does not have any connection with anything.

[Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju on-the-spot English translation:]
Born as a king. Born as king Rama. Lived as Ramachandra. Born as Krishna later. And he has shown all everything around. Rama passed through various troubles and problems. Krishna also exhibited the divine sport, he attracted everybody, ultimately he has withdrawn from the body. However, Avatar will be showing the divine sport so long the Avatar is in the physical body which is not possible when He withdraws from the body.

B) [Around 1:00 to around 2:08]
In Telugu (with a few English words):
Bhagavantuda naaku sakshaatga (kanipinchu) ani praarthisthuntaadu. Emi adi icchinaakuda taathkalikinga, minchi minchi nattuga vachhestundi, ante. Tarvaatha pothundi. Kaani Bhagavantudu nirantaramu nee hridyamulo(nunde) unnaadu. Nee sarva prarthanakuda vintunnaadu. Daani tagilina resultsu istunnaadu. Kaabatti nee dehamu poinakudanu aatma unnadi. Aa self kuda eppatiki poodu. Ante ponnattivanti danini manamu prarthinchaali. Changeless That. Aa changeless daanni manam nirantaramu kudanu manam chintinchaali.

[Rather literal English translation ....]
O God (Bhagavan) appear before me directly, (we) pray. Even if some appearance/vision is given/granted temporarily, it is like a flash of lightning, that's all. Then it goes. But God (Bhagavan) is always in your heart. (He) is listening to all your prayers. (He) is giving suitable/appropriate results for them (prayers). So, even if your body goes, the aatma (self/soul) is (remains). That self will never go (anywhere). ... We must pray for that which never goes. Changeless That (Swami's words in English). We should always focus on (think about) the changeless (that).

[Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju on-the-spot English translation:]
We pray, O God, manifest, give me your formless appearance [Ravi: I think that should be read as We pray, O God, show me your appearance in a form/physical manifestation]. Even the physical manifestation is like a flash, is like lightning, which will pass. God has installed Himself (within) continuously. He listens to all sorts of your prayers. And He will also give you results appropriately. So the body may be lost but the self remains. The self will never vanish. That which is deathless self - we have to pray to that. That self is changeless. Therefore we have to constantly think of that changeless self.

C)[Around 2:08 to around 2:49]
In Telugu:
Eppadukuda Bhagavantuduki ee rupamu ledu. Ade oka oka samayamulo oka rupanni matramu chuupistaadu. Andariki telese nimattimayi aa rupanni matramu pettukuntaadu. Tarvaata aa rupamu kuudanu kanipin(chadu). Kanuka meeru e ... ee matramu aadharamu ... pettuko kudadu.

[Rather literal English translation ...]
Never ever does God (Bhagavan) have a form. However, (He) shows a form at appropriate times. (He) takes on that form so that everybody can know (about Him). Then that form will also not be seen. Therefore you should not pay any attention to these (artificial prints/photos).

[Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju on-the-spot English translation:]
God is formless. However, at times, He will demonstrate to you a specific form. To make everyone know He takes it upon Himself, that form. Later, even that form also leaves. Don't go by these artificial prints - computer mixing photos - No.
--------end snippet transcripts & translations ---

Note: Radio Sai has the audio of the discourse for download. You may access it using http://www.radiosai.org/program/SearchProgramme.php and searching for 2009 discourses. Note that the entry for it in the result list states that it was first broadcast on 2012-05-08. The filename for the download of the full discourse is DD_2009_01_01_NEW_YEAR.mp3.
A) The audio snippet in the above youtube video from 0:00 to 1:00 is from around 30:15 in the full discourse audio.
B) The next snippet in the youtube video from around 1:00 to 2:08 is from around 33:44 in the full discourse audio.
C) The last snippet in the youtube video from around 2:08 to 2:49 is from around 59:55 in the full discourse audio.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Is Muddenahalli chosen communicator belief similar to Kurnool Bala Sai Baba belief?

Last updated on 18th May 2015

Some comment exchanges from facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206829857243798&set=a.1627496606106.2082337.1197289954

[Note I have presumed brother Pardha Saradhi Uppala would not mind me sharing his comments on my post as the intention is noble and there is no financial profit motive involved whatsoever. This blog is not monetized.]

Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote (slightly edited to fix a grammar error):
"Truth can never be contained. By any organization. Nor any representative", but only one single person in the entire universe can see and hear God? If tomorrow another person comes and announces that he saw a dream where Swami told him that He changed His plans again, shifted His operational base to another town, and starts building even more free hospitals and schools at a much faster rate, starts conducting "Swami's Darshan" saying it is "Subtler Form" (We cannot contain Swami - He can do anything right?) and starts giving interviews and rings, would that be reason enough for us to believe that it is a genuine change of plans of Swami again? How many times can this act repeat and by how many people without losing its genuineness?

----------------------

Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote:
If we can negate everything that physical Swami said about mediums and His future plans, and believe Swami is residing in Muddenahalli in a subtle Form communicating through one person, because Swami can always change His plans at His Will, it should also be possible that He can negate the words He is now supposedly saying through Muddenahalli Madhusudhan, and change to another town and pick another medium right? So, if tomorrow someone comes up and says He came to His dream and starts building hospitals, neither Puttaparthi nor Muddenahalli nor anyone else on earth should question them as long as they do service activities. They can conduct "Swami's Darshans and interviews" parallelly as Swami can have any number of forms simultaneously right?

