The biggest change
It is not just outside the ashram that there have been palpable changes.
While going around the campus that houses temples, accommodation for visitors, a supermarket and the samadhi at Kulwant Hall, a devotee mentions that earlier, the crowds at Kulwant Hall at this time would have made walking difficult.
Agreeing that there might be a dip in the number of devotees, A Anantharaman, the media coordinator of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, adds that the dip has not been significant to the extent that volunteer services have been hampered.
The biggest change, perhaps, has been in the administration of the trust itself, which supervises the functioning of the hospitals, university, schools and other charitable initiatives.
The trust, to which all eyes had turned after Sai Baba's demise, has started publishing annual reports detailing its various activities, revenue and expenditure.
"After Swami left his physical form, we felt we needed to run the trust like a corporation, to address issues of compliance and transparency," says Anantharaman.
According to the latest financial statement, the revenue for 2011-12 was Rs 200 crore, of which Rs 82 crore came from donations. The balance sheet showed the trust has funds to the tune of Rs 1508 crore.
"All the assets of the trust are used for charitable purposes and earn no revenue. Neither are they transferable. So talking about asset value is meaningless," says Anantharaman, dismissing the various estimates of the trust's assets that had appeared in the media in April 2011.
Defending the revelation about the gold, jewels and cash discovered in Sai Baba's room when it was broken open, Anantharaman says none of it had any value to the godman.
"The trust has taken an inventory of everything in the presence of bank and government officials, deposited the valuables in the bank and paid income tax on it," he says.
Image: Satya Sai College of Music.
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons