Friday, June 24, 2016

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Live: Allah Hoo (1993) - video link, Urdu lyrics & English translation

Last modified on 26th June 2016

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Live: Allah Hoo (1993), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLBFmA87tyg, 28 min 33 secs.

The spellbinding spiritual genius of the Late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab and his team is on display in this song video (live performance). I loved the lyrics of this song (the English translation is put up as captions in the video). I have noted down the lyrics as it seems to have some additions to what is available on the Net for the seemingly popular Allah Hoo qawwali.

I think the meaning of these lyrics are very powerful and give a superb unity of faiths take, without losing out on the core belief of ONE GOD.

First I would like share what I came across on Allah Hoo which is the title of the Qawwali and is repeated many times in the song. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah_Hoo :

Allah Hoo (Allah hu) is a traditional Sufi chant (Dhikr) consisting of the word for God (Arabic: [[Allah|الله‎]] Allah) run together three times, followed by Truth (Haqq):

Allahu Allahu Allahu Haqq,

itself repeated three times over.
...
"Allah Hoo" is also a popular title for Urdu language Sufi devotional qawwalis.
...
As a noun phrase, the chant is interpreted as meaning "God is". Haqq is the Arabic for "truth", so that the full dhikr translates to "God is. God is. God is Truth."
--- end extracts from Allah Hoo wiki page ---

Ravi: So in this Qawwali, we can translate Allah Hoo to God Is.

Here are the Lyrics along with the English captions in square brackets. At times, I have also give my alternative translations (note that my Hindi is OK but I do not have much knowledge of Urdu words). [Note that most of the Urdu lyrics are courtesy: http://www.oocities.org/karachiiterulez/huu.html and https://lovenusrat.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/allah-hoo-allah-hoo/]

Malik ul mulk lashareeka lahoo
[King of Kings, One without peer]
Wahadahoo laa ilaahaa illaahoo
[One is He, There is no God but He]

Shams Tabraiz Gar Khuda Talabee
[Shams Tabriz, If thou desirest God] [Ravi: Shams Tabriz seems to be a reference to the mystic and spiritual instructor of the famous Sufi mystic and poet, Jalaluddin Rumi, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shams_Tabrizi]
Khushboo Khuwan La Illaha Illahoo
[Then utter aloud, There is no God but He]

Qounain Ka Masjood Hai Maa'bood Hai Tu
[You are the worshipped, The Lord of all the universe]
Har Shay Teri Shahid Hai Ke Mashhood Hai Tu
[All creation is Your witness, You are the witnessed One]
Har Aik Ke Lab Per Hai Teri Hamd-O-Sana
[Every created being Sings Your praise] [Ravi alternate: On everyone's lips are songs of your praise]
Har Sooz Mein Har Saaz Mein Moujood Hai Tu
[In each melody and song, You are present]

Tere He Naam Say Har Ibtida Hai
[Everything begins with You] [Ravi alternate: All originates from your name]
Tere He Naam Tak Har Intiha Hai
[Everything ends with you] [Ravi alternate: Everything ends in your name]
Teri Hamd-O-Sana Alhamdulillah
[All praise is due to You]
Ke Tu Mere Mohammad Ka Khuda Hai
[For You are the God of Mohammad] [Ravi alternate: For You are the God of my Mohammad]

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
[Ravi: God Is. God Is. God Is.]
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
[Ravi: God Is. God Is. God Is.]

Yeh zameen jab na thii yeh jahaan jab na thaa
[When the earth did not exist And all the world was nought] [Ravi alternate: When this earth did not exist, when this world was not there]
Chaand suraj na thay aasman jab na tha
[When no moon, sun nor skies existed] [Ravi alternate: When there was no moon nor sun nor skies] 
Raaz-e-haq bhi kisi per ayaan jab na tha
[When none knew of the secret Truth] [Ravi alternate: When the secret truth was not (yet) revealed to anyone]
Tab na tha kuch yahaan tha magar tu hee tu
[When nothingness reigned, You were there!] [Ravi alternate: Then there was nothing here but there was only you and you] 

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Har Shay Tere Jamaal Ki Aainaa Daar Hai
[All creation reflects your beauty]
Har Shay Pukaarti Hai Tu Parvardigaar Hai
[Every living being calls You Creator]

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Teri Rubaaiyat Ki Ada To Kamaal Hai
[You are the Creator of this universe]
Tu Rab-E-Kaayanaat Hai Tu Laajawaab Hai
[You are the eternal and Always]

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Tu Jo Har Aan Nayi Shaan Dikha Deta Hai
[Each instant You reveal Your glory]
Deeda-E-Shouq Ko Hairan Bana Deta Hai
[Astounding the discerning eye]
Daali Daali Teri Takhleeq Ke Gun Gaati Hai
[Each branch sings of Your creation]
Patta Patta Teri Qudrat Ka Pata Deta Hai
[Each leaf is Your being manifest]

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Pohchay Mairaj Mein Arsh Tak Mustafa
[When the Prophet ascended the Heavens] [Ravi alternate: When the Prophet reached Heaven]
Jab Na Maa'bood-O-Bande Mein Pardah Raha
[When the veil between Lord and servant was removed] [Ravi alternate: When there was no longer any veil between Lord and servant]
Tab Malaik Ne Hazrat Se Jhuk Kar Kahaa
[The angels bowed to the Prophet and said:] [Ravi alternate: Then the angels bowed to the Prophet and said:]
Saari Makhlooq Mein Haqnuma Tu Hee Tu
[Of all creation You are the embodiment of Truth] [Ravi alternate: In all creation the embodiment of Truth is you (and) only you]

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

Khaalik-E-Kul Hai Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu
[You are the supreme Creator. There can be no denying it.] [Ravi alternate: You are the supreme Creator. What is the (need for) discussion on it?]

Hey Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu
[There is only You] [Ravi alternate: You (and) only you, You (and) only you, What is the (need for) discussion on it?]
Jidhar Dekhta hun Yahi Dekhta hun Bas Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu
[Wherever I look, I see only You] [Ravi alternate: Wherever I see I see only this - You (and) only you, You (and) only you, What is the (need for) discussion on it?]

Jab mai aakar idhar udhar dekha
[Coming into this world I looked this way and that] [Ravi alternate: When I came and saw here and there]
Tu hi aaya nazar jidhar dekha, Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu
[Wherever I looked, I saw only You] [Ravi alternate: I saw only You where(ever) I saw, You (and) only you, You (and) only you, What is the (need for) discussion on it?]

Hindu Ye Samajte hain Sanam? mein kuch hain
[Hindus see You in their idols] [Ravi alternate: Hindus believe that something (Divine) is in their idol]
Muslim Ye Samajte hain Haram mein kuch hain
[Muslims see You in the Ka'aba] [Ravi alternate: Muslims believe that something (Divine) is in Haram (Ka'aba)]
Yeh dono galat hain Apni gajphaimi? se
[They both have a limited view] [Ravi alternate: Both of them are wrong due to their (limited view?)]
Hum To Yahi Samajte hain
[I believe only one thing] [Ravi alternate: I (We) believe only this]
Ki Bas Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu
[There is You, You, only You] [Ravi alternate: that it is only You (and) only you, You (and) only you, What is the (need for) discussion on it?]

Masjid, Mandir, Gurudware mein
[In mosque, temple and gurudwara]
Teri lagan hain teri puja Tu he Tu hain Aur na koi duja
[You're the One that's worshipped, You, You, and no other] [Ravi alternate: You are meditated upon, you are worshipped by puja, You (and) only you are there and it is not any other]
Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu

Tair? mein Tu, Haram mein Tu
[In the temple, in the Ka'aba] [Ravi alternate: You are in the temple, You are in the Ka'aba]
Arsh mein Tu Zameen mein Tu
[In the heavens, on this earth] [Ravi alternate: You are in the heavens, You are on this earth]
Jiski pahunch jahan talak uske liye waheen pe tu
[For each seeker You are there As far as he can reach] [Ravi alternate: As is the reach of the person for him you are there at that place (at the limit of his reach)]
Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu

Samm? hai jab Aashik tumhare naam ke
[If each one worships your name]
Kyoonye? jagde hai ye Rahim aur Ram ke
[Why do Muslims and Hindus fight?]
Tu he Tu Tu he Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu

Khaalik-E-Kul Hai Tu Is Mein Kya Guftagu
[You are the supreme Creator. There can be no denying it.] [Ravi alternate: You are the supreme Creator. What is the (need for) discussion on it?]
Saare Aalam Ko Hai Teri He Justaju
[All creation searches for You]
Teri Jalvaagari Hai Ayaan Chaar Su
[You are manifest in all dimensions]
La Shareeka Lahoo Maalik-E-Mulk Tu
[O peerless One O King of Kings]

Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo
Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo, Allah Hoo

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

[I thank the Late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his group, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above lyrics of their song from the above mentioned video on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Amjad Sabri - Tragic loss; His Bhar Do Jholi Qawwali

I had not known of Amjad Sabri, Sufi Qawwal singer from Pakistan, prior to reading about his tragic killing. Here's one of his qawwalis which seems to be quite popular. I found it to be very moving spiritually (even though I did not follow all the words of the song). Bhar do Jholi Amjad Fareed Sabri, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD1k4_d0S1Y, around 15 min.

What a loss!!! Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab was a very famous Qawwali singer of Pakistan who passed away some years ago.

