Sathya Sai Baba movement

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The Sathya Sai Baba movement is inspired by South Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba (1926 or later than 1927 — ) who teaches the unity of all religions. [1][2] Some followers of him have faith in his claim to be a purna avatar (full divine incarnation) of Shiva and Shakti, who is believed to have been predicted in the Bhagavad Gita. [3]This means that some of his followers see him as a God. They are engaged in singing devotional songs called "bhajans" and charity.[4][5] Its official organization is the Sathya Sai Organization. However the Sathya Sai Baba movement extends beyond the organization.[6]An important aspect of the faith of adherents is the miracles attributed to Sathya Sai Baba. [7]The number of adherents is estimated between 6 and 100 million.[8][9][10]

Contents

[edit] Official life story of Sathya Sai Baba and history of the movement

The official biography of Sathya Sai Baba was written by Narayana Kasturi. Additional sources for the official life story are Sathya Sai Baba's discourses.

Sathya Sai Baba was born on 23 November 1926. As a boy Sathya Sai Baba performed many miracles (levitating, materializing fruit, sweets, pencils etc., clairvoyance). When he was around 14 according to he announced that he was a reincarnation of the fakir Sai Baba of Shirdi. In order to prove it he dropped some jasmin flowers which arranged in the words "Sai Baba" in Telugu. He performed spectacular miracles for them such as healings, materializations, making his face appear on the moon and proving his omnipresence. [2] In 1963 he declared to be an incarnation of Shiva and Shakti. In a 1976 interview he claimed to be a full divine avatar. [11]

Sathya Sai Baba gained followers in India since the 1930s.[12] Outside of India, he became only popular since the 1960s and 1970s. [13]The number of Sathya Sai Baba centres in the United Kingdom grew during the period 1970 until 1983 from 2 to 51. [14]

[edit] Practices in the ashrams and the person of Sathya Sai Baba

The popularity and the donations by followers have enabled Sathya Sai Baba and his organizations to build an ever-increasingly big ashram called Prashanthi Nilayam near the once poor and isolated village of Puttaparthi.

Entrance to Puttaparthi, with the old symbol of the Sathya Sai Organization above it
Entrance to Puttaparthi, with the old symbol of the Sathya Sai Organization above it

An important practice in his ashram in Puttaparthi is the darshan (spiritual sight) that Sathya Sai Baba gives. [15] During darshan Sathya Sai Baba walks among his followers. He may listen to a few chosen persons, accept letters, or materialize and distribute vibhuti (sacred ash). He says that his darshan has spiritual benefits for those who attend it. Usually people wait hours to get a good place for darshan. Sathya Sai Baba sometimes invites people for a group interview with him in a room in the ashram 's mandir (Hindu temple). Followers consider it a great privilege to get such an interview. Sometimes a person from this group is invited for a private interview.

Sathya Sai Baba's manifestations of vibuthi empasizes his claim to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba who used to take ash, called udhi, from an ever-burning fire, called dhuni.[16][17]Vibuthi is an ancient Hindu symbol, among others associated with Shiva. [18]

Sathya Sai Baba resides much of the time in his main ashram Prashanthi Nilayam (abode of peace) at Puttaparthi. In the hot summer the guru leaves for his other ashram called Brindavan in Whitefield (sometimes called Kadugodi), a town on the outskirts of Bangalore. He has left India only once for a visit to Eastern Africa in 1968.

He is a prolific orator in his native language of Telugu[19] , and also speaks passable Tamil. He claims to be the Kali Yuga purna avatar (full divine incarnation of this era) of Lord Shiva and Shakti. He says that he is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent and can create matter from mere thought. [20][21] He also stresses he is free from desires. He plays down his claims about being an incarnation of God by saying that everybody is God but that only he realizes and experiences this fully. In correspondence with his perceived divinity, followers often capitalize references to him in their writings ("He", "Him" etcetera).

Sathya Sai Baba has prophesized that he will reincarnate again in this century as Prema Sai Baba to finish the spiritual transformation of the world, starting with India, where his previous and current incarnations have begun.[22] He has said that he will die after he has become 93 years old but there is no official statement for the popular belief among followers that he will die when he is 95 years old (96 according to Indian counting). Sathya Sai Baba stated that his three incarnation will help to usher in the Golden Age of mankind that will come soon. [23]

Sathya Sai Baba said that he performs miracles to attract people and then to transform them spiritually and tells his followers not to focus on his miracles. He can be seen in person to perform these miracles in the form of materializations of small objects, for example jewelry such as bracelets, rings, watches and especially vibhuti (holy ash).[24]. He has said in a 1976 interview that these trinkets have symbolic value and offer the owners protection by reminding them of his protecting powers when in danger.[25]Occasionally, at Maha Shivaratri, he publicly produces lingams that come out of his mouth that devotees claim materialize in his body. [26]He says that he can heal the diseases of his devotees by either his spiritual power or by taking on the disease himself. There is anecdotal evidence that supports this claim. [27]


Babb wrote in a 1983 article that "the miraculous are absolutely central to this religious movement" and that the plausibility of these miracles "seems to pull people into convictions ostensibly at odds with what their own subculture deems to be common sense and considered judgment." He wrote in that article that his observations are based on his contact with the local following of Sathya Sai Baba in Delhi that according to Babb included a sophisticated and cosmopolitan elite. Babb further wrote in that article that the energy of Sathya Sai Baba’s "magic" can have "life-transforming effects on devotees." [28]

