Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Longtime conman Fred Brito was a fake Catholic priest for a few months in 2002 in USA

I recently came to know of a conman, Fred Brito of the USA, who went to the extent of being a fake priest.

The following two youtube video links of "I ( Almost) Got Away With IT" has a dramatization of Fred Brito's conman career interspersed with the real Fred Brito giving his views on it, as well as other real persons like an LAPD officer (Det. Debbie Potter, Supervisor, LAPD) who was the main person to initiate his arrest while he was doing his second fake priest role. I think these videos give a pretty good idea of how such conmen think and work.

a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp6GTcngG5c, 34 min. 12 secs [The fake Catholic priest part starts at around 31:00 in this video].

b) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3ZfpXOXTSg, 9 min. 49 secs. [The fake Catholic priest part continues from the beginning of this video till its end].

Transcripts of parts of video b):

@ around 0:03 Father Patrick Mowrer, real Catholic priest (speaking about Brito fake priest act): He was very good at being a priest. His homilies came across (as) very beautiful, very positive messages. He spoke very well of the liturgy and dressed himself well. And so you would think right away, that's a Roman Catholic priest.

Fred Brito: So I would be doing daily mass at seven o'clock and (an) evening mass at five o'clock. I would be hearing confessions. I would be baptising people on Saturdays. I would be doing weddings on Saturdays. I would be burying people who have lost their lives. These were things that priests do. Priests are there to help heal.
...
[Ravi: The voiceover says that Brito makes a few slip-ups over time which get noticed by the seniors at the church but since he is doing a good job and is well liked, the slip-ups are excused.]
...
@ around 4:58, Det. Debbie Potter, Supervisor, LAPD: "I knew his background and he was not an ordained minister. He was not a priest. So I wondered how he got that paperwork [Ravi: paperwork claiming that he was an ordained priest, which Fred Brito had forged] and what kind of con he was upto."
...
@ around 5:32: Father Patrick Mowrer: When Fred Brito came to the parish, (right away) I was just thrilled. One, he was enthusiastic, intelligent, charismatic and so when he came, I thought I got gold here. The people embraced him with great joy, (I think with) great enthusiasm.
...
@ around 6:43: Father Patrick Mowrer: (About the day Fred Brito was arrested by US police) It was a day that everything was normal. I was downstairs in my office. He was upstairs in his room and I got a call from the diocese from the chancellor, asking me if he [Ravi: Fred Brito] is there. And, I said yes, he's right there. Well, make sure that he is not leaving. That's all I was told. We are coming over right away.

Within five minutes they came through every door. There's ... three doors in the (rectory) and they came through every single door to make sure that he was not going to get away.
...
Voice-over: One of the church staff members calls Brito telling him that there's somebody here to see him.

Fred Brito: So as I was coming downstairs, at the bottom of the stairs were two people dressed in suits and immediately I knew I was busted.

Voice-over: Brito is led out of the church in handcuffs and taken to the Phoenix county jail. Father Mowrer asks the Marshals, what is going on and gets a shocking answer: "He is not a priest".

Father Patrick Mowrer: He faked his papers and that was the end of that conversation. Then I had to prepare myself for the repurcussions of (what) that would be.

Voice-over: He is extradited back to Los Angeles where he is sentenced to eighteen months in prison for parole violation and grand larceny.

Fred Brito: It was like I didn't want to be here [Ravi: jail] but I knew that day had to come.
...
Voice-over: With Brito's extraordinary con revealed, Father Mowher and his parish are left to deal with the fallout.

Father Patrick Mowrer: The betrayal (sort-of) hit. And also the anger. How can you do this? He got into their lives and then to find out he is fake! That the wedding was not a valid wedding! So, a huge anger amongst the people for a while, a good (long) while.
...
Fred Brito: I do know that I made some mistakes in life. I certainly made them as Father Fred. But I think if you want to balance them out, I did more good as Father Fred than I did wrong.

Voice-over: Father Mowrer disagrees.

Father Patrick Mowrer: Finding out that this is not a real priest ... completely. Actually it makes it worse. As now you (have) desecrated something very sacred. So no I would say that he did more harm than (he did) good.

Fred Brito: I can now look at myself in the mirror and say, you know, that's who I am. I am what I am. And I am now accepting, after 56 years, I am accepting who I am and what I am.
--- end transcript of parts of video ---

Here's a transcript of a show on NBC in 2007 on Fred Brito, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/18300507/ns/dateline_nbc/t/ultimate-con-artist/. Search for "An immaculate deception" to get to the part of the transcript that deals with Brito's fake priest con. I have given below an extract from it dealing with the happiness a couple got from their wedding being conducted by "Father" Fred and then their anger and dismay when they realized that he was a fake priest.

Maria and Gene met Father Fred just a few weeks before they were to be married. The priest who was originally supposed to marry them became ill, so Father Fred stepped in.

Gene Doten: Here’s a man that when he gave a homily, he had so much truth to it. I mean, he says I’m not gonna put icing on the cake basically and tell you, “You guys are lovey-dovey getting married.  It’s gonna be tough. And the only way to hold that marriage together is through your faith, through god. And when the tough times hit you know you are going to need something to draw on.” And you’re just listening to this man and you’re going “Wow, he’s telling it like it is.”

Mankiewicz: So in terms of being a priest, he more than delivered.

Gene Doten: More than delivered.

“...and for Gene and Maria don’t lose sight of him because with God all things are possible.”

The Dotens say they never suspected Father Fred wasn’t a real priest even though some things about him struck them as a little odd—like the time Maria went to confession.

Maria Doten: When I came in, I had come in after my husband,  he said something about “Well, I know your last name begins with a ‘D’ and I know you’re getting married tomorrow.” So I thought that’s kind of strange, that he’s kind of playing this guessing game with me.

Mankiewicz: Because it’s supposed to be anonymous.

Maria Doten: Yeah.

And then there was the wedding ceremony.

Maria Doten: At our wedding, he actually walked down the aisle behind my maid of honor. The maid of honor is the last one to go and then the flower girls and then comes the bride.  Well before the bride came the priest (laughs)…

In Catholic ceremonies, the priest is normally waiting at the alter, but in the excitement of the day, the Doten’s didn’t notice it until they saw their wedding video.  Looking back at it now, they wish that had been the only thing wrong with Father Fred.

Maria Doten: I was depressed for like three days, crying. It was just very upsetting to me.
...
Brito: I was playing the role of a priest, but at the same time, that I was doing those baptisms and those funerals and those weddings, I knew what I was doing. But somebody had to do it.

Mankiewicz: So your argument is  “Yeah, I feel bad about it but, on the other hand, I did provide a service to those people. And they wanted a priest and I gave ‘em a priest.”

Brito: That’s true. If I were to die today, I have that to bear.  I have that ton of weight to bear, that I played with god. That’s a penalty I’ll have to pay one day.

Some people are already paying that penalty. Gene and Maria Doten returned from their honeymoon to the shocking news that Father Fred, the wonderful priest who married them, was in fact not a priest at all.

Maria Doten: So then I started crying.  It was really devastating to me.

Devastating because the Dotens are strict Catholics. And that since Father Fred was really ex-con Fred, the Eucharist or the body and blood of Christ was therefore missing from their marriage ceremony.

Mankiewicz: So you ended up doing the whole wedding all over again?

Maria Doten: Uh-huh.

Mankiewicz: At the cost of?

Gene Doten: Just redoing it, $10,000.

Mankiewicz: $10,000 because he was a fraud.

Gene Doten: Yes.

--- end extract ---

Ravi: I would like to repeat a small but very important quote of Fred Brito from the above extract. Fred Brito said, "If I were to die today, I have that to bear.  I have that ton of weight to bear, that I played with god. That’s a penalty I’ll have to pay one day."

All spiritual conmen should realize, like Brito realized, that they will have to pay a penalty one day for having played with god.

[I thank the owner of the youtube videos a) and b) mentioned above and nbcnews.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their websites, with the intention of educating and warning people about fake priests & spiritual conmen like Fred Brito, on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pope Francis blesses (and prays with) gathering outside US Capitol; US Speaker Boehner gets very emotional

Pope Francis blesses (and prays with) gathering outside US Capitol on Sept. 24th 2015 in this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-y_Q0eVNpQ, 4 min. 42 secs.

Pope Francis first lovingly looks at the crowd, blessing them.

Then he says (according to the on-the-spot translator):
Hello everyone. I am so grateful for your presence here. The most important ones here, children. I will ask God to bless them. Father of all. Bless these. Bless each of them. Bless the families. Bless them all. And I ask you all please to pray for me. And if there are among you any who do not believe or cannot pray, I ask you please to send good wishes my way.

Pope Francis finally says in English:
Thank you. Thank you very much and God bless America.

[Ravi: USA House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner is very moved by this, and is struggling to hold back his tears. Mr. Boehner is a Roman Catholic. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Boehner, "On September 25, 2015, Boehner announced that he would step down as Speaker and resign from Congress at the end of October 2015. Boehner's resignation took place after Pope Francis' address to Congress the day before, an event considered by Boehner as a high point in his legislative career."

