Monday, April 25, 2011

Another Holy Cow

I speak of none other than Sathya Sai Baba, Satyanarayana Raju (or Raju, as I will call him henceforth in this post, because all men are equal.).

This is a sensitive topic, lots of people I know have a lot of respect for this gentleman.

However, I would like to link to his wikipedia article here.

And I would like to point out certain aspects within the article.

This particular section has him resembling Peter Parker.

On 8 March 1940, while living with his elder brother Seshama Raju in Uravakonda, Sathya was apparently stung by a scorpion.[27][28] He lost consciousness for several hours.[26] Within the next few days there was a noticeable change in Sathya's behavior.[28] There were "symptoms of laughing and weeping, eloquence and silence."[28][29] "He began to sing Sanskrit verses, a language of which he had no prior knowledge."[6] Doctors believed his behavior to be hysteria.[6][28] His parents brought Sathya home to Puttaparthi.[30] Concerned, they took him to many priests, "doctors" and exorcists.[28][29]

On 23 May 1940, Sathya called household members and reputedly materialised prasad and flowers for his family members.[31] His father became furious at seeing this, thinking his son was bewitched. He took a stick and asked him who he was. To this Sathya announced calmly and firmly "I am Sai Baba", a reference to Sai Baba of Shirdi.[6][26] He proclaimed himself to be a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi—a saint who became famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Maharashtra and had died eight years before Sathya was born.[6][30][32]


Devotees say they have observed Sathya Sai Baba manifesting vibuti (holy ash), and sometimes food and "small objects" such as rings, necklaces and watches.[103] In some books, magazines, filmed interviews and articles, Sathya Sai Baba's followers report miracles of various kinds that they attribute to him.[104] The first ever record of Baba's miracles by a foreigner was made by Howard Murphet in his book, Sai Baba – Man Of Miracles.[105] Devotees have said that objects have appeared spontaneously in connection with pictures and altars of Sathya Sai Baba.[106][107] Sathya Sai Baba's devotees believe that he relieves his devotees by transferring their pain to himself.[108]

(and the rest of the section "Reputation for Miracles and Clairvoyance").

*sigh again*

And this:

The Vancouver Sun in 2001 reported that Sathya Sai Baba told his adherents not to browse the Internet due to allegations rapidly circulating on various Internet websites and in a few newspapers.[131] In a 2000 public discourse, Sathya Sai Baba said, "These teachings (the Vedas) are highly sacred. Today people are ready to believe all that they see on television and internet but do not repose their faith in the Vedic declarations. Internet is like a waste paper basket. Follow the 'innernet,' not the internet."[132]

I will finally end with this video:


An argument in favor of people like the aforementioned Raju is that he can get stuff done to help the people who need it most.

I still don't think we need to resort to blind faith in something supernatural to do this. I don't mourn his death more than I would mourn anyone else's.

I must also link to a BBC documentary series and an excellent reddit thread discussing these issues.



Monday, April 18, 2011

Who do we trust?

Exhibit (1) -- A take-down of Communist Rule in WB from rupert murdoch's propaganda rag, the wsj.

The post contains this patently illogical statement:

In 1950, the city had a population of over 4.5 million. Bombay’s population stood at 2.6 million and Delhi’s at 1.4 million. Bangalore had just 0.8 million people. By 2007, Bombay’s population was nearly 19 million, Delhi and Bangalore had 16.7 million and 7 million people respectively, while Calcutta’s population was 14.8 million. While other cities have successfully projected themselves as offering economic opportunity and upward social mobility, Calcutta is a shadow of its former self and wouldn’t even be counted among the top four cities in India. It has long been surpassed not just by Bombay and Delhi, but arguably even Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

IMHO the author (Rajiv Mantri) needs to rush to a hospital to get his head examined.

Exhibit (2) -- This article in the Financial Times, which seems to want to give the communists the benefit of the doubt.

Certainly both can't be right, unless this is Schrodinger's politics.

Needs some investigation.