The spiritual leader was considered a living god by his followers: City mourns death of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted on April 26, 2011

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KOLKATA: As news of the death of Sathya Sai Babaspread on Sunday, the city plunged into mourning. Special prayers were organised by devotees and vibhuti was distributed among people. Bhajans played in Sai Baba temples and hundreds held prayer sessions at home, burning incense sticks and candles. Some even equated the spiritual leader’s departure with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ because it coincided with Easter.

Cassettes and CDs of Baba’s famous bhajan, Manasa bhajare gurucharanam,dushtara bhavasagara tharanam ( O mind, meditate the lotus feet of the Lord), was continuously played in temples and homes of devotees. Some believed that the Godman, known for his miracles, smiled even more broadly from the photographs, an indication, they said, of his just leaving his earthly body but that he would continue to live on.

One found devotees weeping and praying at the Geeta Bhavan, off Deshapriya Park that houses a Sai Baba temple. “We know we shouldn’t cry because he would always tell us that there is nothing called death. It’s just a transition. But we cannot stop ourselves,” said Vijaya Nair, a devotee.

Danseuse Amala Shankar, mourning the loss of her beloved Baba, said, “I have weathered the death of my son because of the strength that Baba gave me. But now there’s a vacuum that will never fill up. I don’t know how I will cope with the loss.” “The fact that I am still fit and have the strength to perform even at this age clearly shows that Baba had specially blessed me,” the 93-year-old said. Amala, along with children Mamata and Ananda and daughter-in-law Tanusree, had become devotees of Baba 14 years ago.

Amala, a widow of the great dancer Uday Shankar, had donated all 360 musical instruments, specially designed by Uday Shankar, to the Baba’s set-up at Puttaparthi because a trust and museum were being planned with these.

Tanusree, who visited Puttapurthy for Baba’s blessings everytime she would take her troupe on foreign tours, said she was planning a dance drama on Baba’s life. She already has two popular musicals, Uddharan and Quest for Peace, based on the life and preachings of the Sai.

On Thursday, special prayer sessions will be organised all over the city because the weekday is traditionally believed to be the day of the Sai.

The Shahs of Beltala, Bhowanipore, are planning a trip to Puttapurthi for special prayers. A business family, they say they owe their success entirely to the blessings of Baba. “We cannot believe that Baba is no more. We have been worshipping Baba as God for ages and visit Puttapurthi at least once a year,” said Pulin Shah, owner of a transport company.

PC Sorcar condoles death of spiritual guru
Legendary magician P C Sorcar Jr, who had replicated the “miracles” of Sathya Sai Baba during a meeting with him 35 years ago, mourned the death of the spiritual leader, saying he had deep respect for his development work. Sorcar, a known Baba detractor, said it was immaterial now whether he was “a god or fraud”. “He is out of our physical world. We say people go to heaven after death. He is now there. And he is god for millions,” Sorcar said. IANS

The Times of India

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