The following is my reply to a reply by Ella Evers (an ex-devotee, who never contacted me, just posted her response on an ex-Sai Baba website) to my original essay. Ella's original reply can be found here
[MAK note 19 9 06: Note that since writing this response my position has changed rather radically; the most important motivating factor has been the slanderous behaviour of certain pro-Sai Baba devotees. Full story here. However I have kept this page as is to reflect my position at the time.]
Observations by Ella Evers on an
article by an anonymous devotee
By: Ella Evers
Document date: September 9, 2001
Observations on: http://www.kheper.net/topics/gurus/Sai_Baba.htm
Here are my observations between the lines (in blue) of the article written by anonymous pro sb devotee:I don't know if I could have called myself a "devotee", at the time of writing that article. Maybe previously I was. But i was never - even then - an integral devotee. I now consider myself an integral (i.e. dedicated totally to the path of transformation) devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. I am not anonymous, since my webpages are signed. It is however [possible that I hadn't signed the page in question, or had accidentally deleted my name from the bottom (in upgrading the site)
Many people in the spiritual and religious scenes, as well as mainstream society, feel uncomfortable about Sathya Sai Baba. Indeed, opinions are very polarized regarding the nature of this extraordinary personality. One the one hand there are those who acknowledge him as the avatar of this age, on the minus side those who consider him a con-artist, pedophile, and even worse.
When I went to visit Sai Baba in India around 1982, I came across in a Bangalore bookshop a book, Sai Baba, Lord of the Air, by Tal Brooke. I found this book quite amazing. This fellow Tal was an associate of Timothy Leary and then became a spiritual seeker who visited a number of gurus, including Sai Baba. He claimed that he became close to Sai Baba and that whenever Sai Baba would see him he (Sai) would hug him and thrust his hims against him in a sexual manner. Becoming unnerved by this, Tal met some Christians and became a born again Christian. Terrified, and convinced that Sai Baba was the incarnation of the Christian Devil (as well as a homosexual, these two concepts being not too far removed in the fundamentalist Christian, especially the Televangelist's, mind ;-) and aided by his Christian friends, Tal managed to make escape. He now makes a fine living
Here is what an anonymous Sai disciple has to say regarding Tal Brooke and his books
My own experience of Sai Baba has always been very positive. These included two genuine psychic experiences, once when I was camping at the "Sky to Earth" alternative festival (I think this was in 1984) when I was coming down with a bad cold. I knew once I had a cold I would be screwed, I would be sick as a dog the whole weekend. I prayed desperately to Sai Baba, then I felt his astral presence (it was definitely his aura, that is the sense of a personality that I felt when looking at his picture or reading stuff about him) and his hands grabbed the yuck (the congestion whatever) and took it away
Many people have seen sb on the astral. The astral planes are not necessarily higher planes. The astral planes are definitely not the spiritual planes. My friend D. Brandt has seen sb many times on the astral planes. On one occasion sb asked him for help as he does not know what to do any more...I never said that the Astral is the same as the spiritual! Nevertheless this is where these phenomena occur.
I could sense it on the astral. This was no illusion (in my opinion) and I will swear by it to this day. From that moment on my cold receded and the next day I was better. Since I tend to get very bad headcolds this was unusual, and it has never happened before or since.
About a year later I had another astral experience of Sai Baba which was similar (though not a healing, more a presence) but not as strong I have always found tuning into Sai Baba's energy and mantra strong and positive. There is none of that lower emotional energy that I have felt from, say, the Siddha Yoga people.
I have had a totally different experience. I studied with a siddha yogi. His power was great and very positive.I never met Muktananda, when he lectured here in Melbourne I was just too young to be interested, so I missed out by a year or so. Nevertheless I always have had a good vibe about him. As for his successors, I have met one or two and they are like ordinary people. I was however referring to the Siddha Yoga center where I used to go. I am not saying these people were in any way incinsere. Just that I did not feel any presence there. Maybe it was me, maybe there wasn't any. Who knows? The people who went there regularily must have felt something. However as I point out the way of the Guru requires true sincerity and - even more important - a genuinely enlightened avataric Guru.
Once (this was during the late 1980s) I went from a Sai Baba bhajan group to a Siddha Yoga bhajan group and it was like going from a place of glowing light to muddy energy.
This is a very personal opinion. It is leading somewhere to believe that the anonymous devotee understands siddha yoga, I doubt that. It takes a long time with a siddha Master to have some understanding.It may indeed take a lifetime to master a spiritual path, but if one is sensitive one can feel the subtle energy. Anyway, see my previous comments
I am not knocking the Siddha people, this is what I experienced, and maybe I am biased.
