Sathya Sai – God man or good man?

First published on Times of India on 21st April 2011 http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tiger-trail/entry/sathya-sai-god-man-or-good-man

It is a tall order to understand divinity. I most certainly don’t understand divinity in the way it is meant to be. I have an extremely personal view on this matter and rarely discuss, debate and deliberate upon it. Neither do I have much understanding of philosophy and it’s various off shoots and branches. I find it extremely complicated. However, what I understand fully is goodness and from somewhere in the complicated web of providence spun by man, I take my ambrosial teaspoons of faith from it. According to me, the divine is omnipotent and all pervasive and can be found in creatures’ great and small. So, if I respect even the simplest of life form, it would be the closest association I could seek with the divine. I am also a great believer that communication with the divine does not necessarily have to follow a religious diktat and it is a space that is personal and must not be trespassed by another.

Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi (in Andhra Pradesh ) is in an extremely serious condition. I am not a follower of Shri Sathya Sai but over the years I have been observing with keen interest his life and work. From time immemorial his devotees have claimed acts of divinity associated with Sathya Sai. Devotees are said to have witnessed sacred ash ‘vibuthi’ falling from his statues and pictures. I have watched visuals of ‘vibuthi’ being plucked from thin air and offered to scores of Indian and international devotees by Shri Sathya Sai Baba. At times, Shri Sathya Sai would also present gold and precious stone rings or small pieces of jewellery through his actions. The recipients of his acts of invocation have ranged from Presidents, Prime Ministers, film stars and every other noted celebrity. It does leave one mystified and leaves a few more cynical. His devotees however claim these actions to be a source of divinity. Frankly, I do not regard these actions to be a source of divinity simply because my rather juvenile mind does not allow divinity to be construed via acts of illusion alone. In fact Shri Sathya Sai himself has said, “I am beyond the reach of the most intensive enquiry and the most meticulous measurement. Only those who have recognized my love and experienced that love can assert that they have glimpsed my reality. Do not attempt to know me through the external eyes.”

Fair enough point and each to his own view. But, where I find traces of ‘divinity’ in this man is with regards to the voluminous acts of charity that Shri Sathya Sai Baba and his various organizations have supported, from free education to top class free hospital services in India. At least, this man unlike the Nityanandas and Chandraswamis (and an endless hallowed list of self proclaimed god men) has touched the lives of others in a humanitarian manner via his charitable acts and has not indulged in ‘interesting’ tantric activities alone for the sake of spiritual enlightenment! Albeit, Shri Sathya Sai too has had a fair share of allegations coming his way. Which God man has not?

But, why do most have jelly knees for God men? Some literally swoon, succumb and will away their life savings to these men. Nityananda is said to have charged astronomical amounts for performing ‘pada puja ‘ (washing of feet) for him. Many happily paid this atrocious amount and obtained ‘bliss’ while others signed a non-disclosure agreement that was specially drawn up to promote tantric sex voluntarily and even discharged the Leader and the Foundation. When man is in distress he seeks divinity in whatever form that it may present itself in. Sadly, many of Nityananda’s victims still do not view him to be a fraud despite evidence of him frolicking in Las Vegas’s famous striptease joints and enjoying lap dances or even the rather lucid video of him with the South Indian actor Ranjita. And yes, our law today allows him to continue his preaching’s.

Every person’s definition of divinity is different. Belief obscures rational thinking and belief by itself is a shifting paradigm that puts blinkers on our eyes. I am not in a position to judge if Shri Sathya Sai is a reincarnation of the divine or not, but I have met people who could not afford expensive cardiac treatments and other expensive organ transplants in Bangalore but got world class free treatment at the Shri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences. To them, he is divine and for this reason alone, I wish him a speedy recovery.

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88 Responses to “Sathya Sai – God man or good man?”

  1. Sharmila,

    Waiting for this one to appear here.

    The title is rather amusing. Are you asking your readers to choose between God and Good?

    🙂

  2. Anand Khare Says:

    All good men are god. In fact, in hinduism, everyone is a god. Aham brmhasmi.. We meet god everyday in different forms.

    Sai baba is definitely at a higher energy level than normal human beings. All have potential to reach that level but it is not required. God has given certain role to us and we must play that with utmost devotion.

    Prayers for health of baba.

    God bless.

    Anand

  3. I know the baba. My mother was a fan of his ideas.

    He believed in modern science, modern medicine, modern education but he had a very christian idea about miracles. He practiced everything including predicting futures and oracular prophecies.

