Defence of Sathya Sai Baba sexual abuses
The Sathya Sai Organisation condoned a non-credible 'explanation' of serious sexual molestations
After the revelatory testimonies of major sex abuses by Sai Baba from 1999 on the Internet, members of the Sathya Sai Organization, including some office-bearers, circulated to many devotees a printed version of a crude rationalization of homosexual abuses on boys and young men by Sathya Sai Baba as world avatar. It was posted by a Sathya Sai Baba devotee called Ram Das Awle around 2000 at http://www.geocities.com/the_sai_critic/awle.html but the site was removed after several years on-line. Later, it was posted again on a site calling itself 'The Sai Critic' (http://www.saibaba-aclearview.com - account suspended in 2013 - see at foot of this page). Ram Das Awle claimed the article was inspired and blessed by Sathya Sai Baba himself! That the International Sathya Sai Organisation has not once refuted this absurdly speculative and frankly disgusting 'explanation' by a well-known devotee as to why Sathya Sai Baba sexually abused males, which was sent to many (including myself), was a major blot on its reputation, which was already in question over its civic unaccountability and failure to exercise duty of care and mandatory reporting.
Ram Das Awle admits his acceptance of the sex abuse allegations and natural confusion but then tells how he thinks he has been inspired to surmount it by his "fervid imagination". Awle admits the sexual interventions by Sathya Sai Baba were a fact and he further supported and 'explained' various of the sexual perversions for which this seeming padophile 'porn' avatar stood accused as 'spiritual healing' and control of sexual urges! Considering that a mass of evidence was available for a long time it is instructive to see the extent to which devotees were willing to blind their own minds and bend their values backward to turn moral truths upside-down to discount indisputable facts. Until 2013, the article was never refuted or criticized in public by a single Sai official or follower. The essence of Awle's standpoint is that God (understood by him to mean the person of Sathya Sai Baba) can and does legitimately do ANYTHING WHATEVER, whatever the perversion or vile act by our 'merely human' standards (the vicious anal rape of minors included).
Ram Das Awle wrote:-
"A couple of weeks ago, Sai Baba took a letter from me in darshan, thereby instructing me to open a web site, using some material I've been writing which directly addresses the allegations of Baba's sexual contact with devotees. He confirmed the final version this morning with a padnamaskar. Jai Sai Ram!
The piece presents the best evidence I've found that Baba is a Poornavatar, a full incarnation of God - yet I've also taken the point of view that some of the allegations of sexual contact may indeed be true.First of all, I believe that Sathya Sai Baba is an Avatar, a full incarnation of God - the most powerful incarnation of God ever to come to the Earth (as Anandamoyi Ma described Sai Baba). AND, from what Ive read and heard, Im inclined to think some of the allegations about Baba are probably true: it appears likely to me that He has occasionally had sexually intimate interactions with devotees. God has given me the grace to be able to see that these two ideas are not necessarily in contradiction, and I invite the world to explore that possibility with me here. As I lay in my room immersed in confusion, I suddenly heard Babas voice again:
The above is based on much speculation. Moreover, it is of note that Sai Baba has long since stated
that the kundalini is 'just talk and 'big ego' to the most prominent US devotee, Dr. John Hislop, and he has allowed
the republication of this time and again by his 'Sai Publications Book
Sai: Kundalini shakthi is balance in mind and action.
Hislop: But Swami, kundalini yoga is supposed to mean the kundalini power rising up the spine.
Sai: That is not real. It is just speeches. People claim this happening and boast about it. It is big ego.
Hislop: Does Swami mean that there is no kundalini power or energy that starts at the base of the spine and rises up the spine?
Sai: There is no such thing. That is just big talk and big ego.
Hislop: But Swami, how about the idea that the snake of kundalini awakens at the base of the spine and awakens each chakra as it rises up ?
Sai: That energy is prana. It is imagined as rising up the spine by the practice of pranayama. The practice of pranayama is dangerous unless all circumstances are exactly correct. It is not necessary and Swami advises against it.
From Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba by Dr. John Hislop - Copyright held by Sathya Sai Books and Publications Prashanti Nilayam, and published by Birthday Publishing Company, San Diego, CA. Page 134:
Ram Das Awle rationalises all unfortunate exposures and testified allegations against Sathya Sai Baba as "part of His Divine Plan". This is a delusion shared by many Sai Baba devotees, having met dozens who believe this during my many years as the leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway. The Sai-follower, Bon Giovanni also posted enthusiastic support and praise for the views of Awle.
This "Sai Baba and Sex: A Clear View" is surely rather the "divine Incarnation" visualised "through a glass darkly". To raise pederasty and sodomy by Sathya Sai Baba to a teaching must surely be the last straw? Devotees have also circulated milder explanatory points within the Sai movement for those who cannot doubt that genital oiling and French kissing takes place, including supposedly 'raising the kundalini' or quelling young men's raging hormones, healing of malfunctions etc. The key unproven and massive assumption on which all is based is seeing Sathya Sai Baba as God Almighty Himself, who alone knows what is best for everyone, is the assumption made by Awle and most Sai Baba followers.
Salon.com's Michelle Goldberge refers to Ram Das Awle's views in the artivle 'Untouchable?' (July 2001) http://www.salon.com/2001/07/25/baba/ also http://archive.salon.com/people/feature/2001/07/25/baba/index3.html
Response to the above article from a professional counsellor who works with sex abuse victims, Elena A. Hartgering, USA
Below is a response to Ram Das Awle’s posting on the web entitled Sai Baba and Sex: A Clear View. You have my permission to translate where necessary and to distribute to your respective lists, as well as posting on the Internet.
