As the Birth Place of Sri Satya Sai
Baba, the "godman" who preaches religious tolerance, universal
love and service to others, Puttaparthi has special significance
for his vast number of devotees from all over the world. Sai Baba's
ability to produce vibbuti (sacred ash), seemingly miraculously out
of thin air, is considered by his devotees to be an important symbol
of his god - like status and powers. From a very young age, Sai Baba,
born as Satyanarayana Raju in this village on 23 November 1926, claimed
divine powers. When he was only 14, he declared that he was the reincarnation
of a celebrated saint, Sai Baba from Shirdi in Maharastra, who died
in 1918. It is believed that he will return after his death as another
saint called Prem Sai Baba. In 1950 Satya Sai Baba established an
ashram for his followers, whose numbers had swollen to gigantic figures.
Known as Prasanthi Nilayam or the "Abode of Highest Peace",
it is today a large complex with guesthouses, dormitories Kitchens
and dining halls. Over the years, several buildings have appeared
around the ashram - schools, colleges, residential complexes, hospitals,
a Planetarium, a museum and recreation centres, tranforming this
tiny village into a cosmopolitan township. Outside the ashram, at
the lower end of the village, rural life continues, seemingly unaffected
by the ashram's activities. The countryside around is very fertile,
with stretches of well - irrigated fields.
Situated 97 kms, from Ananthapur , Puttaparthi, is well linked by road, rail
Prasanthinilayam, the abode of peace
at Puttaparthi is famous worldwide as the home of Sri Satya Sai Baba.
All religions are respected here and all festivals celebrated.
On 23rd November the birthday of Sri
Satya Sai Baba, millions of his devotees gather to greet him and
receive his blessings.
The other places worth seeing are the
Subramanya Mandir, Gayathiri Mandir, Sai Kulwant Hall where the daily
darshan takes place, Sarva Dharma Stupa, a 50 foot high pillar celebrating
the unity of religions, and the Poona Chandra Auditorium.
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