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Sreedhar Pillai Headshot

Whatever Happened to Sathya Sai Baba -- The Man Who Was God?

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Isn't it really amazing how the 20th century media could make ordinary mortals into Gods and dispatch them to oblivion in the 21st century? Millions of people around the world perhaps came to believe through the modern media and the Internet that Sathya Sai Baba of India was God himself.

Though he died only a year ago, the Baba has virtually disappeared from the world media, and from the minds and memory of most people who came to know about him, with hardly any mention even on the anniversary of his death. Is it the media who should be really blamed for this forgetful ignoring of a guru who had over 6 million followers when he died?

After all, Jesus Christ and Gautham Buddha, who are also credited with miracles and teachings, were not forgotten but loved, revered, remembered and worshipped for thousands of years before the advent of modern communications.

It is not surprising that no one, including the leading newspapers, magazines and TV around the world want to remember or bring back the memory of Sathya Sai Baba despite the $9 billion assets he amassed during his life of 85 years, some of which he had spent on various charitable projects.

Despite the huge followings and philanthropic work, there was something not very honest and straightforward about this Godman who declared himself to be God and whose life was "dogged by controversy including allegations, never proven, of sexual abuse and charlatanism," as per a BBC report.

Whether he was God or not, at the minimum, he knew exactly what lead to the massacre of several young people in his Ashram one night and the serious allegations of sexual abuse brought out in the BBC report of 2004.

Sathya Sai Baba chose to leave the earth by not leaving clear answers and an aura of suspicion and doubt in place of divinity. No God has ever survived in human memory with such questionable credentials.

Perhaps this is the biggest reason why no one, including millions who believed in him, wants to talk about or remember Sathya Sai Baba despite the numerous good causes he has supported with his immense wealth.

If his life and intentions were questionable even when he was alive, the intentions and behavior of his relations and close people who have inherited the trust with the immense wealth have done nothing to instill devotion and confidence in the Godman after his death.

Instead, they have only raised serious questions about their own integrity and intentions which have lead to public demand for takeover and administration of the trust by the government. Millions of his followers desperately want him to return to earth as Prema Sai before they lose their faith completely, even as the fame and prosperity he brought to his village Putta Parthi seems to dwindle fast.