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Pattaya Daily News

25 April 2011 :: 11:04:25 am 53113

Sathya Sai Baba dead, to be buried on Wednesday

Puttaparthi, April 24 (PTI) Indian Godman Sathya Sai Baba, a cult like figure who attracted millions of followers, including the influential, across the globe died on Sunday after battling serious illness for nearly a month.
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86-year-old Baba, whose clout ran far and wide but had more than his own share of controversies, died at 7:40 AM following multi-organ failure at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences founded by him in this backward Anantapur district town in Andhra Pradesh, the place from where he ran his spiritual empire.

“Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He left His earthly body on April 24 at 7:40 AM due to cardio-respiratory failure,” Director A N Safaya, Director of the Institute, said.

“Baba’s body will lie in state at Sai Kulwant Hall for two days — Monday and Tuesday. Arrangements will be made for darshan after 6:00 pm today at the Hall,” he said.

Baba will be buried at the Sai Kulwant Hall in Prashanti Nilayam on Wednesday in line with the practice adopted for spiritual leaders in India, contrary to the Hindu custom of cremating bodies.

State Major Industries Minister J Geetha Reddy said the members of Baba’s family and the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust have decided that his burial will take place on Wednesday morning. The exact time will be announced later.

Born as Sathyanarayana Raju in a humble backward caste family in 1926, Baba emerged as one of the most popular godmen in India in modern times. Initially he attracted attention through acts like producing articles like sacred ash and ‘lingam’ which his detractors claimed was a sleight of hand, but later he came to be known for his founding institutions of learning and philanthropy.

Baba, who considered himself a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, was hospitalised on March 28 following problems related to heart and respiration and had been lying critical following multi-organ failure.

Surviving on ventilator support, his kidneys stopped functioning and his health suffered deterioration a few days ago when his liver also stopped functioning.

Police reinforcements were rushed to the town as VIPs started descending on it but it was not clear as to the mode of last rites for the Baba.

The Sai Baba leaves a big empire estimated from a conservative figure of Rs 40,000 crore to a staggering Rs 1.5 lakh crores raising questions over who will manage the Trust.

However, Reddy, who has been camping here for the past two weeks, said there is no controversy on the issue of trust activitist.

Reddy said: “I have not seen any infighting. It is just media creation. The trust activities will go on as usual.

The Sai Baba has put in place everything. He has taken care of everything. He knew when he will leave his body.” “Baba has put in place everything, the whole missionaries in-charge. All his activities will run as it is.

We have no suspicion about any differences over running the trust,” she said.

An array of personalities, including Vice President M Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and BJP leaders L K Advani and Nitin Gadkari, condoled the Baba’s death, saying he was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Governor E S L Narasimhan rushed here from Hyderabad and paid homage to the Baba.

Top-ranking politicians including prime ministers, Union ministers, governors, chief ministers, filmstars, sportspersons, industrialists and virtually the ‘who’s who’ of the country rank among the high-profile devotees of the Baba.

Puttaparthi – which metamorphosed into a self-contained city – finds itself on the international map, thanks to the large number of the Baba’s foreign devotees who visit Prasanthi Nilayam day in and day out. It boasts of an exclusive airport where chartered flights, carrying Baba’s devotees from different parts of the globe, land.

Frequently, reports alleging scandals in his ashram appeared. Questions were also raised over his sexual preferences but they were dismissed by him and his followers as vilification by his detractors or those who had fallen out with him.

On June 6, 1993, an attempt was allegedly made on his life by his close aides. Six inmates of Prasanthi Nilayam were killed right inside the Baba’s bedroom. All of them were part of the “inner circle” of Baba. His personal assistant Radha Krishna Menon was among those killed in the incident.

Facts of the case still remain a mystery. (PTI)

Report by : Mcot

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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