Here's a report on Sabri's killing in Karachi, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/22/amjad-sabri-a-beloved-sufi-musician-is-gunned-down-in-pakistan/, dated June 22nd 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

An Indian Software Techie's (My) Material and Spiritual Journey So Far

Last modified on 20th July 2016

In an autobiographical kind of document I have given some kind of account of my life from boyhood till I took retirement from commercial work and got on the train from Kalyan (near Mumbai/Bombay) to come to Puttaparthi in end Sept./early Oct. 2002 (and then settle down in Puttaparthi). I don’t know when and if I will add to these accounts in this document to capture Oct. 2002 onwards part of my life.

The emphasis of this account is on sharing my journey through life so far and not so much on great English language or very good expression. I have tried to bring some structure and flow but have not spent too much time on it. The document is composed from a set of email conversations that I had with a leading Indian computer scientist, Mathai Joseph, whose memoir I was reading then. I have put in some effort to convert the set of emails into one document but may have slipped here & there, revealing the stitched emails history of this document. Readers will have to please bear with it.

For those interested in reading this account, the autobiographical document file is named, "June 2016 Net Release - An Indian Software Techie's Material and Spiritual Journey So Far" and is publicly shared at the following links:

Pdf document (64 pages, 787 KB): View - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Pcd4RD_n8LQTZ1dkMxNENRYlk; Download - https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B3Pcd4RD_n8LQTZ1dkMxNENRYlk

Word document (64 pages, 145 KB): View - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Pcd4RD_n8LSUVTSVUwaXpaelE; Download - https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B3Pcd4RD_n8LSUVTSVUwaXpaelE

I felt it appropriate to share the Licensing terms of the above document below:

Licensing

The contents of this document are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This license is described here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, where it clearly states that it allows for free sharing as well as free adaptation/modification provided credit is given to this work and if changes are made to it, then that is stated. So please feel free to share and/or re-use this document (with the minimal conditions mentioned earlier).
--- end Licensing extract from above mentioned document ---

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

Note that the autobiographical document above stops the account at Sept. 2002. What about the period after that? I don't know when I will do that. Meanwhile readers may want to see my blog post, List of posts of this Spiritual blog with autobiographical content, http://ravisiyer.blogspot.in/2016/07/list-of-posts-of-this-blog-with.html, dated July 11th 2016. It has a list of my blog posts of this Ravi S. Iyer's Spiritual Blog having autobiographical content till mid 2016 including the period before Sept. 2002.

On similar lines here's my post from my miscellaneous blog, List of posts of this Misc blog with autobiographical content, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2016/07/list-of-posts-of-this-misc-blog-with.html, dated July 13, 2016

And here's my post from another blog of mine, List of posts of this Indian CS & IT Academic Reform Activism blog with autobiographical content, http://eklavyasai.blogspot.in/2016/07/list-of-posts-of-this-indian-cs-it.html, dated July 14th 2016

My software industry and software teaching career biodata, dated March 2012, is available here: https://ravisiyer.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/ravisiyerbiodata.pdf

My software industry work experience (Mar. 1984 to Aug. 2002) is available here: https://ravisiyer.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/raviiyerindustryworkexperience.pdf

Some info. about some other blogs of mine

* I am I, https://iami1.wordpress.com/, dated around Sept. 2011 [This Home page of the blog encapsulates in a short article, my core spiritual understanding of my existential truth as expressed in a spiritually intense period for me (most part of the years 2010 and 2011 were spiritually very intense for me).]

This blog, https://iami1.wordpress.com/, as a whole, is a humble exploration of and views on the God & Science conversation (done after August 2011), and little more. When teachings of religions or miracles mentioned in Holy Scripture are referred, as far as I recall, no mention is made of any contemporary or near-contemporary religious leader/founder – the attempt is to emphasize spiritual teachings/paths/philosophy/knowledge which may be viewed as universal though the Hindu way of expressing them is used. It must also be mentioned that a few posts are specific to Hinduism.
----------

The blog, https://raviiyerteaches.wordpress.com/, was created to offer the content of software lab. courses taught by me (Ravi S. Iyer, Software Consultant, Puttaparthi, India), while I was offering free service as Honorary Staff/Honorary Faculty/Visiting Faculty to a Mathematics & Computer Science department in a deemed university in Andhra Pradesh, India, from 2003 to 2011.

The course contents in this blog/site typically include:
  • Course structure
  • Course book(s); Most courses are based on a primary course book
  • Reference books and other resources, if any
  • Teaching material (could be prepared by me and/or be a re-use of (reference to) external publicly available material usually from US university websites)
  • Assignments
Given below is the list of course contents on this blog for regular courses:
  1. C++ Programming
  2. Advanced Unix Programming
  3. Unix Network (socket) Programming including pthread Programming
  4. Minix Kernel Internals
  5. Linux Kernel Customization – Mini Course
  6. Java Web Programming (including HTML) – 2005 Course Report
  7. Migration from C++ to C# – Mini Course
  8. ASP.Net Web Programming in C# – Course Report
Given below are the miscellaneous topics covered on this blog:
  1. Advice to Fresh CS Graduates & Post-Graduates on Industry Jobs; Prototype vs. production programming
  2. Software development mini-project lab. courses – a report
-----

The blog, https://ravisiyer.wordpress.com/, was started around Sept. 2011 with the following intent expressed in the home page:
Readers & Visitors are welcome to explore participation in a stress-free and happy, part-time or any-time volunteer role in these “Service to Society” Information Technology Free And Open Source Software (FOSS) projects promoted by Ravi Iyer. The progress in these projects is completely dependent on the contributions made by interested volunteers with Ravi currently playing a Seva coordinator role and, where appropriate, a part-time contributor role.

As the software would be Free And Open Source Ravi hopes that others would, somewhere down the line, play the Seva coordinator role for these and any future such “Service to Society” IT projects. Ravi has no financial profit motive at all in these projects.
--- end intent part extracted from home page of above mentioned blog---

But no volunteer showed interest for this site and associated work though I got a lot of encouraging comments from well wishers (shown on the home page). I put up some posts on FOSS licensing and a Spoken English App that I thought could be the first small project. I also put up some info. about a Rural Agricultural Portal project idea. Later I got caught up in other matters (mainly other blogs like my Indian CS & IT academic reform activism blog and the I am I blog mentioned above), and perhaps as I saw no volunteers showing interest, I stopped my efforts on the FOSS projects. Somewhere down the line, I used this blog to post miscellaneous technical posts on stuff like Home data backup strategy, Home Internet connection problems etc.

Note that the raviiyer.org domain that I own has been configured to redirect raviiyer.org url/link requests to the above mentioned blog. The title of the blog has the term raviiyer.org on it.

=============================================
Changes proposed to be made in next release of document (page numbers are as seen in pdf document)

1) Modification of sentence in page 2:
"I am deeply grateful to my Guru and my Mahadev (Great god), Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, for all the love, wisdom and care with which he indirectly and directly guided me so far in my journey and also for his tolerance of the many human flaws that I had and that I still have."

I would like to translate Mahadev as (Great Divine being/Avatar with supernatural powers to whom I pray) instead of (Great god).

2) Change references to company-D to Datamatics Ltd. Change references to company B to Boshu Technics Corp, and reference to Mr. B in that context as Mr. S.K. Basu.

3) Modification of sentence in page 38:
"When I visited my previous company, company-D, around that time, a top man there looked at my thin body and remarked, 'Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown'."

Name the top man as Dr. Lalit S. Kanodia, founder of Datamatics Ltd.

=============================================
An old software industry colleague and friend wrote on 22nd June 2016 (and was OK with public sharing; slightly edited to fix a typo):
Just managed to read it Ravi. You remember a lot of stuff in vivid detail.  Felt as though I was encroaching on your personal diary...
--- end comment ---

I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):
Glad that you could make the time to read it, --name-snipped--. Hope it was a decent read.
About the personal diary bit, I think spiritual autobiographies especially (and some non-spiritual autobiographies/biographies as well) are quite personal as they tend to share very emotional and sensitive parts of the author's life journey. I wonder whether you have read Mahatma Gandhi's My Experiments with Truth autobiography.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_My_Experiments_with_Truth:
The Story of My Experiments with Truth is the autobiography of Mohandas K. Gandhi, covering his life from early childhood through to 1921. It was written in weekly instalments and published in his journal Navjivan from 1925 to 1929. Its English translation also appeared in installments in his other journal Young India. It was initiated at the insistence of Swami Anand and other close co-workers of Gandhi, who encouraged him to explain the background of his public campaigns. In 1999, the book was designated as one of the "100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century" by a committee of global spiritual and religious authorities."
--- end wiki extract ---

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi, Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869. So the above autobiography covers slightly over the first fifty years of his life.

If I recall correctly, I read this book when I was studying B.Sc. (Physics) in Ruia college, Mumbai (borrowed it from the college library sometime in the early 1980s, I guess). It shared a lot of very personal details of Gandhi's life. That sharing made a great impression on me then. To be honest, I have not shared so many personal details in my short and somewhat hasty autobiography write-up (till Sept. 2002 which is almost till I turned forty years old) - I edited out some personal stuff which I had conveyed confidentially over email to Mathai as it involved some other people who may feel offended by such sharing (even if I don't mention them by name).

BTW if you have not read this book of Gandhi and would like to read it, this seems to be the free pdf version of the book: http://www.mkgandhi.org/ebks/An%20Autobiography.pdf (609 pages). http://www.mkgandhi.org/ebks/gandhiebooks.htm lists some other books of or related to Gandhi which are available for free download.
--- end my response ---

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

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Narendra Modi with Sathya Sai in 2003; Modi message about Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi ashram)

This post uses photos and information kindly provided by (courtesy) SaiBliss Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/saimemories/posts/1112632575449981.

The photo below is of current Indian Prime Minister and then Gujarat chief minister, Shri Narendra Modi, with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the interview room of Prasanthi Nilayam mandir, in 2003.



