Sai Baba Bhajan Book

This blog is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Expect philosophical and theological analysis of Sai Baba bhajans as and when released.

08 June 2006

Namostute Ganapathi Gananatha

When I was an SB devotee, I came across many theologically inaccurate bhajans, but one sticks out in my mind right now just as it always has:

Namostute Ganapathi Gananatha
Namostute Namostute
Hey Shiva-nandana Sai Gajanana
Sai Gajanana Namostute
Namostute Namostute

At least that's the way I remember it from an audio recording that I have.

In the Sai Org it is customary to begin a bhajan session with a bhajan in praise of Ganesh, although I haven't noted the same emphasis in other traditions. The specific lines that I object to have been highlighted in bold. It is well known within the Sai Org that Sai Baba is believed to be a combined incarnation of Shiva-Shakti as per his own words. As such I believe that, to be theologically inaccurate, bhajans in praise of him should be sensitive to ontological considerations.

If Sai Baba is believed to be the combined incarnation of Shiva-Shakti, then where is the sense in glorifying him as 'Shiva-nandana' (the son of Shiva!) and 'Sai Gajanana' (Sai Ganesh, the son of Shiva)?

The knowledgeable devotee would most likely retort that Sai Baba is an incarnation in which "every divine principle is manifest", and thus it is appropriate to glorify him in the mood of all such manifestations of God. In other words, since Sai Baba claims to be an incarnation of every form of God that ever existed, it is therefore OK to glorify him as such, even if they violate ontological considerations.

Such an intellectually dishonest consideration may be acceptable to the average Sai Devotee whereas it is (unfortunately) unacceptable when dealing with members of other religious traditions, who may be curious to enquire about the precepts of the Sai Tradition and find it to be a confused faith.

Copyright © Sai Baba Bhajan Book 2006.


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