----------------------

Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote:
So, if 10 of the people whom you see now at Muddenahalli, start going to another 10 different mediums at 10 different places, saying they experience "unnamed, unseen and a bliss known to their spiritual hearts alone", and start obtaining "Discourses, Darshans, Interviews and Rings" at the 10 places, that should be perfectly fine isn't it? Because we cannot explain or interpret Swami, He can be present at 10 different places at the same time? May be 100 or 1000 Darshans and interviews through 1000 communicators, all claiming Swami's operational base is now in their edifice. All people will vouch for the bliss part. That should be fine. BTW, no Christian who declares Jesus alone is God and the rest are demons, no Muslim who kills in the name of Allah, will ever say, his God is awful and he does not experience any bliss in his heart.

----------------------

Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote:
If they say Swami is giving Darshans in Subtle form so that devotees can rise up to formlessness of God, why give rings and attach them to things? And if giving rings on behalf of Swami is fine, Madhu brother can also give Padanamaskars and Padapujas on behalf of Him right? Will anyone accept a physical communicator between one's husband or wife or mother and oneself? How then can one dare accept communicator between oneself and God? If one may disregard Swami's teaching about mediums saying it is incorrect to interpret His teaching in our own way, one may use the same logic to disregard everything else He taught as well, saying it is heartfelt, inner prompting, inexplicable, beyond logic etc. etc.

----------------------

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Very well said brother Pardha Saradhi Uppala. What really bothers me is the MDH disinformation campaign style words to justify their actions which go against physical form Swami's instructions & teachings. They use lines like (physical form) Swami has said expect the unexpected, or words to that effect, to justify anything and everything!

MDH believers may feel offended but I am now convinced that MDH following is similar to followings of Kurnool Bala Sai Baba, http://www.sribalasai.com/, and Nepali Sai Baba, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shree-Sanjay-Sai-Sewa-OrganisationNepal/182969168461045, (two gentlemen who even imitate the physical look and attire of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba). Sure, the broad teachings of MDH "chosen communicator" is the same as physical form Swami. But I think the same applies to Kurnool Bala Sai Baba (I have seen some videos of his) and perhaps Nepali Sai Baba as well.

I do not have anything against the service activities of the followings of Kurnool Bala Sai Baba and Nepali Sai Baba, and similarly I do not have anything against the service activities of the following of Muddenahalli "chosen communicator". But I certainly do wonder whether the spiritual guidance that these persons provide can come anywhere close to that of our beloved Lord, Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, (physical form) Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

----------------------

Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote:
[Name-snipped], the Bala Sai Baba imitated Swami's dress and words and all actions of Swami - taking out Shiva Lingams, giving rings, Vibhuti etc. Except for the dress part, is it not exactly what Madhu is doing? Is he not "imitiating" Swami's voice and diction? How can you it is totally different?

----------------------

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
[Name-snippped] madam: Sorry that the pic of Bala Sai Baba offended you. Removed it. BTW the pic got automatically picked up by Facebook as preview from the Bala Sai Baba Internet link in my comment, and was not inserted deliberately by me. I had the option of removing the preview which I did now as you have taken offense.

However, what I wrote is that MDH following is similar to followings of Bala Sai Baba and Nepali Sai Baba. I did not say that it is the same. Let me try to substantiate why I say that MDH following is similar to theirs (but not the same):

1) Well known teachings of (physical form) Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba are repeated through the leaders/"chosen communicator" of these followings.

2) All of them have organizations (and associated trusts, I am sure) which do service activities as per these teachings.

3) The leaders/"chosen communicator" try, while in public darshans and 'discourses', to stick to the style of discourse delivery of Bhagavan. [I think I have seen a few Nepali Sai Baba videos but I don't recall them clearly so I could be a little wrong in the case of Nepali Sai Baba. But Bala Sai Baba of Kurnool does an outstanding job of speaking in the very same style of Puttaparthi Sai Baba. I mean, Bala Sai Baba starting his discourse with the word, Premaswarupulara (embodiments of love), seemed to me to be as full of love as when Puttaparthi Sai Baba would say the same word. REALLY! It is no wonder to me that Bala Sai Baba does have some significant following in his region.]

4) Bala Sai Baba also does Lingdobhavam on Shivarathri. About "chosen communicator" there are conflicting reports. Some say that he just passes on materialized rings, necklaces etc. which he says are placed by Bhagavan in his pocket (which is what you said in one comment of yours). Some say NO, he actually materializes it in private interviews. Some say he acknowledges that the rings, necklaces etc. are bought from elsewhere (like Bangalore) and he only gives those non-materialized rings, necklaces, etc. to persons that Swami directs him to. So this is not a well defined similarity. But, if one goes by belief of many devotees of "chosen communicator" then they do believe that he materializes rings, necklaces etc. even though they may add that this power is given to him by Swami.

What are the differences?
1) "Chosen communicator" does not dress like Swami and claims to be only a communicator of Swami, who is visible to him in a subtle body/light body. Further this subtle body/light body walks giving darshan via people seeing the "chosen communicator" closely following him and/or by his side, and then takes a seat in a special chair/throne with the "chosen communicator" sitting humbly by his side.

I can't honestly think of any other important difference. Maybe others can add more differences.

And BTW I think lots of good work are being done by Bala Sai Baba and Nepali Sai Baba, for which I appreciate them. The Nepali Sai Baba facebook page link that I provided in an earlier comment gives many examples of laudable service done by his following in the recent Nepal earthquake(s).

