Witchcraft and Black Magic Still Plague India and how Sathya Sai Baba aggravates the Current witchcraft problems in India
Sathya Sai Baba holds firmly that black magic is a real phenomenon, as the quotations below prove. His person and his so-called ‘teachings’ are held in awe by Prime Ministers and Presidents of India and – yet worse – Supreme Court judges. How can this country abolish the dreadful ignorance of so many citizens, apparently including supposedly highly educated persons? In his published discourses Sathya Sai Baba spoke as follows:-
Of course, there is magic in the world both white and black; but, the manifestation of Divine Power must not be interpreted as magic. Can the crow’s egg and the cuckoo’s egg be identified as belonging to one class?
Sathya Sai Baba – Vol 10. p. 261
All kinds of silly stories were circulated when I was ill! Some people feared that when I went to the South recently, some black magic was inflicted upon Me and that the stroke was the consequence. Let Me tell you that nothing evil can affect Me.Nothing.
Sathya Sai Baba – Vol 3. p. 93
Here we see how Sathya Sai Baba upholds dangerous deep superstitions. These baseless beliefs cause the worst kind of social ills, including many horrific murders of suspected witches in India. Sathya Sai Baba’s influence in India is most considerable among sections of both the poor and the ruling classes. Many of his statements lend strong support persistent and base humbug – like the evil eye, black magic, demonic possessions and many other beliefs held by traditions and the credulous. Another false idea (based on astrological mumbo-jumbo) which Sai Baba supports – also in his actions -is the strict observance of (supposedly!) auspicious and inauspicious times of the day for traveling or starting new projects (Rahukala and Gulikala). Many followers are given to believing anything said by this self-instated ‘omniscient’ Godhead. Here is documentation from National Geographic Channel and the Mumbai High Court of the consequences of such primitive forms of ignorance and gullibility.
Sathya Sai Baba went on record in various books by devotees of having told followers that they have been attacked by black magicians, and that he has saved them from the effects! See some examples of this (quoted in light blue text below):
In the best-selling hagiography about Sai Baba, ‘Man of Miracles’, Howard Murphet wrote an involved and credulous account of how the Norwegian Alf Tidemann-Johannessen fell foul of black magic in 1962 and was allegedly ‘saved’ from it by Sathya Sai Baba. Alf Tidemann-Johannessen was a shipping magnate with a firm in Bombay. Unscrupulous competitors “engaged a black magician to work against him” (p.165). “But Alf’s lawyer in Bombay, who was working on the company’s problems, soon caught a whiff of the black magic. He had known similar cases before” Alf consulted a Parsi priest who reportedly stated to Murphet: “By many strange methods he began piloting me and my business through the troubled waters stirred up by the black magician.” The magician was identified as an “evil-eyed old Indian who, by clever ruses, had gained admittance to his private office”and Alf confronted him. The black magician then decided to work for Alf, “… if the latter paid him reasonably well. He would see to it that all Alf’s enemies were completely annihilated. ‘Black magicians are very powerful,’ he announced, and added meaningly, ‘they can even kill a child in its mother’s womb.’ Alf had just received a cable that very morning from Norway informing him that his wife had lost her child in its seventh month. This must be more than coincidence, he thought”
Years later, in 1966 Tidemann-Johannesen learned of Sai Baba of Shirdi and soon after, of Sathya Sai Baba, who claims to be the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai. Tidemann-Johannesen then wanted to sell his business in Bombay and Sai Baba said, according to Murphett: “I will help you find a reliable buyer and obtain a good price.” and also “Do you remember the black magician? I helped you then.” (p. 169) This further confirms that Sathya Sai Baba actually believes in black magic and also allegedly exorcises its victims!
That Tidemann-Johannesen’s wife aborted at seven months, which he thought was done by black magic. However, Sathya Sai baba said he had helped him then… but how? If the child was lost, a fat lot of help that was!
Alf Tidemann-Johanessen caused quite a stir in Norway among members of the Oslo Sai centre when he told one of our members who he knew from visits to Sai ashrams, that he had been swindled by Sathya Sai Baba whom he now knew to be a fraud and a bad person! He had left Sai Baba some time prior to 1984. We in the Oslo group were all unwilling to accept the slightest criticism of Sai Baba – and we decided that Tidemann-Johannessen must himself be either bad or mad, and he was not contacted again! He had bought and donated a helicopter in which Sai Baba gave darshan from the air during one of his birthday celebrations, as is to be seen on one of the early Richard Bock films. Tidemann-Johannesen was even writing a book to denounce Sai Baba, which was never published, though the manuscript was extremely long.
Few of the many fanciful things written by Howard Murphet surpass his confused and speculative account of how Sathya Sai Baba’s legs were (apparently!) paralysed by a “black magician” in his book “Sai Baba Avatar – a new journey into power and glory” . Murphet believed that an unnamed yogi with strong hypnotic powers which, among other things, he used to seduce women, told a young American that he “could dominate a pupils’ mind and will absolutely – given time. A pupil so completely dominated could be sent out to murder anyone the tantrist desired out of the way. The American added it was known to several in the ashram that one pupil was being trained, conditioned and overshadowed by the tantrist for the purpose of killing Sai Baba. As the dark hates the light that overpowers it, the black magician hated Baba who frustrated many of his designs.”
(from Chapter 9 – ‘The Lord’s Legs’).
