The Suka Nadi palm leaves on Sathya Sai Baba?
as posted by saibabaofimndia web site (entries in orange text)

Claims that Sathya Sai Baba's birth and life were prophesied from as far back as 3000 BC have been made by many of his followers and propagated very widely in the Sai Baba hagiographical literature. None of these have been found to stand up to scrutiny and those which allegedly refer to him by name cannot be found to have appeared anywhere until after he had achieved quite a measure of fame in India. No independent researchers have unearthed and dependable information on sources lending credibility to such prophesies.

"At this time Sri Maha Vishnu will incarnate in the world as Kalki Deva, assuming black complexion. The wicked will perish and Dharma will regain its supremacy ushering in a new age."
(Predicted by Sri Pandrimalai Swamigal : taken from the book Dasavatara, by Shri S. Ramakrishna, Bharathi Vidya Bhavan).

COMMENT: Notably, Sathya Sai Baba has never himself claimed to be Kalki Avatar... though he has otherwise claimed anything and everything to enhance his divine status. However, in a futile attempt to 'prove' that Sathya Sai Baba is Kalki, his 60th birthday chariot was drawn by four white horse, as Kalki is predicted to have along with him. He accepted the four horse chariot and rode it past the crowds. There are enough other claimants for the title of the reincarnation of Vishnu as Kalki Avatar. The most prominent currently having a wide foreign following is Kalki Bhagavan, or Sri Kalki Avatar of Bangalore, advertising himself as ‘The Living Avatar’.

Kalki avatar
The Sathya Sai Organisation published this photo of Sathya Sai Baba on his 60th birthday - an allusion to Kalki avatar
(without actually stating that he was regarded as such officially!)

- Dr. E.V.Sastri, a prominent member of the Indian Astro Occult Research Association, New Delhi, during the course of his research, found out ‘Nandi Grantham’ available in Tamil Nadu, which had all the indications about Sathya Sai Baba’s horoscope written by a famous erudite Pundit, some five hundred years ago. It was written on a piece of palm leaf of the size 36 centimeters long and 2 ½ cms broad. It reads : ‘The person to whom this horoscope relates and whose name is Sathyanarayana Raju will renounce the world in his boyhood, will start schools and hospitals, will publish books for the uplift of the World, will spend every day of his whole lifetime for the establishment of Dharma, which is his ideal and objective’. It is further mentioned that, “He will be an Avatar amongst the Avatars”. (Taken from the book ‘The Grace of Sai’ by R.Lowenberg).

COMMENT: These palm leaf writing - called 'nadis' (claimed to have been written thousands of years ago by sages like Brighu, Kumar and others) are one of the biggest 'occult' money-earning scams in India on a level with Hindu astrology. At least hundreds of readers of palm leaves are to be found. Narayana Shastri was told by Sathya Sai Baba personally NOT to publish his claims, but he went ahead anyhow. So far he is the only nadi interpreter who has discovered the remarkable predictions about Sathya Sai Baba, out of hundreds (at least) who claim to possess such supposedly prophetic palm leaves aged anything from 400 to 5000 years old (though many are but copies, of course, and also fakes) who has discovered the remarkable predictions about Sathya Sai Baba. No palm leaves have so far been scientifically examined and carbon-dated as far as can be discovered, which is another reason to doubt their authenticity, as any scientific confirmation would have been extremely good for their business.

Narayana Sastri's 'prophecy' could easily have been contrived by a Sai follower, which the Bangalore 'shastri' who wrote it indeed was. He and one of his sons made his living from these 'readings' of sages' prophesies and his Sai Baba prophesies promoted his business (and that of his soothsaying son) very considerably among all the followers! There is no scrap of evidence that this prophecy is other than sheer propaganda by a zealous devotee who intends to promote Sai Baba by any means possible. There is no photograph or scan of the alleged palm leaf in question, nowhere is a source to the original text preserved, and there is not even a direct full translation of the alleged text presented as such . These soothsayers like Narayana Shastri work mostly on intuition and astrological data when they give readings for individuals, just as do many palmists, Tarot readers, and others who make their living by such doubtful methods.

