The darshan for the devotees of Sathya Sai Baba has been extended till midnight today. Going by the rush of devotees and also the number of VVIPs thronging the place, the administration has decided to extend the time of darshan till midnight. The burial of the body will however be carried out between 9.00 and 9.30 AM on Wednesday as per Hindu rites. The last rites of Sathya Sai Baba will be a private affair and no devotees will be allowed to witness it.
Earlier there was confusion whether Baba will be buried at the Yajur Nilayam. However after consultation with experts including those who are well versed with vastu, it was decided to burry him at the Sai Kulwant hall.
The devotees too prefer this place since they feel that this is where they always got to see their swami. Baba will be buried at the exact same place where he used to sit and give darshan to his devotees. A Samadhi will be erected at the very same place following the burial. Experts have been consulted regarding this place and they too have approved the exact same place. It may be a while before the devotees get to see the Samadhi of Sai Baba which have on it engraved the following words- manava seve madava seva, (service to man is service to god).
The digging process will commence anytime soon at the Sai Kulwant Hall. Holy water and soil from the river beds across the country is being brought down to Puttaparthi. This would be used when the body of Baba is buried. Currently the area where Baba will be buried has been covered completely with a white cloth. It would be opened up at a later date for devotees once the formalities surrounding the burial is complete.
The Sai Kulwant hall will remain shut all through the day and there will be no activity on Wednesday. However proceedings such as Bhajan sessions will resume on Thursday onwards, officials in Puttaparthi say.
The outpouring of grief continued on Tuesday too. Devotees continue to wait in long lines to get a final glimpse of their swami and despite the scorching sun beating down at 40 degrees centigrade, the devotees don’t seem to be deterred by this fact. Scores of special buses and trains have been arranged to bring in the devotees and till date the official count indicates that over a lakh devotees have descended upon Puttaparthi to pay their homage to their departed Bhagwan. The crowds are expected to pour in over the next couple of days as well and there is a huge population will stay back to see the Samadhi of Baba which will be erected in the next couple of days according to the administration.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi who were expected to land at noon will now visit the ashram at around 5 PM as their aircraft is scheduled to land at 4.45 PM. Security arrangements have been elaborate due to this visit, but the police assure that there will be no trouble caused to the devotees who will continue to get darshan with no problem.