Puttaparthi: Godman Sathya Sai Baba, whose message of universal love and brotherhood attracted millions of followers across the globe, was today interred at the very spot from where he used to meet and address his disciples for years.
The mortal remains of the 85-year-old spiritual leader, whose clout spread far and wide among both the commoners and the high mighty, were buried after the last rites were performed by his nephew R J Ratnakar in accordance with vedic customs following full police honours.
Watched by a galaxy of political personalities including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka Chief Ministers N Kiran Kumar Reddy and B S Yeddyurappa, Governors E S L Narasimhan and Shivraj V Patil, BJP leaders L K Advani, M Venkiah Naidu, Bandaru Dattatreya, former AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and hundreds of his followers, Sai Baba’s body was buried amidst chanting of “sai” mantras.
Once the last rites were performed by vedic pandits, red curtains were drawn around 9:45 AM and the process started for laying the body in a pit created at the spot in Sai Kulwant where the spiritual leader used to make his preachings for his followers for a number of years. It lasted about 25 minutes.
The spot where he was buried is now now expected to become an eternal memorial for Sai Baba, who at the age of 14 announced himself as a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba.
He made his mark intially with miracles but later founded institutions of excellence in education and medical facilities besides undertaking development work and philanthropy.
Sai Baba died on Sunday morning after fighting illness for nearly a month caused 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 five lakh people from various parts of the country and abroad had filed past the body to have a final glimpse of their spiritual guru.