Sathya Sai Baba Birthdate Debate

Sanjay Kishore Dadlani
Middlesex University Student Residing In The UK

Sanjay Dadlani recently published three blogged articles pertaining to Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday date and stated that there is conclusive proof that Sathya Sai Baba was not born on November 23rd 1926, but rather was born on October 4th 1929. As will be shown, Sanjay’s conclusive proof is not conclusive at all.

First and foremost, Sanjay’s critiques and criticisms about Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate are not unique. Sanjay heavily relied on Brian Steel’s past research regarding this matter and re-packaged it, trying to pass it off as something new. It isn’t.

Sanjay believes that he has conclusively proven that Sathya Sai Baba was born on October 4th 1929 based exclusively on the following four “proofs”:

  1. One Kamalapuram school transfer certificate that showed Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate as “October 4th 1929″.
  2. One Bukkapatnam school record that showed Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate as “October 4th 1929″.
  3. One Uravakonda school record that showed Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate as “October 4th 1939 (which was corrected to “October 4th 1929 33 years later by some unknown person).
  4. One quote from the book “Anyatha Saranam Nasthi” – by Smt. Vijayamma Hemchand (aka Kuppam Vijayamma), a Sai Devotee.

That’s it.

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Kamalapuram Transfer Certificate Details
Bukkapatnam School Record Details
Uravakonda School Record Details
Vijayamma’s “Anyatha Saranam Nasthi” Citation
Brian Steel’s Observation
LIMF’s (Love Is My Form) Clarification
In Conclusion

Now, let us take a look at Sanjay’s four “proofs”.

KAMALAPURAM TRANSFER CERTIFICATE DETAILS:
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*Name of the school which the pupil is leaving: B.M. School Kamalapuram
*Name of the pupil: Ratnakaram Satyanarayana
*Date of birth as entered in the admission register: 4.10.1929 (Fourth October Nineteen Twenty Nine)
*Class or form in which the pupil was [unintelligible] at the time of leaving (in words): First Form
*Date of admission or promotion to that class or form: 11.6.40
*Date when the pupil actually left the school: 22.4.41
*Date on which application for transfer certificate was made on behalf of the pupil by the parent or guardian: 20.6.41
*Date of transfer certificate: 20.6.41

It is my contention that Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate was incorrectly recorded on the Kamalapuram school record, which was transferred to Sathya Sai Baba’s subsequent school at Bukkapatnam, and the incorrect birthdate was copied from it. Sanjay attempted to refute this contention by stating the following:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha, Moreno’s argument is changing with the wind! Stop talking bullshit, Moreno, LOL! The earliest (English) record is the Kamalapuram transfer form, which has the same birthdate as the Bukkapatnam record. Whaddya know? The same birthdate occurs in the Uravakonda school records. And Moreno wants us to think that these records were copied from each other at a time when it was very difficult to travel by bullock cart, let alone by foot.

Since the earliest record is a transfer certificate, this record was required to be presented to the next school in order for the admission to occur. The information on the Bukkapatnam school record was copied from the Kamalapuram transfer certificate. Sanjay poorly attempted to argue that this was not the case because “it was very difficult to travel by bullock cart, let alone by foot”. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Kamalapuram transfer certificate was required as proof that Sathya Sai Baba passed his previous schooling and qualified for promotion to the Bukkapatnam school. How else was the Bukkapatnam school to ascertain whether or not Sathya Sai Baba passed his previous schooling? Therefore, contrary to Sanjay’s claims, this record was shared between schools and information was copied from it.

BUKKAPATNAM SCHOOL RECORD DETAILS:
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The Bukkapatnam school record is extremely important because it shows:

  1. How poorly birthdates were recorded.
  2. The apathy and lack of importance given to valid birthdates.
  3. How early Indian school-records from rural villages are wholly unreliable means of ascertaining someone’s birthday.

The LIMF image to the Bukkpatnam school record shows the names to the following 16 students who were admitted in July 1941:

  1. 462 Gludappa 1-7-34 (7 years old)
  2. 463 Adeppa 1-7-35 (6 years old)
  3. 464 Gangappa 1-7-35 (6 years old)
  4. 465 Ganganna 1-7-34 (7 years old)
  5. 466 Sathyanarayana 4-10-29 (12 years old)
  6. 467 Narayana Mulu 1-7-34 (7 years old)
  7. 468 Venkatesh 1-7-33 (8 years old)
  8. 469 Nanjuda Rao 1-7-34 (7 years old)
  9. 470 Frakrodeem 1-7-35 (6 years old)
  10. 471 Modeen Sab 1-7-26 (15 years old)
  11. 472 Ranganna 1-1-30 (11 years old)
  12. 473 Narayana Ganta 1-7-25 (16 years old)
  13. 474 Venkataramulu 30-1-28 (13 years old)
  14. 475 Mohammad Peer 1-7-35 (6 years old)
  15. 476 Narayana
  16. 477 Sallappa

Only 14 of these students have their birthdates showing. As one can clearly see, 11 out of the 14 students are listed as being born on exactly July 1st. This is wholly and completely improbable. These 11 students have different last names and different fathers (therefore, none of them are brothers, twins, triplets, etc.).