Sathya Sai Baba has said that all of his acts have meaning and significance. So many followers interpret the acts and sayings of the guru as teachings, sometimes even as personal teachings. Some followers, especially in the ashram, attribute coincidences to Baba’s will and try to find a sometimes hidden meaning in them. Babb wrote in a 1986 book that followers tend attribute every event to Sathya Sai Baba's will and tend to see the world as an enchanted garden.[29] He says that when a person dreams about him then this is because of his will and this is a form of his communication with people. Followers report dreams that contain messages from the guru to them. Some people became devotees after having such a dream.[30][31][32]

[edit] Teachings

The Sathya Sai Baba movement advocates the unity of all religions.[33] Sathya Sai Baba says that all religions lead to God and that followers should continue to follow their original religions. He says that those who follow his teachings will find themselves exampling their own original faith more fully, i.e. that will make Christians become better Christians and Hindus better Hindus, et cetera. The five basic human values that he advocates are: Truth (Sathya), Right Conduct (Dharma), Peace (Shantih), Love for God and all creatures (Prema), and Non-violence (Ahimsa).

He teaches a rather traditional but eclectic form of Hinduism that come from many sects and movements including advaita, occasionally drawing from other religions like Buddhism, Sikhism, and Christianity. He says that he has come to restore faith in, and the practice of, the Vedas. He says that a very important way a person can emancipate oneself is through self-less service to ones fellow man (seva).

Sathya Sai Baba has repeatedly stresses the importance of sadhana (Hindu spiritual exercises) for example by meditation.[34] He asserts that sadhana is important for achieving moksha (liberation from ignorance and from the endless re-births due to karmic consequences). Sathya Sai Baba teaches the importance of Bhakti yoga (Hindu devotion tho God).

He preaches a strict morality with regards to sensual desires (including food, sex, meat, alcohol). Some of his exhortations are to put a ceiling on desires. By this, he seems to mean that followers should not waste time and money. He teaches that the world is just maya , that only God is real and that the seeming diversity of all life is another illusion. All life is one, he says. The meaning of life is to experience this oneness with God and other living beings.

Followers attribute many miracles to him which they witness in his presence and in their own countries, like spontaneous vibhuti manifestations on the pictures of the guru in their homes, and bilocation, the appearance of Sai Baba in their own presence while he is also in another place. They also report that he has materialized out-of-season fruit several times. He says he performs these miracles to attract people and then to transform them spiritually.

Sathya Sai Baba said that he does not speak through other people in a discourse in 1962.[35] In spite of this, the British author Lucas Ralli claimed that he received messages from Sathya Sai Baba and wrote in his books that his claim was endorsed by Sathya Sai Baba in an interview. His books with messages from Sathya Sai Baba are sold by the Sathya Sai Book Center of America. [36]

The anthropologist Lawrence Babb wrote that he considered the teachings of secondary importance in the cult when compared to the emphasis on the miraculous. [37] Babb further wrote about the Sai doctrine that "[..] there is little relatively to dwell upon, or at least nothing very distinctive. His philosophical views are simplistic, eclectic, and essentially unoriginal." [38]The anthropologist Alexandra Kent notes that this lack of originality is in correspondence with Sathya Sai Baba's claim to revive old truths.[39]The British newspaper the Times described Sathya Sai Baba's teachings in 2001 as "a collection of banal truisms and platitudes."[40]

[edit] Activities in local Sathya Sai Baba groups

Across the globe local Sathya Sai Baba groups assemble to sing bhajans (devotional songs). Baba says that concentration on the name of God with the help of bhajans will easily lead to concentration on God and to bigger devotion. Bhajans are sung on nearly every meeting. Bhajans are simple verses. [41]One line is sung by a lead singer and is then repeated by the rest of the group.[42] In those bhajans the name of traditional Hindu deities have sometimes been replaced by the names of Sathya Sai Baba.[43][44][45] In addition they study Sathya Sai Baba's teachings and the holy books of the various world religions. More obvious to outsiders however is the fact they are often involved in community service that they call seva. The greeting Sai Ram is used by followers. [46]

[edit] Organizations

Official logo of the Sathya Sai Organization
Official logo of the Sathya Sai Organization

All the local Sai Samithis (Sathya Sai Baba groups) are part of a hierarchical structure called the Sathya Sai Organization. As of 2007, the chairman of the organization is the American Michael Goldstein. The logo of the Sathya Sai organization is a stylized lotus flower with the text of the five human values, highly influenced by not only Hinduism but also Jainism and Buddhism, in its petals. This text version has replaced the old logo with the symbols of the 5 or 6 world religions in the petals.

The charter of the Sai Organization says that every member should undertake sadhana (spiritual discipline) as an integral part of daily life and abide by the following nine-points code of conduct. [47]

1. Daily meditation and prayer.
2. Devotional singing/prayer with family members once per week.
3. Participation in the educational programmes conducted by the Organization for children.
4. Attendance at least once per month at group devotional programmes conducted by the Organization.
5. Participation in community service and other programmes of the Organization.
6. Regular study of Sai literature.
7. Putting into practice the principles of “ceiling on desires”, utilising any savings thereby generated for the service of mankind.
8. Speaking softly and lovingly with everyone with whom one comes into contact.
9. Avoiding talking ill of others, especially in their absence.

