Sathya Sai Baba was famous for giving various forms of supposedly 'divine blessing'- either by the spoken or written word, or by other means, such as by touching something offered to him, supposedly even by just taking a letter. There was a group indoctrination which began as soon as one entered an ashram in the shape of explanations to newcomers by believers of how to understand Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged “mystery” and of the many ways one can supposedly derive a “divine” benefit, blessing, or boon. Blessings are supposedly given by Sathya Sai Baba in numerous ways:-

– by his supposedly “materializing” vibuti ashes or a ring or other small objects for a person
– by his handing out ‘prasad‘ (blessed foodstuffs) like laddu or sweets, mangoes or saris or whatever
– by talking to or touching a person
– by allowing his feet or the hem of his robe to be touched by a person
– by receiving a letter proffered to him.
– by raising one or two arms towards the crowd in a posture said to convey blessings (like the Pope)
– by touching any object proffered to him at darsan
– by his uttering a word to (or even within earshot of) a person
– by a nod or other gesture towards a person, including simply looking at them
– by ‘writing on air’ in front of a person, or other gestures which the person hopes to see or expects as a blessing
and so on…

Devotees contrived possible signs by which they may feel that they received his blessing, say - if he touched his right ear when passing them, or when making some characteristic hand movement within their line of vision. There is practically no limit to the ways in which zealous devotees could satisfy themselves that he had (or had not) given his blessing to some idea, plan, wish or person. Many believed that any blessing, not only the more definitive forms, necessarily led to the desired or expected result, and even often whatever it turned out to be (asked for or unwanted). If the result was contrary to hopes, the standard response was that he was nonetheless doing it for the person's own good, somehow. Some wants and wishes are better not fulfilled, and he was believed to know which are which. There are many projects, however, to which he gave his definitive blessing, but which came to nothing. Some of these have been reported in recent years, such as the most disappointing case of a young man who was granted his wish for a blessing to become an airline pilot for the airplanes Sai Baba would travel in. He enrolled and went through the entire course, then years later - when he came to offer his services - he was ignored totally (rejected) nonetheless.

Anything good that may have followed on a blessing by Sathya Sai Baba - even after a visit to his ashram - was frequently attributed to his omnipotent benevolence, to the miraculous Sathya Sai Baba's machinations behind the scenes of the mere physical world! The unfulfilled blessing - rationalised as being "for one's own good", a good one cannot possibly know oneself, as he claimed to do. The whole 'blessing' was thus turned on its head to become a 'test of faith' or a 'tough but necessary lesson' ('an offer you could not refuse!). Once one accepted the catch-22 blessing charade, the logic allowed no easy escape.

Many observers are puzzled that many books Sathya Sai Baba ‘blessed’ and signed for publication were poorly written by any literary standards and often contained inaccuracies and direct errors of fact, besides copious exaggerated language, transparent ‘projections’ and what one comes to learn are largely wishful imaginings about Sai Baba. Nearly all books in the Sai hagiographic ‘literature’ lack sources and documentations. Hardly any of their quotations of Sai Baba are sourced and they are sometimes garbled in reproduction..

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