Sai Baba's claimed to have been born without physical conception

The official biographer Professor N. Kasturi described the legend around Sathya Sai Baba's (Sathya Narayana Raju) birth and the essence of it is found on the Sathya Sai Organisation's official web site, as follows: "Sri Kondama Raju was a pious soul who lived out his hundred and ten years of earthly existence in the unceasing contemplation of the Lord. His wife Srilakshmamma predeceased him by twenty years. They had two sons who were both named after Sage Venkavadhootha - Pedda Venkama Raju and Chinna Venkama Raju. Pedda Venkama Raju, the elder son, was married to Easwaramma, daughter of Sri Meesaraganda Subba Raju of Kolimigundla of Kurnool district. Pedda Venkama Raju and Easwaramma were blessed with a son and two daughters in that order, Seshama Raju, Venkamma, and Parvathamma.

Some years passed and Easwaramma longed for another son. She prayed to the village gods, performed Sathyanarayana Puja and observed a number of rigorous vows. One day, an extraordinary incident occurred that heralded the descent of the divine into her womb. Easwaramma had gone to the village well to draw water. There, she noticed a strange bluish glow that transformed itself into a luminous orb. The ball of light then glided towards her and entered her being. Shortly thereafter, to the joy of her family, Easwaramma found herself in the family way."

On the question of virgin births - this is entirely a belief which has, of course, no reasonable evidence to support it. Such claims have been made for many supposedly divinely born persons. The obvious widely believed example is that of the Virgin Mary's mothering of Jesus. while other claimed virgin births include Ghengis Khan, Lao Tzu, Buhhha, Romulus, Dionysus, Alexander the Great, Zoroaster, Karna, Ra, and figures in Greek and other ancient mythologies and numerous other lesser known figures. All these stories belong to the realm of untestable religious mythology and subjective belief. Among reasons for claiming virgin birth - as in the case of the Virgin Mary - include the desire to prove the fulfilment of former prophesies, to refute claims of illegitimate birth due to adultery (as historically claimed of Mary in early texts). There are precedents in legend and myth, particularly in the Old Testament of the Bible. In the Bhagavatha Purana, Krishna is supposed to have been born by the mental transmission from Vasudeva, which is loosely referred to by many Hindus (including Sathya Sai Baba) as a 'virgin birth' but Krishna was recorded as being the eight born son of Devaki - it was a strange kind of virgin here. The same goes for Easwaramma, mother of Sathya Narayana Raju (Sai Baba), who already had a son and had suffered several miscarriages prior to the "virgin birth'.

Concerning this a Sai Baba hagiographer, M.R. Narendra, has also written:-
"The emphasis on the ‘Mana (mind) of both the father and the mother announces to us that the Avatar’s advent occurs in ultra-physical ways. The mother serves as the inaugural Vessel to contain the Cosmic Essence and allows it to unfold as its Will dictates.

The incarnation of the Buddha too was equally marvellous. The following lines are from the epic poem ‘Light of Asia’ by Edwin Arnold: ‘The Devas knew the signs and said, “Buddha will go again to help the World”. “ Yes” spoke He. “Now I go to help the World. I will go down among the Sakyas under the Southward snows of Himalaya where pious people live and a just king”. That night the wife of king Sudhodana, Maya, the Queen, asleep beside her Lord dreamt a strange dream, “that a star from Heaven, splendid, six-rayed, in colour rosy-pearl, whereof the token was an Elephant, six tusked and white as milk of Kamadhenu, shot through the void and, shining into her entered her womb upon the right”. The Buddha formed the body for Himself within that maternal niche, conferring the status of father on Sudhodana, and Maya meditated on the Sidhartha moon, in the sky of her womb until the time when all could witness the glory of the child in the cradle.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was similarly blessed. “The Angel Gabriel was sent from God to Virgin spoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the House of David, and the Virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in the womb and bring forth a son and shall call his name Jesus”…. Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not of a man?” And Angel answered unto her, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also the holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And so it did come to pass as the World knows.

Swami has often declared that this Sai Avatar descended because the Saints and Sadhus of all the lands prayed for His arrival. “I chose the mother who was to experience My closeness during gestation. The Avatar alone has this freedom of choice. In other cases Karma determines the time and space, the group and the grade.

