Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is regarded by millions of followers as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and a re-incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. He has a global following with devotees from all over the world and Sai Samithis in many countries.
He is said to cure many diseases and materialize rings, vibhoothi etc. with spiritual powers. He preaches love and the unity of all religions. He proclaims that love is his form, and the only way man can emancipate himself is through self-less loving.
He has revived the bhajan culture in Hinduism with his compositions. He runs a number of educational institutions and hospitals on charity. He was solely responsible for drinking water project for the whole of Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh.
Sathya Sai Baba is not without critics, however. Some allege that he and his group are involved in pedophilia and child abuse, and question mysterious deaths at his compound. Supporters claim these charges are manufactured by industry cartels concerned about the effect of his teachings on their operations. Critics in their turn claim the accounts are credible and to have recorded him on film receiving objects he subequently claimed to "manifest".