Chavan hosts Satya Saibaba at Varsha
Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, November 01, 2009
First Published: 16:10 IST(1/11/2009)
Last Updated: 16:11 IST(1/11/2009)
Maharashtra Chief Minister designate Ashok Chavan on Sunday hosted Satya Saibaba at his official residence Varsha.
Sathya Sai Baba was on a five-day visit to the state and in Mumbai since Saturday where he had a discourse at the Jambori maidan at Worli in central Mumbai.
Chavan has said that the Baba has been his spiritual guru since the time of his birth.
Chavan’s father late S B Chavan who also served as Chief Minister twice, was an ardent devotee of the Baba.
Several Congress-NCP politicians, who are devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, also attended the prayer ceremony held inside the house.
Sathya Sai Baba visits Ashok Chavan’s residence, blesses him
November 1st, 2009 – 3:40 pm ICT by IANS
By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Nov 1 (IANS) In an unprecedented development, Maharashtra’s chief minister-designate Ashok Chavan hosted his spiritual guru, Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, here Sunday afternoon.
Chavan had specially invited Sathya Sai Baba to visit Varsha, the official residence of the state chief minister at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, according to a government official.
Clad in his traditional saffron robe with his trademark hairstyle, Sathya Sai Baba entered Varsha shortly after 12.30 p.m., the official said.
Chavan, along with his wife Ameeta and teenaged daughters Srijaya and Sujaya, received the dignitary on the white steps of Varsha which had been specially decorated with saffron-coloured flowers, flags and buntings for the occasion.
“The occasion is strictly a private, family affair… nobody from the government or his staff or the party is invited,” the official told IANS.
Sathya Sai Baba, who arrived here from Pune Saturday morning, will conduct a special pooja at the chief minister’s residence in the presence of the Chavan family.
As a mark of respect to the visiting dignitary, Chavan may also wash Sathya Sai Baba’s feet, though no official is willing to go on record.
Later, Chavan will host a lunch in honour of Sathya Sai Baba in the private dining hall of Varsha, which is usually reserved for VVIPs who visit the place.
The chief minister has never kept his devotion and admiration for Sathya Sai Baba under wraps. He seeks his blessings regularly in times of need and goes to express his gratitude when his wishes are fulfilled.
In fact, shortly after his party’s victory in last month’s assembly elections, Chavan had rushed to thank his spiritual guru.
Though this is Sathya Sai Baba’s first visit to the the state chief minister’s residence, he is no stranger to politicians and leaders across the political spectrum.
Among his most prominent admirers and devotees was the former prime minister, the late P.V. Narasimha Rao.
Heavy security arrangements were made for the VVIP guru in the area.
The Malabar Hill, with the Arabian Sea on three sides, is home for VVIPs and celebrities including the chief justice of Bombay High Court and other judges, ministers, top government officials, legislators, foreign diplomats, scientists, leading industrialists and businessmen, head honchos of multinationals and even a few film stars.
Prior to his Varsha sojourn, Sathya Sai Baba – visiting the state after nine years – also held widely-patronised public discourses in different parts of Mumbai.
He also attended a religious concert by Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam in Goregaon Saturday evening, and interacted with officials of his various charitable interests in Maharashtra and Mumbai.
Sathya Sai Baba arrived in Pune last Wednesday from Puttaparthi by a private chartered aircraft on a three-day visit and inaugurated a temple complex, Sri Sathya Sai Pandurang Kshetra at Hadshi.
Power Inc takes a breather, gets down to spiritual biz
1 Nov 2009, 2358 hrs IST, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: Temporal and spiritual power intermingled in Mumbai on Sunday as devotees — both the humble and the great and the good — of the spiritual leader Shri Sathya Sai Baba lined up to receive his blessings.
Big chiefs of the financial sector and India Inc turned out in large numbers to seek the Baba’s blessings. The morning prayer in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri was attended by an eclectic collection of dignitaries. These included ICICI Bank chairman, KV Kamath, the chairman and MD of the Union Bank of India, MV Nair, Kotak Bank’s vice-chairman and MD Uday Kotak, Gunit Chadha, the head of Deutsche Bank’s India operations, PMS Prasad, a director on the board of Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest private sector company, and Meera Sanyal, a banker and an independent candidate from the South Mumbai parliamentary constituency.
At a prayer meeting on Sunday, Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, BJP leader Gopinath Munde and many other dignitaries sought the Swami’s blessings at a darshan organised in Mahakali Caves, Andheri.
Chief minister Ashok Chavan prayed for his new administration. “The government needs the Swamiji’s touch and his blessings. We hope to run the government according to his principles,” Mr Chavan said on Sunday morning.
The CM wasn’t the only dignitary queuing up for a sprinkling of the spiritual stardust. A clutch of serving and former judges, including former Supreme Court judge BM Srikrishna (of the Srikrishna Commission fame) and a number of prominent lawyers and doctors were also present.
Mr Kamath, who spoke on the occasion, referred to the insights thrown up in the course of a two-day conference on the ‘Ethics and the world of finance’ held in August 2009 at the Sathya Sai Baba University at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh. That conference was attended by two RBI governors, the incumbent Duvvuri Subbarao and his predecessor YV Reddy. Besides the assorted dignitaries, thousands lined up for a darshan, first at Andheri and later at Worli.
Later in the day, the chief minister and his family hosted the Sathya Sai Baba at Varsha, the Maharashtra CM’s residence in Mumbai’s Malabar Hill. Predictably, some of this attracted criticism from people of a rationalist bent of mind who said that the CM’s actions were not in consonance with the state’s secular traditions. Pictures of Mr Chavan paying obeisance to the Sathya Sai Baba were flashed by some Hindi and Marathi television channels.
That’s unlikely to deter the CM, who recalled his family’s three decade-long relationship with the spiritual leader. His father SB Chavan, two times Maharashtra CM and former Union finance minister under Rajiv Gandhi, had been similarly criticised in 1975. But the media critics of that era had later realised their error, Chavan Jr said.
Both Mr Chavan and Mr Kamath praised the selflessness of the volunteers, many from affluent backgrounds, working at various hospitals and educational institutions run by the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation.
Shri Sathya Sai Baba is on five-day visit to Maharashtra. The Sathya Sai Seva Organisation runs a number of schools and four hospitals. The organisation was recently in the forefront of relief work for cyclone victims in Orissa and flood victims in West Bengal.
Filed under: Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, Congress-NCP Politicians, Narasimha Rao, Sai Baba, sathya sai baba, Spiritual Guru, Spiritual Leader | Tagged: Baba, Bombay, Faith, God, Guru, Hadshi, India, Mumbai, News, Politics, Puja, Pune, Varsha, VVIP |