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

Theological Inaccuracies of Sai Bhajans

One issue that has been on my thoughts now and then regards the theological inaccuracies of Sai Bhajans as comparable to other religious traditions. Here I'd just like to note how bhajans and padas in other religous traditions often have the hallmark of the author's (usually a famous saint) deep bhAva (feeling, inner aspiration) and this is what leads to their 'authenticity', religiously recited/sung by their followers. In some traditions, recital of a certain saint's bhajan is said to bestow the same result that the saint received. Another noteworthy characterisitic of such 'authentic' bhajans is that they embody the teachings of that particular tradition in a simplified form so that the divine message can be "preached"to people in a medium that is suited to their sensibilities.

In the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition (which I happen to follow), the bhajans and padas of Srila Narottama das Thakura are a perfect example of what I am speaking of. Sri Narottama's padas happen to be so 'in tune' with the theological teachings of Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy that it is quite appropriate to quote selected stanzas in the midst of a debate among Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

Just imagine; in a "normal" discussion or debate where advocates of a particular position refer to scriptures to make their points, is it not wonderful that in some traditions participants are able to quote stanzas of certain bhajans to prove their points? Obviously, the bhajans of Sri Narottam das Thakur have no authority within a debate between followers of two differing schools of philosophy, such as Sri Vaishnavism or Tattva-vada, but it is still a wonderful discovery to see how such bhajans are considered to be "scriptural evidence" in some circles. This is primarily because of the bhajan's resonance with the tradition's philosophy.

I noted that the same is not true in the Sai organisation. For a start, most if not all of their bhajans are theologically incomprehensible. If I was in a generous mood, I would say that because their bhajans have various names of God in them, that would be their only virtue. They are totally incomprehensible in other terms.

This is a theme that I'll be returning to often. It seems that I may have to go through the entire Bhajanamavali at some point in order to point out all of the inaccuracies in Sai bhajans. :-)

Copyright © Sai Baba Bhajan Book 2006.


At 14 August, 2008 20:42, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I know Sai Bhajans encompass a wide number of languages and religions. So what may be 'incomprehensible' to you may be very much understandable by another person. Plus as Sai Baba himself says the focus of bhajans is naamasmarana (repeating god's name) to turn the mind towards god. And even if you dont understand the meaning, many websites and books do list them in simple, lucid english.

At 17 November, 2008 22:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly! I truly agree with you!
May God present everyone with Satbuddhi!!Peace be all!

At 19 November, 2012 06:31, Anonymous Nath Yogi said...

"Who claims himself God
Know him to be full of fraud.
Who claims Guru on his own
Know him to be a clown.
'Cause God and Guru even disown
The merit that They really own."


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