Nadi leaf
Suka Nadi palm leaves
Palm leaf manuscripts (repeatedly re-copied from earlier leaves)

Another well-known Brighu palm leaf reader, Kantilal G. Pandya of Bombay, whose prophesies very seldom come to pass, was endorsed in her book 'Sai Baba - The Ultimate Experience' by the Sai-deluded author Phyllis Krystal. Later she realised that she had been duped and denounced Pandya. Sathya Sai Baba has promoted Pandya privately and has sent numerous devotees there to have their fortunes told. In the interests of investigating this phenomenon, my wife and I went for a reading - though we were skeptical about the weird and wonderful claims made for the Brighu nadi and the Suka nadi. This Brighu-nadi reader Pandya's predictions for our lives have very signally failed to come to pass and most have already been shown to be false by events.

The Sastri 'prophecy' could easily have been contrived by a Sai follower, which the Bangalore 'shastri' who wrote it had been for a long time. He and one of his sons made his living from these 'readings' of sages' prophesies, his Sai Baba prophesies promoted his business (and that of his soothsaying son) very considerably among all the followers in those days! There is no scrap of evidence that this prophecy is other than sheer propaganda by a zealous devotee who intends to promote Sai Baba by any means possible. There is no photograph or scan of the alleged palm leaf in question, nowhere is a source to the original text preserved, and there is not even a direct translation of the alleged text, only a general summary of the shastri's interpretations. These soothsayers like Narayana Shastri work mostly on intuition and astrological data when they give readings for individuals, just as do many palmists, Tarot readers, and others who make their living by such doubtful methods. So another reason for doubting the authenticity of this evidence is that the shastri was doubtless using a birth date for Sathya Sai Baba which, due to official school records of his age, is now highly in doubt. He would certainly not have been able to carry out the normal astrological method - measuring Sai Baba' s shadow at a particular time of day to establish which palm leaf applied.
Despite all the above, there are those who have investigated well-known palm leaf readers who have discovered some inexplicable predictions, such as has my investigative colleague Barry Pittard (see a brief account of his here).

- "The advent of this Avatar Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba was uniquely prophesied not only in some ancient books of Indian origin but also in books of other lands and religions. It is found that Baba’s horoscope has been extolled in the Indian palmyra “Nadi” scrolls of hundreds of years antiquity, containing prophesies by celebrated sages like Agastha, Brahma, Bhrigu, Buddha, Shuka and Shukra. Since there is said to be remarkable accord amongst the different Nadis interpreted by different and independent readers, we can confidently ascribe genuineness and credibility to those Nadi predictions."

COMMENT: As has been shown earlier here, we can certainly not confidently ascribe genuineness and credibility to the Nadi predictions. "There is said to be remarkable accord" - this is vague hearsay, for no known authoritative sources are ever stated nor documented. There are no photographs detailing any of the of alleged palm leaf texts referring to Sathya Sai Baba. Nowhere is a source to original text preserved, and there is not even direct translations of the alleged text because firstly they have to be selected from a mass of palm leaves on astrological data - most often got by the doubtful method of measuring the shadow of the person involved and noting the time and location (which was surely never done by Narayana Shastri in the case off Sathya Sai Baba) or by having a correct, accurate birth date (and Sathya Sai baba's alleged birth date is contradicted by several official public records of his school days -based on several sources, it is reckoned out that his birth date was most likely October 4th 1929. see here ). Secondly, these nadi readers have to interpret the very compact Sanskrit text through intuition. They even allow questions about what the text says and they answer as if virtually everything one wishes to know were to be found there!

The various 'nadis' are basis for one of the biggest 'occult' money-earning scams in India, practiced by Hindu astrologers and 'shastris' (i.e. who have reached a certain level in the Sanskrit language). Many hundreds of such palm leaf soothsayers are to be found, but it is most unlikely that they all have leaves aged anything from 400 to 5000 years old, as is invariably claimed (though many are but copies of earlier leaves). The business of faking copies is also rife. E.V. Narayana Shastri asked Sathya Sai baba to bless publication of his Suka Nadi prophesies, but he was told 'no!'. Later he went ahead anyhow and is - so far as can be discovered - the only nadi interpreter who has discovered the remarkable predictions about Sathya Sai Baba! Since the supposed ages who wrote such nadis are a few (Suka, Brighu, Kumar) how can it be that the predictions about Sai Baba were so unique that no one else can corroborate them or provide objective evidence of any kind? Is it just a matter of 'believe what you want' yet again? Further, considering how rewarding any scientific confirmation would be for their fortune-telling business, none have subjected any palm leaves to independent historical researchers or presented them for scientific examination or even carbon-dating. Not so far as can be discovered. In short, there are plenty of sound reasons to doubt their authenticity. Yet more are detailed here below as the Nadi prophesies are examined point by point:-

The following are the highlights of the prophesies contained in the Nadi scrolls as mentioned in Sai literature by various authors:

He will be a great incarnation of the Godhead Vishnu, Shirdi Sai and several other Gods and Goddesses and will have all powers of God.

