A few years ago, I and C made a visit to a house of a very near relative. His wife saw us at the door and in her usual pompous style took us in. She announced that we were lucky to have them there in the house because they had to make a last minute change to their programme of journey to Puttaparathi (SaiBaba’s abode).She was in her own description a devotee of the Baba.And she attributes all her money, her collection of gold jewellery to the blessings and will of the man she calls God- “SaiBaba”. But she did not discuss or comment as to why the Baba’s prowess was ineffective when it came to her chronic diabetes and acute hypertension and that she has to constantly pour out as much money she throws after gold and diamonds after her medical bill too.
She informed us that they had to postpone their travel to Puttaparathi because SaiBaba tripped and fell in his bath and was advised rest by his doctors and also had cast on one of his limbs which fractured in the fall.
We were seated in their sprawling living room, when she summoned C into the pooja room. C winked at me to follow her as both of us were getting bored by the lady’s grandiloquent oration of her wealth and of her divine unionism with this sorcerer SaiBaba ,( oh apologise- incarnation of god).She wanted to show us a miracle that the Baba brought to her pooja room that morning. Sitting in Puttaparathi or rather laying in his bed with a fractured limb, he through remote conduct brought “vibhoothi” (sacred ash) into the pooja room in Chennai. She showed us a handful of ash lying at the foot of the huge portrait of the Baba , kept in the pooja room. We, out of ennui and forced politeness nodded to all that she wanted to convince us.
Soon, we left the house after some parting pleasantries to her and her husband. Outside the gate we could not hold back our gleeful laughter at what is called faith, which people like her are obstinate about and are intoxicated with. C in passing said that we ought to have asked the lady why SaiBaba could not fix his fracture with his divine powers while he could bring in the holy ash into the pooja room, and while he has many times over picked out Rolex watches, laddus and Siva lingams from the void.
And, back to the present-since the past few days there has been information in the news papers and TV channels that SaiBaba is critically ill and his vital parameters are not showing great response to medication. Yes what else can one expect while in the late twilight of life and when one is eight seven or so? And to the ardent fans, devotees of this “holy man”, SaiBaba, I do not hesitate to ask, why is the fact of nature and natural laws of mortality slowly tightening the noose around this man? Why is it so if he were God and an incarnate? Why could he not use his miracles and mystical powers to extricate from the laws of Nature? Remember, myth and legend has it that Sree Krishna was transported to heaven in flesh and blood after being stung by the arrow of the hunter. He did not die like ordinary men and leave his physical body. But, why, is SaiBaba bedridden and at the mercy of medicines and doctors to sustain his life a little longer. Could he not use his sorcery that he is famous (infamous) for and extricate himself from the agony of illness, old age and death that will soon happen to him ,like it will to all of us one day?
This post is to throw questions and not to encourage beliefs for the sake of faith, supernatural or superstitions. The label of “apostate” has more sheen than the pseudonym of “gullible”. Hiding behind attributed mirages, calling things inviolable and matters of faith is the easiest way to enact a “Houdini”, a great escape from reality and inconvenient questions, answers and facts. The proverbial tree of apples in the Garden of Eden was a cunning ploy to ensure “man” never questions and is tethered. The ploy seems to be working in various ways, the most effective being “fear”.
The incorrigible ones will argue that the Baba is God because he has established many avenues and foundations of charity and philanthropy. They may pin point the hi-tech and super speciality hospitals where the needy can harbour. The schools and universities in his name, so on and so forth!
But is the tag of mystic, performer of miracles and magic, divine incarnate and a life in the vulgarism of opulence, a necessity to convey the message of love, peace, and caring for the needy? Certainly not and a humble soul like the late Mother Theresa is a perfect example.