Sai Baba: The Passing of an Enigma

It is so easy for some to say Sai Baba was a con man, while devotees can easily claim was the Avatar. His death was the passing of neither, but the passing of an enigma.

"That any being, either in human or spirit form, that presents himself to your consciousness and claims to be a Master, or who permits you to call him Master, is nothing more nor less than a personality, the same as yours, and therefore is not Divine, as you human mind understands that term, despite the many wonderful 'truths' he may utter, and the 'marvelous' things he may do."--The Impersonal Life

The following is a letter I wrote to God years ago when the allegations of pedophilia started coming forth about Sai Baba, the spiritual teacher that millions, including myself at one point, felt was an avatar, come to help save humanity in these troubled times, these earth changes. It was a troubling time for me, for I was seeing this happening in many of my spiritual heroes, this fall into base human weaknesses. And it troubled me. It didn't make sense to the deeply profound experiences I had had with Sai Baba and these other teachers. Most of these teachers, especially the ones who come to the US, find that their sexuality comes blazing forth and they either hide their sexual escapades or say they are doing it for the other's sake. Some sort of tantric ritual or alchemical rite. And then the lies start to spread to whatever they do.

It wasn't until I played this game called Leela, by Harish Johari, that any of this made sense about Sai Baba and these other powerful gurus. The children's game Snakes and Ladders is based upon this old Yogic game. It shows that we all start off in Cosmic Consciousness on the eighth level, and we enter the game by coming into Maya, the first level. We make our way up by doing such actions like austerities, having good company, doing good deeds, etc., and are pulled down by the snakes by such things like anger, bad company, violence, etc. The thing that I found so amazing is that if one is vibrating in the third level, one is on the level of angel and saints, and it is only the third level! When one is up on the seventh level one is a god. Yet, the higher one goes the more snakes await to bring one down. But that is part of the game. One goes up and down over and over again until one reaches the goal. But the goal really is not being attached to the levels one is vibrating at. One is simply to remember that one is Pure Consciousness that has no levels.

If you become an Avatar, or your disciples call you the Master, the attachment is that you are always operating at the highest level. But no one does. And to pretend that you do, or others pretending that you do, you just stay at the bottom with the pretense of being on the top.

Sai Baba, like the others that I looked up to to follow, has perhaps given us the greatest teaching: We now live in a time that the Guru is to be found within so that ultimately we must be our own Authority by listening to the indwelling God of All That Is.

St. Jerome looks heaven-ward for God's grace.

Dear God,

How amazingly treacherous is the path we tread upon this earth. What an adventure; what a game. A game with nothing to lose, but eternity at stake. By Your Grace seekers do rise, by their good deeds, purification, study of the scriptures, associating with the wise, having compassion towards others and forgiveness of so-called debts.

And wise ones they become, bathed in Your Glow, radiating like lamps in the night. Many seekers come to these risen ones by Your Grace. And around the wise ones the seekers sit, and pray and bow, and Your Light gets confused with the form of the wise one, and pictures of the Holy Man or Woman becomes like wallpaper. Then every scrap of food touched by him or her the seekers pounce upon like hungry dogs and call it prasad, and every drop of spittle is collected in urns and placed on altars, forgetting You, the Formless and Form of All, and call this wise one God.

Ramana has said that the Guru and You are One; but how rare is the true Guru who, like You, is neither moved by praise or blame, gifts or curses, who rests in the Peace of the Needless. The Guru and You are One because You both dwell in the Silence of Being where not two but One exists.

So many, dear God, rise by Your Grace into the heights of Consciousness. Then by the adoration of their followers are bitten by the snakes of vices, and fall back to the world of men. The snake of lust with the cravings for the fire of passion, the fire of creation, few can escape its bite.

And so it has happened again that one of great spiritual stature, who was born into this time to lead millions back to the Awareness of You. How mischievous is the Maya, the Veiling, of Yours, that even he with the dark crown of hair and the orange robe, who has walked beside me in my dreams, guiding, protecting, laughing, seems to have been bitten by the serpent of lust and the glamour of powers.

