Though an official statement is yet to be issued from the Sai Baba trust, it is believed that his body will be kept in the Sai Kulvanath Hall in Prashanthi Nilayam for three days ( Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) in order for the public to pay their last respects. (Read: Sai Baba passes away; devotees in utter despair)
The saint who was born and died in Puttaparthi
The Sathya Sai Baba was much beyond a spiritual guru to the masses and was born as Sathyanarayana Raju in the quaint village of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh on Nov 23 1926 and was gradually noticed for his miraculous deeds that included getting food and sweets from thin air right from childhood. Regarded as the reincarnation of the Shirdi Sai Baba who was also known for his many charitable acts.
Inspite of many ailments including a series of massive heart attack in 1963, the Sai Baba continued to enthrall all. From politicians, actors, world leaders, country heads, celebrities, they all bowed to the enigma of the godman who united warring forces in front of Baba's drive.
With many hospitals, schools, and programmes spread across the world, his followers are believed to be close to 6 million. There are 1200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 114 countries worldwide. The trust runs general hospitals, two specialty hospitals, eye hospitals and mobile dispensaries. He was the messiah for the less fortunate and his prestigious water project gets the biggest clap. He was instrumental in spearheading in a project to supply water to 1.2 million people in the drought-ridden Anantpur district in AP. The project was called the "Sathya Sai Ganga Canal."
With a life of charmed existence, Satya Sai Baba getting 'vibhuthi' from thin air was the one image that is etched in our minds. For many a mere touch could transform their lives to a level that was beyond explanation.
Lets hope that there are many more Sai Baba's in the country, for the world will be cherished for its people and for the many kindness that they do.