Sathya Sai Baba is the figurehead to a number of free educational institutions, charitable organizations and service projects that are spread over 10,000 centers in 166 countries around the world.[48]

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Prashanti Nilayam is the only college in India to have received an "A++" rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission).[49][50] Besides this institute, there is also an Institute of Music and an Institute of Higher Learning in Anantapur, which is a women's college.[51]

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi (also known as the Super Specialty Hospital) is a 220 bed facility providing advanced surgical and medical care free of cost to the public. It is situated 6 kilometers from the guru's ashram and was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao on November 22 1991 and was designed by the Prince of Wales's architectural adviser, Keith Critchlow[52] The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Bangalore is a 333 bed facility with advanced operation theatres, ICUs and CCUs meant to benefit the poor.[53] The hospital was inaugurated on January 19 2001 by the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.[54] Other eminent participants were Abdul Kalam, Michael Nobel (son of Alfred Nobel), Noah Samara and Anji Reddy.[55] The hospital has served 250,000 patients, free of cost, from January 2001 to April 2004.[56]

The Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital was opened in Whitefield, Bangalore, in 1977 by Sathya Sai Baba to provide free care to poor local villagers. Since that time, the general hospital has grown to a 35,000 sq ft building that provides complex surgeries, food and medicines free of cost. The hospital has, since its inception, treated over 2 million cases.[57]

The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust runs several general hospitals, two super specialty hospitals, dispensaries, eye hospitals and mobile dispensaries and conducts medical camps in rural and slum areas in India.[48]It was in the year 2000-2001 the largest recipient of foreign donations. [58]The Trust has also funded several major drinking water projects. The first drinking water project, completed in 1996, supplies water to 1.2 million people in 730-800 villages in the drought-prone Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.[59][60] The second drinking water project, completed in 2004, supplies water to Chennai (formerly known as Madras) through a rebuilt waterway named "Sathya Sai Ganga Canal".[61][62] The Chennai water drinking project was praised by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi. Karunanidhi said that although he is an atheist, he differentiated between good spiritual leaders like Sathya Sai Baba and fake godmen.[63] The third drinking water project, expected to be completed in April 2006, would supply water from the Godavari River to half a million people living in five hundred villages in East and West Godavari Districts.[64] Other completed water projects include the Medak District Project benefiting 450,000 people in 179 villages and the Mahbubnagar District Project benefitting 350,000 people in 141 villages.[60] In January 2007, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust revealed that it would undertake another drinking water project in Latur, Maharashtra.[60]

His Educare (formerly called Education in Human Values) program seeks to found schools in all countries with the explicit goal to educate children in the five human values and spirituality.

The Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust is the official publisher of the Sathya Sai Organization. It publishes the international monthly magazine called Sanathana Sarathi in English and Telugu. According to their website, they shelve over a thousand books and provide Sai-related literature in 40 languages. The book trust also supplies CDs, DVDs and audio tapes. In various nations, similar publication trusts are maintained in their own native language.

On November 23 2001, the digital radio network "Radio Sai Global Harmony" was launched through the World Space Organization, USA. Dr. Michael Nobel (son of Alfred Nobel and one of the patrons for the radio network) said that the radio network would spread Sathya Sai Baba's message of global harmony and peace.[65]

[edit] Celebrations and commemorations

The most important celebrations and commemorations are

[edit] Conversion and mission

John D. Kelly, as of 2006 a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago wrote in an article about Hindu mission in Fiji that the Sai Baba movement was missionary.[68]In contrast, Dr. Kim Knott who worked as of 1997 at the department of theology and religious studies of the University of Leeds untagged in a table the "Sathya Sai Baba Fellowship" as missionary.[69]Sathya Sai Baba has discouraged publicity and proselytism for him in a public discourse. (23 Nov. 1968)

[edit] Characterizations and classifications

Knott tagged in a table the "Sathya Sai Baba Fellowship" as devotional, charismatic authority, reformist, and including non-Asian membership. Untagged were revivalist, missionary, and caste-related. [70]. Kent describes the Sathya Sai Baba movement in Malaysia as a "Hindu Revitalization movement." Babb favours the label cult over the label movement, because of what he sees as its highly individualized focus on miracles instead of a focus on a world view. [71]

Kelly wrote that the Sathya Sai Organizations reject the label Hindu. According to Kelly, they its founder as the "living synthesis of the world's religious traditions" and prefers to be classified as an interfaith movement.[72]Kelly further wrote when comparing ISKCON with the Sai Baba mission (he does not write which Sai Baba mission he means) that the Sai Baba efforts in Fiji are ambiguous where ISKCON is dogmatic and structured, proliferating where ISKCON is planned and controlled, self-contradictory where ISKCON is clear, gentle where ISKCON is stern, and to put it most broadly, open where ISKCON is closed. Kelly further stated that the Sai organization in Fiji does not ask its members to undergo initiation or to commit themselves to obey particular leaders. [73]

Former followers Nagel asserts that the atmosphere surrounding Sathya Sai Baba is clearly Hindu, in spite of Sathya Sai Baba's claim to foster and unite various different religions and that he dropped all Muslim elements that Shirdi Sai Baba practiced.[74]

[edit] Demographics

According to the Sathya Sai Organization, there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 130 countries world-wide. [75] The number of adherents is estimated between 6 million and 100 million, predominantly people of Indian ethnic origin.[76][77][78]In Nordic countries and the Netherlands followers defected after 2000 due to negative publicity about him. [79] Simon Weightmann who worked as of 1997 at the department for the study of religions at the University of London wrote that Sathya Sai Baba is one of the most popular gurus, both in India and in the Hindu diaspora and that as a consequence of his inclusivist stance he has a large following among the urban middle class. [80]Professor Harold Coward who worked as of 1997 as a professor for the centre of religious studies at the University of Victoria wrote that Sathya Sai Baba, together with several other modern Indian gurus, has attracted more occidental than South Asian Canadians. [81]. A significant fraction of the movement in Malaysia is of Chinese extraction, though the majority there is of British East Indian Hindu origin.[82]