You have sent me high at times and plunged me low, and I am beginning to remember that my/Your being neither rises nor falls. Yet I have not millions of followers or great titles about my name, so I can witness the turning of the wheel; and I can admit the wrong actions, and admit the wrong tendencies - the same tendencies I see in him.

However, to be caught in admirers’ definitions, what deceptions are needed to maintain the gilded walls.

‘Know there is One, but act as though there is two,’ Ramana warned. There is only You, and nothing in Truth affects You, the Self we all are. This I know behind my petty thoughts, my surging emotions and my decaying body. And I know that this teacher who is named the Father of Truth is none but the Self. Yet I would not send my young son, who is also the Self, to remain alone with him in a room.

Ramakrishna said that God is in everything and everything is in God, even the tiger. Still, you do not go and hug the tiger. You see God in the tiger from a distance.

The world is full of tigers and perhaps the most ferocious of the tigers are the fallen gurus. They are the ones who fall from standing in Your glow, to only intellectually talking about You. And since they are not fully established in You they pretend to be. Others, their followers who are rising in You in their awareness, are secretly seen by the fallen ones with contempt, and become held back to stay below the level of the teacher.

I know. I have seen it lurk, this spitefulness, in me. It is called jealousy. Jealousy arising from the feeling that another is loved more by You than I am. I know there is no other for You, nothing outside of You Who is All There Is, and so my knowing Self can only smile at such thoughts. However, if I was defined by a host of others and by myself as an Avatar, God, an Enlightened One, a Master, an Angel, perhaps I would not see such thoughts. And in the darkness of denial, they would stir their poisonous brew.

Dear God, maybe You have so many who are sitting in the place of Authority fall into depravity that each one of us, each individual expression of You will at last no longer look outward for the Answer. Maybe we just need to sit still, with body quiet, mind at rest, emotions calm, and listen. Listen to You whispering in the Silence:

Be still and know I am God.

May Sai Baba and all his devotees find peace in the fact there is no passing, no coming and going, that all is the manifestation of the Infinite Self. May we look to no one to worship, look for guidance from our older brothers and sisters, and all find the Authority within.


In November of 2011, I had a dream with Sai Baba. I have had may dreams with him over the years, especially the early years of my spiritual journey. Then they had grown darker as all the allegations began to fly about. But many years have past without any such dreams until this one. I awoke with such gratitude and peace, and complete acceptance and love towards him. The following is my journal entry if you are interested.

Dear Baba,Before going to bed I was watching a video about Shiva, with the chanting of Shivoham. Ramana’s pictures were interspersed with those paintings of Siva. I felt such love and bliss. And nostalgia.

Then I had a dream about you this morning. I was visiting your ashram in L.A., and as I was walking up the stairs someone was talking to me. But I heard nothing, my mind was inward bent. She asked me where I was and I replied, “India, at some other time.”Then I saw you. How you had changed. Your hair was in dreads, light brown with some gray woven in; and there were no throngs of people about you, but you were just standing in the front greeting those entering. I immediately looked for a quiet place to meditate but found myself becoming engaged in a conversation with one of your devotees. I was trying to broach the delicate subject of your controversies and wanted to ask him if he felt any contradictions about following you.

Then you stopped by and asked if I wanted to talk. We went down into the basement area to a very simple office. You made sure I had a chair at your level. I began telling you about the dreams I had at first about you-those powerful dreams that had changed my life. Suddenly, some followers came in to await an audience, and you tried to have them wait outside, but they ignored you. So you leaned over your desk and we touched, head to head, with napkins held up around our mouths so the others couldn’t hear. I told you that I no longer came to the ashram, and you told me I no longer needed Satsang. I agreed because every time I used my inner eye,when I did my Self–Inquiry, there was God looking at me. Then I turned to the subject of my latter darker dreams of you. You nodded your head and said not to worry about them--not with a sense of denial, but with a quiet acceptance.

You ended our conversation and began sweeping the stairs, and I helped you clean up. Next it was time to leave the ashram and you offered me a ride, and four of us, with you at the wheel, crowded into an old car, all in the front seat. You sped off, unworried that we had seat belts.

Guru or Friend?
Satsang or Solo
Self Meditation: Inquiry into the Self
Mindfulness/Awareness Meditation Techniques
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A young Sai Baba in the blueness of the purity of Krishna.

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