Years later as Swami sat one day surrounded by his devotees, there was an abrupt interruption. A Pundit well versed in the holy Puranas felt a sudden urge to ask a question. “Swami; was your Incarnation a Pravesa (an entrance) or a Prasava (Enciente) ?” Shri N.Kasturi could not quite understand the relevance of the interruption that jolted everybody away from the jocular mood of the talk, but Swami knew the reason. Turning to Easwaramma seated in front, He said, “Tell Rama Sarma what happened that day near the well after your mother-in-law had warned you”. Mother said, “She had dreamed of Satyanarayan Deva and she cautioned me that I should not be frightened if something happens to me through the Will of God. That morning when I was at the well drawing water, a big ball of the blue light came rolling towards me and I fainted and fell. I felt, it glided into me”. Swami turned to Rama Sarma with a smile. “There you have the answer; I was not begotten. It was Pravesa, not Prasava”. (Thus a divine incarnation takes place by a process of impregnation which occurs by the Divine Will itself and not by the natural and normal human process)

"To get back to the period when Easwaramma was pregnant. Kondama Raju had dreams of Venka Avadhootha in which he was instructing him to be prepared - but for what he was not told. And Pedda Venkapa Raju, the father, was awakened at night by sweet musical notes emanating from the string and percussion instruments kept in the ‘rehearsal room’. Angels, Gandharvas, Kinnaras? Musical Ancestors? He knocked at the doors of astrologers. Telling them about his attempts to know what these meant, he described his tension at the time and the comforting explanation of an astrologer at Bukkapatnam was, “Is the music sweet and soothing?” he asked. “The notes and beats were thrilling,” Pedda Venkapa Raju answered. “Is there a pregnant woman in the house?” When told “Yes”, he predicted that the Gods were playing music to charm the baby in the womb. He recited a verse in Sanskrit from a book on horoscopes to please the bewildered father.

It had come at last, that moment chosen by the Lord to appear on Earth in His incarnated form. It was the month of Karthika. Monday. The day of worship for Siva, was about to glide into Tuesday, the day dedicated to Ganesh. It was 5.06 A.M. I.S.T. on 23rd November,1926, and the reigning star was Ardra. From 4 o’clock that morning Lakshamma, the mother-in-law was at the Satyanarayana Pooja at the home of the priest. She was called back home more than once as the delivery neared but she was determined not to return until she could bring back the deity’s Prasad for Easwaramma which she could procure only at the conclusion of the ceremony. At last she came, she gave. It was accepted and relished. And the son was born.
(from “Pralaya 1999”, by M. R. Narendra)

This has been disputed on the basis of research into recorded documents on Sai Baba's school record and other related datable incidents. Hari Sampath, a former security guard at Prashanthi Nilayam, first commented on this discrepancy on his former web site, which had been made clear in the book 'Love is My Form' published by Padmanabhan of Sai Towers, Puttaparthi. See the scholarly analysis of the evidence by Brian Steel here and also a set of articles which includes scans of the official document in Sathya Sai Baba School Records

"A mat covered with a thick bedspread had been readied in the corner of the room, when the labour had begun and now the baby was placed on it, by the grandmother. All of a sudden, they found the bedspread rising up and falling down, on either side of the baby. She grasped the child and held it close. A serpent was coiled beneath : of course snakes there were in plenty at Puttaparthi, creeping through crevices, crawling along the walls and hiding in the holes. But the serpent in the living room pretending to be in bed! - it was the role of Adisesha for Vishnu who rested on its coil; this was the Incarnation’s first miracle. When Easwaramma was asked about this epic event, she confessed that she had been so filled with joy at the birth of a son that she had never even noticed the agitation all around

As noted, snakes - not least cobras were plentiful in Puttaparthi, and still are - though less so now. That one could have slithered under the cradle is not itself any proof of divinity! More likely it demonstrates how superstition - especially of a religious nature - was extremely rife at that place in those days.

"The child was named Satyanarayana. The association and affiliation of the human and divine were made plain by the Name. It announces that the child being Narayana was Sathya (Truth). God as Satyanarayana had entered the minds of the mother and grandmother and filled the house of the Ratnakara Raju with Divine Melody and Fragrance. Narayana coming as Sathya was the consummation for which the world had long yearned. "(The entire matter is taken from the book ‘Easwaramma, the chosen Mother’, by N.Kasturi, Ex- Editor, “Sanathana Sarathi”).

All quite typical primitive belief for that class of villager, driven by spiritual longing and other motives no doubt. Naming the child thus is not uncommon in India, for it is considered auspicious to give divine names to most children. Many mothers long to believe that they have given birth to an avatar or, at least a saint or a great yogi.

"As regards the birth-marks on the body of the Avatar, a few persons, including some students, who live very close to Swami, have noticed the eagle-shaped birthmark on the chest of Swami."

"Students who live very close to Swami" is a very revealing statement in this context, because he must have revealed himself to them as he never does in public... they see his bare chest. Of course, numerous testimonies tell of seeing much more of him during sexual intercourse with him, and students have contacted the expose in strict confidence (which we never break) telling us many details of his advances and abuses of them. There are students who have told their families but - because these are long-term devotees and some are still living and serving in Sai Baba's ashrams - they will not believe their own sons.

1) Print this Page       2)  Use right click here - then 'Open page in new window' to translate

Return to index menu