    Knowing him as a singularly private person, I doubt he was really attracted to his profession. He graduated from a soothsayer to a godman riding on a publicity blitz that was fueled by a wealth that cannot be legally declared in a socialist economy like ours.

    But mind one thing. Baba is not a tantrik though he is neither Sathya nor Sai. The original Sai Baba of Shirdi was a vedic agnihotri and a very knowledgeable person.

    The difference between the two is that the original Sai Baba of Shirdi claimed only knowledge, not divinity. This baba claimed only divinity.

    Did you know, Indira Gandhi had her own personal godman named Dhirendra Brahmachari. His ashram was in Jammu. He was exposed as an arms dealer and middleman for the Russian KGB. He had his own armament manufacturing factory according to her biographer. He died suddenly when his private plane crashed. Not surprising.

    Chandraswami was another godman who taught yoga and also operated as a middle man for international deals of PV Narsimha Rao and co. Among his “devotees” were Narsimha Rao, Laloo Yadav, Sultan of Brunei, Sheikh Khalifa ruler of Bahrain and Hollywood diva ELizabeth Taylor. When VP Singh began the Bofors tirade against Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress retaliated with VP Singh’s money laundering in the US, famously called St. Kitts forgery case where his son operated the accounts. Chandraswami was interrogated in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination trial.

    Compared to these scoundrels, this baba and his chain of hospitals, colleges and free shelters is definitely a great deal altruistic. Besides, he did not get thousands of crores every year from churches in US, UK, Spain and Australia. He collected unaccounted money from his rich customers.

    I think that is fair. Perhaps nothing to do with divinity. But he has never called himself the son of an unmarried God. He was always an illusionist but never a fake. His followers believed whatever they wanted to believe. Let’s not blame him for that. He never needed to do whatever he has done. And it’s not all that bad. He wasn’t a smuggler or an arms dealer and he didn’t start a religion.

    God bless his entertaining soul. He was a great performer. It was fun while it lasted.

    • I would not mind being a Swami myself. It seems an entirely exciting career option.! And yes, I complete agree with your views on Sai Baba, that is exactly my point of view in the blog too.

      • You are not qualified. Can you grow a beard?

        And if you are planning anything of that sort, please wait, you are in the queue. I came first, na!?
        .
        🙂

      • Why should one be a male. I am sure god women too should do the trick.!?

      • I guess a God-woman is not so difficult. If Mother Teresa had not been a foreigner and if she had lived for some more years, she could have well qualified as a god-woman. Sad to say, the vatican did not even find her worthy of sainthood.

        We live in a partisan world. Presently, by popular public demand, God is male and Lucifer is female.

        In quantum physics it is said that Life’s equilibrium is achieved by the random positions of opposites! It’s called the “Uncertainty Principle”. Some day, God will be female and Lucifer may be an android working in our house as an electronic gadget.

        I wonder why every hypothesis should begin with assumptions!!! Is there a rule like that?… 🙂

  4. There is nothing good about that man. He is a conman, a fraud. His charitable contributions are just part of the fraud. How do you know what percent of his earnings has he contributed to charity ? Did you check on that ?

    And why do the people have to give him money and then he gives to charity. Why can’t the people give money to charity and cut out the middleman ?

    Such people just prey on the superstitious. I was going to add poor and illiterate, but there are rich and educated masses in India who believe in horoscopes and such junk as Sathya Sai Baba.

    • Ninad – read your comment on TOI. The comparison of Sai Baba to Dawood is a bit far fetched, but even leaving that alone, why do you think Dawood does not do charity?

      • Sharmila,

        That’s not fair. You are responding only to criticism like AB.

        I took all of 90 seconds to write my comment above!

        🙂

        PS: Ninad,

        Mine is also a deviation in a way, though it is tempered by my complacency!

        🙂

      • Oops.. spoke too soon… you did reply… I take back the first para…!!!

      • You bet I did!

      • Dawood does not do charity because he is not in the business of brainwashing people into believing that he is GOD.

        And I don’t believe people donate to Sathya Sai Baba’s organisation because he helps people by building hospitals. It’s probably because they are scared they will have some bad luck if they dont or the dhongi baba will curse them and turn them into powder.

      • Just because one does charity does not mean it necessary is a result of brainwashing. I tend to see the charitable acts as quite a distinctive service to his other proclamations about Godliness. I see the two in an entirely different light. I did mention in the blog I do not subscribe to his acts of illusion.

