PUTTAPARTHI, India — His face adorns the yellow motorized rickshaws
zipping down the streets. Billboards bear his simple motto, “Love All,
Serve All.” His portrait hangs in almost every shop: a tiny man with a
gravity-defying crown of curly hair regarded by millions of worldwide
devotees as a god.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who declared himself a “living god” as a teenager
and spent decades assembling a spiritual empire, permeates every corner
of this small Indian city. He transformed it from a village of mud huts
into a faith center with a private airport, a university, two major
hospitals, rising condominium towers and a stadium — a legacy now
forcing a question upon his followers: What happens when a god dies?
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