Thursday, April 28, 2016

Recent Gold Sarva Dharma symbol and ornamental engravings on Sathya Sai samadhi



Above picture is of the samadhi of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi), with recently added gold Sarva Dharma symbol and ornamental engravings. Pic courtesy: Anand Raghupathy, Facebook user. His post has been Facebook-shared by me here: https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1733968976819672, dated April 26th 2016. The share has a few more pics of the gold engravings.

The Sarva Dharma (All Religions) symbol (logo) is explained in detail on the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT) website Unity of Faiths page, http://www.srisathyasai.org.in/pages/his_teachings/Unity_of_Faiths.htm. The logo is shown on the top left of the page.

I have given below a clearer image of the Sarva Dharma logo (courtesy: https://saiprema.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/sai-symbol.jpg). I think the Sarva Dharma symbol engraved on the Mahasamadhi of Bhagavan in the picture above is similar to the Sarva Dharma symbol in the SSSCT webpage mentioned above and the image shown below.


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

Given below are some comments from the above shared Facebook post of mine, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1733968976819672:

Sai Das wrote:
I think Swami would be much better pleased if we were working hard on making our hearts gold.
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote (slightly edited):
Sai Das, We are giving him back what Swami has bestowed on the devotees. It is the "Bhava" that is offered here, and we don't see Metal. You can offer any thing to the lord that includes the Heart.. and Lord is Bhava Priya will accept anything - once you offer anything to him with LOVE.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Very well said, brother S Ramanan Rao. Jai Sairam!
---

Sai Das wrote:
I didn't say or even mean to imply that this shouldn't be done brother, rather, that Swami doesn't care about that sort of thing; He does, however, care about us having hearts of gold. :-)
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote (slightly edited):
Sorry Sai Das, that was not intended to hurt your feelings. I recall an experience as narrated/shared by the Devotee couple themselves way back in 2000, when i used to live in Dombivli, Dt. Thane of Maharastra. The couple loved Swami so much that they used to save money from their salary and with Lots of Love they would buy Gold Buttons for Swamis Robe. Swami knows the intention (Bhava) of the devotee, wherever they are. The couple after buying the Gold Buttons would travel to Prasanthi Nilayam (PN), to offer the same to the Lord. The Lord used to take those Buttons with a beautiful smile and Love and used those buttons for His Robe. The couple are now settled at PN and offer their Free voluntary service to the Lord. I feel the Lord is for everyone. He doesn't discriminate. I will also share one more experience of an aged lady -devotee of swami ( the incidence took place in late 1980's) which is quite opposite to this..
----

Sai Das wrote (slightly edited):
I understand about the bhava behind and offering but then anything can be offered with loving bhava, no? Personally, I think external offerings are good initially but ultimately, inner offerings are all that really matter. heart emoticon
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote (slightly edited):
The story of an aged lady, (as shared by the Alumni students recently in a satsang took place in Bangalore) who used to travel to PN from interior part of Vijayawada, AP. She did not have anybody but had a small land (field), where she used to grow Peanuts. That was her only source of income - by selling peanuts she was making some money.. Once a year she would come to PN with a Bag full of Peanuts to offer Swami but she will be seated last in the Kulwant hall. She used to think whether swami shall accept this small offering from her. She used to also look at things happening in the center stage of Sai Kulwant Hall and be amazed by the way foreign devotees were offering many precious things to Swami. But Swami knows the Heart of the Devotee. Swami used to walk all the way to the last row and Pick up the Bag and Bless the lady, whenever she would make a visit to PN. The lady always shed tears for the Love that Swami showered on her. Not only that. Swami after giving Darshan and Interviews, would call a bunch of boys in Poorna Chandra residence, and ask them to open the 'Not-so-good-looking Bag' and share the peanuts with the students explaining the Devotion of that Lady. Swami sometimes never bothered that the shells of the peanuts spilt all over his robe and around his chair. The students with rapt attention would eagerly listen to the Love-Story from Swami Himself. Swami would say, Ayyo Papam, that lady come from so far, and She has only One Bag with her to fill the Peanuts, and (so) I should return that Bag to her!. The same evening again Swami will send the Bag, through someone, back to the Lady. Love is the Mantra.. and One can reach to Him, by developing the same.
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote:
He cares for everything as long we offer them with Love. He doesn't discriminate material or non material things..is what I wanted to convey...
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote (slightly edited):
Yes. True. Material offerings erode over a period of time and then it becomes matured as an internal offering. But doesn't completely go till our last breath?
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
Thanks for your comments brothers S Ramanan Rao and Sai Das. May I share your comments on my FREE spiritual blog?

These comments reminded me of Sep. 22nd 1997 when Bhagavan rode the golden chariot the first time (in public, at least). You can see the associated video here: http://www.saicast.org/1997/19970922_DD.htm. I was doing Seva Dal duty in Sai Kulwant Hall then as part of Maharashtra Seva Dal group (I was living in Dombivli, Maharashtra then) and recall the exhilaration as well as the mad rush of people wanting to see Swami riding the golden chariot then. I was fortunate to have a thrilling and clear view of Swami coming in the golden chariot from the South Indian Canteen road towards the main entrance into Kulwant Hall for Swami's car/vehicle (DashaAvatar Gate is the name, if I recall correctly).

I plan to put up a separate blog post on this event. But here I would like to say that on the one hand I enjoyed the exhilaration of seeing Swami in the golden chariot which was said to be predicted in the Naadi records of ancient Rishis (ancient prediction-records of Indian seers). Very importantly, at least one of the Naadi records, people said, mentioned that those who had darshan of Swami in this golden chariot on that day, would not have a re-birth! So that made the event even more exhilarating to me and many other devotees assembled there.

But, on the other hand, after the thrill subsided, I also had a doubt about whether such a golden chariot was an example of extravagance. Bhagavan answered that query in his discourse that day itself, if I recall correctly. He said that he does not like such expensive chariots and that he agreed to ride the golden chariot only because of the love and devotion of the devotees who prayed to him to ride it.

Later, after I had spent living some years in Puttaparthi and having regular darshan of Swami in Sai Kulwant Hall, and being in the Sai university circle of teachers & students, I understood that what really mattered to Bhagavan in such cases, was the giving of joy to his devotees. His joy was the joy of his devotees! If his devotees wanted to have the great joy of seeing their LORD and MASTER as a king (Maharaj is the Indian languages' word) riding a golden chariot for a few minutes, he was willing to do that for them and their joy. As simple as that, and as profoundly meaningful as that!

I also recall about how Shirdi Sai Baba gave in to the earnest pleas of Hindu devotees who wanted to worship him. That led to some Muslim devotees of Shirdi Sai Baba get very upset with him as their view was that anybody in human form should not be worshipped. [Note that Muslims do not worship even Prophet Muhammad. They revere him and praise him and try to emulate the good actions of his. But, as far as I know, they do not worship him.] However, Shirdi Sai Baba allowed that practice to continue. Perhaps it was the same with Shirdi Sai Baba. He wanted to give joy to his devotees, and as his devotees got divine joy by worshipping him, Shirdi Sai Baba allowed them to worship him.
---

Sai Das wrote:
Ravi S. Iyer You have my blanket permission to repost anything I post publicly at any time. :-)

I think that a pursuing conversation would ultimately and in short, lead to being a matter of one's intention and not much different from a conversation regarding advaita vs. bhakti. If one has a pure heart, then any offering made will be pure and pleasing. I think outward offerings can perhaps help purify ones heart by reducing the ego via love.

Most of us are aware of the trap that external displays and attention can and does lead to if the inner isn't sufficiently developed. A Swami friend once said to me in half jest that most churches/temples were built from guilty consciousnesses. :-)
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
Noted your blanket permission grant to me, bro. Sai Das. Thank you very much. "A Swami friend once said to me in half jest that most churches/temples were built from guilty consciousnesses." Very interesting! I can't but help recall Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather book, putting out this quote supposedly from Balzac, "Behind every great fortune there is a crime." .... The story of saints is replete with great transformations from criminal/killer/opponent to saint! The names that immediately spring to mind are Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, who got transformed from a hunter to a Sage/Rishi, and of Saul of Tarsus, student of Gamaliel of Jerusalem, who got transformed from a persecutor of the early Christians of Jerusalem to Saint Paul, a great apostle of Christianity, and one of the main founders of Roman Catholic Church.
---

Sai Das wrote:
From the Godfather to Valmiki. That's quite a span! Good work there 'ole boy! :-)
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote:
Bro Ravi S. Iyer .pls do so..
---

S Ramanan Rao wrote:
Sai Das, I believe Bhakti is part of Advaita. Its not against. Pure Advaitic personality or say Born Advatis like Sukha Maharishi - Son of Veda Vyas, wanted to dwell in Bhakti Rasa of Krishna. (He who wrote Bhagavatham). I recall Swamis Message here: I separated my self (Advaita yo Dwaita) from Myself to Love Myself!
---

Sai Das wrote:
I like to think of it as bhakti and advaita being two sides of the same coin. :-)
---

[I thank Anand Raghupathy, S. Ramanan Rao, Sai Das and saiprema.files.wordpress.com and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing their above comments/ images from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Should people who are fed up with Muddenahalli group confusion in Prasanthi Nilayam consider moving out of Puttaparthi?

Last modified on 3rd May 2016

Given below is a modified version of an email response of mine to a similar question raised by a correspondent.

I faced a similar problem in 2011-12. Let me first tell you about the picture then even if some of my info. below is repetition.

I went through my main trauma from Jul 2011 to around Jun 2012, when I had direct experience of the way Sai university became the KINGDOM of Sashidhara Prasad and those who collaborated with him. I saw that veterans like Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju and Prof. Krupanidhi who were treated very well by Swami (Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba), were now treated very badly by then vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad and Registrar Naren Ramji, the two Hitler-Stalins of the Sai university after Mahasamadhi. Of course, I too was treated very badly by these two fellows and the DMACS HOD, Chandrasekaran, but I was not a bigshot in the Sai univeristy neither a veteran like Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju & Prof. Krupanidhi. When these two could be CRUSHED by the new Hitler-Stalin duo of the Sai university (Sashidhara Prasad & Naren Ramji), nobody else dared to open their mouths against them. It had become a reign of terror in the Sai university (though physical threats were not involved; it was just dismissal from service).

