Well guys... i will answer those questions that were relevant ... laughing or giving some funny gestures will not establish any truth or make it right. It is likely that people would not take you guys seriously.
>>> “Is there any genuine benefit from such quotes/discourses? They just throw out some words.. "truth", "love"... What new concrete, verifiable truth/edification have they contributed?” <<<
Well if you were to teach an unscientific person some scientific concepts, they would not understand or get any genuine benefit out of it... simply because they are incapable... the problem is not with science but the person itself... same goes here... those who have no basic spiritual foundation... all these quotes makes no sense for them... as they are not capable of understanding... not to mention getting any genuine benefit!!
>>> Do you think it's a coincidence that Sai Baba's miracles are also magic tricks that can be performed by an amateur magician? <<<
Why do you want to think? Or assume? Why don’t you check out for yourself from the correct source instead of relying on unreliable anti-Sai source which are well known for false allegations, lies and fraud? What made you trust these people more than knowing from the direct source? I have personally come across atheists and sceptics whom have turned into believers after witnessing it for them self.
The questions you have to ask is, if any other “amateur magician” has done this, would you think he is capable of attracting international crowds as in the case of Sai Baba? Common sense will tell there is a difference here.
For your reading... “There are of course sceptics who argue that Sai Baba's miracles are nothing but cleaver conjuring tricks. The fact that he has levitated in front of hundreds of people or can materialise jewellery from thin air can be explained by simple trickery and sleight of hand. But when you read the thousands of testimonials or meet intelligent people whose lives have been completely transformed after an encounter with Sai Baba you soon realise that to trick people on this scale would be impossible. For example Sai Baba will often ask people "What do you want" and many people will ask him to materialise very obscure things: fruits out of season, a perpetual motion watch, a map of the world in the future, some wood from the original cross and specific medicines. To keep all this up the sleeves of his robe would be impossibility.”
>>> “why we never see him do something really miraculous - say, for example, to rip his eyes out with a knife” <<<
Well you never bothered to read his discourses to know why he did not do that... the answer is simple... there is no purpose for it.
“The Avatar comes to transform humanity but this must take place through the transformation of individuals making up humanity. To raise bread we mix a pinch of yeast into the dough and the action of the yeast spreads throughout the mix, eventually leavening the entire loaf. So the Avatar works through individuals, transforming them into the divinity they essentially are. The light from the many individuals gradually dispells the darkness of ignorance, impacting all of humanity.”
>>> “If Sai Baba can make things appear magically from thin air, why doesn't he "create" food out of thin air and give some of it to this guy” <<<
There have been accounts of materialization of food.
>>> He tracked down the source and the entire supply chain to find out that it was made in Japan, shipped to Chennai, where a particular shop would sell several such watches to the ashram on a monthly basis. <<<
I gave the link to the site http://www.saisathyasai.com/
which is quite comprehensive in clarifying the entire allegation levied on Sai Baba by dubious parties... do some research before asking me questions; here is a link on this subject in case you can’t find it:
It concludes: “Needless to say, all it took was one email to disprove a 20 year old lie that has been published on Anti-Sai, Rationalist and Skeptic Sites. Better the truth be known now, than never (even if it is 20 years after the fact). This once again goes to show how those inimical towards Sathya Sai Baba will not pause to verify the truth first-hand (which is the case with so many prominent Anti-Sai Activists), but rather seek stories with negative content and try to pass it off as the "truth" to the unsuspecting masses.”
Hope it helps.