INDIAN PRESIDENT KALAM ATTENDS 81st BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION OF SATHYA SAI BABA
12 Dec 2006 21:55 GMT
The 81st birthday celebrations of Sathya Sai Baba, attended by the President of India, sent a strong problematical message about the unquestioning condoning of the developer of nuclear weaponry by this self-styled avatar of peace, love and non-violence. Reports in the press vary enormously as to the number of adherents of Sathya Sai Baba, from 8 million to 100 million. This alone raises questions about the credibility of the propaganda persistently circulated (always only 100% positive) about Sathya Sai Baba, his words and actions.
Moreover, his birthday as recorded officially from his schooling documentation is some three years different to what he claims, and the day is not the same either.
Much of made of the 'millions' supposedly attending his birthday celebrations, when the utmost capacity of the venue where they are held is probably less that half a million.
Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi once again gave the go-ahead for a massive and costly celebration of his own alleged 81'st Birthday. Now that reports are in [however reliable or not], one may reflect over their implications for India's militarism.
Sathya Sai Baba's and President A.P. J. Kalam
The guest of honour at Sai Baba's birthday was the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, a Muslim scientist whose fame rests on his having developed the delivery vehicles for India's atomic weapons. This sends a strong message reinforcing the support of India's most influential guru for nuclear weapons. Considering that the motto of Sai Baba is "Love all, Serve All", this mutual support surely strikes a discordant nationalistic and pro-nuclear note. Sathya Sai Baba - repeatedly claiming to be divinely omniscient - now thus condones India's nuclear arsenal and its developers, though he formerly often stated that India needs no nuclear weapons and that those countries which have them will suffer the dire consequences. (see full documentation).
For decades, Sathya Sai Baba has publicly deplored the manufacture of atomic weapons and reproved those who speak of peace but keep nuclear weapons as "moral dwarves". He has also stated that the atom bomb recoils on the nations which rely on it and that it cannot protect Indian culture, but can only be protected by dharma. Despite this, he befriended for many years the man who was known as 'the father of India's atom bomb', Dr. S. Bhagavantam. Later he supported the government of Vajpayee, which revelled in the explosion of a nuclear device, and even in 2006 he invited the man who developed the first rocket delivery vehicle for nuclear weapons, India's President, A.J.P. Kalam.
"Non-violence" and India's overburdening militarism
One can but compare his consistent and outspoken support of these 'moral dwarves' with his advertised maxims like "Help Ever, Hurt Never', 'Serve All, Love All'? What happened to Sathya Sai's much-touted 'human value' of non-violence (ahimsa), in this ever more militaristic State? "Why Fear When I Am Here" when India increases its defence budget by leaps and bounds (28% in 2003, 17% in 2004 and 10% in 2005) to ca. 830 billion rupees ($19 billion) in 2005.
The New York Times published a misleading article in 2002 reporting on Sai Baba entitled 'A Friend to All the World'. Yet he supports the Indian government, whose Prime Minister is a long-standing devotee of his (as have several former Prime Ministers been) and he never criticises their nuclear projects, which commentators agree, of course, are directed both against Pakistan and China as a deterrent.
Was Sathya Sai Baba really born on 23 November 1926? Or on October 4, 1929. We either must take his word for it, or go to the records of the administration of the time (under British jurisdiction click here). The latter is unequivocal - Sathya Sai Baba's birth date is registered as October 4, 1929. This makes him some years short of 80 years of age! This is not the only date that he has evidently falsified (click here).
What is the true number of 'followers' of Sathya Sai Baba?
The on-line encyclopaedia Wikipedia states that "The number of Sathya Sai Baba adherents is estimated between 6 million and 100 million"! What a tremendous range of "estimates", or rather unfounded guesses. It is surprising is how not even elementary journalistic research can have been done about this.
The Indian Media, including CNN-IBN, forwarded two entirely different estimates - His devotees number, some say, 6 - 10 million", but also in another report presented a devotee stating "He has around 100 million followers" [and that there were "millions" at the recent 81st birthday celebration]. Compare this with the recent report in The Guardian of November 4, 2006, which noted "an estimated 30 million followers worldwide". Years ago - in 2000 - the U.K. Telegraph published an article ['Divine Downfall', 28/10/2000] stating "estimated at up to 50 million" The BBC's documentary film about Sathya Sai Baba ['The Secret Swami' click here] opted for "an estimated thirty million devotees spread across the world".
The only available near-empirical study of this issue is found on the third party website which attempts quantifications of various sect and cult followings, Adherents.com, which arrives at the figure ten million worldwide. Otherwise, it's evidently a case of "Think of a number..."
How many people can Puttaparthi handle?
The numbers of those who actually attended his various birthday celebrations varies greatly according to whether one takes his own word for it, or that of experts like the former Prashanthi Nilayam ashram engineer, Mr. Ashoka, who told a Norwegian engineer (whom I knew well and who was planning an ashram water project) that he calculated that, at any one time, the entire accommodation facilities of the ashram and Puttaparthi in (1995) were less than 50,000 persons. About 250,000 maximum can occupy the Hillview Stadium, where the entire crowd was present at the main ceremony. Since then a number of tiers of seats has been added around more of the stadium, but the total number it could hold when jam-packed would still be well less that half a million.
Sadly, good people are deeply deceived by Indian swamis and other cult gurus Sathya Sai Baba is exceptional in that he knows better than most how to prey on and exploit the good feelings and ideals of decent people, while giving back nothing but words, 'smiling blessings', bogus 'materialisations' and other empty promises. The thousands around the world who work selflessly for the Sai organisation have doubtless nothing but the best of intentions, but they are sadly deceived on a huge scale and cannot - unless by chance or by being very determined - see through it all. The 'diamonds' they thought Sai Baba had 'materialised' turn out to be cheap synthetic stones, and there are countless failed promises of cures and other benefits. The veil is carefully drawn around them by a concerted cover-up of widely-testified rampant paedophilia, complicity in murders of devotees (in 1993), financial extortion though deceit, misinformation and countless half-truths. Besides the Sathya Sai Organisation other movements and personality cults based in India which preach all kinds of good precepts and do all manner of social work have had many millions of followers, which also collect vast donations and are not properly accountable for the money (eg. Sai-Baba imitators like Bala Sai Baba etc. Much of the money donated to Sai Baba is wasted on futile projects (like huge indoor stadia, showpiece museums to promote him, costly conferences and recruiting drives in the plushest of venues, and more or less non-fuctioning water projects and doubtful, totally unaccountable private hospitals for VIPs, devotees, and some villagers. This is no guarantee of the truth or purity of their guru or the leaders appointed by him. There is much evidence - documented and testified - freely available on the internet that this applies all too widely in the Sathya Sai Organisation.