SATHYA SAI BABA'S "MAGNETISM"
analysis of "Divine Discourse" of March 16, 2003
By: Jorge Reyesvera (2003)
Among the common meanings of the word magnetism is an unusual power to attract, fascinate, or influence. According to this, Sathya Sai undoubtedly possesses much such magnetism, proof being the number of people and material goods etc. from many places that he is able to attract. However such magnetism is far from being exclusive to Sathya Sai. His claims of having divine magnetism are much exaggerated when compared, for example, with the attraction of many other figures and places. Some examples, the Pope in his last visit to Madrid attracted more than 1 million people with World Press coverage (four times more than the biggest crowd ever visiting Sathya Sai). The Woodstock Festival once attracted over a million persons. Over a million Shia Muslims recently gathered at Kerbala, Iraq. Three million pilgrims were attracted to Mecca last year, seen as a truly gigantic mass of people on TV worldwide. The 12-yearly Kumbha Mela at Allahabad has regularly attracted crowds of from 10 to 12 million. And so on
In India it is common to find sadhus, gurus, and avatars trying to convince others about their supposed supernatural powers in order to gain control over them and/or their goods in various ways. It is also customary for them to try to display knowledge about obscure matters in order to show their superiority. I do not thereby deny that some legitimate phenomena occur around Sathya Sai, but he fits the pattern so neatly that it is worth mentioning mistakes and lapses which confirm that there are such doubtful and vested motives on his part.
Sathya Sai likes to talk about magnetism (just the Sai Baba magnetism type -.look on any Internet search engine and you will find examples). He constantly mixes concepts while also usually trying to explain physical magnetism as connected to or even as itself being - his power of attracting people etc. But his lack of the most basic scientific knowledge in this regard gets exposed very soon. I shall demonstrate this:-
There are only four physical elementary interactions in nature, all others (i.e. Normal Force, Frictional Force, Centripetal Force, Spring Force, etc) are but secondary effects of these. The four are:
Electromagnetism: It causes electric and magnetic effects such as the attraction/repulsion between electrical charges or the interaction of magnets. It is long-ranged, but much weaker than the strong nuclear force.
Gravitation: It is weak, but has a very long-rang. Furthermore, its power of attraction acts between any two pieces of matter in the universe, since mass is its source.
Strong Nuclear Force: It acts over very small distances within an atoms nucleus and maintains the stability of this nucleus in spite of its tendency to fly apart because of the electrostatic repulsion of similarly charged particles. It only acts over very short distances.
Weak Nuclear Force: It is responsible for radioactive decay and neutrino interactions. It has a very short range and is very weak.
In our daily lives we feel the effects of electromagnetism (light, magnets, electricity, friction, etc) and gravitation (our weight, the fact that the planets revolve around the sun, etc.). But the other two interactions have very subtle effects that are not to be detected without the aid of advanced experimentation.
The earth, because its mass, noticeably attracts all objects that are on it surface and because its motion and other factors it acts as a giant magnet and, as such, has magnetic poles. A compass is used to know in which direction the earths north and south poles lie, since the needles magnetic poles (also in a small magnet) will be attracted towards the earths ones.
Sathya Sais recent outrageous statements in his deplorable (and edited) discourse of March 16, 2003.
"No doubt, there is love in you. But you are not putting it to proper use. You have to experience the true and eternal love, which develops heart-to-heart relationship. Such divine love is all-powerful. It has no limitations whatsoever. It attracts one and all."
A very vague statement to suggest that something divine - i.e. superior, all-powerful, without limits - attracts one and all and is under his control.
"Today I want to tell you something very significant. This body of Mine is filled with attraction power from top to toe. It is the divine magnetic power. From Sivarathri onwards it has been increasing day by day though it was present in Me always. Worldly magnets attract only iron filings whereas this divine magnet attracts the entire world."
Attracts the entire world? Well if that was the case some observers or scientists would have the means to register it. Since he refers to physical entities it should be able to be explained in terms of the laws that affect physical entities. He fails to explain why that attraction power is increasing lately. However it is very likely that, if measured, the force that attracts his body to the earth it would be about the same as his weight. And if some electromagnetic field meters were placed beside him or his feet, nothing would be recorded from his body.
"You are under the mistaken notion that Swami is having pain in His legs and therefore He is unable to walk comfortably. I have absolutely no pain whatsoever. If I put one foot forward it is being pulled by the other as there is immense attraction power in My feet. As you are aware, even the earth is endowed with attraction power."
Why mention pain? Particularly when this message is going to be circulated worldwide in print and by radio broadcasts etc.?
Sathya Sai seems to be particularly confused about gravitational force and magnetic force. In some cases magnetic force can repel. If what he says were true, then he could also levitate?
"It only attracts and does not cause any pain. Swami has no pain at all. This attraction power in Me is increasing day by day. Whatever I touch with My hand, gets stuck to it. Such magnetic power is present in every man."
How is that it is present in every man and the effects he describes are not common occurrences? How can he or anyone know or measure the magnitude and increase in that supposed power?
"God is present in the form of Hiranyagarbha in everyone. Hence, He is extolled as Hiranyagarbhaya Namah (salutations to the one with golden womb). Pure gold does not undergo any change. It attracts everyone. You should not be under the mistaken notion that only Swami has this attraction power and none else. In fact it is present in you too. If you put it to proper use, it develops more and more."
