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David, Could you place this in your area as "an opposing view" as you promised ? Thanks. And I hope you read-consider it. Love to discuss more later. GRD. _____________________________________________________________________________ NEW AGE UNDER REVIEW In David C Lane's review of Baba and I, written by Dr John S Hislop, some comments expressed about Sathya Sai Baba need to be critically examined, for a balanced view and honest approach to this phenomena of the millennia. Whenever Sai Baba has been examined by scientists or other such investigators, He has always proven to them to be what He claims. The only criticisms which tend to remain, belong to those who base their assertions either on the testimony of others or without ever going to within 100 miles of the person they believe they can report upon. And when basing their findings on the works of others, never allow the Reader to know that their source also failed to go and see for themselves, whether their claims were accurate or false. Fair reporting at its worst. Many scientists have travelled to investigate Sai Baba and come away totally in awe of the person. One such scientist was an amateur magician and declared without a doubt that there was no sleight-of-hand used by Sathya Sai Baba. While professional magicians have also taken a trip to see this man and returned with the same findings. However, we keep seeing such people as James Randi and his class of "investigator" being raised up as the most honourable people to quote. Yet Randi has never bothered to venture to see Sai Baba at close quarters; approach the "butcher" to get the "meat" of their scrutiny out on the table. Like one another, they refer to the proverbial "block". One news reporter, sent to de-bunk Sai Baba, was given an interview and placed right to the front of the group. Sai proved His ability to know the inner thoughts of others, when He turned to this man, smiled and rolling up His sleeves, right in the face of the reporter, before materialising a special ring. This ring had a profile view of a man on it, which Sai Baba announced to all, was the face of Prema Sai Baba - the third in the Sai Baba trilogy, who Sathya Sai claims He will reincarnate to become, in the 21st Century. The reporter had in mind to ask Sathya about this incarnation to come, and so his every purpose for being there was fulfilled. He was given an interview, from which he could take back a story on this Master, a ring of the person he wished to know more about, as well as the opportunity to see at first hand, whether this character was using a magician's trick to materialise items. A year after his story was published in a New York paper, a friend asked him about the ring and wished to see it. The reporter searched his home and finally found it. However, to the surprise of them both, the portrait of Prema was no longer in profile. It had begun a journey to face the front. This man knew without a doubt now, if not before, that Sathya Sai was who He claimed He was. In the years that have followed, that face on the ring has turned to now become a full front view !! Oh, that reporter is now a dedicated Devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. See what true investigating can bring ?? But this rebuttal to the review on Baba and I is not to be taken as an attack on such people as Randi or even our David C Lane. As scientists or persons with a scientific mind, no less can be expected of them. To be a scientist, one must have a mind which accepts nothing that cannot be seen, touched, smelt or tasted. Nor can science advance as it has if it were any other way. One either has a mind of a scientist or a mind of a spiritual person. Scientists can only judge, test and examine that which is right before them in black and white. Anything which fails to fall within the parameters of known "laws" simply cannot exist or should be shunned until evidence gives rise to think otherwise. They fail to remember one major fault in this method and that is: the spirit realm (whatever that might be to you personally) cannot be measured, examined or tested by anything from the material zone. Well, at the present time it can't. Maybe in the future, our scientists will learn ways of gathering information from that area and what we now discuss will become unnecessary. But while many scientists refuse to think with some humanity - a spiritual mind - they will never develop such instruments. They will not be able to do this because they refuse the idea that a God might be behind these things they don't understand. And they feel so angry that He might fail to show His face to them !! Yet, if they looked at the very basics of their craft, all the proof that a God exists is plain to see. Ask any scientist what this material world is made up from at its basic level. Answer ? Atoms. What is an atom ? Protons and Electrons. What are Protons and Electrons made up of ? Energy. And how does this energy come about ? It MUST be created. It cannot manufacture itself. The universe these scientists claim to be mastering is made up of material which stands as living proof that it had to be created at some distant past. I don't mind what you wish to call this Creator of the Universe. God will do fine if you wish. So, where is this "god" who brought everything into