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Kasturi, Narayana, "Sathyam Sivam Sundaram" Volume I, Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, ISBN 81-7208-127-8, Available online
  2. ^ Nagel, Alexandra (note: Nagel is a critical former follower) Een mysterieuze ontmoeting... :Sai Baba en mentalist Wolf Messing published in Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie 368, vol. 72 nr 4, December 2005, pp. 14-17 (Dutch language)
  3. ^ Bowen, David (1988) The Sathya Sai Baba Community in Bradford: Its origins and development, religious beliefs and practices. Leeds: University Press. Page 212
  4. ^ Kent, page 47
  5. ^ Milner, Murray Jr. Hindu Eschatology and the Indian Caste System: An Example of Structural Reversal .The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 52, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 298-319 As Babb notes, "The emphasis on social service provides an opportunity for devotees to do good in the world, but Sathya Sai Baba's profound conservatism on fundamentals like caste and gender ensures that doing good is unlikely to challenge his devotees' more basic sense of propriety and order" (1986:200-1).
  6. ^ Kent, page 68
    "The Sai Baba movement in Malaysia falls into two main camps. It has been formalized into a very active Sai Baba organization, renowned among devotees all over the world, but outside the organization are devotees who worship Sai Baba but remain independent of the organization and its ideology."
  7. ^ Babb, Lawrence. Sathya Sai Baba's Magic in Anthropological Quarterly, 1983
    "However, I think it is quite clear that Sathya Sai Baba's teachings, as such, are not what is most important about his cult. The most striking feature of this cult, however, is the extremely strong emphasis given to the miraculous. On this point let there be no mistake: Sathya Sai Baba's miracles are crucial to what this cult is all about."
  8. ^ adherents.comAdherents citing Chryssides, George. Exploring New Religions. London, UK: Cassells (1999). (retrieved 2 March 2007)
    "[Original source of British figure: email from Kishor Kumar of the UK Sai organization] "I have selected the best available [statistics], providing a range where adjudication is impossible... Sai Baba: Britain: 4,000 active devotees linked to a Sai Centre (1999); World 10,000,000 ""
  9. ^ Brown, Mick,Divine Downfall, The Telegraph, October 28, 2000, Available online
    "The guru Sai Baba has left India only once, yet his devotees across the world are estimated at up to 50 million."
  10. ^ Nagel, Alexandra (note: Nagel is a critical former follower) "De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba"/"The Sai Paradox contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba" from the magazine "Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland, 'Sekten' "/"Religious movements in the Netherlands, 'Cults/Sects' ", 1994, nr. 29. published by the Free University Amsterdam press, (1994) ISBN 90-5383-341-2
    English translation: "[the skeptic] Beyerstein (1992:3) estimates the number to be 6 million; Riti & Theodore (1993:31) estimates 30 million, Sluizer (1993:19) writes 70 million, and [the follower] Van Dijk (1993:30) writes "between 50 and 100 million." "
    Dutch original "Beyerstein (1992:3) schat het aantal op 6 miljoen; Riti & Theodore (1993:31) op 30 miljoen, Sluizer (1993:19) heeft het over 70 miljoen en Van Dijk (1993:30) over "tussen de 50 en 100 miljoen.""
  11. ^ Karanjia, R.K.. Interview with journalist - September 1976. Retrieved on March 2, 2007.
  12. ^ Kent, 71
  13. ^ Kent, 71
  14. ^ Bowen, 51
  15. ^ Kent, 45
  16. ^ Bowen, 194
  17. ^ Nagel, Alexandra De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba from the series Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland, 'Sekten', 1994, nr. 29. published by the Free University of Amsterdam press ISBN 9053833412.
    English translation:"Day and night he kept an ever-burning fire in a mosque, a so called dhuni. The ash from the dhuni served as sacrament (followers used it to make stripes on their forehead or swallowed it), sometimes it functioned as a medicine."
    Dutch original: "Dag en nacht hield hij in de moskee een vuur brandend, een zgn. dhuni. Het as uit de dhuni diende als sacrament (volgelingen trokken er strepen mee op hun voorhoofd of slikten het in), soms werkte het als geneesmiddel."
  18. ^ Bowen, 193, 194
  19. ^ Babb, 1986 pages 171
    "Sathya Sai Baba is, among other things, a teacher. He is a frequent giver of discourses, now compiled in several volumes. He usually speaks in Telugu, and before a Hindi-speaking audience an interpreter is required. One of his most characteristic rhetorical devices is the ad hoc (and often false) etymology. For example, he has stated that Hindu means `one who is nonviolent' by the combination of hinsa (violence) and dur (distant)."
  20. ^ Interview given by Sathya Sai Baba to R.K. Karanjia of Blitz News Magazine in September of 1976 Available online
  21. ^ Hummel, Reinhart Guru, Miracle Worker, Religious Founder: Sathya Sai Baba article in Update IX 3, Sept. 1985, originally published in German in Materialdienst der EZW, 47 Jahrgang, 1 February 1984
    "The answer to that question has been answered by Sai Baba himself: »I am the omnipresent, almighty, and omniscient.«"
  22. ^ Taylor, pages 130-131
    "In 1963 he announced that he was the second incarnation in a series of three. The first had occurred in the human form of the Shirdi Sai Baba who was the incarnation of Sakthi. The second, himself, was the incarnation of Siva-Sakthi; and the third would be the incarnation of Siva as someone called Prema Sai to be born in Mysore State eight years after his own death."
  23. ^ Steel, pages 206-207
  24. ^ Kent, page ??
  25. ^ Interview given by Sathya Sai Baba to R.K. Karanjia of Blitz News Magazine in September of 1976
  26. ^ Bowen, 188
