Loving Sai Ram and greetings from Prashanti Nilayam. Last week, we commented upon Sathya Sai Baba‘s Hospitals and what a mighty contrast they offer to most of the other hospitals in India. Yet, very few people know about the wonders that Sathya Sai Baba’s Hospitals are. Such ignorance about Sathya Sai Baba and His glorious missions is widespread, and to make our point, this week we shall start with a quote from a well-known social activist and a self-confessed rationalist. This is what he wrote recently in leading national daily. The article was all about what the writer calls ‘godmen’, and in a thinly veiled reference to Satya Sai Baba, the writer says:
At the top of this is a godman, who counts ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers among his disciples. The cabal running his trust boasts of top-level IAS officers (retired but active). It has former Directors-General of Police too. Rather ugly charges been brought in foreign courts against their leader. But media scrutiny of it all is weak.
Actually, the writer starts off on a real nasty note but we have refrained from quoting that obnoxious sentence in order to spare anguish and pain to you, our dear Subscriber.
The world, as we all know, is a mixture of good and bad; this is unavoidable since the world, as Swami often reminds us, is a mere reflection of our inside. If good and evil co-exist outside, it is because good and evil co-exist inside. Swami’s Spiritual Mission, which this writer contemptuously dismisses, as a unit of ‘massive spiritual industry’, is really an attempt to help man to sort out himself and to transform internally, so that Society as a whole changes for the better. Before we come to the philosophical aspects, we would like to raise a few practical points.
The writer in question is critical of Sathya Sai Baba. There are of courses, Gurus and Gurus; some who are well meaning and do a lot of good to Society, each in their own way, and others who are charlatans and hoodwink Society in order to make a fast buck. Just because there are many quacks, can one damn the entire medical profession? Recently, it was discovered that a certain group of scientists had faked results and published a paper with supposedly epoch making results. Later the fraud was discovered, and the scientists concerned had to suffer public humiliation. Now just because there are the occasional frauds, is it fair to damn all scientists everywhere? Yet, our rationalist friends are quick to damn those they despise, without even bothering to look at the facts.
Just consider the case of the writer whom we have quoted. He is unhappy because Indian Media generally glorify Gurus and do not critically examine and expose; and in this broad-brush attack, he includes Sathya Sai Baba also. This seems to indicate that the writer has already judged and sentenced; only, he wants the Media to proclaim to the world, his verdict. Is this being rational and objective? Has the writer in question made any effort to know anything at all about Swami’s Hospitals that we wrote about last week? Dr. Hegde, Senior Neuro-Surgeon in the Bangalore Super Speciality Hospital, came there after many years of experience elsewhere and an enviable professional reputation as well as a distinguished track record. With all his credentials, Dr. Hegde can command any salary he wants in any commercial hospital. Yet, he has chosen to willingly forgo all that and work in Sathya Sai Baba’s Hospital. Do you know why? Because here, he can serve the poorest of the poor, as he himself has openly declared. If this is a part of Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘industry’, pray what is wrong with it?
Leave aside the Hospitals, wonders though they are. Let us turn to what Swami has done by way of providing safe drinking water to millions. Is this writer who is so quick to damn and quote so-called court cases abroad, aware that how much Swami has done to bring safe drinking water to thirsty people, especially in villages? Here are some statistics: Swami’s Trust spent $70 million for the Anantapur Water Project alone. About $180 million is the total amount of money spent by Baba’s Trusts in all Water Projects. Not only that; the entire water works was gifted away to the people of Andhra Pradesh. Sathya Sai Baba did not take one cent. Speaking on that occasion, Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh said that Swami, out of compassion for poor villagers, had done what the Central and the State Governments ought to have.
The Anantapur project was just the beginning, and since then Swami has done many others; we will not tax you with details here; they can be easily found in Heart 2 Heart. We would just like to make a few simple points:
- In about a decade, Sathya Sai Baba’s drinking water projects have enabled about ten million people in various places, including about 7.5 million in Madras/Chennai, to get safe drinking water.
- Sathya Sai Baba’s Trust has spent about $180 millions for all this, but the Trust has not collected one single cent in return. For Sathya Sai Baba, the fact that He made millions happy was enough.
Take the dimension of Seva, which goes on non-stop from Fiji to Peru and everywhere in between. Few have any idea of how much Seva, devotees of Sathya Sai Baba quietly do all the time. The writer in question has made sarcastic comments about a certain godman who went to visit the tsunami relief sites but beat a hasty retreat along with his huge retinue of cars, when he heard a rumour that another tsunami was on the way. Does this writer know that when corpses in their hundreds lay scattered all across the beaches of South India and when the members of the Civil Administration and the Police refused to pick them up and remove them, it was Sathya Sai Baba’s Seva Dals who took tetanus shots and dared to remove them? In fact, Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees rushed to help not only in India but also in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. All this is well documented in a special issue of Heart 2 Heart, in great detail we might add.
Rationalists live trapped in the world of the ‘Head’ because for them anything beyond is irrational. Yet, in the State of West Bengal, ruled by ‘Left-led rationalist movement’ as our writer describes them, when there is dirty work to be done, who is it that is called? Sathya Sai Baba’s Seva Dals. Just to give an example, every year at the festival of Ganga Sagar, which occurs in mid-January, a million pilgrims come for a holy dip to the spot where Ganges merges with the sea. On that occasion, large stretches of the beach become toilets; and who cleans the beach? Sathya Sai Baba’s Seva Dals! The list goes on.
Objectively speaking, God-denying rationalists are more to be pitied than censured. For instance, the writer whose remarks have triggered this ‘Sunday Special’ is personally a committed social activist helping with many humanitarian causes. That he feels for the suffering of the poor cannot be denied. The tragedy, however, is that ‘rationalists,’ do not readily accept that qualities like Love, compassion, forbearance etc., are Divine in origin and flow from the Heart.
If we analyse carefully, most of the problems that humanity faces today are caused by the ‘Head’. And most of the time, experts try to produce solutions for these problems from that very same ‘Head’! That sort of approach can never work, when the problems are created by envy, jealousy, hatred etc. Problems produced by the evil tendencies lurking within humans can be solved only by the Heart.
Rationalists, trapped as they are in world of the ‘Head’, and refusing as they do to look at the dimensions beyond, are like the people who believe in the Flat Earth hypothesis. We can certainly pretend the earth is flat on scales like a football field and may be on slightly larger scales too. But on the scale of the solar system, the earth is certainly not flat.
God is for all, and everyone needs Spirituality, whether our writer accepts it or not. Thus, one must not complain if so-called VIPs come to Sathya Sai Baba; so do millions of others, all the way from a cook in Montana to a school-teacher from New Zealand. Somehow, the writer seems to focus only on the VIPs and imagine that to be a minus mark for Sathya Sai Baba!
The reason why we raised this topic is because many devotees write to us expressing concern about the innumerable negative comments aired all the time by these so-called rationalists, most of who do not even follow the elementary rule of checking on facts before commenting adversely. They passionately believe in the truth of their assertions because their views are based on those of other ‘rationalists’. Is that being rational? We wonder!
Thank you and Jai Sai Ram.
With Love and Regards,
RadioSai’s e-Journal Team,
In Sai Service.
Filed under: Barry Pittard, Basava Premanand, Former Followers, Guru Cult, Heavy News Insider, Indian Politics, Personality Cult, Robert Priddy, Sai Baba, sathya sai baba | Tagged: Critic, Critics, Faith, God, Gurus, India, Irrational, Manifestations, Materialization, Rationalist, Rationalists, Religion, Skeptic, Skeptics |