Very biased I would think....Yes, very very biased ;-)
Because I am always more inclined to believe my own personal experiences (which I know at least are subjectively valid) rather than experiences of others, for many many years I was certain Sai Baba constituted a genuine avatar, albeit one with a rather quirky sense of humour that not everyone appreciates.I no longer consider Sai Baba an avatar, although I would call him an incarnation of an affective being. See My current understanding of Sai Baba
I remember watching the Australian national current affairs show 60 Minutes doing a hatched job on Sai Baba (I guess this was the one in 1987 mentioned by ex-devotees), and they were there with Sai Baba - who is this little guy - the reporter a skeptic-type guy showing how sleight-of-hand materializations are done, and Sai Baba is there sort of laughing I guess because they were all so stern and serious and missing the point. (well that is what I thought at the time). I have no love for 60 Minutes by the way; they have consistently taken a very conservative, judgmental, anti-welfare (I.e. the unemployed are "dole bludgers") and anti-environmental line for many many years. This is typical of all these moralizing and pontifical current affairs shows (I agree they serve a purpose in exposing confidence tricksters). Lately at least they have come around to being more pro-environment, which is something of a blessing. But in other respects they haven't changed. So I just thoughtoh here we again, more Sai Baba bashing.
The devotee wants to stay safely on the sb side... after all he believes he is an Avatar.Yes the anonymous devotee wants that, surely *mischevious grin*
By the way a good friend of mine who is also a very spiritual person has the same positive feelings about Sai Baba that I have
Did not we all some time ago. What ABOUT THE VICTIMS, I like to ask here.Where there's smoke their's fire. I'm not certainly denying that people have been hurt! This is tragic, and it seems to go with the territory for all who are devoted to gurus who are not truely avataric Gurus (see comments on Da Free John). However, things are not so simple as the critics believe (or as the believers believe either)
Now a Sai Baba story:
I think it was Moshe Kroy (I'm not sure) who related this to me many years back.
A lady devotee noticed that Sai Baba's hair was showing some grey and she said "Baba you have grey hairs!"
Sai Baba said "hmm, really?" and then swept his hand over his head, removing all trace of grey. Since that time he has shown no sign of aging.
Let me tell you how shocked I was to see how sb had aged when I saw him last year in the spring. I have heard from a good trusted source that he paints his hair black. He however could not hide that his hair is thinning like that of an old man. He had a large bald spot on his head, that I did not see before. He had trouble walking and was stumbling at times... There was nothing youthful about his appearance. Many of his victims of whom sb mentioned that they were weak when they did not have ... (you can fill it in) ... said:" How could they feel anything sexual with such an old man???"Just goes to show... Ultimately it is a lot harder for a guru now than it was in the old days. The internet means that naive claims can be quickly refuted.
He also said that he would remain like this until he was 95, when he would leave his body.
NONSENSE anonymous devotee!I agree now that these kinds of stories are implausible. But this was 20 to 25 years ago, and these ideas were part of the general belief of people who were devotees of Sai Baba. I no longer have any contact with the Sai Baba community (and haven't for many years) so I don't know what the situation is now.
It will be interesting to see if in twenty years time Sai Baba still looks the same as he does now! It will certainly be an interesting piece of evidence in favour of his having extraordinary powers if he does.
Again NONSENSE, see my statements above!Increasingly, many of Sai Baba's stories, leelas, and so on have been exposed as fake (e.g. the claim concerning his birthdate). At the same time there are still many experiences that don't fit within the consensus paradigm the sceptics argue for. I don't have the slightest doubt that Sai Baba has various powers, most of which the physical Sai Baba probably has no control over (hence his resort to sleight of hand). So some of the more extravagant stories Moshe and other devotees would relate really are nonsense. Others, especially involving dreams and certain materialisations, would seem (i feel) genbuine, even though they do not fit the consensus paradigm. One can look at the stories of other gurus and such individuals and find that these sort of stories and events are by no means unique.
Where do I stand now? Well, I still like the energy. I still like this presence I still continue to call "Sai Baba". I feel nothing muddy or dark in it.
This is in my honest opinion ONLY THE EGO talking. The ego that does not want to let go of the dream it dreamed, in which God came to earth to take care of the people and the earth... It is time to wake up from this dream and to realize that to find truth we must go inwards, not to sb, but to the real SELF, which will set us free of the ego.Have another look at my website, then say that! ;-)
Does it come from Sai Baba himself, from my own mind's projection onto Sai Baba, or from another entity who is appearing through Sai Baba's form? I do not know. I still don't think I have done this whole subject justice - there is more to be explained, and I haven't resolved things to my satisfaction. I know that to me and to many other sincere people (including people who can see through fakes) this experience is positive. But I do not wish to ask you to believe that. It is upto you to come to your own conclusions. Ultimately, if the whole Sai Baba experience shows anything, it shows that the only true Guru lies within one's own heart, and that one's own gnosis is the only true teacher.
I completely agree with the last sentence.Finally, agreement! :-) (ok, I agree about Moshe's story of Sai Baba not aging and removing grey from his hair as being rumour rather than fact)
images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?