Boehner talks about a private moment he had with Pope Francis here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YQKs7_TasU, 0 min 45 secs, "I was really emotional in a moment that really no one saw. As the Pope and I were getting ready to exit the building, we found ourselves alone. And the Pope grabbed my left arm and said some very kind words to me about my commitment to kids and education (Boehner seems to be holding back tears here). And the Pope puts his arm around me and kinda pulls me to him and says, 'Please pray for me.' Wow! Who am I to pray for the Pope? But I did."]

Here's one comment on the first mentioned youtube page giving what it claims to be a more accurate translation what the Pope said to the people gathered outside US Capitol:

Good morning to all, I am thankful for your welcome and your presence.  I thank the most important people here, the children.  I want to ask God to bless you (meaning the crowd).  Father, bless these people ("pueblo", meaning Americans). Bless each of them. Bless the families. (Father) provide them with what they need most.  Finally, pray for me. If among you there are those who do not believe or cannot pray, i ask you please that you desire good things for me.
--- end extract from comment ---

Ravi: Pope Francis does radiate love and peace, and PRAYER in these public appearances of his among the people. What a role model he is for any religious/spiritual organization leader! Whatever I have seen of him so far, makes me a great fan of him. Sure, there may be some Roman Catholic doctrine aspects of his teachings & beliefs which I may not agree with, but that's not really a big deal as he does not recommend imposition of that on others.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg about India being "personally very important" to the history of Facebook; Spirituality of Steve Jobs

Given below is a transcript of a short segment of the Facebook Townhall meeting involving Mark Zuckerberg and Indian PM Naendra Modi. The event was on 27th Sept. 2015 and its video is available here: https://www.facebook.com/narendramodi/videos/10156199765675165/.

Around 1:00: Zuckerberg: India is personally very important to the history of our company here [Ravi: Facebook company]. This is a story that I haven't told publicly and very few people know. But early on in our history when, before things were really going well, and we hit a top patch and lot of people wanted to buy Facebook, and thought we should sell the company, I went and I saw one of my mentors, Steve Jobs. And he told me that in order to reconnect to what I believed as the mission of the company, I should visit this temple that he had gone to, in India, early on, in his evolution of thinking about what he wanted Apple and his vision of the future to be. And so I went, I travelled for almost a month and seeing the people, seeing how people connected and having the opportunity to feel how much better the world could be if everyone had a stronger ability to connect, reinforced for me the importance of what we were doing and that is something that I have always remembered, over the last ten years as we built Facebook. [PM Modi claps.]
--- end segment transcript ---

Ravi: I find it very fascinating that two of the icons of the computer products world, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, have had such positive influences for their company and products vision, from India and temples/spiritual ashrams in India.

I felt it appropriate to share extracts from an old blog post of mine written at the time of Steve Jobs passing away, http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/2011/10/steve-jobs-greatest-tech-icon-of-our.html, dated October 2011:

[Ravi: This is related to Stanford University, 2005, Commencement Address by Steve Jobs: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html]

And Steve does join college. But one that is almost as expensive as Stanford! All his working-class parents' money was being spent on his tuition. Six months into college, he does not see the value and drops out - and calls it one of the best decisions he ever made. But his college, Reed college, is a nice one as he is allowed to drop-in on courses that interest him.

But he is strapped for cash - sleeps on the dorm floor - returns empty coke bottles to buy food and walks 7 miles every Sunday night to be fed Hare Krishna temple Prasadam!

His drop-in courses include calligraphy which eventually helps him bring beautiful typography into the Mac [and then it goes into Windows :-)].
And he talks about trusting in your gut, destiny, Karma! Maybe it was the Hare Krishna temple influence. Great Spiritual Masters say Self-confidence is THE VITAL thing.
...
About death!!! Wow, this guy was a real spiritual guy. The great spiritual people learn some of the greatest lessons of life from death!! All this will pass, they say. Antah Maya (All is an Illusion). And as Steve says, in the face of death all unimportant things like external expectations, pride, fear of failure fall away and leave only what is truly important. And he says, echoing Great Spiritual Masters, "You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Then his cancer diagnosis. He says, "I didn't even know what a pancreas was."
...
He says that death is life's change agent. And he tells the Stanford Univ. youngsters that they are new now but they will become old and get cleared away!! He doesn't pull any punches, does he?

And so he advised them that in the limited time that they have life they should have the courage to follow their heart and intuition. "They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." Wow!!! I mean, this guy was spiritual guru-level material. Some of his teachings, shall I say, match with those of the Great Spiritual Masters.

--- end extracts from blog post ---

Ravi: Here's a quote attributed to Steve Jobs by his biographer Walter Issacson about what he learned from his seven months spiritual quest in India in the 1970s (on leave from his technician job at Atari and before founding Apple with Steve Wozniak), "The main thing I've learned is intuition, that the people in India are not just pure rational thinkers, that the great spiritual ones also have an intuition." Ref: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-10-24/news/30316532_1_steve-jobs-apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tipu Sultan was NOT supportive of inter-religious traditions; He destroyed temples & churches, and ...

Last updated on 14th Nov. 2015
I would like to first say that I believe in Shirdi Sai Baba's teaching of "Sabka Maalik Ek" (The master of all is ONE). In other words, I believe in ONE GOD with various religions including Islam being various paths/ways to worship and merge in that ONE GOD. Specifically, I am not against Islam, and am actually supportive of it, so long as it does not interfere in the right of others (like me, a Hindu) to practise their faiths which are different from Islam (e.g. Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism). Shirdi Sai Baba used to say "Allah Maalik" (Allah/God is the master) very often; I revere the same Shirdi Sai Baba, 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sai_Baba_of_Shirdi, and try to follow His teachings.
Here's an article from The Hindu today, 27th Sept. 2015, "Tipu Sultan: a secular internationalist, not a bigot", http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/tipu-sultan-a-secular-internationalist-not-a-bigot/article7692879.ece, by the chairman, department of political science at the University of Mysore, Prof. Muzaffar Assadi.

Tipu Sultan was an eighteenth century ruler in South India, based in Mysore, Karnataka.

In the article Prof. Assadi writes:

History is unkind to Tipu Sultan. The fact is that Tipu cannot be reduced to a singular narrative or tradition of intolerance or bigotry as he represented multiple traditions. He combined tolerant inter-religious traditions, liberal and secular traditions, anti-colonialism and internationalism. He could do this as he had strong roots in Sufism, which is not explored much by historians. He belonged to the Chisti/Bande Nawaz tradition of Sufism.
--- end small extract from article ---

Ravi: Well, I agree that it is not appropriate to reduce Tipu Sultan to a singular narrative of intolerance or bigotry. But to say that he was supportive of inter-religious traditions seems to go against what is stated in Wikipedia. I mean, we can accept that he persecuted and killed/converted to Islam, many Hindus and Christians, but had some other noteworthy and praiseworthy facets about him like valour in battle and some level of military genius.

I wonder whether Prof. Muzaffar Assadi can refute, in his capacity as an academic historian (I will be mailing this blog post contents to him), the following extracts from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipu_Sultan:

In a letter to Runmust Khan, Tipu himself stated:
"We proceeded with the utmost speed, and, at once, made prisoners of 40,000 occasion-seeking and sedition-exciting Coorgis, who alarmed at the approach of our victorious army, had slunk into woods, and concealed themselves in lofty mountains, inaccessible even to birds. Then carrying them away from their native country (the native place of sedition) we raised them to the honour of Islam, and incorporated them into our Ahmedy corps."
...
Tipu sent a letter on 19 January 1790 to the Governor of Bekal (near Kasaragod), Budruz Zuman Khan. It says:
"Don't you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Raman Nair (Rajah of Travancore) very soon. Since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now."
...
On the handle of the sword presented by Tipu to Marquess Wellesley was the following inscription:
"My victorious sabre is lightning for the destruction of the unbelievers. Ali, the Emir of the Faithful, is victorious for my advantage, and moreover, he destroyed the wicked race who were unbelievers. Praise be to him (God), who is the Lord of the Worlds! Thou art our Lord, support us against the people who are unbelievers. He to whom the Lord giveth victory prevails over all (mankind). Oh Lord, make him victorious, who promoteth the faith of Muhammad. Confound him, who refuseth the faith of Muhammad; and withhold us from those who are so inclined from the true faith. The Lord is predominant over his own works. Victory and conquest are from the Almighty. Bring happy tidings, Oh Muhammad, to the faithful; for God is the kind protector and is the most merciful of the merciful. If God assists thee, thou will prosper. May the Lord God assist thee, Oh Muhammad, with a mighty great victory."
[Ravi: Please note that it states, "Confound him, who refuseth the faith of Muhammad"]
...
Tipu is regarded to be anti-Christian by some historians. The captivity of Mangalorean Catholics at Seringapatam, which began on 24 February 1784 and ended on 4 May 1799, remains the most disconsolate memory in their history.