COMMENT: The validity of his claim that he is a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba is under deep suspicion for a number of reasons. It has been said that the name of the saint of Shirdi was completely unknown in the region when Sai Baba as a young man claimed he was the reincarnation. This has been proven to be entirely wrong. The name was well known and it was the fame of Shirdi Sai Baba that Sathya Narayana Raju appropriated to himself as best he could. Despite this, most followers of Shirdi Sai Baba reject Sathya as his reincarnation, most notably the official Shirdi Sai Sansthan, whose web site avoids any positive mention whatever of Sathya Sai Baba. A message from the (Shirdi) Sai Baba Trust in The Mumbai Mirror stated:-"Please do not believe anybody pretending to be a reincarnation of Shri Sai Baba. Shri Sai Baba has no disciple, nor an heir and nobody is seated on his aasan." Further, Manoj R Nair wrote in the Mumbai Mirror, Wednesday, January 11, 2006 "Sigh! Baba - Followers of Sai Baba file case against devotees of Sathya Sai of Puttaparthi to restrain them from calling him a reincarnation of the Shirdi seer".

· He will be born for protecting and propagating Dharma (righteousness) and he will have a mission to fulfil.

He will have healing powers and the power to cure himself by sprinkling water. He will use his healing powers not only for the people of this world, but also for the beings of the other worlds and on the higher planes of existence.(Devas, i.e. celestial gods and goddesses). At times He will take on the illness of the others.

COMMENT: It is suspicious that the prophecy about sprinkling water on himself first 'came to light' only after the incident in which he did this, having seemed to suffer brain hemorrhage causing paralysis of half of his body during the week or so before the 1963 Guru Poornima festival in his Prashanthi Nilayam ashram. When the crowd was anxiously waiting to see if he would appear, he staggered out with support to his chair where all could see him, then sprinkled water with one hand on his paralyzed side and became as fit as a fiddle. Most doubters were confounded and his popularity increased. However, he is know to have been regarded very highly as being a realistic actor since childhood, when he began to perform with the travelling family troupe. There is no guarantee that that incident was not carefully and secretly staged by him from the start, not least so as to impress his closest servitors like Kasturi (who had his mostly private doubts, despite his eulogies).

There are of course countless spiritual healers of more and less credible kinds. The phenomenon is not well understood and scientific medicine has not succeeded in researching the apparently genuine cases by any means. More on this here 'Faith healing, self-suggestion and Sai Baba'

· He will have power to extend the life of deserving persons. When the Kali yuga influence grows even more intense, people will see His true might and will acknowledge that He is the Supreme Power. Then mankind will bow to him as a great Emperor and He will be revered as the greatest living being, MAHAPURUSHA, in the world.

COMMENT: We can most confidently state that day will not come within his lifetime, or ever - for that matter, considering the huge damage he has himself done to his reputation. His many false and ignorant statements alone would ensure that, apart from his sleight-of-hand 'materialization' as revealed by video footage and testified by many who were at his interviews and countless false predictions and promises, constant boasting, trying to get recognised by the Duke of Edinburgh, to get a Nobel Prize and his frequent ungodly and outright rude words to people, constant spreading of slander and rumours etc.

· Sri Sathya Sai Baba will perform great miracles.

· He will also retain youthful look, age notwithstanding
COMMENT: By what stretch of the imagination can one say that Sathya Sai Baba has retained his youthful looks?

· He will be Brahmachari. He will establish Ashrams, educational and medical institutions.

COMMENT: A Brahmachari means a totally celibate person. But he stands widely accused of homosexual activities, even by some of his closest followers, such as Dr. Naresh Bhatia, who told the journalist Mick Brown of the Daily Telegraph that he had been in a sex relationship with Sathya Sai Baba for years and that many, many boys had been sexually used and abused by him, including one under-age boy he personally examined and found anal rape had taken place. Boys sleep in his bedroom apartment, and have done for decades, see here. Perhaps Sathya Sai Baba interprets 'brahmachari' as apparently a fair quite a number of other Indian males do, someone who abstains from sex with females? Sathya Sai Baba has been accused of sex abuse by scores of persons... see short clips/transcripts of two outspoken testifiers on the BBC documentary 'The Secret Swami' here and here
For a comprehensive overview see here

· He will have equal attitude towards all men and women. His glory will spread and many people will get near him. But all cannot have His grace due to past sins.

