Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Baba (born Ratnakaram Sathyanarayana Raju; 23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011) was an Indian guru and philanthropist, born into a Telugu – speaking Bhatraju family. At the age of fourteen he claimed that he was the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, and left his home in order to serve the society and be an example to his followers.
Sai Baba’s purported materialisations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces, and watches, along with reports of miraculous healings, resurrections, clairvoyance, bilocation, and alleged omnipotence and omniscience, were a source of both fame and controversy. His acts were based on sleight of hand though his devotees considered them signs of his divinity.
The Sathya Sai Organisation, founded by Sathya Sai Baba “to enable its members to undertake service activities as a means to spiritual advancement”, has over 1,200 Sathya Sai Centres (branches) in 126 countries. Through this organisation, Sathya Sai Baba established a network of free super speciality and general hospitals, clinics, drinking water projects, a university, auditoriums, ashrams and schools.