A Friend in India to All The World

The President of India greeted again by his friend Swamiji

The Peace Pole as Spiritual Pillar Symbol

The Swamiji of Bangalore's "Silicon Plateau"
Shashi Tharoor on Sai Baba - International Herald Tribune - December 3, 2002

A Friend in India to All the World

New York Times -- holy man "the Baba" world leaders' advisor


After over 60 years of teaching, Sai Baba is now "breaking news".
Photo captions, text of NYTimes article, more info, below.
NYTimes -- holy man "the Baba" world leaders' advisor,
--- "A Friend in India to All, the entire World" ---
-- Sai Baba: (science + values = enlightened citizen) --

Images 1-4 smaller, #5 is larger - the President and the Baba
[attachment names are bracketed, open at end of this post on lists]

Captions for attached image/graphic/.jpg files:

[image #1 -- India President meets holy man the Baba.jpg]
Photo by Anil Kumar for The New York Times, captioned:
"President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam of India, a Muslim, left, with the
holy man Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who claims followers in 178 countries
and draws leaders not only from India but also from outside it."

[image #2 -- vast audience Sai President Ceremony.jpg]
Photo by Anil Kumar for The New York Times, captioned:
"Schoolchildren and teachers took part in a ceremony at the ashram of the
holy man, who encourages religious tolerance. Official visits there have
become one of the odder features of Indian public life."

[image #3 -- map of India locating Puttaparthi.jpg]
Map image by The New York Times, captioned"
"Hospitals built by the holy man near Puttaparthy offer free care."

[image #4 -- Gandhi with followers 1946.jpg]
Photo, b/w, Mahatma Gandhi, on same webpage with Sai article,
from Gandhi book ad on the page, captioned
"Gandhi with followers 1946"
[the Baba is today what Mahatma Gandhi was in his day, a holy man]

[image #5 -- India President in ceremony with Sai Baba.jpg] --Photo:
President of India and other officials in ceremonial garments
walking with Sri Sathya Sai Baba among the throngs of devotees
[source is apparently original photo with story, in hardcopy edition?]

Below is text of December 1, 2002, New York Times article with
accompanying incoming data route, contacts/links for more info.

------ original message ------
From: Hymon Johnson [President, Santa Barbara Sai Center]-dcw
To: gear2000@lightspeed.net
Date: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 11:28 AM

Hi David,

I got that NYT articles from no less than 9 people. They have come in
different forms, but the one I will forward in the next post seems a
pretty good one. There is an attached picture of Sai and the president .

In Peace,


-----end of Dr. Johnson's post followed by below searchable article:

Searching http://www.nytimes.com on Thursday, December 5, 2002, at

Your search for "sai baba" / past 30 days returned
1 articles | 62500 Web sites

A Friend in India to All the World

This article forwarded by Hymon Johnson is also in the post at:


From: "Pad N Swami" padswami@p...
Date: Sun Dec 1, 2002 7:51 pm
Subject: SWAMI IN NYTimes.com Article: A Friend in India to All the World

From: "Pad N Swami" padswami@p...
Date: Sun, 01 Dec 2002 09:55:24 -0800

A Friend in India to the entire World

A Friend in India to All the World


------begin article, originally posted at:
a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/01/international/asia/01GURU.html?ex=10 397640">http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/01/international/asia/01GURU.html?ex= 10397640
New York Times

December 1, 2002

A Friend in India to All the world


PUTTAPARTHY, India - The president of India, who is best known for overseeing India's nuclear tests in 1998, recently paid a state visit to the country's largest ashram, to meet and receive the blessings of a holy man who preaches nonviolence.

The visit underlined the appeal of the unusual holy man, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who draws presidents, prime ministers and other leaders not only from India but also from outside it; altogether he claims followers in 178 countries.

The separation between state and religion in India, clear and bright in the years immediately after Indian independence in 1947, has grown less distinct. That is especially true with the political ascendancy of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party, which emphasizes Hindu nationalism.

