The "Bible" (latest version) [Brian Steel] Perhaps to live up to his audience's expectations of spectacular Christmas revelations, however, Baba goes on to announce and to produce what he refers to (XXIX, p.394) as "a book compiled in Britain around 1530 A.D. containing all the information about Jesus gathered during the preceding centuries. The Russians condensed all the material in a small book [in which language?] which they preserved in a place on the Black Sea coast [not named]." The official report continues: [Svaami produced the little book by a circular wave of His hand and held it before the audience.] "This is the book. You can see the cross on the cover page. The book was designed to demonstrate the common features of all religions. What is contained in this book is not to be found even in the Bible. It contains an entirely new account of the life of Jesus." [Bold type added]
Apart from Sathya Sai Baba's three conflicting
descriptions of the book's contents, this is a most disturbing performance
because on a video of the 'materialisation', Baba merely seems to pluck the
miniature book (2 and a half centimetres by 3 and a quarter) from below the
ledge of the table he is leaning on. Photographs of Baba holding up the tiny
book were immediately circulated in Puttaparthi.
One of these is on the cover of the Spanish edition of the January 1997 issue
of Sanathana Sarathi (El Eterno Conductor) for that same month. However, the mysterious
book appears to be nothing more than a copy of the "Good News" edition
of the New Testament, freely and cheaply available in
For other extraordinary information uttered during this Discourse, but not subsequently printed, see Chapter 3 (under: 'SB's Discourses. More Nonsense')
from the original Ch 6 of Sathya Sai Baba: God or Guru?
2. Although already discussed in detail in Chapter
5, my next example is relevant enough to bear repetition here. At Christmas1996,
Baba suddenly produced the "small Bible" (as it came to be
known, inaccurately) and told a story about its medieval origins (1530). Scholars started investigating the validity
of the statements made by Jesus Christ. They collected all knowledge that
existed prior to one thousand five hundred and thirty years. All that was compiled in one book in
Other alleged details were circulated soon afterwards by Baba's associates and devotees in the ashram. Baba had apported it from under the noses of the guards at an (unnamed) Armenian sanctuary or temple on the Black Sea. It disappeared shortly afterwards, according to an ashram spokesman, back to its resting place before the Armenian guards noticed its disappearance. (See Sanathana Sarathi, January 1997 or Spiritual Impressions, November 1996)
All very impressive, spectacular even, but the truth that I discovered
one day long afterwards was that copies of an identical work, the miniature so-called Good News New Testament, have been on sale in India
for many years. I bought one from a Sai Baba Centre
What is very disturbing here, if my suspicion is correct, is the crassness of the would-be deception and the extent of the inventiveness. The clarity of the publicity photographs of Baba holding up the tiny book is very convincing. (The photograph was even featured on the front cover of the Spanish translation of Sanathana Sarathi for January 1997.) I was left feeling annoyed. why on earth should Baba feel the need to make up such a cock-and-bull story for his listeners, knowing that it (and the photographs) would spread around the world immediately? And why should he assume (correctly!) that it would not be challenged? Equally disturbing is that devotees seem to have accepted it as true. The Emperor's New Clothes again?