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Saturday, April 23, 2011

After Sathya Sai Baba, who? || full details about satya sai baba death !!!!!

India’s biggest prophet might well leave behind the biggest succession battle ever. Even as Sathya Sai Baba, 86, battles for life in the superspeciality hospital built by him at Puttaparthi, hush-hush discussions are rife in the ashram town as to who will succeed him and gain control of his vast financial empire.For the thousands of devotees thronging this town in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and many more elsewhere, what is of concern is Sai Baba’s failing health. He has been on ventilator and other lifesupport systems for almost 10 days now. Apart from the anxious queries being exchanged among the coterie of devotees around him, there are whispers of behind-the-scene activity that may soon transform into palace intrigue.Having claimed to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai and predicted a life of 96 years for himself, Sathya Sai Baba pronounced many years ago that his next avatar would be in form of “Prema Sai” in Mandya district of Karnataka. But that is in the future. What is at stake now is the mindboggling institutions the godman built around the globe in 166 countries and a corpus of money about   which the world knows little. Rough estimates put the total value of his assets at anywhere between Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000 crore, apart from substantial cash reserves.For the record, the Sathya Sai Central Trust, established in 1964, has the godman as chairman. The members of the trust, which was reconstituted last year, are: former chief justice of India P N Bhagwati, Mumbai-based industrialist Indulal Shaw, V Srinivasan of TVS Motors, former vice-chancellor of Satya Sai University S V Giri and R J Ratnakar, son of Sai Baba’s brother.There are four others who are said to wield real influence and have access to Sai Baba, attending to all his needs and thereby becoming privy to more information than others. One of them is Satyajit, an MBA who found his way into Baba’s inner circle. Others include Chakravarthi, a retired IAS officer, a man many believe to wield immense clout, Venkatraman, a former member of the trust board and S V Giri.Family members of Baba, a majority of whom live in Puttaparthi, are livid with the influence wielded by this coterie. Though they are not willing to go on record as yet, in private they spew venom at the inner circle. “It is almost two months since Baba stopped taking food. But we were not told about it,” one of them said. It was only on March 28 when the godman complained of giddiness and slowing of the heartbeat that he was taken to hospital. That was   reportedly picked up an argument with the coterie as to why they were kept in the dark. “If anything happens to Baba, we will drag them to court. But we are keeping quiet for now. If we raise the issue now, they will accuse us of coveting his property,” a family member said.Ratnakar, the only family member on the board of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, is said to be jockeying for control. He is the son of Janakiramaiah, Sai Baba’s brother, who managed almost everything until his demise in 2005. It was then that others took control before Ratnakar stepped in over a year ago. But Chakravarthi is equally powerful. He worked as registrar of Sai University and secretary of the trust in the past and there is hardly any detail that he is not privy to.Andhra Pradesh government mandarins are also said to be at work to prevent any ugly turn of events. Industries minister J Geeta Reddy, a staunch devotee of Baba, has been camping at Puttaparthi for more than a week but denies playing any role insofar as trust activities are concerned. “I am not willing to talk about anything other than Baba’s health now. In fact, no one is discussing the future,” she told The Sunday Standard. Sources said a suggestion was made for the government to take over the trust but it is not an option being considered immediately.If Sai Baba’s powers, which he says were granted by god, appear mysterious to rationalists, equally mysterious is the enormous power that he wields over the high and mighty. If you wonder why there is likely to be a tussle for power, take a look at the empire the godman has built up over the years. Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of Baba, is itself a vast expanse of land with huge buildings.As Sai Baba’s stature grew as a spiritual guru to the high and might, Puttaparthi grew from a sleepy village to a town with several facilities that might do a big city proud. Once VIPs had to land in Bangalore and drive down to Puttaparthi for an audience with the Baba. Now there is an airstrip where passenger and chartered flights can land.Puttaparthi also has a deemed university and a superspeciality hospital.There are properties in several cities also: Sundaram in Chennai, Dharma Khestram im Mumbai, Brindavanam (Whitefield, Bangalore)— where there is a medical college and a hospital—Sai Smriti in Kodai, a degree college in Chikmagalur in Karnataka and a superspeciality hospital in Rajkot, Rajasthan. This apart, the trust has properties in over 150 countries.Of course, it has not always been smooth going for the saffron-clad godman.He had often been subject to controversies with rationalists questioning his ability to produce articles out of nothing. He once survived what was touted as an assassination attempt. That was in the initial years of his avatar. As the years went by, his flock of powerful followers increased and it didn’t matter anymore whether he was genuine or a sham.   