I decided to let them know what I thought about them by making my service record matter a big issue but not in public, at that time. [For more details see my blog post, My May 2012 service record & record tampering related correspondence with Sai university (SSSIHL) administrators, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html.] I am quite sure that my issue went up to some higher-ups in the Sai orgn. as I had hinted at legal action before I chose to withdraw the issue.

I had also been given some information by some sources about why vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad could not be removed by the Prasanthi Nilayam authorities. Note that Sashidhara Prasad, for all his dictatorial attitude, was NOT financially corrupt, was providing free service to the Sai university, and had quite some standing as a scientist, academic and an academic administrator (he was vice-chancellor of the much, much bigger Mysore University before he become vice-chancellor of the Sai university).

During my trauma period of Jul 2011 to Jun 2012, as I came to know about all this, it affected my health quite badly. All this stuff was way beyond me then as I was focused on my individual sadhana including some amount of Sai university teacher Seva. I did not even have a Facebook account then and had limited my contacts to only few people as I felt that would help in my sadhana.

Barring Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju, nobody dared to fight these fellows in the Sai university (some chose to simply go away). When I tried telling other people in Puttaparthi/Prasanthi Nilayam about it, nobody was interested to know. It was as if all were leading a grim battle of survival in the overall trauma of the immediate post-Mahasamadhi period. It was a terrible, terrible period for us in Puttaparthi. I don't blame others for not wanting to hear about Sai university dictators from me. Their view was that if you don't like it, just forget it and leave.

Given the above background, after June 2012 I faced a major life decision. I had terminated my association with the Sai university. I had largely stopped going to Sai Kulwant Hall and Prasanthi Nilayam ashram in general as I wanted to avoid meeting most of my Sai university colleagues who stood watching and did nothing as I, Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju and Prof. Krupanidhi were brutally mistreated by Sai university administration. However, most of them behaved that way (watching and doing nothing) out of fear. Many of them were polite with me when I met them on the street. So I knew that they sympathized with me but dared not support me due to fear of the Hitler-Stalin duo in charge in the Sai university then. [Today I am far more understanding of their fear aspect as I later realized that many would have suffered significantly both from an emotional attachment to Sai university point of view as well as from a financial point of view, if they were removed from service for daring to support me.  By God's grace, I was not financially dependent on the Sai university or on Prasanthi Nilayam, neither was I too emotionally attached to the Sai university, and so it was quite different for me.]

My question then was: Should I continue to live in Puttaparthi or should I move on to some other town in India which might be more congenial for my spiritual path? What I had observed was that I had already achieved some level of comfort with an ONLY outside-ashram Puttaparthi life during this period (as I was going only around once a week and that too for only around an hour or so, to the Sai university from Aug. 2011 to Mar. 2012). I decided that I should try out outside-ashram Puttaparthi life fully without any regular contact with Prasanthi Nilayam ashram. I tried that and it worked out well for me. Bhagavan had said that we should try to help ten people (some people) [In Bhagavan's Telugu words: Padi mandiki sahayamu cheeyi]. So I made that my goal and started interacting more with locals in outside-ashram Puttaparthi, understanding their problems and giving some free advise. Over time, I became very comfortable with outside-ashram Puttaparthi life.

Further, I realized that I was quite well established in outside-ashram Puttaparthi with my own flat and some locals known to me. If I had tried to move to a new town, I would have had to face the challenge of adjusting to life there and settling down there.

Perhaps there are others who may be in a similar predicament today, especially with the confusion that Muddenahalli group has created even within Prasanthi Nilayam. Some may wonder whether they should move out of Puttaparthi now. My advise to them is that if they are able to lead a happy spiritual-oriented life without being much dependent on Prasanthi Nilayam ashram (which is how it is for me) then staying on in Puttaparthi may work out for them (like it is working out for me now).

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sathya Sai discourse to Indian Merchants Chamber, Bombay in 1984 about right (Dharmic) ways to do business

Last updated on 30th April 2016

In the Aradhana function (Mahasamadhi day function) held in Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi) on 24th April 2016, the morning program had a discourse clip of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba where Bhagavan is very critical of wealth and power craze (Artha trishti adhikaara drishti) of people today. This can be viewed from around 2:25:30 in the video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h09a02UdDpc, Aradhana Mahotsavam Morning Programme - 24 Apr 2016.

I tried to locate the discourse text (English) corresponding to this discourse using Google search on sssbpt.info but failed to locate it. It seems to be a birthday discourse as Bhagavan is wearing a white robe. So if somebody shares which year the discourse was given, it should be easy to locate the discourse text.

While doing this Google search on sssbpt.info I came across this very interesting discourse of Bhagavan on similar lines, http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume17/sss17-12.pdf. The pdf document states, "Discourse at a meeting organised by the Indian Merchants Chamber, attended by several thousand businessmen at Brabourne Stadium, Bombay, 14 May 1984". Given how vital businessmen have become for the world and given how the global financial crisis of 2007-08, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%9308, brought the world financial systems, and so the world economy, to near collapse with millions of people worldwide still suffering from the severe negative impact of that near collapse, I think this discourse of Bhagavan in 1984 itself (nearly a quarter century before the global financial crisis), is a very prescient one. Another striking aspect of the discourse is that even the Avatar could only advise the businessmen about the right way of doing their businesses. It was up to the businessmen to heed the advise and teachings of the Avatar to change themselves into Dharmic businessmen and through that, change the country and the world, besides making individual spiritual progress.

Perhaps the global financial crisis may serve as a wake-up call and the current economic and political turmoil in some countries of the world today may serve as a wake-up call to the powerful princes of the early 21st century world, namely the businessmen and businesswomen, to heed the advise of the Avatar both for their own good and for society's good as a whole.

I have first given below a few sentences that really stand out (from my perspective) from this discourse (all these are in the discourse extracts given later on in this post).

1) Rectitude [Ravi: morally correct behaviour; righteousness] means that one should earn his living by just means and be an example to others by just living.

2) Whatever may happen to Oneself or one's relations, whatever difficulties one may have to face, one should not swerve from the path of rectitude.

3) Today, whatever prosperity one enjoys, whatever comforts one secures, all of them are derived from society. Some rules of Dharma have been laid down for ensuring that the wealth that is earned from society is devoted to the benefit of society.

4) It is for businessmen to set a limit to their business and their profits and utilise their abilities for the promotion of public good.

5) It may be difficult to combine business with morality. Therefore, the first requisite is to install morality in the heart and, with faith in the Divine, engage oneself in business. If this is done the nation will benefit from the business man's efforts and he will be serving society.

6) The people cannot disown their responsibility for the actions of a government which has been placed in power by their votes. Whether a government is good or bad depends on the people themselves.

7) There is widespread talk in the country about corruption. Many come and ask me: Swaami! when will corruption end in this country? Who is responsible for this corruption? Is it the government? No. It is the businessmen who are directly responsible for this corruption.

8) For their own selfish reasons and private gain businessmen have been financing those in power and making them more and more powerful. If you businessmen live up to your right principles, all this corruption can be ended in a moment.

9) If conditions in Bhaarath [Ravi: India] are to be improved; it is only businessmen who can do this. Businessmen can even reform the government. Businessmen can promote the world's progress. They can also ruin the world economy. [Ravi: Some of the businessmen of the world almost did that in the 2007-08 global financial crisis.] By their own right conduct, businessmen should try to set right the administration.

10) Bhaarath is the land of our birth. It is a Thyaaga bhuumi, sacred land (devoted to sacrifice), Karmabhuumi (devoted to right action) and Yoga bhuumi (devoted to the practice of yoga). We are trying to convert such a sacred country to Bhoga bhuumi (a land of luxury and pleasure). All the sources of Bhoga (pleasure) are in fact the causes of Roga (disease).

11) Our ancients laid down four avenues for the utilisation of wealth or earnings. One fourth should be used for personal use and for supporting the family. Another fourth should be used for charitable and religious purposes. A third quarter should be spent on other living things like animals, birds, etc. The remaining fourth should be offered for supporting the State. It is only when one's wealth is utilised in this manner will it be really beneficial and meaningful.

12) Misuse of money is a great evil. Wealth must be used only for good purposes. Money is capable of leading man to any place, good or bad. Hence he should take care to see that wealth does not lead him to bad ways, or bring a bad name to this great country.

13) It is only those who are imbued with the spirit of selfless service that are fit to become leaders of the nation. [Ravi: and not those who are power and/or money crazy.]

14) Service to society is everyone's primary duty. Businessmen should develop a moral approach, use right means for earning wealth and utilise it for the benefit of society.

--- end stand-out sentences from Bhagavan's discourse ---

I have given below selected extracts from this 1984 discourse delivered mainly to Bombay/Mumbai businessmen (I presume), which focus on wealth and power craze today, and how wealth and power should be used in an appropriate way. Of course, Bhagavan's words below apply to all businessmen & businesswomen not only in Bombay/Mumbai but all over India and all over the world. Note that all the above stand-out sentences have been taken from the extracts below and so the reader will have to bear with some repetition.

--- start extracts from Bhagavan's discourse ---

Obsessed with the acquisition of wealth and power, he [Ravi: man] does not realise the Divinity that is his essential nature. Immersed in ignorance, he wastes his life in the pursuit of impermanent things.

Thirst for wealth has no limit, it is insatiable

It is on the basis of this fact that Sri Shankaraachaarya declared in a famous verse in the Bhaja Govindham: "Oh man! Do not be proud of your wealth, progeny or youth. All these will be taken away in a moment by Time. Destroy this world of illusions and enter the seat of the Eternal." The thrishna (thirst) for wealth is folly! Thrishna has two meanings, "thirst and desire." It is natural for man to have desires and thirst. But there is a difference between desire and thirst. It is natural for men not to be content with what they have, but to desire for more and more goods and more and more comforts. But in seeking fulfilment of such desires, one should take care not to cause any harm or suffering to others. Thrishna is different from desire. It has no limit. It is insatiable.