June 14, 2001
I read, Sai Baba and Sex: A Clear View by Ram Das Awle, and I find it more mystifying than clarifying.
The only reason Sai Baba’s sexual proclivities are even a matter of discussion is because he is a self-proclaimed avatar, holy man, incarnation of God and so forth. As Ram Das Awle pointed out, many venerated holy men and women have also proclaimed Baba an avatar. He also points out that Krishna and Rama were sexually active gods.
Based on these declarations, proclamations and ancient legends, we are told to accept Sai Baba as the avatar of the age, even though his behavior contradicts the very essence of divinity. Sai Baba once said, “Indian holy men have a bad name in your country (USA).” Actually, If Sai Baba’s ashram and schools were in the United States he would long ago have been incarcerated for sexual abuse of young males.
The so-called “oiling” and “touching,” that Ram Das Awle acknowledges to be Baba’s practices are not protected by the shield of religion. They are clearly criminal offenses in this country.
I was somewhat amused by the example Ram Das Awle used to illustrate the “testing” mechanism of the guru. The little story of the enlightened one, with 1,000 disciples, who was ready to die, but before dying he would “test” the disciples by saying he first would like to have sex with a female donkey. All the disciples left except one who wanted to see how you do it with this donkey.
When, at the guru’s instructions the disciple prepared the donkey for penetration, she turned into a goddess which the old man gave to the disciple as a reward saying, “She will teach you what you want to know.” Why do holy men test their devotees? Do they not already know what the initiate will do, what they think, and how they will respond? Are these god-men so petty that they set us up for failure as did the donkey molesting guru?
This story depicts man’s carnal nature. I believe we all agree that the God of this Universe is purely spirit. If so, where does carnality enter into His Nature? It doesn’t. Why is the reward for the remaining disciple’s loyalty a sex goddess? The reward is carnal. Somehow the spiritual nature of the so- called enlightened one got lost in his lust for the poor donkey.
This is another story of a dirty old man and a randy disciple taking advantage of a helpless animal and the good name of the Goddess. Are Goddesses sex objects in India? Did any one ask the donkey or the Goddess if they were willing to have sex with this hapless pair? Ram Das Awle and others are writing reams to justify Sai Baba’s sexual contact with young males, when, in fact, there is not, and cannot ever be, a spiritual justification for such sexual contact. I say congratulations to the 999 disciples who ran away, for they were not blinded by the offering of a cheap sexual reward for their loyalty toward perversion.
In my work as an interfaith chaplain in a major hospital I had many occasions to be with the dying in all stages of that process. I can tell you that sex is the furthest thing from the mind of the dying. If there is any concern with the body at all, it is about pain, not lust.
To bring a little clarity to this murky territory, let’s take a good look at sex. Anyone who has studied Anatomy 101 knows that a new human life is created with the joining of male sperm and female ovum. It is in this moment, in the joining of the male and female energy that we become spiritual co-creators with God. Spiritual sexuality is in the creative force that generates a new life. Yet we do everything in our power to partake of the pleasure and stop the creative process.
A number of psychotherapists in the west have said that humans are a sexually immature species, and when we look at how sex is practiced, I think we have to agree with that truth. We use sex in all manner of non-creative efforts. We are the only species who use sex recreationally. Other species join together in the season of creation and otherwise have little to do with sex, other than a few primates, perhaps.
We use sex to sell products; we use sex to force, to manipulate, and control others; we use the genitals as weapons to brutalize; and we use sex in all manner of personal self-gratifying perversions from ritual murder, to child molestation. Many of these activities are criminal and result in incarceration.
Why is Sai Baba exempt? Does his self-proclaimed godhood exempt him from the natural and immutable universal laws of decency?
When Ram Das Awle begins his discussion with the premise that Sai Baba is “the most powerful incarnation of God ever to come to Earth,” he is guilty of the fallacy of presumption. That is something we cannot ever know because we have no other divine incarnations before us to test this premise. Logically, none of us can truly attest to the divinity of Jesus, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, or others. We were not there. Likewise we are not able to attest to the divinity of Sai Baba because while he has some magical powers, his sexual perversion conflicts with our understanding of divinity.
We have already seen the phony manifestations of vibuthi and other objects. He knows our inner thoughts, some will say. A good psychic also knows our thoughts which are a product of the collective unconscious. He utilizes group hypnosis and slight of hand. None of these make him God. God does not cause harm and sexual molestation is harmful. Don’t take my word for that. Ask the victims.
Finally, God does not test us. When we ascribe these negative attributes to Him we are way off the mark. God is compassionate, loving, and above all intelligent. He knows all of our thoughts and inner most longings. What is there to test? Do parents “TEST” their children? I raised three children and NEVER resorted to the “test.” A loving parent teaches by example, by providing a safe and loving environment, and then BY EXAMPLE leads that child to discover the latent Godhood within him/her. To do less is failure of parental duty.
Perhaps the most clear view of all is simply this: Sai Baba is NOT the avatar of the age or the most powerful incarnation, despite claims to the contrary. Why do I say that? Because after all of the rhetoric, he has failed to live up to his self proclaimed godhood. If young men follow his example, they will end up in prison.
Elena A. Hartgering, USA
Bon Giovanni and Ram Das Awle discontinued their website in 2013