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Sri Sathya Sai Baba: His Teachings

"My love for you is for your own sake and not for the sake of the world. My love is the bond that links you and me. It is like a Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samithi Kukatpally that connects the OmniSelf and the individual Self." - Sri Sathya Sai Baba

The teachings of Sathya Sai Baba are universal. He has declared, "The entire Mankind is my Family. There is no one in the world who does not belong to Me. I shall not give you up even if you keep afar. I will not forsake even those who deny Me. Those who stay, as well as those who stay away will be drawn near and saved".

Sathya Sai Baba can only be described as the personification of pure, selfless love, the embodiment of peace and bliss, the essence of all goodness. In his teachings he befriends all faiths and emphasizes the unity of all religions in the oneness of Divinity. In His personal manner, Sathya Sai Baba displays a majestic grace, and at the same time, an exquisite joyfulness.

Sai Baba says "Love is God, God is love." Love more and more people, transform love into Service, into Worship; that is the highest spiritual practice. Swami's basic teachings can be summarized in eight words, as follows:

"Love All, Serve All, Help Ever, Hurt Never."

Sai Baba has emphasized the supreme importance of pure love. He says, "I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. I have come to tell you of this universal unitary faith, this path of Love. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the One and Only God, that all names in all languages, and all forms man can conceive, denote the one and only God. Cultivate the attitude of oneness between people of all creeds, all countries, and all continents. This is the message of Love I bring."

He manifests every noble human quality that mankind admires and He incorporates every divine quality of an Avatar. Wherever Baba is, whether He is in Brindavan (near Bangalore) or at Prasanthi Nilayam He finds Himself surrounded by thousands of aspirants eager to secure a glimpse of Him and hear a few words of His Divine Message. The Sathya Sai Message is simple: Love all, Serve all.

Sathya Sai Baba says that He has come for all mankind and not for any particular community, religion, country, or interest. His teachings are universal and not sectarian, attracting devotees and seekers of all faiths and nationalities. He proclaims:

"Let the different faiths exist and let the glory of God be sung in all languages and tunes. That should be the ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognize them as valid as long as they do not extinguish the flames of unity. If each person lives the ideals propounded by the founders of their religion, unaffected by greed or hate, then the world will be a happy and peaceful habitation for mankind."

Sathya Sai Baba teaches that man's basic nature is divine and that the purpose of life is the realization of this divinity. This will occur, He says, by leading a moral life, by rendering selfless service to those in need, by engaging in devotional practices, and by developing love, respect, and compassion for all life. As one strives to transform the worldly life of self-centered desires and attachments into a higher spiritual life of selflessness and devotion, the foundation is built for receiving God's Grace. It is this Grace that will reveal our true nature to each of us.

He reminds us that mankind is unique among all of God's Creation; human beings are capable of recognizing that they emanate from God. We have the capacity to commune with God by turning inward. Ultimately, it is our destiny to merge with God. Sathya Sai Baba teaches that all religions are expressions of these same universal principles.

"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 recommend 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 Non-violence) are our curriculum, and that the realization of the unity of Godliness in the diversity of Creation is our ultimate lesson.

"Love in thought is Truth;
Love in action is Right Conduct;
Love in understanding is Peace;
Love in feeling is Non-violence."
There are thousands of service units in the Sathya Sai Organizations in different countries. These are situated in every Continent, and are spread over almost all the nations, from New Zealand to Iceland, from Trinidad to Thailand.

His followers, everywhere, are attempting to put Baba's message into practice in their daily lives, in their social relations and spiritual exercises. They profess loyalty to different religions and find that their loyalty is reinforced by faith in Baba's message of love and service.

Sai Baba has established a model education system based on universal human values. He says spiritual education is our birthright. His schools do not charge fees, and there are no dues to belong to any Sai Center worldwide, nor any demand to donate money. The Sathya Sai Organization has thousands of Centers worldwide whose members follow a code of conduct and attempt to put Sai Baba's teachings into practice, mainly through selfless service to their local communities

Sathya Sai Baba urges all His devotees to comply with the "Nine-Point Code of Conduct" 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 "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 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."
For elaborate reading, please see the International Sai Organization Website