Sathya_Sai_Baba Final

MAYA

Originally posted on 3rd May 2011 :

Call me crazy if you like, but the fact is that I do not trust my eyes and ears to always tell me the truth. There have been instances when what I saw and heard was at crass variance with what I have been taught and what I have learnt from the books. We were told in school that ‘matter cannot be created or destroyed’ but in Puttaparthy I saw Sathya Sai Baba ‘materialize’ a watch and a gold chain to give to his devotees. ‘Bibhuthi’ emerged from his fore finger at will, whenever he needed it.

There were just about six of us in his private chamber on that pleasant early morning of 13th December 1999, and I was sitting the closest to him. I did what I could to understand the process, but my eyes let me down. His detractors say that these trinkets came out of his sleeve, and so I worked extra hard to see if there was any ripple in his robe before the gold emerged in his palm. The only other scientific explanation is that we were hypnotized. But, how? No one is willing to tell.

After the morning meditation session, I went around Puttaparthi and saw for myself, the metamorphosis in that place. A sleepy little village of just a few mud houses in 1940 has emerged as a significant town on the Indian map. At the Sai Institute of Higher learning (which is a deemed university) I met the professors who taught Management. The Professor whom I met asked me if their students could visit Ashok Leyland where I was working then. A few months later, they came, and I got an opportunity to interact with the students. Believe you me, there was a difference between them and the students who came from the other colleges who came for their ‘industry visits’ The ‘Sai students’ were polite and very restrained when making even the slightest demand. There was a contented look on their faces. The teachers worked for a pittance and as is well known, education is completely free in all institutions run by the Baba.

In the industry, everything revolves around finances, and here was a B-school which laid greater emphasis on ethics than the bottom line!

As I saw it, the ‘miracle’ which I saw in the transformation of human attitude was far more significant than the gimmick of ‘materializing’ those gifts. I became a regular visitor to Baba’s ashrams.

The death of the Baba has raised a lot of questions. In addition to all that has been reported in the media, my mind has thrown up some questions:

  • If Baba was a mortal like the rest of us, then the supernatural prowess could be passed on to a few selected disciples; or a least his successor, so that his mission can continue beyond his life.
  • If he was an Incarnation of God, then why did his mortal body need ‘medical’ assistance. In fact he was put on a ventilator like anyone else.
  • Baba had predicted that he would live to be 94 years old. But now, as we all know, he passed away at 84, after having been on a wheel chair for a long time.
  • If the real message of Baba was spiritual, then what was the need to perform those ‘miracles’ even if had the prowess?

A picture taken during my first visit to the Ashram is attached. The touch of his hand is still fresh in my memory. At the extreme right is my wife, who does not worry her head over all that I keep trying to analyze. She has complete faith in her senses and she blows all my questions away with the whiff of her hand. She says, “Why ask all these questions? Baba is what he is. You are what you are. If he wishes to keep his gifts ‘up his sleeve’ how does it affect you?”

And then I think of the Sanskrit word, ‘Maya’ It has at least three meanings : wealth, illusion and falsehood (dhan, mithya and bhram) My research tells me that ‘maya’ is a combination of ‘ma’ which means ‘not’ and ‘ya’ which means that. Therefore the ‘sansar’ or the world is ‘not what it seems’

Baba was also a part of that Maya, and so if he has left some questions unanswered, so be it. If his death has raised some more complex issues, the Lord will provide the solutions in due course of time.

As far as I am concerned, my faith in my senses is shaken. But I live in the company of a person, who is in full command of her faculties. The logical solution to my dilemma is “Trust her and follow the path shown by her!”

  1. Gul Dost says:

    Even after you discount all the magical powers of the Baba, what remains behind is the enormous good which he did to the people. He united people of all communities and spread education…
    Gul

  2. Bajaj says:

    But aren’t we all incarnations at birth since Atma is Parmatma!!

    Just ponder over it.

  3. Dev says:

    Very interesting piece indeed!