      • I understand with what you are saying, but on the other hand just because a person does charity doesn’t mean he does it in good faith. How do you know if the Baba spends no more than 10% of his income building hospitals ? Well if i were Baba, i would surely build a few hospitals and schools around. It’s great advertising and goes with my GOD image. My brand gets a boost because I do such charitable acts. And nobody asks how much money I spend. Put 5% on hospital, 5% on university, 90% in the bank of liechenstein…anyways its not my money. And this is a great investment, because even the doubtful might become my followers if i give 10% to charity.

        Sharmila, I didn’t understand what really makes you think that a person capable of fooling and defrauding people through miracles and magic can have a good side and does genuinely want to help people ?

        That’s why I asked about Dawood. If tomorrow Dawood gives $1bn in donation to some charity, would you say he is a good guy or will you be looking to find out what’s the ulterior motive in this generosity.

        I won’t trust the Sathya Sai Baba till someone shows me proof about his finances, accounts and who he actually receives money from.

        Also, in previous blog posts you have pointed out “You don’t have to be Bill Gates who runs the largest transparently operated charitable foundation or Narayan Murthy who well and truly abides by his own belief that the real power of money lies in the power of giving it away.”

        Narayan Murthy gives money away ? Got any proof ? Sudha Murthy runs the Infosys foundation, the money for which comes from Infosys (see it’s annual report). Is there any kind of proof that you can give us that Nrayan Murthy even gave $10 million away from his wealth of about $2 billion ?

        His wikipedia page doesn’t even mention the word “charity”.

        I am sorry but I dont believe easily about people’s goodwill.

      • Ninad – Nityananda and a whole heap of self proclaimed God men and God women have not indulged in the kind of charitable services this man did despite rolling in humungous amounts of wealth. The point is despite questionable or non questionable beliefs, his altruism is to be appreciated.

      • Not necessary other godmen have the same business model. This guy might have done a few good things, doesn’t make his motives altruistic. And as I said, it’s not his money. He just looted the gullible people by preying on their superstitions.

  5. Quote

    I was an aethist, until I realized that I am God! Steven Winterburn

    Unquote

  6. Sharmila, Anand,

    Divinity, in my opinion, is not awesome.

    It is as innocent as an infant’s smile and as intelligent as a cosmic aurora. To believe in divinity, one does not have to believe in a Creator.

    I don’t need anything else to be or not to be in order to say ‘I am’. ‘I am’ is a complete expression.

    Divinity is such an expression. This is divine:

    Quote:

    Aham krtu, aham yadnya, swadha aham, aham aushadham |
    Mantra aham, aham eva aajyam, aham agnih, aham hutam ||

    … … … I am the doer, the endeavor, the cause and the cure |
    … … … I am the principle, the fuel, the fire and the offering ||

    Pitaa aham jagato, maata, dhaata, pitaamaha |
    Veda pavitra aumkaram hriksam yaju eva cha ||

    … … … I am the father of this creation, the mother, caretaker and ancestor |
    … … … I am the spoken word, the divine aum, the Rig, Saam and Yajurved ||

    Gatih bharata prabhuu saakshi nivaasah sharanam sruhat |
    Prabhava pralaya sthaanam nidhaanam bijam avyayam ||

    … … … I am life in motion, the lord, the witness, the shelter, the benevolent |
    … … … I am the beginning and the end, the meaning and the origin in each ||

    Tapaami aham, aham varsham, nigruyaami utsrujaami cha |
    Amritam cha eva mrutyu cha sat asat cha aham ||

    … … … I am the warmth, I am the rain, I draw and I release |
    … … … I am the imperishable, I am death, I am and I am not ||

    Krishna, Ch 9 of the Gita.

    Translation Mine.

  7. Anand Khare Says:

    Everyone should know the following facts about the Shri Sathya Sai baba. These are personal observations and not media reports.

    1. Baba or any of his organisations don’t accept any form of donation. You won’t find any collection center or donation boxes in their premises. They don’t need it from anybody. Once I tried to donate small money for humanitarian causes he has undertaken, but his staff politely refused. (Perhaps they don’t spend on media publicity or bashing.)

    2. World’s best Doctors, Professors, Engineers, Accountants and other professionals work at the ashram and facilities around without charging, leaving an opportunity to earn millions of hard currency during that time, while they service at the ashram.

    3. The volunteers seeking service opportunity are so large that they need to wait for years for their turn.

    4. Baba personally looks after all his guests. He would know how your visit is progressing through an efficient system. Help would be offered, should you need it.

    5. The type of cows around Puttaparthi are the same that are available in Vrindavan area.

    6. Several luminaries of world are his disciples. Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar are prominent non-political Indians.