One should earn his living by just means

Dharma (the code of righteousness) lays down for men a regulatory path. Like the effulgence of the rays of the Sun, Dharma illumines the paths which men should follow for the welfare and progress of society. Among the laws of Dharma, Nyaayam (justness) is most important. Rectitude [Ravi: morally correct behaviour; righteousness] means that one should earn his living by just means and be an example to others by just living. Justness consists in making no difference between oneself and others. Whatever may happen to Oneself or one's relations, whatever difficulties one may have to face, one should not swerve from the path of rectitude. Justness is like the mariner's compass. In whatever way you put it, the needle will point only towards the North. Similarly, justness reveals the Divinity in man and makes him enjoy the bliss of the Divine. Hence, the ideal human life should be one in which rectitude forms the basis for every action.

Today, whatever prosperity one enjoys, whatever comforts one secures, all of them are derived from society. Some rules of Dharma have been laid down for ensuring that the wealth that is earned from society is devoted to the benefit of society. In the process of acquiring wealth one may be guilty of some lapses. It is to make amends for such lapses that one must practise charity.
...
There is no use blaming the government for all the evils prevailing today. The people are responsible for the injustice, the wickedness, the falsehood and the corruption prevalent in the country. The people cannot disown their responsibility for the actions of a government which has been placed in power by their votes. Whether a government is good or bad depends on the people themselves. There is widespread talk in the  country about corruption. Many come and ask me: Swaami! when will corruption end in this country? Who is responsible for this corruption? Is it the government? No. It is the businessmen who are directly responsible for this corruption.

For their own selfish reasons and private gain businessmen have been financing those in power and making them more and more powerful. If you businessmen live up to your [Ravi: right] principles, all this corruption can be ended in a moment. It is true that there is no one who does not desire wealth. An old Thelugu proverb says that even a dying person will get up if he sees somebody offering money. It is not surprising if, when bribes are offered, officials do not refuse them. It is for businessmen to set a limit to their business and their profits and utilise their abilities for the promotion of public good. It may be difficult to combine business with morality. Therefore, the first requisite is to install morality in the heart and, with faith in the Divine, engage oneself in business. If this is done the nation will benefit from the business man's efforts and he will be serving society.
...
If conditions in Bhaarath [Ravi:India] are to be improved; it is only businessmen who can do this. Businessmen can even reform the government. Businessmen can promote the world's progress. They can also ruin the world economy. By their own right conduct, businessmen should try to set right the administration.
...
Bhaarath is the land of our birth. It is a Thyaaga bhuumi, sacred land (devoted to sacrifice), Karmabhuumi (devoted to right action) and Yoga bhuumi (devoted to the practice of yoga). We are trying to convert such a sacred country to Bhoga bhuumi (a land of luxury and pleasure). All the sources of Bhoga (pleasure) are in fact the causes of Roga (disease).
...
Our ancients laid down four avenues for the utilisation of wealth or earnings. One fourth should be used for personal use and for supporting the family. Another fourth should be used for charitable and religious purposes. A third quarter should be spent on other living things like animals, birds, etc. The remaining fourth should be offered for supporting the State. It is only when one's wealth is utilised in this manner will it be really beneficial and meaningful.
...
How much better would it be if the crores of rupees spent on erecting temples are used for improving the condition of the poor, the destitute and the helpless? Institutions for helping the indigent unfortunates are more useful than edifices for worshipping some deities. To give a helping hand to the helpless is real service. Love towards one's fellow beings is the best spiritual discipline. Misuse of money is a great evil. Wealth must be used only for good purposes. Money is capable of leading man to any place, good or bad. Hence he should take care to see that wealth does not lead him to bad ways, or bring a bad name to this great country.
...
It is only those who are imbued with the spirit of selfless service that are fit to become leaders of the nation.

Service to society is everyone's primary duty. Businessmen should develop a moral approach, use right means for earning wealth and utilise it for the benefit of society.
--- end extracts from Bhagavan's 1984 discourse to IMC, Bombay ---
======================================

An anonymous USA based correspondent wrote over email (and was OK with public sharing):
I have nothing against profits, but with great wealth come great obligations, and none gets rich without the support of their society.
---

I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):
I agree entirely with (the words given above).

In my considered view, many of the greatly wealthy not realizing that their great wealth has come from society (and not out of their individual/family capabilities alone or even from capabilities of them and their companies' management & workers alone) and not realizing that they have great obligations towards contributing to the well-being of the very same society that allowed them to become greatly wealthy in the first place, is the fundamental malady of modern society of this early twenty-first century. This today, is the situation not only in an out-and-out capitalist country like the USA but also in in-between capitalism & socialism India, and, based on my limited readings about China, perhaps communist (at least communist in name) China as well.
---

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote over email (and was OK with public sharing):
Superb!  Excellent and appreciated research.
---

A former Indian banker wrote in response (and was OK with public sharing; slightly edited):

Aum Sri Sairam

Sir,

Thanx for the good share.

Swamy reiterated the same during the 2010 [Ravi: Seems to have been 2009] Conference - Ethics and World of Finance, if NOT that elaborately. In this conference Swamy told we lost sight of our basics.

[Ravi: Here are some articles related to that conference:
a) A photo feature of the conference: http://sathyasaiwithstudents.blogspot.in/2014/08/national-conference-on-ethics-and-world.html
b) An overview of the book published from the conference proceedings, http://www.saipublications.com/b009_Ethics_and_the_world_of_finance_4.html
c) Discourse given by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at this event, http://sathyasaiwithstudents.blogspot.in/2014/08/need-and-significance-of-morality-and.html
end-Ravi]

Distribution of wealth is part of our culture. For the same reason we have so many functions. ceremonies, festivals in which haves / hosts distribute magnanimously.

Slowly we have forgotten this, more so after currency/money was invented. In barter system, scope for accumulation of wealth is less. For eg one has hundred cows and milch 100 litres a day, one has to consume what is required and distribute the remaining without fail else it will spoil. But today situation is different. One can store/preserve and sell to convert into money which is first step for the greed.

The earner ( gruhasta ) is the producer of all other ashrams - Brahmacharya ( student ), Vanaprasta ( retired ) and Sanyaasa ( renounce / monk ). So what one earns is to be distributed equally among all ashrams which means the earner is eligible to have only 25% for himself and rest distributed among other ashrams. We all forgotten this. Thanks to inventions esp. money.

Pray Swamy to bestow wisdom on the humanity to think and act in right direction.
---

[I thank sssbpt.info 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.]

Monday, April 25, 2016

Union minister Venkaiah Naidu's tweets on Sathya Sai Aradhana function (Mahasamadhi day) 24-Apr-2016

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venkaiah_Naidu:
Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu (born 1 July 1949) is an Indian politician serving as the Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Parliamentary Affairs in the Narendra Modi government. A prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has also served as its national president from 2002 to 2004. Earlier, he was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
...
Both as a student leader and political figure, Venkaiah Naidu gained prominence as a brilliant orator, who vigorously championed the cause of the farmers and the development of backward areas. His oratory skills and political activism propelled his political career and he was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978 and 1983. He rose to become one of the most popular leaders of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh.
...
Following the historic victory of the BJP in the 2014 general elections, he has [Ravi: was] sworn as the Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs on 26 May 2014.

Notwithstanding his stature and hectic schedules in national politics, Venkaiah did not cut off his roots in home town. He launched a social service organisation, Swarna Bharath Trust in Nellore serving the poor and needy. The trust runs a school for poor, orphan and special children which imparts self-employment training programmes especially for women and youth.
--- end wiki extracts ---

Ravi: The Hon'ble union (federal) minister Venkaiah Naidu holding three different portfolios mentioned above, was the chief guest for the Aradhana function held on Mahasamadhi day, 24th April 2016, in Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi). The video of the (morning) function can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h09a02UdDpc, over 3 hours. Shri Naidu's speech starts at around 1 hr, 55 mins into the video.

I tried to look up whether a transcript of Shri Naidu's speech was made available on the Press Information Bureau website of the Govt. of India, http://pib.nic.in/, but could not find it there. I guess no transcript was made by its staff for this speech.

However, Shri Naidu has put up some tweets related to the event. I have given all the text and some of the pics from those tweets below:

Happy to participate in Sri Satya Sai Aaradhana Mahotsavam at Sai Kulvanth Hall Puttaparthi

[Ravi: Above pic shows Shri Venkaiah Naidu offering obeisance at Mahasamadhi of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba]


[Ravi: Above pic shows Shri Venkaiah Naidu making a speech as chief guest for the Aradhana function.]



[Source: https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724198669231132672]

Distributing clothes and food material at Maha Narayana Seva in Puttaparthi


[Source: https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724199842679922689]

Sri Sathaya Sai Aradhana Sabha - 5 yrs ago on this day,  Sri Satya Sai Baba left 4 heavenly abode after delivering his message 2 d millions, https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724201168507805696

In our mother land, every time cycle had a messenger taking birth to redeem humanity & raise human consciousness to a new and higher level, https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724201363266097152

Sri Satya Sai Baba was a spiritual messenger. His mission was to promote the essential order of unity of all human beings and all religions. https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724201524369317888

Baba  said: Thr is only religion: the religion of Love, Thr is only one language: the language of the Heart, There is only one caste: (1/2), https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724201913814642692

the caste of Humanity, There is only one law: the law of Duty, There is only one God: He is Omnipresent (present everywhere) (2/2), https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724202036527390720

Hundreds of villages benefitting from the water schemes of the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust, Lakhs of children (1/3), https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724202301515173888

getting transformative education free of cost and thousands of the poor benefitting from free healthcare of a network (2/3), https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724202392460234753

of high quality hospitals being run by the Trust drive home the message of service to the needy. (3/3), https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724202453063835648

Baba may not be with us today physically. But he is always with all  of us with the sheer force of his message of love and compassion (1/2), https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724202641673216001

always echoing in our minds inspiring towards service to othrs. Trusts activities are a glowing reminders of Baba’s message to all of us 2/2, https://twitter.com/MVenkaiahNaidu/status/724202763224109056

--- end tweets of Shri Venkaiah Naidu ---

Ravi: I thank Hon'ble union minister, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, for visiting Prasanthi Nilayam as the chief guest for this Aradhana function, and thereby providing his very valuable encouragement and support to the Sathya Sai fraternity. I also thank him for his tweet statements which are very supportive and appreciative of the teachings and actions of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and the Sathya Sai trust's activities which he kindly described as a glowing reminder of Baba's message to all of us.

