The Andhra Pradesh government on Sunday announced a four-day state mourning till Wednesday as a mark of respect for spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba who died at Puttaparthi following prolonged illness.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who rushed to Puttaparthi soon after hearing about Baba's death, also declared a holiday for Anantapur district Wednesday, when Baba's last rites will be performed.
Paying tributes, the chief minister said Baba had dedicated his life to serve the poor, to uplift the downtrodden and spread peace and love among human beings.
"He has set an example. He was a firm believer that serving the poor is service to god. His life has been a message and direction how people should live their life for upliftment of poor," he said.
"We all believe that Sri Sathya Sai Baba is still with us. Only his body has departed," the chief minister added.
Kiran Kumar Reddy said the greatest tribute to Baba would be to follow in his footsteps.