    I have shared here only macro level observations. I have several amazing personal experiences.

    God bless

    • Anand,

      Very good record. But did he need to do all this?

      I feel, the genuinity in this case is that he had no reason to motivate his subjects to do such things. He could have happily lived a life of comfort, in peaceful solitude and meditation. The world cannot tell the difference if it doesn’t know.

      Methinks, he wouldn’t care what the world believes. He is happy doing what he does best. Motivates people in good ways.

      I think it is easy to appreciate his work if we look at the wrong things that he could have easily done and did not do. At least he did not buy weapons from the US and distribute them to religious bigots in the name of human rights!

      • Anand Khare Says:

        Reader,

        It is not a judgement. These are only personal observations. I have never analysed anybody in my life. Personal limitation.:)

        Regards,

        Anand

  8. This subject has begun even before the post is up.

    Hmmm.. that’s pre-emptive. I’ll wait for the post!

  9. Meanwhile making news on the Lokpal saga:

    Mayawati has objected to the caste of the people in the “civil” soceity in the panel. There are no backward caste people among the 6 members.

    So far no one has said there are no muslims, christians, jains and buddhists in Anna Hazare’s panel. There are also no women.

    The question is: Is the lokpal bill a political issue or not?

    If it is not to be politicized then the bill is not democratic and should not apply to politicians who represent the people as per the law.

    If it is a political issue, which I feel it is, then the civil society must be constitutionally represented by adult men in backward classes and all the women.

    Also, minority religions like Gujars, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Gorkhas, Jains, Marwaris; also the scheduled tribes in Tamilnadu, Wayanad, Orissa, Andhra, Manipur, Imphal, Arunachal, Tripura, Assam, Nagaland, Bodos and Kashmiris.

    Also, foreigners of Indian origin and Indians of foreign origin.

    The twitter generation is discovering India.

    • Jesus.. this never ends..

      • Hmmm.. let’s not complicate it further. Keep Jesus out of this. He has many appointments tomorrow. It’s Easter.

        Unfortunately, if the baba is declared by the doctors on Easter, it will confuse some more believers. This is the uttaraayan. Tomorrow is a saptami and siddha yog till 1230 hours. Also the Raahu kaal is from 1750 to 1930 hrs in Andhra.

    • Sharmila Says:

      Yes, it would be a complicated day if Baba leaves today on Easter Sunday. 🙂

      • The utaraayan, saptami, siddha yog is an auspicious time. In the atharva veda section on astronomy, it is an occassion for moksha.

  10. Muraliraja Says:

    Hello All,
    It’s been a while since I visited this space! Hope everyone is doing great 🙂

  11. Aishwarya Says:

    “Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who turns 38 Sunday, has decided not to celebrate his birthday and remains doubtful for the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Deccan Chargers here in view of the worsening condition of the spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba.

    Tendulkar is an ardent devotee of the 85-year-old Baba, whose condition is very critical.

    Tendulkar said he is praying for Baba’s quick recovery.

    “I am praying for Shri Sathya Sai Baba’s quick recovery. Hope everyone will join me in praying for his return to good health,” Tendulkar said on Twitter.

    The Mumbai Indians captain did not arrive with the team Saturday for the match against Deccan Chargers here Sunday, but is expected to come later in the day, according to sources in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).

    He is, however, uncertain for the match and has also decided not to celebrate his birthday, sources said.

    “He may stay away from Sunday’s match so that he can visit Puttaparthi, the pilgrim town in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, in case of any eventuality,” sources said.”

    Source: NDTV Sports

  12. Sachin’s wishes should work for the baba. Baba is only an ordinary godman. Sachin is the God of his world!

    • I have added the post here. Made more sense, as the comments have already begun freely, I can see Ninad’s stance as the strongest! But, have you noticed a similarity between Tendulkar, Rahman and Sai Baba? I am curious to know all your feedback on this startling observation of mine.

      • I think Rahman is the odd one. He wouldn’t use the term God as loosely as we do.

        I would not compare Baba to Sachin. Baba is a godman. Sachin is a God.

        About Baba’s divinity, I would equate him to Amritanandmai and Osho. Closer to Amritanandmai because Osho was a Zen aethist.

        But here is a common feature:

        Osho cured several psychologically damaged people merely by touching their foreheads. It’s a part of stabilising the seven chakras and the kundalini.

        It’s a yogic skill, an act of innate divinities in a vedic sense.

