Sri Sathya Sai Baba (Swami) continues to inspire millions around the world through His universal and eternal message. Swami taught that individual transformation is the key to bringing peace and harmony to society. In His discourse at the World Conference on 21 November 1985, Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave ten principles that should guide our lives. This discourse can be found here: html pdf
These principles are important teachings of Swami which are universal and non-denominational transcending the barriers of religion, race, gender, country, ethnicity, and faith.
These ten principles are listed below. With each principle, we give a pertinent quote from Sri 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 all religions for each is a pathway to God.
We should look upon all religions with equal respect (Samadrishti). No religion should be crtiticised or reviled. One should imbibe the sweet essence in all religions. The essence of all religions is the principle of Oneness, the principle of Love. When you cultivate this principle of love, there is no room for hatred.
3. Love all people without distinction; know that humanity is a single community.
All are one; be alike to everyone. Love all and serve all, be they a beggar or a millionaire… We must treat all human beings alike. By doing so, all people will be happy. Good and bad, pleasure and pain - everything must be faced with a sense of equanimity. That is the foremost duty of a human being.
4. Keep home and surroundings clean.
It is necessary that every house in every village should be kept clean. The houses are to be kept neat and clean both inside and outside.
5. Help people to become self-reliant. Provide food and shelter, love and care, for the sick and the aged.
The objectives of true education are two and only two. The first and the most basic of the two is education for the provision of food, clothing and shelter, for the promotion of health and harmony in society, for avoiding pollution and promoting honesty… Everyone must endeavour to be self-reliant and self-sufficient, so far as food and clothing are concerned.
6. Be examples of honesty. Do not participate in any corruption such as bribery.
Some businessmen try to get their work done by offering bribes to those in power. Offering or accepting a bribe is also a great sin. Asking for bribe is the same as begging for alms. We should not give room to such mean practices… Nobody should indulge in the bad practice of giving or receiving bribe,
7. Do not develop jealousy, hatred, or envy on any account.
Young people should try to see that qualities like jealousy, hatred, lack of forbearance do not enter their minds. People who have such bad ideas will be destroyed in course of time in spite of the wealth and knowledge that they might possess. If you entertain these bad qualities in your mind, it is taking to a bad path willingly and you will surely fall down.
8. Develop self-reliance; become your own servant before proceeding to serve others.
You must not be dependent on another for services that you can well do yourself. What is the use of tiring out a servant in subserving your wishes and yourself sitting lazily in meditation? Engage in activity, devote yourself in worshipful acts, do everything for the glory of God---that is far more fruitful than the 'meditation' which you are relying on.
9. Adore God, abhor sin.
Love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society are interdependent. One will have fear of sin when one develops love for God. One will develop morality when one has fear of sin. Conversely, a person devoid of morality will have no fear of sin, and one who has no fear of sin can have no love for God.
10. Observe your country's laws and be an exemplary citizen.
Observe the laws, rules and regulations laid down by the State and be ideal citizens. Follow these directives with enthusiasm and with love and be examples for others, wherever you are.