He does not say that his teachings are new. His Teachings are just one more manifestation, for the contemporary conditions on the Earth, of the Divine Teachings which have been many times imparted to people by God through His Messengers. These Teachings are called in Sanskrit Sanathana Dharma — the Eternal Law. “Sanathana Dharma is the mother of all religions, all ethical codes, and all laws of the universe,” says Sathya Sai Baba.
He — Sathya Sai Baba — is the Avatar of our days. He says that though all conceivable powers of the universe are contained in His Palm, He is not going to make everyone happy without distinction, because everyone has his or her own personal destiny (karma) created in the past by his or her own good or bad thoughts and deeds. By our present deeds, we also create our future destinies.
In order to escape from the abyss of earthly suffering, it is necessary to live in love for God and all living beings, including creative love-service to other people. The service to people, which consists in helping them in their positive evolution, is service to God.
The main enemies of man, leading to accumulation of negative karma, are the wrongly directed mind and uncontrollable emotional sphere with dominating egotistic or coarse emotions.
Man can overcome these obstacles by strengthening faith, by directing the mind towards Divinity, and by using spiritual practices, which, first of all, normalize the emotional sphere and help to learn how to control the mind and consciousness.
But the mind, as such, is not an enemy of man at all. On the contrary, it is an embryo of wisdom (jnana) and should be developed in every possible way as an analyzing and creative function of the consciousness.
In order to clean one’s path from the karmic impediments, it is important to repent all small or big crimes committed against any living being. “By sincere repentance all sins can be washed. God’s Mercy is responsive. If He has a wish to forgive, nothing can prevent this… In spite of past sins, if there is deep remorse and love for God, then all sins get washed and the nature of man becomes clean. To be afraid that this will not happen is a weakness. God has unlimited compassion, look for His love and you will find forgiveness!”
“The most important spiritual practice is the search of one’s own imperfections and weaknesses, and making attempts on ridding oneself of them, becoming closer to Perfection”
For strengthening the orientation of the mind towards God, Sathya Sai Baba recommends using the technique of frequent repetition of God’s name and participating in divine worships with singing praise to God.
Gaining of faith is the first step. The next step in this direction is love for God. But how can people fall in love with the One Whom they do not know yet? This is why Divine Teachers come to the Earth to help people: the Unmanifest reveals Itself in a form manifested for people. Love for the manifest, personified Aspect of God is more convenient for incarnate people.
But people should also understand that Sathya Sai Baba is not only in His body: He is everywhere, wherever He is needed. Therefore, it is not necessary to go to His ashram in order to talk with Him, it is possible to talk with Him right from your home.
Sathya Sai Baba teaches that all people have only one God. And they must not divide themselves because of the variations of their beliefs. Let everyone worship One Universal God using their traditional variations of worship.
What really divides people is not the variations of faith, but the levels of the spiritual culture. Imagine for example, says Sathya Sai Baba addressing male students of a college, that according to the principle of equality of all people you marry a Muslim girl who is used to eating meat. What will happen?Conflicts and discord?
But Sathya Sai Baba does not want people to be at enmity with each other because of differences in nutrition: let worldly people eat meat. But if you walk the spiritual Path, then the ethical aspect of nutrition has to be observed impeccably!
It is not possible to come to God without possessing perfect love, because He Himself is Love and lets in only those similar to Him. And the main principle of Love is compassion for all living beings — from plants and animals —to Divine Messengers.
Concerning using fish for food, Sathya Sai Baba notes that these animals also die in suffering.
Once Sathya Sai Baba sent a group of His disciples to live in the mountains in monastic seclusion. The purpose of this seclusion was meditative training. And so that the disciples did not distract themselves from this training by seeking food, He gave them a jug in which they could find enough food materialized by Him every day. What was in their “menu”?Rice, vegetables, beans, fruit, juices, and before night (before going to bed) everyone had a glass of milk.
Killing-free nutrition is favorable for purifying the mind and consciousness. If one gets up early and goes to bed early, this also contributes to purification of the mind and consciousness. The second thing that a neophyte in religion should do is to refuse to concentrate the mind on negative traits of other people. Each person is potentially God.
See God in everyone. Love everyone as the manifestation of God for you! I teach you by using the negative and positive traits of other people.