Sorry if this free and frank discussion upsets you [name-snipped]. But I think the truth must be revealed in this matter for the benefit of the Sathya Sai movement worldwide. And the truth can be revealed only by asking these searching and uncomfortable questions. If "chosen communicator" is so sure of himself he can himself start responding to these on Facebook. I am told he was on Facebook a few years ago (maybe just a year or two ago). He is just a student from the Sai university where I was a teacher (but I did not teach him). I REFUSE to BELIEVE that he is so extraordinarily PURE a person that Swami chose to communicate to all Sathya Sai devotees worldwide through him and him alone. SORRY, but I have seen a lot more PURER souls in the Sathya Sai student community as well as devotee community overall.

[And, BTW I don't claim to be a pure person. I do have my fair share of human flaws. But then I don't claim to be a chosen communicator of Swami :-).]

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Sister [name-snipped]: A few minutes ago I read your earlier comment about St. Theresa of Avila of Germany who, as you wrote, saw visions and referred to it as the great Light, and was a famous mystic. You also wrote, "Secondly, many have seen Swami's Light form during his physical avatarhood in many places in the world, including Bosnia during war, London an all over the globe. It's nothing new."

Now I do not deny such matters and in fact, believe that most of the well researched and well documented ones are true. In other words, I certainly believe that divine visions to various people are certainly possible. I will go further and say that I think it is possible that brother M, the "chosen communicator", may have seen visions of Swami. I know a fair number of people who claim to have such visions of Swami and other divine figures, and I will not say that they are saying something FALSE.

HOWEVER, when it comes to (physical form) Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, he categorically told & instructed his devotees that He will not pass His instructions to us via another person through a dream or vision. CATEGORICALLY and on mulitple occasions!

Note that even while Bhagavan was in physical form, in the Sai university Prasanthi Nilayam campus, where I was serving as a teacher, there was one gentleman who claimed that Swami was giving instructions to him, meant for others, in dreams. We politely ignored these dream instructions of his, meant for any third parties. NOTE Swami dream-instruction for that particular individual who got the dream is a different matter, altogether.

I see "chosen communicator" conveying such instructions of supposed subtle body of Swami to others as similar to the gentleman I mentioned above who used to talk about such Swami dream instructions for others, while Swami was in physical form itself!

So, for the purpose of discussion, let us presume that brother M, the "chosen communicator" really is seeing some visions and getting communications from some form which he thinks is Swami's subtle form. NOW what should Sathya Sai devotees do? Should they believe in instructions of "chosen communicator" or not? Well, in my considered opinion, Sathya Sai devotees (including me) should see Swami's instructions as given in public discourses on many occasions on these matters. As Swami has clearly said that He will never use a third-party to convey instructions to us, and that He can surely find a way to communicate to sincere and earnest devotees DIRECTLY, for people like me, we are convinced that the wise thing to do is to follow Swami's instructions and so ignore third-party instructions from people like the "chosen communicator".

Note that I am not saying that "chosen communicator" is lying. I am only saying that what he thinks is subtle body of Swami interacting with him and giving instructions for others and the Sathya Sai mission, is a FALSE BELIEF as phyiscal form Sathya Sai Baba has HIMSELF told us on many occasions to NOT follow such people.

All the above words of mine do not mean that St. Theresa of Avila was false, or that so many people who have got visions of the divine, including instructions for others, are false and wrong. NO. I don't know enough about them to comment. But about Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, what I have said above holds good, in my considered opinion.

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Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote:
[name-snipped], does or does not Mr. Madhusudhan Naidu imitate Baba's Voice, diction and Baba's way of talking to devotees (the quips, the witty phrases and the all-knowing look and talk - of course totally mixed up with "No, I am still just an instrument")? He does, this is the truth. I saw it. I have no need to lie about him - I do not gain anything. No Divine personality or a devotee has ever imitated any other Divine Form except impostors. Krishna did not imitate Rama, Sathya Sai did not imitiate Shirdi Sai. No devotees ever imitated the voice and style of their God. They remained in their own humble way of talking and walking. When someone tries to imitate the inimitable voice of the Lord, it takes away all the goodness that may otherwise be apparent in their words. If Madhusudhan is only an instrument, why should he mimic Baba? If you say Baba is speaking through him, Baba has categorically said he will never enter into anyone's body. You may tell me a 1000 reasons without bothering a bit ignoring Baba's clear teachings in this context. Even when people take Swami's photographs photoshopped in the Form of Rama or Krishna to Him, He dismissed them as falsities. Haven't you heard Him saying, "Imitation is human and creation is Divine?" You may call me shameful but I know I am speaking truth from the authenticity of my experience that is enough for me, sister. If you want to call mine logic, and yours an inner experience, please do.

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[The background to the comment below is that there were some heated exchanges between the post author and sister [name-snipped].]

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Oh Lord! Sister [name-snipped] seems have to got really upset as I don't see her comments any more including the long comment that I very much wanted to read now. So, in all probability, she must have deleted all her comments from this post. Anyway, I benefited from knowing [name-snipped]'s views on this matter, even if I don't agree with some of her views, and I thank her for taking the time to engage with me & brother Pardha on it. Wish her all the best for her spiritual journey to Godhood. Hope somebody from the MDH belief following passes on this message to [name-snipped]. Jai Sairam!
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Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote (slightly edited to fix typos):
I would have thought about believing in brother M, if he actually claimed he is re-incarnation of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and maintains his natural walk and talk, (direct English and not his currently "practised" Telugu - which is a hard try to deviate from his natural accent) and conducts his own Darshans, interviews in his own style, than replicating everything same to same. Like Bhagavan said, imitation is human, creation is Divine. If one contemplates on this one single sentence of Bhagavan itself, with a pure heart, one would know that it is all human drama, and can never be anywhere near Divine. Whatever the service, compassion, foretelling that might be happening.

