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The Satya Sai movement (also Sathya Sai movement) is a transnational, charismatic religious movement with its roots in a Hindu-Muslim syncretic faith of the Indian subcontinent. It was about 70 years old at the time of the death of its charismatic leader—Sri (honorific) Satya Sai Baba (1926–2011), called Bhagawan (“God”), Swami (“Lord”), or Baba (“Father”). He had a distinctive halo of hair and wore a long saffron robe; he was known to magically materialize healing vibhuti (“sacred ash”) and sacred gifts during a twice-daily darshan (“sacred audience”), where he received devotional petitions and seemingly effected cures.

Sai Baba's personal prefix Satya (“truth”) referred both to his given name of Satyanarayana and to the sacred truth he supposedly embodied, as when he stated (at age 14) that ...

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