Author: Dave (not Lane)
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: August 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.

From DNGude@aol.com  Tue Jul  8 22:22:10 1997

Re: The Koan of Sai Baba's Rubbing Dicks

Dear Mr. Lane:

I would like to make a few comments addressing the various question brought
forth by the postings on your web site about Shri Sathya Sai Baba. Ordinarily
I would not write this email, since I believe it is virtually impossible to
change somebody's mind once he is convinced of something and it is often
pointless to go back and forth with arguments and counter-arguments. However,
since you graciously post dissenting views along with your own at your site,
my mail may help others who read your postings and have not already made up
their minds. So I would appreciate it very much if you could post this (if
you find it worthy) along with other postings in your 'Sai Baba debates'.

Let me state at the outset that I am not a 'rabid' Sai devotee (if you can
call these gentle folk that). I do have faith in his avatarhood and I have
visited his ashram (for 4 days) while I was in India for other reasons. I am
not a member of any Sai group and have not attended any of their meetings,
bhajans etc. My explanations about the nature of Sai Baba is offered without
any 'proof', these explanations you can read and accept if you find
reasonable, reject if not.

- Is he the head of a cult ?
Yes and No. It is a cult in the sense it has a charismatic leader (but so did
Christianity i.e.Jesus). It is not a cult in the sense there is nothing to
join, no dues to be paid, no specific rules to be followed (except may be
when you stay at the ashram and even these are very reasonable), no courses
to be attended (or paid for) and no initiations to be taken (or paid for).
The ashram is probably the cheapest place to take a vacation (room rate as I
recall, is less than $2) and nobody will bother you if you don't bother them.
You don't even have to attend any of the activities. Nobody will pay you any
attention, and definitely no attempt is made to indoctrinate or 'brain-wash'

- Does he rub vibhuti on boys genitals (or to use Mr. Lane's elegant phrase -
rub their
woodys) ?
Apparently, according to the two postings on your site, he does. He also rubs
vibhuti on devotees foreheads, throat and chest (read a non-devotee's
experience in 'Empire of the Soul' by Paul W. Roberts). Serious students of
Indian philosophy (or even casual ones) will recognize that these are the
locations of energy centers in the body, the so-called chakras (I know, I
know Mr. Lane, nobody has seen these chakras and 'proven' their existence,
but humour me for now). The lowest 'muladhara' or the root chakra is just
behind the testicles in the male. This is the seat of our animal nature -
survival and procreation (i.e. sex. The second chakra below the navel is also
related to sex).  Apparently these two individuals had some problem in this

But what about the fact that they felt molested ? We can understand this
using an analogy: Doctors (practicing western medicine) will often examine
their patients while they (the patients) are completely disrobed. During
this, they may (mock horror!) even stick their fingers into various orifices.
It is not uncommon for high strung or emotionally immature patients (usually
women) to accuse the doctor of molesting them. These individuals are not
lying, they truly feel they have been taken advantage of (No doubt the kind
Mr. Lane would give them all a sympathetic hearing). Of course, there are
also some doctors who do take advantage of their patients. So it is not
surprising that a few persons would misinterpret Sai Baba's actions. But for
a person with literally millions of followers, Sai Baba has very few
disaffected ex-devotees (hundreds of students have graduated from his

Vibhuti, by the way, is ash left over after burning incense - nothing to do
with cow dung.Hindus (over 600 million of them) have been putting vibhuti
from their temples on their foreheads for thousands of years, long before
there was a Sai Baba. I don't mean to accuse anyone of ethnic insensitivity,
but I would have expected better from someone who teaches at the university

- Does he teach anything strange or weird ?
Sai Baba has not 'written' any books but there are many books available of
his discourses. His basic message seems to be to encourage his followers to
be of service to others. Nobody has pointed out anything remotely
objectionable in his teachings (Mr. Lane, surely his message should merit
some mention in your opinion of him, or are all your lectures at the
university based on gossip and innuendo rather than serious study ?). 

- Is Sai Baba Omnipresent ?
Not exactly, he is not present everywhere at once. But his consciousness can
be present in several places at once. So you can call him (or to use a new
age phrase, invoke his presence) so that he can be aware of your current
situation (especially if you are a devotee and have a unique connection to
him). He does keep close tabs on everyone and everything at his ashram

- Is he Omniscient ?
Again not exactly, all the knowledge of this world and its past, is not
present in his brain. However, he can access this information (about past
history as well, from the hall of records - another eastern myth). He can
read your mind and so has access to your memory. He may even be misled by any
false memory you have or by incorrect information from a person who believes
it to be true, unless he bothers to check it with other sources. All this
does require some effort on his part, though perhaps insignificant for him.

- Is he Omnipotent ?
No. As the Hindus say, even Brahma has to work within the Laws of Karma and
so does Sai Baba. He may be able to delay or accelerate your karma or help
you face it, but not eliminate it or change it. (This may explain why he can
give a rich man a gold ring, only of sentimental value to him; but not to a
poor person - it would just add to his karmic burden). He is also not
permitted to infringe upon the free will of human beings, i.e. he cannot
'make' you his follower.

- Does he have supernatural powers ?
As the theosophist says, there are no supernatural acts, only natural ones we
do not yet understand. Or as Jesus said, "even greater things than these [the
miracles I have done] will you do". He is capable of producing items
seemingly out of thin air. He claims he does this by his 'sankalpa' (act of
will). There are many anecdotes of this as well as a few reports of fraud
(many more of the former). But I prefer to ignore them both, these are mainly
to attract people who look for miracles rather the message. Again these acts
require some effort on his part. (Note that none of his 'miracles' true or
false require any payment)

- If not by miracles, why am I impressed ?
As I said earlier, his message is simple and beautiful (almost naive for this
material world). Also, when you are in his presence (I did not have a private
interview so was at least 25 feet from him), a curious peacefulness comes
over you (not excitement at all). This feeling wears off, if you visit him
daily on consecutive days. I have been told that this is because your
consciousness is already at a higher level as the days pass.

- Is he God ?
I am afraid not (sorry to disappoint Sai devotees). But he is pretty close, I
believe he is an Avatar. His position on earth is explained in my webpage (
http://members.aol.com/dngude/worldorg.htm - this site will no doubt,
establish my credentials as a certifiable 'kook').

- Will following him make you happier ?
Perhaps, but very likely not. For the following reasons:
	1. If your former friends do not like your new association with an Indian
Guru, you feel socially isolated. If your own family resents it then you are
in real trouble.
	2. After you have been on the spiritual path for a few years, all your
emotions, anger, resentment, repressed sexuality comes to the fore. These
inner demons have to be conquered before you can progress much further.  
	3. When you come into contact with an Avatar,  your personal karma is often
accelerated (perhaps because you can tolerate more pain with his help).

However, following him can put you on the Path for eventual self-realization,
so all this may be worth it.

All the information above is my current understanding of the 'truth'. It is
offered 'as is' without any warranties. Fallibility is the human condition
whatever the Pope may think.

As for the two individuals: I am sorry that they feel violated or molested.
>From their postings, they appear disturbed persons. I urge seeking a
qualified therapist and undergoing counseling (I have my Ann Landers hat on
now). There is always the danger of psychological breakdown or worse.

Thank you Mr. Lane for your indulgence. Regards, 


E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at dlane@weber.ucsd.edu

I want to go back to the home base now.