People differ by the qualities of their “egos” or “selves”.
Thus there are deeply fallen, degraded souls who like to do evil. They can do evil even without any reward. This is their nature: they are like a moth that gnaws and tears things no matter what they are, it equally gnaws a rag and an expensive sari.
But even such people are used by God in the general process of the Evolution of consciousness. From their example, other people can learn not to be like them and thus can know both good and evil. And they will be able, by pushing themselves away from evil, to walk the Path of good towards Perfection, towards Mergence with God. One should know both: what kind of person one must not be and what kind of person one must be. It would be difficult to know good if one does not know evil.
Evil people are also used by God for correction of the development of true sadhakas (spiritual warriors). In particular, in this way God reminds sadhakas about the approaching death, and this allows them not to relax excessively on the Path.
Death and God are the most important landmarks for all incarnate people, says Sathya Sai Baba.
Evil people doom themselves to hell and suffering in the next incarnations. However, they too are given a chance for salvation: to reform and repent. Repentance is conscious remorse that leads to liberation from the vices.
Concerning the ethical self-correction, Sathya Sai Baba says the following :
Those who seek bliss in the Atman should not run after the joys of sense objects.
Just as a body that has no breath is useless and begins to rot and stink, similarly life without the Truth is useless and becomes the stinking abode of strife and grief.
Believe that there is nothing greater than the Truth, nothing more precious, nothing sweeter, and nothing more lasting!
The Lord who is Sathya grants His darshan (an opportunity to contemplate Him) to those of truthful speech and loving heart.
Keep undiminished kindness towards all beings and the spirit of self-sacrifice.
You must also possess control over the indriyas, an unruffled character and non-attachment.
Be always watchful against the following sins: 1) speaking falsehood, 2) speaking ill of others, 3) backbiting, 4) talking too much, 5) killing, 6) adultery, 7) theft, 8) drinking intoxicants, 9) eating flesh, 10) sexual cravings, 11) anger, 12) greed, 13) worldly attachments, 14) impatience, 15) hatred, 16) egoism, 17) pride.
First give up the evil tendency to feel envious at the prosperity of others and the desire to harm them. Be happy that others are happy!Sympathize with those who are in adversity and wish for their prosperity. That is the means of cultivating love for God.
Patience is the strength that one needs!
Those anxious to live in joy must always be doing good!
One should never give a reply in swear words. Be at a great distance from them; this is for your good. Break off all relations with people who use such words!
Seek the company of good men, even at the sacrifice of your position and life. But be praying to God to bless you with the discrimination needed to distinguish between the good men and the bad. For this, you must endeavor with the intellect given to you.
Those who conquer states and earn worldly fame are hailed as heroes; but only those who have conquered the indriyas are heroes who must be acclaimed as the conquerors of the universe.
Whatever acts, good or bad, man may do, the fruits of them follow him and will never stop pursuing him.
Greed yields only sorrow; contentment is best. There is no happiness greater than contentment!
The tendency to make harm should be plucked out by the roots! If allowed to exist, it will undermine life itself!
Bear with fortitude both loss and grief! Try to achieve joy and gain in the future!
From this moment on, avoid all bad habits!Do not delay or postpone, because this does not bring any benefit.
Try as far as possible within your means to satisfy the needs of the poor, who really live in poverty. Share with them whatever food you have and make them happy for at least that moment.
Whatever you feel should not be done to you, avoid doing such things to others.
For faults and sins committed in ignorance, repent sincerely, try not to repeat the faults and sins again! Pray to God to bless you with the strength and the courage needed to stick to the right Path!
Do not allow anything to come near you, which will destroy your eagerness and enthusiasm for God. Lack of eagerness will cause the decay of the strength of man.
Yield not to cowardice! Do not give up bliss!
Do not swell with pride when people praise you! Do not feel dejected when people blame you!
If among your friends one hates another and starts a quarrel, do not attempt to inflame them more and make them hate each other more! On the contrary, try with love and sympathy to restore their former friendship.
Instead of searching for others’ faults, search for your own faults! Uproot them, throw them off! It is better to find one fault of yours than to find tens of hundreds of faults in others!
If you cannot or will not do any good deed, then at least do not conceive and carry out any bad deed.