Spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba died at the Sathya Sai super speciality hospital at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district today.
The 84-year-old was admitted to hospital on March 28 with breathing and heart problems. Early on Thursday morning, doctors had said his condition was very critical and most of his organs were not responding to treatment. The condition of his liver and his low blood pressure were causing concern, they had said.
Godman to some, miracle-man to others and revered as God by lakhs of his followers, Sathya Sai Baba had the rich, famous and powerful from the world of politics, business, films and sport flocking to his doorstep in Puttaparthi, the small Andhra Pradesh village that he made internationally famous.
Born on 23 November 1926 in a modest family in Puttaparthi, Satyanarayana Raju declared himself a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba at the age of 14. From then on his devotees and admirers only grew in numbers over the years.
November 23, 1926: Sathya Sai Baba born as 'Sathyanarayana Raju' to Peda Venkappa Raju and Easwaramma in Puttaparthi.
1940: At 14, Sathya Sai Baba declares he is the incarnation of the Sufi mystic, Sai Baba of Shirdi, Maharashtra, who had died in 1918.
1944: Travels to Bangalore; this is his first journey as a savant. Gives up striped shirt and dhoti for a robe, initially greyish-white, then saffron.
November 23, 1950: Prashanti Nilayam 'Abode of Tranquillity', his home as a spiritual guru, is inaugurated on his 28th birthday.
October 1957: Sathya Sai Baba inaugurates a hospital behind Prasanthi Nilayam.
June 1968: Makes his only foreign trip ever, to Uganda.
July 22, 1968: Inaugurates women's college in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.
1972: Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust (SSSCT), a caucus to direct the management of his empire, is established.
November 22, 1981: Sri Sathya Sai University Puttaparthi launched
March 29, 2011: Aged 85, he is admitted to the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthi. Doctors say he was suffering from pneumonia and water had entered his lungs
April 4, 2011: Put on ventilator support. Suffering from multi-organ dysfunction, his condition continues to be critical.
April 20, 2011: Liver stops responding to treatment
June 6, 1993: four men armed with knives are killed after they intrude Sai Baba's bedroom. Some suggest the men wanted to kidnap or even kill the Baba, but initial investigation indicates the attack was a result of infighting among ashram inmates over a financial dispute.
December 2001: Then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, former Supreme Court chief justices P N Bhagawati and Ranganath Misra, former Lok Sabha speaker Najma Heptulla and former union minister Shivraj Patil all sign a letter rubbishing allegations of sexual abuse made in certain media reports against Sai Baba.
June 2004: BBC airs 'Secret Swami', an hour-long documentary on abuses allegedly committed by the Baba on many young men.
April 24, 2011: Dies in Puttaparthi
Sai Baba legacy
'Reincarnation': Sai Baba had predicted that he will die in 2022 and, eight years later, be reborn in Gunaparthi village of Karnataka's Mandya district to a woman called Kasturi. His next avatar will be called Prem Sai Baba and he will have nothing to do with Puttaparthi
(Indian Media reports)