Swami's MISSION, as He Himself said, is not to build schools and hospitals. If it were, why would He do only 2 hospitals and few institutes in 85 years? He would have built a 1000 or million - He can in all probability. These institutions are only incidental to His real Mission of teaching man his Divine reality. And He said He came in human form so we can relate to him and realise our own Divinity. We learn from Him as we see Him having the same body as us and undergoing the same things as us. What do you learn from imagining someone walking beside brother M whom only brother M can see and talk to? Imagination? Hallucination? Talking to air and hearing from air? Which one of these actions is a natural thing that we humans can emulate like the way physical Swami spoke, ate and sang that we can emulate?

Bhagavan refused to take any action that breaks the natural laws and sat in a wheel chair for years and finally, left the body in its natural course. By doing that, He actually set an example to us that we should not be bothered too, when our body naturally withers and falls down, but boldly live in the awareness of our inner Divinity, like He did. If He had returned in a subtle body, it is totally throwing away everything He ever taught about body and its temporal nature. “Dehamu Paanchabhothukamu. Dehamu koolaka thappadheppudun.” If He returned in subtle form, is He telling us, we can return in subtle form too after death, and continue what we left? No. Once left the body, left.

I will actually show you a discourse (will upload it on youtube and share it) from around 2008, where He clearly said, “ONCE AVATAR LEAVES THE BODY, HE WILL NOT HAVE ANY CONNECTION WHATSOEVER WITH THE THINGS HAPPENED IN HIS EARTHLY CAREER. HE WILL ANSWER DEVOTEES FROM WITHIN THEIR OWN HEARTS AND GIVE THEM THE RESULTS OF THEIR ACTIONS AND PRAYERS FROM THERE”. Expect the upload in a bit.

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Ravi S. Iyer wrote: Terrific message brother Pardha Saradhi Uppala full of wisdom and understanding of the great Sathya Sai Avatar. Congratulations! And thanks for expressing it so well.

Two extracts from your message that I appreciate very, very much:

"And He said He came in human form so we can relate to him and realise our own Divinity. We learn from Him as we see Him having the same body as us and undergoing the same things as us. What do you learn from imagining someone walking beside brother M whom only brother M can see and talk to? Imagination? Hallucination? Talking to air and hearing from air? Which one of these actions is a natural thing that we humans can emulate like the way physical Swami spoke, ate and sang that we can emulate?"
[Ravi: I tend to agree with the above words. But I also recognize that some MDH believer brothers & sisters may feel offended by it. If they do feel offended I offer my apologies. But I think these words have to be said to ensure that at least those who are not committed MDH believers but are considering it, and happen to read these words, will seriously think about the matter before believing in MDH chosen communicator.]

And then the extract from a 2008 discourse which you plan to upload to youtube - I am just waiting for it as I had not come across these words earlier, if I recall correctly. So the words you mentioned from Swami's discourse are: “ONCE AVATAR LEAVES THE BODY, HE WILL NOT HAVE ANY CONNECTION WHATSOEVER WITH THE THINGS (THAT) HAPPENED IN HIS EARTHLY CAREER. HE WILL ANSWER DEVOTEES FROM WITHIN THEIR OWN HEARTS AND GIVE THEM THE RESULTS OF THEIR ACTIONS AND PRAYERS FROM THERE”.

Ravi: My God! If we can really get a proper reference to these words of Swami that becomes a tremendous statement from Swami Himself specifically against any subtle body claims after Mahasamadhi.

Great work brother Pardha in getting closer to the truth about claimed subtle body of Swami in MDH and claimed chosen communicator.

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Pardha Saradhi Uppala wrote:

Ravi S. Iyer Sir. I will upload the Discourse in a bit. But I am not sure if that will bring about any "enlightenment" as such in anyone. There are Discourses in which Swami clearly and strongly denied speaking through mediums. When people can ignore those, what will stop them from ignoring any other words of Swami? Even if Jesus or Mohammed PBUH come down in flesh and blood, and tell Christians and Muslims that God is one, there may probably be only a handful who change. You already heard from brother Satyajit about the senior devotee who was rebuked by the physical Form of Lord Himself, when he brought the topic of a medium boy in His presence.But the senior continued to talk about it even after severe rebuke from Swami in person. How can an audio or video or for that matter anything change people? All the learning must happen the hard way of self experience.

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Ravi S. Iyer responded (slightly edited):
Well brother Pardha Saradhi Uppala, I think our discussions on these matters and the discourse quote that you refer to will help some Sathya Sai devotees who have not made up their minds on this matter, and are reading such social media posts, to come to a more informed decision about whether to believe in MDH chosen communicator & claimed MDH subtle body or not. Given that MDH chosen communicator is increasing the spread of his worldwide visits, including one planned visit to USA in June, I am informed, I think these discussions are doing an important bit of service to the Sathya Sai fraternity worldwide. BTW I have also put up a blog post on these exchanges including some of your comments here: [link to this blog post] (I hope you don't mind me doing that. The intent is to simply make it easier for those searching the Internet for such material to find it.)

About the Satyajit talk, well it was Satyajit sharing his memories. While it certainly has significant value, a VERIFIABLE Swami discourse where he clearly said that the avatar (i.e. He) will not have any connection with things associated with His earthly career after He leaves the body (but will respond to devotees from their hearts), is of IMMENSE value. Most Sathya Sai devotees give HUGE importance to such declarations by Swami.