  27. ^ Hummel, Reinhart (1). Guru, Miracle Worker, Religious Founder: Sathya Sai Baba (Official translation from original German by Linda W. Duddy). Materialdienst der Evangelische Zentralstelle fũr Weltanschauungsfragen in Stuttgart 47 Jahrgang, 1 February 1984.. Retrieved on March 3, 2007. “People's motives for that journey are often serious or incurable diseases, for Sai Baba has an unrivaled reputation as a miracle worker. [..]Miraculous cures with help from the ashes, or from Baba himself as the surgeon, and even the resurrecting of the dead are attributed to him. Even if the hoped for wonder healing fails to occur, many turn back (albeit upset and bewildered) and ask themselves[..]
    Many astounding reports of cures are, in their authenticity, hard to shake.”
  28. ^ Babb, Lawrence A. Sathya Sai Baba's Magic in Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 116-124
  29. ^ Babb 1986, pages 198-199
    "[..]for Sathya Sai Baba's followers everything that occurs does so by his ordainment. They speak of this constantly, even in connection with what may seem to be the most trivial events; nothing happens that he does not will....Their world is something like an enchanted garden. This is a point on which it is difficult to be ethnographically precise, but it is real enough. It emerges mainly in the tone...An informant reported an altercation with someone while staying at Baba's ashram; immediately upon leaving the room his eye lighted on a sign with some slogan about the evils of anger. Another informant reports longing for a guava, having seen a few unimpressive specimens for sale while on a motor trip. When her car halted, a man suddenly appeared by its side with two plump and juicy ones, which he sold her for eight annas. This, of course, was Baba himself. Another informant tells of how she was frightened by the dark clouds surrounding an aircraft in which she was descending for a landing at Nagpur. But then, just as the thought of Baba flashed through her mind, the plane passed through a momentary shaft of sunlight."
  30. ^ Babb, Lawrence. Sathya Sai Baba's Magic in Anthropological Quarterly, 1983
    "It is believed, indeed, that he appears in dreams only when he wills it; thus, every dream of him is a kind of miraculous communication."
  31. ^ Babb, Lawrence Redemptive Encounters page 179
    "frequently appears in devotee's dreams, and because he is believed to appear in dreams only when he wills it, every dream of him is a kind of miraculous communication"
  32. ^ Kasturi, Narayana Sathyam Shivam Sundaram: The Life of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Volume III available online
    "Appearing to devotees in dreams, Baba has taught them new Bhajan songs, sitting in front of them as music teachers do, with instructions to sing them during the Dasara festival at Puttaparthi. Later, when they arrived at Puttaparthi they were prompted by him to sing them! A devotee was once so involved in civil suits at court that he was nearly bankrupt. Appearing to him while he was asleep Baba told him plainly, "Properties, my dear fellow, are not proper ties!" Baba as an educator and as the incarnation that has come in order to educate, is engaged in that task, all over the world at all times."
  33. ^ Exon, Bob (1995). Self-accounting for Conversion by Western Devotees of Modern Hindu Religious Movements. 74-82. DISKUS WebEdition The on-disk journal of international Religious Studies Editor ISSN 0967-8948 Vol. 3 No. 2. Retrieved on 3, 2007. Retrieved on March 2007. “Throughout the ample material printed and distributed by the movement there is for example frequent reference to the notion of the `unity of all faiths'.”
  34. ^ Steel, 125-128
  35. ^ Sathya Sai Baba on 4 March 1962 Spend your Days with Shiva (also copied in the book by Samuel Sandweis Sai Baba The Holy Man ... and the Psychiatrist chapter 17)
    "There are again some others who are swept off their feet by hysterical demonstrations by certain weak-minded individuals, which are described as My speaking through them or acting through them! Take it from Me, I am not given to such absurdities! I do not use others as My media; I have no need to. I do not swing from side to side and prattle! Why, even those who torture their bodies and suffer the pains of asceticism for years, until anthills overwhelm them and they become as stiff as tree-stumps, find it difficult to realise the Lord. How then can these idlers, who eat their fill and wander about as slaves of their senses, earn that status so cheap? Their gestures, words and actions are hollow and vain; those who burn incense before them and revere them are turning away from Me and running after falsehood."
  36. ^ http://www.sathyasai.org/inform/tustin.htm website of the American book center retrieved March 2006
    "Sai Messages for You and Me, Vol. 1, by Lucas Ralli."
  37. ^ Babb, Lawrence. Sathya Sai Baba's Magic in Anthropological Quarterly, 1983
    "However, I think it is quite clear that Sathya Sai Baba's teachings, as such, are not what is most important about his cult. The most striking feature of this cult, however, is the extremely strong emphasis given to the miraculous. On this point let there be no mistake: Sathya Sai Baba's miracles are crucial to what this cult is all about."
  38. ^ Babb, Lawrence A. Sathya Sai Baba's Magic in Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), page 117 in Kent (2005), page 57
  39. ^ Kent (2005), page 57
  40. ^ Kennedy, Dominic The Times (England), 27 August 2001 ”Suicide, sex and the guru” Available online
  41. ^ Kent, 48
  42. ^ Kent, 48
  43. ^ Patel, Niranjan, Madhu Patel, Claire S. Scott, Ajay N. Patel Sai Bhajana Mala, International Edition, Published by M. Patel and N. Patel, Whitefield, copyrighted by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1993. page 91,92,112, 115, 166, 242, 384
    page 91"Antarayami Sai Rama"
    "Oh Lord Sai Rama !"
  44. ^ Bhajan: Guru Deva Jaya Deva www.sathya.org.uk retrieved 24 Feb. 2007
    "Jnana Pradayaka Jagadguru Deva/Sharanam Sharanam Sai Deva Deva/Sharanam Sharanam Sadguru Deva"
  45. ^ Bhajan: Guru Deva Jaya Deva Sai Deva Dayaa Maya www.sathya.org.uk retrieved 24 Feb. 2007
