Large, life-size photos of Shirdi Sai Baba and a smiling Sathya Sai Baba adorned with garlands and a round logo — symbolising unity of all religions—in between these photos, welcomed everybody.
This large basement hall echoing with continous chants of Gayatri Mantra became the centre of attraction for the stream of grieving devotees, who flocked to the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre following the demise of their beloved guru Sathya Saibaba at Puttaparthi on Sunday.
The premises off the Lodi Road on Bheeshma Pitamaha Marg wore a solemn look with volunteers guiding the visitors to the prayer hall. There was a huge photograph of their departed guru in an opening on the south side façade.
Shalabh Mittal, coordinator (Youth and Communications) of Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organisation, told reporters, "The organisers said, Bhajan sessions would be held on Monday and Tuesday at 6 pm. The work of the organisation will continue following Saibaba's teachings of love and work for the cause of humanity."
Coming out of the prayer hall with a forlorn look, Dr Poonam Nangru, a lecturer from Gurgaon, said, "I have been associated with Sai Baba for last 12 years after I married into a family of Sai devotees. He guided me through dreams and his 'love' transformed meinto what I am today.”
Some grieving devotees could not believe their beloved Baba was no more. "How can it be? Sai himself said at several places that he would live till 96 years of age," said Bishnu Mishra, originally from Ayodhya, a taxi driver in Delhi.