The autumn of the godman

Rajeev T. K. April 5, 2011

Image Credits: The Hindu

84-year old Sathyanarayana Raju is feeling a little under the weather. Better known as India's most famous godman Sathya Sai Baba, Raju was hospitalized on March 28 after complaints of breathing problems. An expert medical team is taking care of him - amongst other things reports suggest that he is on a pacemaker, ventilator and continuous renal replacement therapy. The Andra Pradesh State Government has also swung into action and sent two top IAS officers, Principal Secretary Health, Dr P V Ramesh and Principal Secretary Finance, Shri L V Subrahmanyam to Puttaparthi to oversee the medical rescue efforts.

For some one who conjures gold rings out of air and heals without modern medicine or surgery, this is surely a dreadful situation to be in. However, if you consider Baba's own discourse, the state government is wasting precious public assets on bhagawan's health.

My power is immeasurable; My truth is inexplicable, unfathomable (..) Now, I must tell you that, during this Sai Avathar, there is no place for even such 'drama' with scenes of failures and defeats! What I will, must take place; what I plan must succeed. I am Truth; and Truth has no need to hesitate, or fear, or bend. (..) I am beyond the reach of the most intensive enquiry and the most meticulous measurement. Only those who have recognized my love and experienced that love can assert that they have glimpsed my reality (..). Do not attempt to know me through the external eyes.

Building up a vast empire of followers and assets over the years, in the name of his divine powers, charitable acts and connections with India's elite classes - Sai Baba is of course not alone in this line of work. Scores of shady characters and organizations masquerade as Babas, Brothers and Ammas in India. They own thousands of crores of rupees worth of assets, evade income, wealth and property taxes and offer token "social services". A hospital there, a hug here and a school somewhere is enough to whitewash their white-collar crimes. Not to mention the veneer of legitimacy bestowed by Chawans, Anthonys and Advanis who want to appear to quiver in worship and grovel in submission before them.

Mr. Raju, here's wishing you get well soon. May the good doctors, nurses and modern medicine heal you - and the police protect you from your own marauding devotees. And after that, you owe the public an apology, and the state, your tax dues.

sai baba, Scientific Temper, India, Secularism Share this Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported


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ഒരു ആള്‍ ദൈവം നശിച്ചാല്‍

ഒരു ആള്‍ ദൈവം നശിച്ചാല്‍ അത്രയും അനാചാരങ്ങള്‍ നശിച്ചു..... ഒരു പാട് ആള്‍ക്കാരുടെ മരുന്നില്ലാതെ രോഗങ്ങള്‍ മാറ്റിയ ദൈവതിനെന്ത് പറ്റി, സ്വന്തം രോഗം ചികിത്സിക്കാന്‍ ഡോക്ടര്‍ വേണോ?

Good that atleast someone

Good that atleast someone somewhere wrote about this huge plunging of resources in service of fraud like him. I am so appalled by regular coverage by the Hindu in its Vizag Edition. As if entire Andhra Pradesh establishment and people are going through hard emotional thing. This particular self proclaimed God man was exposed by late Premananda (rationalist)enormous times. It feels quite exhausted when even the liberals do not question such acts under the cover of not hurting someone's sentiments. Oh! comeone, lets differentiate between superstitious/ obscurantist activities/beliefs and practice/faith in any religion.The adversity of obscurantist acts has cyclical impact on the psyche of the individuals and their social systems.

Hijacking of religion by these Babas, Ammas and Swamis is neo-Machiavelli politics leading to genesis of new-age Gods and Goddesses to suit burgeoning middle class whose optimism and insecurities both require divine sanctity. Any talks of reforms in the respective religions or discourse around the alternate strands of religiosity become spontaneous blasphemy.

In the words of Peter Berger - "The world today is as furiously religious as it ever was. Experiments with secularized religions have generally failed; religious movements with beliefs and practices dripping with reactionary supernaturalism have widely succeeded"

The kind of widespread

The kind of widespread popularity these people enjoy amazes me. For instance, on the 50th bday of Amritanandamayi, representatives of 186 countries in the UN took part in the function at kollam.

I'm sure these Godmen and Godwomen are just pawns.

We might never know who are behind them.


Mr Baba should have been asked to treat himself. His devotees will now begin to make out what science and medicines can do and what Mr Baba cannot do. A perfect example set by the 'GOD-MAN'( He is neither though) to the public so as to throw light on his own follies. Good on him!!!!