    "Sai Shankara Dayaa Karo (2)... (Guru Deva)"
  46. ^ Kent, 44
  47. ^ Nine-point code of conduct. www.sathyasai.org/. Retrieved on February 11, 2007.
  48. ^ a b Times Of India, "Sathya Sai Baba Trust to set up second superspecialty hospital at Bangalore", May 29 2000
  49. ^ The Hindu: City colleges cheer NAAC rating, June 8 2006, Available online.
  50. ^ Draft Report of the Peer Team on Institutional Accreditation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) Vidyagiri, Prashanthi Nilayam – 515 134 (A.P) Visit Dates: December 2 – 4, 2002 Available online: DOC File.
  51. ^ Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus, from an Official Sathya Sai site, Available online
  52. ^ The Hindu: Healing with Love and Compassion, November 23 2005, Available online
  53. ^ Deccan Harald: "Where service comes first " by Aruna Chandaraju, January 17 2006 Available online
  54. ^ The Hindu: Vajpayee hits out at high cost of medicare by A. Jayaram, January 20, 2001 Available online
  55. ^ Times Of India, "Sai hospital to host health meet on Saturday", January 14 2002Available online
  56. ^ The Times Of India: Super-Specialty hospital touches 2.5 lakh cases by Manu Rao, Available online
  57. ^ "Sai Baba hospital: A refuge to millions", May 1 2001, Available online
  58. ^ Sathya Sai Trust gets most foreign donations in rediff August 16, 2003 available online retrieved 12 Feb. 2007
    " the Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the largest recipient of foreign contributions."
  59. ^ The Week: Showers of Grace by Hiramalini Seshadri, May 26 2002 Available online.
  60. ^ a b c The Hindu: Water projects: CM all praise for Satya Sai Trust by Our Staff Reporter, February 13, 2004, Available online
  61. ^ The Hindu: Chennai benefits from Sai Baba's initiative by Our Special Correspondent, December 1 2004, Available online
  62. ^ The Hindu: Project Water by Hiramalini Seshadri, June 25 2003, Available online
  63. ^ IBN: Karunanidhi shares dais with Sai Baba, January 21 2007, Available online
  64. ^ The Hindu, Water, the Elixir of life, November 2005 Available online.
  65. ^ The Hindu, "Saibaba Gospel Goes On Air", November 24 2001, Available online
  66. ^ Bowen, pages 187-190
  67. ^ Bowen, pages 210-231
  68. ^ Kelly, page ??
  69. ^ Knott, page 766
  70. ^ Knott, page 766
  71. ^ Handoo, Jawaharlal in Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 48, No. 2 (1989), pp. 326-32 reviewing Lawrence A. Babb's book Redemptive Encounters. Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition page 1
  72. ^ Kelly, pages 67-68
  73. ^ Kelly, page 45
  74. ^ Nagel, Alexandra (note: Nagel is a critical former follower) "De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba"/"The Sai Paradox contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba" from the magazine "Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland, 'Sekten' "/"Religious movements in the Netherlands, 'Cults/Sects' ", 1994, nr. 29. published by the Free University of Amsterdam press, (1994) ISBN 90-5383-341-2
    Dutch original: "Ofschoon Sai Baba gezegd heeft mensen van allerlei religieuze gezindten te helpen terug te gaan naar oude waarden en normen, en ofschoon zijn logo de symbolen van de andere grote godsdiensten bevat, is de sfeer rondom Sai Baba duidelijk hindoeïstisch gekleurd. Alle moslim-elementen bijv. waarvan verondersteld zou kunnen worden dat hij die zou hebben meegenomen uit zijn leven als Sai Baba van Shirdi, heeft hij laten vallen. Het enig echt herkenbare wat hij van Shirdi Baba nog heeft, is het veelvuldig gebruik van as, - wat hij dan niet uit een dhuni haalt zoals Shirdi Baba deed, maar materialiseert (of tevoorschijn goochelt)"
  75. ^ Sathya Sai Org: Numbers to Sai Centers and Names of Countries
  76. ^ Adherents retrieved 12 Feb. 2007 citing Chryssides, George. Exploring New Religions. London, UK: Cassells (1999).
    "[Original source of British figure: email from Kishor Kumar of the UK Sai organization] "I have selected the best available [statistics], providing a range where adjudication is impossible... Sai Baba: Britain: 4,000 active devotees linked to a Sai Centre (1999); World 10,000,000 ""
  77. ^ Brown, Mick, Divine Downfall, The Telegraph, October 28, 2000, Available online
    "The guru Sai Baba has left India only once, yet his devotees across the world are estimated at up to 50 million."
  78. ^ Nagel, Alexandra (note: Nagel is a critical former follower) "De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba"/"The Sai Paradox contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba" from the magazine "Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland, 'Sekten' "/"Religious movements in the Netherlands, 'Cults/Sects' ", 1994, nr. 29. published by the Free University Amsterdam press, (1994) ISBN 90-5383-341-2
    English translation: "[the skeptic] Beyerstein (1992:3) estimates the number to be 6 million; Riti & Theodore (1993:31) estimates 30 million, Sluizer (1993:19) writes 70 million, and [the follower] Van Dijk (1993:30) writes "between 50 and 100 million." "
    Dutch original "Beyerstein (1992:3) schat het aantal op 6 miljoen; Riti & Theodore (1993:31) op 30 miljoen, Sluizer (1993:19) heeft het over 70 miljoen en Van Dijk (1993:30) over "tussen de 50 en 100 miljoen.""
  79. ^ Velde, Koert van der The downfall of a guru Sai Babain the Dutch newspaper Trouw 6 Sept. 2000[1].
  80. ^ Weightmann, Simon Hinduism in the Handbook of Living Religions edited by John R. Hinnels (1997), second edition, ISBN 0-14-051480-5
  81. ^ Coward, Harold South Asian Religions in Canada in the Handbook of Living Religions edited by John R. Hinnels (1997), second edition, ISBN 0-14-051480-5
  82. ^ Kent, pages 148, 166
    page 148 "In the northwest of Malaysia the centres are said to draw almost exclusively Chinese devotees." page 166 "The movement does appear to have been successful in attracting, though not necessarily uniting, considerable numbers of Indians and Chinese in Malaysia."