being ? Why would "it" hide "itself" from that which "it" created ? Maybe "it" didn't hide. Maybe certain eyes are unable - or unwilling - to see "it" when it stares them in the face. Maybe, as our ancient ancestors refused the idea of a rounded earth, our modern scientists fear the idea that there is "something" out there which has a little more grey matter than themselves - answers they cannot find are known by - something, already. But enough of this. Lets examine a few things David said in his review of Baba and I. He wonders why Baba produces trinkets rather than billions of dollars to feed the hungry. Hey, this is a valid question and one I held as my own until I understood better myself. Nor will many non-spiritually minded persons like the answer. Firstly, let your mind drift a moment to a point where you say - all right, there is a God and I am able to stand before "Him". Now, if you daydream on this for just a moment, then ask yourself, when standing before this God, what would I ask of "Him" ? If you have a logically thinking mind you realise, there is no need to ask of a single thing once you ARE standing before God. Therefore, anything "He" gives you is merely a token of love. This is what Baba does for His Devotees. Those "trinkets" are in fact, expressions of love - whether they are diamond rings set in gold, ear rings, photos or ash, which Devotees call Vibhutti (said vib-boot-tee). It is not a mindless act for Sai Baba to produce those items for others. Its His love pouring out. But why then doesn't He lift the blanket of hunger, sickness and pain from the shoulders of everyone as David asked ? Well, it seems David has no children. Any parent, shopping with their child, knows what comes of giving that child whatever it wants as they wander the supermarket. The more the child is given, the more it seems to want. Further, the toy bought to quieten the child is tossed aside before you reach home in the car and cries for new toys come bellowing from the back seat. Are we any different from those children ? If "God" stepped in and removed all hunger tomorrow, would not some greedy government take the bulk and leave the rest in the same situation it was in the day before ? If "God" removed sickness tomorrow, wouldn't we all rush out and starting eating, drinking, smoking and living a very careless life, believing "He" will fix it up again tomorrow ? What would we learn from a parent who gives us everything we want when we cry for it ? Greed, lack of discipline, selfishless ? Yes, all the above and many other delightful traits. And after all, this world is our class room. What do we learn of that which is given on a platter ? Nothing. That which we work for, strive to achieve and foster as valuable are our reward for such efforts. The world would learn nothing if "God" (or Sai Baba) waved a magical hand and removed all suffering, hunger and need. The day after, we would be back on the same path - down hill. "He" does us a great service to be a strong "parent" and hold back when we demand and scream for attention. I agree with David when he says that there is nothing wrong with a magician who preaches about God to others. Although, I am yet to see such a person. Magicians tend to be self serving, performing for the love of the art and what it will bring them in material gains. David failed to mentioned (or was it that his investigations failed to provide him with the knowledge) that Sai Baba owns nothing Himself and His organisation has built hundreds of hospitals and schools, all of which are free to anyone who wishes to use them. No matter what country you come from, class, background or religion, you can gain the best of care in any Sai Baba Hospital or attend any school under His name. When natural disasters have hit India and nearby regions, He has personally stepped forward and asked His followers to pack up and get all the aid possible to that area. Sai Baba is not motivated by His art as a magician is, but instead by His compassion toward all. As for the sleight-of-hand claims: these can be disproved many times over. I am fortunate to have returned from India only in April, where 2 members of my group had valuable rings produced for them as well as seeing many other wonders. But lets centre on these "trinkets" he made for two men in our group. One is a silver band, imprinted with the face of Shirdi Sai Baba. This was given to a man who was not a Sai Devotee. He had been travelling India with his son and came upon the shrine for Shirdi Sai and after learning about Him, and Sathya Sai, decided to investigate. How did Sai know to give him a ring of Shirdi ? The second ring produced was a beautiful gold ring with 3 sparkling diamonds. There is no doubt of its value. The group of 15 men and women from Australia stood and watched Sai Baba produce these rings and quite a large amount of Vibhutti. I spoke with them immediately after the Interview (no I wasn't so lucky to be part of this group) and each told the same story. They knew I was writing a book on Sai and were willing to give me in-depth information. They all said the same - when the silver ring was produced, Sai merely waved His hand (as is His way of producing most things) for a short while, maybe 30 seconds. Then, upon turning His hand up, ALL SAID it was empty. Suddenly, the ring "popped" onto the palm. The