Though the condition of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba is worsening, some of his devotees are confident he will recover and live for 96 years as he had once predicted.
A group of eminent devotees, including former judges, police officers and physicians, believe that the 85 year old Sathya Sai Baba's present condition is because he has taken on himself the sufferings of one of his devotees.
Devotees of Sathya Sai Baba also appealed to the people not to believe in rumours on the godman's health and asked the media to "respect" their sentiments.
In a joint press conference organised by Sri Sathya Sai Baba Devotees forum in Hyderabad on Thursday, prominent devotees urged people not to believe in rumours on Sai Baba's health and reports in a section of press on Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.
As the guru battles for life at the Sathya Sai super speciality hospital at Puttaparthi town in Anantapur district, a group of devotees on Thursday held a press conference, to say he would recover and appeal to the media to respect their sentiments.
"Sai Baba is incarnation of god. He will recover and will live for 96 years as he himself had once said," said R Prabhakar Rao, former police chief of Andhra Pradesh.
Some devotees said Sathya Sai Baba himself was god and hence not like other human beings. They believe he is passing through the current phase of illness as he has taken human form. The group also said that faith had no logic.
The eminent devotees dismissed reports in a section of the media that Sathya Sai Baba died 20 days ago and that his death was not being announced to get funds from his devotees in India and abroad.
Former chief justice of Andhra Pradesh high court J Eswara Prasad claimed that Sathya Sai Baba had cured his childhood paralysis when doctors had termed it incurable.
"He always protected me and I did not even avail the official security during some key assignments," said the former judge.
Eminent agricultural scientist and former vice chancellor of Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University MV Rao said he, too, believed that Sathya Sai Baba would come out of the present illness and go on to live for 96 years.
"Though as a scientist I see everything scientifically, the powers of Baba and his extraordinary social work impressed me," he said.
Former police commissioner of Hyderabad Appa Rao said the Sathya Sai Baba possessed supernatural powers and he had seen him materialise objects like wristwatches and rings out of thin air.
Facing a volley of questions, the devotees did not respond to a query if they would stop believing Sathya Sai Baba was an incarnation of god if he did not live for 96 years.
Physician and vice president of Narayana Hrudayalaya-Malla Reddy Hospital Anil Kumar said only four organs of the guru had either failed or not functioning well and claimed that there were hundreds of instances where such patients lived on ventilator for 25 years.
Anil Kumar quoted doctors attending on Sathya Sai Baba as saying that he was not in coma.
He said though millions of devotees had come forward to donate their organs, it was not possible to transplant the vital organs.