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Sai Baba critical, devotees hope & pray

india Updated: Apr 23, 2011 00:50 IST

As chants of “Sai Ram” rang across Puttaparthi and devotees radiated calm, doctors treating spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba said he had slipped into a multi-organ dysfunction — a medical condition where the chances of recovery are bleak.

His vital organs, including the heart, liver and kidney are not functioning properly, said Andhra Pradesh Medical Services Director Dr Ravi Raj on Friday. Raj, who is also the chief convener of the panel of doctors treating Sai Baba, said: “We can’t predict the chances in individual cases. But, in patients with multi-organ dysfunction and disseminated intravascular coagulation (formation of clots within blood vessels throughout the body), the chances of recovery are less.”

“I saw Baba this noon and I can say he is alive,” said Janardhan Reddy, collector, Anantapur. “There is no reason for anyone to think otherwise.”

Close to the Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospital on the outskirts of Puttaparthi, where Sai Baba has been on life support for the last 25 days, lakhs of devotees are holding on to hope.

“His heart is still beating… and even after the kidney and liver failure, Baba’s face is emitting radiance,” said Geetha Reddy, industries minister and a Sai devotee, deployed to monitor the condition. “He is not like any other human being, so let us hope for the best.”

It is this miracle that the devotees in Prashanti Nilayam — the ashram of Sai Baba — are confident of.

“For us, this episode is Baba’s way of explaining suffering in life. If he wants, he would spring back to action in seconds,” said Nagaraju Thotapalli, a retired lecturer from Anantapur town.

The state, meanwhile, is deploying additional forces and making arrangements in anticipation of the arrival of VVIPs who count themselves among the Sai devotees.