Monday, April 25, 2011

Paying tribute to Saibaba the right way

Leading a social life with public scrutiny is a difficult chore. Doing that with religion as the primary focus is more difficult. Performing it for decades while interacting with high profile citizens is a great achievement. Personally I have not been one to support God-men of any religion. However in a country like India where 2/3rds of the population struggles for two square meals a day, we need to show more charity.
The loss of Puttaparthi Sai Baba as discussed by cHindu pays tribute the right way focusing on the larger achievements and long standing legacy.
In a country that has never been short of self-proclaimed godmen peddling spiritual succour with commercial motive, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who passed away at the age of 84 at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh on April 24, 2011, stands out as a rare phenomenon — a spiritual leader whose mass following transcended linguistic, national, and religious boundaries, who channelised the fervour and quest of millions of devotees into giving and sharing, who steered clear of divisive political and communal activities all his life.

While one might read the article and thumb their nose on the plaudits from Mu Ka, the writer has done well to provide a balance of praise and pause for introspection on the life and charity of a person who has made significant contribution to Indian society.

21 comments:

Narayanan said...

Personally, I am disappointed that there are so many people paying tribute to Saibaba, not many questioned his miracles or certain other controversial things relating to sexual offences. Then, the closure of case of 1993 deaths was another. Lauding for charity work is one thing. Why is that not many want to talk about offences? These are not small offences, are they?

Narayanan

Anonymous said...

Less than 8% of the donations was used for charity.

Shirdi Sai never said anything about re-incarnation. All he said was that he would continue to be present in his tomb.

Xinhua Ram said...

@Narayanan,
Next you will tell me that you heard it from a friend who was told by his brother who read a book by someone who came to know it from someone.. If you are a rationalist, you better learn to rely on direct experience. Don't insult yourself here.

Anonymous said...

The news about murders and shoot-out that took place (due to internal squabbles) right near the bed-room of Sri Sathya Saibaba was reported in the media. Sri Baba escaped through some side door.
It seems, no FIR was lodged and hence no police case. It was reported in the papers that Sri Baba asked the police commissioner (who called on him) to forget the whole incident as a "bad dream".

Anonymous said...

The chindu's editorial on Sai Baba is well written. Apparently written by a person with a deep understanding of Hinduism, it highlights all the positive qualitites of Sai Baba, and downplays the controversies. That is the way to pay tributes to a dead person.

Raj said...

I agree with last @anony!! I'm not a fan or disciple but it is a fact that he was able to muster countless people to give their time and effort (and money too) to volunteering and to help the less fortunate !! That alone is worth commending and the other controversies worth overlooking !

Narayanan said...

@Xinhua Ram,
I didn't hear from friend of friend etc. We all know for sure that there were no proper investigations done for 1993 shoot out. Loss of human lives like that and service to mankind, do they really go together? I don't need to experience sexual abuse or shoot out deaths to make a comment on it. For the record. I am a theist myself and not a pinko commie. I do accept Vedas and Shastras. Sai Baba has no place in it.

Thanks

Narayanan said...

Also, all those stupid and cheap magic tricks like spitting out lingams and producing vibhuti etc are insult to intelligence. Did Ramana Maharshi do such things? Did Vivekanada produce vibhutis? Did Ramakrishna Pramahamsa spit out Lingams for Shiva Ratri? I will let you figure that. Did Shirdi Sai Baba own a large trust worth 40000 crore? This Satya Sai Baba is Hindu answer for Rajneesh with many celebrity followers. Shastras clearly prescribe Karma yoga, Gyana yoga, Bhakti yogas. That is what, Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya taught. None of them lived wealthy lifestyle. Satya Sai Baba provides cheap short cut to nowhere.

Shyam said...

Another topic: "UN report on Sri Lanka". Today's TH has conveniently edited out portions of the AFP report that accuse China and Russia of blocking justice for victims of mass genocide in Lanka.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jiY3xX1L8lzcyEC1NtWXxf1DRRJw?docId=CNG.b7f8883a534f988792a4fc532c3e061e.af1

Dirt Digger said...