The Barcoor Manuscript reports him as having said: "All Musalmans should unite together, and considering the annihilation of infidels as a sacred duty, labour to the utmost of their power, to accomplish that subject." Soon after the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, Tipu gained control of Canara. He issued orders to seize the Christians in Canara, confiscate their estates, and deport them to Seringapatam, the capital of his empire, through the Jamalabad fort route. However, there were no priests among the captives. Together with Fr. Miranda, all the 21 arrested priests were issued orders of expulsion to Goa, fined Rupees 200,000, and threatened death by hanging if they ever returned.

Tipu ordered the destruction of 27 Catholic churches, all beautifully carved with statues depicting various saints. Among them included the Church of Nossa Senhora de Rosario Milagres at Mangalore, Fr Miranda's Seminary at Monte Mariano, Church of Jesu Marie Jose at Omzoor, Chapel at Bolar, Church of Merces at Ullal, Imaculata Conceicão at Mulki, San Jose at Perar, Nossa Senhora dos Remedios at Kirem, Sao Lawrence at Karkal, Rosario at Barkur, Immaculata Conceição at Baidnur. All were razed to the ground, with the exception of The Church of Holy Cross at Hospet, owing to the friendly offices of the Chauta Raja of Moodbidri.

According to Thomas Munro, a Scottish soldier and the first collector of Canara, around 60,000 people, nearly 92 percent of the entire Mangalorean Catholic community, were captured; only 7,000 escaped. Francis Buchanan gives the numbers as 70,000 captured, from a population of 80,000, with 10,000 escaping. They were forced to climb nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m) through the jungles of the Western Ghat mountain ranges. It was 210 miles (340 km) from Mangalore to Seringapatam, and the journey took six weeks. According to British Government records, 20,000 of them died on the march to Seringapatam. According to James Scurry, a British officer, who was held captive along with Mangalorean Catholics, 30,000 of them were forcibly converted to Islam. The young women and girls were forcibly made wives of the Muslims living there. The young men who offered resistance were disfigured by cutting their noses, upper lips, and ears. According to Mr. Silva of Gangolim, a survivor of the captivity, if a person who had escaped from Seringapatam was found, the punishment under the orders of Tipu was the cutting off of the ears, nose, the feet and one hand. Gazetteer of South India describes Tipu Sultan forcibly circumcising 30,000 West Coast Christians and deporting them to Mysore

Tipu's persecution of Christians even extended to captured British soldiers. For instance, there were a significant number of forced conversions of British captives between 1780 and 1784. Following their disastrous defeat at the 1780 Battle of Pollilur, 7,000 British men along with an unknown number of women were held captive by Tipu in the fortress of Seringapatnam. Of these, over 300 were circumcised and given Muslim names and clothes and several British regimental drummer boys were made to wear ghagra cholis and entertain the court as nautch girls or dancing girls. After the 10-year-long captivity ended, James Scurry, one of those prisoners, recounted that he had forgotten how to sit in a chair and use a knife and fork. His English was broken and stilted, having lost all his vernacular idiom. His skin had darkened to the swarthy complexion of negroes, and moreover, he had developed an aversion to wearing European clothes.
...
Tipu Sultan's invasion of the Malabar had an adverse impact on the Syrian Malabar Nasrani community of the Malabar coast. Many churches in the Malabar and Cochin were damaged. The old Syrian Nasrani seminary at Angamaly which had been the center of Catholic religious education for several centuries was razed to the ground by Tipu's soldiers. A lot of centuries old religious manuscripts were lost forever. The church was later relocated to Kottayam where it still exists to this date. The Mor Sabor church at Akaparambu and the Martha Mariam Church attached to the seminary were destroyed as well. Tipu's army set fire to the church at Palayoor and attacked the Ollur Church in 1790. Furthernmore, the Arthat church and the Ambazhakkad seminary was also destroyed. Over the course of this invasion, many Syrian Malabar Nasrani were killed or forcibly converted to Islam.
--- end wikipedia extracts ----

Ravi: Sure, wikipedia does note his help to some Hindu temples too. However, the above extracts show that, by no stretch of imagination, can Tipu Sultan be referred to as supportive of inter-religious traditions. He seems to have helped some Hindu temples on occasion (as, I guess, he may have needed support of the majority Hindu subjects to provide agricultural and small scale industrial produce and give other support to his kingdom).

Update on 14th Nov. 2015: This Hindu article, One dead in clash over Tipu Sultan anniversary in Kodagu, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/one-dead-in-stone-pelting-in-kodagu/article7864756.ece, dated Nov. 10th 2015, is very saddening.

After knowing about this sad incident, I felt it appropriate to delete the last two paragraphs of this blog post as I do not want to contribute, in any way whatsoever, to violence between Hindus and Muslims. If any brother Muslim reads this modified post of mine and has objections to contents of it, I request him to POLITELY express his views as a comment on this post. I assure such brother Muslims that I will treat it with all seriousness and try to respond to it. We should know the truth and not spread falsehood but we need not unnecessarily emphasize any truths about past Hindu rulers or past Muslim rulers which leads to increased tension between Hindus & Muslims.

I repeat my belief in Shirdi Sai Baba's teaching "Sabka Maalik Ek". There is only one God for both Hindus and Muslims which Hindus may refer to as Eashwar and Muslims refer to as Allah.

[I thank Wikipedia and The Hindu and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website (very small extract from The Hindu article) on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

How "fresh-recruit" Sai university alumni get drawn to Muddenahalli group

Some Sai university alumni are deeply associated with Muddenahalli group as promoters/leaders of the so called subtle body of Swami in Muddenahalli belief which automatically promotes the so called chosen communicator (Madhusudhan Naidu) who claims to see and interact with Swami for hours together on regular basis. [I am convinced that it is a FALSE BELIEF and I have documented the reasons elsewhere in this blog.] Please note that I am referring to Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Sai university) alumni and NOT alumni of Muddenahalli and Alike schools run by Loka Seva Trust.

It seems that most of such Sai university alumni promoters/leaders of Muddenahalli group (besides Madhusudhan Naidu) believe that they have some spiritual powers and/or some contact with Swami themselves (not through Madhusudhan Naidu). These powers/contact with Swami seem to include healing powers, past life regression, hypno-therapy, getting visions of Swami, smelling fragrance of Swami, even Swami talking to them and of course, dreams of Swami. Now, I would not be surprised if some of these claims do have some substance to it. During my stint as a teacher/staff in the Sai university I did note that there were few strongly spiritual types among the students, some of whom would become 'form boys' or singers or drama boys, which would give them more "chances" to have physical level interaction with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Surely, some of these persons, especially after Mahasamadhi, would have intensified their spiritual efforts which would have yielded some results including the powers/contact with Swami mentioned earlier.

However, as far as I know, even those Sai university alumni associated with Muddenahalli group, barring, of course, Madhusudhan Naidu (an MBA alumnus from Sai university), NEVER PUBLICLY CLAIM to be able to see (subtle body/flesh-and-blood body) Swami for hours together, getting down from the car, giving Darshan and even giving a discourse. NOR DO THEY PUBLICLY CLAIM to have regular daily (seems to be like an on-demand) contact with Swami where Swami uses them as an intermediary to respond to the problems of other devotees and to pass other messages to these devotees. In the Muddenahalli group ONLY Madhusudhan Naidu, the so called chosen communicator, makes these PUBLIC CLAIMS.

But these Sai university alumni are acting as promoters of Muddenalli group by suggesting to other "fresh-recruit" Sai university alumni that they should visit Muddenahalli! I know of a case where a Sai university alumnus in the 2014-15 period was approached three times by three different persons (at least two of them being Sai university alumni) with suggestions to visit Muddenahalli. Ultimately the person succumbed and visited Muddenahalli!

I am told that Sri Narasimhamurthy and other senior Sai university alumnus/alumni hold orientation sessions to help "fresh-recruit" Sai university alumni who are new to Muddenahalli group, learn about so called subtle Swami! That was quite a surprise to me. So it seems to be quite a well planned mission, in terms of attracting and retaining followers, even from amongst Sai university alumni!

Among the reports I have heard of Sai university alumni interacting with so called subtle Swami through Madhusudhan Naidu, I have not heard of any demonstration of extraordinary/paranormal power. It has been more of interactions about spiritual teachings, chastisement of bad practices of alumni (sometimes in public), advise about material matters (e.g. to take up a particular job) and giving of ring(s) from the pocket (not materialization).

However, even the above, in the cult-like atmosphere that Muddenahalli group seems to have very successfully created, makes an impact on Sai university alumni who go there. Their longing to have similar interactions with Swami that they had in the past with physical form, seems to get some level of fulfillment by the above mentioned interactions with Madhusudhan Naidu who says he is conveying words of Swami.