The MDH belief following has quite artfully dodged the declarations of Swami that He never communicates through mediums, by some disingenuous explanations which has taken in some people. But I don't think they can easily dodge the above declaration of Swami (needs to be confirmed with actual discourse).

However, they may simply ignore it, and ask people to go by their hearts or say that Swami has changed his instructions & declarations after taking subtle form. And so it may not impact many committed MDH belief followers. But, at least, it will be helpful in convincing more unsure people to not believe in MDH chosen communicator and claimed subtle body.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

BONES IN PRASANTHI NILAYAM, SPIRIT IN MUDDENAHALLI? - A heart-to-heart & thought provoking article by Sai university alumnus

I have copy-pasted below a message by Chiran Basnet, former student of Alike, Brindavan and Puttaparthi also a former employee of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for many years, which was put up by SaiBliss on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/saimemories/photos/a.422242711155641.89985.402496529796926/899676170078957.

BONES IN PRASANTHI NILAYAM, SPIRIT IN MUDDENAHALLI?

An interesting article By Chiran Basnet, former student of Alike, Muddenahalli, Brindavan and Puttaparthi also a former employee of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust for 10 years: Here is what he said:

At the outset I simply refuse to believe that He left His Bones to us and installed His Spirit in MDH. I am Swami’s student from SSS Loka Seva Trust Alike / Muddenahalli,Brindavan and Puttaparthy. I have also served in Central Trust office for over a decade. I have pretty much seen and been in most of Swami’s institutions. Well, I refuse to accept that our dedication to The Lotus Feet has been lesser than that of Sri Narasimha Murthy or Sri Indulal Shah even if they have held higher profiles. When we student staff asked Swami to guide us spiritually He curtly said ‘you all are Serving Me that is enough Sadhana’. I don’t remember Him telling us ‘Bangaru , you all r whiling your time now with the Physical Form of Avatar, Only later when my Spirit is in MDH that u may come and be elevated spiritually’. I refuse to believe anything has changed now.

However, one of these days the staff entering offices in Parthy and devotees going to Mandir will be mocked from overloaded buses speeding to MDH ‘Hey Fools why u wasting time, Baba is in MDH, nothing will come out of breaking your heads in the Granite here’. I say this because I remember a MDH devotee saying ‘where else can Baba be than with the Great devotee like Sri Narasimha Murthy’. Perhaps the subtle spirit should have stationed itself in Alike near Mangalore, the head institute of Mudenahalli amidst the finest of the Devotees I have seen, my teachers and Gurus at Alike. I can understand that it is not strategically positioned en route Puttaparthy / Bangalore. I definitely would also like to give some people a tour of Puttaparthy Ashram and Puttaparthy by lanes n show some nameless and faceless humble devotees. Sadly they cannot be bracketed amongst the super achievers such as Mr.Tigrett and Sri Sashidhar Prasad.

There perhaps can be no meeting point between MDH and Puttaparthy. Simply because we here believe that we have His Bones as well as His all pervasive Sprit not only the Bones as the MDH people will like us to concede. They who believe that one day we must resurrect the lifeless Bones here by appealing to the Spirit at MDH are sadly mistaken.

My brothers here will defend MDH undoubtedly because they Believe and want others to be part of the Bliss they are experiencing. We on the other side will vehemently oppose it simply because we don’t believe we have been short-changed by Swami. You try to bring joys to some as we attempt to help retain sanity to some. So why don’t I visit MDH and see for myself? Well if Swami tells me ‘Don’t Smoke’ there is no point telling me the bliss of Havana cigars or Marlborough. You may pity me for missing out but no thank you ‘I don’t Smoke’.

What a tragedy life’s come to! Today I refer to Samadhi as bones and granites, call my beloved institute just MDH, ignore the name of Madhu, a brother who had love and respect for me from over a decade, and dare to compare my dedication to Sri Narasimha Murthy Sir, my warden, Idol, and without whose inspiration in life I would definitely be listening to some hard rock in a bar with that strong Havana cigar in one hand and drinks in other rather than tired hands on a keyboard typing this painful post.

Sorry for offence caused if any.

Sairam
Chiran

---- end Chiran Basnet article/message ----

Ravi: My comment response on another Facebook page to the above message was: That's a direct from the heart and brutally frank message from the one and only brother Chiran Basnet. It is a message worth pondering over, IMHO.
--- end Ravi comment ---

Some comments (slightly edited), mostly mine but a few from others too, from the above mentioned SaiBliss facebook post, is given below:

Vr Ganti wrote:
OM SRI SAI RAM
Very True Sri Chiran and you don’t have to feel sorry. I only wish many Ex-students who BHAGWAN was calling them as His Assets, realize and help in bringing the leaders in Muddenhalli realize their mistakes and join the main stream.
SWAMI said that He will have Direct Contact with His Devotees. Is the inverse of this statement that His Devotees should also have Direct Contact with HIM q correct and desirable approach.
Is this not the way life goes – Quid Pro Quo as it is called. When SWAMI, the creator of this Universe can declare so, why not we all, SAI DEVOTEES also take a vow that we will have Direct Contact with him. Will SWAMI be not happy with this approach?