[edit] References

  • Adherents.com Adherents
  • Babb, Lawrence A. Sathya Sai Baba's Magic in Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 116-124
  • Babb, Lawrence, A., Redemptive Encounters, (University of California Press, 1986)
  • Bowen, David The Sathya Sai Baba Community in Bradford: Its origins and development, religious beliefs and practices. Leeds: University Press. (1988)
  • Chandaraju, Aruna "Where service comes first " in the Deccan Herald January 17 2006 Available online
  • Coward, Harold South Asian Religions in Canada in the Handbook of Living Religions edited by John R. Hinnels (1997), second edition, ISBN 0-14-051480-5
  • Draft Report of the Peer Team on Institutional Accreditation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (Deemed University) Vidyagiri, Prashanthi Nilayam – 515 134 (A.P) Visit Dates: December 2 – 4, 2002 Available online: DOC File
  • Exon, Bob (1995). Self-accounting for Conversion by Western Devotees of Modern Hindu Religious Movements. 74-82. DISKUS WebEdition The on-disk journal of international Religious Studies Editor ISSN 0967-8948 Vol. 3 No. 2. available online
  • Handoo, Jawaharlal in Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 48, No. 2 (1989), pp. 326-32 reviewing Lawrence A. Babb's book Redemptive Encounters. Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition first page
  • The Hindu, "Saibaba Gospel Goes On Air", November 24 2001, Available online
  • The Hindu Saibaba Trust to undertake drinking water project in Latur, January 17, 2007, Available online
  • The Hindu Chennai benefits from Sai Baba's initiative by Our Special Correspondent, December 1 2004, Available online
  • The Hindu, Water, the Elixir of life, November 2005 Available online.
  • The Hindu Healing with Love and Compassion, November 23 2005, Available online
  • The Hindu Water projects: CM all praise for Satya Sai Trust by Our Staff Reporter, February 13, 2004, Available online
  • The Hindu City colleges cheer NAAC rating, June 8 2006, Available online
  • Hummel, Reinhart, German article published in Materialdienst der EZW, 47 Jahrgang, 1 February 1984, Translation by Linda W. Duddy and is reprinted by their permission, Available online on the website of the Dialog Center, a Christian Anti-Cult Site
  • Jayaram, A. Vajpayee hits out at high cost of medicare in The Hindu January 20, 2001 Available online
  • Karanjia, R.K. Interview with Sathya Sai Baba as published in the Blitz News Magazine in September 1976
  • Kasturi, Narayana Sathyam Shivam Sundaram: The Life of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Volume III available online
  • Kelly, John D. Dr. Bhakti and Postcolonial Politics: Hindu Missions to Fiji in Nation and Migration in The Politics of Space in the South Asian Diaspora Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 1995, edited by Peter van der Veer ISBN 0-8122-3259-3'
  • Kasturi, Narayana, "Sathyam Sivam Sundaram" Volume I, Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, ISBN 81-7208-127-8, Available online
  • Kasturi, Narayana Sathyam Sivam Sundaram Part I available online in Microsoft Word format
  • Kennedy, Dominic The Times (England), 27 August 2001 ”Suicide, sex and the guru” Available online
  • Kent, Alexandra Divinity and Diversity: a Hindu revitalization movement in Malaysia, Copenhagen Nias Press, first published in 2005, ISBN 8791114403
  • Knott, Kim Dr. South Asian Religions in Britain in the Handbook of Living Religions edited by John R. Hinnels (1997), second edition, ISBN 0-14-051480-5
  • Milner, Murray Jr. Hindu Eschatology and the Indian Caste System: An Example of Structural Reversal in The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 52, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 298-319
  • Nagel, Alexandra (note: Nagel is a critical former follower) "De Sai Paradox: Tegenstrijdigheden van en rondom Sathya Sai Baba"/"The Sai Paradox contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba" from the magazine "Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland, 'Sekten' "/"Religious movements in the Netherlands, 'Cults/Sects' ", nr. 29. published by the Free University Amsterdam press, (1994) ISBN 90-5383-341-2
  • Nagel, Alexandra (note: Nagel is a critical former follower) Een mysterieuze ontmoeting... :Sai Baba en mentalist Wolf Messing published in Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie 368, vol. 72 nr 4, December 2005, pp. 14-17 (Dutch language)
  • Padmanaban, R. Love is My Form
  • rediff.com Sathya Sai Trust gets most foreign donations in rediff August 16, 2003 available online retrieved 12 Feb. 2007
  • Patel, Niranjan, Madhu Patel, Claire S. Scott, Ajay N. Patel; Sai Bhajana Mala; International Edition, Published by M. Patel and N. Patel; Whitefield, Bangalore; copyrighted by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, 1993.
  • Ralli, Lucas "Sai Messages for You and Me, Vol. 1
  • Rao, Manu Super-Specialty hospital touches 2.5 lakh cases Available online in the Times of India
  • Sathya Sai Baba on 4 March 1962 ;;Spend your Days with Shiva (also copied in the book by Samuel Sandweis Sai Baba The Holy Man ... and the Psychiatrist
  • http://www.sathyasai.org/inform/tustin.htm website of the American book center retrieved March 2006
  • Sathya Sai Org: Numbers to Sai Centers and Names of Countries
  • Sathya Sai Baba/Sathya Sai Organisation (6 July 1963) http://www.sathyasai.org/discour/1963/d630706.htm
  • Seshadri, Hiramalini in The Hindu: Project Water , June 25 2003, Available online
  • Seshadri, Hiramalini in The Week Showers of Grace , May 26 2002 Available online
  • Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur Campus, from an Official Sathya Sai site, Available online
  • Steel, Brian The Satya Sai Baba Compendium: A Guide to the First Seventy Years (1997) published by Samuel Weiser, Inc. York Beach Maine. ISBN 0-87728-884-4
  • Taylor, Donald. "Charismatic authority in the Sathya Sai Baba movement" in Richard Burghart (ed.), "Hinduism in Great Britain: The perpetuation of religion in an alien cultural milieu", (1987) London/New York: Tavistock Publications, ISBN 978-0422609104
  • Times of India, "Sai hospital to host health meet on Saturday", January 14 2002 Available online
  • Times of India '"Sai Baba hospital: A refuge to millions", May 1 2001, Available online
  • Times of India, "Sathya Sai Baba Trust to set up second superspecialty hospital at Bangalore", May 29 2000
  • Velde, Koert van der De ondergang van een goeroe, Sai Baba/The downfall of a guru, Sai Baba in the Dutch newspaper Trouw 6 Sept. 2000
  • Weightmann, Simon Hinduism in the Handbook of Living Religions edited by John R. Hinnels (1997), second edition, ISBN 0-14-051480-5