Out of these 11 students: Frakrodeem, Mohammad Peer, Adeppa and Gangappa were allegedly born on July 1st 1935. Gludappa, Ganganna, Narayana Mulu and Nanjuda Rao were allegedly born on July 1st 1934. Venkatesh was allegedly born on July 1st 1933, Modeen Sab was allegedly born on July 1st 1926 and Narayana Ganta was allegedly born on July 1st 1925.

These utterly improbable birthdates (defying lottery odds many times over) prove that the Bukkpatnam school record is inaccurate and did not record valid birthdates.

Looking at the ages, we also see that we have children and teenagers all in the same 8th standard class ranging between 6 – 16 years of age! This simply is not possible. There are four 6 year olds, four 7 year olds, one 8 year old, one 11 year old, one 12 year old, one 13 year old, one 15 year old and one 16 year old. Half the class (on this school-record page) was composed of 6 and 7 year olds.

Consequently, this Bukkapatnam school record does not provide proof to conclusively support any speculation that Sathya Sai Baba was born on October 4th 1929. The only proof that this school record provided is proof to the apathy and lack of concern for recording valid birthdates by Indian school officials in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s in rural villages in India. The Bukkapatnam school record solidifies the perception that Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate is just as unreliable as the other birthdates listed on the school record.

Funny enough, Sanjay said:

Due to the pre-Independence situation of not keeping records correctly, is it at all surprising that that ten students share the same birthdate with differing years? Who knows whether the families of the students were not in posession of the knowledge, or whether it was down to a lazy school clerk who just rubber-stamped the papers and put them in his outbox?

That’s right:

**Who knows “whether it was down to a lazy school clerk who just rubber-stamped the papers and put them in his outbox” when it came to Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged birthdate?

**Who knows if the “pre-independence situation of not keeping records correctly” would account for an inaccurate birthdate given to Sathya Sai Baba?

Sanjay just fully conceded to the inaccuracies and significant discrepancies in the Bukkapatnam school record! Nevertheless, Sanjay flip-flopped (as he often does) and argued that this very same flawed Bukkapatnam school record indisputably recorded Sathya Sai Baba’s genuine birthdate! Sanjay’s arguments are wholly absurd and contradictory.

Sanjay also tried to pull the wool over his reader’s eyes by making the following comment about student 470, whose name is listed as “Fakrodeem Puttaparthi”. “Puttaparthi” is not a last name, but a village name. Sanjay said:

Is it really that important if Frakrodeem’s surname is ‘Puttaparthi’, the name of the village? Perhaps Frakodeem and/or his family wished to be known as in ancient times according to the land of their birth; ‘Frakrodeem of Puttaparthi’, as exists in classical literature.

Sanjay’s response is utterly preposterous. As if resorting to a “classical literature” explanation from “ancient times” is not embarassing enough, Sanjay apparently overlooked the simple fact that Frakrodeem is not from Puttaparthi. He is from Bukkapatnam. Sathya Sai Baba is the only student listed from Puttaparthi on the Bukkapatnam school record. All the other students are from Bukkapatnam, without exception. If Frakrodeem is from Puttaparthi, then one is left to wonder why his village name is listed as Bukkapatnam. Either way, the entry is incorrect. So once again, why is Frakodeem’s last name listed as “Puttaparthi” when Puttaparthi is not a last name but a village name? Why would an accurate and reliable school record make this glaring mistake and fail to correct it?

URAVAKONDA SCHOOL RECORD DETAILS:
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*Student Number: 422
*Name in full: R. Satyanarayana
*House or village name: Rathanaharam
*Parent: R.P. Venkappa
*Residence: Puttaparthi
*Ocupation of parent or guardian: Teacher
*Date of admission: 1-7-43
*Date of birth: 4-10-39 (October Thirty Nine)
*Religion: Hindu
*Caste: Rajapuri
*Class on admission: III F.

As one can see, the Uravakonda school record documented Sathya Sai Baba as being born on October 4th 1939 (and even spelled it out as “October Thirty nine”). This error was left in place for 33 years before an unknown person corrected it on August 11 1976, after comparing it to other school records.

