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The Date of Sai Baba's Birthday

There is a tradition of association of Sathya Sai Baba and Sri Aurobindo's devotees, caused by a claim regarding Sai Baba's birthdate, and his reported statement that "I am the avatar (or guru) of the many; Sri Aurobindo is the avatar (or guru) of the few". Sinmce in my life i have been attracted tyo both these personalities, this claim had particular meaning for me. I first heard it some twenty years ago

Back in 1982 I was at La Trobe University. I had an eccentric university teacher, by the name Moshe Kroy, and he introduced me to Sai Baba while I introduced him to Sri Aurobindo.  He once mentioned a supposed coincidence of dates to me - Sai Baba said (and his devotees and biographers affirmed) that he had been born on 23rd November 1926. This happened to be one day before the date that Sri Aurobindo declared that Krishna had descended into the physical; a day that became known as Siddhi Day and was one of henceforth the four darshan days and the date of founding of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram as well.

The implication being (and of course Moshe accepted this) that Satya Sai Baba was the overmental Krishna that Sri Aurobindo had pulled down to earth  (Sai Baba does often identify himself with Krishna).  The date is of course off by one day, implying for the first day Sai Baba was non-divine...?   A rather bigger problem is that Satya Sai Baba claims to be the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba who prophecied he would return as Sathya. When I mentioned this to Moshe he just said "ah yes, but even Sri Aurobindo is an instrument of the Divine (i.e. of Sai Baba)" implying a totally deterministic descent of the Sai Baba overmind, with poor Sri Aurobindo having no choice in the matter!  It sounded incredibly rigid and false to me, but at the time (and for a long time afterwards) I did consider Sathya Sai Baba an avatar (though of a very different sort to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother), and so I was troubled by all this. If Satya Sai Baba was born one day earlier and moreover did not have a Shirdi before him i think there might be more persuasive. Anyway it was only recently that some of the more sordid facts came out, and it has been persuasively suggested that Sai Baba himself or one of his biographers faked the whole thing.

This is explained by Hari Sampath, who provides external link a school record was born on October 4th 1929, as indicated by his school record (various other facts are also different from those of his official biographies, implying that the famous childhood leelas or miracles never took place, or iof they did, it wasn't where Sai Baba said they did!)

The reason for this deception is obvious, as Mr Sampath explains:

If Sai Baba was born on October 4th 1929, as indicated by records, then we are led to question what must have been the motivation for fraudulently choosing the date of November 23rd 1926 specifically. Obviously, it could have been any date, since it was bogus anyway, but the "choice" of the birthday in later years, probably in the late 1940's or early 1950's, must have been prompted by a specific reason which would have been necessary for the "avatar theory" to flourish. It is well known publicly that Sri Aurobindo declared on November 24th 1926 , that "Krishna consciousness had descended into the physical".

All followers of Sri Aurobindo categorically say that he meant the descent of Universal consciousness into himself, while he was still in a physical body, and it was probably true too. But when such a statement was publicly known, and must have been rather well known in South India in the 1940s and 1950s, there is a very strong probability that those promoting the Sai Baba "avatar theory" in the early days, that is close family of Sai Baba, "decided" to have Sai Baba's birthday as November 23rd 1926, in order to capitalize on Aurobindo's statement and provide "proof" that he was referring to Sai Baba's birth!

This seems to be the most logical explanation of the "choice" of the date of birth, and it shows clearly a scheming deceptive pattern, targeted at willful deception and concoted theories. What else needs to be proved about Sai Baba being a fraud?

Lies proved by Sathya Sai Baba's School Record Hari Sampath

Joe Moreno external link draws a number of concerns as to the veracity of this information and says "The birth of Sathya Sai Baba is said to have occured in the month of Karthika (Oct. - Nov....)"

However, as Sai critic Andries Krugers Dagneaux observes (this is from a wikipedia discussion)

"The article states nowhere that the school record is a reliable source for the birth date and year of SSB. It only states that the school record is enough reason to doubt the official information about the date 23 Nov. 1926 that may not be correct, especially taking into consideration that the date of 23 Nov. suits SSB very well with regards to the Aurobindo date."
Andries Krugers Dagneaux - Wikipedia link Discussion: Sathya Sai Baba posted 2 September 2005

Now, even if the photocopied document provided by Hari Sampath is fake, this still does not change the following facts:

It is not possible for SSB to be the Overmental Krishna Sri Aurobindo referred to and a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba - the two are completely different; Shirdi was a man (albeit an Adept), Krishna is a god.

It is also not possible for SSB to be the Overmind Krishna and Shiva-Shakti; Shiva-Shakti is not a deity but a term from Hindu Tantra, referring to the polarities of the Supreme Godhead, whereas Krishna is one aspect of that Godhead (although some Vaishvanites (e.g. Hare Krishna - they are fundamentalists) consider Krishna the Supreme Absolute, but i don't believe that).

The conclusion is that the claims of Shirdi reincarnation and Overmental Krishna incarnation are propaganda; whether from SSB or one of his biographers or someone else.

However this is not to deny that SSB was born in November, indeed the fact that the official birthdate (November 23rd) is one day prior to Sri Aurobindo's "Siddhi day" could be taken to mean the two dates are not occulty connected in any case. It may well be that SSB never made this claim; they may have been cooked up by one or more of his enthusiastic followers!

Certainly re being Krishna, Shiva-Shakti etc SSB may very well be talking about identification (in the enlightened state of consciousness) with Shiva-Shakti - atman is brahman, you are God but don't know it, that sort of thing, and when he talks about being Krishna it is in the same context. But why the misleading attempt at deriving authgority from Sri Aurobindo?

So either

  1. SSB made the claim to boost the significance of his birthdate or
  2. Kasturi or another biographer invented it, and SSB has for whatever reason chose not to correct him (I now consider this not to be the case) and/or
  3. SSB is not a reincarnation of Shirdi [I don't know enough about Shirdi to comment; there may be an astral element, however almost all Shirdi's followers deny that SSB is a reincarnation of Shirdi] or
  4. S.A. never brought down the Overmind (this can be rejected, there are too many experiences affirming the reality of S.A..)

When I was still more positive towards SSB, I - tryting to present SSB in a positive way - suggested in an email (5 Aug 2005) to Joe Moreno that

"It may well be that SSB never made this claim; they may have been cooked up by one or more of his enthusiastic followers! This is certainly a very interesting avenue of research, were you interested in exploring it (and you seem to be the sort of guy who would be able to find this out!), and its resolution would certainly clear up the problem of the apparent conflict between SSB and S.A."

Not surprisingly (by what I know today), Joe wasn't interested in taking up this offer.

Long before all this, in April 1999, one Auroconferee posted that he had found on the Net, at the URL :

Sai Baba was born November 23, 1926 in Puttaparthi in Southern India. On the next day it was announced at Sri Aurobindo's ashram in Pondicherry, "The Divine has descended on earth."

He replied in a humourous way,

in French, we say "j'en suis resté baba" ( = I am 'baba') when we mean "I  am flabbergasted"...

And here it has been the case ;-)

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page uploaded 13 June 2005, last modified 28 September 2005