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Ravi S. Iyer responded to above:
I entirely agree with Vr Ganti sir's comments. I think it the urgent and dire need of the hour for those of Swami's former students who agree with brother Chiran Basnet's views or have similar views, is to openly express them on the vital social media platform of Facebook. Please don't feel scared to openly support brother Chiran, if you agree with his views, as what he has said falls in line with what we have heard from and experienced with physical form Swami. Let the Sathya Sai fraternity worldwide know that there are many, many former Sai students who have similar views to that of brother Chiran on this very controversial and very divisive matter. Silence on part of such former Sai students may be viewed as support for MDH claims, or not being sure about it.

The vital point to note is that it is a former Sai student who is claiming to be a "chosen communicator" and is endorsed by a former Warden and a former vice-chancellor of the Sai university. So the Sathya Sai fraternity worldwide think that as it involves former Sai students and former Sai university leaders, it must certainly be true. I urge those former Sai students including those who are Sai university teachers, who disagree with the "chosen communicator" claims to at least balance such claims with publicly expressed refusal to accept such claims/disbelief in such claims. Please listen to your conscience and do your duty towards Swami in this regard. Jai Sairam!
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Vr Ganti wrote:
Om Sri Sai Ram - To be very honest, I am now reaching to as many Ex-students as possible because Bhagwan in my dram directed me to use His Assets (students). I am also reaching out to Students Alumini. Unfortunately most of them say, SWAMI knows what to do when and so on. Yes they are right. However, we the children of SAI cannot sit tight waiting for Bhagwan to take action but we should do out part. Let us realize and remember that our actions being taken in writing Social Media and writing mails to various people is just 1 step and what SWAMI will do is 99 steps. Did SWAMI not say that earlier - "take one step and I will take 99 steps" So fellow Sai Devotees, especially Students (the assets of Bhagwan), do not feel discouraged, do not be scared (Bhagwan is surely will be with you and guide you) but take positive action. Express yourself and join the path of DHARMA
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Ravi S. Iyer responded to Vr Ganti above:
I entirely agree with you sir. When it is a time to act for DHARMA, my view is that Sai alumni should not sit back, taking a witness approach, and leave the task for Bhagavan to do. They must do their duty towards Bhagavan and not shirk that duty, IMHO.
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[Name-snipped] wrote:
Dear Sai Brother being with Swami for decades how it happened ? Really its very painful to hear all these , why should we think where is Swami's Bones and Soul ? He is Undoubtedly Omnipresent Everywhere not only in Puttaparthi or MDH he is everwhere in the nook and corner of the whole Universe.Is it not True Brother. Being a Messenger of Swami ( Students ) pls dont take any sides for or against. After all we are all Swami's Children nothing more nothing less. Its very sad here in our SSS orgn we never had any problems so far by Swami's Grace everything was sorted out . So my Prayer to Swami is "Bhagwan pls keep All of us United as Sai Devotees, rather than PTP or MDH Group. Let us Remain Only As Swami's Children. Sairam !!! Sairam !!!
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote (response to above):
@[Name-snipped]: Madam, I am sorry that you feel disturbed and hurt by what brother Chiran has written. But madam, is it dharmic/right to keep quiet when Adharma is being done? Is it dharmic/right when a former Sai student, former Sai university warden and former Sai university vice-chancellor propagate a belief in "chosen communicator" communicating with Swami, when (physical form) Swami told us so many times in public discourses that his communications with us is always heart-to-heart?

In the face of this Adharma which is misleading so many brothers & sisters of the Sathya Sai fraternity, my considered view, is that Bhagavan will expect us to speak up, even if it means some disturbance and some hurt. As if we don't speak up now to avoid disturbance and hurt, the Adharma will grow bigger and bigger, and eventually hurt more and more brothers and sisters of the Sai fraternity worldwide.

