Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Sai Devotees Assaulted for Nudity

Puttaparthi, South India
August 3rd, 2004

Police arrested a man for misdemeanor assault at Sai Baba's Prashanti Nilayam ashram here this morning.

The suspect, Mr. K. Raghunathan, 63, allegedly threw buckets of ice water on three young women because he was offended by their toplessness on the ashram sands. Because the ashram has sandy areas and the intense heat drove devotees to open a closed-off nude quarter, the three women argued that they were not in violation of local ordinances against public display of female breasts or the ashram rules against nudity.

The nude quarter had been operational for use by the public since last month and a sign was posted at the entrance advertising "Nude Only".

Raghunathan has a bull and three cows penned up in the garbage area behind his third-floor South Prashanti apartment. In the first week the nude quarter was opened, the bull broke out of the locked gate and charged a group of nude volleyball players that were using a bright red ball. None of the nudists were injured, however the bull punctured the ball with his sharp horns and one of the naked volleyball athletes accidentally threw a rock through Mr. Baba's window, causing five hundred dollars damage.

In a statement to reporters, Mr. Baba said, "I don't mind my devotees showing their bodies as it reminds me of truth, goodness and beauty. I used to walk around half-naked when I was young and everyone saw my manboobs! What's the problem? This is all due to jealousy and not following my divine and enlightening teachings, which are better than everyone else's. Devotees should be more vigilant with their japam and dhyanam instead of worrying worrying worrying about delicious little Van Dammes and Brad Pitts running around frolicking in the open proudly displaying their juicy and luscious sun-kissed bodies."

Upon being informed that it was female devotees causing the problem and not males, the Baba unleashed a torrent of foul abuse at me and chased me out of the ashram while waving his fists.