Recorded talk with V. K.Narasimhan on 70th b'day crowds etc.
Transcripts on right-hand column in black normal text, my comments in bold purple. See scan of notes below text

NARASIMHAN said on 25/11 that Hillview Stadium holds about 1/2 million. That those who arrange things do not have any idea what it is like for "the man on the street". He said that the visit of President Dayal Sharma cost the State about (sixty lakhs) sis million Rs. and that Swami said that he did not want the President but he had "forced himself" upon Him. N. also said that he had seen Swami once crushed in a terrible crowd!

29/11 N. Estimate for Hillview Stadium = max 50,000N's Estimate for the whole area in B'day = 200,000 (Note: This referred to Narasimhan's estimate of the actual number of persons there on the 70'th birthday, not to capacity of the Stadium or whole area)

N. said he corrects errors & mix-ups in Sai Discourses when he edits/translates them. He is a bit worried that he will be brought to book by outsiders who hear the tapes and compare.

During a talk, Sai 'reversed' the account of Shakuntala's ring in Kalidasa's play - making it a gift from her to the king, not vice-versa. N. hesitated and whispered to Sai, who told him to translate it just as he had said it. The story worked out the same in the end.

Comment: Even when he is wrong, Sathya Sai Baba's pride makes him insist that he is right - he can never admit an error, though he had made hundreds, and far more absurd ones than misquoting the world-famous story of Shakuntala.

Also Sai embroidered ("from his own imagination" said N) the story of Sita after Rama's return from Lanka. However, Sai also gave a remarkable explanation of why Rama went to the forest: so the son could pay off his father's (King Janaka's) dues in not having made the ashrams safe for the rishis etc. by law and order-/killing Rakshas. Also R. went to be with the rishis who had fled to the forests.

Comment: There is nothing very remarkable at all in this invention of Sai Baba's. Anyone can invent such explanations - but then Narasimhan was very taken with Sathya Sai Baba, as everyone knew, who flattered him constantly and gave him pride of place in ashram events and among his student and teachers.

Swami's hints to Central Coordinators given in the Poornachandra to them alone.
(Day after the last day of the Conference)
The Sarva Dharma symbol changes to the 5 values.
Old Sarva Dharma is still the property of the old organization.

We must not appear as a Hindu sect
Comment: That is exactly how it does appear, and V.K. Narasimhan also told me elsewhere that it is nothing but a sect!

Care as to the cooperation with other organisations: no 'intermingling', keep own character as Sathya Sai Org.

Comment: This is another way of helping ensure secrecy and cover-up of untoward matters, and of hindering too much interaction with non personality cult organizations (Red Cross, Samaritans and many more). This would also stem the flow of defectors to other groups who are fed up with the authoritarianism and corruption of the highest office-bearers.

1996 Teacher Training in P.N.
World Youth Conference in 1997 accepted by Swami

Office bearers for 2 years / plus 2 years
Comment: Those who become 'leaders' in the various countries want to gain influence and keep it - so they fight by means fair and foul to stay in office. It gives prestige in the local communities, especially in the Indian diaspora, but also in non-Indian countries where such struggles are the daily fare (in Africa and South America). Far too many office-bearers stay in office for a decade or more. Nearly all top VIPs remain so until their disability or death... which secures both the hierarchy and the dogmatic stagnation.
Rs. 65.- pr room. Donors also. No owners in the 5 North blocks.
Comment: This was an outright betrayal of the many devotees who had already made the excessive price (my wife and I included) for the so-called 'ownership' of a room where one could keep some of one's luggage and return to on each visit. Such 'ownership' was never legal and even long-term owners' rooms could be reallocated without redress, as happened now and again too. The Rs. 65.- was a charge levied to those who had been invited to the 70th birthday Conference as delegates with free accommodation. But Sai Baba decided to cash in while they were still there! So much for his honesty!

V.K.N  on size of crowds>

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