I know very intelligent people, very close to me, very successful, very humble – and many of them are Sathya Sai Baba bhakts.

One thing I have learnt in life is ‘criticising is easy’ but ‘delivering is difficult’. When I have to criticise somebody I look at ‘what would have I done’ and ‘given the kind of experience and knowledge that I had’. As an example if I find a driver has kept all his money in bank fixed deposits, gold and is paying an EMI – and has not lost any money to a scamster, I think it is a great achievement. I do not criticise him for not investing in equities.

If I see a GM of a bank with all his money in bank FD…i rip his ‘risk understanding techniques’…

Going back to the Sathya Sai Baba example – can I even think of delivering a fraction of what this man has done for society? The answer is NO. nyet. never. That takes away my right to say anything against him.

Here is an article which enumerates what he has done. Believe me, it is a TON….read on..


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  1. Can I even think of delivering a fraction of what this man has done for society? The answer is NO. Same for me too.

    However, just like Warren Buffet he grew a charitable bone quite late in life. He was a stage magician all his life. I know this not by watching youtube videos but from from a source who is a believer and has watched the tricks from close quarters.

    To each his own. I would prefer to worship someone one like mother Teresa who showed that the world the best best miracles are those achieved by hard work. Stories of sainthood-qualifying miracles are pure Vatican propaganda not sought by her. That’s where she differs from Mr. Sathyanarayana Raju.

    While we appreciate his charity we must be cognizant of his trickery.

  2. Believe ma Pattu you can find many people criticising Mother Theresa. Anybody who does any work gets criticised. I have friends who would say “Why is Maneka Gandhi doing all this for animals?’. She should do it for humans…this is such a waste…

    Now these guys do neither for animals nor for humans ….what to do?

    I like Krishna Premi’s approach. He says if somebody comes to you and says ‘It is so hot in Chennai’ or something like this, just say
    ‘hmmmm….another of Krishna’s creation’..believe me Pattu this is such a lovely line..keeps you away from most unnecessary conversations! My view on Sai Baba stands…whatever he did, the benefits that the people got are amazing. Also like i said in my FB status message we are victims of Mcaulay’s education system. If we do not understand we say ‘it cannot be, it does not exist’ . I stand by SS Bhabha’s contribution to people at the bottom of the pyramid…

  3. No one has rights to question / impose others faith.You rightly said ‘criticising is easy’ but ‘delivering is difficult’.

  4. Mr. Shubra,

    I understand the spirit of what your are saying and agree with you. My point is I have a lot of respect for his charitable work. I just don’t like the fact that he resorts to trickery.

    Mr Desai, agreed that “No one has rights to question / impose others faith”. I am not questioning the stance of his devotees. I am questioning the stance of the man. Cannot stop thinking that without the trickery he would have not have such means to charity.
    Perhaps charity at the cost of rationality is justifiable.

  5. Rationality is a limitation imposed by a s.o.b named Macaulay. If it is something which I cannot understand, it cannot exist is the ‘rational’ explanation. 200 years back Prahlad’s story was accepted as a story…today it is believed that a child in the mother’s womb responds to external stimuli and can learn. Music is supposed to be good. My take is we do not develop instincts like ‘intuition’ because the English man did not understand. Our education system needs to encourage all this. Having said that I am not defending the means..but somewhere I do feel that if I set up a temple (and collect money from the Bhakts) and use the money for poor feeding and education, am I wrong? A friend runs a school in a poor district. He pays attention ONLY to the kitchen. His logic? a 9 year old walks 8 miles to and fro – he thinks it is for the food, not for education. See Tirupathi, see http://www.akshayapatra.org – money collected in the name of God, but used for poor feeding and education. In fact Gandhiji said ‘God dare not appear before the poor man except in the form of bread’.

  6. Well a slightly political view point, but for what its worth…
    One Jawaharlal Nehru had a relationship with one Edwina Mountbatten. This clearly compromised his position. Also he was blinded by a certain krishna menon- result loss in 1962. Also changed his son-in-law’s name to Gandhi to ride on the gravy train.