Further, in the heightened atmosphere of devotion that Muddenahalli group seems to have very successfully created (and which many official Sai orgn. centers too seem to have very successfully created in various parts of the world), such "fresh-recruit" Sai university alumni into Muddenahalli group, claim to even have got a glimpse of Swami (themselves) and/or felt the fragrance of Swami (themselves), for a few moments (but not continuously for hours). I do not doubt such experiences of the "fresh-recruit" Sai university alumni in Muddenahalli. My view is that wherever devotion to Swami peaks along with a deep desire for such interactions with Swami, Swami will appear as a vision or a voice or as fragrance etc. That will happen in Muddenahalli, in Puttapathi, and in homes of devotees & Sai centers anywhere in the world.

The danger lies in such "fresh-recruit" Sai university alumni being drawn to and made believers of Muddenahalli group (by other Sai university alumni), eventually developing deep faith in the FALSE BELIEF of so called subtle body Swami and so called communicator propagated by Madhusudhan Naidu and Sri Narasimhamurthy with the support of other senior Sai university alumni! These persons may later become promoters of this FALSE BELIEF among other Sai university alumni!

How should this be tackled by Sai university? I think a dedicated cell should be created under leadership of PROVEN Sai university staff who have OPPOSED Narasimhamurthy's HIJACK via dream-instructions & then so called subtle body, from day one. Note that some of the current leaders of Sai university are people who CO-OPERATED/COLLABORATED with Narasimhamurthy and Shahsidhar Prasad (former VC) in their HIJACK of Sai university from sometime after Mahasamadhi till Nov. 2014 when Shashidhar Prasad stepped down as VC. So only those Sai university staff who have PUBLICLY OPPOSED Narasimhamurthy right from 2011 should be in this dedicated cell. If nobody among CURRENT Sai university staff fits this criteria (which seems to me to be the case) then former PROVEN LOYALTY Sai university staff (Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju being the prime example and SPIRITUAL HERO of Sai university/SSSIHL for OPPOSING Narasimhamurthy from 2011 itself in the face of tremendous MARGINALIZATION by SSSIHL administrators then) and LOYAL Puttaparthi ashram staff should be in this cell. All Sai university alumni should then be told about the creation of this cell and be told that they can freely raise their questions and doubts about Muddenahalli group, as well as requests for help to resist attempts made by Muddenahalli promoters to attract them, with this cell (even anonymously via Internet messages). Of course, this cell should be provided full logistical and other support by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT).

It pains me to say this but I think it has to be said. The same Sai university students who were being viewed as the big hope of the Sathya Sai mission after Swami's Mahasamadhi, today have to be viewed with some suspicion as it one of them, Madhusudhan Naidu, who is making this FALSE CLAIM about seeing and interacting for hours together with so called subtle body of Swami and acting as an intermediary between Swami and Sai devotees! And this person is being supported by other Sai university alumni and a former Warden of Sai university (Sri Narasimhamurthy)! So many Sai devotees the world over have got caught up in this FALSE BELIEF! What a tragic state of affairs!

To be very honest, in this Muddenahalli matter, I am now more comfortable with Sai devotees who ARE NOT SAI UNIVERSITY ALUMNI, because I don't know of a single Sai devotee friend (non Sai university alumnus) of mine who is a supporter of Muddenahalli, let alone being a promoter! When it comes to Sai university alumni, the first thing I have to check is are they CLOSET Muddenahalli supporters! And, what a tragedy it is for me, that this also applies to former students that I taught at the Sai university! [Some of these students are supporters of Muddenahalli group.]

I thank Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, for having PERSONALLY created and NURTURED the Sathya Sai organization, Indian and International, which now seems to me to be the main force for the official and TRUE Sathya Sai mission, which is making all efforts to be faithful to the teachings & instructions of Swami (ZERO TOLERANCE for mediums & communicators using name of Swami, no solicitation of funds etc.), and powered largely by NON SAI UNIVERSITY ALUMNI.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Shouldn't Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust have one or two well recognized Sai literature experts/teachers on its board?

Last updated on 30th Sept. 2015

After Bhagavan's Mahasamadhi and the ensuing chaos & confusion in Puttaparthi Sai setup, (which resulted in me parting ways with the Sai university in March 2012), I started reading up and viewing up (videos and spiritual TV channels) on other contemporary and near-contemporary spiritual movements and groups, both in India and abroad.

One thing that struck me right away was that in all these spiritual movements and groups, expert(s) on their spiritual principles and views and interpretations of holy scripture, were the prominent person(s) and seemed to be the key decision maker(s) in the associated orgn. And that made sense as it is these people who play a great role in drawing and retaining followers in their spiritual movement/group. If the number of followers dwindle then that's usually an indication of some serious problem in the movement/group which needs to be addressed quickly and effectively as otherwise the entire movement/group may wither away. This applies to Hindu ashrams and groups as well as Christian ministries.

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in his physical form, was the key spiritual principles & teachings expert/teacher for the Sathya Sai movement. While the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT) was established many decades prior to Swami's Mahasamadhi, its role & responsibilities have changed significantly after Mahasamadhi. Prior to Mahasamadhi, SSSCT trustees did not have to play any spiritual teacher role OR worry much about drawing and retaining devotees, as Bhagavan was there in physical body doing that function. In Bhagavan's physical absence, however, I think SSSCT now has to be concerned about creating an environment which will reflect the Divine Love of Bhagavan, as that will help in drawing and retaining devotees/followers of Puttaparthi based Sathya Sai movement/mission. [It is interesting that the splinter group based in Muddenahalli is focused around the spiritual teacher Madhusudhan Naidu (FALSELY CLAIMING to speak words of so called subtle body of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) and his translator, former (official) Sathya Sai education system veteran, Sri. B.N. Narasimhamurthy. These two persons seem to be vital in drawing and retaining followers to/in their group, and also seem to be the vital decision makers in the associated organization(s).]

But SSSCT's current board of trustees does not seem to have any well recognized expert/teacher on Sai literature! [I tried looking up http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/ for the list of current trustees but I could not find a suitable link in my quick look at the site.] Now I presume and am quite sure that the current board of trustees are honorable men (& women, though I don't think there is a woman trustee as of now) who have achieved distinction in their respective fields of endeavour, and are able administrators of the Sathya Sai institutions entrusted to their care. Note that the administrator role is different from that of teacher of/expert-writer on Sai literature role.

I have also put on record, elsewhere on this blog, my appreciation for SSSCT's fantastic work in stabilizing the chaotic, confusing and traumatic situation in the immediate post-Mahasamadhi phase, and ensuring that all the wonderful activities of the Puttaparthi based Sai mission continue without any break. So I request that this post of mine should not be seen, in any way, as a criticism of SSSCT. But it should be viewed as just a humble thought/suggestion of mine.

I believe that the SSSCT board of trustees currently consists of nine members. I think that SSSCT, as and when appropriate, should have at least one (ideally two), well recognized experts/teachers in Sai literature on their board as trustee(s). These person(s) should have a significant set of articles, books and speeches which are well appreciated by Sai devotee community. These person(s) should take on the top level responsibility of ensuring that Sai teachings are disseminated well and disseminated correctly, inside and outside the Sathya Sai mission.

I hope this post of mine is viewed in a positive light by any senior functionaries of the Sathya Sai organization who happen to read it (or associated mail). I repeat, this is not a criticism of SSSCT but just a humble thought/suggestion. Jai Sairam!

Fond memories of ISKCON, Juhu, Mumbai; Great Bhajan by Loknath Swami; ISKCON, Chowpatty, Mumbai; Radhanath Swami

I have very fond memories of time spent enjoying and being engrossed in Bhajans at ISKCON, Juhu, Mumbai, http://www.iskconmumbai.com/iskcon-juhu/, in the early 90s. It was perhaps my first serious effort at trying to focus the mind in Bhakti (devotion) of the Lord, through song (bhajan) in an atmosphere of community devotion (satsang). Here's a great bhajan by famous ISKCON singer Loknath Swami, Mukunda Madhava Govinda bol, 7 min. 15 secs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0nkjHXkrlQ.

I should also say that I did read fair amount of ISKCON literature, both on Bhagavad Gita, and the Bhagavatam. I was not entirely comfortable with some aspects of this literature and that held me back from becoming more committed to ISKCON as my spiritual guide-organization. [This was prior to me knowing about Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and then associating with the Sathya Sai orgn.]

I should also say that, by no means, am I finding fault with ISKCON literature! NO, NOT AT ALL. I am not getting into that sort of vaad-vivaad (argument & counter-argument, theological debate). It is just that some aspects of it did not click with me; perhaps that was due to my lack of proper understanding.

A good friend and younger colleague of mine (Sri Sandeep Kamat), in a software company in Mumbai named Mastek, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastek, that I got associated with later on as a consultant, in the 90s and early 2000s, was an ardent follower of ISKCON. He took me to his main ISKCON temple in Girgaon, Chowpatty (walking distance from Grant Road Railway station, if I recall correctly), Mumbai, http://radhagopinath.com. I clearly recall me enjoying and admiring the holy atmosphere as well as the intricate beauty of the main temple there (the website shows a pic of it, which revived that memory). He was associated as a lay (family man) follower with a spiritual leader there, whom he greatly admired and revered. If I recall correctly (actually I am quite sure), he was referring to the main spiritual leader of the temple, Sri Radhanath Swami, http://radhagopinath.com/new/temple/leadership/, who is an American from Chicago who became an ISKCON sannyasin. An extract from the earlier link:

Radhanath Swami is a Vaishnava sanyassin (a monk in a Krishna-bhakti lineage) and teacher of the devotional path of Bhakti-yoga. He is author of The Journey Home, a memoir of his search for spiritual truth. His teachings draw from the sacred texts of India such as The Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Ramayana, and aim to reveal the practical application of the sacred traditions, while focusing on the shared essence which unites apparently disparate religious or spiritual paths.