        Saint Dnyaneshwar in Maharashtra did that on a buffaloe. He made the buffalo recite the rig veda! I hope no one asks me for an audi-visual proof of that. I was not the beneficiary of that phenomenon. I don’t grudge the buffaloe.

        But I can give you a real life event from my own experience.

        I became unconscious during a ganpati satsang in Andheri in 1990. The chap who was leading the exercises revived me by simply placing his palm on my forehead. My body was burning as if it was on fire! He held both my hands for about a minute or so, and I went ice cold! There is some yoga involved in all that.

        So, in my opinion there is divinity in things as we know them. Not Godliness, because no one on earth can create anything from nothing.

      • To clarify the similarity I see is in the physical sense alone. I think all three have a strong degree of facial resemblance to one another. My opinion or rather my eye sight!

      • Oh! I didn’t see it that way.

        But now that you mention it, I think baba could have done with a better barber. His hair looks like a cuckoo’s nest.

        Sachin smiles like an angel.

        Rahman, I feel, has a Mona-Lisa-type smile – impossible to tell why he is smiling!

        Okay, okay. That’s just me. I don’t know how to describe men! If you had listed three women I might have done better!

        🙂

  13. Sharmila,

    I seem to have already covered most of the post from the second para onward.

    I think the content in the first para is too personal for an off-hand comment on a blog.

  14. Aishwarya Says:

    Sharmila,

    When he was 14, Sathya Sai Baba is said to have proclaimed himself to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. He performed miracles at that age. When he was 18, a temple was built in his name for his followers. By the time he was 28, he had established a general hospital in his village.

    To me, 14 seems a very young age for a person to dedicate one’s life to mankind. If being an illusionist is all he wanted, he need not have done any of this.

    If there is a godman, then there is a devilman? And for every good man, an evil man? I would like to think of Sai Baba just as a spiritual teacher.

    =

    In this carousel of life, some have a jolly ride, some cling on, some dangle, and some fall off. We all perceive life differently and react uniquely. We have different belief systems and different ways of expressing our love, devotion and gratitude to the Supreme.

    At least here, we see a good share of the donations being magnanimously spent on the people. I wonder in what way the uncountable (unaccountable?) amounts received by the Devaswom Board is utilized.

    Aish.

  15. Let me register my attendance here before I start my office work for the day.

    There was an arab family on the beach last thursday evening.

    The husband and wife were watching their two kids from a distance. The kids, a boy around 5 or 6 and a girl perhaps an year or two older, built a small house of fine, wet sand.

    Just as the sun slipped over the edge, the tide turned from low to high . A rather large moon was beaming from the sky, sending sparkling shimmers on the rolling waves.

    As the tide picked up strength, the first large wave took the kids by surprise. Both of them lost their balance and were swept up the shore for a good 5 feet.

    The kids laughed and screamed aloud watching the water as it receded back into the sea.

    Then they suddenly realized that the house of sand that they had built had disappeared. There was nothing left except a broken plan.

    The boy stumbled back to the same spot and started collecting the sand and re-building the house. The sister pulled him back by his collar and said, “There… hinaak… There is water here!”

    The boy yelled trying to shake off his neck. The sister dragged him up to the exact point where the wave had dropped them earlier.

    The boy lost interest. The two started fighting and finally ran back to the parents.

    • Did anyone get the moral of this story? Or was it too perceptual?

      Egad, I’ll never know till I ask!

    • The boy tries the impossible and must be dissuaded by reason and force combined.

      The girl has what it takes to build a better world, but no one is interested.

      So by default they both go back to what humans do best – fight.

      *

      Something tells me, Reader, this is not what you had in mind….

      🙂

      • I knew I should have written it with the usual conceptual indicators. I was in a rush in the morning and submitted it rather quickly.

        For me, the learning in that was not the difference between the nature of the two kids. I didn’t see any of that.

        I noticed that the boy’s creativity was entirely focussed making the house. He was not in it for ownership!

        Once he realized that he was not free to do his own thing he abandoned the project.

      • Correction para 3: I noticed that the boy’s creativity was entirely focussed on making the house. He was not in it for ownership!

      • We see what we expect to see.

        In quantum physics, the present and future are shaped by the observer’s expectations.

      • I know. But at this moment I am not in a mood to blame myself for what I notice. May be some other time when I am open to negotiations.

        Quantum physics throws up some brilliant general equations that can apply to any numbering system. It is not necessary to think decimal or binary.

        A randomly moving object can be frozen in time by differentiating its variables within selected limits. The rest of its movement is irrelevant to the purpose of the derivative.