The first correction reads:

Fourth October Nineteen Tweny Nine (signature unintelligible) 11-8-76 (August 11th 1976)

The second correction reads:

Compared with the original (unintelligible) register & date of birth corrected as 4.10.1929. (p. 32 of the register regs.) (signature unintelligible) 11-8-76 (August 11th 1976)

Despite the fact that the official Uravakonda school record documented Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate as being October 4th 1939 (and it stayed that way for 33 years), Sanjay had the audacity to state that the Uravakonda school record is an “independent piece of evidence that confirm Sathyanaraya Raju’s birthdate as October 4th 1929! Talk about denial, desperation and true-believer syndrome! The Uravakonda school record does not provide proof to conclusively support any speculation that Sathya Sai Baba was born on October 4th 1929. The only proof that the Uravakonda school record provided is a another contradictory date as to when Sathya Sai Baba was allegedly born.

VIJAYAMMA’S “ANYATHA SARANAM NASTHI” CITATION:
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The following quote was cited from Vijayamma’s book to support a 1929 birthdate:

In 1945 the little girl’s cousins were strolling in the affluent Bangalore suburb of Malleswaram when they heard bhajans being sung and entered the house to listen. Sai Baba, who was present there, invited them to go to Puttaparthi (whose name they had never heard). When they returned to their town of Kuppam (south-east of Bangalore, but in today’s Andhra Pradesh), the cousins told the girl’s mother about their meeting. The latter was keen for them all to go, but the idea was vetoed by the father, who said: ‘You tell me He is sixteen years old and claims to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai. This is all humbug’. (p. 12)

This quote did not say anything about when Sathya Sai Baba was born. The quote indirectly implied that Sathya Sai Baba was sixteen years old in 1945. If this is true, Baba’s year of birth would be 1929.

First of all, Vijayamma’s notes were never written from a historical perspective. Although these stories were taken from Vijayamma’s notes, the above story reads as if Vijayamma was repeating a story told to her in which she was not personally involved. Therefore, these quotes do not provide any proof that Sathya Sai Baba was born in 1929. There are other devotees who indirectly claim that Baba was born in 1926. Does this mean that one can conclusively state that the majority opinion is correct? Since when is one indirect quote from a devotee’s book conclusive proof for a 1929 birthdate?

Furthermore, if Vijayamma honestly, reliably, accurately and objectively gave information that supported Sanjay’s conclusions (as he contends), then this must mean that Vijayamma also honestly, reliably, accurately and objectively related first-hand miracles that she personally experienced with Sathya Sai Baba (which even included the alleged resurrection of her own father). Nevertheless, Sanjay adamantly refuses to accept the writing of Sai Devotees (who he often bashes and trashes as “liars” on the internet) and even stated about them:

…any amount of self-serving reasoning by Ganapati or other authors favourable to Sathya Sai needs to be taken with a pinch of salt…

Therefore, Sanjay’s reference to “Anyatha Saranam Nasthi” (authored by a Sai Devotee “favorable to Sathya Sai”) needs to be taken “with a pinch of salt”.

Sanjay also said:

Sensible and rational people who are logical and down-to-earth do not believe in things like reincarnation, spirit possession, miraculous materialisations and the like.

Since Sanjay feels this way, his reference to Vijayamma’s book cannot be believed by “sensible”, “rational”, “logical” or “down-to-earth” people because it talks about reincarnation, spirit possession, miraculous materializations and the like.

Of course, this is not the first time that Sanjay flip-flopped regarding books authored by Sai Devotees. Click Here To Read My Article About Sanjay’s Acceptance Of LIMF (a book he later bashed and trashed as “bullshit”).

BRIAN STEEL’S OBSERVATION:
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Brian Steel made the following observation:

As for the possible day of birth, in the school Register photostats in LIMF it is given as 4 October (1929). But maybe it WAS 23 November after all, as has been celebrated, at least since 1946 when we find the first reference in LIMF to an official birthday. It was also celebrated on 23 November in 1950, as Vijayakumari notes, with the Inauguration of Prasanthi Nilayam: “Till that day, prominence had not been given to Swami’s Birthday. But that day we prayed to Swami to permit us to celebrate it” (Vijayakumari, p. 161) (In the Discourses recorded in Sathya Sai Speaks, the first to be labelled as a Birthday Discourse is the one for 1960.)

Therefore, Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23rd birthday was known as far back as 1946 when he was 20 years old (if born in 1926) or 17 years old (if born in 1929). Furthermore, LIMF records a first-hand account where a fellow classmate of Sathyanarayana Raju (Sai Baba) stated that Sathya was one year senior to him in school (meaning Sathya would have been born in 1926). Read the following clarification from LIMF.