Therefore, madam, I think Sai students who prefer to follow Swami's instructions instead of following misguided people believing in "chosen communicator" should play their role by speaking up and alerting Sai devotees worldwide to the wrong belief/false belief in "chosen communicator" which is against Swami's instructions, propagated by MDH people in the name of Swami.
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Vr Ganti wrote:
[Name-snipped] - Ah Ah what to say. You don't seem to be knowing what is happening. Your comment is so naïve. Are you ok to see SAI Teachings being flouted left right and center. When my wife and I went to Muddenhalli to see for myself the campus (which incidentally has been financed mostly by Singapore I was told by someone from Muddenhalli and I am from Singapore) that we need not go to Parthi but go to Muddenhalli only. When I gave stern look at that person who told me so, he immediately told me that we can go 6 months there and 6 months to M and so on. Then when we were introduced to one lady who was a visiting faculty from outstation that we are from Singapore, at one she said that all these buildings are your donations only.. Further, these leaders from M keep visiting various affluent countries (they visited Singapore at least 4 times) obviously for money right - where as Bhagwan never asked anybody for even a single cent, how do you ask people to keep quiet and watch whatever is happening Sir. I am prepared for a debate with BNNM, Vijay Sai, etc etc on this subject sir.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote (response to above):
Vr Ganti: Very well said sir. Some of the MDH supporters seem to be like fanatics who expect that all of us will follow everything they say, and that we have no right to criticize them. Further, I have experienced one particular MDH supporter to even write comments which have to viewed as BULLYING comments. Please don't allow them to BULLY you sir. We will support you in your questioning them and in opposing their fanatic tactics to impose their belief on us.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote
[Name-snipped]: You have quite unfairly tarred all Sai students by the same brush. In my view, like in the Sai organization, even among Sai students, there are some who invest more time & effort in the Sai mission, and some who don't. The reason I made a specific request to former Sai students who don't believe in MDH "chosen communicator" to openly state their views is because the leaders of the MDH "chosen communicator" belief are Sai university people, which is what seems to give them a much wider acceptance among some Sai devotees worldwide. Let the Sathya Sai fraternity know that it is not as if that all Sai students believe in MDH "chosen communicator". A large number of Sai students don't. But they have not openly stated these views. As a former teacher in the Sai university, I felt it my duty to make the request, given the HUGE problem it is creating for UNITY in the Sathya Sai fraternity. I have done my duty and my conscience is at rest.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Brother [Name-snipped]: Noted your comment. However, I think we need to be careful not to generalize in these comment exchanges, as that can unfairly hurt people. Let us not forget that Sai students are also human and many of them too have desires and want to lead the 'good life', like most of us.
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Taruni Tarun wrote:
yes I do agree there are many gems of students who are upholding sais mission following his words very sincerely and making sathya sai very proud .Swami bless them all...However personally feel that just like a few rotten apples might spoil a whole lot of good apples too as time progresses....few students who choose to go against swamis words might spoil all students good name too .Agree that we should be careful of generalisng it ...however personally wish to say that the outside world always tends to generalise it easily and we cant stop them....Swami has always said * care more for remarks than for marks* ..Praying that .Those few who are acting against swamis words ..need to seriously read swamis msg again and again and get clear of their confusions and stop briniging bad name to whole sai student community..most of whom are wondeful students .
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Ravi S. Iyer responded to above:
I tend to agree with your words, Taruni Tarun. However, let us not become harsh in our public dialogue. We should not succumb to any BULLYING or such type of pressure from any fanatical supporters of MDH belief. We must use truthful discussions (without harshness or personal 'character assassination' type attacks) in this public forum to force the truth of what I am convinced is the FALSE BELIEF of MDH people involving the HOLY NAME of SAI, even if some of the service projects they do with donor money is laudable. Yes, Sai students should do their duty in this revelation of truth of MDH FALSE BELIEF but let us not get into any harsh criticism of the entire Sai student brotherhood and sisterhood. ..................................................................................... ...................... As a former teacher of the Sai university in Puttaparthi (Prasanthi NIlayam campus) I KNOW how bad Swami would feel (at his human level in the human+god Avatar) if all such students are criticized. Bearing in mind the boundless love Swami had for His students, let us, for Swami's sake, be extra cautious in any criticism of Sai students. I am NOT saying we should NOT criticize Sai students at all. NO, we should criticize those that have not only strayed from Swami's instructions but who are leading Sathya Sai devotees from the world over, astray. But we should not jump to criticize any and every Sai student who was seen with MDH subtle body believers. Who knows the reason for which they met them? Maybe they wanted to find out the truth, and even counsel "chosen communicator" to stop this Adharmic activity and get back to the SAFE and GOOD path by following (physical form) Swami's instructions in such matters.
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Taruni Tarun wrote:
yes @Ravi.s.Iyer noted that we should not become harsh in our public dialogue..and not succumb to any bullying or pressure from mdh and hold truthful discussions ...personally shall bear in mind this point..
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote
[Name-snipped]: I understand your feeling of disturbance and hurt. But is it not the duty of Sai students to speak up against "chosen communicator" which is clearly against Swami's instructions, and which is attracting a lot of devotees in the Sathya Sai fraternity the world over? Keeping quiet in the face of such Adharma is the easy option. But I don't think Bhagavan would approve of being a witness to such Adharma which is misguiding Sai devotees the world over, and is in direct opposition to Swami's instructions. I think it is the duty of those Sai students who choose to follow Swami's instructions to alert the Sathya Sai devotee fraternity worldwide, via social media and other outlets, about "chosen communicator" belief being completely against Swami's teachings and instructions.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
One gentleman writes, "The whole world knows that Madhusudhan is communicating with Swami's Subtle body." This is the typical sign of fanaticism and false propaganda. It is a complete untruth to say something like this. Do Shri K. Chakravarthi sir, Shri S.V. Giri sir, Prof. G. Venkataraman sir and Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju sir, all of whom were and are very important persons in Swami's mission, some for decades (even while Swami was in physical form), and which was clear to anybody who has been in Puttaparthi for some time, believe in the above quoted sentence? Does brother Satyajit Salian who served Swami with so much dedication, and whose service was publicly acknowledged by Swami, believe in it? What is this gentleman talking about! I request readers not to get taken in by FALSE PROPAGANDA from such MDH belief promoters.

Then the same gentleman writes, "Swami has communicated his message to us using many communicators in the past." Which Swami is he talking about? I don't know of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi ever saying that he has communicated his message through a communicator. Can the gentleman please provide references for this statement of his so that readers can judge for themselves whether he is saying the truth or not?

Regarding my usage of the word, Adharma: When Swami has so many times told us in public discourses that his connection is a heart-to-heart connection between Him and his devotee, and that he does not need any medium (communicator) to communicate to us, is it not Adharma when a former Sai student, a former Sai university warden who had spent close to five decades serving Swami, and a former Sai university vice-chancellor, choose to ignore such publicly given instructions of Swami, and become "chosen communicator" or promote "chosen communicator" belief to some innocent Sathya Sai devotees worldwide? Of course, it is ADHARMA. Further, such people should FEAR the negative KARMA that comes from such actions. I am sorry if the words are harsh, but I have no option but to use such words, in the face of such atrocious FALSE PROPAGANDA in the name of our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. If it hurts some MDH believers I am sorry. But dear MDH believers you are being MISGUIDED. Please give up the WRONG PATH and come bace to the SAFE & STEADY path given by (physical form) Swami, and go for direct communication between you and Swami, without any medium/communicator/dream-instruction persons in between, in this post-Mahasamadhi phase of the Sathya Sai mission.
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Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Well, Mr. [Name-snipped], perhaps some of my comments have hurt you. I do acknowledge that my comments have been harsh, and I apologize to you if it has caused you hurt. But I had to do what I did, as after a great deal of examination and discussion I have come to the conclusion that MDH belief is a FALSE BELIEF. But then I do not have any special paranormal powers and further, I do have my fair share of human flaws too. So, even if I am convinced that MDH belief is FALSE, to be completely honest, there is, what I view as, a very small probability that I am wrong and that you are right in the MDH belief aspect.

