Millions in mourning at guru’s death

Devotees wait to pay their last respects to Hindu guru Satya Sai Baba inside Prashanthi Nilayam norh of Bangalore.

Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba, revered by millions of followers as a living god, died yesterday in a hospital in southern India. He was 86.

Sai Baba, who was admitted to hospital in his hometown of Puttaparti a month ago, died of multiple organ failure, media said.

His followers, estimated to number six million, included top Indian politicians, business tycoons and Bollywood stars.

Sai Baba, with distinctive frizzy hair and always clad in his trademark saffron robes, ran schools and hospitals through trusts in numerous countries. Questions are likely to arise over the management of his substantial assets.

He was credited with mystical powers, including conjuring objects out of thin air.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sai Baba’s death was “an irreparable loss” to all.

Legions of followers, including top judges and bureaucrats, were expected to take part in his last rites, media said.



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