[I thank Wikipedia and Hon'ble union minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sathya Sai: Insatiable thirst for wealth and power is converting world into a madhouse

An extract from discourse of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 7-4-1997, http://www.sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume30/sss30-08.pdf :

Everyone goes about trying to see what he can get from society. Today, thanks to the influence of the Kali Age, two kinds of diseases have grown.

One is the insatiable thirst for wealth. In every city there is a mad rush for making money. Everyone is caught up in this craze for money. No doubt money is necessary, but only up to a limit to meet one's needs. Owing to excessive desire people lose all sense of proportion. Men turn into demons in the pursuit of wealth. It may be asked whether at least they make good use of their immense wealth. No, ultimately, the money may fall in the hands of robbers or others. What you get from society, give it back to society. That is the primary value to be cherished by every one.

The second malady is the thirst for power. The thirst for power and position is unquenchable. Afflicted with these two maladies man is converting the whole world into a madhouse.

The desire for wealth and power is not wrong as such. Bur wealth and power should be used for right ends. Whatever position you occupy, see that it is used (in a) worthy way. A cobbler stitching shoes is pursuing as (worthy) an occupation as a Prime Minister governing the country. Therefore, everyone has to do his duty properly. There is no high or low in these matters. To each person, his occupation is a matter of pride. Hence, do your duty sincerely. Everyone should be filled with this feeling. He should see that he does his job well without any lapse or defect. When everyone does his duty in this spirit the well-being of the whole world will be automatically ensured.
--- end extract ---

[I thank sssbpt.info 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, April 22, 2016

Shirdi Sai Baba too had imitators!

Given below is an extract from the book, The life and teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi by Antonio Rigopoulos. The extract is from the chapter titled, HIS LAST THREE YEARS, page 233 and can be viewed in Google Books here, https://books.google.co.in/books?id=8cMAumAoZe0C&pg=PA233:

Ramalingaswami offers some important information about Baba's last years:

When the Almighty Shri Sai Baba was in flesh and blood, there were other Sai Babas. One Sai Baba was in Kopargaon, called as Kopargaon Sai Baba. One Sai Baba was in Bandra called as Bandra Sai Baba. One Sai Baba was in Nagpur called Nagpur Sai Baba. They were all telling their devotees that they were Shri Sai Baba, thereby making their own ends meet. Even knowing all their acts and affairs, Baba tolerated and allowed them to go on in their own way as he pretty well knew the ins and outs of their actions. Gradually, all [Ravi: these other] Sai Babas vanished without leaving trace. [Ravi: end of Ramalingaswami's account]

What strikes a chord is the fact that these other Sai Babas appeared while Sai Baba of Shirdi was still living. There was even a Sai Baba at Nagpur, the "second capital of Maharashtra", proving the renown of the Shirdi faqir. Perhaps, since Sai never spoke of a successor to his gaadi or of any Guru paramparaa, these figures hoped to take his place at the time of his death.

--- end extract from The life and teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi by Antonio Rigopoulos ---

Ravi: Fascinating to know that even Shirdi Sai Baba had imitators like Kopargaon Sai Baba, Nagpur Sai Baba and Bandra Sai Baba! Kopargaon, Nagpur and Bandra are all places in the state of Maharashtra which is the state that Shirdi lies in. Bandra is a suburb of Mumbai. Hemadpant, author of Shirdi Sai Satchritra who was with Sai Baba in Shirdi for some time, lived in Bandra, see http://www.saiamrithadhara.com/Chandrabai%20Borkar%20House%20Temple.html. [BTW I have lived in Bandra (East) suburb of Mumbai in my boyhood.]

I think it perhaps is inescapable that as a powerful mystic gets famous, some others try to imitate him and succeed in getting devotees! However, the test of time is a ruthless test. Today, it is Shirdi Sai Baba who is very well known in many parts of India, and abroad too, to some extent. In stark contrast, Kopargaon Sai Baba, Nagpur Sai Baba and Bandra Sai Baba have got lost & almost forgotten in the mists of time. Note that they are remembered in the above extract for them being transient imitators of the original Shirdi Sai Baba, and not for anything else about them.

The same applies to Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He had imitators while he was alive, and the imitators and communicators and mediums continue after he gave up his body (Mahasamadhi). But I have no doubt that like in the case of Shirdi Sai Baba, the ruthless force of time will sweep away all the imitators and communicators and mediums, leaving behind only the name & form of the REAL Sri Sathya Sai Baba which will be revered and worshipped for ages to come.

[I thank the author, Antonio Rigopoulos, and publisher of the book, The life and teachings of Sai Baba of Shirdi, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extract from their book on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fatal elevator mishap in Puttaparthi

Please skip reading this post if you prefer not to read about this tragic accident.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/woman-crushed-to-death-in-puttaparthi/article8501215.ece, dated April 21st 2016

An extract from the article:
According to the police, as she was about to go for Seva, she stepped into the lift cavity accidentally, believing that the lift had stopped at her floor.

As she stepped into the cavity, she plunged down to the ebb of the cavity severely injuring herself, even as the lift came down on her in the space of a few seconds, killing her on the spot.
--- end extract ---

Ravi: Elevator system maintenance (including door locks when the elevator is not on the floor corresponding to the door) is a serious challenge in Puttaparthi. One needs to ensure that regular (monthly ) elevator maintenance (which will check for these problems) is done by experienced and capable maintenance persons.
=======================================

Given below are some of my comments (slightly edited) from the associated Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1732112137005356:

It is very, very tragic! I felt it appropriate to inform readers so that they take precautions like checking whether the elevator is on the floor before stepping in.
---

In the 80s, a software industry colleague of mine had a similar but thankfully not fatal, accident while on a software assignment in Germany. He was reading a letter while he opened the elevator door and stepped in. But the elevator was not on the floor and he fell into the elevator shaft. Perhaps he fell only a floor or so down into the shaft bottom. He broke his leg and help arrived before any major tragedy like the elevator coming down on him. He had to recuperate for months in some old age type home in Germany before he could walk again. The elevator company or the building people footed his medical and recuperation costs. .... So these things happen with elevator systems everywhere, even in the industrialized world. The wise thing is for people to be more vigilant when using elevators, especially in buildings that they are not so familiar with. They should not presume that all elevators, anywhere in India or even elsewhere, will surely be safe.
---

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

Interesting Indian Supreme Court case about (menstruation age) women NOT being permitted access to Sabarimala (Ayyappa), Kerala deity

Some background info. about Sabarimala from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabarimala:

Sabarimala is a Hindu pilgrimage centre located at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District, Perunad grama panchayat in Kerala. It is one of the largest annual pilgrimages in the world, with an estimated over 100 million devotees visiting every year. Sabarimala is believed to be the place where the Hindu god Ayyappan meditated after killing the powerful demoness Mahishi. Ayyappan's temple is situated amidst 18 hills. The temple is situated on a hilltop at an altitude of 468 m (1,535 ft) above mean sea level, and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests.
...
Sabarimala is linked to Hindu pilgrimage, predominantly for men of all ages. Sabarimala pilgrims can be identified easily, as they wear black or blue dress. They do not shave until the completion of the pilgrimage, and smear Vibhuti or sandal paste on their forehead. Females who menstruate (usually between the ages of approximately 12 and 50) are not allowed to enter the temple, since the story attributed to Ayyappa prohibits the entry of the women in the menstrual [Ravi: I think it should be menstruation] age group. This is because Ayyappan is a Bramhachari (celibate). The temple is open for worship only during the days of Mandalapooja (approximately 15 November to 26 December), Makaravilakku or "Makar Sankranti" (14 January) and Maha Vishuva Sankranti (14 April), and the first five days of each Malayalam month.
--- end wiki extract ---

From http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sabarimala-temple-entry-ban-can-menstruation-be-a-factor-asks-supreme-court/article8472787.ece, dated April 15th 2016,

Questioning taboos entrenched in the Indian psyche from time immemorial, the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to answer whether a physiological phenomenon like menstruation can be a guiding factor for denying women of a certain age the right to enter and worship in a temple.

Hearing the constitutionality of the entry ban on women between ages of 10 and 55 at the famed Sabarimala temple in Kerala, a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, V. Gopala Gowda and Kurian Joseph was hearing senior advocate Indira Jaising representing a group of students who are part of the ‘Happy to Bleed’ campaign.
--- end short extract ---

A few days later. The section below is based on http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sabarimala-entry-ban-gender-equality-is-a-constitutional-message-says-sc/article8490310.ece, dated April 18th 2016.

The friend of the court (amicus curiae) and senior advocate, Raju Ramachandran was asked by the Supreme Court bench (Justice Kurian Joseph) why should he (i.e. the women he is representing) insist on seeing the deity which says, "I don't want to see you.". Mr. Raju Ramachandran reportedly answered that the deity not wanting to see menstruation age women was an "interpretation created by those who have managed the temple."

He further said (here I means the "Happy to Bleed" women he represents, I guess), "If I, a woman, have faith. If I want to worship. I must have access to see Him... that part is protected by the Constitution irrespective of sex, gender, caste or biological phenomena".

Ravi: Right now, one state of India, Maharashtra, is seeing a campaign by women activists to break taboos on women entering the sanctum sanctorum of some temples in Maharashtra. They have won entry in some temple(s) but recently I read somewhere that when they tried forcible entry into another temple which has these restrictions, they were assaulted!

It will be very interesting to see how the Indian Supreme Court resolves this really tangled and messy question of constitutional freedom of worship of (menstruation age) women versus age-old tradition of Sabarimala temple of banning entry of (menstruation age) women.

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saying everything is Sai's will is an easy way to escape from doing one's bit to resist Asathya and Adharma; Allegations with evidence

Last updated on 18th April 2016

Given below are my comments on Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10209419384420359. This post deals with an extract of a discourse of Bhagavan about good people who associate with the wicked and do not oppose them, sharing the responsibility for the deeds of the evil doers.

