Sunday, April 24, 2011

Satya Sai Baba and vAstu

Satya Sai Baba (SSB) passed away yesterday. SSB's doctors made his passage difficult with pacemakers and other life support added on - but his sharIra, whose nature it is to die and decay, had to give way. He was eighty five years old.

With anybody else, 85 can safely be considered a ripe old age. However, with Baba - the center of so much of power and opulence, any age would not be ripe enough.

A family member of Satya Sai Baba lamented that the hospital where he (SSB) was treated had "vAstu doSham"! When I read this statement - I could not make up my mind whether to laugh or to cry.

I do not wish to pontificate here - but merely want to point out the obvious. Our bodies - strong as they may be now - will eventually wither away. That is the nature of life. Whether eighty or hundred or even a hundred and ten years old - no one will live forever. It is quite amazing that this family member of SSB could not get that - in spite of the high philosophy that SSB regularly had in his lectures and speeches.

At these times, it helps to look at our purANas and itihAsa and get a grip on ourselves. Great avatAras like rAma and kRShNa gave up their bodies when it was time. Great personages like bhIShma and dharmarAja passed away too. And so did kings like shivAji and kRshNadevarAya. When they passed away however, they understood their conditions and adjusted. No illustrious personage departed kicking and weeping like a five year old.

In fact the Raghuvamsha has a phrase about this - yogenAnte tanutyajAm ("The kings of the ikShvAku dynasty gave up their bodies with yoga"). They "gave it up".

My lament is that our people are not looking at the stars in our purANic sky. They are looking at the muck and dirt - in the form of vAstu and other sick superstitions. To answer this family member - would SSB have lived forever if they had shifted him to a "vAstu" compliant hospital? Read kisA gotami's story, people!

I sometimes feel that atheism is better than this kind of belief. I read an interesting piece about SSB's and H Narasimhaiah's exchange on Outlook India here.While I do not agree with Outlook's ideology, this piece has an interesting part from the same piece that I would like to quote. [Emphases in the following paragraphs mine]

Now science seems to have been replaced by technology in the public
. Obviously one can't speak of the values of technology as one
spoke about that of science because there aren't any. Technology is only
about application and consumption and it suits the times well.
It is
ideologically neutral. I am tempted to say that as more and more
technology surrounds us, our pre-occupation with dogma and godmen has increased
With that point to ponder, I conclude this post with my (hopefully unfounded) observation that as a society, we seem to be heading downhill - morally and spiritually - in a high powered fully featured sports car with all cylinders firing.