Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba's last rites in Puttaparthi today

Sathya Sai BabaPUTTAPARTHI: While Prashanthi Nilayam looked like an ocean of humanity in which devotees flowed from all directions on Tuesday, hectic preparations were on for the 'maha samadhi' ofSathya Sai Baba on Wednesday at the Sai Kulwant Hall in Prashanthi Nilayam premises. 
Number 9 was Sathya Sai Baba's favourite and lucky number. When the clock strikes 9 in the morning, the final rituals will start and conclude by 10.30am. 

Sai Kulwant Hall is the place where Baba sat, delivered discourses and blessed people. According to the ashramites, many years ago, while interacting with the students, he had shown the place and expressed his wish that he should be buried in the Sai Kulwant Hall. 

Baba would be laid to rest in the pit (7ft deep and 12ft length), which was dug up 10ft behind from where his body was placed in the glass casket in the hall since Sunday evening. 

"The body would be lowered in the pit and filled with 'Kuruskshetra' matti (soil), salt, silver, gold and navaratnas," sources said. The body would be kept in the sleeping position in the samadhi. 

However, Prasanthi Nilayam would be out of bounds for devotees during the maha samadhi. Only key family members and Sai Central Trust members would take part in the last rites. The construction of a memorial and fixing of a golden statue of Baba would be planned in a few days time. Though Baba preached universal brotherhood and embraced all religions, his last rites will be performed as per the Hindu tradition.

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