Free Will and Fatalism in Sai Baba’s world view

There was a long period after I became a follower of Sai Baba during which I plunged deeply into his so-called “teachings”, not least on philosophical issues with which I had been professionally involved for decades. I compared his thoughts on human will and causation, fate and his ideas of karma with those of other more articulate Eastern thinkers and supposed ‘masters’ in India and elsewhere –  and not least with the wealth of investigation into Western thought traditions (such as on.e. causation, determinism, freedom, indeterminacy, volition etc.) . The whole subject of will and freedom is among the most intricate, deep and many-sided that the mind can encounter, so a very long period of depth study in relations to practical and other life issues is required before one may get an overview of the huge labyrinth of viewpoints, with all its subtle pitfalls and blind alleys.

I was always unable to accept fatalism ( i.e. that there is no free will at all) which keeps rearing its head in Sathya Sai Baba’s inconsistent pronouncements, though I made considerable efforts to reconcile his statements to one another and to intelligible philosophical, ethical and scientific thought (reflected in my two articles in Sathya Sai Baba’s journal, Sanathana Sarathi, quoting Sathya Sai Baba at every turn (God’s Will and Ours – Jan. 1990, p.17ff and Freedom and Fate – June 1993, p.165ff).

Despite this, or rather because of it, I later had to reconstruct my previous overview on these issues because many of the interpretations I made to fit in with his statements I now see to have been biased out of wishing to rationalise what turned out to be a mix of sophisticated Indian theology and Sai Baba’s own shallow ideas, also by putting aside or unwittingly ignoring other conflicting perspectives at the time. Looked at from the viewpoint of a self-deprogrammed Sai Baba believer, the fallibility of his entire world-view has become clearer and clearer, and the issues of free will and fatalism required a major renovation so click here to read about Sai Baba on freedom, free will and fate,

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