Born Richard Slavin, on December 7, 1950, in his teens he came to confront a deep sense of alienation from suburban Chicago life and the civil injustices of mid-century America. At the age of nineteen, while on a summer trip to Europe, his internal struggles culminated in a commitment to search for God wherever it might lead him. Meditating on the Isle of Crete, he felt a supernatural calling and the next morning set off alone to find spiritual India. The Journey Home documents his odyssey as a penniless hitch-hiker though Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India. There he lived as a wandering ascetic, first amongst the forest dwelling Himalayan yogis and later amongst a wide variety of gurus and spiritual practitioners throughout India and Nepal. Ultimately, he was led to the holy town of Vrindavan, where he found his path amongst the Bhakti-yogis.

In Vrindavan he found the teacher he was searching for in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and representative of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, (the Krishna-bhakti tradition stemming from the 16th century mystic avatar Sri Chaitanya). In choosing Bhaktivedanta Swami, as his guru, Radhanath Swami felt compelled to shear his matted locks and reenter Western society with a mission to share the sacred wisdom he had received. This return exemplifies the form of devotional yoga which is at the heart of Radhanath Swami’s teachings, a spiritual practice expressed as tangible action meant to bring about personal fulfillment and benefit the world.

At the the age of 31 he took the monastic vows of a Vaishnava sanyassin and became known as Radhanath Swami.

--- end extract from http://radhagopinath.com/new/temple/leadership/ ---

I did not have the privilege and pleasure of meeting Sri Radhanath Swami. I think he may not have been free (or in town) at the time my friend took me to his temple.

[I thank radhagopinath.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pope Francis address to US Congress on 24th Sept. 2015

Here's the video of Pope Francis address to US Congress on 24th Sept. 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te0_bWQNFn4, 50 min. 39 secs.

Here are extracts from the transcript of the above address of Pope Francis, from http://time.com/4048176/pope-francis-us-visit-congress-transcript/ :

I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.
...
Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation. On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and – one step at a time – to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.
...
All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.
...
In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.
...
In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” (ibid., 231) and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.
...
Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.
...
I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.
...
In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!
---- extracts from Pope Francis address ---

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Solar System Model built to Scale; How tiny humanity is in the scheme of material things!

A correspondent passed on this video, To Scale: The Solar System, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR3Igc3Rhfg, 7 min. 06 secs, published on Sep. 16th 2015. It has already touched over 1.6 million views in slightly over one week after publication (as of 24th Sept. 2015)!

I added the following comment on the youtube video:
Loved it. Found it educative, really. I mean, I knew distances in the solar system were HUGE, but I did not have a proper sense of proportion of sizes of planets and sun, and the distances between them. This video gives me that sense of proportion (I presume it is accurate; would be great if it is certified for fair level of accuracy (not perfect accuracy) by some top orgn. in the field like NASA).
--- end comment ---

Five short quotes from the video:

From 0:00: As we got farther and farther away, the Earth diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine ... seeing this has to change a man. - JAMES IRWIN, Apollo 15

From around 0:40: Every single picture of the solar system that we ever encounter is not to scale. If you put the orbits to scale on a piece of paper [Ravi: Regular writing pad paper size], the planets become microscopic, and you won't be able to see them.

From around 1:44: To create a scale model [Ravi: of the solar system] with an Earth only as big as this marble, you need seven miles [Ravi: Around 11.26 kilometres] of empty space.

From around 2:05: At this scale, the Sun is a meter and a half [Ravi: seems to be diameter size of Sun object in model; 1.5 m is around 4.92 feet]  ...

From around 6:34: We are on a marble [Ravi:earth], floating in the middle of nothing. When you sort-of come face to face with that, it's staggering.
--- end video quotes ---

Ravi: I think this video does a great service to educating people about solar system with a right sense of proportion. From a spiritual perspective, it clearly shows how utterly insignificant our physical human body is in this grand Solar System scheme of things. I mean, when the earth itself is just a marble floating in the middle of nothing, the physical bodies of all the seven odd billions of people on the planet would be, I guess, just like minuscule particles of dust on this marble floating in the middle of nothing!

How foolish it is for individual human beings to have a greatly inflated perception of their own power! How foolish it is for people to get caught up in some egomaniac or megalomaniac trap! Yes, human beings have achieved enormous capability in, and amassed enormous amount of knowledge of, the material world. But when one sees those achievements in the right proportion, one realizes that despite all the astounding and very praise-worthy material achievements of humanity, from a material perspective, humanity is just a set of minuscule particles of dust on a marble floating in the middle of nowhere! Yes, humanity has sent a very, very few people to space (within the Solar System), and sent some unmanned objects to space (within the Solar System), but that's it really. In my humble opinion, one cannot escape from the fact that from a material perspective, humanity is utterly dependent on the Sun, and is defenceless against any big shake-up event in the Solar system (or for that matter, any planetary scale shake-up event on earth itself).

I should also say that spiritual and religious people (includes me) believe that we are more than our physical bodies, and that we are a spirit that does not die when the physical body dies, and that this spirit is part of an eternal and all encompassing power which projects (has created) the world (solar system, universe). That gives spiritual and religious people a sense of permanent life (eternal life). [Of course, Non-theists (atheists & agnostics) will not accept these beliefs/views of spiritual and religious people :-).]

Notes:

1) From the description on the youtube video link above:

On a dry lakebed in Nevada [Ravi: in USA], a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.

A film by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh

alexgorosh.com
wylieoverstreet.com

Feel like supporting more films like this? Consider becoming a Patron: 
https://www.patreon.com/toscaleseries?ty=h
--- end youtube video description extract ---

2) Pluto, which during my school student days (1970s in India) was a planet, is now not considered to be a regular planet but a dwarf planet, Ref: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/. Regarding why Pluto was removed from planet list and made a dwarf planet, the section 'Why Is Pluto Not Called a Planet Anymore?' in 'What Is Pluto?', http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-pluto-k4.html, explains it. A short extract from it is given below:

In 2003, an astronomer saw a new object beyond Pluto. The astronomer thought he had found a new planet. The object he saw was larger than Pluto. He named the object Eris (EER-is).

Finding Eris caused other astronomers to talk about what makes a planet a "planet." There is a group of astronomers that names objects in space. This group decided that Pluto was not really a planet because of its size and location in space. So Pluto and objects like it are now called dwarf planets.
--- end extract from NASA website ---

[I thank Wylie Overstreet, Alex Gorosh and NASA and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above very short extracts from their youtube video captions & website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Legal challenge for UNAUTHORISED USE of Sri Sathya Sai name by Muddenahalli group can be mounted as name is LEGALLY PROTECTED by EMBLEMS & NAMES ACT

[Disclosure: I am not a lawyer. I am just using plain logic in my arguments below. Note that essentially a court of law follows logical arguments in the context of the laws of the land. So it is not necessary to be a lawyer to consider such matters. Further, I believe, in exceptional cases, a petitioner/plaintiff or a defender in a court of law is allowed to present arguments himself/herself without using a lawyer.]

The relevant act is called "The Emblems And Names (Prevention Of Improper Use) Act, 1950". Its "bare act" including schedule (schedule 24 & 25 relate to SSSCT and Sri Sathya Sai) is available here: http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/laws/the-emblems-and-names-prevention-of-improper-use-act-1950.html.

One key part (section?) of the act is given below:

3. Prohibition of improper use of certain emblems and names

Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, no person shall, except in such cases and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government use, or continue to use, for the purpose of any trade, business, calling or profession, or in the title of any patent, or in any trade mark or design, any name or emblem specified in the Schedule or, any colourable imitation thereof without the previous permission of the Central Government or of such officer of Government as may be authorised in this behalf by the Central Government.

--- end para from bare act ---

In this context I should mention that when I put out Facebook posts, a few months ago, considering a P.I.L. against UNAUTHORIZED USAGE of name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba by Muddenahalli group for darshan, interviews and "discourses" of Madhusudhan Naidu, a Mr. [name-snipped] (who claimed to have studied law) had argued, if I recall correctly, that in the past, some case filed against some orgn. for UNAUTHORISED USAGE of name of Sri Sathya Sai, was dismissed by some court in India (Kerala court?, I don't recall clearly now). That gave me the impression that, perhaps, inclusion of Sri Sathya Sai name in the above Act schedule, may not really be effective in prevention of its UNAUTHORISED use (in India).