Sathya Sai Baba: The Journey Born on November 23, 1926 in Puttaparthi village and named Ratnakaram Satyanarayana Raju, Sathya Sai Baba is the fourth child of his parents, Eswaramma and Ratnakaram Peddavenkama Raju. He had two sisters and two brothers.Ratna Sesham Raju died in 1984. He was the fi rst born in the family.He has five sons, one daughter. All of them live in Puttaparthi.Venkamma, second among the siblings, died in 1982. She has one son, Sankara Raju, who also lives in Puttaparthi. Second sister Parvatamma died in 1997. Till recently food for Sai Baba used to be cooked in the house of Parvatamma’s granddaughter Ketana Raj.Janakiramaiah, Sai Baba’s younger brother and a trust member, passed away in 2005. He played a key role in the affairs of the Trust. His son R J Ratnakar is a member of the trust now.On October 20, 1940, Sathya Sai declared himself an incarnation of the Shirdi Sai Baba and renounced all worldly relations. He was then living with his elder brother Sesham Raju in Uravakonda, where he was a Telugu teacher at the Sri Karibasava Swamy High School.He set out on his journey across south India and devotees started fl ocking to him, believing his spiritual guidance. In 1944, a small shrine was constructed in his native village of Puttaparthi, which today is referred as Old Mandir.The present abode, Prashanti Nilayam, came into existence in 1950. He built a hospital in Puttaparthi in 1954. In 1963, he is said to have suffered a heart attack and healed himself. At that time, he foretold of his rebirth in Karnataka.On June 29, 1968, Sathya Sai made his fi rst overseas trip to Uganda. In 1971, he established the Women’s Degree College at Anantapur and in 1978, Men’s Degree College in Bangalore was started.In 1965, Sathya Sai Seva Samithi was started. Today, there are Satya Sai organisations in 166 countries all over the world. In 1981, the Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning came into existence at Prashanti Nilayam. Satya Sai also set up an auditorium, a planetarium, a Satya Dharma Stupa, a railway station, an airport and a Rs 100-crore superspeciality hospital, which was established in 1991 in an area of 100 acres. The then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had inaugurated the hospital.In 1974, on Guru Purnima, Sai Baba announced that he would live to the ripe age of 96. After his demise, he will be reborn as Prema Sai in Mandya village near Mysore. Satya Sai Central Hospital was donated a huge amount by Mike Tegarate, a devotee. Tegarate, who owned Hard Rock Coffee Bar in the US, sold it to a person called Goldstone for $108 million (Rs 200 crore) and donated the same to Satya Sai Hospital in Puttaparthi, when it was being constructed in 1990. G V Shetty, an NRI, donated Rs 25 crore for the Indoor Stadium in 2009.Meelaythuri, a devotee from Indonesia, donated Rs 50 crore for Puttaparthi Music School in 2010.In 1996, Satya Sai Trust took up a prestigious programme—Sri Satya Sai Water Scheme at a cost of Rs 400 crore to supply drinking water to 750 villages in drought-prone Anantapur district. Larsen & Toubro executed the project in a year’s time.The Satya Sai Trust website puts Sai Baba’s philosophy in these words: “I am God. You too are God. The only difference between you and Me is that while I am aware of it, you are completely unaware.” Scandals And Controversies* Rationalists Abraham Kovoor and his successor B Premanand toured many parts of the country, accompanied by magicians, replicating the feats that Sai Baba would perform—materialising objects out of thin air such as ash, rings and watches—to show that there was nothing supernatural about it. But his followers’ faith did not diminish.* In 1992, a newspaper ran a story that a cameraman of Doordarshan had filmed an assistant stealthily passing on gift objects to the Sai Baba at a public function. The film was not telecast.* Based on evidence gathered from foreign devotees, London’s Daily Telegraph published a story in the early 90s alleging sexual abuse of children in Prashanti Nilayam. In Australia too, The Sunday Age carried an article about sexual abuse.* On June 8, 1993, there was an alleged attempt to assassinate Sathya Sai Baba by four persons. Two of his assistants—Radhakrishna Swamy and Kumar Mahajan—were stabbed to death by the assailants. However, all the four intruders—E K Suresh Kumar, an M Com student, Suresh Shantaram Prabhu, a former student of the ashram, Sai Kumar, also a student and Jagannatham—were shot dead by the police guarding the ashram. For months, there were conflicting reports about what exactly happened that night. Ultimately the case was buried.The Avatar’s Successor?Sai Baba’s frail health has brought the spotlight on R J Ratnakar, the most influential of all the members of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Ratnakar, 39, is the son of Sathya Sai Baba’s brother late R V Janakiramaiah.Janakiramaiah, who was very active in the Congress, also worked as president of Anantapur District Congress Committee. Ratnakar, though not an avowed Congressman, takes interest in the party politics in Puttaparthi.After Ratnakar did his MBA at the age of 28, he worked for some time in the accounts department of United Breweries in Bangalore. He moved to Puttaparthi and began living there, following the death of Janakiramaiah in 2006.Ratnakar began showing active interest in the activities of the trust. He used to meet Baba every morning and evening, and spend most part of his time with him. This brought him close to Sai Baba. Sources say Ratnakar has control over cable television transmission in Puttaparthi and has a Hindustan Petroleum gas agency there too.State Industries Minister J Geetha Reddy and Ratnakar are good friends. Reddy, a staunch devotee of Baba, meets Ratnakar whenever she visits Puttaparthi.The Baba Said So*In my present avatar, I have come armed with the fullness of the power of formless God to correct mankind, raise human consciousness and put people back on the right path of truth, righteousness, peace and love to divinity.*The very fact that I announced that I am Shirdi Baba 40 years ago, when I was only 10 and when nobody in this part of the South had known or even heard of Shirdi Baba proves that I am Shirdi Baba incarnate.*I do not cheat people by transferring objects; I create them. Again, I do so not because of any need or desire of exhibition of my powers. For me, this is a kind of calling card to convince people of my love for them and secure their devotion in return.*Pumpkins and cucumbers can be materialised as easily as rings or objects. But these are perishable objects and the whole point of materialisation lies in their permanence. That is why rings or watches become more serviceable as talismans or means of contact.*I need no mantra (mystical formula), no sadhana (spiritual practice), no tantra (sacred writings) and no yantra (pilgrimage) to perform the so-called miracles which are natural to my state.*How can science which is bound to a physical and materialist outlook investigate transcendental phenomena beyond its scope, reach or comprehension?


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