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (on April 17th 2016):
Saying that it is all Sai's will or Sai leela, is an easy way of escaping responsibility to do one's bit to at least resist Asathya & Adharma. But I don't think that is good character. On the other hand, one should not go to the other extreme making allegations WITHOUT EVIDENCE or WITHOUT DIRECT EXPERIENCE. That only creates a vicious tabloid like atmosphere which is not helpful.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
[Response to inner-level comment above, at outer-level for more visibility.] Oh! --name-snipped--, my words DIRECT EXPERIENCE seem to have got interpreted in the context of Muddenahalli so called communicator claims! No, I did not mean that when I used the term DIRECT EXPERIENCE. What I meant instead was personal eyewitness reports of any wrong activity about which one is willing to make a public statement under one's own name (and so can be held accountable for it in a court of law).

And what I had written was "making allegations WITHOUT EVIDENCE or WITHOUT DIRECT EXPERIENCE." The key word here is "or". Video or audio evidence is accepted even in an Indian court of law. A short extract from http://www.legalservicesindia.com/articles/trc1.htm:
The phenomenon of tendering tape recorded conversation before law courts as evidence, particularly in cases arising under the Prevention of Corruption Act, where such conversation is recorded by sending the complainant with a recording device to the person demanding or offering bribe has almost become a common practice now. In civil cases also parties may rely upon tape records of relevant conversation to support their version.
--- end short extract from legalservicesindia.com ---

Ravi: What we have also seen in some famous recent court cases in India is that sometimes the authenticity of the video/audio evidence is challenged. In such cases we have seen that forensic analysis is done by govt. of India forensic labs dealing with such matters, and their opinion regarding authenticity of the video/audio evidence is given a lot of weight.

In the case of Muddenahalli FALSE BELIEF, the video evidence from videos put up on Muddenahalli group's own youtube channel(s), is, in my view, clearly evidence that can hold up in an Indian court of law. And, to the credit of Muddenahalli group, they have not denied such evidence (e.g. Kali Yuga ending in Oct. 2015 statement of Madhusudan Rao Naidu).

What I was referring to in my previous comment were allegations of somebody bribing judges, or somebody taking/demanding bribes, or somebody taking away some valuables, being made on social media and over email, without any evidence and without any named and acknowledged/certified eyewitness accounts. Such stuff as I wrote in the earlier comment, ".. only creates a vicious tabloid like atmosphere which is not helpful."
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I should also add that written documents are, I am quite sure, acceptable as evidence in Indian court of law. This is how it has been perhaps from the beginning of Indian courts of law from British rule days. So any text document or book published by Muddenahalli group (e.g. "discourses" of Madhusudan Rao Naidu, in his role of so called communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba) will surely be admitted as evidence in an Indian court of law (civil case or criminal case).
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
My view is that essentially Muddenahalli group is an alternative Sai platform. That I think was inevitable given how divinely powerful the Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was. I mean, people like Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy, Shri Indulal Shah and Shri C. Srinivas are very capable people in the area of running Sai missions/activities on a fairly large scale. They broke off from Central Trust and formed their own trusts [Note that C. Srinivas has a different trust from that of Narasimhamurthy.]

So far so good. The tragedy in this alternative platform is that these well-known leaders of the pre-Mahasamadhi Sathya Sai mission, got caught up in some paranormal powers (siddhis) that Madhusudan Rao Naidu seems to have acquired, and endorsed his claims of being a so called communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, even though Bhagavan has said so many times that he never speaks through somebody else!!!

Looking at them and going by accounts given by people like brother VijaySai B.S., so many Sai devotees have got misled into believing Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claims to be true!!! That has been a BIG BLUNDER by these leaders. The earlier they realize it and discard Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claims, the better it will be for them individually, and for the Sai devotees who follow these leaders. They can continue to have an alternative Sai platform but WITHOUT Madhusudan Rao Naidu. Madhusudan Rao Naidu could start a separate group UNDER HIS OWN NAME instead of MISUSING the holy name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and MISGUIDING so many Sai devotees who have got caught up in his claims.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I recall that when I first read Swami saying that the name is more powerful than the form, I was quite confused. Over time, I realized that the name is so easy to bring to mind, and also how the very mention of holy names can have a positive/divine impact in a gathering/group. So my view is that Madhusudan Rao Naidu would have some challenges if he goes by the name, say Madhu Sai Baba. But one should not forget that Bala Sai Baba of Kurnool has quite a significant following. I was told by a Puttaparthi local who is a former journalist for Telugu print media (Kurnool is also in Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh) that Bala Sai Baba has a mission that's worth hundreds of crores (words to that effect). So I think a Madhu Sai Baba would also be able to attract devotees and have a significant mission over time.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I should add that I was told by a person who has visited Bala Sai Baba's ashram that Bala Sai Baba's mission is on similar lines of Sathya Sai mission. Even the bhajan songs that are sung there are similar with the word Bala getting added here and there.
---

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

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mervyn Hughes writes that he has deleted all posts relating to me, and will not write posts about me

Last updated on 17th April 2016

A friend sent a screenshot of a post by Mervyn Hughes dated 15th April (2016) where he makes some more wild criticism of me. But an interesting part of the message, which I felt I should inform readers about, is that he says that he has deleted all posts relating to me and is not going to write posts related to me in future. His actual words about the latter are, 'I am not going to waste my time talking about you.' Ravi: LOL! Good. That would mean that I do not have to waste my time rebutting and disproving wild allegations & attacks of his against me.

I did not feel it appropriate to put up a pic of this post of his.

My reaction is that my truth has scored over the falsehood of Mervyn Hughes in this Facebook (court) trial. Sathyameva Jayate! [Truth alone triumphs!]

I will be retaining the posts where I have rebutted the previous strong allegations and attacks made by Mervyn Hughes on me. This can be useful to rebut future such attacks from Mervyn Hughes (he could change his mind!) or others like him. Further, we also have the EVIDENCE of these attacks by Mervyn Hughes, in case any cyber police complaint against him has to be considered in future. As of now, I do NOT plan to make any cyber police complaint against Mervyn Hughes.

I wish Mervyn Hughes all the best and pray to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to shower His Grace on Mervyn Hughes and show him the right spiritual path forward. Jai Sairam!
===================================================

The above contents were put up on a Facebook post here:
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1730285090521394. Given below are short comments from it.

In response to a very short comment, "Truth always wins", I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
Thanks a ton for your support Shubha Ramesh Kumar, for the TRUTH. Jai Sairam!
---

In response to a very short comment "Dharmo rakshati rakshitah!", I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
Well said, brother Ivan Escalona. Thanks a ton for your support. It has really helped me handle this Internet attack on me.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (On 17th April 2016)
I felt it appropriate to thank the Facebook users and email correspondents who have provided very valuable support to me via their PUBLIC comment responses/Facebook share response [Ivan Escalona, Sai Keshav, Przemek Czarnowski, Sasikanth Gudla, Alok Dara Shikoh, Shubha Ramesh Kumar, Chandu Patel (over email), Terry Reis Kennedy, Sai Das, Shaun Brown and Sravankumar Wupendrum], in handling the Internet attack on me by Mervyn Hughes, and helped in upholding the truth in this matter (e.g. the comment by my former student, Sasikanth Gudla, confirming that I was a teacher in the Sai university).

The links for these two previous posts on which the comment responses/Facebook share response were made are as follows:
1) Refuting Mervyn Hughes' latest attacks on me, dated April 12th 2016 - Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1728666447349925; Blog, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/04/refuting-mervyn-hughes-latest-attacks.html.

2) Mervyn Hughes says he is attacking me to teach me how it hurts when I criticize others; Clarification on my Systems Manager role, dated April 14th 2016 - Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1729591707257399; Blog, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/04/mervyn-hughes-says-he-is-attacking-me.html.
----

Sasikanth Gudla wrote:
Sairam Sir, Every person comes across many teachers in his/her time as a student. Only few make an indelible mark for life. Suffice, it to say, in my case you are one of the many teachers who are an inspiration to me.(Of course, Parthi has provided me with many such teachers like you) You need not thank me. The pleasure is always mine.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks Sasikanth Gudla for the very kind words. I have to thank you as you have had the decency to openly show your support for me. And, sure, there have been extraordinary faculty in SSSIHL, whom I had the great privilege to associate with, including Visiting Faculty, who were very good teachers.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks Terry Reis Kennedy. I plan to keep the posts with the evidence.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
No no no. Ivan Escalona, don't feel so bad about it. It's OK. You had some strong feelings about something and wrote it. I responded in a similar strong way. These things happen. But we were able to tone down the conversation very quickly.

That your comments were taken out of context by Mervyn Hughes to mount an attack on me, was incidental. Don't be too bothered about it. If it was not your comments, it would have been someone else's. I do have some strong exchanges, now and then, on public social media.

Once I started writing on Facebook raising serious questions about Muddenahalli so called communicator claims, I started facing critical comments from Muddenahalli group supporters. But they were fairly polite. Over time, most of these persons stopped responding to my posts & comments. Mervyn Hughes, however, has been different. His comments have been vicious. Now, if his comments were true (that I was a Lab. assistant in the Sai university and not a teacher, and that I am a liar) then even if his words were vicious/harsh, it would be fine. [I have used harsh words against some Sai university former & current administrators who have done teacher-droham (harm to a teacher) to me. But I am willing to provide evidence & eyewitness accounts about these teacher-droham actions done against me in an Indian court of law. Mervyn Hughes does not provide any such evidence or eyewitness accounts supporting his attack pieces against me.]

Thank you so much for your offer to provide support/clarifications in future. I will bear it in mind. You see, I have never claimed to be perfect and have clearly stated that I do have some human flaws. I have made mistakes in the past and will surely make them in the future too. So unbiased views including criticism from people like you, brother Ivan, help to ensure that I don't go overboard in my posts & comments. It is very valuable criticism of a constructive type, which I appreciate.

