Devotees react with despair and grief

Devotees react with despair and grief

In the Shivam temple at Nalakunta here, one of the three centres (Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram) built by the Baba, devotees continued with the “Mrityunjaya homam” in the hope that his condition would improve.

Still gloom descended on the temple which had reverberated with round-the-clock bhajans since Sai Baba was admitted to Puttaparthi Hospital. The temple authorities later drove everyone out and shut down the temple in exasperation and mourning.
“Our God has deserted us,” said an ardent devotee Gundlu Vijayalakshmi, 35, who could not check her tears. The Sai Baba  trust had provided free education to her two daughters and medical treatment to her ailing husband.

It was a stunning blow to many ardent devotees in Hyderabad who had hoped that the prediction that Sai Baba would recover after 41 days of hospitalisation would come true. “We were confident that Sai Baba would bounce back to health in a day or two,” said R Prabhakar Rao, former DGP.

In Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, devotees who had been conducting marathon bhajan sessions in the past 28 days, said:  “ We don’t believe TV reports. He promised us that he would back. We wait for him,” a devotee said. However, a pall of gloom set in by midday as the official media confirmed Baba’s demise. Their stubbornness finally gave way to deep mourning and many broke down and cried aloud. “The state government and the Centre should have provided better medical care for Baba,” another devotee rued.

Sachin in depression
According to reports, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, here to play against the home team Deccan Chargers in the current IPL and also an ardent devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, was in a state of mourning. Sources said even on his arrival here on Saturday night, Sachin had remained depressed over Baba’s health. He had remained closeted in his room since his arrival late in the night with wife Anjali and two kids. “He did not even have breakfast. No one was allowed to enter his room,” the hotel manager told the media.