I acknowledge this picture of a confused meditative master from the Internet!

The Satya Sai Baba, revered by millions as God, died some days ago, after having been on a ventilator for weeks. A sad end for such an exalted a spirit.

I wish he had passed over the way Ramana did or Paramahamsa Yogananda did, calmly, without fuss and anticipating the end. But, I guess too much money and power was involved here.

A friend asked: What do you think? Was he divine?

Sure he was. So am I, I said, and so are you. We are all divine. What’s the big deal?

Some years ago I invited a Christian friend to attend a meditation based Self Awareness program that I was conducting.

He demurred: I am a Catholic.

I said, ‘So what? Many Christians and even Muslims attend my programs. So can you.’

He said, ‘No, I believe in Jesus. I cannot attend a meditation program conducted by a Hindu.’

I said, ‘I too believe in Jesus. The program I conduct is not about Hindu scriptures and beliefs.’

He said tangentially, ‘I believe Jesus is the Son of God.’

I told him, ‘That’s fine by me. I too believe he’s the Son of God. In fact, many Hindus believe he is more than that. They worship him as a God.’

He said, ‘No, You don’t understand. I believe Jesus is the only Son of God.’

I told him, ‘Then I have a problem. I believe that we are all children of God.’

Some scriptures say that God creates humans in his image. I disagree on two counts.

First of all, I’ve no reason to believe that God is a he. If I were to invest him with intelligence, compassion and nurturing ability, God would be a she, a Mother Goddess.

Secondly, I’m convinced that humans created God in their image. I doubt if there really was a God to begin with. We, the humans, needed one for our material purposes and created one.

We then needed some people who would promote and market God as a commodity. So, we created prophets and incarnations and gurus. Having created them, we dared not question their authority. They in turn created religions to control us.

After all, faith is about mortgaging our intelligence.

I don’t question the presence of a superior natural intelligence and inner energy that can guide us in some random manner. I don’t argue with the need to believe in that inner energy.

But, I do question the right of some people arrogating to themselves the power to guide others in the quest of such an entity. I find most of them to be self-serving and hypocritical fakes, who don’t practice what they preach.

I deplore the lack of wisdom of those who accept such guidance, instead of believing in their own intelligence.

What about you?