Sathya Sai Baba breathes his last
Puttaparthi (Andhra Pradesh), Apr 24 (ANI): Prominent religious leader Sathya Sai Baba, who was admitted to a hospital following lung and chest congestion, passed away here on Sunday. He was 85.
He breathed his last at 7: 40 a.m. on Sunday due to cardio-respiratory failure. His body will be kept at the Sai Kulwant Hall for two days for people to pay their homage to the spiritual guru.
The Baba was admitted to the super-speciality hospital at Prashantigram at Puttaparthi on March 28, following respiration-related problems.
In view of his deteriorating health, the Andhra Pradesh Police had deployed additional forces in Puttaparthi to maintain the law and order.
Born as Sathyanarayana Raju, on November 23, 1926, Sai Baba was a popular Indian guru, spiritual figure and educator.
He had claimed to be the reincarnation of the great spiritual guru, Sai Baba of Shirdi, whose teachings were an eclectic blend of Hindu and Muslim beliefs.
Sathya Sai Baba and his organizations support a variety of free educational institutions, hospitals, and other charitable works in India and abroad.
The number of active Sathya Sai Baba adherents was estimated in 1999 to be around six million, although followers' estimations are far higher.
The Sathya Sai Organization reports that there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 114 countries worldwide.
In India itself, he draws followers from predominantly upper-middle-class, urban sections of society who have the "most wealth, education and exposure to Western ideas."
A cultural icon in his home country, Sai Baba had attracted Presidents and Prime Ministers from India and beyond who have become his devotees in 2002, he claimed to have followers in 178 countries. (ANI)
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