The photo below is of a message written by Shri Narendra Modi about Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi ashram) in 2003






































I have given below a text version of what is written in the message in above photo (slightly edited).

This place is a Holy (spiritual) Centre of the whole world, which is (a) wonderful linkage of knowledge/wisdom, faith and science.

This is loving.
This is inspiration.
This is Chetana (inner awakening).
This is Experience.
This is the inner force.
This is mind entrance.
This is the self liberation marg (way).
This is the self merging effort.

Sai Ram
Pranam

Narendra Modi
CM, Gujarat
Gandhinagar

Nihar Babu: A Puttaparthi mandal (local) boy, Sai university student, who I was able to help by teaching software development

Last updated on 21st June 2016

I do seek the kind indulgence of readers for blowing my own bugle in this post. But I felt it is necessary to record such success stories in software development education for rural and economically challenged students, and so have put up this post.

In most of my stint as a teacher and technical consultant for software development courses and projects in the Sai university (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning) as free service from Jan. 2003 to Mar. 2012, I came across very few students in my class or to whom I was a technical consultant, who were from in and around Puttaparthi. Most students that I taught seem to be have been from outside Puttaparthi area/mandal and even outside Anantapur district.

D. Nihar Babu was an exception. He came from Kothacheruvu (or some other village/town near to Puttaparthi) and hailed from an economically challenged family. As part of his M.Sc. project work he sought to do a software development project as he perhaps felt that his job prospects after M.Sc. would be better if he did that. [The M.Sc. was mainly a Mathematics intensive program with some amount of software development being taught.] Note that most M.Sc. (Maths) students in the Sai university then, attempted to get into M.Tech. (Computer Science) program after finishing their M.Sc. In Nihar's case, he had to start working after finishing his M.Sc. to help his family.

He approached me (along with two other students) to do an Information Technology type software development project (essentially a database oriented web application). I agreed to play the role of a technical consultant to the project (three different projects for three different students) - the official guide/supervisor was somebody else though the responsibility of guiding the student through his software development project fell on my shoulders. I don't recall the academic year this was done - maybe 2007-08.

After he passed out from the M.Sc. program, I came to know that he got employed by Thomson Reuters, a multinational software services company in Bangalore in the Quality Assurance area. He got a decent pay package. I was very happy about it as this was my first and only case in the Sai university (as far as I can recall) where I could serve a local from Puttaparthi area (mandal) who was financially challenged, by imparting software development skills including testing/Quality Assurance skills. From a remote village/town in rural South India and from a poor background, Nihar had made it into the international software services field in Bangalore, with me playing a small role in helping him in this journey. This gave me a lot of happiness and satisfaction.

A couple of months or so ago, Nihar had dropped in to my home, to invite me to his marriage. He told me that he had moved from Thomson Reuters to Cisco Systems India Pvt. Ltd. This is the India arm of the USA based giant computer network company, Cisco. [As an aside, I thought I should also mention that my nephew also works for Cisco but in San Jose, California, USA.] Nihar had always been thankful to me for what I had taught him and I found his gratitude to be touching. I asked him whether he could write a few words about it, which I could put up on social media. He agreed. Given below are his words:

The debugging techniques and the process of thinking on how to come up with test scenarios are (some of) the few key things that I learnt during my M.Sc. dissertation software project which I did under the guidance of Ravi Iyer sir.

Nihar Babu
Software Quality Analyst
CISCO SYSTEMS INDIA PVT. LTD.
[Previous company: Thomson Reuters]
---- end Nihar Babu's short write-up ---
========================================================
An update

Once again I seek the kind indulgence of readers for blowing my own bugle. In the interests of keeping an accurate record, I felt it necessary to share this slightly edited response I received over email from Kartick Vaddadi who was OK with me sharing it publicly.

First some background about Kartick. Kartick did his M.Sc. (Mathematics) with some amount of Computer Science being taught in this M.Sc. (Mathematics) program, in the Sai university. While I did not teach him any courses, I did have some free-wheeling discussions with him when he was a student in the Sai university. There was some small Radio Sai related programming work (did not get completed) viewed as extra curricular activity, for which he and I (me playing a tech. guide kind of role), had some interactions for a short period of time. I was also involved in a very marginal way in a sort of quick project review, at the fag end of his M.Sc. dissertation software project related to virtual machines.

After Kartick finished his M.Sc. in the Sai university, he moved on to do M.Tech. (Comp. Science) from IIT Bombay, and then joined Google at Bangalore as a software engineer. During this period we did have many interactions over telephone and email too, where I played a sort-of mentor role giving my top-level view of the software development world but based more on my software industry experience of a decade or so earlier (prior to 2003) which I would try to map onto the current situation as Kartick would narrate to me and as I would read about from some other quarters. I should also mention that our discussions were not limited to software.

Here's Kartick's response (slightly edited) to the post contents above related to Nihar Babu:

Interesting, and good to hear.

BTW, Reuters has an office just below Google's. It would be funny if he and I worked in the same building for years and not know :)

Since you brought this up, you also helped me a ton. More important than technical knowledge, you also helped me in terms of encouragement, which was crucial back then, because when one isn't able to make sufficient progress towards the thing one is passionate about, one can get demotivated.
--- end Kartick response ---
---------------------

Chandu Patel, an old software industry colleague and friend of mine who is now based in the USA, responded as follows (and was OK with public sharing):

This is awesome, Ravi! You did your part of selfless service and helping out the ones in the areas/ways it was most relevant; and the students did their part by remaining grateful and expressing it too!! Wonderful!
--- end Chandu Patel response ---

[Ravi: I thanked Nihar, Kartick and Chandu Patel for their kind words.]

Monday, June 13, 2016

Holy scripture verses about harming (evil) opponents; Curses, black magic and tantriks in India today

Given below are some Notes of mine. The flow may be a little abrupt at times. I do not have the time to fix any such issues. Readers may prefer to either skip reading the post or just browse through it.

Some verses of Christian holy scripture do call for harm for (evil) opponents. From http://www.usccb.org/bible/psalms/109

Psalms, Chapter 109

1 For the leader. A psalm of David.

2 O God, whom I praise, do not be silent,
for wicked and treacherous mouths attack me.
They speak against me with lying tongues;

3 with hateful words they surround me,
attacking me without cause.

4 In return for my love they slander me,
even though I prayed for them.

5 They repay me evil for good,
hatred for my love.

6 Appoint an evil one over him,
an accuser to stand at his right hand,

7 That he may be judged and found guilty,
that his plea may be in vain.

8 May his days be few;
may another take his office.

9 May his children be fatherless,
his wife, a widow

10 May his children wander and beg,
driven from their hovels.

11 May the usurer snare all he owns,
strangers plunder all he earns.

12 May no one treat him with mercy
or pity his fatherless children.

13 May his posterity be destroyed,
their name rooted out in the next generation.
--- end extract from Psalms, Chapter 109 ---
...
I can understand believers putting up verses of holy scripture that speak about how blessed are those who have faith (in that religion). But the burn in hell part for unbelievers (in their religion, or even any religion) being prominently put up in public is despicable, especially in today's age.
...
However, it is a reality in India (and perhaps in the USA too) that some (in today's world) do pray for unpleasant things to happen to specific persons. In India it is not limited to prayer - they use some rituals, I am told. I think this happens in cases where some people feel that they have been victimized by others and want to take revenge on them through these dark spiritual rituals. I mean, it is not a commonly done thing - some people get provoked into considering it.

What is undeniable is that the holy scripture of some religions including Hinduism have specific prayers for death and destruction of (human) opponents. In Vedic Hinduism, the earlier part of the Vedas has these mantras - I have read them.  It evokes a tribal warfare kind of scenario with the Vedic mantras/rituals to war-hero gods in the Vedic pantheon, meant to give victory to those chanting/performing them (Aryas (the noble ones), if I recall correctly) over others who seem to be non-Vedic (Dasyus, if I recall correctly). Note that there are many noble mantras/verses in these earlier part of the Vedas. The latter part of the Vedas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads, deal with higher and nobler aspirations and do not seem to have much, if any, of death and destruction to enemies type mantras/verses in it.

In India, when people of religion feel threatened at physical level, some of the fighter types turn to the warrior god types in their scripture and gain courage and fighting-intensity from it/them. This also applies to those women who are deeply religious, are fighter type of persons and who get threatened with rape/molestation kind of scenarios which, very unfortunately, are not uncommon in some parts of India. They take inspiration from mother goddesses of Hinduism who are said to have killed demons and their face perhaps kind-of gets transformed into faces of divinely-inspired fury. That has, many times, scared the daylights out of the would-be rapists/molesters. Righteous anger is a powerful thing, especially among religious believers of the fighter type.

So violence & war are part of some religions (including Hinduism), in my considered view. However, the right interpretation of religious scripture will be that violence and war should be considered only when one is seriously threatened by unjust and unrighteous actions of others. That typically happens when law & order (Dharma/ethical behavior) breaks down or is not sufficiently respected.

But the safe thing is to keep these kind of prayers out of democratic politics whether it is a materially advanced country like the USA or a materially developing country like India.
...

In my case, after I got into spirituality/religion bigtime in my early thirties, while I developed strong belief, over time, in power of prayer to have potential to do something supernatural or at least influence an outcome in some supernatural way in some cases, I was not exposed to the dark stuff (prayers/rituals to do harm to others). In ISKCON and Sathya Sai movements which I have had some/good exposure to, or in my Vedic Brahmin family upbringing in the second half of the 20th century, I had ZERO exposure to or encouragement for such dark stuff.

