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Bibliography on Sai Baba


Contributed by Suzanne Newcombe, University of Cambridge


Note: While not completely comprehensive (especially in regards to devotional sources) this provides a good orientation to Sai Baba.


Devotional Sources


There are a number of propaganda films at http://www.saibabafilms.com/ which help put Sai Baba in the India cultural context.


There is a more comprehensive directory of devotional books at: http://www.saibabalinks.org/booksaibaba.htm


Devotional Websites are numerous, included but not limited to:






Hislop, John (1985) My Baba And I. San Diego: Birth Day Pub. Co


Krystal, P. (1985). Sai Baba: The Ultimate Experience. York Beach, ME, Samuel Weiser, Inc


Krystal, P. (1990 (first published in 1982)). Cutting the Ties That Bind. Shaftesbury, Dorset, Turnstone Press Ltd.


Mason, P. and R. Laing (1993). Sai Baba: The Embodiement of Love. Bath, Gateway Books


Murphet, H. (1971). Sai Baba: Man of Miracles. London, Vrindavanum Books


Murphet, H. (1990). Sai Baba Avatar. Springwood, NSW, Butterfly Books


Sandweiss, S. H. (1975). Sai Baba: The Holy Man...  ...and the Psychiatrist. San Diego, Birth Day Publishing


Critical Sources

Much of the critical information is available on the internet. 

The include but are not limited to:









Brooke, Tal (1999) Avatar of Night End Run Publishing. [First published as Lord of the Air in 1976].


Premanand, Basava (2001) The Murders in Sai Baba's Bedroom. Podanur: Indian Skeptic. Purchase information at: http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/bedroom.htm


Shepherd, Kevin R.D. (2005) Investigating the Sai Baba Movement: A Clarification of Misrepresented Saints and Opportunism. Citizen Initiative.


Szandorowska, B. (1991). Escape from the Guru. Eastbourne, East Sussex, MARC.


Videos which (apparently!) point out slight of hand: http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/movies.html#01 



Significant Journalistic Reports


Brown, Mick (1998)  The Spiritual Tourist.  London: Bloomsbury Publishing.


BBC (2004) This World: The Secret Swami. Aired on 17 June 2004. Transcript available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/this_world/3791921.stm 


BBC (1995) ‘Guru Busters’ Aired on Channel 4. Video information available at: http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/movies.html#Guru%20Busters



Academic Sources

Babb, L. A. (1983). "Sathya Sai Baba's Magic." Anthropological Quarterly 56(3): 116-124


Babb, L.A. (1987) Redemptive Encounters: Three Modern Styles in the Hindu Tradition. Berkley: UC Press.


Bowen, David  (1988) The Sathya Sai Baba Community in Bradford: Its origins and development, religious beliefs and practices. Leeds: University Press.


Burghart, R., Ed. (1987). Hinduism in Great Britain: The Perpetration of Religion in an Alien Cultural Milieu. London, Tavistock


Ellwood, R. S. (1973). Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall.


Exon, B. (1995). "Self-accounting for Conversion by Western Devotees of Modern Hindu Religious Movements." DISKUS 3(2): 74-82


Haraldsson, E. (1987). Miracles are my Visiting Cards. London, Rider Books.

This is the classic ‘investigation’ into the validity of Sai Baba’s miracles. The author was able to neither prove nor disprove the miracles in any definitive way.


Kent, A. (2000). "Creating Divine Unity: Chinese Recruitment in the Sathya Sai Baba Movement of Malaysia." Journal of Contemporary Religion 15(1): 5-27


Palmer, Norris W. (2005) “Baba’s World: A Global Guru and His Movement” in

Gurus in America. Thomas A. Forsthoefel and Cynthia Ann Humes (ed) Albany: SUNNY Press, 138-175.


Sharma, A. (1986). New Hindu religious movements in India. New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change. J. A. Beckford. London, Sage/Unesco: 220-239


Srinivas, S. (1999). "The Brahmin and the Fakir: Suburban Religiosity in the Cult of Shirdi Sai Baba." Journal of Contemporary Religion 14(2): 245-262


Srinivas, S. (2001) "The advent of the avatar: The urban following of Sathya Sai Baba and its construction of tradition." In Vasudha Dalmia, Angelika Malinar and Martin Christof–Fuechsle, eds. Charisma and Canon: The Formation of Religious Identity in South Asia . Delhi: Oxford University Press: 293-309.


Swallow, D. (1982). " Ashes and Powers: Myth, Rite and Miracle in an Indian God-Man's Cult." Modern Asian Studies 16(1): 123-15


Taylor, D. (1987). Charismatic Authority in the Sathya Sai Baba Movement. Hinduism in Great Britain. R. Burquart. London, Tavistock.


Taylor, D. (1987). Sathya Sai Baba Movement in Britain. The New Evangelists: Recruitment, Methods and Aims of NRMs. P. Clarke. London, Ethnographica


Thomas, C. M. (1987). " God Men, Myths, Materialisations, and the Kalas of Immortality." Journal for the Society of Psychical Research 55(819): 377-403


Hugh B. Urban (2003) 'Avatar for Our Age: Sathya Sai Baba and the

Cultural Contradictions of Late Capitalism', Religion  33: 73-93.


Vroon, Piet (1993) “Santa Claus in India” in Indian Skeptic 6(4), p. 8-16 





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Revised: November 25, 2006