Do feel free to criticize or question me, even in my defence (sometimes aggressive defence) against this Internet attack on me by Mervyn Hughes (now stopped according to him), or similar other Internet attacks on me in future as I continue to publicly question Muddenahalli group claims about Madhusudhan Rao Naidu being a so called communicator of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Maybe I have made/ will make some mistake here and there in my defence. If you point it out, I will surely review it and provide suitable clarification, and/or make correction(s). Thanks again. Jai Sairam!
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Sai Das. If by this you mean the Mervyn Hughes thing, yes, I agree it is time to let it go, (as of now, unless it crops up again). I simply felt that I MUST ACKNOWLEDGE the support I got from social media friends.

You see, barring one former student of mine, NOBODY ELSE from my former colleagues in the Sai university, and my former friends in Prasanthi Nilayam, have commented, either in support or against (even though many would have read the Facebook post and many have received my email on the same). This PUBLIC SILENCE by my former colleagues of the Sai university and my former friends in Prasanthi Nilayam has been the TOUGHEST THING for me to handle, throughout this matter from Jul 2011 onwards. Today I am more understanding of their PUBLIC SILENCE. I guess they are AFRAID of speaking up in support of my truth as they may be targeted by the powerful Sai university administrators and their friends/supporters in other Prasanthi Nilayam managed institution administration positions. But I have also realized that I simply cannot fit into such a SILENT TOLERANCE OF INJUSTICE environment. Therefore I live an outside-ashram Puttaparthi life which has many challenges but is far freer, and, in a sense, far more just, than Prasanthi Nilayam ashram system.

Given this background, the supportive comments from these Facebook friends, most of whom I have never met in person (including you, brother Sai Das), is all the more important for me to ACKNOWLEDGE PUBLICLY. Thanks.
---

Friday, April 15, 2016

C. Srinivas quite a respected figure in Prasanthi Nilayam circles even today

Last updated on 20th April 2016

[The post below has been modified significantly in response to an announcement put up here:
https://www.facebook.com/SriSathyaSaiSanjeevaniHospital/posts/1044542778950907.]

Given below is one comment (slightly edited) I made on Terry Reis Kennedy's Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/terry.reiskennedy/posts/10209398992150565, which I felt appropriate to put up as a separate post.

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
C. Srinivas (CS) is quite a respected figure even today in Prasanthi Nilayam circles of Sai university alumni-staff who had physical proximity to Divine and inner knowledge about many of the big events in Prasanthi Nilayam including super hospital constructions. The view I have been given/have formed is that C. Srinivas has played a great role in the medical service mission of Swami by acting as a facilitator and top-level manager for many things associated with the medical service mission. BTW I was told that CS had GREAT ACCESS to (physical form) Swami, implying that whenever he wanted to convey something to Swami in person, he could do so (perhaps by meeting Swami in His residence). If true (and I think it is true), that shows tremendous level of TRUST that Swami had in CS.

CS also is reputed to have contacts with VVIPs in India and perhaps acted as go-betweens between them and PN; perhaps he would have a word with Swami (directly or through some top functionary of PN having close physical access to Swami), and if Swami gave approval he would arrange their visits to PN etc. CS is said to be close to top Indian cricket super-stars (Sachin Tendulkar, even M.S. Dhoni somebody said, perhaps Sunil Gavaskar as well), who are like movie stars in India but without the glamour & sensual stuff associated with movie stars, and so were perhaps the top icons from the "outside world" for the student & alumni-staff community in PN. I mean, Swami would not approve of students being fans of movie stars. But he was OK with students being fans of Indian cricketers (or other sporting icons as well). Sachin Tendulkar, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachin_Tendulkar, coming on stage on Swami 80th birthday was a very big thing [I think the pic. given below is from the 80th birthday function in the stadium, Prasanthi Nilayam, with Sachin Tendulkar on stage with Swami. If I recall correctly, Yuvaraj Singh and some others of the Indian cricket team also had come. I was seated then along with some teachers & doctors in one enclosure, and saw these cricketers from up close as they were brought in and seated some distance from me in the same enclosure.]



Sachin Tendulkar with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The person standing between Sai Baba and Tendulkar seems to be Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, an Indian sporting icon in the field of shooting, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajyavardhan_Singh_Rathore. Pic courtesy:
http://asiantribune.com/sites/asiantribune.com/files/Baba_with_Tendulkar.JPG.

Perhaps CS was the main person who coordinated the visits of these cricket super-stars to PN, who were a major draw not only for students but also for many devotees as well as Puttaparthi residents.

After Mahasamadhi, CS decided to go his own way, as he seems to have been uncomfortable with some powers in PN, whose powers were now far more than what it was when Swami was in physical form. CS perhaps wanted to have his own projects. My view is that that's fine. This is unavoidable in spiritual movements.

[Deleted a couple of paragraphs on 20th April 2016 from the original comment in the light of the announcement linked to at the beginning of this post.]
----

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mervyn Hughes says he is attacking me to teach me how it hurts when I criticize others; Clarification on my Systems Manager role

Last edited on 6th May 2016

Mervyn Hughes continues to target me. I think his plan is to discredit me by exposing me as a liar and thereby weaken any impact my writings may have. I consider myself answerable to reasonable questioning on social media of any writings of mine, especially related to criticism I have made of others. So I decided to respond to this attack too. It is a longish response. So only readers who are interested in this stuff may want to continue reading this post.

I was passed another screenshot of his today (given below) where he has written that he is teaching me how it hurts others when I refer to them as Muddenahalli False Belief promoter(s). He also refers to another person and her critical posts & comments but I would like to focus on his criticism of my posts & comments.



He refers to sister Yaani Drucker writing (in Oct. 2015), "I hold myself to a higher standard, always asking before I write, is it loving, is it kind, is it helpful to ALL?"

Now I respect sister Yaani Drucker's stand. Further, I have great admiration and love for Jesus Christ who was crucified by the Romans on complaints of disloyalty to Rome by some people of Jerusalem, but who found it in his heart to forgive those who crucified him.

As of now at least, I am not in that class of people. My standards are lower. I forgive when somebody acknowledges his/her mistake/harm done by him/her to me, and apologizes/seeks my forgiveness. Further, I am not a spiritually enlightened person (which is what sister Yaani Drucker claims she is).

I have acted as a whistle-blower sharing the UNPLEASANT TRUTH of what happened in the Sai university under Sashidhara Prasad, former vice-chancellor. My view is that Sashidhara Prasad and others in the Sai university who collaborated with him in doing some GROSS ASATHYA & ADHARMA in the Sai univeristy in the crucial period of a year or so after Mahasamadhi, MUST FACE THE CONSEQUENCES of their actions. My whistle blowing at least will shame some of them for the BAD ACTIONS they engaged in. This UNPLEASANTNESS is, in my view, an important process to go through, to bring back SATHYA & DHARMA in the Sai university.

What Mervyn Hughes can do is to challenge me on the TRUTH of what I say. He has called me a liar. Let him provide proof of me being a liar. Otherwise he is exposed as a liar himself!

Now I felt I should provide one clarification regarding Mervyn Hughes having said earlier that I was Lab. Assistant and/or a Lab. Supervisor, thereby implying that I was not a teacher in the Sai university.

Here's a long extract from what I wrote in my May 2012 mail to Sashidhara Prasad, then vice-chancellor of the Sai university, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2015/11/my-may-2012-service-record-record.html:

I want to ensure that there is consistency between two currently inconsistent views on my designations and service record, which are:

1) My view which is based on what the then Principal, Prashanti Nilayam campus, the very honourable and very respected Prof. U.S. Rao sir, stated and signed on the identity cards issued to me during my years of service at DMACS, SSSIHL.

and

2) The service record that the Registrar, as per his oral view expressed in my meeting with him on March 2nd 2012, seems to have as that is what may be provided by SSSIHL in response to appropriate requests for my service record.

I have three identity cards that were given to me from the years Jan. 2003 to March 2012 and their details are as follows:

1) Honorary Staff signed by the then Principal, Prashanti Nilayam campus, SSSIHL, Prof. U.S. Rao with no date or validity period. If I recall correctly, this was issued during the initial years of my service.

2) Honorary Faculty signed by the then Principal Prashanti Nilayam campus, SSSIHL, Prof. U.S. Rao with no date or validity period. This replaced the earlier identity card and was current for a few years.

3) Visiting Faculty card signed by the then Principal Prashanti Nilayam campus, SSSIHL, Prof. U.S. Rao for the period June 2011 to March 2012.

I have attached a scanned copy of these identity cards to this mail (Please see attachment: "Ravi S. Iyer - SSSIHL Identity Cards.pdf").

The letters addressed by the Registrar to DMACS HOD with copy to me regarding my service during these years did not mention any designation. As an example of such a letter, I have attached the letter from the Registrar dated 20th April 2011 which gave permission to DMACS HOD, Prof. V. Chandrasekaran to utilize services of Dr. Jayaprakash (a senior academic, ex-IIT Madras) and me for academic year 2011-12 (Please see attachment: "Prof V Jayaprakash and Mr Ravi Iyer 2011.jpg"). DMACS HOD, Prof. Chandrasekaran had mentioned sometime during academic year 2010-11 if I recall correctly, to my utter surprise, that the identity card issued by the Principal to me does not show the correct designation. What this implied was that DMACS HOD, Prof. Chandrasekaran did not respect the view of Principal, Prahanti Nilayam campus, SSSIHL of my designation. So, as a precondition to my free service offering to DMACS for academic year 2011-12, I had insisted on receiving a letter from the Registrar confirming my designation as Visiting Faculty for academic year 2011-12 which the Registrar complied with through his letter dated 4th June 2011 as mentioned above.

Additional details about my service from my records is as follows:

1) Prof. CJM Rao, then DMACS HOD, on 29th Jan. 2003 gave me a handwritten letter designating me as Systems Manager in AI Lab. In that letter he put down activities of (Systems Management of) AI Lab, (teaching) Software Lab courses and (technical consultancy for) IInd M.Tech.(CS) projects. He also wrote initials of two DMACS members who, he told me orally, were supposed to assist me. However this is just a handwritten letter and will not be acceptable in any respectable forum as proof of designation or service record.

