For achieving anything in life two things are essential: firm faith and pure love. To experience pure, Divine love, you must be prepared to give up selfishness and self-interest. You must develop purity and steadfastness. With firm faith in the Divine, you must foster the love of God regardless of all obstacles and ordeals. You should never think that pleasure and pain are caused by some external forces; it is not so. They are the result of your own thoughts. There is no meaning in blaming others. If you develop love of God, that love will banish all sorrow and evil tendencies like attachment, anger and envy. One should pursue both spiritual education and secular studies. You have to realise that Nature is also a manifestation of God. Hence, Nature should not be ignored. Nature is the effect and God is the cause. Thus, you should recognize the omnipresence of the Divine in the entire cosmos.

Love is Divine. Love all, impart your love even to those who lack love. Love is like a mariner’s compass. Wherever you may keep it, it points the way to God. In every action in daily life manifest your love. Divinity will emerge from that love. This is the easiest path to God-realisation. But why aren’t people taking to it? This is because they are obsessed with misconception relating to the means of experiencing God. They regard God as some remote entity attainable only by arduous spiritual practices. God is everywhere. There is no need to search for God. All that you see is a manifestation of the Divine. All the human beings you see are forms of the Divine. Correct your defective vision and you will experience God in all things. Speak lovingly, act lovingly, think with love and do every action with a love-filled heart.

For spiritual progress kshama (forbearance) is the real basis or foundation. Great people and countries have lost their glory, prestige, and reputation because of the disappearance of Kshama. Without patience and the capacity for forbearance, one becomes spiritually weak. Such weakness leads to bad feelings, undesirable thoughts, and unbecoming actions. This virtue is best cultivated under adverse circumstances, and one must therefore gladly welcome troubles instead of regarding them as unwelcome. Thus, times of distress, and an environment of sorrow and misery offer the ideal opportunity for the development of Kshama

Good and bad, wealth and poverty, praise and blame go together in this world. You cannot derive happiness out of happiness (Na sukhat labhate sukham). Happiness comes only out of sorrow. A wealthy man today may become a pauper tomorrow. Similarly, a pauper may become a rich man some day or other. Today you are being praised, but tomorrow you may be criticised. To consider praise and blame, happiness and sorrow, prosperity and adversity with equal mindedness is the hallmark of a true human being. The Gita declares, “Remain equal-minded in happiness and sorrow, gain and loss, victory and defeat (Sukha Dukhe same kritva labhalabhau jayajayau). You can truly enjoy your life as a human being only when you consider both sorrow and happiness, profit and loss with equanimity. There is no value for happiness without sorrow. Therefore, welcome sorrow if you want to experience real happiness.

You have had the valuable opportunity to listen to Divine discourses and directions, they have been printed upon your hearts; many of your conversations is centred on Me or on My divine play (leelas) and glory (mahima). My advice to you is: Apply this adoration in your life. Let your companions see how disciplined you are, how sincerely you obey your parents, and how deeply you revere your teachers. Be a light, radiating virtue and self-control wherever you live, just as commendably as you did when in My divine presence. Do not slide back into indiscipline, bad manners, irresponsibility and evil habits.

It is not easy for the human mind, immersed in worldly concerns to turn to God. It is only when the mind is transformed and brought under the control of the Soul (Atma) that the body experiences Divine Bliss (Ananda). The means by which the mind is transformed is devotion (Bhakti - intense love for God). Progressively, turn your mind towards God until it merges in God. Meditation, repetition of the names of the Lord, group singing of devotional songs (bhajans), reading of scriptures and other such activities are designed only to purify the mind so that it can concentrate on God. As a field has to be properly ploughed and prepared for sowing so as to reap a good harvest, the field of our heart has to be rendered pure and sacred through good and holy actions and spiritual discipline (sadhana) if it is to yield the fruit of Divine Wisdom.

With prayer to God, you can achieve anything in life. I want you to pray. I am always with you, in you, above you, and around you. Make efforts to instil such faith and devotion in fellow human beings. That will make Me very happy. Happiness lies in union with God. Hence contemplate on God incessantly. Never give scope for anxiety or worry.

Foster the tiny seed of Love that clings to ‘me’ and ‘mine,’ let it sprout into Love for the group around you, and grow into Love for all mankind, and spread out its branches over animals, birds and those that creep and crawl, and let the Love enfold all things and beings in all the worlds. Proceed from less Love to more Love, narrow Love to expanded Love.