But now I think that I came under the wrong impression based on Mr. [name-snipped]'s comments. Here's a 2012 judgement where the judge clearly upheld a govt. dept's stand that the name "All India Defence Services Advocates Association" proposed by a private party goes against para 7 of the schedule of the Emblems and Names Act, http://delhicourts.nic.in/APRIL12/All%20India%20Defence%20Services%20Vs.%20UOI.pdf. The petitioner's plea to order the Registrar of Societies, Delhi, to allow it (a private party) to use the name "All India Defence Services Advocates Association" to incorporate its (private) orgn., was rejected by the judge (in 2012, I repeat).

Here's Para 7 of the schedule of the emblems and names act:

7. Any name which may suggest or be calculated to suggest-

(i) the patronage of the Government of India or the Government of a State; or

(ii) connection with any local authority or any corporation or body constituted by the Government under any law for the time being in force.]

--- end Para 7 of the schedule of the emblems and names act ---

Specifically, the judge wrote in his ruling:

On the contrary the petitioner has been unable to show any need for insistence on registration as a society with the said name only. The petitioner has also been unable to show any prejudice or injury which it may suffer if adopts any other name. The use of the words ‘All India’ in conjunction with the words ‘Defence Services’ has the potential of mischief within the meaning of Para 7 of the Schedule to the Act aforesaid.

8. No merit is thus found in the petition. The same is dismissed.

--- end extract from judge ruling ---

Ravi: Given the above ruling which is upholding the Emblems and Names Act (as I understand it, judges in courts have to interpret and uphold law), the name of Sri Sathya Sai referred to in schedule 25 of the Act, seems to me to be CLEARLY PROTECTED UNDER INDIAN LAW from UNAUTHORISED USAGE. Given below are schedule 24 & 25 of the Act:

[24. The name of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and its two emblems described below:-

(i) In the middle, it has a lotus flame that is spreading light of goodwill in all directions. Five universal human values-Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence are placed in the outer circle. These are universal values that are common to all faiths and beliefs. The emblem has no specific colour stipulation.

(ii) This emblem is a Sarvadharma (multi-religious) Symbol and equality of all religions symbol. It depicts symbols of major world religions-Om-in Sanskrit/ Devnagri (Hinduism and Sikhism), Cross (Christianity), Crescent and Star (Islam), Fire (Zoroastrianism), and Wheel (Dharma Chakra revered by Buddhists and Jains). All signs are placed in a circle signifying their equality. In the middle circle, there is a Lotus Flame that signified Purity, Virtue and Character. This emblem is used in various colours and no specific colour is officially notified.]

[25. The name of “Sri Sathya Sai”.]

--- end extracts from bare act from http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/laws/the-emblems-and-names-prevention-of-improper-use-act-1950.html ---

Ravi: Therefore, it seems to me that the AUTHORISED BODY/PERSONS for the name Sri Sathya Sai, which seems to be the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (and/or close kith & kin of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), should be able to mount a clear & successful legal challenge, on the basis of schedule 25 of "The Emblems And Names (Prevention Of Improper Use) Act, 1950", to Madhusudhan Naidu and Sri B.N.Narasimhamurthy (and others) restraining them from their UNAUTHORISED use of the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba for the darshan, interviews and discourses of Madhusudhan Naidu and associated so called subtle body (or any other future so called "chosen communicators" and associated so called subtle body(ies)).

I further think that, if the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust does not want to initiate the above suggested legal action, there is a good possibility, I repeat, good possibility (not certainty), of a Public Interest Litigation (P.I.L.) filed by interested Indian national Sathya Sai devotees on this matter, to succeed in getting a court order to restrain Madhusudhan Naidu and Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy (and others) from using the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba for the darshan, interviews and discourses of Madhusudhan Naidu and associated so called subtle body (or any other future so called "chosen communicators" and associated so called subtle body(ies)). For such a P.I.L., perhaps the first challenge will be to convince the court why some individuals are filing the litigation instead of the authorised body, which is SSSCT, filing the litigation, and that is why I say, good possibility and not certainty, for success of such a P.I.L.

I would like to clarify that what I am discussing above is a CIVIL case (and NOT A CRIMINAL case), with the objective being PREVENTION of UNAUTHORISED USAGE of Sri Sathya Sai name by Madhusudhan Naidu and Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy for their so called subtle body. I am not commenting anything about their educational trust (Saraswathi trust) or the Raipur hospital managed by Sri C. Srinivas, or any other service to mankind (society) activities of theirs. I do not have anything against these service activities of theirs (except to the extent they promote the FALSE BELIEF of so called subtle body of Swami), and wish them all the best in these service to mankind (society) activities of theirs.

This webpage of SSSCT, http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/pages/announcements/notice.htm, provides info. on the addition of Sri Sathya Sai name and Sai orgn. emblem to schedule of emblems and names act (notice dated 22nd July 2004).

Monday, September 21, 2015

USA based (white) Sai devotee lady's Gayatri mantra spiritual journey; Taught to her by Prof. Kasturi in 1982

Last updated on 22nd Sept. 2015
[I used the term (white) lady to simply let readers know that this account is about how the Holy Vedic Gayatri mantra benefited somebody who was not born in an Indian Hindu cultural environment. My view is that her example shows that people of all ethnic and racial (and gender) backgrounds (white/black/brown whatever and whatever cultural exposure) could also benefit from the Holy Vedic Gayatri mantra (provided, of course, that one has faith in it and practises it diligently).]

In a Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/yaani.drucker/posts/10153660252075477, Mrs. Yanni Drucker shared "Waking Up by Undoing Ego" Facebook user community's post having following contents authored by Yanni Drucker (public sharing here, approved by Yanni Drucker):

Gayatri mantra is chanted day and night for the uplift of all fellowman. Back in '82 when I first came to have Baba's darshan, Professor Kasturi gave a talk on the power of Gayatri mantra. So I started coming to his flat to learn it. He did not let me stop until I had mastered it with perfect pronunciation and intonation. Now always I am chanting Gayatri mantra, softly, under my breath, while I am fixing meals, while I am cleaning house, while I am sitting outside watching the river go by, while I am playing tennis... and always with a prayer for the end of suffering on the planet for all beloved fellowman. Due to this passion for the end of suffering on the planet, Baba brought me to enlightenment in April of 2001. It was a very arduous journey. I am so very very grateful I could manage. It is a wonderful thing to live in the awareness that one's only purpose is to reach enlightenment and then to know that one has reached and thereby served mankind maximally. "The greatest service you can render to the planet is to wake up the truth of who you are."

--- end Yaani Drucker authored content ---

I (Ravi S. Iyer) made the following comment on the above FB page (slightly edited):
Fascinating! Thanks for sharing Yaani Drucker. Very happy to read about an important part of your spiritual journey being initiated by the Gayatri mantra which that wonderful and inspiring devotee-apostle of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prof. Kasturi, taught you. And, very importantly, how you had FAITH in the Gayatri mantra, were DILIGENT in your practise of it through the various activities of your daily life, which led you to significant spiritual experience(s) (knowing the truth of who you are).

The Gayatri mantra, over centuries and millennia, has been imparted to Hindu Brahmin boys at their sacred thread (upananyam) ceremony. However, I can tell from direct experience (even I went through that ceremony as a boy) that many Brahmins, especially in cities like Mumbai (I grew up in Mumbai and had the thread ceremony there; at that time I was not a Sai devotee), lack the faith in the Gayatri mantra that you demonstrated. The previous generations of South Indian Brahmins (say two to three generations back, including my family elders), especially those who lived in Brahmin Agraharams, were far stronger in their FAITH in the Gayatri (and other) Hindu mantras. [From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agraharam: "An Agraharam (Tamil: அக்கிறஹாரம்; Telugu: అగ్రహారం; Kannada: ಅಗ್ರಹಾರ; Malayalam: അഗ്രഹാരം) or Agrahara is the name given to the Brahmin quarter of a heterogenous village or to any village inhabited by Brahmins."]

I am so happy to see a USA based (white, if you don't mind me saying so) lady benefiting so much from her FAITH and PRACTISE of Gayatri mantra. This should be shared with many, as it will reinforce the faith in the Gayatri mantra in Hindus and people of other faiths who are willing to believe in some aspects of Hinduism.

I should also mention that Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has done a GREAT SERVICE to mankind by openly declaring and encouraging all (men & women, Hindus and people of other faiths) to chant the Gayatri (and other beneficent Mantras).

--- end edited comment response ---

The Gāyatrī Mantra is a highly revered mantra from the Vedas. Like all Vedic mantras, the Gayatri mantra is considered not to have an author, and like all other Vedic mantras, is believed to have been revealed to a brahmarshi, in this case Vishvamitra. It is a verse from a sukta of the Rigveda (Mandala 3.62.10). Gāyatrī is the name of the Vedic meter in which the verse is composed. As the verse can be interpreted to invoke Savitr, it is also called the Sāvitrī mantra. Its recitation is traditionally preceded by oṃ and the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ, known as the mahāvyāhṛti "great (mystical) utterance".