      • I wonder how many extra dimensions a self-blaming observer opens and how they collapse when his mood changes.

        Every probability for every atom in the universe collapsing into reality at some point is an awesome prospect for the human mind to conceive.

      • I don’t know what you are referring to. An atom collapsing at a point in reality is an observed phenomenon, not a proof of its existence or destruction. The atom, the universe is the reality. Reality is not an exclusive domain outside the universe. The term collapsing is used only to describe active transition of its state, not its creation or disappearance.

        Human mind can conceptualise not conceive. Even if one new bit of mass or equivalent energy is created, the entire universe will be re-structured.

      • Did I say create? I did not.

        The sum of the universe’s energy and therefore mass is zero.

        I do not pretend to be able to change that.

        Reality is what we observe.

        Anything beyond we conceptualize. Conceive was the wrong word, mea culpa.

        Back to the delights of my Saffron-Yeast Easter Braid.

        Humans are strang creatures….

      • Correction:

        Strange – not strung or strangled…. or are they…. ?

        🙂

      • Renate,

        Give me a break!

        Not even one line makes sense to me! Either elaborate or re-word the lines.

        Look at your response:

        Did I say create? I did not.

        You didn’t say create, you said conceive. Which is the same thing.

        The sum of the universe’s energy and therefore mass is zero.

        Zero? How can a sum be zero in reality? Negative mass or negative energy or anything counted by a negative number does not exist. It is a nomenclature.

        For example, if you dig a hole of one cubic meter, and keep the excavated soil aside, then there is one cubic meter of soil where you kept it and minus cubic meter of soil in the pit. The minus one doesn’t exist. The sum of the total mass remains one in reality. There is no such thing as negative reality. So, the sum of energy and mass cannot be zero in the universal set of reality. It is always an absolute number.

        You said: I do not pretend to be able to change that.

        Ofcourse not. Only, you began by saying, we see what we expect to see. Which is a pretention if reality is an absolute truth.

        You said: Reality is what we observe.

        Reality is what exists. It doesn’t need an observer.

        Anything beyond we conceptualize. Conceive was the wrong word, mea culpa.

        Anything beyond is an hypothesis or imagination. A concept is built on perceptual facts. Conceptualizing is a structured method.

        Back to the delights of my Saffron-Yeast Easter Braid.

        Humans are strange creatures….

        This is confusing. Does it mean that those who delight in Saffron-Yeast on Wester are human? Strange creatures, indeed.

      • There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle parts. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.

        Now twice zero is also zero. Thus the universe can double the amount of positive matter energy and also double the negative gravitational energy without violation of the conservation of energy.

        “It is said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch.”

        Steven W. Hawking

      • Too many complex statements. Let me edit that and reply at the same time:

        There are ‘many’ particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy.

        But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero.

        Wrong. Total energy is ‘not’ zero.

        The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy.

        Wrong. Energy notations are exactly the opposite of mathematical notations. For instance, an electron carries a negative charge. A cathode carris many electrons. Anode carries less of them. Hence electrons flow from Cathode to Anode. That’s energy. A negative charge denoted in energy is not a mathematical negative as in less than zero!

        However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity.

        False. Gravity is a mechanical force generated by dynamic objects. It’s not a magnetic force that is capable of attraction or repulsion.

        Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together.

        Wrong. Expended energy does not mean energy disappears from the system. Two pieces of matter have the same energy wherever they are. The energy stored between the two is relative to the distance separating them. THat energy exists so long as there is matter. It does not need the same two objects to exist. In other words that energy is created by the two objects.

        Thus in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy.

        Gravitational energy is negative or positive depending on the direction in which you measure it. The absolute value is the same. A negative notation given to energy is not the same as a negative mathematical number.

        In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.

        Positive and negative energy as notations given to their directions, not their mathematical values. Absence of energy is not a value. Energy flows like water from a higher potential to a lower potential. There is no such thing as a negative potential.

        Matter is not positive as per energy notations. Electrons are negatively charged, nuclei are positively charged. A stable matter is electrically neutral. Not Zero. It’s neither positive nor negatively charged. There is no such thing as negative gravity vs positive matter. Gravity is a mechanical property of matter!

        Now twice zero is also zero. Thus the universe can double the amount of positive matter energy and also double the negative gravitational energy without violation of the conservation of energy.

        Doubling of matter doubles the gravitational field. Gravity is not a form of energy! It is a mechanical force – in fact, acceleration, to be accurate!

        I think you are referring to research that has been disproved and rejected.

