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The Teachings of Sathya Sai Baba


Sathya Sai Baba teaches that man’s basic nature is divine and that the purpose of life is the realization of this inherent divinity. This will occur, He says, by leading a moral life, by rendering selfless service to those in need, by engaging in spiritual and devotional practices, and by developing love, respect, and compassion for all. As we transition from a worldly-focused, desire-centered and attachment bound life into a higher spiritual life of selflessness and devotion, our love for God intensifies, ultimately revealing our oneness with the divine – our true nature.


Sathya Sai Baba reminds us that mankind is unique among all of God’s Creation, since human beings are capable of recognizing that they emanate from God. We have the capacity to commune with God by turning inward and ultimately, it is our destiny to merge with God. Within this principle of oneness, Sathya Sai baba teaches that all religions are expressions of these same divinity. In His own words:

“All men are of one lineage, of one divine origin. Therefore, recognize the divinity in each being and banish all limiting thoughts and projections.”


“There is only one Caste, the Caste of Humanity; There is only one Religion, the Religion of Love; There is only one Language, the Language of the Heart; There is only One God and He is Omnipresent.”


Sathya Sai Baba does not require that we become ascetics and retreat from the world. Instead, He teaches us that the world is our school, that the five human values (Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love, and Nonviolence) are our curriculum, and that the realization of the unity that exists in diversity – the inherent oneness of all creation through the bond of love – is our ultimate lesson. In this regard, He would say:


“Love in thought is Truth; Love in action is Right Conduct; Love in understanding is Peace; Love in feeling is Nonviolence.”

Sathya Sai Baba urges all His devotees to adhere to three sets of principles leading to a moral life and setting the foundation for the spiritual path:  The “Nine-Point Code of Conduct”, the “Ten Guiding Principles” and to practice a “Ceiling on Desires” for their spiritual development, as described below:


The Nine-Point Code of Conduct


1) Daily meditation and prayer
2) Group devotional singing or prayer with family members once a week
3) Participation in Sai Spiritual Education by children of the family
4) Participation in community service work and other programs of the organization
5) Regular attendance at the Center’s devotional meetings
6) Regular study of Sathya Sai Baba literature
7) The use of soft, loving speech with everyone
8) Not speaking ill of others, especially in their absence
9) Practicing placing a ceiling on desires by “consciously and continuously striving to eliminate the tendency to waste time, money, food, and energy” and utilizing the savings for service of mankind


Ceiling on Desires


Sathya Sai Baba teaches that one should not waste time, food, money, or energy. A program called “Ceiling on Desires” has been created to encourage aspirants to practice these principles.


“The object of the program is to prevent waste of money, time, food or other resources and to use all these for the welfare of the people. The money that is saved need not be kept for the Sathya Sai organizations. It may be used in the best way you choose for the benefit of others. Do not waste time. Time wasted is life wasted. Time is God. Sanctify all the time at your disposal by undertaking service (seva) activities in a pure and unselfish spirit.”


Sathya Sai Baba also emphasizes that man has important obligations to society. He stresses the importance of performing one’s duty in society for the benefit of all. It is the society that can provide an environment and a foundation for people to grow spiritually more easily. His teachings on serving society are summarized in His “the ten guiding principles”:


The Ten Guiding Principles


1) Love and serve your country. Do not be critical of others’ countries: “Have a sense of pride in your motherland. Just as your mother has     given birth to you, so too the land has given birth to you. Whatever country you belong to, you should have a sense of patriotism. You       should not indulge in criticizing other countries or people belonging to other nations. Having trust and faith in your own country, you         won’t try to put down any other country. Never bring grief or sorrow to your country. To have pride in one’s own motherland is                   important.”


2) Honor and respect all religions as pathways to God: “Never have hatred toward any religion. Honor and respect all religions equally.           Even as you are a citizen of your motherland but respect all countries, also respect all religions equally.”


3) Love all humanity as part of your family: “Develop a sense of the brotherhood of man. Look upon each person as your own brother.           There is only one caste, the caste of humanity. All of us belong to the human race, so everyone is equal. Therefore, love each one               equally.”


4) Keep home and surroundings clean: “Keep your own house and its surroundings pure and clean. This hygiene will keep you healthy           and benefit your worldly life.”


5) Help the needy with food, clothing, and shelter. Help them become self-reliant when possible: “Be discriminating when dispensing             charity. In the name of charity or philanthropy, we tend to do injustice to this country. Charity does not mean that the land should be         full of beggars. We can provide some support and means for the beggars, but provide food, clothing, and other conveniences in such a    way that you are not encouraging laziness and begging.”


6) Be examples of honesty. Do not participate in any corruption such as bribery: “Never give or take a bribe. Giving bribes, or accepting         bribes, is contrary to the very name of the Sri Sathya Sai organizations. Bear this in mind continuously.”


7) Curb jealousy, hatred and envy: “We must seek ways to solve difficulties such as hatred, envy, and jealousy. To curb this sense of envy       and jealousy, we must develop a broader outlook. Do not differentiate on the basis of race, caste, creed, or country. Follow your                 cultural and religious customs in your own home, but do not attempt to impose them on society. Rather than this, love each person as     your own brother, not seeing him as belonging to another creed, religion, or country.”


8) Develop self-reliance: “Members of the Sri Sathya Sai Organizations should do things by themselves; they should not depend on                 others. You may be very wealthy and have servants and assistants to help in a few tasks, but your own work you must do yourself. If        you wish to be of service to society, serve yourself first. One who will not serve society has no right to belong to a Sri Sathya Sai                    organization.”


9) Observe your country’s laws and be exemplary citizens: “Never ever go against the law of the land. Follow the letter of the law. The             members of the Sri Sathya Sai organizations should follow the law in spirit also, and be models for the government.”


10) Adore God, abhor sin: “You must love God and avoid sin. Love God incessantly. As long as you keep committing sins, God will never           be yours.”


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