I do not know how much experience you have had with physical form Bhagavan. Many of us (but I concede not all of us) at Puttaparthi/Prasanthi Nilayam completely disbelieve MDH "chosen communicator" claims as we have had DIRECT experience of the awesome mystical/miraculous powers as well as spiritual genius of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

As you have made some allegations about Prasanthi/Puttparthi supporters, one of which I certainly am, I would like to say that I personally am writing my comments, some of them quite harsh, out of a sense of duty to Swami and the Sathya Sai fraternity, in the face of the very controversial and very divisive "chosen communicator" of MDH claims.

You wrote, "You ain't seen nothing. The real show is yet to begin. Amen". Well, I wish you and co. the very best in your service activities, some of which are truly laudable and I have publicly acknowledged that multiple times on Facebook. But I do hope and pray that you get proper guidance directly in your hearts from our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Love, peace and joy to you, brother. I repeat my apologies for any hurt you have felt.
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Ravi S. Iyer
OK Mr. [name-snipped], you seem to want to have a debate on it. I am ready for it.

You wrote, "You all know, Buddha was born near Lumbini, but he travelled all around the world to spread Buddhism." I believe something similar was conveyed by the "chosen communicator" in a recent 'discourse'. Well here's what wikipedia says, under 'Travels and Teaching', "For the remaining 45 years of his life, the Buddha is said to have traveled in the Gangetic Plain, in what is now Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and southern Nepal, teaching a diverse range of people: from nobles to servants, murderers such as Angulimala, and cannibals such as Alavaka.", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha. Perhaps you may want to pass this info. on to appropriate MDH folks so that they can be more accurate about Buddha's life in future 'discourses'.

Tell me which great spiritual figure/avatar in any major religion of the world, had a subtle body and "chosen communicator"? Did Jesus Christ have it? Did Rama and Krishna have it?

In one of the 'discourses' the "chosen communicator" has said something like when I came as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Allah ... Do you think Sathya Sai Baba who was completely conversant with Shirdi Sai avatar's life where Shirdi Sai outwardly lead a Muslim fakir's life, saying "Allah Malik" and encouraged chanting of the Holy Koran, would ever commit such a HUGE BLUNDER like saying that he came as Allah? Allah is the formless God in Islamic theology. It is utterly inconceivable that any Muslim pir/maula of some standard would ever commit the HUGE BLUNDER of attributing a form to Allah.

Have you seen how respectful Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba would be towards visiting spiritual leaders (in public)? He would almost treat them as equals. It is UTTERLY UNTHINKABLE to me that Bhagavan in supposed subtle form would change so much that He would allow supposed subtle form of Jesus Christ to take His Padnamaskar, as one of the MDH write-ups claimed happened during a Christmas event, if I recall correctly. Come On! Jesus taking Padnamaksar of Swami! What's going on!

I could go on and on. But I think what I have given above will suffice for now.

Please bear in mind that the history of spiritual movements is full of charismatic and very capable leaders, full of energy and vitality, who lost their way and created havoc in the lives of their followers. If you do not know of Jim Jones, I suggest you read up on him or view videos on him. Here's his wiki page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones. Jim Jones was not an ordinary person. He was truly charismatic and very energetic, and had lots of noble intentions for the poor in USA society (including African-Americans), but eventually it ended up very badly for him and his followers. From his wiki page, here's what he told his followers: Jones also began preaching that he was the reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi and Father Divine, as well as Jesus of Nazareth, Gautama Buddha and Vladimir Lenin. Former Temple member Hue Fortson, Jr. quoted Jones as saying, "What you need to believe in is what you can see ... If you see me as your friend, I'll be your friend. As you see me as your father, I'll be your father, for those of you that don't have a father ... If you see me as your savior, I'll be your savior. If you see me as your God, I'll be your God." [end-wiki-page-extract]
So Mr. [name-snipped], the history of religious and spiritual movements has seen a lot of such claimed communicators to and reincarnations of major spiritual figures. So far, as far as I know, all such claimants have been proved to be FALSE by the test of time. So yes, even with MDH belief, the test of time will tell us whether it is TRUE or FALSE, with me convinced that it will be proved FALSE.

I could choose to take a witness like back-seat and watch the drama unfold. That is the easy way - no need to face tough, and sometimes nasty, comments on Facebook. But when I see that my friends and even some former students of mine have got caught up in MDH belief, which I am convinced is FALSE, my love for them and my duty to Swami and the Sai fraternity from which I have gained immensely, does not permit me to take a witness view and watch the 'entertainment' of the trauma of people caught up in FALSE BELIEF, when they really come to know of it/realize it. Jai Sairam!
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[name-snipped] wrote in response to above:
Too much mind is not good for spirituality.
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Ravi S. Iyer responded to above:
@[name-snipped]: But mind is required for discrimination between TRUTH and FALSEHOOD :-). Too much heart with little mind can easily lead somebody astray.