Sai Baba laid to rest with state honours
As the government declared a state funeral, Baba's casket was draped in the tricolour. Besides, the Kurnool Battalion of Andhra Pradesh Special Police presented a 21-gun salute as a mark of respect
The last rites of Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi was conducted with state honours and his casket was draped in the tricolour. The police gave him a 21-gun salute and his body was laid to rest amidst Vedic chants by nine priests.
Although it was a closed-door affair exclusively for and by Baba's family members many VVIPs and prominent figures close to Sathya Sai Baba flew in to attend the ceremony.
Galaxy of VVIPs
Amongst the family members who conducted the last rites were Baba's nephew R J Rathnakar, and his son Shantiram.
The ceremony started at 9 am and was telecast live on many local TV news channels for lakhs of devotees who couldn't come down to pay their last respects. It was also telecast live on big screens for thousands of devotees gathered outside the ashram.
Prominent leaders of every religions were also present for the ceremony. According to the Hindu rituals mentioned in the Vedas, a holy cow was brought in for the ceremony before the Samadhi was built.
9, the pious number
Also, nine different kinds of flowers and food grains were offered along with water flown in from nine different holy rivers. Nine precious stones symbolising the nine planets were offered at the mantle.
Post the rituals, Baba's body was taken out of the glass casket and moved to the Samadhi. The drapes came down as the family wished to conduct this part of the ceremony privately.
After the body was laid in the Samadhi, nine priests conducted the managala aarti as a concluding ritual.
While devotees outside the ashram witnessed the whole ceremony on the big screens, a miracle strengthened their faith in the godman who had left his mortal body on Sunday.
The huge crowd stood up in joy as they saw the moon shown brightly in the sky, amidst the powerful rays of the sun. The crowds cheered and sang praises to Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.
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