Part of the appeal of the Baba, as followers and others call him here, is that ever since the 1940's he has been preaching an unusual mixture of faiths and encouraging religious tolerance. Official visits here have become one of the odder features of Indian public life, and among the most colorful. The Baba's mixture of religions extends far beyond traditional Hindu beliefs, and that lets him attract politicians of various faiths, including Muslims like President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam of India.

President Kalam, a former nuclear scientist, flew to the ashram's private airport here in southern India on a blue-and-white air force jet. Saluted by olive-clad police officers, he climbed into the lead car of a motorcade, and Sikh military aides in scarlet turbans followed suit.

Lining the road to the ashram were stone tablets inscribed with the swami's utterances. "Money comes and money goes/Morality comes and grows," read one sign in English, signed simply Baba, meaning divine father. On a hillside at the ashram's entrance stood enormous, brightly painted statues of Jesus, Buddha and Hanuman, an Indian monkey god. Farther on were a large Chinese temple and a big billboard of a benevolently smiling Baba, his hand raised in blessing.

Two-story modern buildings in fuchsia lined the paved avenue, incongruously interspersed with 30-foot-tall statues of acoustic guitars and wooden drums. The clunky Indian-made Ambassador cars chugged past them and pulled to a halt in front of the great hall of the ashram. More than 10,000 closely packed acolytes sat cross-legged on the floor, the women in saris of brilliant emerald, ruby and indigo silk, the men in white short-sleeve shirts and white trousers, symbolizing purity.

President Kalam deferentially slipped off his brown loafers and walked in stocking feet to the front of the hall, followed by a small entourage, whose members had also tucked their shoes under flowering bushes outside. The Baba, 76, a short man with a thick mane of black hair, shuffled forward in his robe.

Acolytes discreetly angled for the Baba's notice; one of the few Westerners nearby, a middle-aged man also sitting cross-legged, clapped his hand to his heart and wobbled visibly with emotion when the Baba appeared to wave in his direction.

Famous for seldom saying much in public even to his followers, the Baba silently greeted President Kalam. The two men disappeared through polished wood doors decorated with reliefs of Hindu gods and into the Baba's inner sanctum, where they remained a quarter of an hour while the crowd waited quietly.

A senior aide to the Baba whispered that the spiritual leader's full name, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, signified holy, truth, divine mother and divine father.

Preaching the five principles of truth, peace, love, nonviolence and right conduct, the Baba "represents unity of religion, all religions," not just Hinduism, the aide said.

The president emerged and led his entourage out of the great hall, putting on his shoes and hopping back in a car for a short drive to the ashram's guesthouse. In a brief interview there, he said he had discussed with the swami how to achieve an educational system that combined values with science. "When they are fused, you get an enlightened citizen," said President Kalam, whose role is mostly ceremonial in this parliamentary democracy; the Parliament elected him in July.

Coming from a Muslim background, the president is a rarity among national politicians in a country that is four-fifths Hindu. He has long contended that India's nuclear weapons program is necessary to keep the peace in the region, and he does not represent warlike intentions.

N. Chandrababu Naidu, the chief minister, or governor, of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh here, said the Baba was not just a holy man but a public policy expert. Mr. Naidu described repeatedly seeking the swami's advice while turning Hyderabad, the state capital of Andhra Pradesh, into a high-tech center where American companies like Microsoft and Oracle now employ thousands of computer programmers.

Using donations from around the world, the Baba has built two hospitals near here that provide free care to the poor. He is now spending $50 million to build systems for drinking water and irrigation, Mr. Naidu said. But for all the swami's interest in technology, he refuses to use e-mail, or even pick up a telephone. "He won't correspond with anybody, he won't use phones either," the chief minister said, "Everyone has to come here."

-----end article, originally from:
a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/01/international/asia/01GURU.html?ex=10 397640">http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/01/international/asia/01GURU.html?ex= 10397640
[posted to saidevotees_worldnet list by:]

Padmanabhan N Swami
Vice President
Region 7, Sathya Sai Baba Centers of USA
408-973-1529 Home


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