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Commentary on Ram Das Awles Internet Site:
Sai Baba and Sex-A Clear View
Elena A. Hartgering, USA
Below is a response to Ram Das Awles posting on the web entitled Sai Baba and Sex: A Clear View. You have my permission to translate where necessary and to distribute to your respective lists, as well as posting on the Internet.
June 14, 2001
I read, Sai Baba and Sex: A Clear View by Ram Das Awle, and I find it more mystifying than clarifying.
The only reason Sai Babas sexual proclivities are even a matter of discussion is because he is a self-proclaimed avatar, holy man, incarnation of God and so forth. As Ram Das Awle pointed out, many venerated holy men and women have also proclaimed Baba an avatar. He also points out that Krishna and Rama were sexually active gods.
Based on these declarations, proclamations and ancient legends, we are told to accept Sai Baba as the avatar of the age, even though his behavior contradicts the very essence of divinity. Sai Baba once said, Indian holy men have a bad name in your country (USA). Actually, If Sai Babas ashram and schools were in the United States he would long ago have been incarcerated for sexual abuse of young males.
The so-called oiling and touching, that Ram Das Awle acknowledges to be Babas practices are not protected by the shield of religion. They are clearly criminal offenses in this country.
I was somewhat amused by the example Ram Das Awle used to illustrate the testing mechanism of the guru. The little story of the enlightened one, with 1,000 disciples, who was ready to die, but before dying he would test the disciples by saying he first would like to have sex with a female donkey. All the disciples left except one who wanted to see how you do it with this donkey.
When, at the gurus instructions the disciple prepared the donkey for penetration, she turned into a goddess which the old man gave to the disciple as a reward saying, She will teach you what you want to know. Why do holy men test their devotees? Do they not already know what the initiate will do, what they think, and how they will respond? Are these god-men so petty that they set us up for failure as did the donkey molesting guru?
This story depicts mans carnal nature. I believe we all agree that the God of this Universe is purely spirit. If so, where does carnality enter into His Nature? It doesnt. Why is the reward for the remaining disciples loyalty a sex goddess? The reward is carnal. Somehow the spiritual nature of the so- called enlightened one got lost in his lust for the poor donkey.
This is another story of a dirty old man and a randy disciple taking advantage of a helpless animal and the good name of the Goddess. Are Goddesses sex objects in India? Did any one ask the donkey or the Goddess if they were willing to have sex with this hapless pair? Ram Das Awle and others are writing reams to justify Sai Babas sexual contact with young males, when, in fact, there is not, and cannot ever be, a spiritual justification for such sexual contact. I say congratulations to the 999 disciples who ran away, for they were not blinded by the offering of a cheap sexual reward for their loyalty toward perversion.
In my work as an interfaith chaplain in a major hospital I had many occasions to be with the dying in all stages of that process. I can tell you that sex is the furthest thing from the mind of the dying. If there is any concern with the body at all, it is about pain, not lust.
To bring a little clarity to this murky territory, lets take a good look at sex. Anyone who has studied Anatomy 101 knows that a new human life is created with the joining of male sperm and female ovum. It is in this moment, in the joining of the male and female energy that we become spiritual co-creators with God. Spiritual sexuality is in the creative force that generates a new life. Yet we do everything in our power to partake of the pleasure and stop the creative process.
A number of psychotherapists in the west have said that humans are a sexually immature species, and when we look at how sex is practiced, I think we have to agree with that truth. We use sex in all manner of non-creative efforts. We are the only species who use sex recreationally. Other species join together in the season of creation and otherwise have little to do with sex, other than a few primates, perhaps.
We use sex to sell products; we use sex to force, to manipulate, and control others; we use the genitals as weapons to brutalize; and we use sex in all manner of personal self-gratifying perversions from ritual murder, to child molestation. Many of these activities are criminal and result in incarceration.
Why is Sai Baba exempt? Does his self-proclaimed godhood exempt him from the natural and immutable universal laws of decency?
When Ram Das Awle begins his discussion with the premise that Sai Baba is the most powerful incarnation of God ever to come to Earth, he is guilty of the fallacy of presumption. That is something we cannot ever know because we have no other divine incarnations before us to test this premise. Logically, none of us can truly attest to the divinity of Jesus, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, or others. We were not there. Likewise we are not able to attest to the divinity of Sai Baba because while he has some magical powers, his sexual perversion conflicts with our understanding of divinity.
We have already seen the phony manifestations of vibuthi and other objects. He knows our inner thoughts, some will say. A good psychic also knows our thoughts which are a product of the collective unconscious. He utilizes group hypnosis and slight of hand. None of these make him God. God does not cause harm and sexual molestation is harmful. Dont take my word for that. Ask the victims.
Finally, God does not test us. When we ascribe these negative attributes to Him we are way off the mark. God is compassionate, loving, and above all intelligent. He knows all of our thoughts and inner most longings. What is there to test? Do parents TEST their children? I raised three children and NEVER resorted to the test. A loving parent teaches by example, by providing a safe and loving environment, and then BY EXAMPLE leads that child to discover the latent Godhood within him/her. To do less is failure of parental duty.
Perhaps the most clear view of all is simply this: Sai Baba is NOT the avatar of the age or the most powerful incarnation, despite claims to the contrary. Why do I say that? Because after all of the rhetoric, he has failed to live up to his self proclaimed godhood. If young men follow his example, they will end up in prison.
Elena A. Hartgering, USA