• Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • Increase font size

Guiding Principles

A Sathya Sai Center is a spiritual center where universality of faith and practice of human values are emphasized. Sathya Sai Baba's teachings are universal. He came not to start a new religion but to tell us of "this universal unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love. - Sathya Sai Baba, 1968-7-4

Accordingly, we must conduct Center activities, especially our devotion programs, in a way that makes spiritual seekers from all faiths and all walks of life feel welcome.

The Center premises should be neutral to all religions and religious traditions. Quotations from Sathya Sai Baba may be placed on the walls, together with universal quotations from the majorWorld Religions. Sai Baba has said that no picture is necessary, but if you must have one, have one of Him.

No Center program should include rituals or practices that relate to one faith or religion in particular. The aim should be to create harmony between Sathya Sai Baba's teachings and local traditions.

Over-focus on the use of Sanskrit does not consider the fact that Sathya Sai Baba's message is universal and is to be shared with all, regardless of one's religious orientation. Accordingly, it is strongly recommended that the Center's devotional program be conducted in a manner that persons from all the different faith backgrounds can easily understand and relate to. The focus must be on unity, with appropriate consideration given to cultural relevance.

As Sai Baba's devotees, we study and respect all religions. Study circles on other faiths are encouraged to emphasize the unity of all faiths.

The one rule given to us by Sathya Sai Baba is that men and women should sit separately at all Center activities. He said, ... at devotional singing and other meetings, men devotees should sit apart from women devotees. The rule is applicable to all members —whether Indians or non-Indians, in India or elsewhere. It is a part of the spiritual discipline that is necessary for devotees.....If even Arjuna found it difficult to control his senses, how much more necessary is it for us to have some regulations to control our own minds?  Sathya Sai Baba, 1980-11-22

Center devotion meetings, including devotional singing and study circles, are open to all members, newcomers, and visitors.

Ten Guiding Principles

Sri 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 "Ten Guiding Principles". Members are expected to adhere to:

  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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."  Sathya Sai Baba
  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" Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba
  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." Sathya Sai Baba