The last rites of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba
will be performed on Wednesday with full state honours. This was
announced by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who
rushed to the town after news of the death.
Baba's body will be kept for darshan at Sai Kulwant Hall in Puttaparthi
for two days - Monday and Tuesday. Arrangements will be made for
darshan after 6:00 pm today at the hall. About 4 lakh people are
expected to come to Puttaparthi, a small town of 25,000 in Andhra
Pradesh's Ananatpur district. This includes VVIPs, VIPs and common
devotees from across the globe and India.
A pall of gloom descended on this town, 450 km from Hyderabad
as the news of Sai Baba's death spread. His family members, four
ministers and government officials rushed to the hospital following
reports that Sai Baba's condition had deteriorated further. (Read: Pall of gloom descends on Puttaparthi)
There has been a complete shutdown in the town since morning following
reports about deterioration in the condition of Sai Baba.
the first time since Baba was admitted to Sathya Sai Baba super
speciality on March 27, the doctors did not issue a morning bulletin on
Although everybody was preparing for the inevitable for
the last few days, a decision had been taken by representatives of
Baba's family and members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust to not pull
the plug from the ventilator.
Devotees had been praying for a
miracle and had kept their faith that the 86-year-old Baba would rise
once again and give darshan to the faithful. (In Pics: Magic of Sai Baba)
The Central trust was headed by Sathya Sai Baba himself and had luminaries like PN Bhagwati, former chief justice of India
SV Giri, retired central vigilance commissioner as members amongst
others. A nephew of Baba, Ratnakar was also part of the trust. The trust
secretary, K Chakravarthi, who influenced by Baba resigned from the IAS
to devote himself to the service of the godman, executed all the
programmes of the organisation.
Since this is all powerful
body, it has to be seen as to who becomes the new chairman. But
indications are that nephew Ratnakar who otherwise runs a cable TV
operation and a gas agency will play a more active role.
Satyajit, the personal caregiver of the Baba and a product of the
university at Puttaparthi set up by the godman will also play a key
role. It is believed that Satyajit, still in his early thirtees, has the
support of most trust members and also that of Chakravarthi. A whole
array of philanthropic activities including water supply is carried on
by the trust.
All eyes on seven key people at Puttaparthi
HYDERABAD: With the death of Sathya Sai Baba
all eyes are on seven key people associated with his powerful Sri
Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), who may call the shots from now on.
With Baba leaving a huge spiritual empire of an estimated Rs 40,000
crore ($9 billion) but not a successor, the following people may decide
on the coming events at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district.
Trust secretary K Chakravarthi: A former Indian Administrative Service
(IAS) official and the only trust member with cheque signing power. A
former district collector of Anantapur, Chakravarthi, who hails from
Tamil Nadu, quit the IAS on Baba's advice and joined him in 1981.
Considered an authority on financial matters, he served as the registrar
of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning till 1994, when Baba
made him the trust secretary.
Trust members - S V Giri:
Former IAS official who served as chief vigilance commissioner. He too
resigned his job in 1998 to join as the vice chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University
. He was instrumental in building a network of Sai educational institutions.
A former chief justice of India, he is the most well-known and
respectable face of the trust. A staunch devotee of Baba, he joined the
trust as its member on Baba's advice.
A chartered accountant turned entrepreneur. He is the founder and
international advisor of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations and runs the
global network of Sai institutions.
Venu Srinivasan: The chairman and managing director of TVS Motors heads the Indian chapter of the Sai network of institutions.
The only family member of Sai Baba on the trust. Baba made his nephew a
member in 2010 in place of his father Janakiram, who died in 2005. The
39-year-old runs a cable TV network in Puttaparthi and owns a petrol
Baba's personal caregiver Satyajit:
Though not a member of the trust, he was very close to Baba as his
personal caregiver. Last year, Baba is believed to have suggested that
Satyajit should become a member of the trust. The 33-year-old, also
hailing from Tamil Nadu, has done his MBA from Sathya Sai Institute of
Higher Learning. He had joined the Sathya Sai school at the age of five.