A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. –Bhaghavan Satya Sai Baba
April 24, 2011 – 7:40 AM – Puttaparthi: Sathya Sai Baba, one of India’s most influential spiritual leaders, breathed his last at a hospital funded by his organization in his home town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. He was 85. Baba’s body will be kept at the Sai Kulwant Hall in Puttaparthi for two days – Monday and Tuesday. Arrangements will be made for darshan after 6:00 pm on Sunday at the hall. Andhra Pradesh Health Minister Geeta Reddy said that Sai Baba’s body would be buried on Wednesday in Puttaparthi.
Sai Baba’s response to medical treatment had been slow, doctors attending him said on Sunday, and he breathed his last at 7:40 am on Sunday. He was on intermittent hemodialysis and on assisted respiration until Saturday evening at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medial Sciences at Puttaparthi.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has left for Puttaparthi to pay homage to the Baba.
Sai Baba was admitted to the super-speciality hospital on March 28 following problems related to heart and lungs. Doctors treating him said he was suffering from multi-organ dysfunction.
Sathya Sai Baba was born in 1926 into an ordinary family at Puttapathi village in Andhra Pradesh. He was named Sathyanarayana. As a child he was unusually intelligent and never showed any interest in worldly things. When he was just 14 years old, Sathyanarayana announced that he was a reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi.
His miracles like creating Ash and gold rings from vacuum made him a household name across India, soon. His ashram at Puttaparthi became a famous religious center within just 20 years.
From prime ministers, presidents, kings, ambassadors, sports stars, movie stars and ordinary people, millions thronged his ashram seeking his blessings for over 50 years. He founded over 1500 Sathya Sai Centres in 114 countries across the globe.
One of India’s most famous spiritual leaders, Sai Baba led a life dedicated to philanthropy marred by the occasional controversies.
Thousands of devotees had gathered in his hometown since March 28 to pay their last respects.