Bala Sai Baba, the Kurnool-based controversial spiritual guru, died of cardiac arrest in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old godman reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest at his ashram in Domalaguda at around 2 am on Tuesday following which he was taken to a private hospital in Banjara Hills. According to The News Minute, doctors declared him “brought dead”.
The last rites of the godman, whose real name is unknown, will be performed in Kurnool. The controversial guru has a massive following in Rayalaseema districts of Andhra Pradesh and also enjoys a considerable influence in Telangana.
Like Satya Sai Baba, Bala Sai Baba, too, wore a saffron robe and kept a similar hairstyle.
Born on 14 January 1960, the godman claimed that he held a Masters Degree. He established his first ashram at age 18 and founded the Sri Balasai Baba Central Trust in 1990.
In his lifetime, Bala Sai Baba was at the centre of many controversies. Rationalists dismissed his act of producing Shiva lingam from his mouth as a gimmick.
He was also criticised for claiming that he was superior to Lord Venkateshwara. Reports say that the godman and his aides face numerous cases, including of land encroachment in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Following the news of his death, his ashram in Kurnool was closed for the public.