1) The controversy is that Baba told that He will live up to 96 years, but the death is preponed by about ten years.
An astrologer told that Baba lived up to 96 years according to the theory of the cycle of 27 stars. So much strain is not necessary in this issue. God has full freedom to postpone or prepone the lifetime of any human being including the human incarnation. It is not like the one hour bell for a teacher in the classroom. The case of the divine preacher is different. Generally, we find the teacher spending leisurely the rest of the period if the topic is over since he cannot quit the class before time. He is bound by the rules of the institution. But, if the principal enters and speaks for sometime, there is no binding on the time. Whenever the principal finishes his speech, he can quit at anytime and the concerned teacher follows the rest of the period. The human incarnation is the head of the creation. In fact, the life period of any human being can be preponed or postponed by God. If the human being is found to be useful, its life is extended. If the human being is found useless, its life is shortened and is thrown into the lives of birds and animals, which live only to eat and sleep. The extension and shortening of life period is mentioned in the ethical scripture also. It says that if you sleep after sunrise, your life is shortened. It also says that your life is extended if you serve the elders. Therefore, the life period is not a fixed item. Baba might have preponed the exit since He found that the humanity will not change really and might have been vexed with the changeless behavior of the human beings.
2) Another issue is that why He saluted the devotees with folded hands on the last occasion.
You can find a similar situation in the case of Jesus also. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples on the last occasion of His departure. Jesus explained the reason of His such act. Jesus wanted that the disciples should never become egoistic and should treat their disciples with respect always. The devotees are human beings and their devotees are also human beings. One human being should respect the other human being. The case of Baba is different. Baba is God and the devotees are human beings. Baba need not respect His devotees. But, later on, some of His disciples may have again disciples and they may imitate Baba thinking themselves also as human incarnations. All these points stand as the basis for such acts of Jesus and Baba. Baba is giving the message that you should express gratefulness to anybody irrespective of the status. Baba is also giving the message that you should remain as devotee only with folded hands before God. You should never claim that you are the human incarnation with a blessing hand always, falling in the trap of the praise of your disciples.
3) Another issue is that Baba told that He will rise after three days from death of His body.
Even in the case of Jesus, such a statement was made and this shows the similarity between Baba and Jesus. Shirdi Sai Baba also rose after three days after death. This miracle is not necessary in the case of Baba, who arose a dead person, which shows that Baba is the controller of the life. When Baba can rise other dead persons, can’t He rise Himself? Both the miracles establish the same concept. The point is that whether Baba can do it or not. If it is established by one type of miracle that Baba can do it, another type of miracle establishing the same concept need not be done again. For a wise person, one miracle, which is an unimaginable event, is sufficient to understand that the unimaginable God exists in that body. Rama has not done any miracle except one i.e., converting the stone into a woman by the touch of His foot. Is this one miracle not sufficient to establish that Rama is God? All the sages understood Rama as God because they are learned scholars. Rama performed this miracle in presence of the sage Vishwamitra and Vishwamitra propagated this miracle to other sages. Krishna performed many miracles. But there were many enemies for Krishna. Kauravas saw the top-most miracle, which was the cosmic vision, but still did not believe Krishna as God thinking that it is illusion of eye. For a human being, with the faculty of intelligence working, demonstration of one unimaginable event is sufficient. For human beings, burning with ego and jealousy, even if thousand miracles are demonstrated, all will be treated as magic or illusion of the eye.
4) Some people say that Baba was harmed by some of His followers.
Is this possible? Can a human being harm God? Assuming that somebody harmed Baba, it must be the will of Baba only. Jesus was crucified by some people and it was done by the will of God only. If there is any sin in the followers, God will take care of it by giving punishment in the appropriate time. Why should you worry about it? You follow all the messages of Baba and try to practice so that God will be pleased with you and you will be protected by the grace of Baba. You are wasting your valuable time and energy in unnecessary things neglecting the essential aspects related to your future welfare. Jesus, while carrying on the cross told the weeping people that they should weep about themselves and their children. The reason is that after the momentary pain of crucifixion, Jesus will sit on the lap of God whereas the people will go to the permanent hell after this short happy life. You try to stand on the principles preached by Baba and you neither worry about Baba nor about others. Whether others follow or not, you follow the principles preached by Baba. Everybody thinks that he or she need not follow these principles since others are not following. The entire society thinks like that only. The king asked for the donation of one tumbler of milk from each house. Everybody thought that one can pour one tumbler of water, which will be mixed in the milk poured by others. Finally, the whole drum was full of water only! Everybody should follow the principles preached by Baba not caring for others [following]. If you are interested in their welfare, you preach them also after personal follow-up. If there is no change, even the entire mass will be punished, which is going to be the future action of Kalki. Don’t think that since it is an issue of the mass, there will be excuse.
At the lotus feet of Shri Dattaswami