Sathya Sai Baba Sai Baba's long-term degeneration into senility and power loss

He always had claimed his health was and always would remain perfect in every way

Sai Baba no disease

"That is why I am always healthy...". Further, in his discourse at the hospital in Whitefield (June 3, 1995) Sathya Sai Baba also said: “Purity, patience and perseverance. With these three you are bound to acquire good health and bliss. You may believe it or not. But the truth is that these three are responsible for my health (Arogya) and bliss (Ananda). I am always happy. I should like to run but there is no place where I can do so. I can lift anybody at this age.” (Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 173).

"Many of you are anxious thinking that Swami is not keeping good health over the last few days. In fact, My health is very good. Real health is not related to the body. As you equate Swami with this physical frame, it appears as though Swami is not well. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result). 00 not identify Me with this physical body. l am not Dehaswarupa (body), I am Dehi (the indweller). There is no difference between you and Me. I have all powers in Me. But you are deluded seeing My physical form. Whatever I am doing is only to satisfy the doctors and other devotees. As a matter of fact, there is no trace of ill-health in Me. l am always healthy. Not only today, till 96 years I will be like this. I can do whatever I want. But those who go by the physical form think that Swami is aging. Youth and old age are related to the body and not to Me. lam always the some. I can do anything. However; this body is yours. This has come for your sake. You can change it the way you like. If you think that Swami is strong and healthy, yes so He is. There is no weakness in Me. My angas (limbs) may appear to be weak. But I am not Angaswarupa, I am Atmaswarupa. Wherever you may go, worship God as Atmaswarupa. Do not identify Him with an Akara (form). Give up body consciousness and develop Atmic awareness. Only when you lead a spiritual life, will you be able to visualize the Atmaswarupa. If you identify Me with the body, I cannot walk even two steps.
Do not think about the Akara. Have faith that I am the Atmaswarupa. Then I will always remain healthy.

05/10/2003, Vijayadashami, Prasanthi Nilayam (Sathya Sai Speaks - Vol 36. Chapter 14. Give Up Dehabhimana, Develop Atmabhiman)

In his last few years after becoming a wheelchair invalid, however, the worsening of his health became more and more visible and evident from his behaviour. Before he was carted off to his hospital with heart disease, followed by the breakdown of all his vital organs one by one, he had become dependent on medicaments - stimulants and tranquillizers provided by his only trusted consort, Sathyajit. So he was certainly not 'always healthy'!

Barry Pittard noted in 2010 that: "Although they do not allude to it, Sai Baba’s officials can no longer conceal his declining mental health nor his increasing physical decrepitude. They do not broadcast – and literally in the case of Dr G. Venkataraman’s international propaganda transmissions over Radio Sai Global Harmony – that he has said that his body will not age after he is 60 years."
This was borne out by his statement in public as seen on the right:-

In 2002, Sai Baba collapsed with a decayed hip-joint and was operated on and a replacement was inserted by six of his best doctors. It came of his slipping in his bathroom (in 2002 - having had a hairline hip fracture from the very same cause in 1988). (See more detailed facts). The operation left him crippled, either because it was a botched operation (less likely) or because he explicitly stated he would be cured by his devotees prayer and since he visibly ignored the professional advice about physiotherapy and exercise. He never recovered the ability to walk properly. From that event onwards, one could begin to notice his gradual mental degeneration There were increasing signs that he was 'not all there', but these were never mentioned by any devotees or officials and were covered up as best as his minders could manage it.

Eileen Weed (aka 'Divya') who knew well Sai Baba's female relatives and lived years with Venkamma (Sai Baba's sister) and obviously had more opportunities of knowing what was going on in the secretive ashram and with Sai Baba than any other non-Indian. She lost faith in him finally around the time that his degeneration became obvious to insiders. All the evidence point towards Sai Baba as a classic example of the consequences of the fall of persons of supreme power (see Forsyth's view above). It was noticed how he shows more signs of ageing and disability, including evident thinness and weight loss until, on his last birthday celebration in 2010, he was distant and wooden in appearance and also broke down in tears repeatedly during the celebrations (something he had stated before was a great weakness and sign of undue attachment). It is now known that at the time he was being medicated alternatively with both sleeping pills and stimulants by his closest friend, the very young man Satyajit. It is known that he suffered a lot through his life from sleeplessness (his sister Venkamma told this to her companion and helper, Eileen Weed). The cause of the gradual loss of his faculties remains professional undiagnosed, as did the real cause of his successive body organ failures (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, brain), since no legally valid death certificate was issued (one was signed by Dr. Safaya, apparently under protest causing him to resign, which named only 'heart failure')

