Truth Will Always Triumph
From time to time, many listeners
and readers write to us and say: “There is so much negative
propaganda about Swami. Why don’t you use the Radio, H2H etc., to
rebut this nonsense?” The latest occasion for such remarks happens
to be a TV program that has apparently been aired in Australia,
which, not unexpectedly, made many devotees there extremely
agitated, to say the least. I would now like to break our silence
and comment on why we refuse to waste our time on pointless
Perhaps you would
understand our attitude better if I were to start by telling you that
our attitude to such matters is always conditioned by what Swami has
said and continues to say. To give you a better idea of what I mean,
let me take you way back to the year 1947. I wonder how many of the
present devotees were born then. In that year, Swami wrote a letter,
to be precise on 25th May. That letter is a landmark and we reproduce
it below, but before presenting the letter, I must give you some
You will recall that
it was in 1940 that Swami truly revealed Himself. Till then, He was
just Sathya Narayana Raju, son of Pedda Venkama Raju and Easwaramma
and the grandson of Kondama Raju. But on 20th October, 1940, the world
realised that Raju was none other than the reincarnation of Shirdi
Baba, and thereafter, He came to be known as Sri Sathya Sai Baba. As
many would know, this happened in the small town of Uravakonda.
Shortly after that Swami returned to Puttaparthi to make it His
permanent home. In those days, He stayed in a tin shed, now known as
Paatha Mandiram. The
Mandiram still exists, though in a
You may be surprised
and even shocked to know that in those days, there was no direct road
to Puttaparthi, as there is now. One had to first come to Bukkapatnam,
and from there travel by bullock cart to Karnataka Nagepalli, a small
village on the eastern side of Chitravathi. Thereafter, one had to
cross the river on foot before reaching Puttaparthi. Altogether, it
was an arduous trip but believe it or not, many came in spite of the
hassle involved. How come? Well, that is what Divine Magnetism is all
about! By the way, though a road of sorts came into existence a few
years later, as late as 1968, Puttaparthi continued to remain quite
backward. In fact Hollywood Director Schulman who came to Puttaparthi
in 1968 wrote: “Puttaparthi is 160 km from Bangalore and ten minutes
past the Stone Age!”
Be that as it may,
people began to come to Baba in increasing numbers, and that included
many Princes and their families. For example, the Maharani of Mysore
used to come to have Baba’s Darshan. She was a Maharani but she too
had to get down from her car in Karnataka Nagepalli and walk the rest
of the distance. But such was the hunger of devotees that they started
coming, first from nearby places and soon from much greater distance.
That is what Spiritual hunger does to the true seeker, making him or
her forget all the problems.
Now in those far-off
days, not many accepted Swami as an incarnation and understandably,
there was a lot of bad-mouthing as they say. This happened in
Bukkapatnam, and indeed even in Puttaparthi itself, as some of you
would recall from one of my Musings Talk, in which I described an
extra-ordinary incident once reported by the Rajah of Venkatagiri. But
I shall not go into all that here. What I want to say is that the
Press too started to make unfavourable noises, and that really hurt
the elder brother of Swami’s body, namely, Seshama Raju. At that time,
Seshama was not yet quite able to appreciate Swami’s true Avataric
nature, and in a purely brotherly fashion, wrote a letter of advice,
warning “young” Sai Baba of the cunning ways of the world on the one
hand, and his various deep concerns on the other. In brief, Seshsma
was worried about the impact of the attention that his younger brother
was receiving. Would this adoration go to the head of young Sathya?
Would He fall a victim to various temptations? Such were the thoughts
expressed by Seshama Raju.
On 25th May, 1947,
Baba wrote a reply. Though Baba’s letter was intended for Seshama Raju,
it was in fact addressed to ‘all who are devoted to Me’. That letter
is a powerful declaration of the purpose of the Sai
Avatar. In that letter, Baba wrote:
received all the communication that you sent. I found in it the
surging floods of your devotion and affection, with the undercurrents
of doubts and anxiety. Let Me tell you that it is impossible to plumb
the hearts and discover the nature of Jnanis [Wise men], Yogis,
ascetics, saints, sages, and the like. People are endowed with a
variety of characteristics and mental attitudes; so, each one judges
according to his own angle, talks and argues in the light of his own
nature. But we have to stick to our own path, our own wisdom, and our
own resolution, without getting affected by popular appraisal. As the
proverb says, it is only the fruit-laden tree that receives the shower
of stone from the passers by. The good always provoke the bad into
calumny; the bad always provoke the good into doing more good; this is
the nature of the world. One must be surprised if such things do not
People too have to be pitied rather than
condemned. They do not know. They have no patience to judge right.
They are too full of lust, anger, and conceit to see clearly and know
fully. So, they write all sorts of things. If only they know, they
would refrain from writing or talking like that. We should not attach
any value to such comments and take them to heart, as you seem to do.
