On 28 October 2000, London Daily Telegraph columnist Mick Brown carried a feature article in the ‘ Telegraph Magazine’ portraying Sri Sathya Sai Baba in the most derogatory terms as a sexual pervert. He cited verbatim statements, which he said, were given to him by certain people in the USA and India. Clarence Fernando who has seen, met and experienced Sai Baba over a period of years has written to Mick Brown voicing his thoughts about Brown’s article and Baba in general. He compares how mankind who crucified Lord Jesus with nails is now trying to crucify a holy messenger of God whose sublime message is “ Love All Serve All”. Following is full test of Fernando’s reply to the Telegraph Magazine Columnist.
Clarence H. Fernando B.Sc(Econ) Lon. “Thistley”
149 Ridge Lane
23 November 00 Watford
Mr. Mick Brown WD17 4SU
1 Canada Square
London E14 5DT
In the Telegraph magazine of 28th October your feature article on Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba portrays him in the most derogatory terms as a sexual pervert and cites the verbatim statements given to you by certain people in the USA and India. These allegations have been levelled at him over a long period but have not been substantiated or established as facts. As you will accept, facts are sacred but comment in terms of speculation is free. People are at liberty to infer doubtfully and malign great personalities with their own axes to grind. Most of the great religious teachers, messengers of God and philosophers have been vilified, ridiculed, and condemned throughout the ages and the tirade against a modern day Avatar or messenger of God is no exception. Jesus Christ was crucified for his beliefs, books have been written devaluing his teachings, a film was produced sometime ago, “ Last Temptation of Christ” which depicted him as a homosexual but today millions revere him and follow his message of peace and harmony and seek his blessings.
Sathya Sai Baba, as you contend does not consider himself as God; it is a belief held by his devotees. According to him there is as divine streak or Godliness in every human being, which needs to be nurtured and drawn out. The analogy here as Sathya Sai Baba has explained, is a cup of water with sugar at the bottom and when you drink it is tasteless but when you stir the water with a spoon, it is syrup. Likewise, the heart is a cup and divinity lies at the bottom. How to stir the sugar and make the syrup is what saints and religious leaders are supposed to know. Dissolving the sugar is the process, which brings out the divinity to the surface. This is possible by destroying one’s ego – the “ I” and “ mine” states of consciousness.
As you yourself has commented allegations of fakery and sleight of hand conjuring tricks have not turned away millions of devotees who visit him in the Ashram in Puttaparthi and Whitefield. However, you qualify your statement by speculating that such a situation is about to change and Swami will fall from grace. This prognosis of yours having had access to former devotees and based on their version of events relating to Sathya Sai Baba is deeply flawed. Number of devotees have increased over the years and is increasing. This development is not as a result of a proselyitisation or dedicated missionary activity. Many devotees who have never visited him or had interviews vouch for his Divine presence when and where God’s praises are sung involving Sathya Sai Baba’s blessings in the acts of devotion. It Sathya Sai Baba wants to travel around the world as some Gurus do he could do so but he prefers to stay in his ashram and his devotees from all over the world visit him. His omnipresence have been felt by devotees and non-devotees who have experienced the smell of vibhuti (holy ash) and have seen holy ash and amrit (form of honey appearing on holy pictures in the shrine rooms of devotees. Devotees who have left Sathya Sai Baba have been disillusioned since he did not grant their requests of material wants-success in business ventures and career prospects. Sathya Sai Baba does not encourage acquisition of material wealth, influence, and power. His key message is to help his devotees to destroy their egos and realise their divinity inherent in them. The emphasis and focus is on service to the community, his saying “ the hands that serve are holier than lips that pray” has sent out a vibrant message, which effectively sums up this holy man’s pristine mission.
Some ex-devotees have unfortunately come under the influence of the Christian backlash against Eastern religions. The recent Papal encyclical “ Dominus Jesus “ has declared that all religions except Catholicism are deflective. The categorical denunciation of great religions flows from the fact that most people in the West have been attracted to Eastern religions as a result the influence of Christianity is waning in most countries.
It is relevant here to cite the incident, which took place in Rome. On his deathbed, Pope Jon XXIII – the most liberal of the Popes of the Roman Papal Curia – is said to have had a vision of a man that would usher in a new golden age of peace and harmony humankind has never known. The late Pope had described the man with brown skin who will wear a distinctive red robe. Similarly the great 16th century seer Nostradamus and American Prophet Edgar Cayce had predicted that a holy man from the East would challenge the major religions of the world as a prelude to a Golden Age. Such developments have shaken the foundations of Christianity, which is already under doctrinal threats from within the clergy some of whom do not believe in the Virgin Birth.
The fact that a Catholic priest, as mentioned in your article, was excommunicated since he wrote a book under the title “ A Catholic Priest meets Sai Baba” is evidence to prove that the Roman Catholic Church is deeply concerned and alarmed of the threat from Eastern religions in undermining its authority.
A key question arising from the contents of your article is why the ex-devotees who furnished you with the damning evidence of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual exploits, did not raise those issues as and when such incidents tool place without waiting for years to reveal them.
The reason why some ex-devotees in India have left him is Sathya Sai Baba’s attacks on the rigid caste system in India. His enlightened declaration “ There is only one caste which is the caste of humanity “ has impressed many. Such a robust statement pregnant with meaning has exposed its apologists as bigots who have no place in the Sai family. Gandhi the apostle of peace and harmony called the harijans and dalits who belong to the lowest castes as children of God and Sathya Sai Baba has endorsed and reinforced that message, hence the vendetta against the holy man.
Uri Geller the world famous magician and psychic in an article in the London Times of 23 June 1999 (copy enclosed) states that rumours of Sathya Sai Baba’s fakery have never been proven and many thousands have seen wonders that would defeat the best conjurors. He adds that if someone wants to see for himself/herself before they can believe the only sure way may be a flight to his Ashram in Puttaparthy. The observation coming from an eminent psychic cannot be ignored and given food for thought
It is interesting to note Dr. Bhatia’s answer, as quoted in your article, where he confirmed that he still believes that Sri Sathya Sai Baba is God despite what he disclosed to you in an unfavourable light about Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Also, as quoted in your article, Jeff Young, who made damning allegations against Sathya Sai Baba confesses that having followed Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings over 23 years have made him a humble, honest and a kind human being.
In the footnote to your article it is stated that the full names of the critics are not disclosed if such people have the courage of their conviction why shelter behind fictitious names and not be more forthcoming? Information gleaned from such people is not worth of belief.
Since you may wish delve further into the spiritual world of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, I would very kindly refer you to a book with the title Modern Miracles by Erlendur Haroldson PhD. Professor of Psychology at the University of Iceland. It is an investigative report on the psychic phenomenon associated with Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Please find enclosed a copy of an article which appeared in the British Medical Journal (Volume 321 – 2nd September 2000) which my may find interesting.
Having witnessed and experienced events over a long period of time true devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba have no time or the need to listen to the orchestrated campaign of maligning and vilification against a holy man loved by millions of devotees. They very mankind who crucified Lord Jesus with nails is now trying to crucify a holy messenger of God whose sublime message is “ Love All Serve All”.
Sgd. Clarence H. Fernando