The following e-mailed testimony (inset) is from the former chief translator (from Telugu to English) of Sai Baba discourses for the 'premsai' translation group (which was stopped from posting by the Sai authorities because the results were too revealing and clashed with the official, doctored Sanathana Sarathi journal edited discourses).

"It was about how sb's speech in later days was "hard to understand due to old age." I had previously seen a video online of a more recent discourse (from mid or late 2009, I believe). I was taken aback by hearing it - no, it is NOT just the hard to understand way elderly people talk" - it was downright SLURRED SPEECH, exactly how someone with a stroke would talk!
Believe me, while in India I mainly hung around elderly Telugu ladies and NONE of them had slurred speech like that (except one, who had had a stroke some years before). I was freshly impressed with translator Anil Kumar, who performed a magic trick by taking completely nonsensical, un-understandable speech and basically giving the bulk of the discourse himself, by putting masterful words into sb's mouth, so to speak! I could not make heads or tails of what sb was trying to say with his totally slurred speech, and knew that if I was still translating discourses, I couldn't have translated that particular speech. Interestingly enough, there doesn't seem to be any easily available audio links online anymore, of the discourses from later days.
Speaking of audio of discourses, I remember when we were translating discourses in 2002, the bookstore stopped selling the audio cassettes at one point, so a couple of members took it upon themselves to illegally record the discourses while sitting outside by a speaker (they were doing that anyway, before the cassettes stopped being sold - sometimes the bookstore would be too long in getting the cassettes and we would want to start our translations immediately: plus on at least two occasions, we compared tapes and noticed with horror that a couple of juicy parts had actually been EDITED OUT of the audio cassettes that were sold in the bookstore!). All our secretly recorded cassettes, as well as the bookstore ones, were kept safely by several members of our group. In fact I could have had a complete set also but unfortunately, due to my heavy vairagyam streak, I would get rid of as many material possessions as I could, so didn't keep a single cassette.
Of course, anyone who could understand Telugu would realize how muddled the discourses were: however that didn't seem to be an issue because as I mentioned before, Indians generally are not M concerned or judgmental about the perfection of the gods they worship, as we are. There must have been a tipping point where outsiders came to the bookstore and were alarmed at the inconsistencies of the discourses, and got them removed (as well as much of the telling audio)."

Eileen Weed referred to Barry Pittard's blog of August 2009 where he summarized some of the evidence of Sai Baba's senile degeneration ( Excerpt from an e-mail sent by Divya 11/10/2012 Pathetically, On Christmas day, 2006, Sai Baba opened his discourse with a Telugu poem, as follows:´ The pompous person with unclear mind, what chance has he of realising the true self? Then, on Jan. 29, 2007, we could read:- from news in Telugu (no longer unavailable on www but see scan below):

Translation by Eileen Weed of Telugu News item:-


Report from the 'Eenadu' - the largest circulated Telugu Newspaper in Andhra Pradesh with a daily readership of over 10 million. Translation of the relevant text: "Lacking in Clarity: There was a lack of clarity in Sathya Sai's speech because of his old age. The interpreter struggled much to translate his speech into English. Satya Sai was seated in a special wheel chair which was brought very close to the car, so he could very slowly get into it. At the time of the speech, he stood up with great difficulty with the help of his assistants." Sathya Sai Baba was no longer "happy and healthy" - much more visibly unhappy and definitively unhealthy, despite his frequent boastful claims that he would never age and was sustained always in perfect health due to is self-alleged 'purity, patience and perseverance'. scan of news in Telugu on-line (no longer on-line)