2) From Jan. 2003 to Jan. 2008 I performed the service of Systems Manager of AI Lab. I discontinued offering this service after Jan. 2008.

3) From June 2003 to August 2011 I taught Software Lab courses (one or two courses per semester). You may confirm this from the marksheet records for these courses which I presume will be available with the Controller of Examinations. These marksheets bear my name and signature as the teacher for these courses. [It is appropriate for me to mention here that as an international software consultant (industry expert) I introduced many new software lab. courses to DMACS some of which are now being taught by other faculty (mainly using my course structure and material) and have been highly appreciated by some past and present DMACS faculty who are knowledgeable about software development and, very importantly for me, also by the students.]

4) From June 2003 to March 2012 I provided technical consultancy/guidance to many M.Tech. and M.Sc. computer software projects. However I was not recognized as a guide or a co-guide by DMACS and SSSIHL. The project theses of students to whom I provided technical consultancy service/guidance reflects my contribution in their acknowledgement of my industry expertise based technical guidance rendered for their project work.

My expectation is that my service record which will be provided by SSSIHL in response to any appropriate requests from outside institutions/agencies/individuals should be TRUTHFUL and reflect the activities I have mentioned above. It should also show the designations given to me by the Principal of SSSIHL, Prashanti Nilayam campus as those were the designations that I naturally believed were accorded to me officially by SSSIHL during my over 9 years of free service in SSSIHL. Further, I tried my best to render this free service to SSSIHL as per that designation. I request you gentlemen to please take appropriate and just action on this matter. Specifically I request you gentlemen to advise the Registrar to make appropriate corrections to his records, if necessary. I further request you to send me my CORRECT and TRUTHFUL official SSSIHL service record for the years Jan. 2003 to March 2012 to my home-office address given in the email signature below or as a scanned document by email to the email address given in the email signature below.

Some, if not all, of you gentlemen know that SSSIHL had FALSELY shown me as a Teaching Assistant in a document titled, "Annual Quality Assurance Report (AQAR) for the year 2009-10 submitted by Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC)". Please see attached document, "Page35-SSSIHL-AQAR-2009-10.pdf" which has the offending page of the document. If you gentlemen want the entire document please let me know as I have downloaded a copy of the document from SSSIHL website. I was shocked beyond belief when I saw this document on SSSIHL web site in February 2012 and demanded that the Registrar, Dr. Naren Ramji, and DMACS HOD, Prof. Chandrasekaran initiate corrective action which was done by the document being removed from SSSIHL website. I request you gentlemen to please ensure that the Registrar, Dr. Naren Ramji, DMACS HOD, Prof. Chandrasekaran and/or anybody else in SSSIHL do not succeed in any possible attempts to show me FALSELY as a Teaching Assistant in my service record.

I also request you gentlemen to please understand my request for having this matter resolved only through written communication. Ever since I showed interest in the Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini project sometime in October 2010 I feel I have been mentally harassed and persecuted by an individual in DMACS. The very strange behaviour of the Registrar, SSSIHL, Dr. Naren Ramji, when I met him on March 2nd 2012, has added to this feeling of mental harassment and persecution. This has affected my health. I do not want to risk spoiling my health any further by having any meetings or oral interaction on this matter with concerned office bearers of SSSIHL.

I will be greatly obliged if either of you gentlemen acknowledge receipt of this email at the earliest.

I pray to the Shiva Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Garu to continue showering His Grace on the Divine University, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. I further pray to Him for a peaceful and amicable resolution of this designation dispute and service record matter.
--- end long extract from blog post ----

Ravi: What does Mervyn Hughes say about this? Is it not the duty of the Sai university authorities to provide me my service record? What is the SATHYA & DHARMA action that Sai university authorities should have done? Mervyn Hughes might say that like Jesus Christ on the cross, I should say forgive Sai university administrators as they do not know what they do. Well, as I explained before, I am not that spiritually evolved yet. My view is that if Sai university wants to follow SATHYA & DHARMA, not only should they provide me my service record, but they should also APOLOGIZE IN WRITING to me for their INSULT and HUMILIATION heaped on me by referring to me as a Teaching Assistant (which is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE under the Indian Penal code, case of record tampering as well as libel) or "Seva Dal". I doubt they will do it. But if they don't do it, will the institution be worthy of a Sathyam Vada Dharmam Chara motto institution?

Some clarification about my Systems Manager role in SSSIHL: Now the Systems Manager role mentioned in the hand-written note by Prof. C.J.M. Rao mentioned in above extract was actually a BOSS of the Lab role with then Sri Raghunatha Sarma (now Dr. Raghunatha Sarma, Asst. Prof., DMACS, SSSIHL) and Sri B. Krishnamurthy (no longer with SSSIHL) being assistants to me, in that Lab BOSS role. However, as I wrote above, a handwritten note of that sort was not really proper. I learned very quickly that the two gentlemen above were not really supposed to report to me or anything like that. Prof. CJM Rao had not told them in my presence that they should assist me for the systems management lab. work!

Now, with my experience of Indian academia and in hindsight, I know that Lab-In-Charge role is a very big role in academia with the person being resposible for anything and everything in the Lab, which has lots of expensive computers and other equipment in it. Usually, I believe it is Associate Professors or Professors (earning decent salaries commensurate with their senior academic posts) who are given the very responsible task of Lab-In-Charge.

To make things more complicated, I joined in Jan. 2003 and in June 2003 Dr. K.S. Sridharan was made HOD (with Prof. CJM Rao stepping down from the post). Now Dr. K.S. Sridharan did not know anything about the handwritten note that Prof. CJM Rao had given me! It was a very loose and informal kind of management system there, to put things politely :-) .

Eventually the reality on the ground was that officially, it was Sri Raghunatha Sarma who was RESPONSIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE to university authorities for the lab. and all the expensive stuff in it. The Systems Management activity was done as team-work by younger teaching staff of the department and also some students, with me chipping in with my bit. I did not act haughty and say that as I was an international software consultant offering FREE SERVICE, I will not do any systems management activity. I felt I should help out with that activity too, besides my role of teacher of lab. courses and tech. consultant for software projects. As I used to sit in the Lab. I also handled stuff like opening the lab. and supervising the work of the cleaning staff who used to visit the Lab for some hours in a day. I was treated with dignity by my colleagues and we formed quite a happy team. I stopped offering the Systems Management part of the service in Jan 2008. After that till Mar. 2012 I offered only teaching and tech. consultant FREE SERVICE to DMACS, SSSIHL.

Now Mervyn Hughes was trying to attack me and discredit me as a liar by saying that I was lab. assistant and/or a lab. supervisor but not a teacher. Mervyn Hughes is a liar. A lab. supervisor kind-of designation implies that I was doing only lab. systems administration kind-of work and never taught students. Frankly, if it was a non-teaching systems administration kind-of work I would have turned it down.

I should also say that essentially the department was a Mathematics department rather than a Computer Science department. It offered B.Sc. (Maths), M.Sc. (Maths) and M.Tech. (Computer Science) programs/degrees. Most of the students who would get into M.Tech. (CS) program would be from the M.Sc. (Maths) batch. The department was called Department of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS).

The truth of the matter was that the faculty of the dept. were almost all Mathematicians or Electrical Engineers or Electronics engineers who had moved to Computer Science over time. Most faculty taught both Mathematics & Computer Science courses! But they did not know much about software development! I played a major role in bringing new lab. courses to DMACS, enriching existing Lab. courses, and also training junior teaching staff in them (some of the junior teaching staff being my former students; this includes Hanumantha Rao Naidu, the younger brother of Madhusudan Rao Naidu). But the university authorities did not really care about how lab. courses are taught. They wanted research publications and people who bag big money research projects. I was least interested in academic research publications (though I did have two co-authored publications during my stint in DMACS) and became a misfit in the department over time due to my focus being only on teaching lab. courses and promoting software development. In fact, my view is that Dr. Chandrasekaran was anti-software-development due to which he used nasty academic politics (and breach of academic procedure) to throw me out of DMACS, SSSIHL due to my involvement in Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini software development work via lab. courses, and one M.Tech. (CS) project.

Now the question is, who was Dr. Chandrasekaran serving by indulging in this action? Was he serving his own personal agenda of becoming a DICTATOR/KING of DMACS? Or was he serving the interests of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning? My considered view is that Dr. Chandrasekaran was serving his own personal agenda of becoming DICTATOR/KING of DMACS and betrayed the interests of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning by throwing me out of DMACS, SSSIHL. By not opposing Dr. Chandrasekaran's action of throwing me out (by indulging in breach of academic procedure), the vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad and the Registrar, Naren Ramji, contributed to this betrayal of the interests of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, and promotion of personal agenda of Dr. Chandrasekaran.

According to Mervyn Hughes, I should not write about such UNPLEASANT stuff. I have a different view. I think such truths must be exposed for the good of the Sai university and the Sathya Sai movement. In the absence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's physical form, very unfortunately, abuse of power became rampant in Prasanthi Nilayam. The way forward, in my view, is to establish accountability in Prasanthi Nilayam and in the Sathya Sai movement, like we have accountability in most public institutions in democratic countries in the world. People like Dr. Chandrasekaran and Naren Ramji MUST FEAR the CONSEQUENCES of any POWER ABUSE they have indulged in or continue to indulge in. They should be HELD TO ACCOUNT and made to make amends for the POWER ABUSE SINS they have committed.
===========================================

Some comments from the Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1729591707257399, associated with above contents of this blog post, are given below:

Ravi S. Iyer wrote in response to Shaun Brown writing that Ravi should not worry about Mervyn Hughes and that VijaySai B.S. has said that "everyone knows that" I taught at SSSIHL:
Thanks a ton, Shaun Brown. I am learning to deal with trolling by Mervyn Hughes. However, I am also being responsible in my whistle-blower role by trying to address any valid criticism he has made against me. I am not perfect; if I have made mistakes, let those mistakes also be exposed. I do not shy way from apologizing for my mistakes once it is pointed out clearly that it was my mistake (and to which I agree). I see this as a kind of social media trial. I think it is good for the future of Sai institutions as they desperately need accountability & transparency measures/best practices used by early 21st century reputed NGOs, in the absence of DIVINE KNOWLEDGE that Sathya Sai had, which kept power abuse within some limits.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited):
Brother --name-snipped--, thank you for your kind comment.

