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The Guru Who Claimed to be God

The following thoughtful analysis is by MarsWalker108 ( Dennis J. Hanish) (Post 67 and continued posts from the Anthony Thomas Quick Topic Discussion Board, May 2001)

05-25-2001 05:54 PM

I want to talk today about another "red flag" that I put on the shelf, so to speak, when I was a SSB devotee. This aspect is somewhat subtle, and I think it involves discrimination. I will begin by stating that a metaphysical friend once said to me "A true Avatar does not go around claiming that is an Avatar." Now up front I know about the SSB statement wherein he says that he is God, but we are God also.

I will never forget the lump felt in my throat at a SBB conference when watching a video showing the famous letter SSB wrote to his brother on May 25, 1947. In the letter Baba says, "No one can comprehend MY GLORY, whoever that person is, whatever the method of inquiry, however long the attempt."

Examples from Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol IX, pp 82-83, a talk given at Brindavan, June 19, 1974:

"They are unable to gauge the sanctity, the majesty and eternal reality that is me. The POWER of Sai is LIMITLESS; It manifests for ever, All forms of “power” are resident in THIS SAI PALM....But, those who profess to have understood Me, the scholars, the Yogis, the Pundits,...are aware only of the least important of the casual external manifestation of an infinite small part of that power, namely, the "miracles!" They have not desired to contact the SOURCE OF ALL POWER and WISDOM that is available here at Brindavan. They are satisfied when they secure a chance to exhibit their book-learning and parade their scholarship in Vedic Lore, not realizing that the Person from whom the Vedas emanated is in their midst, for their sake....

“...They exaggerate the role of miracles, which are as trivial, when compared to MY GLORY AND MAJESTY, as a mosquito is in size and strength to the elephant upon which it squats...My power is IMMEASURABLE; MY TRUTH IS INEXPLICABLE, UNFATHOMABLE....

“Now, I must tell you, that during the Sai Avatar, there is no place for even such 'drama' with scenes of failures and defeats! ... I AM TRUTH."

From the book Golden Age," Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications, 1980, p 49: "I AM GOD, but I do not have to know I am God, for I have always been that. I AM AVATAR. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AVATAR."


So SSB claims he is the ULTIMATE ABSOLUTE. I will contrast this with the following story about Swami Yogananda. Please note that my purpose is not to promote any particular Guru.

Love, MarsWalker108

05-25-2001 06:33 PM

When Yogananda was a boy, he would sometimes flee his home in search of saints. Once his older brother, Ananta, took Mejda (Paramahansa Yogananda) to see a saint in an attempt to finally satisfy the quest. Here are parts of the story from Sanada Ghosh's book Mejda: (SRF, 1992, pp. 101-4))

..."From time to time he opened his heavy eyelids to reproach his disciples for worshipping too boisterously; they were disturbing his inner serenity. Ananta's intrusion was not welcome. The saint's disciples refused to let him near their reclining Godhead. What do you want? Can't you see he's resting? He gets very angry if he is disturbed."

Ananta hesitated, for he had not much experience with saints. Having come this far, however, he determined to carry out his plan. He gripped Mejda's hand and forced his way through the cluster of devotees. Those who saw the reverence in Mejda's face gave way readily. Soon Ananta and Mejda were seated near the august presence.

Ananta addressed the sadhu respectfully: "Your Holiness, kindly grace us with your glance. I have brought my brother to receive your blessing." Mejda bowed humbly. The saint opened his eyes and gazed at Mejda's quiet, serene countenance.

The saint's disciples marveled that Mejda had attracted their guru's attention, when all their service and devotion had been seemingly ignored. What had he offered? How had his simple boy commanded this response? But the saint's shrill voice dispelled the moment of awe: "Young man! Are you seeking the Divine? Your search is at an end: I AM GOD!"

Mejda's face registered shock. "I see you don't recognize me” the saint fumed, "You are still blinded by delusion and attraction to family life."

Mejda was calm as he spoke with deep conviction. "Respected Soul, never say that YOU ARE GOD."

Indignation clouded the saint's face; it became dark, as though ink had been poured over his body. He resented the impudence of this young boy. His chest heaved and swelled; his face became distorted with anger. Mejda took a small mirror from his shoulder bag and held it up before the sadhu.

"Look at yourself! Is this the face of God? Can the God of love and beauty Whom I have sought day and night, month after month, year after year, have such a face? No! God is not greedy. He does not deceive his Devotees in order to procure a following and the gifts they bring..."

"You are leading your disciples into greater ignorance by flattering your ego and theirs. Show them instead the path of liberating truth.... We are only playing make-believe for a time in these garbs of flesh.... Everything and everyone belongs to God; He is all.

"The first necessity of life is to avoid causing pain and misery to others and to seek harmony in oneness of mind and soul as we surrender everything worldly to Him. He is Truth.... Only He who can impart divine wisdom to others and show them the path to God is a real guru."

Saying this, Mejda stood up and started to leave the room. Ananta followed. The saint was thunderstruck. A violent earthquake could not have shaken him more than Mejda's words shook his egocentric attitude. Slowly his face lighted with amazement.

Before Mejda reached the door, the humbled saint came running after him crying, "Stop! Stop! He stood in front of Mejda. "Young Sir," he uttered, "you have freed me today from a great delusion. I did not realize my ignorance until you spoke. Though you are much younger than I, I bow to you in gratitude, for you have given me enlightenment."

"Oh Sadhuji! Mejda replied, "you truly have a great heart, for otherwise you could not have admitted your weakness in front of your disciples. No man can ever say, “I AM GOD.”

“The wave on the ocean cannot say, “I am the ocean.” It can only say, “The ocean has become the wave.” God is the ocean of light out of which come the waves of human forms. Can a man contain the Infinite Ocean in the finite wave of his bodily form? With our human limitations, we cannot even comprehend-let alone encompass-His magnitude, which pervades every atom in the universe. It is only when we have attained realization of Truth that we may speak with divine authority."

Mejda later recounted that the sadhu awoke from his egoistic delusions and became a truly great saint.


I have examined in these few posts the subject of SSB's constant pattern of claiming that he is the "God of all Gods" and "the Lord of all Lords." There are many many more published examples. I will conclude with a quote from the book, Sayings of Yogananda: (SRF 1974, p 56)

"If a man told you: ?I am God,’ you would not feel he was speaking the truth," the Master said to a group of disciples. "But we all may rightly say: 'God has become me.' Of what substance could we be made? He is the fabric of creation. Before He brought into manifestation the phenomenal worlds, nothing existed except Himself as Spirit. From His being He created all: the universe and the souls of men."

Love, MarsWalker108