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Practical Spirituality

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba while placing the Sai movement throughout the world on a firm footing with established Universal principles such as Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence, has also proclaimed as guiding lights for every devotee's spiritual and personal development, the Nine Point Code of Conduct and the Ten Principles.

I. Nine Point Code of Conduct

1. Daily meditation and prayer
2. Group devotional singing or prayer with family members at least 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 meetings in Sai Centres.
6. Regular study of Sathya Sai Baba literature.
7. Speaking softly and lovingly with everyone.
8. Not speaking ill of others, especially in their absence.
9. Placing a ceiling on desires - consciously and continuously striving to eliminate the tendency to waste time, money, food, and energy - and utilizing the savings in service of mankind.

II. Ten Principles

1. Treat as sacred the land in which you were born. Be patriotic, but do not criticize other nations or put others down, not even in your thoughts.
2. Respect all religions equally.
3. Recognise the brotherhood of man, treat all as brothers and sisters; love all.
4. Keep your house and surroundings clean, for, this will promote hygiene and health.
5. Practice charity but do not encourage beggars by giving them money. Provide food, clothing, shelter and help them in other ways (do not encourage laziness).
6. Never give or take a bribe, never give in to corruption.
7. Curb envy and jealousy, expand your vision and outlook, treat all equally regardless of caste or creed.
8. Be self-reliant. You may be wealthy and having servants to do your bidding, but service to society must be done by yourself.
9. Cultivate love for God and fear for sin.
10. Never go against the law of the land. Follow it diligently both in word and spirit. Be an exemplary citizen.

These ten directives were given by Baba in a discourse that He gave on the 21st of November, 1985 in Prasanthi Nilayam.

Ref: “Sathya Sai Speaks”, Vol. XVIII, Chapter – 23.

III. Ceiling on Desires

"Who is the poorest man?
“He who has many desires is the poorest man in the world.”

“Who is the richest man?
He who has much satisfaction is the richest man in the world".

This is what Bhagawan Baba says, and exhorts all devotees to have a ceiling on their desires to progress on the spiritual path.

“What is the meaning of Ceiling on Desires?

Man is deluded by his unlimited desires. He is living in a dream world. He is forgetting the Supreme Consciousness (Para-tattwa). That is why it is important to keep our desires under control, to place a ceiling on them. We are spending too much money. Instead of inordinately spending for our own pleasure, we should be spending for the relief of the poor and needy. This is the real meaning of ‘Ceiling on Desires’. However, do not make the mistake of thinking that giving money is all that is needed while allowing your own desires to continue to multiply. Curtail your desires, as materialistic desires lead to a restless and disastrous life. Desires are a prison. Man can be freed only by limiting his wants. You should have desire only for life's bare necessities,” Baba says.

How can you reduce desires?

Baba beautifully explains in the following lines the importance and the measures that can be taken by an individual towards implementing ‘Ceiling on Desires’.

Food is God - Do not waste food

“Firstly, consider the food we consume. Eat only what you need to eat. Do not be gluttonous. Do not take more than you can eat and waste the rest, because wasting food is a great sin. The surplus food can feed another mouth. Eat only what you need, and be sure that what you eat is Sathwic. Do not waste food, because food is God, life is God, and man is born from food.”

“Food is the main source of man's life, body, mind and character. The gross part of the food, which is the major portion of the food consumed by the body, is thrown out as waste matter. A minute amount of the food, which is the subtle part, is assimilated by the body and flows as blood. And a minuscule amount, which is the subtlest part of the food, makes up the mind. Therefore, the mind is the reflection of the food consumed. The reason for the present beastly and demonic tendencies in our minds is the food we consume. Only by controlling the quality of our food and water we ingest can we attain Divinity.”

Misuse of money is Evil

“Secondly, consider the ways in which money is spent. Indians consider money or wealth as Goddess Lakshmi. Do not misuse money; misuse of money is evil. By doing so, you will only become a slave to bad qualities, bad ideas and bad habits. Use your money wisely for good deeds.”

“A man should own only as much wealth as is essential. It is like the size of his shoes. If the shoes are too loose, he cannot walk; if they are too tight, he cannot wear them. Money is like manure. Piled up in one place, it fouls the air. Spread it wide, scatter it over fields, it rewards you with a bumper harvest. So too, when money is spent for promoting good works, it yields contentment and happiness in plenty. Like blood, money too should circulate to ensure health”, said Baba.

Time wasted is Life wasted

“Thirdly, examine the usage of time. One should not waste time. Time should be spent in a useful manner. Time should be sanctified because everything in this creation is dependent on time. Even our scriptures extol God as ‘Kaalaya namaha. Kaalaatheethaya namaha (Salutations to the One who is the embodiment of Time and who transcends Time).’”

“Time is an essential part of our life. Do not defile time by gossiping and unnecessary talk. The truth behind the saying "Don't waste time" is that no time should be wasted in evil thoughts and acts. Instead, make use of time in an efficient way.”

Do no Evil, do what is Good

“Fourthly, conservation of energy is very important. Our physical, mental and spiritual energies should never be wasted. You might ask me: “How are we wasting our energies?"

Seeing bad things, hearing bad things, speaking evil, thinking evil thoughts, and doing evil deeds all waste your energy. Conserve your energy in all these five areas, and make your life more meaningful.”

Sayings

  1. Where there is Confidence, there is Love.
    Where there is Love, there is Peace.
    Where there is Peace, there is Truth.
    Where there is Truth, there is Bliss.
    Where there is Bliss, there is God.

  2. 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, He is Omnipresent.

  3. If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character.
    If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home.
    When there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
    When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

  4. You are not one, but three.
    The one you think you are - the body.
    The one others think you are - the mind.
    The one you really are - the soul.

  5. Love in speech is Sathya (truth)
    Love in action is Dharma (righteousness)
    Love in feeling is Shanti (peace)
    Love in understanding is Ahimsa (non-violence).

  6. Stars are many, the sky is one.
    Jewels are many, the gold is one.
    Nations are many, the earth is one.
    Beings are many, the breath is one.

  7. Start the day with Love,
    Fill the day with Love,
    Spend the day with Love,
    End the day with Love.
    This is the way to God.

  8. The end of education is Character.
    The end of knowledge is Love.
    The end of culture is perfection.
    The end of wisdom is freedom.

  9. Politics without principles,
    Education without character,
    Science without humanity and
    Commerce without morality
    are not only useless, but positively dangerous.

  10. Follow the Master (conscience)
    Face the Devil (the evil propensities)
    Fight to the End (Fight the evil propensities)
    Finish the Game (Attain Realisation)

  11. Life is a challenge, meet it!
    Life is a dream, realize it!
    Life is a game, play it!
    Life is Love, enjoy it!

  12. Bear all and do nothing;
    Hear all and say nothing;
    Give all and take nothing;
    Serve all and be nothing.

  13. If there is righteousness in the heart,
    There will be beauty in the character.
    If there is beauty in the character,
    There will be harmony in the home.
    When there is harmony in the home,
    There will be order in the nation.
    When there is order in the nation,
    There will be peace in the world.

  14. Be Good, See Good, Do Good
    This is the way to God.

  15. Love is God. God is Love. Live in Love.

For a complete list of Bhagawan Baba's discourses and writings, visit:

  1. Sri Sathya Sai Speaks

  2. The Vahinis
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