Narayanan
I agree with you that the 1993 cases should have been investigated better.With the Indian justice system even Kasab could go free.

Dirt Digger said...

Anon #1,
Please provide facts on the 8%. Issue is not about reincarnation, its about effectively using money generated to do charitable works. How many religious organizations have really taken similar tasks?
Should the Sai Trust do more? Absolutely. Should others step up? Absolutely.

Dirt Digger said...

XR,
Thanks for your thoughts. As always.

Dirt Digger said...

Anon 2,
Thanks for your words. With Sai Baba gone the truth of what happened may never be brought to light.

Dirt Digger said...

Anon #3
Thanks for your words. That was my view of how cHindu portrayed this incident with decency. This coming from a newspaper not exactly the paragon of support for Hinduism.

Dirt Digger said...

Raj,
Thanks for your comments.

Dirt Digger said...

Narayanan,
The Sai Trust made a lot of money i.e. donations. But its their prerogative on how to spend it.
Reg. Shankara, Madhava, their time and circumstances were different with the lifestyle of people and knowledge different. You cannot compare the styles as it would not be apples to apples comparison.
As mentioned in the post the intent is not to praise Sai Baba as a religious leader, but as a humanitarian who leveraged his organization to perform charitable acts.

Balaji said...

@Narayan - I appreciate your rational thinking. I suppose rational thinking starts with getting facts right and differentiating facts and opinions.
First, the closure of the 1993 case. Why was it closed? Simple, no one could be accused/convicted. 4 disgruntled young men entered the residence of Sai Baba with arms, killed two of his care takers before the police entered and shot all the 4 young men. Now, tell me against whom the case should be filed?
Sexual offences - They are again based on the claims of one or two people. Can a rational person just accept the accusations as such?
Comparisons with other Great Souls - Well, I haven't met others in person and hence cannot comment!
"Cheap tricks", "Miracles" - It is for the individual who received the Vibuthi or chains or rings to analyse. If you don't believe them, you don't need to take them either.
40,000 crore - Who arrived at that valuation? How was it valued and when? A 'Rational' person must get these facts right, I suppose. Yes, the media has been going all over with it for the past one month and yesterday, "Analysts" from Mid-Day news paper have raised their estimates to 1.4 lakh crore! As a "rational person", did you bother to check how the valuation was done or by whom? Was it done by the Trust and released publicly or by IT dept or by CAG or DVAC?
"Wealthy Life-style" - Can you explain what you mean by wealthy life style? Yes, Sai Baba had a room with roof over His head and floor beneath which a lot of Indians don't have. But, you and I have the same and aren't we leading "Wealthy Lifestyle" then?

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yblhsr1O4IQ&feature=related

Cricket said...

@Balaji,

Sure armed men invaded. But, there was no investigation whatsover. This is like HKL Bhagat getting away with it. It is like no one got accused for Kashmir Pandits massacres and case got closed.

Please, India has produced very many great souls in the space of religion. Sai Baba is a fake to the core.

As far as cheap miracles go, there was a meeting between PC Sorcar and Sai Baba. Sai Baba lost. What a surprise? Honestly, the Great Vedic religion is being harmed by likes of Sai Babas and Nityanandas.

Narayanan said...

For the sake of consistency, I posted from cricket specific id without realizing.

Narayanan

Balaji said...

@Narayanan - A rational man counters facts with facts and not opinions with opinions! Let's discuss plain facts!
About the investigation - It was done and the chapter was closed. If there were one group which could have asked for further investigations, it must have been the family of the four youths and they did not do so. If you are really serious, you can contact them and reopen the case.
Comparisons with Kashmir Pandits - If that's your opinion, I must not be paying too much importance to your opinions!
Sai Baba is a fake - Again your opinion. If you expect others to respect it, you also respect others opinions!
PC Sorcar and Sai Baba - This incident was 'claimed' by PC Sorcar as true. What makes you believe PC Sorcar? is he a God for you? Why don't you think that he is telling this story for some publicity?
Also, You have not answered any questions of mine. I will leave it to the readers to judge you intellectual capacities!