The Gayatri mantra is repeated and cited very widely in Vedic literature and praised in several well-known classical Hindu texts such as the Manusmṛti ("there is nothing greater than the Savitri (Gayatri) Mantra.", Manu II, 83), the Harivamsa, and the Bhagavad Gita. The mantra is an important part of the upanayana ceremony for young males in Hinduism, and has long been recited by dvija men as part of their daily rituals. Modern Hindu reform movements spread the practice of the mantra to include women and all castes and its use is now very widespread.
...
Recitation of the Gayatri mantra is preceded by oṃ (ॐ) and the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ (भूर् भुवः स्वः), known as the mahāvyāhṛti ("great (mystical) utterance"). This prefixing of the mantra proper is described in the Taittiriya Aranyaka (2.11.1-8), which states that scriptural recitation was always to begin with the chanting of the syllable oṃ, followed by the three Vyahrtis and the Gayatri verse. Following the mahāvyāhṛti is then the mantra proper, the verse RV 3.62.10:

In Devanagari

ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।

तत्स॑वि॒तुर्वरे॑ण्यं॒

भर्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि ।

धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥

In IAST

Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ

tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ

bhárgo devásya dhīmahi

dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

--- end wiki extracts ---

Ravi: For the meaning of the Gayatri mantra I have taken it from International Sai orgn. site, http://www.sathyasai.org/devotion/prayers/gayatri.html:

The meaning of the Gayatri mantra is as follows
We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal.

I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.

We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.

Meaning of the individual words

Om: The primeval sound
Bhur: the physical world
Bhuvah: the mental world
Suvah: the celestial, spiritual world
Thath: That; God; transcendental Paramatma
Savithur: the Sun, Creator, Preserver
Varenyam: most adorable, enchanting
Bhargo: luster, effulgence
Devasya: resplendent,supreme Lord
Dheemahi: we meditate upon
Dhiyo: the intellect,understanding
Yo: May this light
Nah: our
Prachodayath: enlighten,guide,inspire

--- end extracts from sathyasai.org ---

Ravi: The above sathyasai.org website has lot of info. about Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on Gayatri (Swami chanting/singing it, discourse extracts related to it, quotes related to it).

[I thank Yaani Drucker, Wikipedia and sathyasai.org and have presumed (Yaani Drucker gave her approval for sharing here) that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

======================

This blog post was included in The Spirituality Daily (blogpost aggregator) issue dated Sep. 21st 2015, (under Leisure category), http://paper.li/GoodBlogPosts2/1309693268?edition_id=e5e928c0-606e-11e5-85c1-002590a5ba2d.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mr. Ganti's Call for Resignation of Singapore and Zone 4 Sai orgn. authorities is too harsh

Last updated on 21st Sept. 2015
Given below are the contents of my recent Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1665140473702523.

This is my reaction to Mr. Vr Ganti​'s recent post, "Revamping of Zone 4 - a must - to continue Sai Mission in South East Asia", https://www.facebook.com/notes/vr-ganti/revamping-of-zone-4-a-must-to-continue-sai-mission-in-south-east-asia/10205214685271358.

1) That Muddenahalli (MDH) group was helped SIGNIFICANTLY by Singapore Sai devotees due to large sums of money donated by them, as well as other support rendered by them, has been QUITE WELL ESTABLISHED, IMHO, by Mr. Ganti. I mean, while evidence in terms of documentation of money trail is not provided, Mr. Ganti's account seems to me to have the RING OF TRUTH. Neither has Mr. Ganti's account been challenged by MDH supporters on his Facebook (FB) pages (as far as I know; I have blocked some MDH supporters and so cannot see their comments, if any, on Mr. Ganti's FB pages).

2) That Feb. 2015 instructions of Chairman of Prasanthi Council, Dr. Narendranath Reddy, which seem to have unequivocally condemned belief in mediums (or communicators) in the context of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and stressed that office bearers of International Sai orgn. should not have any connections with MDH group, were not acted upon in a FIRM and PROMPT manner by Zone 4 and/or Singapore Sai orgn. top office bearers (authorities), as stated by Mr. Ganti, seems to be QUITE WELL ESTABLISHED.

3) Mr. Ganti writes, "Already once we have experienced that the Chairman and the coordinator of Zone 4 have never taken any action in spite of the direction from Prashanthi Council and the reason they have indicated was that some of these office bearers may leave traditional SAI organization and join in Mhalli Group. Hence, there was a fear of creating vacuum and is that fear justifiable?  In my considered view that argument does not hold any water since they already supporting Mhalli Group and hence this direction for disassociating themselves from the traditional Sai Organization is not an issue at all. Now that The Trustees have categorically mentioned and clarified that dual loyalty is not acceptable and those office bearers choosing to continue to sway towards Mahlli may do so but leave the organization, will Zone 4 leaders take quick action in the matter?" Ravi: Actually, my understanding of official Sai orgn. stand is that such office bearers who "continue to sway towards Mahlli" can continue to be in the Sai orgn. but NOT AS OFFICE BEARERS. They have to step down from office bearer position.

4) Mr. Ganti writes (a little earlier to the point 3 extracts above), "Are the local authorities of Singapore and Mhalli supporters from Singapore working “hand in glove” basis? In spite of all this, would the local authorities be allowed to go scot free in the matter on the ground of “Help Ever and Hurt Never”?  By allowing the local authorities and Zone 4 authorities to continue in their office will SSSCT and PC be sending wrong signals to other zones?  What is the correct thing to do? What will SWAMI expect SSSCT to do? Is it not correct for the concerned authorities in Zone 4 as also in Singapore to take moral responsibility for the mess that has been created and resign from their respective positions immediately?"

Now for my (main) reactions to the points above:

5) First, I would like to state that I am eminently 'qualified' (have the background) to provide my reactions to the above. This is because I DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED the dual loyalty of top leaders problem, after Mahasamadhi, in the Sai university, where I was a Visiting Faculty then. The vice-chancellor of the Sai university then started believing in supposed Swami DREAM instructions that Sri Narasimhamurthy claimed to get. Persons opposing such matters like veteran Sai community leader Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju were BRUTALLY marginalized in the Sai university. As I saw all this I decided to terminate my association with the Sai university in March 2012. So what Mr. Ganti writes about in the period 2014-15, I experienced similar DUAL LOYALTY of top leader(s) problem in 2011-12 itself in the Sai university at Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi)! More details are provided in Note A) below.

6) Mr. Ganti has asked for resignation of concerned authorities in Singapore and Zone 4 Sai orgn. I think that is a very serious statement to make. Is it justified? My view is that we should not view this as a regular worldly orgn. matter. The power vacuum, and the spiritual vacuum, that many in the Sai fraternity felt in the immediate months and year or two after Bhagavan's Mahasamadhi was an EXTRAORDINARY one. It cannot be denied that some unfortunate incident(s) in Puttaparthi after Mahasamadhi which created a NEGATIVE MEDIA FRENZY nationally (and perhaps internationally too), affected most Sai devotees badly, at that time. In such a depressing and traumatic atmosphere, the veteran Sai education system leader Sri Narasimhamurthy's (BNNM) dream instructions from Swami and alternative Sai platform leadership, would naturally have been attractive to many Sai devotees. These problems in Puttaparthi in those months and first year or two seem to be the main cause for BNNM being able to attract support of veteran leader of Sathya Sai mission, Sri Indulal Shah sir, and also former VC Shashidhar Prasad of the Sai university, which in turn played a major role in BNNM's MDH group getting powerful donors and powerful supporters, and getting well established.

So if some Singapore orgn. leaders (and leaders of Sai orgn. elsewhere in the world) got attracted to BNNM and started believing in his dream instructions (and then so called subtle body & so called communicator), I think it is quite understandable. Further, as far as I know, till Nov. 2014, the Sai orgn. leaders at Puttaparthi (SSSCT) had not issued public instructions to office bearers of Sai orgn. to NOT interact with MDH group.

By that time, I think some Singapore Sai orgn. leaders were already quite deeply into MDH group. I guess it is natural that it will take some time for them to wean away from MDH group. I mean, SSSCT and Intl. Sai orgn. seem to have not taken a FIRM stand till Nov. 2014, i.e. around three and a half years after Mahasamadhi.

Given this background, I think that call for resignation of Singapore Sai orgn. and Zone 4 orgn. authorities due to slow implementation of Intl. Sai orgn. guidelines on this matter is too harsh. Mind you, we are not talking about any money irregularities or failure in terms of keeping activities of orgn. running. It was just that some orgn. leaders who had been attracted by so called subtle body claims of Muddenahalli and associated with it, continued that association in the face of Int'l Sai orgn. instructions/directives not to do so. Even the Muddenahalli group people are not engaged in any criminal activity (from an Indian law perspective, to the best of my knowledge) - they too are serving society with the funds and other support they receive, even if we (I certainly) strongly refute their CLAIM of so called subtle body of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba there which communicates only through a so called chosen communicator.

