July 14, 2024

Last Updated: 02 Sep 2012 22:05 IST

image: Devotees sit next to the body of their spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba at a monastery in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, on April 24, 2011.
photograph: Reuters
Vicky Nanjappa

The sThe will of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba, who passed away in April last year, has been made public. The 14-page document with original appendices states that all donations and assets given by devotees belong to the Sathya Sai Central Trust.

The Sathya Sai Central Trust was set up by Sai Baba in 1972 and is said to hold cash and assets worth several thousand crores of rupees. Following the spiritual leader’s death, a conflict arose among members of the Trust and his family over control of the funds and affairs of the Trust and Sai Baba’s former monastery, Prasanthi Nilayam.

Read: Testament of Sathya Sai Baba

The Will of 23 March 1967 states, “I, Sri Sathya Sai Baba of Prashanti Nilayam, declare as follows: I was born in Puttaparthi village and am now 44 years of age. I joined school and gave up my studies to devote myself to spreading this teaching. Sanatham DharmaI left my parental home unmarried at the age of 12, donned the saffron robe and entered a religious order. I took the priesthood without any secular or permanent status and with no intention of returning.”

Revealed: Sathya Sai Baba’s Original Testament

image: Devotees are seen in a shop window displaying a photograph of their spiritual guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

“I “I renounce all right, title and interest in the movable and immovable properties of my family and will own no personal property, wealth or real estate wherever situated. Everything given to me by my devotees will be under my care, supervision and control as trustee to be used for public charitable purposes. I make this declaration so that no one can claim any right by or through me in respect of the family property,” Sai Baba said in his will.

The Will was also signed by a witness, Mr. Indulal Shah, one of the Trustees of the Sathya Sai Central Trust.

Revealed: Sathya Sai Baba’s Original Testament

image: Hindu priests chant hymns near the tomb of spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba inside the Puttaparthi monastery.
photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

pictureExplaining the story behind the Will, the Trustee explains, “In 1998, Sai Baba had appointed a number of Trustees, personally supervised the proceedings and updated the financial and accounting records. This was a period of increased Trust activity. Sai Baba personally oversaw the documents kept in the Poornachandra Auditorium at Puttaparthi Ashram.”

“During this time, the directors took this document to Sai Baba and he gave them three instructions – that they should not bring it to the office, that they should keep it safe and that it would be useful.”

The documents were then stored safely.

Sai Baba’s will was to be made public after his burial. Indulal Shah was asked to legally authenticate the document. After the will was authenticated on July 1, 2012, it was discussed at a meeting of the Trust’s Board of Directors and a decision was made to make it public.

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