However, Hindu scripture is replete with instances of Brahmins especially, cursing those who have harmed them or threatened them. So as I got into the faith in Hindu scripture part I slowly started accepting the power of curses from those who are engaged in regular spiritual practice. Today my view is that a curse from such persons is like a concentrated thought-wave backed by strong will and faith, and that such a concentrated thought-wave has an impact on the intended person. Spiritual practice builds up the ability to concentrate thought and also have strong will backed by faith. ....

In Hindu parts of rural South India (perhaps is the case in other parts of rural India too), even today many of the locals treat those Brahmins who are into regular Brahminical spiritual practice with respect, and, as I learned, fear - fear of Brahmin curse/harsh thoughts towards them if they harm the Brahmin. Mind you, in ancient Hindu India, killing a Brahmin was considered to be a very big sin, even if the killer was a King. Now I must also mention that the Brahmins typically are not into cursing, and it is more of a defense mechanism for them from harm being done to them, rather than an offensive weapon meant to harm others. A curse is also said to weaken/reduce the spiritual splendor and spiritual power of the accomplished in spiritual practice Brahmin. About dark spiritual stuff, Hindu tradition today which is heavily influenced by contemporary heads of important Hindu mutts (monasteries) and contemporary Hindu spiritual masters with large followings, warns Brahmins (and others) to stay away from dark spiritual practices meant to harm others as the Karmic consequences of such dark actions are said to be very bad.

Given the above background, I was rather ignorant about dark spiritual practices & powers in India today though I did hear/read about it here & there. It is after Sathya Sai passed away (physical form level) that events forced me to dig deeper into gathering some information about these dark spiritual powers by discussion with others who seemed to have some knowledge about it.

While in hindsight, it seems a very natural event, at the time it happened I was completely taken aback. That is, the way the HUGE VACUUM of the passing away of Sathya Sai Baba attracted a myriad of people with claimed spiritual powers and claimed ability to communicate with Sathya Sai Baba's spirit, to try their luck with the HUGE Sathya Sai follower fraternity worldwide who had lost their spiritual master and so could be susceptible to such claims. Some of these people with claimed spiritual powers & claimed medium/communicator ability were very successful in attracting some Sai devotees to them, including rich and powerful followers. It seems that some of these people have some psychic powers like mind-reading. They also give supposedly blessed objects like rings/necklace which ostensibly would protect the wearer (like what Sathya Sai would do to some devotees). However, many of these mediums/communicators seem to have personal aggrandizement as an objective, as against genuine and free help being rendered to the supposed benefactor.

As I expanded my inquiries beyond these mediums/communicators claiming to communicate with Sathya Sai Baba's spirit, I was told of some persons (unconnected with Sathya Sai) who would be revealed some information by some disembodied spirit which was in communication with them. However, such spirits are said to be not good and that eventually the person in touch with such spirits lands into some big trouble. Now I don't know what to make of such claims.

However, I will not dismiss them as false right away. I might have done that twenty years ago. I certainly will not do that today. While there may be many fakes even in the disembodied spirit communicating with somebody field, I think some may be genuine. I would however not want to have anything to do with such persons. I am comfortable with my 20th and 21st century Vedic Brahmin and Sathya Sai devotee kind-of approach to spirituality where we are strongly advised not to mess around with such spirits kind of stuff.

Now about black magic in particular. The tantrik word/term in India today has strong connotations of black magic, even if tantra is an alternative spiritual path to vedic Hinduism, and which people like Osho Rajneesh wrote & spoke about quite a lot (including about tantric sex as a CLAIMED way of enjoying spiritually evolved states of bliss through sex).

Every now and then there will be reports in the Indian English language newspapers of some tantrik kind of persons being beaten up or even killed by villagers. Earlier I would just ignore such reports. But in the past few years I tried to make some inquiries about it. I was shocked to know that such black magic/tantrik practices happen in and around Puttaparthi as well - it is rare and those who do it try to hide it as most people are deeply suspicious of it. But it does happen once in a while in and around Puttaparthi itself!!! What a shock that was to me!

I tried browsing for news reports on such stuff. Note that such stuff may be better reported in vernacular Indian language media (as against English language Indian media).

2 found dead in cemetery, police suspect black magic, Oct. 2015 news article from Bhiwandi near Mumbai, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/2-found-dead-in-cemetery-police-suspect-black-magic/articleshow/49219715.cms

An extract from it, "The police said they have found a lemon, a golliwog-like doll with tack pins jutting out of it and other paraphernalia used by practitioners of black magic or human sacrifice."

Ravi: I was told about something that some unethical spiritual Guru-types use to attract people towards them. The associated art is called Vashikaran. I was shocked to hear about such things in 2015/2016 India! But at least some people are there who claim to be practitioners of this Black Magic type stuff! Just browsed the net and got this,
http://www.completevashikaran.com/vashikaran-in-andhra-pradesh. The site says no Black magic is used but ...

An exract from the site:
Vashikaran can help you in :-
- Love related problems
- Marriage related problems
- Getting control on Wife or Husband
- Stopping extra-marital affair or emotional attachment of Husband or Wife
- Attracting and influencing any male or female toward you
- Attracting and influencing your Boss, client/customer, Staff etc.
- Making someone to work according to you wish
--- end extract ---

Ravi: An email id and mobile phone number is provided for interested prospective customers! "Attracting and influencing any male or female towards you" & "Making someone to work according to you(r) wish"!!! Jesus Christ! This is in the state of India where I live - Andhra  Pradesh - and in this early 21st century! Of course, I don't know how much of this is fake and how much has some kernel of truth in it. But I would not dismiss all of this as nonsense right away. Like hypnosis works on weak minds, they say, I think some spiritual practices and rituals can be used by tantriks & black-magic fellows to prey on weak minds and get some sort of control over them.

Here's an article, Man burnt alive for ‘practising’ black magic in Andhra Pradesh, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Man-burnt-alive-for-practising-black-magic-in-Andhra-Pradesh/articleshow/45785186.cms, dated Jan 2015. Some extracts from it:

A group of villagers burnt a man alive accusing him of practising black magic at Rajapur village of Koderu mandal in Mahubnagar district on Tuesday.
Local police said a group of villagers attacked T Ramulu, 45, holding him responsible for the "crisis" in the village. They accused him of practicing sorcery, which led to "sudden death of people and domestic animals".
--- end extracts ---

Ravi: Earlier when I would read such articles I would think that these are ignorant villagers who are imagining things. But now I know villagers around my town much better than a decade ago. They are wise in their traditions which enables them to survive in the tough lives they lead. They are not fools.

Especially in village environment they know a lot about the people in the village. Once somebody starts experimenting with black magic stuff they come to know of it very fast. And then if some bad things happen they start suspecting that person. Now they may be wrong in tying up some tragedies to the guy trying black magic but they usually know that the person is trying/doing black magic. And they intensely hate him/her and want to drive him/her out of the village or even kill him/her, if need be. Brutal! But I think this is what their village traditions would have been not only for hundreds of years in these parts of rural India but perhaps a few millennia! And that has worked over the ages, in the sense that generations have survived and did not get trapped into black magic stuff.

The Brahmin doing Vedic ritual is supposed to be a kind of exorcist-type antidote to such black magic stuff. Perhaps that's why the practising Brahmin priest is given a lot of respect and also feared, even today, in many rural Indian villages. Of course, guys like me are born in Brahmin caste but as we are not practising Brahmin priests, we do not get accorded that kind of respect and/or fear.

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

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Selected Facebook comments and posts of mine in June 2016

Last updated on 24th June 2016

A few of my comments made on Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915, which have not been captured as separate FB posts:

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on June 8th 2016:
Well, I have a different view here. I have to do what I see as my duty to Bhagavan. You may have to do what you see as your duty to Bhagavan. Perhaps the key difference is that I have been through the wringer in this matter at Puttaparthi. So I am too deeply involved in it to put my feet up and watch the game. I guess I have to play my part in the game. Thanks. Jai Sairam!
----
Ravi S. Iyer wrote on June 8th 2016:
Of course, MDH persons deserve to be happy. I have never ever said otherwise. But there seems to be some shake-up going on in PN now which does create some unpleasantness for some PN people. So I felt it appropriate to suggest a possibility for UNITY which will remove such unpleasantness.
...
I mean unpleasantness for PN people with MDH leanings.
...
And I am not the guy doing any shake-up. I simply come to know of it.
----
Ravi S. Iyer wrote on June 8th 2016 (slightly edited):
Well, the human mind can react very irrationally at times of great stress. It is quite educative to know how conditions like war or terrible disease or economic stress can affect the logical mind. It can simply come apart under such stress..... So I think some people got carried away by emotion under that Mahasamadhi stress and rather lost their discrimination power. .... Today I think Parthi is in safe hands. No encouragement is given to dilution of Swami's teachings or mediums/communicators. However, the Sai university needs to regain its spritual thrust. The impression I have is that it has become more focused on scientific research rather than spirituality. There are other institutions in India which can focus on scientific excellence. Sai university must be focused on spiritual excellence along with certain level of competence in the academic fields that they are involved in. So the right balance has to be struck.
-----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on June 8th 2016:
Sathya Sai never interfered in running of Shirdi Sai sansthan. Whereas, if VSBS is to be believed, we now have people in PN system who interact with Madhusudan Rao Naidu!!!
----
=============================================================
My FB post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1751093305107239,  dated June 8th 2016

Withdrawing Madhusudan Rao Naidu's communication act may pave the way for Muddenahalli group to unite back with Prasanthi Nilayam and become one Sai family again

A comment I made on brother Rajen Rajen's Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915, is given below (slightly edited):
I honestly think that Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy (BNNM) and Shri Indulal Shah (IS) were worried about Swami's mission in the months after Mahasamadhi. That concern would have been GENUINE. After all they both are veterans of the Sathya Sai mission with tremendous access to and interactions with physical form Swami.
So the intentions were NOBLE but somewhere down the line I think BNNM lost his way. And then Madhusudan Rao Naidu came along and made it worse, even though it seemed to click BIGTIME for some months as many people got caught up in the new sensation. However, reality caught up over time. Now I think they should find a respectable exit strategy to withdraw Madhusudan Rao Naidu's communication act, and also ensure that there will not be a relapse into BNNM Swami dream instructions for the mission (Swami dream instructions for the individual is fine, of course). Once that is done, the path will be clear for Muddenahalli group to unite with Prasanthi Nilayam and become one Sai family again.
==============================================================
My FB post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1751214821761754, dated June 8th 2016

BNNM & IS have served Bhagavan with ENORMOUS DEDICATION prior to Mahasamadhi; Immediate post-Mahasamadhi chaos & trauma at PN seems to have led them astray

A comment I made on brother Rajen Rajen's post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915 is given below (slightly edited):
Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy (BNNM) and Shri Indulal Shah (IS) have served Swami with ENORMOUS DEDICATION prior to Mahasamadhi. Perhaps you are not aware of their services. After Mahasamadhi at PN there was tremendous power vacuum and so tremendous trauma. Some unfortunate incidents happened in Prasanthi Nilayam then. The media had painted PN black; the govt. seemed to have doubts about PN management. There was SERIOUS TALK of govt. taking over PN.