COMMENT: Anyone who has been to the ashrams will know that, whatever Sathya Sai Baba claims as his attitude is towards the sexes, his entire outward attitude is one of discrimination of women. His supposed equal compassion for them is too well hidden for his words to be matched by his actions, which he claims is the chief mark by which we can distinguish a genuine spiritual teacher for a dishonest one. Not only does he give far more time to men in every respect - especially his male students (who receive nearly all his time compared with the females) and his male followers, to whom he gives by far the most of his time at darshan, but he nominates men to 95% of the positions in his various institutions and his Sathya Sai Organization. Women are relegated to a figurative 'back seat' in all events with the exception of on one day per annum 'Ladies Day', which he introduced in the 1990s no doubt due to the criticism which reached his ears from many women and also male devotees from Western countries where women's rights are taken seriously both in legislation and practice in a way which Indian women can probably only dream of for a rather distant future.

The linking in the Suka Nadi prophecy of the statement about women and about past sins may well reflect the widespread prejudice in India that women are born as females (i.e. as an inferior gender) because of their 'karma', which in the Hindu world-view results from past good deeds and sins in one or more former lifetimes. Sathya Sai Baba's has spoken on women occasionally, praising them as mothers, dutiful spouses and child bearers and rearers while frequently rejecting ideas like their being fit to rule a country or even carry out traditional male professions. He holds in the main that they should be home makers rather than aspire to occupations that are traditionally a male preserve in India and other Eastern countries. He also makes various contradictory statements about women and their roles - probably all according to the audience and such considerations. See Sai Baba's "teaching' on women

· He will be PREMASWAROOPA, ANANDASWAROOPA, AND JNANASWAROOPA. (Personification of Love, Bliss and Wisdom)

COMMENT: That he is no personification of pure love is seen in his lectern-thumping, hate-packed and directly untruthful Christmas Discourse, 2000 and, of course, in the profuse allegations of sexual abuse and proof of murder cover-up. As to Bliss, he has become stone-faced and morose-looking most of the time, except occasionally when he smiles for the cameras. Students reported on the Convocation address 22-10-2008, as follows:-
"Swami made it clear that He has no enemies. Every one loves Him. Many people may have some misunderstandings about Me but it is only their IMAGINATION.. I have no enemies.. I love all. I am always smiling. Many people think how can I keep smiling? I don't like castor oil faces.. When you all are happy, I will be happy."

Sathya Sai Baba said he was under great criticism, but kept smiling

The students… …wonder how Swami is able to put up such a smiling countenance (my emphasis) in the midst of great criticism and how Swami could put up such great patience!".

Apart from his stupendous presumption that 'everyone' loves him - when he is not known at all to the majority of humanity, this shows how he has to put on a brave face and is unhappy when his devotes are, as they so often seem to be when begging for his intervention and much more. He himself says he "puts up" a smiling countenance (see snaps of him above!) in a discourse in October 2008:-

Sathya Sai Baba with Professor Gokak, the first Chancellor of the Sathya Sai 'deemed university'

However, an Indian lady devotee in Norway with connections to some of Sathya Sai Baba's inner circle sent out an e-mail telling how she had learned that he sits and cries most of the day. Strangely enough, a very similar account was given to me by a US lady devotee of long standing from Hawaii called Kanta Devi. She had long known Prof. V.K. Gokak well - one of the closest servitors at that time. Gokak was visiting Sai Baba daily in his Trayee Brindavan apartment where he sat suffering a hairline fracture in the hip joint (after his first accident in his bathroom after slipping on the soap). He told Kanta Devi, who he knew very well, that Sai Baba sat in an armchair all day and was very depressed, shedding bitter tears each time Gokak visited him. Kanta Devi was very concerned about this and asked my wife and I how it could be explained. Of course, blind devotees would have said that "it is all Swami's divine play which no one can understand". Indeed, as soon as one throws away the last vestige of judgement and common sense, nothing Sai Baba says or does can be understood, as it is just play and has meanings he alone knows. This is the depths to which renunciation of an independent mind can bring anyone who is not very careful.

