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Sun, Apr. 24th, 2011, 07:58 am
essentialsaltes: Sai Baba, RIP

Miracle Man Sai Baba passed away.

The retired Icelandic psychology professor Erlendur Haraldsson wrote that he did not get Sathya Sai Baba's permission to study him under controlled circumstances, but that he investigated the guru's alleged miracles and manifestations through interviews with devotees and ex-devotees.[102] Some of the reported miracles included levitation (both indoors and outdoors), bilocation, physical disappearances, changing granite into sugar candy, changing water into another drink, changing water into gasoline, producing objects on demand, changing the color of his gown while wearing it, multiplying food, healing acute and chronic diseases, appearing in visions and dreams, making different fruits appear on any tree hanging from actual stems, controlling the weather, physically transforming into various deities and physically emitting brilliant light.[103] Haraldsson wrote that the largest allegedly materialized object that he saw was a mangalsutra necklace, 32 inches long, 16 inches long on each side.[104] Haraldsson wrote that some miracles attributed to Sathya Sai Baba resemble the ones described in the New Testament, but that although healings certainly figure in Sai Baba's reputation, his impression is that healings do not play as prominent a role in Sathya Sai Baba's activities as in those of Jesus.[105]
Sathya Sai Baba has explained the phenomenon of manifestation as being an act of divine creation, but refused to have his materializations investigated under experimental conditions. In a 1974 discourse, he stated, "The optical sense cannot visualize the truth. It gives only false and fogged information. For example, there are many who observe my actions and start declaring that my nature is such and such."[42]
In April 1976, Dr. H. Narasimhaiah, a physicist, rationalist and then vice chancellor of Bangalore University, founded and chaired a committee "to rationally and scientifically investigate miracles and other verifiable superstitions". Narasimhaiah wrote Sathya Sai Baba three letters that were widely publicized, in which he publicly challenged Baba to perform his miracles under controlled conditions.[106] Sathya Sai Baba said that he ignored Narasimhaiah's challenge because he felt his approach was improper.[107] Sathya Sai Baba further said about the Narasimhaiah committee, "Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science. What science has been able to unravel is merely a fraction of the cosmic phenomena ..."[107] Narasimhaiah's committee was dissolved in August 1977.
According to Erlendur Haraldsson, the formal challenge from the committee came to a dead end because of the negative attitude of the committee, and perhaps because of all the fanfare surrounding it. Narasimhaiah held the fact that Sathya Sai Baba ignored his letters to be one of several indications that his miracles are fraudulent.[108] As a result of this episode, a public debate raged for several months in Indian newspapers.

Sathya Sai Baba supported a variety of free educational institutions, hospitals, and other charitable works in over 166 countries.[61] The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (now changed to Sri Sathya Sai University) in Prashanthi Nilayam is the only college in India to have received an "A++" rating by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission).[62][63]
The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi is a 220 bed facility that provides free surgical and medical care and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao on 22 November 1991.[33] The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Bangalore is a 333 bed hospital meant to benefit the poor.[70] The hospital was inaugurated on 19 January 2001 by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.[71][72] The hospital has provided free medical care to over 250,000 patients.[73]
The Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital was opened in Whitefield, Bangalore, in 1977 and provides complex surgeries, food and medicines free of cost. The hospital has treated over 2 million patients.

Mon, Apr. 25th, 2011 02:01 am (UTC)

This is always a tough issue - when a "psychic" does good works (like donating money for medical expenses). Does the end justify the means?

At least now that he's dead, hopefully these institutions have trust funds that allow them to continue on their own, without him having to continue to lower the collective intelligence of the planet.