Famously recognisable for his trademark afro hair, Sathya Sai Baba was an enigmatic figure for many Indian people.
While his followers believed that he had miraculous ability to cure the sick and conjure the Vibuthi (sacred ash) from his hands, others believed that he was a charlatan.
Regardless, here's why and how Sai Baba was revered by millions across the world.
1. Influence on Hard Rock Café
One of his famous motto is "Love All, Serve All". It was so famous that it inspired the former owner of Hard Rock Café to use it as the business' official tagline. Enter any of the premises, and you'll come across the sign, which is an actual quote by Sai Baba.
2. Miracle Man
He was known as the Miracle Man of India. Several devotees have written books about his miraculous prowess and the ability to cure the disabled. There are even accounts by some devotees who've experienced mystical experiences despite not residing in India. Some devotees have even claimed that the sacred ash is conjured through his photographs.
3. Living God
Often considered the reincarnation of Shiva and Shakti, Sai Baba was regarded as an avatar among Hindus. However, to be fair, majority of his discourses also reminded his devotees that they too were as divine as he was. Some reports claim that he had 100 million devotees across 133 countries.
4. Charity and Service
One amazing thing that Sai Baba had done was provide service to the poor and needy. His organisations which can be found in nearly any country focused on providing service to the downtrodden either financially or through education and programmes. In fact, Sai Baba himself had built hospitals in India which provide free healthcare to the poor.
5. Focus On The Arts
While not indirectly supporting the arts, many who visit Sai Baba's ashram in Puttaparthi would musically or theatrically perform before him. In fact, his organisations have assisted in helping many get over their fears of the stage and public speaking and many of his devotees have gone on to do great things.
It is undeniable that Sai Baba certainly played a huge role in many people's lives.
Source: Huffington Post, Facts and Details, Sathya Sai Org
Photo Credit: The Economic Times, TripAdvisor, YouTube, CBS News, India Content, Outlook India