  4. Manjit Singh says:

    excellent piece of writing..

  5. RP Mishra says:

    Well General Surjit, a few doubts you have raised cropped up in my mind also. Earlier I had observed that if I had any doubt and prayed Sai Baba to resolve it, it will some how be done, either through newspaper or a some man who will answer my query without my asking him. I am sure these doubts will also be answered in near future.

    You have correctly said that matter can not be created or destroyed. What happens in atom bomb. Matter is not destroyed, it is converted to energy. According to Paramahansa Yogananda, as mentioned in his “Autobiography of a Yogi”, as matter can be converted into energy, similarly, energy can be converted into matter and Yogis have this power.

  6. S S Malik says:

    very good sir,
    your expln ‘Maya’ It has at least three meanings : wealth, illusion and falsehood (dhan, mithya and bhram) My research tells me that ‘maya’ is a combination of ‘ma’ which means ‘not’ and ‘ya’ which means that. Therefore the ‘sansar’ or the world is ‘not what it seems’
    It adds to the dimension of astro -phyisics,chemistry etc and all that humans know/donot know as of now.

    olden days,villages people still refer to a word “shaktiyian” some real,some illusionary,forces not visible but have someway presence defying many a logics. gravity,nuclear forces, radiations, cosmic , magnetism, etc and whole gamut of abstract third/fourth ,or fifth world……and so on. BABA can be a better soul then most of us, skilled in some subjects ‘magic’

    and has doggedly followed his convictions lifelong. this world never spared JESUS,GURUGOBIND SINGH, RAMA,MUHAMMAD, GANDHI, LINCOLN AND OTHERS DURING THEIR TIMES.

  7. Kulprakash Deshwal says:

    Thanks for your views.Only those who have been close to Baba will understand him better.All in our family incl outlaws and inlaws are disciples of Baba.and hold him in high esteem and worship him .Though not physically present he remains in our hearts.

  8. Billoo Brar says:

    Very well brought out all the facts. But where do we reach? When he was not interested in money how could he generate odd 400 crores worth of property. Shouldn’t we or say our govt go in for some sort of investigation?

  9. Surindar Singh says:

    Great— I appreciate honesty in your Message

    People who chance to live in Osho’s Ashram also have many unique experiences , But poor Osho had very sand end Almost died handcuffed and administered with drugs ,aimed at slow death

    There was a Guru Ji in Delhi/Gurgaon Never showed any miracles Was man of few words . .Quietly and suddenly left for heavenly abode rather young . Had been hinting that his mission is over

    I was surprised to visit his farm / temple after 4 years of his demise .Following has gone up 10 times (Any amount of generals incl Depindar singh and Baba Grewal )

    Sad that there is also struggle for his property . un avoidable

    Good you acknowledge that you are safe hands of more “balanced: Mrs Surjit Infect you are lucky to have wife , brother and a freinds all surindars

    Hope to see you at IMA I am going on a trip to USA in June

  10. Bajaj says:

    No wonder then that most powerful of deities are of female form Laxmi-wealth,
    Saraswati-knowledge and Durga-Power. And it is left to you todecide who sits on a higher pedestal!! You also have the option of merging the three.

    A pity really that a commoner couldn’t get close to the Baba.

    Do we also assume that those students continue in the same vein after passing out

    and turning professionals in Industry. Frankly, to me it is localized influence on us as creatures of circumstances.

  11. Young Victor Raju says:

    I agree, we are not big enough to query the puzzle. The results
    achieved in upliftment of the poor, in upliftment of the spirits of
    the depressed, healing of the sick and in the infrastructure and water
    requirements of Anantpur, Chennai etc speak of supernatural powers.
    Strong faith makes Gods, here there was strong faith of millions.
    I was lucky to get my first and only darshan in Jan this year and one
    can sense the force behind Sai Baba even though he was old, wheel
    chair ridden and did not speak a word.
    I came out feeling better and blessed. What more can one say?
    The skeptics can say what they want.

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