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India: Thousands Attend Guru’s Funeral


Thousands of mourners descended on southeastern India Wednesday for the funeral of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba.

The Hindu guru known for his bushy hair and saffron robes was buried inside the spiritual center, or ashram, where he gave his sermons in the town of Puttaparthi.

Hindus usually cremate their dead, but burials are often performed for holy men.


Television screens showed the funeral ceremony to crowds outside the center.

His body had been on display inside a glass coffin surrounded by flower garlands, as mourners including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi paid visits.

Sai Baba died of multiple organ failure Sunday at the age of 84. He was worshipped as a god by followers worldwide.

His death has brought an outpouring of grief and tributes from Indian politicians, movie stars and sports figures.

At the age of 14, Sai Baba declared himself to be the reincarnation of another holy man, Sai Baba of Shirdi, who died in 1918.

He built a network of schools, universities and health centers that spread his influence around India and the world, and won him public praise for his charitable work and teachings.

But critics of the guru called him a fraud for claiming to perform miracles by conjuring gold coins, watches and other objects at public events. Several male followers also had accused him of sexual abuse

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One thought on “India: Thousands Attend Guru’s Funeral

  • April 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I must say Sai Baba impacted the lives of millions around the world-he helped many rise out of ignorance and abject poverty to levels of unprecedented joy with feelings of belonging and fitting equally into mainstream society.In fact,he significantly eroded the concept of the cast system in India,redefining the social system of justice and the politics of Indian democracy.On the question of his self-acclaimed god-man attribute it must be understood by all students of comparative religion that even the mighty Christ(god incarnate)died before reentry into the kingdom of heaven.Yet Christians consider Jesus alive and indeed he is.What am I attempting to say? The human body does not give life to the soul.The soul gives life to the human body.Baba’s body is dead but he lives!This must be understood and Satya Sai Baba taught this divine principle.


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