      • Correction para 10, last line:

        That energy is NOT created by the two objects.

      • I’d be very grateful if you could give me a reference where this has been disproved and rejected.

      • Sure I will.

        Is there any line that I have said above that you don’t agree with?

      • Let me sum it up in simple mathematical terms:

        If E stands for energy and m stands for mass of matter then E + M is the total content of the reality set R.

        Neither E nor M can be negative unless you claim that R can be negative.

        Secondly, about reducing energy levels between dynamic objects:

        If A = B, i.e. A-B = 0 and A/B = 1. It does not mean the absolute values of A and B are zero. If A and B exist then they are not zero.

        If they are assumed to be zero for some reason (like in limting values) then the equation A= B is not valid because A/B cannot be defined. Division by zero is an invalid argument.

      • Accountants & those from the world of Finance now pale.

      • A chapter in my current reading:

        *

        According to Einstein’s equations, the energy of a particle that has mass m and momentum p is given by:

        E(square) = m(square ) c(to the forth) + p(square) c(square)

        wich reduces to the well-known E = m c(square) when the momentum is zero. But this isn’t quite the whole story. Because the more familiar equation comes from taking the square root of the full equation, in mathematics we have to say that E can be either positive or negative. Just as 2×2=4, so does -2x-4=4, and strictly speaking E= plus minus m c(square). When such “negative roots” crop up in the equations, as often as not they can be dismissed as meaningless, and it is “obvious”, that the only answer we are interested in is the positive root. Dirac, being a genius, did not take this obvious step, but puzzled over the implications. When energy levels are calculated in the relativistic version of quantum mechanics, there are two sets, one all positive, corresponding to m c(square) and the other all negative, corresponding to -m c(square). Electrons ought, according to to the theory, fall into the lowest unoccupied energy state, and even the highest negative energy state is lower than the lowest possible energy state. So what do the negative energy levels mean, and why didn’t all the electrons in the universe fall into them and disappear?
        Dirac’s answer hinged upon the fact that electrons are fermions, and only one electron can go into each possible state (two per energy level, one with each spin). It must be, he reasoned, that electrons didn’t fall into the negative energy states because all those states are already full. What we call “empty space” is actually a sea of negative energy electrons! And he did’t stop there! Give an electron energy and it will jump up the ladder of energy states. So, if we give an electron in the negative sea enough energy it ought to jump into the real world and become visible as an ordinary electron. to get from the state – m c(square) to the state + m c(square) clearly requires an input of energy of 2 m c(square), which for the mass of an electron is about 1 MeV and can be provided quite easily in atomic processes or when particles collide with one another. The negative energy electron promoted into the real world would be normal in every respect, but it would leave behind a hole in the negative energy sea, the absence of a negatively charged electon. Such a hole, said Dirac, ought to behave as a positively charged particle (much as a double negative makes an affirmative, the absence of a negatively charged particle in a negative sea ought to show up as a positive charge). When he first thought of the idea, he reasoned that because of the symmetry of the situation this positively charged particle ought to have the same mass as the electron. But in a moment of weakness when he published the ides he suggested that the positive particle might be the proton, which was the only other particle known in the late 1920s. As he describes in “Directions in Physics”, this was quite wrong, and he should have had the courage to predict that experimenters would find a previously unknown particle with the same mass as the electron but a positive charge.

        *

        And the story of antimatter and the particle zoo takes off from here….

      • OMG!.. you and Reader are at it again!! Einstein is going to be turning in his grave now, he may just wake up and post his comments here as well too!! 🙂 Anyways, Renate glad to note that you have corrected the great Lion King. You must be on cloud 9!

      • Let’s drop the topic. We are occupying too much space on something that is not relevant.

        I’ll close this with one final response:

        Einstein’s equation does not apply to the anti-matter hypothesis. Anti-matter is an imaginary concept and has never been proven. It was superceded in the ,90s by the String Theory which is presently doing the “reasoning” rounds.

        The most potent of Einstein’s equation is not mc(square). That one is a simple derivation from the definition of kinetic energy which is half of m times the square if the velocity.

        The one that took the world of physics by storm was the equation that gives the change in mass of a dynamic object. The final mass is equal to the part of the initial mass divided by the square root of the ratio of the squares of the speed of light and the speed of the object subtracted from one. i.e. M2 = M1/[sqrt(1-c(sq)/v(sq]

        But these do not prove the anti-matter theory that something can have negative mass, as in numerically negative.

        Dirac’s hypothesis “reasoning” is not a proof.

