Spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba passes away

(image) Puttaparthi: Sri Sathya Sai Baba, whose spiritual clout ran far and wide, passed away this morning in this town in Andhra Pradesh`s Anantapur district due to cardio-respiratory failure.

Sai Baba, who was 86, breathed his last at 7.40 AM at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, its Director A N Safaya said in a bulletin.

"Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He left his earthly body on April 24, 2011 at 7:40 AM due to cardio-respiratory failure," it said.

The body will lie in state at Sai Kulwant Hall for two days — Monday and Tuesday, it said, adding that arrangements will be made for darshan after 6:00 pm today at the Hall.

"We appeal to all not to rush to the hospital, but to remain calm and have Darshan in an orderly manner," it said.

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 the Sai Baba`s condition had deteriorated further.

There has been a complete shutdown in this town since morning following reports about deterioration in the condition of Sai Baba.

Sai Baba was hospitalised on March 28 following problems related to heart and respiration. 

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