Above all, it is best for the spiritual aspirant to be joyful, smiling, and enthusiastic under all circumstances. Even more than devotion and spiritual wisdom, this pure attitude is desirable. Those who have acquired it deserve to reach the goal first. This quality of joy at all times is the fruit of the good done in past births. A person who is ever worried, depressed, and doubting can never attain bliss, whatever be the spiritual practice one undertakes. The first task of a spiritual aspirant is the cultivation of enthusiasm. Through that enthusiasm, any variety of spiritual bliss (ananda) can be derived.

The world is impermanent. Birth is a misery. Old age is a misery. Be careful!” says a Sanskrit poem. As long as you are alive, everyone would seem to love the body. This is for purely selfish reasons. God alone is utterly selfless. Love God and lead your normal lives; there is nothing wrong in this. Whatever you do, treat it as an offering to God. See God in everyone. Don’t have ill will towards anyone. Do not have excessive attachment for anyone. Direct all attachment towards God. Love all. Do not rely on anyone except God. Realise the impermanence of the body and place your trust solely in God. Seek refuge in Him. What is most needed today in this Kali age is faith. As often as possible, when you get the chance, meditate on God. Earn the esteem of society through sincere service. That will ensure a good future for you.

Good company can elevate one to the level of Divinity, whereas bad company can degenerate one to the level of an animal. You should make efforts to rise above the human level. No effort is needed for your downward fall. To become bad is very easy. Young people today entertain bad thoughts and feelings, and perform bad actions, thereby wasting their precious young age. Unfortunately, people today associate with bad company, because of which their good feelings and actions are turned into bad feelings and actions — ultimately making their lives very miserable. Though it may appear to be very difficult to attain the higher level, you should still make efforts to reach higher levels. Your thoughts are the root cause of everything. Therefore, you should have only noble, sacred, pure, and meaningful thoughts.

Though it is hard to restrain the mind, it can be diverted. When the mind steeped in the secular world is diverted toward Divinity, it gains in moral strength. The mind steeped in the worldly matters makes you a prisoner of the world, whereas a mind steeped in God secures liberation for you. Your heart is the lock and your mind is the key. When you turn the key to the left, it locks. But if you turn the key to the right, it unlocks. It is the turning of the key that makes the difference. Hence the mind is the cause for your liberation as well as bondage. What then is liberation (Moksha)? It is not an air-conditioned mansion, but a state devoid of delusion(Moha). Majesty and morality lie in diverting the mind from the world to God. It is this simple and powerful concept that really contributes to your progress and prosperity.

God is present in everyone. He resides in every heart. So do not confine God to a temple, a mosque or a church. Where a human is, there God is. God takes the form of a human (Daivam manusha rupena). As you forget and do not realise this important fact, you indulge in criticism of others. Whom are you criticising? Whom do you adore? Enquire for yourself. God is present in all. If you criticise others, you criticise God. Whoever you salute, it reaches God (Sarva jeeva namaskaram Keshavam prati gacchati) and whoever you insult or ridicule, it also reaches God! (Sarva jeeva thiraskaram Keshavam prati gacchati). Right from this moment, embark on a new life giving up bad thoughts and evil qualities. Purify your heart. Let your thoughts, words and deeds be sacred. Only then will your life be blissful.

Consider the meaning of the name ‘Sai Baba’. ‘Sa’ means Divine; ‘ai’ or ‘ayi’ means mother, and ‘Baba’ means father. Your physical parents exhibit love with a dose of selfishness; but Sai, your Divine Mother and Father, showers affection or reprimands only to lead you towards victory in the struggle for self-realisation. Sai descended as Avatar to achieve the supreme task of uniting the entire mankind as one family through the bond of brotherhood, of affirming and illumining the Divine (Atmic) reality in every being. Divinity is the basis for the entire cosmos, and My mission is to instruct all to recognise the common divine heritage that binds one person to another, so that you can rid yourself of the animal, and rise to the Divine! I desire that you contemplate on this, derive joy and be inspired to observe the spiritual disciplines I laid down to progress toward the goal of realising Sai, who shines in your hearts.

The Lord is attained only through supreme devotion (para-bhakthi). Supreme devotion can be acquired only through spiritual wisdom (jnana). Spiritual wisdom can be cultivated only through faith (sraddha), and faith comes only through love. So how is love to be cultivated? Through two methods: (1) Always consider the faults of others, however big, to be insignificant and negligible. Always consider your own faults, however insignificant and negligible, to be big, and feel sad and repentant. By these means, you avoid developing bigger faults and defects, and acquire the qualities of brotherliness and forbearance. (2) Whatever you do, with yourself or with others, do it remembering that God is omnipresent. He sees, hears and knows everything. Discriminate between the true and the false and speak only the truth. Discriminate between right and wrong and do only the right. Endeavour every moment to be aware of the omnipotence of God.

