Study Circle – Swami’s Teachings on Ten Guiding Principles
In His discourse at the World Conference on 21 November 1985, Sathya Sai Baba gave ten principles that should guide our lives. Below is this “ten-fold path to Divinity”, meant for everyone. With each principle, there is a pertinent quote from Sathya Sai Baba.
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. Do 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 your 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; know that humanity is a single community.
Develop a sense of the brotherhood of humanity. Look upon each person as your own brother or sister. 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. It will help ensure health and happiness for you and society.
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 our country. Charity does not mean that the land should be full of beggars. We can provide some support and means for beggars, but provide food, clothing, and other conveniences in such a way that does not encourage 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.
Seek ways to solve difficulties such as hatred, envy, and jealousy. To curb this sense of envy and jealousy, 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 or sister, not seeing them as belonging to another creed, religion, or country.
8. Develop self-reliance; become your own servant before proceeding to serve others.
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. Adore God, abhor sin.
Love God and avoid sin. Love God incessantly. As long as you keep committing sins, God will never be yours.
10. Observe your country’s laws and be an exemplary citizen.
Never 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.