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Behind the power and miracles of Sathya Sai Baba

Last updated on: April 25, 2011 12:57 IST

Behind the power and miracles of Sathya Sai Baba

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Vicky Nanjappa

Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa analyses why Sathya Sai Baba stood out from the rest of the spiritual leaders in India

Sathya Sai Baba was without a doubt the most powerful of all the spiritual gurus that the nation has seen. Every Indian prime minister and president had called on him and sought his blessings. The prime minister was always part of the convocation ceremony at Puttaparthi.
 
But what made Sathya Sai Baba so much more popular than the rest of the spiritual gurus across the nation?

Shanthanu, a regular at Puttaparthi, shares his belief.

"I guess the primary difference between him and the rest was that people saw him as God and not as a godman. There is a very big difference in this. I always came down to Puttaparthi for solace; I find this place to be very peaceful."

Other devotees too agree with Shanthanu.

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The common man will remember him for his services to mankind like the hospitals, drinking water projects and also his educational institutions.

However, what really drew people to Puttaparthi were the miracles, which many claimed to have seen.

Although there have been critics who termed it as a plain illusion when Sathya Sai Baba pulled out ash, gold chains from thin air or a shiva linga from his mouth, the spiritual leader continued to draw a huge round of applause whenever he did so. For his devotees it was not magic, but a miracle by God.

Sathya Sai Baba, according to the more neutral people, was a combination of both God and a great human being.

His motto was service to the mankind -- the one aspect that kept most of his critics quiet.



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His devotees believe that the structures at Puttaparthi came up in no time and this takes place only because of a miracle. They say only God and not godmen can do things like this.

The devotees add that it was their privilege to see Sathya Sai Baba, as it was only once in a life time that one could get to see God in flesh and blood.

"We know Baba has left his body, but we will get to see him very soon as Prema Sai Baba," they say in hope.

"What are the critics talking about, Puttaparthi resident Papamma asks, adding, "Today we have world class facilities over here -- the best hospital, very good educational system, an airport etc. Swami has not taken a penny from any of us to do all this. We saw all this happening overnight. What else do u call it but a miracle?"



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Puttaparthi has been no stranger for the high and mighty.

Celebrities, politicians, industrialists and scores of other high profile personalities were regulars at the ashram.

Many in Puttaparthi feel that it is only the real devotee who will finally remain or even visit the ashram. The rush of politicians except staunch devotees will come down drastically now that Sathya Sai Baba is not there.

A lot of politicians believed that being seen with Sathya Sai Baba was a sure shot way to get the ballot box ticking. The spiritual leader had such an influence over people and any one seen close to him was considered to be his man.



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