LIMF’s (Love Is My Form) CLARIFICATIONS:
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On pages 68 & 69 the LIMF editors stated (about Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate):

“Sathya’s date of birth in school records, however, is recorded as the 4th of October 1929 – and not the traditionally recognized date of the 23rd of November 1926. Talipineni Kesappa, son of Talipineni Ramappa maintains that Sathya was one year senior to him at school; therefore, Kesappa’s date of birth being 11th of June 1927, Sathya’s year of birth definitely is 1926. It has long been a practice in the schools to record a date of birth as being much later than the ‘actual’ date of birth – in order to facilitate career prospects. Sathya’s parents wanted Sathya to become an educated officer. This, possibly could be the reason for the discrepancy. In addition, in 1926, people in remote villages like Puttaparthi, in pre-independent India, were not very particular about dates and birth registration was done much later.”

Sanjay responded to LIMF’s explanation by saying:

Plenty of other evidences have proved the 1929 birthdate. LIMF’s ‘reason’ is bullshit, and they have made many more bullshit explanations, all of which have been discussed and dismissed in my exposĂ© series. I personally do not care, it is a problem for devotees not for me. LOL.

Sanjay did not think LIMF was “bullshit” when he heavily relied and cited from it (admittedly) to make his pathetic “Sai Baba Shirdi Lies” series (See my responses: 0102 -03). I would also like to see the “plenty of other evidences” which prove the 1929 birthdate. For some mysterious reason, Sanjay can only cite 3 inaccurate school records and 1 statement from a book authored by a Sai Devotee. That’s it! Where are the “plenty of other evidences” that come from neutral, non-devotee sources?

When Sanjay is trying to advance an argument against Sathya Sai Baba, he has no problem citing self-serving quotes from Sai Devotees that he considers reliable, accurate and objective. When it comes to other quotes made by these same Sai Devotees (that Sanjay considered worthy enough to reference before) Sanjay trashes and bashes them as “liars” and calls their explanations “bullshit”. Sanjay is such a wishy-washy, hypocritical and duplicitous critic, one must take everything he says with a pinch of salt.

IN CONCLUSION:
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Since no one has been able to produce Sathya Sai Baba’s original birth-certificate (or a copy to it), there is no conclusive proof as to which date or year he was actually born. Even though Sathya Sai Baba has a passport (from his visit to Africa in 1968, which would have required legitimate documentation for a date of birth), Sanjay said he would reject it because he claimed that someone in his family has an inaccurate date of birth in his/her passport. Therefore, Sanjay will accept nothing less than the original birth certificate to accept Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate as being November 23rd 1926 (and more than likely he would reject that as well).

Ironically enough, although Sanjay’s standards are extremely rigid when it comes to a 1926 date of birth, his standards are extremely flaccid when it comes to a 1929 date of birth. Just more proof that Sanjay is a self-serving hypocrite who cannot take a rational, sober, fair or consistent stance against Sathya Sai Baba.

Although many Sai Devotees have written extensively about Sathya Sai Baba’s early years, none of them ever mentioned that Baba changed his birthdate. Both Ganapathi and Kasturi had full access to Sathya Sai Baba’s parents, relatives and old devotees. Based on their early interviews with Baba’s parents, relatives and old devotees, it was ascertained that Baba was born on November 23rd 1926. Even LIMF was able to trace the earliest reference to Baba’s November 23rd birthday back to 1946.

And to put the final nail in the coffin (to Sanjay’s dead-in-the-water arguments) there are no government, official or reputable organizations, institutions, corporations, agencies or offices that accept school records as proof for one’s date of birth. Not even one!

As a matter of fact, on the Littler Mendelson Legal Corporation website, there is definitive legal information regarding birth certificates and how school records cannot be substituted for them:

Birth, Marriage, Divorce Certificates: India:
Birth Certificates:
Birth Certificates are available to any applicant born after April 1, 1970, on payment of nominal fees to the appropriate government agency. Prior to 1970, however, reporting of births was voluntary. Therefore, if you are unable to obtain a birth certificate from the appropriate government agency or if the information on the birth certificate is insufficient, alternative documents may be submitted.

Two sworn affidavits executed by parents, siblings, aunts, or uncles (blood relatives) may be presented in lieu of a birth certificate when a birth certificate is not available. The affidavits should set forth the relationship between the deponent and the applicant, the date and place of the applicants’ birth, the names of both parents and other related facts. The affidavits must be witnessed and stamped by an advocate/notary. In addition, these affidavits must be accompanied by a document from a competent governmental authority stating that the certificate did not exist or no longer exists.

NOTE: School records and “birth records” issued by a hospital or church are insufficient substitutes for birth certificates. (Reference)

Consequently, Sanjay comical citations to school records as conclusive proof (supporting an October 4th 1929 date of birth for Sathya Sai Baba) is not only absurd, it is wholly without merit or legal substantiation.

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