It was a very unpleasant state of affairs. It is in this situation that BNNM & IS decided to start off a separate trust to keep Swami's mission flag flying high. You may not know the details as you were not living in Puttaparthi then. But I was and so I know how chaotic the situation was.
BNNM got dreams and he frankly stated what his dreams were. He also said that those who want to believe can believe them and those who don't may ignore it. Very clear ... no compulsion.
Given the chaos in PN, many in the Sai fraternity, including then Sai university vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad, chose to believe in BNNM Swami dream instructions.

This is the historical background to BNNM & IS starting a new trust. Further, at no stage have BNNM & IS, after starting this new trust, been publicly critical of PN. I appreciate them for this restraint that they have shown.

I am not willing to believe that BNNM & IS created a master plot and master strategy and put up an act. I think they sincerely believed in it.
However, I am of the considered opinion that they were and are misguided in their belief about Swami dream instructions for the mission and about so called subtle Swami, and that they are misguiding others as well.
=============================================================
My Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1751676148382288, dated June 9th 2016

Mervyn Hughes of Muddenahalli group verbally attacks me yet again

I have given below a comment I put up yesterday on brother Rajen Rajen's Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915 (slightly edited):
A little while back I was shown a Facebook post/comment authored by Mervyn Hughes where he has again attacked me referring to me as a former lab. assistant and said that I am paid by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (to write against Muddenahalli group). [I have publicly shared the official identity cards of Sai university/Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) where my designation is clearly shown as Honorary Staff/Honorary Faculty/Visiting Faculty. This was from Jan. 2003 to Mar. 2012 when I offered free service to Sai university.]

I guess he restarted attacking me due to some of my aggressive but truthful comments on this post.
Now I was wondering how I should react. One thing I am realizing is that as a social media writer I need to develop a thick skin and learn to ignore jokers and cowards like Mervyn Hughes who hide behind an anonymous Facebook profile and write nasty comments.
But I thought about him a little. I think he may be an untruthful and unethical person by nature (follower of Asathya & Adharma) and so writes any stupid thing that he wants with a sole objective of hurting his intended targets. Or he may be delusional as he refuses to go by evidence that I have presented regarding my designation, and he makes allegations about me being paid by SSSCT without providing any evidence. The delusional bit may be an indication of underlying psychiatric problems/mental problems. Perhaps if his friends and well wishers read this comment they may want to take him to a psychiatrist and if he does suffer from delusional problems, perhaps the psychiatrist may provide him suitable medication/treatment.
============================================================
Given below are some of my comments on FB post, https://www.facebook.com/vr.ganti.1/posts/10206719163882383:

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on June 10th 2016:
I have been publicly appreciative of Muddenhalli group's social work. However by endorsing a so called chosen communicator Muddenahalli group has gone against public teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. They come up with all sorts of arguments to justify it. But I am not convinced. ..... However, if you are convinced about it, I wish you all the best. I do not want to come in the way of your faith in MDH group. I write publicly disputing the claims of MDH group as a service to the Sathya Sai fraternity as many Sai devotees are confused by these claims. Some of these Sai devotees have thanked me for my writings and have said that it helped them get a clearer understanding of the matter. .... So my writings on MDH group are more for the confused and undecided, with an objective of providing them more information to make an informed choice/decision. .... I do not make any attempts to convince MDH group believers to give up their belief. I wish them all the best with their belief. Jai Sairam!
---
Ravi S. Iyer wrote on June 10th 2016:
Well, that is my truthful view based on extensive analysis. I do not push the "false belief" statement onto those who do not want to read such stuff. It is only those who come to my Facebook posts (and Facebook posts of friends) or blog posts who get to read my honest views on the matter. ... Mind you, I see that as my duty to my beloved Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I view Madhusudan Rao Naidu as somebody who is acting as an imposter. My blog & Facebook posts give my extensive analysis of why I view Madhusudan Rao Naidu as an imposter. ... How would you feel if somebody that you love very much and who has been a vital guiding light in your life and who has passed away physically, has his/her legacy diluted and corrupted by an unauthorized medium/communicator who claims to receive messages, see and interact with that guiding light? Mind you, I use the words, diluted and corrupted, based on my extensive analysis which I have extensively documented on my blog & Facebook posts. Would you not be upset with that person? Would you not want to warn others about that person making false claims?
---
============================================================

My FB post https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1752427788307124, dated 11th June 2016
Mervyn Hughes seems to be a political (verbal) hitman; Plan to ignore his comments unless he makes threats of physical violence against me

Given below are a few comments of mine (slightly edited) (and one of Mervyn Hughes) made on brother Rajen Rajen's post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915 :
I was informed that there were some more harsh words/hatred from Mervyn Hughes directed at me (perhaps as a comment in this post). I have decided to try simply ignoring Mervyn Hughes from now on. If he has the guts and openly states where he lives then I can consider filing a defamation suit against him (if he lives in India; if he lives abroad like New Orleans, USA which is what his FB profile had mentioned when I saw it in the past, it may be a problem).

I think I need to learn some things like having a thick skin, from some of the USA politicians I am coming across in my informal-study of the USA presidential elections. Mervyn Hughes refusing to accept my official and correct designations in my Sai university stints (as against the CRIMINALLY ILLEGAL under Indian Penal Code and FALSE and very junior designation shown by Registrar and/or HOD in a university document which they hastily removed after I banged them over email on it), and insisting that I receive money from Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust without any evidence of the same, seems to me like how some USA politicians attacked USA president Barrack Obama alleging that he was not born in the USA, even after Obama provided evidence of his Hawaii, USA birth!!!

A political (verbal) hitman - that's what Mervyn Hughes seems to be. So I plan to just ignore this guy's comments unless this guy gets into threats of physical violence against me, in which case I will consider making a police complaint (in India) against him.

Brother Rajen Rajen, if Mervyn Hughes does get into any physical violence threats against me on your post(s), could you please let me know? [I don't want to know about anything else he says.] You could take a pic of his comment and send it to me over Facebook chat. Please note that as I have blocked Mervyn Hughes his comments are not visible to me when I login to Facebook.
 ----
Rajen Rajen wrote:
Bro Ravi S. Iyer...MH's comments...
Let us not forget the times of India report. I think some of these corrupt trustee's are paying money to people like Ravi S Iyer (former lab assistant) , Terry Reis Kennedy, Clive Raj to write against Muddenahalli. They see the central trust in Puttaparthi as a cash cow and have no interest in following or spreading Swami's teachings. As long as the Trust coffers are filled with donations to fund their private army of goons, some people in Puttaparthi would not even hesitate to incite violence against MDH.
 ----
[In response to Rajen Rajen sharing a couple of comments of Mervyn Hughes (on his post, I presume), including the one shared above, I (Ravi) wrote:]
Thanks brother Rajen Rajen. These comments of MH do not have any threats of physical violence against me and so I will ignore them.
 ----
Rajen Rajen: Appreciate your request to refrain from personal attacks without proof. Personal attacks without evidence or eyewitness testimony (as is the case with Mervyn Hughes attacks on me) is character assassination and the person making such attacks can be sued under both criminal and civil law in India to both punish and extract monetary compensation, and to deter from similar actions in future..... Criticism, including harsh criticism of people, with evidence or based on eye witness accounts which one is wiling to testify in a court of law, as is the case with my harsh criticism of Sashidhara Prasad (former vice-chancellor), Naren Ramji (Registrar) and V. Chandrasekaran (former HOD, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science - DMACS) of the Sai university, is NOT character assassination. I am completely ready to defend myself in an Indian court of law against any defamation suit, criminal or civil, that the above mentioned three persons may bring against me. In fact, I doubt they will ever do it, as they know that what I have said is the truth, and that if they go to court against me, the truth of my statements will be established in a court of law, and hurt their reputation even more.
 ----
Brother Rajen Rajen: I have made this comment for the benefit of some readers here who may not know the background to my designation issue in the Sai unviersity. Of course, I was not designated officially as lab assistant in the Sai university as claimed by Mervyn Hughes. Teacher-Drohi Naren Ramji (Registrar) and Teacher-Drohi V. Chandrasekaran (HOD, DMACS) of the Sai university colluded in CRIMINAL ACT of record tampering and malicious defamation against me (and two other visiting faculty designated individuals of Sai university - one from DMACS and one from Management department) by showing me as a Teaching Assistant in a university document. As soon as I banged them over email voicing my shock & dismay and challenging them to prove it, they hastily removed it from the university website but, as is the case with power crazy and arrogant people, they did not apologize to me about it. When I raised the matter to Sashidhara Prasad (then vice-chancellor) and Sudhir Bhaskar (then director Prasanthi Nilayam campus) of the Sai university, these two fellows very SHAMEFULLY did not act on the matter, and in fact, tried to blame me! Typical behaviour of power crazy and arrogant people of refusing to look at the evidence presented and going into haughty denial. I finally ended the matter by letting them know that I will be going by the official designations on official Identity Cards issued to me and signed by Prasanthi Nilayam campus Principal/Director, Prof. U.S. Rao, which were Honorary Staff, Honorary Faculty and Visiting Faculty in the period of free service that I rendered to the Sai university from Jan. 2003 to March 2012. In disgust with the Asathya & Adharma (Untruthful and Unethical behaviour) shown by senior administrators of the Sai university, namely, Sashidhara Prasad, Sudhir Bhaskar, Naren Ramji and Chandrasekaran, I decided to terminate my association with the Sai university (in March-June 2012). 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, provides evidence and details of the matter for those who would like to know more.