[edit] Bibliography

  • Brown, Mick The Spiritual Tourist (1998) ISBN 1-58234-034-X Bloomsbury Publising
  • Goldthwait, John “Purifying the Heart” (2002) ISBN 81-7208-339-4
  • Guillemin, Madeleine “Who is in the Driving Seat?” (2000) ISBN 0-9583617-0-3
  • Hislop, John My Baba and I ISBN 81-7208-050-6
  • Kasturi, Narayana Sathyam Sivam Sundaran Part I, II, III & IV available online in Microsoft Word format
  • Klass, Morton Singing with Sai Baba: The Politics of Revitalization in Trinidad, (1991), Boulder WestView Press
  • Krystal, Phyllis “The Ultimate Experience” ISBN 81-7208-038-7
  • Murphet, Howard Man of Miracles (1971) 0333-91770-7
  • Sandweiss, Samuel H. The holy man ..... and the psychiatrist (1975) ISBN 0-9600958-1-0
  • Padmanaban, R. Love is My Form Sai Towers (October 2000)
  • Sharma, Arvind New Religious Movements in India in New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change edited by James A. Beckford ISBN 0-8039-8591-6, pages 228-231, 233
  • Sandweiss, Samuel H “Spirit and the Mind” (1985) ISBN 81-7208-056-5
  • Thomas, Joy “Life is a Game – Play it” ISBN 81-7208-175-8
  • Haraldsson, Erlendur PhD Miracles are my visiting cards - An investigative inquiry on Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian mystic with the gift of foresight believed to perform modern miracles (1997 revised and updated edition) ISBN 81-86822-32-1
  • Sandweiss, Samuel H. The holy man ..... and the psychiatrist (1975)
  • Sathya Sai Baba Many online books
  • Sathya Sai Baba Gita vahini, online book
  • Sathya Sai Baba Rama Katha Rasavahini, translated into English by Narayana Kasturi available online
  • Sathya Sai Baba Sathya Sai Speaks, Volumes I-. Many of these public discourses have been published on the internetAdobe acrobat PDF files
  • Schulman, Arnold Baba (1971) Viking Press, New York, (Out of print but available in some public libraries)

[edit] External links

[edit] Official Sathya Sai websites

[edit] Other

In other languages