Sathya Sai’s original will surfaces

Prasad Bhosekar

While the life and death of late godman Sri Sathya Sai Baba continues to remain an enigma till date, yet another issue has caught attention. The “Original Document of Declaration” signed by Sathya Sai Baba on March 23, 1967 has now suddenly surfaced. The document is important because of the fact that it has the undercurrent of one-upmanship between Sathya Sai`s close confidante Sathyajit and Sathya Sai`s nephew and Central Board Trust member V Ratnakar.

Till Sathya Sai fell sick last year before his death, except for devotees Sathyajit was hardly known to the outside world. A lot of rumours and theories were floated right from Baba`s sickness to his wealth involving Sathyajit. And what added to the chaos and confusion was the discovery of gold, silver and other precious metals and jewels apart from the seizure of cash near a checkpost from a vehicle coming from Prasanti Nilayam. The cold war between Sathyajit and Ratnakar too was visible even at the time of gloom. However, ‘powerful’ devotees and Central Trust members ensured that the issue did not go out of hands. There was silence for more than a year after Baba`s death from Sathyajit, Ratnakar and even from the Trust members.

Suddenly, an e-mail surfaced which has a covering letter from Sathyajit. Sathya Sai`s Declaration Document is attested by sole surviving witness Indulal Shah, who also happens to be a Central Trust member. While the document has been authenticated by the Trust and even Ratnakar, no one is willing to talk about the covering letter, including Sathyajit himself. As an ardent devotee who was closer to Sathya Sai than any other devotee or a family member, Sathyajit puts his ‘Swami’ on a very high pedestal. It is quite obvious. But while concluding his letter, Sathyajit mentions how this Declaration Document was found in inventory in 1998 and what transpired between him and his ‘Swami’.

Here, Sathyajit pin points that Sathya Sai gave him three important commandments with regard to this document:

1) Do not send it to office
2) Keep it safely
3) It will be useful`

Now, if Sathyajit is to be believed based on this e-mail, then several questions arise out of these three issues: 1) Why did Sathya Sai say “do not send this document to his own Sathya Sai Trust office” which maintains all the important documents and papers to which only limited and close people have access. Did the godman anticipate trouble from some quarters? 2) By telling Sathyajit to keep the document “safely”, did Sathya Sai mean that he suspected someone or Sathyajit enjoyed complete and unflinching confidence of Sathya Sai. And the third question is about its “usefulness”. How and why would the document become useful as it didn`t elaborate in detail the wealth and moreover the declaration was made way back in 1967 when Sathya Sai`s wealth did not run into thousands of crores. Sathyajit, on his part, explains in the e-mail that this is being brought out to “rectify a lot of misinformation”.