Gold is considered valuable for some and the same can be said about diamonds but that does not mean that it has attraction for everyone. Further, gold can most certainly be changed by chemical reactions.
"I never had any pain at all. I am walking around as usual. But, sometimes it becomes difficult to lift the foot due to the earth's attraction power. Therefore, I am walking slowly. Unable to understand this truth, you are imagining that Swami has pain in His legs. Let Me reiterate that I have no pain whatsoever. I have no suffering, no worries and no anxieties. I am always blissful. There is nobody in this world who can come in the way of My bliss. But because of your worldly feelings, you think otherwise. If there is pain, one should think of a remedy. But when there is no pain, where is the question of remedy? No pain and no remedy."
Sathya Sai shows signs of confusion again. At first says that it is he who develops the attraction power, now says is the earths. But he is not clear whether it is gravitational force or magnetic force. Since he has just talked about magnetic power the statement is senseless because the effect of that would be very different.
And again he over-stresses the pain issue as if he was trying to convince that he does not feel it! If he does not have worries, why the need to explain all this? Why worry? What Sathya Sai says is essentially: You inferior humans, because of your worldly feelings, cannot understand my superiority and the fact that I have no pain. Is this his way of showing boundless love?
"In this world, every thing has to be under a certain limit. In the present situation, this body cannot travel much. The power is growing day by day. I try to lift My foot, but it is very difficult. Even if I use great force, it does not get separated from the earth. It can be separated only through My Sankalpa. It is very difficult to understand the principle of Divinity. No one can understand the Divine Sankalpa. None can estimate the divine power. People try to understand divinity on the basis of their own feelings and in the process end up with wrong estimation."
Again his repetitive rhetoric adds nothing to what is already said, but shows how anxious he is to convince.
"People throw stones at trees, which are full of fruits. Similarly, the noble and the pious are subjected to a lot of hardship in this world. Divinity cannot be understood."
This device is used very frequently to Sathya Sai to those who criticize him. But in any case this kind of writing helps doubting people - as well as those researching into him - to get a clearer picture of the self-obsession of Sathya Sai about his reputation.
"Some people do not understand the power of divine magnet. They argue, "If there is attraction power in the 'magnet', why is it not able to attract us?" How can a magnet attract an iron piece, which is full of rust and dust? When the rust and dust are removed, the magnet will attract the iron piece at once."
If the magnet is strong enough it does not matter if there is rust and dust. The one who fails to understand this much is Sathya Sai himself.
"You might have read various books on Transcendental Truth. But nobody has really understood what it means. It is the changeless and all-pervasive Atmic principle. Such sacred love is available only with God."
Again his superiority complex behaviour (remember that he calls himself God incarnate): None but I can understand.
"This is not a disease. This does not cause any suffering or unrest in Me. It cannot be cured with medicines. Love is the only remedy for this. There are many people who are closely associated with Swami for a number of years. Even they are unable to understand the truth. What is the use of leading such a life? First of all, you should try to understand Swami. Once you understand that this plate is made of silver, you can estimate its value. But, nobody can estimate the value of Divinity."
Again stressing the no pain issue and again he shows the down-putting nature of his love towards those presumed fortunate in being close to him. It seems he is intolerant of the slightest negative comment on his person. What does it mean to understand him? He suggests that it is to consider all that comes from him as divine and not show the minimum disagreement!
"No medicines can have any effect on Divinity. Love is the only remedy. It should be associated with the eternal principle of truth. Such love will spread to one and all. You are born only for the sake of love. You cannot say that you don't need love. You have to attain Divinity through love. This is the purpose of human birth. If you do not realise this goal, what is the use of being born as a human being? Who is the Creator? Could you have taken birth of your own accord? No. It is the Will of God. He has given you the body. It should be sanctified in His service and adoration."
Remember that he himself claims to be God, so he is asking people to love him. And sanctify their lives in his service and adoration.
"You should set an ideal to the world. Work for the peace and happiness of all. Do unto others what you expect others to do unto you. If you do not want suffering, try to alleviate the suffering of others."
So the wise Sathya Sai recommends trying to alleviate the suffering of others if you do not want suffering yourself? What about selfless service? What about real love, which thinks not of personal loss or gain?
During my follower days, I used not to give too much attention to Sathya Sais lapses in his written discourses, considering that those were probably mistakes of edition or translation. Now I realise that when one has such a firm conviction it is easy to explain or even be overindulgent of such nonsense. The acid test for someone who claims to be God (in the way Sathya Sai does) requires very much more than what this character is able to say or do.
Some people get convinced by miracles (as mentioned elsewhere, I know that at least some are authentic phenomena connected with Sathya Sai). By their very nature, the genuine miracles have no explanation and there is no handbook to explain what to believe, or how to go about testing them experimentally! But I have the conviction that even that if all wonderful things that are said of Sathya Sai were true (something that is not the case by far!) just one of his misdeeds is enough to discredit his claims of being the Godhead.
He cleverly sometimes says that all is God and every human is God, just that only he knows this, not us. However these words from his very mouth are themselves deeply contradicted by his other words and many of his deeds. So the question I will leave open for the reader to decide is: If he is not what he claims, then what or who is he?