same applied for the gold ring, although His waving hand actions took much longer. Nevertheless, the hand was turned to all, empty, before the ring actually "appeared". I had never heard the following news, when He produces Vibhutti, from any other source, but again, all gave me the same reporting. After waving His hand, He would turn it palm up and there appeared to be "dew drops" on the first two finger tips, which He then brushed away with His thumb. As these "dew drops" fell, they turned into a cascade of ash. There is no mere sleight-of-hand taking place here. Further, have you ever heard of a magician who gives his creations away ? Magicians use all sorts of props to bring about the visual effects they do. Lighting, capes, handkerchiefs, hats, boxes and bottles. Sometimes, the effect is created merely by camera cuts. Sai Baba creates with none of these things as aids, especially lighting effects (a magician's most necessary tool) and further more, He does this out in the open, in front of thousands of people. And never forget, He often does this with sleeves deliberately rolled up when He knows someone has a sceptical mind. There is nothing wrong with being sceptical. In fact, its very healthy. Our group leader on the April trip to Kodaikanal to see Sai Baba told us all to have a special question or request ready, on hand, should we have an Interview. So, I pondered what I would ask. Strangely enough, my request would have been - how to curb my doubts about Him. This comes even after His many amazing displays, which are impossible to be sleight-of-hand; some of which I will briefly cover presently. I still felt I had some doubts and believed this unhealthy. In a dream (which means a great deal once you are spiritually aware - not so of a "scientific mind") He told me, doubt is good (in small amounts) as it produces questions, which answers are sort for, and the result is a spiritual growth. Without some doubt, we have no questions, no answers, no growth. So, I would never criticise a doubting or sceptical mind, as long as it was seeking an unbiased answer. This is the key to why many scientific minded persons have trouble with people like Sai Baba and Jesus. They don't wish the answer they claim to be investigating and often rig the evidence to suit their preset goals. In brief, I have had some amazing events occur to me and friends and family as well. Much can be proven, as Sai Baba usually performs miraculous episodes with witnesses. The first I relate to you had no such witness. However, for many years, from youth in fact, I often woke to find this person sitting on my bed or standing beside me, talking. I woke knowing we were covering important points and I had no reason to fear this person. I always considered him as - a guide - friendly ghost maybe ? Anyway, I become a Sai Devotee once I saw His photo. The person who visited me on many occasions was in fact this very same Sai Baba - after all, He is unmistakable ! Was this sleight-of-hand ? Once I come to know about Him, He gave me swift and impacting lessons. Soon after I come to know about Him and was still only reading my first book about Him, I was driving out my front gate, when I spotted this beggar inside our front courtyard area, holding our iron in one hand and the cord to the iron in the other hand. He bowed to us as we drove out and I turned to my friend (Carl) and said "who's this silly old bastard ? And what's he doing with our iron ?" We carried on to the movies and nothing more was thought of this until 2 days later, when my Mother told me she had a visit from the local nurse. My Mother had only just come out of hospital, after 3 months, due to being knocked down by a car. The nurse came to see how she was dealing with the steps and such like. The nurse suggested that my Mother do some ironing, as it should help with her injured shoulder. When she went to do some ironing, she found the bad shoulder wouldn't allow her to iron as normal. She had to pull the ironing board out from the wall and walk around the board. In doing so, she found the cord was bared to the wires for about 6" and would have been deadly had she not seen it. Then, I remembered what Carl and I had seen. I asked her about this and she reminded me, she wouldn't have thrown our iron away, as she had not done any ironing for months - I had been doing it !! Then, I realised Sai was behind this, but why did He come to me in a different "body" ? Then, within a few days, my reading brought me to another photo - Shirdi Sai. The man who materialised at my front gate and Shirdi Sai were one and the same person. Carl never spoke to me for 12 months after I asked him to look at the photo of Shirdi Sai. He was fearful and it upset him so, he stepped back from talking to all his friends, family and myself. Now, he has settled in with the fact and had many equally amazing events take place and has become a Devotee himself. Facing God can shock some people ! These are only a fraction of the "miracles" Sai Baba has performed around me and my family-friends. Sleight-of-hand ? From India ? Gee, one thing scientists best explain to me is how he has such long arms ! Good thoughts - I have many more wonderful stories of Sai if anyone wishes to investigate. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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