Nearly 2-month after Sathya Sai Baba's death, Yajur Mandir opened

Jun 17, 2011

Nearly two months after Sri Sathya Sai Baba's death on April 24, his favourite abode in the sprawling Prasanthi Nilayam, Yajur Mandir, was opened by the Sathya Sai Central Trust here on Thursday. But the Trust maintained a veil of secrecy on the cash and gold stocked inside the mandir saying that details of the assets would be revealed on Friday once the inventory of jewels, ornaments and other precious stones is completed.

Sources said that crores worth valuables and gold jewellery was stored inside the mandir. The Trust kept everybody, including media, at bay though it had promised to open the doors of the mandir in the midst of devotees and high-profile individuals.

Baba's nephew and Trust member R J Rathnakar Raju told newsmen in the evening that several documents and papers on the valuables inside the mandir were being perused by the SBI authorities. "We will try to give a list of the gold stocks and cash held by Sai Baba on Friday," he said.

The mandir was closed in March ever since Baba was admitted to the super speciality hospital with serious health problems and remained locked up till Thursday morning. Around 9.30 am, senior Trust members S V Giri, V Srinivasan along with Rathnakar, secretary K Chakravarthi and Baba's caregiver Satyajit entered the mandir. They were closeted inside for a long time.

Later, around 11.45 am, SBI manager and some staff went inside along with a counting machine. Sources said lockers were also opened inside the mandir. "Baba used to maintain a cash chest from where he used to gift priceless valuables and gifts to his ardent devotees," a source said.

Ex-CJI P N Bhagawati along with former High Court judge Vaidyanathan and ex-Supreme Court judge A P Misra were also present when the inventory was being done in the mandir. Surprisingly, the district collector, SP or revenue officials were not present at the time of inventory. "Though the Trust promised to carry out the exercise in the presence of a third party, nobody was allowed inside," sources said. Media was kept out of bounds, while only DSP Narasimhulu, who is touted to be close to Rathnakar, was present.

Meanwhile, Bhagawati changed his tack saying that he has not resigned from the central Trust as reported by the media. "I had quit from the Sathya Sai Educational Trust only after I was made the chancellor of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning," he said.