The body is the temple of the individual (jiva), so whatever happens in that temple is the concern of that individual. So too the world is the body of the Lord, and all that happens in it, good or bad, is His concern. From the observed fact of the relationship between the individual and the body, know the truth of the unobservable relationship of the Lord and creation. The relationship of the individual (jiva) and the Lord, the kinship between the two, can be grasped by everyone who acquires three chief instruments: (1) a mind unsullied by attachment and hatred, (2) a speech unsullied by falsehood, and (3) a body unsullied by violence. Joy and peace do not reside in external objects; they are within you. But in your foolishness, you search for them outside yourself, in a world from which, today or tomorrow, you are bound to depart. Therefore, wake up now! Try to know the essence of the eternal truth. Try to experience the love that is God Himself. 

The path of surrender is like that of a kitten (marjala kishora nyaya), that simply mews in one place, placing all its burdens on the mother cat. Similarly, the devotee places complete trust on God. The mother cat holds the kitten in its mouth and transports it safely through even very narrow passages. When the devotee places all burdens on the Lord, without fear or worry, and surrenders fully to His will, He will certainly provide everything. Lakshmana is the witness of this path. To serve Rama, Lakshmana renounced all obstacles in his path - wealth, wife, mother, home and even sleep and food for fourteen full years. He felt that Rama was his all, his happiness and joy, and would grant him everything that he needed. His life’s purpose was only to follow Him, serve Him, and surrender his will to Him. This is the characteristic of complete self-surrender. This discipline of surrender (prapatti) is much superior to that of devotion (bhakti).

The spiritual aspirant should always seek the truthful and joyful, and must avoid all thoughts of the untrue, sad and depressing. Depression, doubt, conceit — these are as Rahu and Kethu to the spiritual aspirant. They will harm one’s spiritual practice. When one’s devotion is well established, they can be easily discarded if they appear. Above all, it is best for the spiritual aspirant to be joyful, smiling, and enthusiastic under all circumstances. Even more than devotion and spiritual wisdom, this pure attitude is desirable. Those who have acquired it deserve to reach the goal first. This quality of joy at all times is the fruit of the good done in past births. A person who is ever worried, depressed, and doubting can never attain bliss, whatever be the spiritual practice one undertakes. The first task of a spiritual aspirant is the cultivation of enthusiasm. Through that enthusiasm, any variety of spiritual bliss (ananda) can be derived.

Love can conquer anything. Selfless, pure, unalloyed love leads the human being to God. Selfish and constricted love binds one to the world. Unable to comprehend the pure and sacred love, human beings today are prey to endless worries because of attachment to worldly objects. One’s primary duty is to understand the truth about the Love Principle. Once a person understands the nature of love, he or she will not go astray. The various contexts in which the word love is used today have no relation to the true meaning of love. The affection, between a mother and child or between a husband and wife is incidental to a certain temporary relationship and is not real love at all. True love has neither a beginning nor an end. It exists in all the three categories of time—past, present and future. That alone is true love which can fill the human being with enduring bliss.

Today the world is losing its ecological balance as man, out of utter selfishness, is robbing the mother Earth of her resources like coal, petroleum, iron, etc. As a result, we find earthquakes, floods and such other devastating natural calamities. Human life will find fulfilment only when ecological balance is maintained. Balance in human life and balance in Nature, both are equally important.

Once Vivekananda went to Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and asked him, “Have you seen God?” “Yes”, said Sri Ramakrishna. “In what form?”, asked Vivekananda. Ramakrishna replied, “I am seeing Him just as I am seeing you”. “Why then, am I unable to see Him?” Ramakrishna explained that if he yearned for God with the same intensity with which he was yearning for many other things, he too would experience God. Ramakrishna said that people shed tears for relations, wealth and many other aspects, but how many shed tears for God? Ramakrishna advised Vivekananda to yearn for God with all his heart and soul. God is then bound to manifest Himself to him. If you are keen to experience the Divine, you must devote yourself to the Divine. People undertake various troubles to achieve wealth, relations, position, and power. If they devote a small fraction of that time to thoughts of God, they will definitely experience freedom from the fear of death.

