Puttaparthi: Sri Sathya Sai Baba, whose spiritual clout ran far and wide, passed away on Sunday morning in Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district due to cardio-respiratory failure.

Sai Baba, who was 85, breathed his last at 7.40 AM at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, its Director A N Safaya said in a bulletin.

"Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He left his earthly body on April 24, 2011 at 7:40 AM due to cardio-respiratory failure," it said.

The body will lie in state at Sai Kulwant Hall for two days-Monday and Tuesday, it said, adding that arrangements will be made for darshan after 6:00 pm on Sunday at the Hall.

"We appeal to all not to rush to the hospital, but to remain calm and have Darshan in an orderly manner," it said.    

A pall of gloom descended across the world after the news of Baba's death. There has been a complete shutdown in this town since morning.
 
Sai Baba was hospitalised on March 28 following problems related to heart and respiration.

READ MORE:SATHYA SAI BABA FROM VILLAGE BOY TO A DEMI GOD

PM, Vice-President condole

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled passing away of Sai Baba.

"I learnt of the passing away of Sri Sathya Sai Baba with deep and profound sadness. Sri Satya Sai Baba was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice. His teachings were rooted in the universal ideals of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence,” Singh said in his message.

The passing away of Sri Satya Saibaba is an irreparable loss to all and the nation deeply mourns his passing away. I express my sincere condolences to the millions of his followers, disciples and well wishers."

Vice President of India M Hamid Ansari has also deeply condoled the passing away of Sai Baba.

In his condolence message he has said that Baba’s words and actions have lit the lamp of love in the hearts of devotees. His message of service to humanity as service to God and as a means of destroying narrow-mindedness is of eternal relevance.

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TN Deputy CM leaves for Puttaparthi

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday left for Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh following the death of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Stalin left by a special aircraft, airport sources said.

READ MORE: AP Governor, CM rush to Puttaparthi

Special buses to Puttaparthi


Karnataka State Transport Corporation on Sunday said it would run special buses to Puttaparthi to enable devotees from the state to pay their last respects to Sai Baba who passed away this morning.

KSRTC sources said it would ply as many buses as required in accordance with the demand in the coming days commencing from Sunday.

Sai Baba has lakhs of devotees from the state.

READ MORE: SAI BABA: AN IMPECCABLE LEGEND

JPN/Agencies