Without any tangible evidence, Murphet jumps to the conclusion that this particular yogi’s murder plans caused the paralysis of Sathya Sai Baba’s legs! [Rumour has it that the ‘yogi’ in question was Rajneesh, a known serial seducer of women devotees]. Murphet accepted everything Sathya Sai Baba said as gospel truth, without a hint of critical thinking or questioning of any of it. He also unquestioningly reported that Sai Baba decided to cure himself (during Shirarathri) of what was claimed to have been a week-long paralysis of the left side of his body. Admittedly, Sai Baba is an accomplished actor, and could simulate paralysis and cure without any problems. But his devotees cannot visualise that this could be done, even though they were not allowed anywhere near him to examine his condition!
Here is a passage from a hagiographic account by a devotee who was with Sai Baba from his teenage years:-
One particular demon was most adamant. No blows or threats would make it budge. Watching Swami from a distance, with hearts filled with pity, we would curse the demon. Obviously, it was a stubborn demon. It would go on shouting and heaping abuses. Swami looked fatigued after all that beating. Lifting her up by the hair, Swami swung her round and flung her to a distance as if she were a ball. Her body hit the wall and came back and fell at his feet. Speechless with terror, we clung to the wall. She had a very sturdy build. How was He able to lift that weight? Didn’t He (as Krishna) in the bygone days, lift up the Govardhan mountain on His little finger? We were all intensely watching Swami. His body was drenched in Sweat. He was sweating profusely. His eyes were bloodshot and looked terrible. Holding her by the hair again, He shouted “Will you leave at least now? Have you learned your lesson?” “Alas! Enough! Don’t beat me anymore. I will go away. I won’t come back again.” Saying these words, quivering and shaking, the demon ran away. From the centre of the woman’s head, Swami forcibly plucked out a few hairs. There was a sharp thorn-like formation under those hairs. Swami beckoned to the husband of the woman and showed it to him and said something to him in a low tone. He then gave the order for her to be escorted inside. Swami was panting for breath. His face still looked fierce. When we were peeping at Him from a corner, He smiled at us. That was enough. Immediately, we swarmed around Him. Meanwhile, the woman’s husband came out, and Swami told him, “It is not only a case of being possessed by a demon. Someone cast an evil spell on her. “Black magic was used and a magician was hired to do all sorts of pujas to make her lose her wits. There is no need for fear now”. The husband fell weeping at Swami’s feet. Later, Swami created a talisman and, inserting into that the hairs He plucked. He closed it, and tied it around the woman’s neck. To our question, “Do demons really exist, Swami?” He gave the reply, “Yes! Those who committed suicide, those killed in accidents, those who met with an untimely death, all these will be roaming around like ghosts. A demon cannot go near someone who is strong. It goes near the weak and makes fools of them like this. Sometimes, a man remarries when the first wife dies. The first wife, who died with desires unfulfilled, ‘possesses’ the mind of the second wife and tortures her like this. Sometimes, where a lot of property is involved would-be heirs, to get that property, hire magicians to make the owner of the property go mad. There are many reasons like this”. He drove away demons this way, physically, only for one year. Later, He just used to give vibhuti prasadam and, with that, send the demons away.
(from “Anyatha Saranam Nasthi” trans. ‘Other than you refuge there is none’ by Smt. Vijayakumari, Chennai 1999, p. 40-1)
The leg paralysis episode is also ‘recorded’ by Diane Baskin in her self-enhancing and Sai-praising book ‘Divine Memories of Sathya Sai Baba’ (pps 108-110), which abounds in photos of herself with Sai Baba. Baskin wrote: “Our servants told us that one of the many rumours circulating was that swami had been poisoned, but the explanation that Swami gave was never made public. Swami said that some very powerful yogis were testing Him to determine of He really was the Avatar. They were sending Him, what best could be compared to currents of very high voltage, enough to kill a human being instantly. He could not return the energy force to them because they would die; thus He accepted it, adding that ultimately these yogis – by this act of His – would become His devotees. After one week, Swami miraculously threw off the paralysis as He had always done with any illness that beset Him.”
Added to her constant gushing encomiums and hyperbole, she forwards vague hearsay and embroidered account: spiritual ‘high voltages’ which could kill a person instantly, and ‘very powerful yogis’ testing him (who have, of course, never shown up on the scene as devotees). All typical of hundred of accounts in books by devotees who seek his blessings. As to his supposed self-healing (probably bogus), he is now seen staggering around on a collapsed hip joint which he cannot cure, and also evidently suffering from disorientation and other senile symptoms to conceal which cause the ashram staff great difficulties!
Another adulatory and overblown hagiography is ‘Lokanatha Sai’ by M.N. Leela, [signed/ authenticated in 1995 by Sathya Sai Baba] where we read of his spreading superstitions about black magic: “Swami called my mother and others separately and said that a black magician had done havoc to my father: on that Friday when my father went early morning with bailiff and removed his shed put in our land at Guindy. He also said. “Dig the spot where you find broken pots and remove the remains of goat and chicken etc and throw them off. Now he is fully recovered, but the aim of the sorcerer Is to drive him mad and ultimately kill him.”
All of the accounts quoted here are published and approved by Sai Baba’s own press – even signed by him. His promises of protection of devotees from back powers are yet another means of creating strong dependencies through underlying anxiety. If one dares to questions this, the implication is that he could withdraw his protection due to lack of faith! Such is the nature of the ‘guru trap’. Sathya Sai Baba is reported as causing his followers to fear the consequences of not obeying him, which is the power of fear, not of love.