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Śri Sathya Sai Baba (born as Sathyanarayana Raju (23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011) was an Indian guru, spiritual figure, musician, mystic, composer, choreographer, poet, author, orator, philanthropist and educator. He claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi who was considered by his followers to be an avatar, spiritual saint and miracle worker, who died in 1918. The materializations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces, and watches by Sathya Sai Baba along with reports of miraculous healings, bilocation, and alleged omnipotence and omniscience; devotees considered them signs of divinity.
Photos of Sathya Sai Baba are displayed in millions of homes and on car dashboards. Lockets bearing his photo are worn by many as a symbol of good fortune and are often kept in wallets for spiritual protection. Sai Baba had ashrams in 126 countries and also ran a network of hospitals, clinics and schools that were often free.