7) But does that mean, "Help Ever Hurt Never" attitude can be EXPLOITED now and in future by any Singapore and Zone 4 orgn. leaders to continue to support MDH group, while holding office bearer positions in (official) Sai orgn.? NO. DEFINITELY, NO. I think that any Singapore or Zone 4 Sai orgn. office bearer who is proven to have associations now, or in future, with MDH group, should be asked to step down.

8) It will be wonderful and very healing for Sai orgn. Singapore and Zone 4, if those orgn. leaders who associated with MDH in the past, follow the example of centenarian and well known Sai writer (and so a revered elder of Sai fraternity), Mrs. Phyllis Krystal, by making PUBLIC declarations of past association with MDH group and stating that they will not associate with them in future. Actually speaking, even those that are in SSSCT (Puttaparthi) managed Sai institutions (like Sai university) who associated with MDH group (& followed instructions of Narasimhamurthy after Mahasamadhi), should follow Mrs. Phyllis Krystal's lead and make similar PUBLIC declarations. That will really clear the air and allow everybody to make a fresh start in an environment of trust and co-operation, as against an environment of suspicion. And really, I think it will be a spiritually healing thing for them. I mean, how can one spiritually progress, if one hides such matters and tries to sweep it under the carpet? What sort of self-esteem will such people have?
==============================

Note [This is a long note and may be skipped by readers]:

A) Here are my 'qualifications' and background to react to Mr. Ganti's post: I provided free service as Honorary Staff/Honorary Faculty/Visiting Faculty to the Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS), Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi) campus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL also known as Sai university) from Jan. 2003 to March 2012. I FORMALLY TERMINATED my association with SSSIHL in March 2012, after a HORRIBLE INTERACTION with Dr. Naren Ramji, Registrar (he continues to be Registrar even today, I believe) in the Registrar's office. I have documented details of that meeting elsewhere on my Facebook (FB) pages as well as my blog. However, I had made up my mind to TERMINATE my association in SSSIHL prior to that meeting with the Registrar, Dr. Naren Ramji, as I was SHOCKED to the core by how Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju, long-term devotee and very trusted servitor of Bhagavan, had been marginalized by the Sai university, and how I personally was BRUTALLY MISTREATED by vice-chancellor (VC) Shashidhar Prasad and DMACS head, Prof. Chandrashekaran, simply because I was not willing to give up my interest in my capacity as Visiting Faculty in SSSIHL, in the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project. This project was strongly approved by Bhagavan while in physical form and I was permitted on SSSIHL letterhead signed by Registrar, Naren Ramji, to associate with the project and interact with the project team members (Sri Satyajit Salian and others).

The HOD Chandrashekaran, broke academic protocol (breach of academic procedure) by asking me to stop working on it (sometime in Jul/Aug. 2011)!!! He had become POWER CRAZY and thought the dept. had become his KINGDOM. But neither the VC nor the Registrar objected to this POWER CRAZE of the HOD, Chandrashekaran!!! If Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was alive in physical form then, Chandrashekaran would NOT HAVE DARED to do that, as I would have even gone to the extent of offering a letter DIRECTLY to Bhagavan on this matter. It was Bhagavan's pet project. Chandrashekaran would have landed in BIG TROUBLE. But, just a few months after Mahasamadhi, how things had changed! Chandrashekaran instructed me to stop working (free service) on Bhagavan's pet project with copy of email to vice-chancellor and Registrar who said NOTHING!!!

Essentially, I felt that the Sai university under vice-chancellor Shashidhar Prasad, Registrar Naren Ramji (and my dept. HOD, Chandrashekaran) were no longer following the vision of founder chancellor of Sai university, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but were IMPOSING THEIR OWN VISION on the Sai university. Anybody who did not want to fall in line with NEW IMPOSED VISION of these people and BLINDLY FOLLOWED ALL THEIR INSTRUCTIONS, were NOT TOLERATED. I also came to know from multiple quarters (whispers but without any proof then) about Shashidhar Prasad (and probably Naren Ramji and Chandrashekaran too - but I am not sure; it is just my suspicion) having been TRAPPED by DELUDED belief that Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy was getting DREAM instructions from Swami (at that time I did not hear about any subtle body talk). I was also told by a reliable source that then director of Prasanthi Nilayam campus, Prof. Sudhir Bhaskar, was sending daily email reports to Sri B.N. Narasimhamurthy!

I strongly felt that Sai university had been HIJACKED by Shashidhar Prasad, Narasimhamurthy and those in Sai university that collaborated with them (I suspect Sudhir Bhaskar, Naren Ramji and Chandrashekaran to have collaborated in this HIJACK). The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), by the Grace of Bhagavan, had not fallen in the Narasimhamurthy Swami DREAM instructions trap. But, for reasons best known to them, SSSCT was not in a position to ASSERT itself over vice-chancellor Shashidhar Prasad, and force him to follow Swami's vision and IGNORE Narasimhmamurthy's DREAM instructions. My assessment is that SSSCT then faced so many challenges in stabilizing the Puttaparthi mission, that they did not want to create one more crisis zone by forcibly removing Shashidhar Prasad as Vice-chancellor and rekindling media sensationalist focus on Puttaparthi. Removal of a vice-chancellor is not a small thing! Besides a media furore possibility, even the powerful Union HRD (education) minister (Shri Kapil Sibal, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapil_Sibal, of UPA II then, if I recall correctly) may have chosen to ask questions of SSSCT trustees, if they had taken that step.

Some of the colleagues at the Sai university that I discussed this matter with, quit (Prof. Krupanidhi being a prime example of a senior administrator-faculty (Dean of Sciences) who could not tolerate Shashidhar Prasad and Naren Ramji changed style of management after Mahasamadhi and so quit; SSSIHL threatened him by issuing 'runaway' notice(s) to him as he had some Ph.D. candidates under him in SSSIHL). And among some colleagues with whom I discussed it and who continued with the Sai university, nobody supported me continuing with Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project work. I was advised that if I don't follow instructions of bosses (like my dept. HOD, Chandrashekaran) they will react. It was as if, just follow instructions, man. I must also add that if I followed instructions (even if they did not fit in with Swami vision for university) and forgot about Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project work in DMACS, I probably would have been offered some decent compensation for the Lab. courses I was teaching as Visiting Faculty. [In June/July 2011, SSSIHL staff received sixth pay commission salary hikes; many youngsters who were being paid pittances earlier were given academic positions on sixth pay commission scales (a big bonanza for such young staff; and a pretty good hike for other staff too). So academic positions in SSSIHL became financially attractive. I think that may have been deemed necessary to prevent exodus of staff after Swami Mahasamadhi.]

I decided that the best thing for me to do was to part ways with SSSIHL but also do it in a fashion that I register my STRONG PROTEST with vice-chancellor (VC) Shashidhar Prasad (in a manner which he was not able to easily brush away) about what was going on under his watch. I achieved that by mailing him a large document by courier (with acknowledgement evidence available with me) in May 2012. I could not make any reference to his following Narasimhamurthy's dream instructions as he had not PUBLICLY stated it. Later (perhaps in June/July 2012), on an academic paper publication effort of mine related to the Vidya Vahini lab. course that I had conducted, I had sent him another document for which his secretary (also referred to as Personal Assistant, P.A.) phoned me informing me of an appointment made with the VC. I told his secretary that I expect a written response from the VC and did not want to meet the VC. The secretary was shocked! Later when the secretary bumped into me on the streets of Puttaparthi (outside the ashram) he glared at me, quite dramatically, as if I had done some terrible crime!!! I simply ignored him. As expected, the VC did not respond in writing to me. That was the last time that I formally or even informally interacted with Shashidhar Prasad, even though I continued to live in outside-ashram Puttaparthi (but rarely visited the ashram).

Hope the above 'qualifications' and background was not too long :-) but I felt it important to let readers know that I have DIRECTLY EXPERIENCED the TRAUMA and CONFUSION caused by Muddenahalli group to Puttaparthi mission, and am a DIRECT CASUALTY of Sai university HIJACK by Shashidhar Prasad & co. As it is I have some health issues. This trauma made it significantly worse. Really! So I can say that I have been through this DUAL LOYALTY & CONFLICT OF INTERESTS in top office bearers of Sai orgn. WRINGER, and so am 'qualified' to provide my view on this matter :-).

[The Registrar is actually not a very important functionary in a typical Indian university. It is the vice-chancellor who is the BIG BOSS (like a CEO in a company) in a university. The Registrar is essentially the record keeper guy who functions under the vice-chancellor's instructions & directions. But in the Sai university, traditionally the Registrar had a channel of communication with Bhagavan (and some trustees/functionaries Bhagavan tasked with top level responsibility for the Sai university), and so was a more important position than in typical Indian universities. After Mahasamadhi, my guess is that the Registrar (Dr. Naren Ramji) would have had and would continue to be having a strong channel of communication with the trustee(s) tasked with looking after Sai university. The word among the Sai university people is that Sri K. Chakravarthi (long-term and VERY DEDICATED SERVITOR of Swami, former and first Registrar of Sai university, former secretary of SSSCT, and now trustee of SSSCT) is the key trustee tasked with that responsibility after Mahasamadhi.]