5/10/1996 (just before the 70th birthday): Preamble - Having visited Sai Towers to look in their bookshop, I came across V.K. Narasimhan sitting at a tea table with a group of Sai Towers people, the owner Mr. Padmanabhan, his manager Devendra and his temporary editorial helper from Australia, Chris Parnell (a leader and webmaster in the Sathya Sai Organization there). I was summoned by VKN to join them. V.K. Narasimhan dominated the group totally with his talk, as he always did everywhere among Sai devotees. Various subjects were discussed, not least a reprint of VKN's book 'From Bapu to Baba', for 20 mins. or so until the question of the 1993 murders in Sai Baba's apartments came up (I was not the one to raise the subject).
VKN launched into his doubts about the 'official ashram' version (or versions) of the incident. He said he had asked Swami about different questions arising about it on several occasions but could not get any straight or satisfying answers. No wonder he was worried about the truth of it. He knew very well that the police had been forced by Janakiramiah and others through blackmail to shoot the four devotees who were locked into the apartment (but never mentioned this on this occasion - too dangerous, I am sure) VKN then quoted Sai Baba's famous aphorism: "Why fear when I am here?" and wondered what it could signify after these events.Transcript of handwritten notes: 5/10/95. Didn't make it to darsan. R. laid up with temp. Forgot to do morning prayer etc.!!
Obviously it is an empty slogan, but one which has attracted countless otherwise fearful people to seek his [imaginary] protection. If then a devotee suffers a serious loss, accident, incurable illness or whatever, the rationalization is 'I cannot have been a worthy devotee' or some such self-deceptive mental crutch. Since Sai Baba has forcefully and repeatedly exclaimed that he always has the interests and protection of all his devotees at heart why would he let such doubts as the murders episode created arise? Within ' the holy of holies', the temple building itself. Why did he not even explain what really occurred or have the matter investigated properly and cleared up legally? He also ignored all calls from the press to answer any questions whatever. This silence speaks far louder than all his many moralising words.
That Narasimhan compares Sai Baba and Krishna's unrighteous acts further shows that he took for granted in himself that Sai Baba was unrighteous. (i.e. The Gita records that Krishna lied to deceive some of his enemies an ambush where they were killed).
Narasimhan's groping for some kind of explanation only reached the intellectual totally unsatisfactory suggestion that, like Krishna, Sai Baba has had to act occasionally against dharma so as to defeat the forces of evil ranged against him. In short, even lies and murder might be necessary to reinstate justice?
When we consider that the four supposed 'evil doers' who were assassinated were armed only with knives and there is plenty of evidence to show that they were still devoted servants of Sai Baba and probably did not wish to harm him (as he himself stated), but only to ensure that he removed corrupt elements who were in control of most of the ashram.
The 'difficulty of reconciling his acts in different contexts' because Sai Baba is supposedly Krishna and Rama in one is truly in the realm of religious fantasy... the kind of straws a devotee tries to grasp to save from drowning in doubts. I noted this down, but even then I was far less than convinced that it had any relevance whatever.
The illogical justification of murders in this manner is obviously based more on the despair of threatened faith and comprehensive personal upheaval rather than on holding to righteousness and truth. Narasimhan had understood that the four followers whose Sai Baba’s brother and officials had killed by the police were intending to hold Sai Baba as a hostage and so overthrow those who were misappropriating funds etc. It seems very likely they also wanted to make him stop his sexual molestations (according to circumstantial facts and private reports by frightened village shop owners etc.) By no stretch of the imagination can they be compared to key causes of the evil in the world, or whose elimination was essential to save the 'divine mission' - as Narasimhan's theory would require.
The case of Swiss lady who was slaughtered in her room and whose murderers were allowed to escape by the police, which V.K.N. confirmed to me, was used - he said - to blackmail the police into the executions of the four students trapped in Sai Baba's bedroom. See a letter from a person, Marge Hendel, telling of the original murder incident at the ashram.
A confirmed believer may try to sustain a fragile peace of mind as a substitute for facing the facts and recognising the awful truth they imply. VKN had been living close to Sai Baba all the time and evidently trying to figure the matter out in his own mind. One can only imagine what a dilemma, even what a threatening crisis, this must have been for him emotionally and mentally. He had no independent-minded and objective, intelligent persons with whom to confer. Virtually everyone he met was a died-in-the-wool devotee without a critical thought in their heads - indeed, who drove any such thoughts out as devilish... and who it might well have been dangerous for him to tell too much. A former journalist who was now deeply involved in the Sai Baba mission, unable to get answers to burning questions and unable to take the leap of making known to the public what he knew, with all the consequences for himself and his wife (still then alive but ailing greatly).
For these killings to occur - and be condoned in Sai Baba's subsequent silence and covering-up actions - is patent evidence that he is not pure, loving and nonviolent in every possible way. The successful extermination of the intruders silenced them effectively, but the end result is a complete and total fiasco for the "Divine Mission"!
However, my smart idea that Sai Baba needs to draw a veil over his actions to avoid a massive world influx and make the flow of visitors to Prashanthi Nilayam more 'manageable' really amuses me now for it was nothing 'mystical' but an outright cover-up... but also makes me think how much effort I wasted on trying to justify what actually turned out to be totally unjustifiable.