    Same Nehru was instrumental in setting up the IITs, BARC and successful PSUs.

    Which Nehru to support? Does a person’s methods to stay in power detract from the good he did? After all Nehru was a ‘rationalist’ and made fun of Rajendra Prasad when he wanted to perform “shradha” for his deceased father and ancestors.

    We are not just Macaulay’s children, we are also Nehru’s progenies.

    Anybody remember this episode? Methinks Sathya Sai will have a similar attempt on his image..


  7. I think rationality is wider than what the English bequeathed. Rationality only talks about what you can explain. If it is something I can explain then its not a miracle. If its something which I can’t explain then it requires investigation. To resort to faith is resignation.

    Our educational system need to encourage students to question everything around them. To me this is purest form of religion.
    Intuition offers a path to the solution. The solution itself must stand the test of reason.

    Having faith in god, building a temple, collecting money and serving others is not a crime in any sense.

    Tricking people into believing an event as a miracle is a crime. While the charity that followed atoned for the crime, my grouse he dint quit the tricks when he established himself.
    Enormous number of people have benefited from his wealth, agreed.
    However this promotes a state in which you don’t questions event around you. That cannot be good thing.

    True religion, worship and devotion does not need a miracle.

    Worship Sai Baba the man who influenced scores of people positively and has conducted himself in the public eye with dignity. This is reasoning.

    To call him a god and to believe the Shiva Lingam came out of his gut refusing to see that it was concealed behind a towel is plain ignorance. This is not devotion. Its mental slavery.

  8. Please hold your judgements for the time being, as the drama is yet to unfold.
    Akin to equity investments, where the performance is judged based on their longivity through thick and thin, we have to closely watch, how Baba has ‘trained and mentored’ his close disciples and his trust members to carry forward his legecy in the long term.

  9. Hi Subra / Patta,

    This is the problem within India.
    People are not that willing to pay for charity that feeds poor or for education of street kids. But they are happily paying in the name of GOD or to some BABA who shows magic (Trick).
    SS was doing the same thing, he was showing tricks to peoples and collecting money in the name of GOD.

    Now second part comes how he utilizes that money. If it goes for welfare then its commendable, but if it goes other way then its CRIME.

    Even our Government does same thing in different way. Collect money in the name of TAX and do ….. (no need to say ahead).


  10. Sachin there is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE difference. SSB’s collection is VOLUNTARY…tax is COMPULSORY. If you do not pay there will be a notice, then raid and the government can force attachment of property. Most tax paid is INVOLUNTARY – tds, service tax, etc.

    SSB could have done anything with that money…he choose..to use it for people’s benefit.

    this is just to bring out the difference. I have seen many rich people happily paying for needs of own employees, poorer relatives, etc. but hating to pay tax…

  11. When I see a godman in poor India, collecting such a fortune, I wonder what was his mission in life? Was it just money? Why not return to society all he took from it?

    There are many scams in this world. Religion is such a scheme which feeds on peoples emotions, promising them good things after they die. Is this not same as a ponzy scheme?

    Giving something to society might have been afront to attract more funds or a penance for not being honest. I am not impressed.


  12. rajeev your outrage is misplaced.ssb took no money by force.so the question of giving back does not arise at all.we give money to bacchan or sachin voluntarily believing in whatever they are offering.does that make them liable to give back any more than you and me? like subra said:voluntary vs extorted

  13. Rajeev

    if u think it is a business model, well it worked for SSB. Amitabh Bachhan, Sachin, etc. all took opportunities which was available to all of us. They took it did a great job and made it a success. I see no reason why they should give back anything to society. If they do, great. If they do not, bad luck.

    The government takes money from us and squanders it – this makes people angry.

    I have no right to even be angry with SSB – I did not contribute the money. Those who did, did so with their eyes open. …their call, not ours

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