Regarding Mervyn Hughes' charges that I am paid by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, I hereby state (and am willing to do so in an Indian court of law under oath) that I have not received even one Naya Paisa (Indian cent/penny) from Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust or any institution associated with it in my ENTIRE LIFETIME. Further, nobody is paying me anything for the social media writings that I do including my criticism (and sometimes praise) of Muddenhalli group. By the kind Grace of the Lord, I lead a simple ceiling-on-material-desires life and so my savings from my international software industry career days have been enough for my limited needs ever since I retired from my commerical software career in Aug. 2002. So this charge of Mervyn Hughes that I am paid for my social media writings that are critical of Muddenahalli group is completely false.
 ==================================================
An update:
Rajen Rajen wrote:
Did you ever think of taking legal action against the drohis stated above bro Ravi S. Iyer?
Mervyn Hughes what duo u mean Ravi as a lab assisstant and that he's being paid by CT to do the things you allege...u hv any proof or can u pls make some sense of it??
 ---
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Bro. Rajen Rajen: If the institution was named SashidharaPrasad-NarenRamji-VChandrasekaran Institute of Higher Learning by now I would have pursued all legal avenues open to me under Indian law, even going up to the Indian Supreme Court, if needed, to get justice and teach these fellows some Sathya and Dharma.

However, the institution is named Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. It carries the name of my beloved Gurudev, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who gave me far, far more than I could ever dream that he would give me, in terms of spiritual education and spiritual Love that he gave me. And that too without ever charging me one single Naya paisa (Indian cent/penny). I do not want His beloved institution to get involved in an Indian court case and so have swallowed the humiliation that was heaped on me by Sashidhara Prasad, Sudhir Bhaskar, Naren Ramji and V. Chandrasekaran.
Sharing these matters on social media, however, has given me some relief as I have been able to tell people the truth about these matters. Thanks.
 ----
Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Brother Rajen Rajen: Thank you so much for challenging Mervyn Hughes for evidence to back his vicious allegations against me.
 ----
================================================

On Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915,

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 12th June 2016 in response to part of a comment, "But he is only against the few who betrayed him...not against d whole Uni.":
Repeating my inner-level comment(s) at this outer-level for more visibility:
Rajen Rajen: Is the first he a reference to me (in response to a comment I cannot see as I have blocked some guys)?

If so, then I am being LOYAL to the founder-chancellor of the Sai university, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, by exposing those administrators who failed him by following Asathya & Adharma. Mind you, Sathyam Vada Dharmam Chara is the motto of the Sai university. My whistleblowing efforts in this regard are bound to attract criticism in the near term from some quarters (as is the case with most whistleblowers). But over time it is this whistleblowing that may (hopefully) CORRECT practices and culture in the Sai university and bring it back on the path of Sathya & Dharma. That is one of my main goals in this whistleblowing activity of mine wrt Sai university. .... Let the truth be shared by Sai unversity administrators THEMSELVES through an OPEN CONFESSION STATEMENT with the Sai fraternity about what happened in the upper echelons of the Sai university from Jul. 2011 to Nov. 2014 when Sashidhara Prasad was vice-chancellor and Narasimhamurthy, the founder-leader of Muddenahalli group, exerted ENORMOUS influence over Sashidhara Prasad and so over the Sai university, and when the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust's influence over the Sai university was marginalized by Sashidhara Prasad, even though it was the mother trust meeting all expenses of the Sai university including salaries of staff.
===================================================

On Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915,

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 14th June 2016:
If we do not assess claims made by others then we will have to believe each and everyone who says anything and everything! We will then have to believe all the claimed mediums and communicators of Bhagavan, and even go against Bhagavan's own teachings. I think quotes of being non-judgemental are inappropriate in this context. Bhagavan has placed value on use of discriminatory power to distinguish between good and bad, truth and falsehood. .... Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claims and speeches have been analyzed and found to be inconsistent with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's discourses! I am SHOCKED at Muddenahalli Group trying to suppress open expression of these findings related to Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claims. If they don't want to read such stuff they can simply stay away from Facebook posts where such matters are discussed, and confine themselves to Muddenahalli group Facebook world. They come onto brother Rajen Rajen's Facebook post and ask us to stop criticizing Madhusudan Rao Naidu!!! What arrogance!
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 14th June 2016:
I think Mr. Vr Ganti put it very well in his comment above, "If only BNNM accompanies by Madhu goes over to PN and prove convincingly and conclusively that it is indeed Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba who is communicating with the Self Appointed Chosen Communicator, there would be no arguments and disputes. Then we would all be together - isn't it?" ... Ravi: The fact that so called subtle body and it's so called communicator have not been able to prove its claims to PN heads shows that they are not related to Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, even if they managed to convince Shri Indulal Shah sir. I mean, IS is only one among many top people of PN system. No other top PN person, as far as I know, has endorsed this so called subtle body and the so called communicator matter even though over five years have passed since Mahasamadhi. That itself should be enough to show that MDH so called subtle body is not Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. .... Madhusudan Rao Naidu may be having some powers perhaps via some spirit (which is not Sri Sathya Sai Baba's spirit) communicating with him that reveals some confidential information about people including their confidential interactions with physical form Swami. That is a siddhi power which should not be confused with belief in the very extraordinary claims that Madhusidan Rao Naidu is making.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 14th June 2016 in response to part of comment, "Ravi brother, You will be surprised in the coming times when you actually come to know the people who currently believe in this even at PN." :
Well, brother VijaySai B.S., let me clarify who I mean by top people of PN. I mean all the trustees of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust excluding Shri Indulal Shah. I mean Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju and Prof. G. Venkataraman who are viewed as top thought-leaders of PN. I am sure you are not counting any of these persons as hidden Muddenhalli group supporters. Or are you???

About people at lower levels from SSSCT trustees, I am aware that some senior functionaries as well as some lower level staff including some alumni-staff have had leanings towards Muddenahalli group in the past. If they still have such leanings I am sure SSSCT trustees would be glad if such people openly state their beliefs, and pleasantly part ways with PN.

How wonderful it would have been if the people who recently had to go through some turmoil in this regard, had honourably stated their beliefs and pleasantly parted ways with PN! I know of efforts made by some of them to re-enter PN system but PN system is not relenting, I am told! How hard it would be on such persons! ... I had hoped MDH group would give employment to the two junior persons - that has not happened, it seems. Tragic!

Sathyam Vada Dharmam Chara is what Bhagavan taught. Why don't the other people who are in PN system with MDH beliefs, HONOURABLY state their belief and part ways HONOURABLY???
Let me say that in this matter I appreciate Prof. G.V. Prabhakar Rao's openness and honesty. Why don't the others follow his example?
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 14th June 2016:
In response to comment, "I am not sure if Sai devotees living outside India have heard about Ravi S Iyer or VR Ganti before "...: Well, prior to Mahasamadhi and even today I am a low profile guy. It just so happens that sometime in early 2015 I became active on Facebook wrt MDH belief claims. I am not an important guy - just another Sai devotee with lots of flaws but who shares his views openly on some matters.

But Sai devotees can listen to Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju, Prof. G. Venkataraman, Sri V. Srinivasan, Dr. Narendranath Reddy, Sri K. Chakravarthy, Sri Satyajit Salian - all of these people were very well known to Sai devotees internationally for many years before Mahasamadhi and are well known even now - about their views on Muddenahalli group belief matter. They have publicly stated that they do not believe in those claims.
----

Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 15th June 2016 (slightly edited):
--Name-snipped--, I do not want to disturb your faith in Madhusudan Rao Naidu's claims by pointing out to you, the inconsistencies between his speeches and Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's discourses, which I have documented quite extensively on my blog (and on Facebook). Thanks. All the best to you in your spiritual journey. Jai Sairam!
----

In Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/shubha.kumar/posts/10156841811365538,
Ravi S. Iyer wrote on 23rd June 2016:
The physical departure of Lord Krishna was traumatic for the Pandavas and Mother Kunti (who gave up her body on hearing the news, if I recall correctly). ... In hindsight, it is not surprising at all that the trauma of physical absence of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, made mediums and communicators and dream-instructions persons a powerful draw to some devotees. The vacuum left behind was ENORMOUS as Bhagavan was involved in most top level decisions of Prasanthi Nilayam and managed institutions & movement. That vacuum resulted in many people taking on new roles, most with noble intentions I think, to try to fill the vacuum. Unfortunately there were too many who wanted to be generals :-(, instead of soldiers, with the result that the movement splintered off in a few ways with mediums & communicators and dream-instructions people claiming divine instructions from Swami for the mission!!! Part of the Avatar story, I guess. like the reactions of the Pandavas to Krishna's physical passing away is an important part of Krishna avatar story.
---

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Most faculty of Prasanthi Nilayam and Muddenahalli campuses of Sai university DO NOT interact NOW with Madhusudan Rao Naidu

Given below is one of my comments (slightly edited) on brother Rajen Rajen's Facebook post, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915 :

In comments of his on this post, bro. VijaySai B.S. says (extracts of his comments), "Some of them had then believed and then decided not to believe. Others secretly believe but because they know that PN work is also given by Swami, they take the official stand. A few others pass on communication through many of us to Swami. Many directly call Madhu and talk to Him. For Swami, Parthi is His head office and has asked people to continue their service without breaking the rules. I am personally in touch with about 30 people and I know that 20 of them wholeheartedly believe in Swami's subtle form at Muddenahalli and I have passed on Swami's messages to a few and others directly take messages from Him through Madhu."

