Saraswati Teertha water for Sai last rites

(image) Kurukshetra: A pitcher of holy water and soil from the Saraswati Teertha, a pilgrimage spot from where the ancient Saraswati river is said to have emerged, will be flown to the Prashanti Nilayam for the last rites of Godman Sathya Sai Baba, who died at Puttaparthi.

A devotee of the Haryana unit of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organisation (SSSBO) has been informed of this decision on phone from Puttaparthi, sources said here.

President of Haryana unit of the SSSBO, Subhash Dheer, along with scores of other devotees from Haryana, has been camping in Prashanthi Nilayam for the last couple of weeks after the Baba`s condition worsened.

A message was received from Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of the Baba, regarding the holy water and soil from the holy city of Kurukshetra where Lord Krishna sermonised his celestial song in form of Shrimad Bhagwadgeeta.

A 12-hour hawan-yagya was also being organised by the local Sai Sewa Samiti in which hundreds of devotees and others from the city and surrounding areas were participating.

Godman Sathya Sai Baba, a cult like figure who had a phenomenal following, including the high and mighty, across the globe died today battling illness caused by a multi-organ failure for nearly a month.

Sea of humanity at Sai Baba`s abode

Puttaparthi: A sea of humanity started descending on the abode of Sathya Sai Baba here to have the last glimpse of their spiritual leader who passed away on Sunday.

The body was brought to Sai Kulwant Hall at Prashanti Nilayam, where people in large number including men and women filed past his mortal remains.

The body will be kept at the hall on Monday and the day after to enable devotees pay their last respects.

As the ambulance carrying the body reached Prashanthi Nilayam, a frenzied crowd tried to barge inside and the police had a trying time keeping the emotionally surcharged people at bay.

Police personnel even used mild force against the people as they forced their way running behind the ambulance inside the Prashanti Nilayam main gate.

As the police put up several barricades near Prashanti Nilayam to control the crowd, people including men and women, raised anti-police slogans.

They sat on dharna in front of the Prashanti Nilayam and complained that police were not allowing them to have a darshan.

As the body was brought inside the Prashanti Nilayam premises several wailing women ran towards the vehicle but security personnel pushed them away.

Earlier, when Sai Baba`s death was announced at 10.35 am, devotees who were singing bhajans broke into tears and could not be easily consoled.

Puttaparthi – the abode of Satya Sai Baba

Probably no other village in the world is as famous and has so many facilities all in one place like Puttaparthi.

It may have metamorphosed into a self-containing town over the years and finds a place on the international map as well, but Puttaparthi essentially remains a village more precisely the abode of Satya Sai Baba.

It was the Baba who earned his native village such an international acclaim after he declared himself the reincarnation of the godly-saint Shirdi Sai Baba.

Peace and tranquillity are the salient features of this bustling place which is thronged by thousands of people not only from the region but also other states in the country as well as abroad everyday for the darshan of Baba.

Beginning with the Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, which has now transformed into a university, Puttaparthi boasts of an exclusive airport, a 220-bedded super-speciality hospital, a railway station, a planetarium, a hill-view stadium, an indoor stadium and Chaitanya Jyoti, a museum of world religions.

It is also home for an institute of Indian classical music called the Sri Satya Sai Mirpuri College of Music.

Puttaparthi was where the Baba was born as Satyanarayana Raju Ratnakaram on November 23, 1926.

It was a sleepy village then, 85-km from the district headquarters town of Anantapur.

Above all, Prasanthi Nilayam – the abode of Satya Sai Baba – is the pinnacle of Puttaparthi`s glory.

A temple of Lord Siva stands where the Baba was born while many other famous temples like Hanuman and Satyabhama (built by the Baba`s grandfather Kondama Raju) and the village mosque adorn the village.

Many special festivals and fairs are conducted on different occasions with the Baba`s birthday celebrations standing as the highlight.

The Satya Sai University`s annual convocation is also a major event celebrated with fanfare in Puttaparthi.

With Baba`s demise, a pall of gloom has descended on Puttaparthi. Will it retain its glory in future is a question mark now.