About questioning actions of people appointed by Swami, I think you too have questioned actions of people appointed by Swami (at even trustee level), quite regularly on Facebook, haven't you?

Brother --name-snipped--, both you and I know that appointment by Swami was a great opportunity to serve Swami. Swami did not give these opportunities to serve him easily. However, I know (and I am sure that you know) of quite a few cases where people appointed by Swami, during physical form Swami's lifetime itself, committed mistakes and were either removed from their duties or moved to positions of lesser responsibility & power as a reprimand, by Swami. So appointment by Swami alone in Swami's physical form lifetime itself did not mean that the person would always do the job perfectly. I think such people, like you and me, are human and some of them do slip up here and there.

About Swami approving of me speaking on this matter on public platform: That is a valid question. When I faced my challenging times in the Sai university from around June 2011 (after Mahasamadhi) till my mail exchanges with vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad in May/June 2012 (I parted ways with SSSIHL in March 2012), I discussed the matter ONLY within SSSIHL and some colleagues and close friends circle. I did not get justice and realized that Sashidhara Prasad, Naren Ramji and Narasimhamurthy had become top power-crazy bosses of SSSIHL. I swallowed my humiliations and decided to explore other Seva opportunities in Puttaparthi but OUTSIDE Prasanthi Nilayam managed institutions. Over time, I found my new calling as a blogger on spirituality & religion, which is what has become my main activity over the past two to three years.

It is after Madhusudhan Rao Naidu burst on the Sathya Sai movement scene PUBLICLY in May 2014 with his extraordinary claims of being able to see and communicate with a subtle body of Swami, that I started digging deeper into what is happening in Prasanthi Nilayam and the Sai university. As I came to know more & more about matters I was UTTERLY SHOCKED. I realized that matters had gone from bad to worse as Sashidhara Prasad who was vice-chancellor even at that time, believed in all these MAD claims of Madhusudhan Rao Naidu!!! But the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust who essentially pays all the salaries and meets other expenses of SSSIHL did not believe in those claims, and opposed it!!! What an extraordinary state of affairs!

I put out my first post on Muddenahalli belief in July 2014 after Prof. G. Venkataraman of Radio Sai wrote an article on it where he was critical of that belief. That July 2014 post of mine is titled, Radio Sai article on recent Swami (Sathya Sai Baba) subtle form appearance controversy, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2014/07/radio-sai-article-on-recent-swami.html, and has, as of now, 11,664 views from various countries of the world.

In a talk by Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju in end. Feb. 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfySaF0Dyjg, he was questioned about Muddenahalli by a Malaysian lady devotee. Prof. Kamaraju responded with lot of emotion and that response moved me. A short extract of his response is given below:
What is expected of us right now? To be witness to all this? To be silent (in) this situation? He is God; He is God. Whether you certify He is God or not, He is God. You don't need to certify Him. There is no point in telling He did this, He did this to me. What are you doing to Him? What are you doing for Him? .. What we should do now? We should discuss, (deliberate), clearly in depth, what steps should we take to bring back that unity.
--- end extract of Prof. AK talk partical transcript (from http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2014/07/radio-sai-article-on-recent-swami.html) ---

I felt that I can no longer be a silent witness to this Muddenahalli matter. By that time I had got fair amount of information about the goings-on. Around March 2015 I started participating in Facebook conversations, or rather arguments, regarding Muddenahalli. As I started questioning Muddenahalli group persons on Facebook about their beliefs and the DIVISIVE THREAT they are posing to the Sathya Sai movement, the matter started getting heated. I then realized that these people don't know what happenned in the Sai university HIJACK from Jul 2011 to Nov. 2014 by Narasimhamurthy and Sashidhara Prasad.

From an objective of wanting to INFORM Sathya Sai fraternity of the background of Muddenahalli group I felt I had no option but to share the inner details of what happened in the Sai university HIJACK from Jul. 2011 to Nov. 2014.

In the recent posts of mine, I was responding to an ATTACK by Mervyn Hughes against me saying that I was a (former) Lab. Assistant and not a (former) teacher in the Sai university and that I am a liar. That, like V. Chandrasekaran's attack on me and Naren Ramji's attack on me, was something that I had to protect myself from. I mean, I have to defend my name and reputation. And so I had no option but to DISPROVE the attack of Mervyn Hughes by revealing details of my Sai university stint.

How would you feel if Mervyn Hughes calls you a liar and says that you are not a relative of Swami, and that you are an imposter?

My view now is that my role from around March 2015 of PUBLIC whistle-blower of Sai university HIJACK by Sashidhara Prasad and Narasimhamurthy from Jul. 2011 till Nov. 2014 (when Sashidhara Prasad stepped down as vice-chancellor) which was aided and abetted by some other top administrators of the Sai university, will be viewed at present as wrong by some Sai devotees. The messenger of bad news is not welcomed! However, in future, I think most Sai devotees will appreciate my actions of whistle-blower of Sai university HIJACK from Jul 2011 to Nov. 2014 by Narasimhamurthy & Sashidhara Prasad aided by some other administrators, as that will allow top administrators of Sai institutions and Sai movement to take appropriate corrective steps and bring in measures to prevent such occurrences in future.

I should also mention that the Sai university HIJACK was possible due to LACK OF transparency and accountability. There was tremendous power-craze and power-abuse in the months and years following Mahasamadhi in Prasanthi Nilayam. Now, Sai institutions including Prasanthi Nilayam, should adopt early 21st century NGO best practices of accountability and transparency.

You may disagree with my views above, brother --name-snipped--. That's fine. We can politely agree to disagree. Thanks.
---

In response to a comment that I don't like facts, I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):
See brother --name-snipped--, I did not want to get into a public argument with you on Facebook as you are Swami's relative. I wanted to stop at some exchange of views. But now you accuse me of not liking facts. How about the facts that I put out? I think you don't like them, do you? You have conveniently chosen to ignore the facts that I put out against Muddenahalli group, especially the role of Sashidhara Prasad former vice-chancellor of Sai university. I get the impression that you APPROVE of what he did by sitting as VC of SSSIHL and being a hidden supporter of Muddenahalli group, and forcing Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju out of SSSIHL as he was opposing Narasimhamurthy!

Once again, I had not wanted to say this as you are Swami's relative but now I have no option but to say it. There are reports that you are a supporter of Muddenahalli group. It was reported that you had got some car of yours blessed by so called subtle Swami in Muddenahalli. If these reports are true, which is what I believe them to be, then it is clear that you are BIASED towards Muddenahalli group. Your Facebook comments on my post are not an unbiased exchange to understand the truth of the matters that I have mentioned but an attempt to SILENCE my criticism of Muddenahalli group.

Well, brother --name-snipped--, I will continue to do my criticism of Muddenahalli group when they try to CORRUPT Swami's teachings like in the case of the PUBLIC announcement of casino advice of so called subtle Swami (supposed advice from physical Swami too, if Mr. Tigrett's claim is true), all done in the name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

I think the best way forward for me is to not respond to further comments from you as I think our conversations are going nowhere. So please do not feel bad when I do not respond to your comments. Thank you. Jai Sairam!
---

In response to a comment asking what Naren Ramji and (former) head of department had to do with this (our comment exchnages), I (Ravi) wrote:
You did not read the post & comments properly. I was defending myself against Mervyn Hughes allegations that I was a lab. assistant and in that context I shared the details of my designation issue in SSSIHL. Naturally Naren Ramji, Registrar, and V. Chandrasekaran, then HOD, who indulged in the CRIMINAL OFFENCE of record tampering (and libel) by FALSELY showing me as Teaching Assistant in some university QA report, had to be mentioned.
---

A comment response was made which said that I should fight for what is rightfully mine and do it legally too if I can. I was given best wishes and that Swamy should be with me. The comment ended with the line that the system should be transparent.
In response to this comment, I (Ravi) wrote (slightly edited):
Thank you for your polite comment brother --name-snipped--. I stay away from SSSIHL as I have direct experience of record-tampering and TEACHER-DROHAM (harm done to teachers) of Naren Ramji & Chandrasekaran (both of whom continue to be in SSSIHL, with Ramji sitting in the very powerful Registrar position). No action was taken against them for these CRIMINAL OFFENCES under the Indian Penal Code committed by them, by former Vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad, and former Director of Prasanthi Nilayam campus, Sudhir Bhaskar, even though I provided them all evidence, and have proof of their offices having received the evidence I supplied.

So I have COMPLETELY LOST TRUST in SSSIHL administrators and expect NO JUSTICE from them at all. However, if they (e.g. Registrar Naren Ramji) continue to do SHAKUNI POISON stuff against me by reporting to anybody, for example Mervyn Hughes, who checks about my service record with them, that I was a Teaching Assistant (FALSE statement) or had designation "Seva Dal" (once again, FALSE statement; Seva Dal is not a proper UGC designation anyway), then I will have no choice but to file a case against them in the suitable court which may be Penukonda court, and file a criminal complaint against them in the appropriate police station which I think will be Puttaparthi (Urban) police station.

Please note that so far SSSIHL has not even issued me a letter regretting their mistake of showing me FALSELY as Teaching Assistant in some Q.A. report of theirs, and stating that they have corrected the records in the Registrar's office in SSSIHL to reflect that my designation was Honorary Staff, Honorary Faculty and Visiting Faculty in the nine years that I provided FREE SERVICE to Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science (DMACS), SSSIHL. In my considered opinion, this is the BARE MINIMUM that a Sathyam Vada Dharam Chara (Speak the truth; Follow ethics/morality) motto educational institution should have done. Otherwise they are just HYPOCRITES!
----
=========================
Readers may want to see the following blog posts:

1) Refuting Mervyn Hughes' latest attacks on me, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/04/refuting-mervyn-hughes-latest-attacks.html, dated April 12th 2016.

2) Mervyn Hughes writes that he has deleted all posts relating to me, and will not write posts about me, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/04/mervyn-hughes-writes-that-he-has.html, dated April 16th 2016.