AND

"These are only people I am in touch with. There are people that many other friends of mine and alumni brothers of mine are in touch with. I love PN and all the institutions there. I wish them well. I know how much the staff there are dedicated to Swami's mission. I know what would happen to the institutions if people whom Swami had appointed and who toil night and day just for Him are missing."

Ravi: The above comment extracts of brother Vijaysai B.S. give an impression as if Prasanthi Nilayam institutions have lots of staff and alumni-staff who are CURRENTLY in touch with Madhusudhan Rao Naidu either directly or indirectly through people like VijaySai B.S., and take messages from so called Muddenahalli subtle body!!!

I don't how much credence one should lend to such statements. But, if true, then this is a matter of serious concern to PN.

As Bhagavan by His Grace gave me an opportunity to serve Him in the Sai university from Jan. 2003 onwards as a teacher (free service with designations of Hon. Staff/Hon. Faculty/Visiting Faculty), I consider it my duty to Bhagavan to respond to the comment extracts I have given above, in the context of the Sai university/SSSIHL. If the words come across as harsh to some I request their kind indulgence.

I quit Sai university in March 2012 after I was disgusted with the dual loyalty of then vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad, who believed in Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy's supposed Swami dream instructions, even when the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, the mother organization for the Sai university did not. Sashidhara Prasad behaved in a GROSSLY UNETHICAL manner by continuing to occupy the very powerful chair of vice-chancellor of Sai university following supposed Swami dream instructions of Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy and opposing Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust which was meeting all expenses of SSSIHL including salaries of staff.

I have to say here that the manner in which Sashidhara Prasad forced Central Trust to pay sixth pay commission salaries to SSSIHL staff in Jul/Aug. 2011 was completely UNSPIRITUAL. He threatened to resign unless the BIG sixth pay commission hike was implemented!!! This, at a time, when Central Trust & Prasanthi Nilayam were on the ropes, with media banging it left, right & centre, and donations having dried up completely!!! In my considered opinion, if Bhagavan was truly giving dream instructions to Shri Narasimhamurthy then, he would have asked Sashidhara Prasad to leave. Just imagine anybody telling Swami that Swami if you don't implement pay hike, I will resign!!! And then imagine Swami's reaction!!!!

Veterans of the Sai university who had served Swami for decades like Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju and Prof. Krupanidhi were brutally mistreated resulting in them parting ways with the Sai university. As I saw all this going on, and experienced how Sashidhara Prasad had DIRECTLY and BRUTALLY ordered me effectively to not associate with Bhagavan's pet project of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini, and instead BLINDLY follow HOD instructions (HOD of my dept., DMACS - Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science, was ignorant about software development and was dead against me & students associating with Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vahini), I felt deeply uncomfortable about the MISMANAGEMENT of the Sai university, and quit the university in disgust in March 2012. [There was a foolish interaction with the Registrar who said I was Seva Dal and that he had given me the letter of Visiting Faculty designation just like that. But that was a minor issue. I mean, he was just Registrar who essentially is like a records bookkeeper in a university and who follows orders of vice-chancellor and other top bosses. The main problem was vice-chancellor Sashidhara Prasad who seemed to have become a mindless tyrant then seemingly due to the influence that Shri B.N. Narasimhamurthy had got over him.]

Nov. 2014 was the blessed month when Sashidhara Prasad stepped down as vice-chancellor of Sai university. Now for one and a half years, the Sai university has Prof. K.B.R. Varma as the vice-chancellor. As far as I know, vice-chancellor Varma does not have any interaction whatsoever with Muddenahalli group.

From VijaySai's comments above, the concern that I have is whether there are Sai university staff today who still communicate with Madhusudan Rao Naidu directly or indirectly. Now Sai university is not an ordinary deemed UGC university. It is Bhagavan's DIVINE university. I have personally interacted with few Sai university Prasanthi Nilayam and Muddenahalli campus faculty including alumni-faculty over the past few months and past year, and have got the impression that most CURRENT Sai university Prasanthi Nilayam and Muddenahalli campus faculty do NOT have any belief CURRENTLY (they may have had in the past when Sashidhara Prasad was vice-chancellor) in Madhusudan Rao Naidu and Shri Narasimhamurthy's claims. [Note that Muddenahalli campus of Sai university is completely different from the Loka Seva Trust and Saraswathi educational trust educational institutions of Muddenahalli group.]

However, I do not know what the situation is in Brindavan and Anantapur campuses of Sai university in regard to faculty having belief in Muddenahalli group claims.

If there are some faculty of Sai university who believe in Muddenahalli group claims then I think THEY MUST follow their belief and join Muddenahalli group. I assure readers that there will be only a few, if any, such faculty in Prasanthi Nilayam and Muddenahalli campuses of Sai university today and that such faculty leaving Sai university and joining Muddenahalli group will not create big problems for the Sai university. But, I repeat, I do not know the situation in Brindavan and Anantapur campuses.

If brother VijaySai B.S.'s comments are giving an impression to readers that Prasanthi Nilayam or Muddenahalli campuses of the Sai university have lots of faculty who CURRENTLY take messages, directly or indirectly, from Madhusudan Rao Naidu, then I think that is a WRONG IMPRESSION.

Monday, June 6, 2016

My personal experiences & views about Sathya Sai preparing devotees for post-Mahasamadhi phase

I have given below a comment of mine (slightly edited) made in the Facebook post of brother Rajen Rajen, https://www.facebook.com/kpuvirajan/posts/10208454960884915 [Readers interested in this topic may find the Facebook post and other comments there to be interesting]:

I would like to add my personal experiences & views in regard to the last few years of Swami's physical sojourn on earth. I don't clearly recall the year this happened but it surely was after 2003, and perhaps sometime between 2005 and 2009.

In a discourse in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam, when I was seated in Sai Kulwant Hall, I heard Swami say that from that day onwards nobody should take Padanamaskar of his. If I recall correctly, he said something on the lines of all of us being God and so it is not right for God to take Padanamaskar of God!

Now from an Advaita THEORY point of view, I got his message all right. But what a vast gulf there was between most/all of us devotees (including me, surely) and Swami, in terms of our real spiritual experience and wisdom!!! It seemed so fitting, due to the vast gulf between most/all of us devotees and Swami, that we devotees reverentially pay our obeisance to him by touching his feet (Padanamaskar) and thereby get blessing from physical contact with his holy body. Swami granting Padanamaskar to a devotee was viewed as a great blessing. Some would be very happy for that lucky devotee and even congratulate him/her, and, I have to say, some would be very envious of that devotee too. Such was life with physical form Swami and devotees around him! Envy or jealousy (Asuya in Telugu which Swami would refer to, at times, in his discourses) was always lurking in the background in PN ashram system life, and could suddenly pop up into the foreground from even completely unexpected quarters. Truly blessed were those in PN who were somehow free of this human flaw of jealousy.

And now Swami was INSTRUCTING us not to take his Padanamaskar from then on!!! For me, this was a very big matter. Later I realized that some other devotees seemed to have heard such instructions from Swami in earlier years and so perhaps it was not so big a deal for them. As I viewed myself as a spiritual aspirant (with many flaws) and Swami as my Gurudev, I decided that I should try hard to follow this instruction from Swami which was very clearly and very unambiguously delivered in a public discourse in Sai Kulwant Hall. From that day onwards I tried to dismiss the thought of taking Padanamaskar of Swami. [In the 1990s I came as Seva Dal from Maharashtra for Prasanthi Seva. Swami would bless us after our Seva Dal stint by walking between lines of Seva Dal. I have had the blessing of reverentially touching his feet (taking Padanamaskar) then.]

But most people continued to take Padanamaskar of Swami even after those instructions were given by Swami! I got swayed a little by that but then I decided that I should try to follow Swami's instructions even if some others continued to take Padanamaskar.

Now in mid-2016, over five years after Swami's Mahasamadhi, as I look back on those instructions of Swami, I think Swami was trying to prepare devotees to become more self-reliant in matters of spirituality. Perhaps Swami knew that he was going to give up the body in a few years time and also knew that the immediate post-Mahasamadhi years would be traumatic for devotees. So he was trying to wean devotees away from dependence on Swami's physical form, and instead seek Swami within himself/herself.

I think Swami would have known that after Mahasamadhi there would be others who would claim to be so called chosen successors/mediums/communicators of his, and that devotees may get attracted to such claims (as some devotees were getting attracted to such claims even when Swami was in physical form). So he wanted to increase self-reliance in spiritual matters by weaning devotees away from his physical form a few years before he gave up his body.

