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Swami's body is laid to rest

Bhagawan's physical frame laid to rest amidst state honours 
 ( has a video of the ceremony)

Puttaparthi, which sung lullabies to infant Sathya, which fondled and nurtured Little Sathya to Sri Sathya Sai, and which received the abundance of His love and care over and over again during the past eight and a half decade, finally earned a day to grieve, though the day will be marked in the annals of Divine History as the most significant of the day, when Avatar of the age was laid to rest. ...This is definitely not of her choice, but as fate would have it, a grieving Puttaparthi had to accept this present as well, as she has been receiving over the past eight and a half decade, in abundance

It was a Divine Script written by Him alone and executed in His own inimitable fashion. For all the glory, happiness, and bliss that she has received over and over again, when the final moment arrived, to bid farewell to the Soul of entire creation, she grieved, and so were millions upon millions around the world. Bhagawan, who left His mortal coil on the 24 April 2011, was laid to rest in Sai Kulwant Hall this morning in presence of a huge assemblage of devotees, also attended by a host of political luminaries.

Earlier, the function commenced with an aalaap bhajan by noted classical vocalist Pt. Jasraj. This was followed by an hour-long bhajan by students. A host of prayers representing various religions, including Jewish, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Sikhism, followed before a set of selected bhajan, that were so dear to Beloved Bhagawan was rendered by students, bringing tears in the assemblage, taking one and all to nostalgic happy days with their Beloved "Swami".


This image shows the final resting place of Swami's physical form, on the verandah of the mandir in Sai Kulwant Hall. It is called the Mahasamadhi --the word means not only the conscious departure from the physical body of a realized soul but also the shrine where the physical body is buried.

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai performed Mahasamadhi at 7:40AM on 24 April 2011.

Here is a 9.5MB high-resolution version of the image.


The final journey of Bhagawan had the full state honours as both Governor and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh were present during the occasion. The gun salute was accorded and the police band played in homage as the final proceedings were on.

The final rites commenced with physical frame's nephew RJ Ratnakar performing the rites representing the family. A host of priests guided the entire ceremony, which lasted for 45 minutes.

The Divine Physical Frame was lowered in a specially made pit of 7 feet by 12 feet on the very podium that Bhagawan used to adorn during His darshan sessions.

Giant screens were erected at vantage places in and around Puttaparthi so that the devotees could witness the final rites. The look on the faces of the devotees was that of shock and sadness, and the township is still coming to terms with the departure of their Beloved.

Among the dignitaries present were the Governor and the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, EVL Narasimhan and Kiran Kumar Reddy, Senior BJP leaders L K Advani and Venkaiah Naidu, former Union Home Minister and Governor of Punjab Shivraj Patil, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Telugu Desam Supremo and former AP Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, veteran VHP leader Ashok Singhal, AP Ministers Geeta Reddy, Raghuveera Reddy etc.

The Divine Physical Frame, draped in Bhagawan's favourite orange colour, was lowered into the Mahasamadhi amidst vedic chanting. In a symbolic gesture, the ceremony was marked with gifting of a cow and clothes (godhaana and buudhaana). Special water collected from various holy rivers across India was also sprinkled on the Divine Frame sanctifying the occasion.

[Note: Mahasamadhi refers to two things: (1) the conscious decision of a God-realized person to leave the body and (2) the shrine where the physical body is buried.]

Even as the first set of rituals were completed, the curtain came down for the finishing touches of the Mahasamadhi where Bhagawan was laid to rest. Incessant Sai Gayathri chanting continued for the next more than half-an-hour before the curtains went up for the public to have their maiden view of the Mahasamadhi of the Avatar of the Age.

As fragrant Vibhuti smell wafted in the air, granting the nostalgia of golden days when Beloved spent time amidst on the same dais, an announcement came that darshan would commence at 11:45 hrs

As is the case in Shirdi, this Mahasamadhi of the Avatar of the Age would start speaking to His chosen devotees now on and would be the solace for grieving devotees from around the world. Puttaparthi beckons, with much more intensity, as our Beloved Lord Sri Sathya Sai would speak from His Mahasamadhi from now on!!!