A day after the will of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba surfaced, the trust managing his vast empire said it would respect its provisions and would continue to take his mission forward.
Sathya Sai Central Trust member and Sai Baba's nephew R.J. Ratnakar told some Telugu television channels in the pilgrim town of Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district that he respected the deed as it carried the signature of the late spiritual leader.
He clarified that after Sai Baba passed away last year, the trust had been trying to continue the charity works. Ratnakar said every paisa would be used for the trust activities.
The deed document of 1967 and registered in Mumbai was made public Sunday, allegedly by Sai Baba's caretaker Satyajit Salian.
The deed was signed by two witnesses, including Indulal Shah, one of the trustees. The document was reportedly presented during a meeting of the trust in July this year.
At a press conference last year, the trust members had clarified that Sai Baba left no will.
With Salian making the will public, it has triggered a debate in Puttaparthi. After Sai Baba's demise, Satyajit was expected to be included in the trust but he was not taken on board.
The spiritual guru made it clear in the deed that contributions received from devotees belonged to the trust and should solely be used for charity.
"I declare that I left parents permanently and adopted holy order with no intention to revert back. I relinquished all my right title and interest in family property, moveable or immoveable, whatsoever and wherever they may be, and I do not own and possess personal property or wealth or estate.
"Whatever is given to me is under my management, supervision and control as a trustee to be used for public charitable purposes. This declaration, I am making so (that) nobody can claim, under or through me, in the family properties if any," Sai Baba said in the deed, which was made when he was 44.
Sai Baba passed away at the age of 85 last year following prolonged illness.
After his death, there were reports of a conflict between some family members and the trust over the control of the trust assets said to be worth Rs.40,000 crore.
The trust, which has presence in over 150 countries, runs educational institutions, hospitals and drinking water supply projects.