Rs 11.5 cr cash, 98 kg gold found in Sai Baba's room
Sathya Sai Baba's ashram Prashanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, which had gone quiet after the death of the spiritual guru on April 24, is back in the news with the trustees finding cash of Rs 11.5 crore, 98 kg of gold and silver articles weighing 307 kilograms from his private room. The money and valuables took 36 hours to count.
The Sathya Sai Baba Trust on Thursday opened the locks of Yajur Mandir, the private room of Sathya Sai Baba, for the first time since his death.
While these issues have been officially documented, the bone of contention still appears to be the will of Sathya Sai Baba.
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Image: File picture of Sathya Sai Baba at a function in Mumbai
Photographs: Sahil Salve
Mystery shrouds Sathya Sai Baba's will
Although none of the trustees confirmed the existence of the will, sources said that the main part of the will speaks about giving a more prominent role to Sathya Sai Baba's personal caregiver Satyajith.
R Ratnakar, Baba's nephew and member of the Sathya Sai Baba Central Trust, refused to speak about the will.
"The sole purpose of the exercise was to make an inventory of the valuables within the premises in a transparent manner," Ratnakar said.
Just after the death of Baba, there were rumours that he had wanted Satyajith to have a more prominent role in the trust.
There were also several rumours that valuables from inside the Yajur Mandir were secretly shifted to undisclosed locations when Sai Baba was undergoing treatment in hospital during April.
However, the trustees made it clear that there was no such proposal. It was hinted that Satyajith would handle the education projects in Puttaparthi which was Baba's pet project.
It was also stated that Baba always had one of his former students at Puttaparthi to handle the trust.
Image: Heavy gathering of devotees at Prashanthi Nilayam, Baba's ashram, in Puttaparthi
Cash, valuables deposited in State Bank of India
Earlier on Friday, the members of the trust including former Chief Justice of India P N Bhagawathi along with two other judges entered into the Yajur Mandir at Prashanthi Nilayam.
Ratnakar said that the key was obtained from the State Bank of India, where the valuables were kept. Ratnakar also said an income tax official was also present to ensure that the proceedings were transparent.
The members of the trust found a total amount of Rs 11,56,49,000.50. In addition to this, they also found 98 kgs of gold and silver articles weighing 307 kgs.
Ratnakar said that the cash was deposited in the central trust account, while the gold was attested by the valuator. The silver was also deposited under the same procedure.
Image: File photo of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan recieving blessings of Sathya Sai Baba