Satya Sai Baba

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Satya Sai Baba (1926-)

Modern Hindu guru, regarded by his devotees as a reincarnation of an early twentieth century holy man, Sai Baba (d. 1918). He was born Sathyanarayana Ratnakaru Raju, November 23, 1926, in the village of Puttaparthi, South India. As a thirteen year old, in 1940, he was bitten by a scorpion and remained unconscious for some time. He emerged from the experience, however, a changed person. He stated to those around him, "I am Sai Baba," a name hardly known to anyone in his obscure village. He then became a religious teacher and healer, manifesting extraordinary miracles.

He quite frequently "materializes" small objects out of the airpictures, statuettes, prayer beads, or ringswhich he gives to his devotees. A widespread religious movement has grown up around him, and he has directed devotees into social work, resulting in the building of a number of schools and medical centers. His fame has spread far beyond India into both African and Western countries due to the distribution of his writings and the books about him written by Indra Devi, Howard Murphet, and other Western writers. A charismatic figure, he is regarded by many devotees as a divine avatar.

Sai Baba remains something of an enigma. He has refused many parapsychologists the opportunity to study him. Many have, however, joined his audiences and reported seeing the extraordinary feats his followers have reported. C. T. K. Chari raised the question of trickery, but gathered no substantial proof of it.


Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Chari, C. T. K. "Regurgitation, Mediumship, and Yoga." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 47 (1973).

Haraldsson, Erlendur. Modern Miracles. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1988.

Murphet, Howard. Sai Baba Avatar. London, Frederick Muller, 1979.

. Sai Baba, Man of Miracles. Levittown, N.Y.: Transatlantic Arts, 1972.

Schulman, Arnold. Baba. New York: Viking Press, 1971.

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Satya Sai Baba (Hindu spiritual guide and miracle worker): see SAI BABA.

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