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Sathya Sai Baba Passes Away, Millions Grieve

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Sathya Sai Baba passes away, millions grieve


Sunday, 24 April 2011

PUTTAPARTHI(Andhra Pardesh): Eighty-five-year-old Sathya Sai Baba, one of India's most popular spiritual leaders, died here Sunday after a prolonged illness, plunging millions of his followers across the world into gloom.

The man, whom many worshipped as god despite controversy, breathed his last at the Sathya Sai Super-speciality hospital, where he was admitted March 28 with cardiac problems. With his last rites set to be performed Wednesday, many commoners and celebrities are making their way to this pilgrim town for a last glimpse.

"Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us. He left his physical body at 7.40 a.m. April 24, 2011 due to cardio-respiratory failure," said a statement from the hospital released around 10.30 a.m.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled Baba's death, saying he was an inspiration to people of all faiths and that his death was an irreparable loss to all.

"I express my sincere condolences to the millions of his followers, disciples and well wishers," he said in a message. "His teachings were rooted in the universal ideals of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence."

The Sai Baba Trust runs a state-of-the-art hospital, university and several other institutions to serve the poor in over 160 countries. However, he himself reportedly visited only two foreign countries - Uganda and Kenya.

The godman's body will be taken from the hospital, about five kilometres from the town, to his Prashanti Nilayam ashram here Sunday evening.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who air-dashed to the town, announced that Baba's last rites will be performed Wednesday with full state honours.

He also announced a four-day state mourning.

His trust appealed to devotees to have a last glimpse of Baba in an orderly manner. Even then, hundreds of pilgrims tried to rush towards the hospital, only to be stopped by a large posse of policemen.

"I can't believe that Swamy is no more," said Sharada Devi, a devotee, her voice choked with emotion.

Men were seen shedding tears, women sobbed...the pilgrim town had plunged into gloom. "Today is the saddest day of my life," said T. Raghav, another devotee, as tears rolled down his cheeks.

Over 6,000 policemen had already been deployed and additional forces are being rushed to the town to beef up security.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari also expressed his "deep sorrow" at Baba's death, saying his message of service to humanity as service to god and as a means of destroying narrow-mindedness is of eternal relevance.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani who is a follower of Sai Baba said: "I offer a tearful homage to his great soul. I would like to go for the 'anthyesthi kriya' (last rites)."

The Bollywood brigade also doled out condolence messages on micro-blogging website Twitter.

Director and producer Madhur Bhandarkar wrote: "Sad to hear about the demise of Sathya Sai Baba. He was an inspiration for many. Such an enlightened soul."

Sai Baba, whose real name was Sathyanarayana Raju, was born Nov 23, 1926 at Puttaparthi. In 1940, he claimed he is an avatar of .

He became famous with his miracles but stopped performing the same after rationalists accused him of fraud. Since then Sai Baba had been focusing on social and charitable work.

His devotees are spread across the world and they include the heads of states and governments, politicians, film and sports personalities, judges and army officials.

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With the passing away of spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba on Sunday morning, it will now be the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust which will control the Rs 40,000 crore spiritual empire.

There will be no individual managing the trust, but Baba's close aides, Satyajith (his personal care giver) and Ratnakar (his nephew) will form part of this trust and have a more powerful say in it.

The trust will have its work cut out as it would have to manage the health facilities, educational institutions apart from a host of assets which spread over nearly 100 countries.

Sai Baba has over 6 million devotees ranging from various classes including the high and mighty who have had to drop protocol when they visit the ashram. The donations which keep pouring into the trust have been exempt from tax and this has fuelled speculation of misappropriation of funds in the past several times. However the trust claims that there have been checks and balances and these allegations are baseless.

However, devotees refuse to believe these allegations against the trust and say that when they come into Puttaparthi they feel as though they are in magical land. They point to the public services that Baba has rendered -- the 220-bed Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Medical Sciences, the Sathya Sai University, a religious museum, railway station, stadium, music college, an airport and also the famous super speciality hospital in Bangalore.

The devotees say it is not humanly possible to provide such expensive medical care for free and only Baba could have achieved this. At Bangalore alone the hospital has conducted over 4 lakh heart surgeries free of cost. In addition to all this the trust of which Baba was the chairman had funded drinking water projects in Ananthapur district of Andhra Pradesh and also helped in lining the sides of the Kandaleru canal to provide drinking water to Chennai.

The trust will also be responsible to 1,300 ashrams worldwide. The main centres were however Puttaparthi and Whitefield in Bangalore. Puttaparthi has always been the headquarters but the Whitefield ashram was where Baba used to be during the summers. The trust also runs the Radio Sai Global Harmony and also the famous Sathya Sai Baba Educare Programme.

The key personalities in the future would be K Chakravarthi, an IAS officer, who was a district collector. He had quit his job and decided to serve Baba. He is the secretary of the Shri Sathya Sai Central Trust.

S V Giri who resigned as Central Vigilance Commissioner in 1998 and joined the ashram as the vice-chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai University. The other key member is Justice P N Bhagavati, former chief justice of India [ Images ] who is a member of the trust. Indulal Shah, a chartered accountant by profession is also a key member of the Sai Baba organisation.

The new entrant to the trust is Ratnakar, nephew of Sai Baba who was included into the trust after the death of his father Janakiram. In the days to come the trust will also see Satyajith, Baba's personal caregiver. His name will be included on the instructions of Baba himself who had said last year that Satyajith should be given a more important role and hence should be made part of the trust.

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well..when one does good work he is a saint.. i m no one to judge his capabilities

So You mean if a person makes thousands of crores from illegal means and then from out thousands of crores He do good work of few hundred crore then the person become saint? I even heard that some local Dons of mumbai do good work for poor ,that's why they win election so they too are good persons

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this man wasnt a don, i m no bhagat of his, all i know is a lot of people have benifitted from his free heart surgeries

When you are running empire of 40,000 crore then handful of good deeds are not something you cannot do.Infact it is an investment because only after that you can attract more and more rich people.The fact is some of the corrupt politicians and businessmen are very much in his list of devotees and he hardly ask them to leave corruption.Then there is also issue of his adopting name of Real Sai baba of Shirdi,showing miracles like giving them watches or bhabhuti .I am sure you have heard of P.C sorcar Who openly challenged him and said that he may be a good baba but a bad magician,if he was such a good spiritual person then why did he need petty tricks to impress his followers.

We in India have truck load of Sants Baba's .All of them claiming doing work for poor.Yet still large number of hindu and even sikhs convert to christianity

If these Sant ,baba's which are having thousands of crore are doing so much good work then why don't we see decline in poverty and other evils in society,Infact with time we are seeing society becoming more evil

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  • 1 month later...

His inital seed donation came from the former co-owner of the Hollywood hard rock cafe when it was sold.


I urge people not to speak ill of anybody, unless you are armed with facts and proof.

Yes, he has a £5billion empire, something which other so called "sants" are in awe of. BUT he has done alot of good.

Call it good, giving back to the community? making a name for yourself, immortalising yourself forever, or call it Charity, or Daan.

This amount is nothing infront of the Naina Devi Trust, Swami Narayan trust, etc....

I am sure we have some "super Sants" and wanna be super sants, like ranjit singh and the like who want to do the same.

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thanks unbreakable veer ji ..the prob is if we high light good deeds of his ..they make us his bhagat...now as a sikh we dont need to be his bhagat but doing ninda of a person who did have karma and face value doesnt seem to be the right thing for a sikh is what i belive

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