Truth will certainly triumph some day. Untruth can never win. Untruth
might appear to over-power Truth, but its victory would fade away and
Truth would establish itself.
not the way of the great to swell when people offer worship and shrink
when people cool off. As a matter of fact, no sacred text lays down
rules to regulate the lives of the great, prescribing habits and
attitudes they must adopt. They themselves know the path they must
take. Their wisdom regulates and makes their acts holy. Self-reliance
and beneficial activity – these two are their special marks. They may
also be engaged in the promotion of the welfare of devotees and in
giving them the fruits of their actions. Why should you be affected by
doubt and worry, so long as I am adhering to these two? After all,
praise and blame do not touch the Atma; they can touch only the outer
have a Task: To foster all mankind, and ensure for all people lives
full of Ananda (Bliss).
have a Vow: To lead all who stray away from the straight path, again
into goodness and save them.
attached to a ‘Work’ that I love: To remove the suffering of the poor
and grant them what they lack.
have a ‘reason to be proud’: for, I rescue all who worship and adore
have a definition of ‘devotion’: I expect that those devoted to Me
treat joy and grief, gain and loss, with equal fortitude.
will never give up those who attach themselves to Me. When I am thus
engaged in My beneficial task, how can My Name be ever tarnished, as
you apprehend? I would advise you not to heed to such absurd talk.
Mahatmas do not acquire greatness through someone calling them so;
they do not become small just because some calls them small. Only
those low ones who revel in opium but claim to be unexcelled Yogis,
only those who quote scriptural texts to justify their gourmandary and
pride, only those who are dry-as-dust scholars exulting in their
argumentative skill, are moved by praise and blame.
must have read the life-stories of Saints and Divine personages. In
those books, you must have read also of horrible falsehood and heinous
imputations cast against them. This is the lot of Mahatmas, everywhere,
and at all times. Why then do you take these things so much to heart?
Have you not heard of dogs that howl at the stars? How long can they
go on? Authenticity will soon win.
will not give up My Mission nor My determination. I SHALL
carry them out. I treat with equanimity, the honour or dishonour that
may result. Internally, I am totally unconcerned. I act, but solely in
the outer world. If I talk and move about, it is entirely for the sake
of the outer world, and for making the people realise the advent of
Divinity. Other than this, I have no concern with anything.
not belong to any place. I am not attached to any name. I have no
‘Mine’ or ‘Thine’. I respond to whatever name you might use. I go
wherever I am needed or called.
Me, the world is something afar and apart. I act and move only for the
sake of Mankind.
one can comprehend My Glory, whosoever it may be, whatever be the
method of enquiry, and no matter how long the attempt.
will yourself see the full Glory unfolding in the coming years.
Devotees must have patience and forbearance.
not concerned, nor am I anxious that these facts should be made known.
I have no need to write these words. I wrote them because I felt that
you would be pained if I do not reply.
Thus, yours, Baba.
Please read the above
letter carefully. Note two things: The good will carry on with their
work regardless of obstacles, and AUTHENTICITY WILL WIN. Swami gives
the analogy of the tree and in fact, He has expanded on this many a
time in His Divine Discourses. He says, man throws stones at a tree
but comes to the same tree for shelter when the Sun is scorching at
mid day. Not only that; in the end, the tree gives its entire self up
as wood, to be used by man.
Well, if that be
Swami’s Kshama [forbearance], then how
can we use the facilities He has given us for spreading His Message,
for taking on all and sundry who have no better work than to raise
muck? By the way, I was told that in the TV program shown in Australia
recently, many of the people who made allegations about Swami had
their backs turned to the camera! Imagine that!! These people want to
throw mud but do not have the guts to show their face! Do we dignify
such people by condescending to “reply” to them?
Perhaps I should also
mention this. Once a devotee complained: “Swami, how can we really
keep quiet when so much abuse is being hurled at You? Why don’t You
understand the pain we feel?” You know what Bhagavan replied? He said:
“Bangaru, the man who is flinging abuse is in the gutter. If you want
to fight him, you too have to get into the gutter? Do you think Your
Mother would like to see Her dear child get into the gutter?”
It is these facts
that made us to withhold from impulsive and intemperate responses to
irresponsible utterances by foolish people. At the same time, when
there is misstatement in high quarters, we do
make a quiet effort to set the record straight. Let me give two
examples. A couple of years ago, the London
Times wrote something nasty about Swami. Now the
Times is not only the leading newspaper
in Britain but one of the leading newspapers of the world, that is
held in high esteem everywhere. Clearly if it writes or publishes
something incorrect and inappropriate, we have a duty to place the
correct facts before it so that its readers do not get wrong ideas. In
fact, this is the right of reply that the Press is supposed to offer.
So many of us wrote letters to the Times
but believe it or not, the Times
simply refused to
publish any one of our letters. In fact, Air Chief Marshall [Retd.]
Nirmal Suri, an ardent devotee, was in London at that time and he
personally went to the office of the Times
and tried to talk to them; but they did not even bother to meet him.
So much for a decent and free press!
Another event and
that really is what I wanted to write about – all the above is just a
long preamble so that you would get the background. Some years ago
there was a big conference in Prashanti Nilayam on Educare. It was an
international meet with delegates from many countries and started off
as a joint venture with UNESCO [United Nations Scientific, Educational
and Cultural Organisation]. I remember the event very well. And do you
know what happened on the morning of that conference? The newspapers
reported that the UNESCO Office in Delhi had issued a statement
withdrawing from the conference because of allegations about the Sai
Organisation! The muck-rakers had managed to poison the mind of the
powers that be in the UNESCO, and the Head Office in Paris immediately
sent a message to its Delhi branch to withdraw and issue a press
We were all shocked.