If I recall correctly, during the last few years before Mahasamadhi, when old students (alumni of Sai educational institutions) would seek Swami's permission & blessings for some Seva projects of theirs, Swami would comment that good work does not require his permission. And that His blessings are always there for good work. At that time, these comments did not seem very significant to me. Now I think they were another sign of preparing the Sai devotee community including the old students/alumni community, for the post-Mahasamadhi phase.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Appreciate and support FIRM STAND taken by SSSCT in regard to PN staff visiting Muddenahalli Group

Last updated on 5th June 2016

I felt it appropriate to mention that I appreciate and support the FIRM stand that the trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), Prasanthi Nilayam (PN), have taken in regard to PN institution staff visiting Muddenahalli group. It would have been very painful for the top functionaries of PN to have taken the FIRM stand in line with Sathya & Dharma, with the concerned staff. But I think it had to be done to ensure discipline in this serious divisive matter of Muddenahalli group which is impacting the Sathya Sai movement worldwide. PN being the birthplace, and in some sense, the headquarters, of the worldwide (official) Sathya Sai movement, has to take the lead in this matter.

I also wish these PN institution staff who have belief in Muddenahalli group claims and visited Muddenahalli group recently, all the very best. I pray to Bhagavan to show them the way where they can continue their journey with Sai and also openly and happily associate with Muddenahalli group without breaking any employer/associated institution rules.

I am given to understand that one of the concerned staff, a junior, is a former student of mine (I taught him software lab. courses in Prasanthi Nilayam campus, Sai university/SSSIHL). As one of his teachers, I particularly pray to Bhagavan to show him the right way forward in his journey with Sai, and help him overcome any difficulties he may face in the near future.

I would like to end this short post by saying the prayer that our beloved Lord, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, taught us and laid great emphasis on (Samastha Loka, of course, includes Muddenahalli group Sai devotees):

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu [May all the worlds be happy]
Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu
Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi [Om Peace Peace Peace]
----------------------------------------------------------------

A correspondent conveyed this over email:
Three of the teachers against whom strict disciplinary action was taken have taught me in 11th and 12th. I am deeply pained with the incident but support the firm action taken by the Trust. Institutions are more important than individuals, IMHO.
----

Some comments of mine from a Facebook post related to this blog post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1748948071988429, are given below (slightly edited):

In response to a comment which was very critical of MDH camp and also said, "Ravi sir should keep away from pro or sympathetic comments.", I (Ravi) wrote:
--Name-snipped-- sir: I do not agree wtih Muddenahalli group beliefs about so called subtle body & so called communicator, and have publicly and voluminously expressed my views about that belief being a false belief. Further, I have publicly and clearly stated that those who are associated with Prasanthi Nilayam institutions as paid or free service staff MUST follow instructions of the institution and NOT associate with Muddenahalli group.

However, I do not view Muddenahalli group as an enemy who is to be opposed and criticized at every turn. They have a right to their belief even if my public view is that that belief is a false belief. [A clarification here: I still believe that they can be, perhaps successfully, challenged in an Indian court of law on their unauthorized usage of the name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba for darshan, interviews & discourses of Madhusudan Rao Naidu. However, even if such a legal challenge is mounted and is successful, I think they will be allowed to use a name like Sukshma Baba and maintain a publicly espoused belief of some special connection between Sukshma Baba and Sri Sathya Sai Baba.] I do have cordial relations with some Muddenahalli group Sai devotees.

In this case of disciplinary action against some PN educational institution staff, some of the staff have served Bhagavan's institutions for decades (far more than the time I served in the Sai university) with great dedication, and have had a lot of personal interactions with Bhagavan. They made their big mistake(s) of flouting the STRICT instructions of not associating with Muddenahalli group, and had to face strict disciplinary action. Now that that action has happened, I think we should be noble and wish them all the best for their future.

I think you, sir, seem to have a different view. I think we will have to agree to disagree on this. Thanks.
---

In response to a comment, "Mdh shud be avoided like one avoids poison...", I (Ravi) wrote:
--Name-snipped--: I certainly advise people who ask me for such views, that they should not go to MDH, as there is a danger that they may get trapped into that group by some siddhis that the so called communicator, Madhusudan Rao Naidu seems to have. However, just because somebody goes to MDH I do not view such persons as bad. What is bad in my view is an employee/office bearer of official Sai orgn. or official Sai institution where the instructions are that such persons should not visit MDH, visiting MDH group. That is not being truthful or ethical (i.e. Asathya & Adharma). Such people should quit official Sai orgn. or institution and then happily associate with MDH group.
---

In response to a question directed at me, "Ravi S. Iyer sir, not sure what you are referring to. Can you please clarify what disciplinary action against staff was taken, and who the concerned staff are. Thanks.", I (Ravi) responded as follows:
Dear sir, I am afraid I cannot elaborate. Jai Sairam!
----

In response to another comment, I (Ravi) wrote:
Bro --name-snipped--: My view is that Shri Narasimhamurthy and Madhusudan Rao Naidu may be doing their activities thinking that they are helping in Bhagavan's mission. So my view of them is that they are misguided souls now, who are in turn misguiding others, using the HOLY NAME of Kali Yuga Avatar, Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. In the process, over the past few years, many from Prasanthi Nilayam Sai institutions have come under their sway. Hopefully now those that are in Prasanthi Nilayam institutions including Sai university alumni staff realize that henceforth dual loyalty wrt Muddenahalli group will not be tolerated by Prasanthi Nilayam heads (Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust).

The Sai university, in particular, was heavily under the sway of Muddenahalli group as its former vice-chancellor, Sashidhara Prasad himself came under that sway. He stepped down in Nov. 2014 as vice-chancellor. But I think the negative impact of the Muddenahalli group on the Sai university from Jul 2011 to Nov. 2014 will take some years, perhaps a decade, to overcome. Note that even today in June 2016 you have nobody from the Sai university openly and publicly condemning Muddenahalli group. Same is the case with the official alumni group of the Sai university. I was told by somebody that the official alumni group of the Sai university is deeply divided on this Muddenahalli group matter.

Anyway, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT) has acted decisively and sent a crisp and clear message to employees and even honorary/free service staff associated with SSSCT managed institutions. That is a very welcome development. It will start the process of serious change in mindset in SSSCT institutions' employees/honorary/free service staff wrt Muddenahalli group belief.
----

To the above, one person responded: "this is true".
----

Rajen Rajen commented (slightly edited to fix typos):
If indeed there was a Subtle Body... IT would hv headquartered ITSELF in PN...n not divided devotees.
So, there is no Subtle Body... just BNM's subtle nonsense subtly working on subtly weak minds. Om Sai Ram.
----

Sai Das wrote:
Whatever became of the attempted injunction to prevent MDH from co opting Sai Baba's name?
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
I don't think anybody attempted any legal proceedings towards that effect. I had made the suggestion of doing so via a P.I.L. (Public Interest Litigation) but I was not willing to do it myself due to some limitations that I have.
---

Sai Das wrote:
No devotee attorney to offer that very important seva?? I find that quite shocking actually.
---

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Well, I think the emotional turmoil they would have to undergo due to resistance from MDH group Sai devotees is the main issue. Not the money to sponsor an attorney or any Sai devotee attorney providing pro bono services. Most Sai devotees don't want to get involved in this matter even when it comes to publicly criticizing Muddenahalli group. So you can imagine how few (or none) want to go to the extent of filing a P.I.L. in an Indian court of law. .... They prefer to put the responsibility on the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT). And SSSCT trustees have an unenviable job in such matters - damned if you do; damned if you don't. I would hate to be in their shoes for such matters.
---

In response to a comment question, "Mr.Ravi Iyer sir, it is unfortunate that people are falling in line only when there is strict action. why is that the loyalty to institute and Swami not coming from Heart??",
Ravi S. Iyer wrote (slightly edited): See, it is not that PN people are not loyal to Swami. They are. But some PN staff believe that Swami is now in so called subtle body in Muddenahalli and that Madhusudan Rao Naidu is the so called chosen communicator. In the past they were not willing to follow STRICT instructions from PN authorities (after Nov/Dec 2014) NOT to visit Muddenahalli group (as I guess they felt that they know better than PN authorities).

Only people who have been staff at PN when Swami was in physical form can understand the great vacuum that Swami's physical absence created in PN system after Mahasamadhi in April 2011. That great vacuum and resultant great changes that somewhat NATURALLY happened after Mahasamadhi were terribly traumatic to many staff of PN.

Some left PN and joined MDH. Some left PN system and got into something unconnected to MDH (I am an example of that; I continue to live in outside ashram Puttaparthi but from March 2012 I have no association with any PN institution).

Among those staff who stayed on in PN system, some got swayed by MDH claims especially as it was backed by veteran leaders of Sai movement like Shri Narasimhamurthy and Shri Indulal Shah. The then vice-chancellor of Sai university, Prof. Sashidhara Prasad, backing MDH group till he stepped down in Nov. 2014, created an atmosphere where belief in MDH group was encouraged in the Sai university!!! Those who dared to oppose that belief openly like Prof. Anilkumar Kamaraju were forced to resign!!! I got out (in March 2012) because I was disgusted with what was going on (in PN system).

Now we are in June 2016, a good one and a half years after Sashidhara Prasad stepped down as vice-chancellor in Sai university. Slowly and steadily his negative impact in terms of promotion of MDH belief, is getting reversed. But these things take time.

Some people of PN system still believe in MDH group. But they want to continue to be in PN system (perhaps due to salary and/or other considerations). This is the state of affairs, brother. In such scenarios I think only firm action results in change. SSSCT has done that. Let us hope that now there will be change in mindset (in PN system people who believe in MDH group claims).
---