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Satya Sai Baba laid to rest in Puttaparthi

April 27, 2011 - Puttaparthi (Andhra Pradesh)

Eighty-five-year-old spiritual guru Shri Satya Sai Baba, was on Wednesday interred at the very spot from where he used to meet and address his disciples for years.

The mortal remains of the spiritual leader were buried after his nephew R.J.Ratnakar performed the last rites in accordance with Vedic customs following full police honours.

The internment was witnessed by a galaxy of political personalities, including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka chief ministers N Kiran Kumar Reddy and BS Yeddyurappa, governors ESL Narasimhan and Shivraj V Patil, BJP leaders L K Advani, M Venkiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya, former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, besides tens of hundreds of his followers.

Sai mantras were recited as the body of the Sai Baba was lowered into the ground in the Sai Kulwant Hall of the Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi.

Once Vedic priests performed the last rites, red curtains were drawn around the glass coffin at 9:45 a.m. and the burial process started. The ceremony lasted for about 25 minutes.

The burial spot is expected to become an eternal memorial for the Sai Baba, who at the age of 14 announced himself as a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba.

He made his mark initially with miracles but later founded institutions of excellence in education and medical facilities besides undertaking development work and philanthropy.

The Sai Baba died on Sunday morning after fighting a cardio-respiratory illness for nearly a month brought on by multi-organ failure.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, political leaders from various parties, chief ministers and personalities from various fields including cricket and films had visited Puttaparthi in the last two days to pay their homage.

An estimated 0.5 million people from various parts of the country and abroad filed past the body to have a final glimpse of their spiritual guru.


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