How could a responsible body like the UNESCO pull out just like that
and that too without bothering to verify? If they wanted they could
have pulled out in a polite fashion but the statement issued was far
from polite. And that too from Delhi!
In the years that
followed, I tried in vain to tell the brass that came regularly from
Delhi for Swami’s Darshan, “Listen! You all know how much Swami has
done and is continuing to do for the people of India in a thousand
different ways. You also know how false and malicious the content of
this statement is. Is not Swami respected all over the country? Is not
an insult to Swami a slap on the face of the country? India is a
member of the UNESCO. Why don’t you officially write and take
objection? You have every right to and also the authority to. Can you
keep quiet when a UN body is casting aspersions on one of the most
respected citizens of the country, one who has and is doing so much
for the people?”
My passionate appeal
did not work. I was totally disappointed but then God works in His own
silent way and according to His own timetable. Recently, an Official
of UN Habitat was here for Darshan and he complained how his
initiative on Human Values in Water Education programme based on
Swami’s Principles, was being thwarted by trouble makers, who were
trying to influence the UN Secretary General, quoting the UNESCO Press
Release, which was still on the UNESCO website. By the way, the
programme that UN Habitat was working on is a sequel to Kanu’s
successful project on Human Values in Water education in Africa, based
of course on Swami’s teachings.
I had a long talk
with this Official of UN Habitat, and he subsequently went to Delhi
where he managed to meet the Foreign Minister directly. By the way,
the Foreign Minister is a devotee and has come here many times. In
addition to this, I personally had a long meeting with a top diplomat,
another devotee of thirty years or so. This other person had earlier
been the Ambassador for India in Paris and also India’s representative
in the UNESCO. Both the Foreign Minister and this diplomat were
terribly upset that nothing had been done this far, and now, all of a
sudden the wheel began to crank.
First, the Indian Rep to the UNESCO wrote [in part]:
media Advisory dated September 15th 2000 and viewable at the address:
www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory is posted to
explain UNESCO’s inability to participate in a Conference organised by
the Institute of Sathya Sai Education [Thailand]. In doing so, it
attempts to gravely tarnish the reputation Sathya Sai movement by
casting aspersion on the personal integrity and character of its
leader, based on hearsay, and unconfirmed press reports.
Sathya Sai Baba is a highly respected spiritual leader and publics
figure in India and abroad. It is well known that the life and message
of Shri Sathya Sai Baba has been devoted to promoting peace,
non-violence social harmony and is a moving force behind numerous
philanthropic social projects. In this context, it is pertinent to
mention that the UN Human Settlements Project [UN-HABITAT] launched a
major education initiative three years ago, using human values
approach propounded by Shri Sathya Sai Baba, to introduce a
value-based water education programme through the national curriculum
in Africa.. The initiative has been widely accepted at high political
levels and among educationists in Africa and is now being replicated
by the UN-HABITAT and the Asian Development Bank in Asia and the
Pacific. You will agree that issuance of a casual and negligent press
release by UNESCO cannot but do disservice to such valuable projects.
Government of India considers Shri Sathya Sai Baba and his movement a
national asset and takes strong exception to UNESCO press release,
which spreads wholly unfounded and unsubstantiated allegation against
Shri Sathya Sai Baba.
I would therefore request you to take immediate
steps to remove the objectionable press advisory from the UNESCO
website. I would also appreciate an expression of regret for the
damage caused to one of India’s revered public figures, without first
verifying the facts and any consultation with Indian authorities.
Well, that is the
letter from India’s permanent representative to the UNESCO. Strong
letter, is it not? Naturally, the UNESCO hurried to give a reply. Here
it is, in part. The letter is from Assistant Director General of
appreciate this concern and wish to inform you that following your
personal intervention, the media advisory in question was immediately
withdrawn from the archives of the UNESCO’s web site for education.
should also like to take this opportunity to say how much the
Organisation regrets this unfortunate incident and to reiterate to you,
on behalf of the Director General, that the Organisation attaches the
greatest importance to the varied forms of fruitful collaboration that
we have enjoyed with your country for many years.
hope this letter will set your mind at rest and dispel any
So, there it is. As
Swami said long ago, authenticity will always win. I do hope you will
share this expression of regret by an important UN body with others
whom you know and that slowly the word would spread so that negative
propaganda would be laid to rest once and for all, as it indeed must
The moral of it all
is that we must be patient, without giving up our efforts to overwhelm
negativity with positivity. That really is the important point. We can
never win by fighting slander with counter slander.
It is only the misguided who place their faith in the “eye for an eye”
philosophy. As a wise man once remarked, if we followed that
philosophy, then pretty soon the world would have only blind people!
What do you think?
Let us know, and all you have to do is to write to:
All the best. Jai Sai
Source: Radio Sai
E-Magazine, March 1, 2004