        The String Theory is the latest in these list of hypothesis. That is also not proved.

        The first one in this series was called “The Big Bang Theory”

        Anyway, let’s leave this alone. It’s indecent to go on. This is not haruspical.

      • I don’t think antimatter went away with the advent of the string theory.

        Especially since its existence was experimentally proven.

        But you are right, this is not the place, so with my apologies to Sharmila I will cease and desist henceforth….. until the next time….

        🙂

    • The moral of the story is the elders are mute spectators, not contributing their two cents to the children’s plans. Ha Ha..

  16. Muraliraja Says:

    Sathya Sai Baba no more…

    • Thank you for the update Murali.

      I had a strange premonition about this yesterday. I don’t believe in astrological predictions, but I know some of the mathematics involved in the equations.

      • What Maths???

      • The 3 dimensional geometry of plotting the positions of celestial bodies. The speeds of individual planets and constellations are already determined, so there’s no need to calculate them. Knowing the speed and using the lunar calenders one can arrive at the relative positions of different zodiac signs, nakshatras etc.

        The prediction part is tedious. I have no clue why certain positions are called auspicious and some not. That leads to superstition. So I keep away from that.

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Prayers for the departed soul.

  17. Sharmila Says:

    Just like the great Reader had predicted. baba dues on Easter Sunday. may his soul RIP

  18. I have wished I were dead so many times that I have now begun to feel envious of those who are dead!

    I have often wondered what state of mind I shall be at the time of my own death. Somehow I am certain that I’ll feel relieved and liberated – a state of complete fulfillment without past, present or future.

    I hope I can reach that state early and live in it real time, instead of a brief flashing moment just before death.

  19. My laziness is paying off after 5 years.

    I was told this morning that I have been shortlisted for a promotion to corporate vigilance and investigations. I will be policing over due diligence. There is less work there than I have now.

    I always knew I am being paid for nothing. I never thought there could be anything better.

    I think the bearded bloke up there is trying to teach me lessons that I don’t want to learn!

    Or may be he is simply too scared of getting me back in his fold. He probably feels I take up too much space! I spread myself fairly far and wide!

  20. This song is dedicated to Satyanarayan Raju, The Guide, alias Sathya Sai Baba, who has just been released from this life…

  21. Anand Khare Says:

    Hari Anant Hari Katha Ananta, Kahi sunahi bahu vidhi sab Santa!

    Translation-

    God is Infinite.Infinite his tales. Told and heard in multiple ways by all saints.

    Anand

  22. News bar:

    Maddy am’bush’ed by CBI. Arrested this morning for misappropriation of funds.

    Bush: Sonio!

    Sonio: Yes, dear?

    Bush: Is it true?

    Sonio: What?

    Bush: Is maddy eating bars?

    Sonio: He is behind bars.

    Bush: Behind?

    Sonio: Yes dear

    Bush: Then what is he eating?

    Sonio: Nothing. He is overfed already.

    Bush: Yea..me too. I am fed up.

    Sonio: It’s the money.

    Bush: You think so? Has maddy got money?

    Sonio: No

    Bush: Where is the money?

    Sonio: In gold bars

    Bush: Gold bars. Yes, I get that. And maddy is behind them.

    Sonio: Maddy was behind them. He is now behind iron bars.

    Bush: Errr…

    Sharmila: Never Mind.

    • Lol.. I can see I have not evolved in the least since the last series!

      • You are the ultimate witness – like Agatha Christie!

        🙂

      • I can see that.

      • I could have gone on long with this one but officework prevents me from indulgence for another hour…

        But I’ll let you in on the gist.

        I was thinking about why every lawyer who appears in the Supreme Court is required to be a member of the Bar Council of India.

        Throw that open for discussion between Bush and Sonio, and ‘Bar’ will take altogether different meanings:

        Bar as in a Beer Bar.

        Bar as in prohibit.

        Bar as in a gaol.

        Bar as a rod.

        Bar as a measuring scale.

        Bar as short for Barney.

        And ofcourse chocolate bars, candy bars, tool-bars in computers… Endless possibilities…

        Bush would never think of Bar as short for a Barrister!!!!

  23. Sharmila,

    Thanks, yes, I sure am on cloud nine! I was torn as to whether I should say anything, but when AB repeated the mistake on another post I thought it was time to step in. I am glad he took it so graciously.

    And who would’t be elated to see their name on the blog itself – he mentioned you too in the past, you must remember how sweet it feels, don’t you?

    Sorry about getting carried away, I shall stop before Einstein wakes up and shuts me up personally.

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