"He will show Himself in many places simultaneously, though He will actually be in one place and there will be many divine acts and manifestations."

COMMENT: The highly controversial ability to bi locate has been claimed for other spiritual figures, notably the famous Pater Pio of Pietrelcina, Italy (1887-1968, now Saint Pio of Pietrelcina). Para-psychologist Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson tried to investigate claims of Sathya Sai Baba's bi-location ('apparitions' to para-psychologists) but could not substantiate them, even though he reproduced the claims at length and thereby gave them an aura of possibility. Having questioned devotees myself about miracles through two decades (including many Indians) I found an unusual level of inaccuracy, exaggeration, lacking clarity, ambiguity, sloppy observation, unquestioning reliance on hearsay and the zeal to convince others when speaking of their experiences. Most extraordinary claims require most extraordinary evidence to support them, but this is absent in all instances where Sathya Sai Baba reportedly appeared in his physical person in two places at once.

In dreams, visions and apparent 'visitations' the form of a distant person can well appear to people and such apparitions have been found to be quite commonly reported. Another likely explanation of perceived 'visitations' by Sai Baba exists. Recent discoveries in psycho-neurology and sleep research show that dream images are perceived as physically real in conditions that arise where the mind is awake (though experiencing hypnogogic or dream experience), while sleep paralysis and other physical restraints apply to the body. Vivid dreaming while the mind experiences a waking state can cause figures of all kinds to be perceived as real and physical. This condition is quite common and is often connected with the various causes and kinds of narcolepsy.
Such conditions can be the explanation for many reported experiences of the 'incredible' or fantastic sort: of demons, incubi, diverse earth and water spirits, persons returned from the dead, UFO abductions and many other apparently waking phenomena.

· He will have the power to die whenever He wants.

COMMENT: Actually, virtually everyone has the power to end their own lives whenever they wish - it's called suicide. If Sathya Sai Baba had ended his own life by his own will, then this must surely have ranked as suicide too in a moral and a legal sense. That matter apart, he has given at least three totally incompatible predictions of when he has chosen to the "leave the body", (in published discourses) in particular either at age 92/3 or at 96. (See here) However, in the event he died at the calendar age of 84 (i.e. in his 85'th year) after long hospitalization, massive organ failures and did not choose the time as he was disconnected from life support by his minders at a time they evidently chose as most suitable - Easter Sunday!

Formmer follower Barry Pittard on Nadi Shastra

“Like Sathya Sai Baba himself, the nadis (and I confine myself to those in the hands of the small few owners whom I do not think are rogues) require complex discussion – one which I have, these days, scarce time, purpose or inclination to pursue. I will state simply my view that careful investigation throws up some challenges to those of rational bent. Necessarily, one would rule out discussion with those who already have their mind made up either way.
The sheer specificity of information relating to a subject who, in one of the traditions, submits a thumb-print is difficult, if not impossible, to refute – particularly in the case where the investigator sets up a number of empirical screens against being duped, such as going to separate nadi centres and ruling out any chance that e.g., one has been subtly ‘milked’ for information which is then spuriously played back to one, or that a hotel or stooges etc., may have got one’s biographical details and, in cahoots with a nadi reader, provided the information surreptitiously.
Even here, the references that await one in the reading refer (including by name and by other specific details) to, e.g., other family members, situations and even some references to abstruse detail to other individuals in one’s life. It can be a bit like coming into possession of a secret government file opened up under a Freedom of Information submission. I do not know how such a feat is achieved in the case of nadi centres which use the thumb-print method such as in South India largely in the State of Tamil Nadu, but found through exceptionally extensive enquiries via interview of subjects that something – whatever its nature – extraordinary is the case. What, however, and in my intensive and prolonged enquiries, I did find was that the predictions bore no such high correlation. In short, stunning accuracy of identification of subjects and considerable question about the success of the predictions. Of course, it should be made clear that attempts to follow up rigorously on outcomes of predictions was, necessarily, often ruled out by the consideration that the fulfilment times had not been reached. However, as I was able to determine in my own various readings and those of an array of other subjects – and so far as I was able to get some data from serious investigators – there are real problems in regard to accuracy of fulfilment. Yet again, the situation remindful of Sathya Sai Baba: things to be said affirmatively and things decidedly not, and still other things too difficult to decide.”

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