His condition since
Thursday morning had been described as "very critical" by doctors
attending to him. Most of his organs were not responding to treatment.
The condition of his liver and his low blood pressure were causing
concern, they had said.
The doctors appealed to people to be calm
and not rush to hospital. Security has
been tightened in the area. All roads leading to the hospital have been
blocked and shops have been ordered to close at Puttaparthi.
to some, miracle-man to others and revered as God by lakhs of his
followers, Sathya Sai Baba had the rich, famous and powerful from the
world of politics, business, films and sport flocking to his doorstep in
Puttaparthi, the small Andhra Pradesh village that he made
Born on 23 November 1926 in a modest
family in Puttaparthi, Satyanarayana Raju declared himself a
reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba at the age of 14. From then on his
devotees and admirers only grew in numbers over the years.
a few controversies did cast shadows on Sai Baba's image and critics
have been skeptical about claims that he would produce holy ash, golden
rings and mementoes from thin air, Sathya Sai Baba also earned respect
for setting up world-class educational and health institutions and also
for charitable work like drinking water projects for four semi-arid
districts of Andhra Pradesh and in Chennai. The institutions and
properties that he built are estimated to be worth over Rs 27,000 crore.
a hip fracture in 2006, Sathya Sai Baba was confined to a wheel chair
and gave darshan from his car or a portable chair.