Our Upanishads teach us the paths of karma, upasana, and jnana yogas. The essence of karma yoga (path of action) is to perform all actions with dedication as an offering to the Lord, for His pleasure. Upasana yoga (path of worship) is loving God wholeheartedly with harmony and purity in thought, word, and deed (trikarana suddhi). It is not true upasana if you love God merely to achieve your worldly desires. Devotion should be love for love’s sake. The followers of jnana yoga (path of wisdom) should consider the whole universe as manifestation of God. Firm faith that Divinity resides in all beings in the form of Atma is called Jnana. If you wonder how Ekatwa (Oneness) exists with so many different forms, names, different kinds of behaviour, different doctrines, etc., consider the fathomless ocean with infinite waves. Each wave is unique and different from the other in its size and shape but are all different manifestations of one and the same water and are also not different from the ocean.

What should be the characteristics of persons in the Sai Organisation? Their hearts should be cool like the moon. Their minds should be pure like butter. Their speech should be sweet like honey. It is only when you have these qualities, will you be a worthy member of the Organisation. When these three are present, there will be Divinity.

Sathatham Yoginah—always be a yogi! Be calm, unruffled, serene; unaffected by good fortune or bad, for you are a puppet making motions and contortions according to the pulls He gives to the strings! Be pleasant in speech and manner; do not inflict injury or insult on others nor be affected by any adverse act or remark made by others. Be happy that everyone and everything is ordained by God. It is His play, His sport!

Cultivate good thoughts, speak good words and do good deeds with the broad view that everyone in the world should be happy. Give up your evil thoughts and evil qualities as they are the cause for all sufferings in the world. Whatever work you do, keeping God as your guide and saviour, will surely yield success. God is your only true friend. He is always with you, in you and beside you. You must wish for everyone to be happy. Everyone must fill their hearts with pure love. Then the country and the world will prosper, and everyone will be happy!

Since I moved freely among people, talking and singing with them, even intellectuals were unable to grasp My truth, My power, My glory, or My real task as Avatar. I can solve any problem however knotty. I am beyond the reach of the most intensive enquiry and the most meticulous measurement. Only those who have recognised My love and experienced it can assert that they have glimpsed My reality. Do not attempt to know Me through the external eyes. When you go to a temple and stand before the image of God, you pray with closed eyes, don’t you? Why? Because you feel that the inner eye of wisdom alone can reveal Him to you. Therefore, do not crave from Me trivial material objects; but, crave for Me from within, and you will be rewarded. The path of Love is the royal road that leads mankind to Me. My grace is ever available to devotees who have steady love and faith.

The japamala (rosary) is very useful for beginners in sadhana, but, as you progress, japa must become the very breath of your life and so the rotation of beads becomes a superfluous and cumbersome exercise in which you have no more interest. ‘Sarvada sarva kaaleshu sarvathra Hari chinthanam’ – Always, at all times, in all places, Hari (the Lord) is meditated upon. That is the stage to which the japamala should lead you. You should not be bound to it forever, it is only a contrivance to help concentration and systematic contemplation.

Nature is the best preacher. Life is the best teacher. Fill yourself with awe and reverence at the handiwork of God, the manifestation of His power and glory that is called the world. This is enough instruction and enough inspiration for you.

There is a tendency to confuse renunciation with totally giving up everything. Renunciation actually means attaining a state of perfect equanimity. People may criticise you or they may praise you; take them both with a sense of equanimity. One may try to harm you while another may try to do you a good turn; treat both situations with equanimity. In one business venture, a loss might be incurred, while a profit might be made in another; treat them both alike. Equanimity is the hallmark of yoga.

If you sit in the Dhyana (meditation) as a first step, this monkey mind will not be in our control, so you should entrust the duty of a watchman to this monkey mind. This monkey mind watches who is going in and who is going out- watching the breath, “So” as we inhale, and “Ham” as we exhale - this process goes on and the monkey is kept busy watching the breath going in and coming out. By doing this exercise for about 5 minutes the monkey mind will come under control. After keeping the mind focused on the breath for 5 minutes in this manner, have a picture that is dear to your heart, or a flame in front of you. Look at the flame steadily with your eyes wide open. The flame that you have been holding in your vision with your eyes open imagine now—the same flame kindled within you as you close the eyes. There too, the mind should be kept busy with intense activity. We should command the mind to take the flame and install it in the recesses of our heart.

In the lotus of our heart, we must imagine that the flame is ablaze with a bright glow. Then, this flame must travel throughout the body, through the limbs, the stomach, the eyes, the mouth, the ears, and through every part of our body. After it has been moved through the entire body, then the flame must be brought out of the body. You must imagine that the same flame is shining brightly in all members of your family. Then you must see that the same flame is shining brightly in your neighbours, in the people of your locality and in your friends. At a later stage, you should see that this same flame is shining brightly, even in your enemies. Then, Isa Vasyam Idam Sarvam (Everything is permeated by God).