Nine Point Code of Conduct
Prescribed by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Baba has
proclaimed the Nine Point Code of Conduct as guidance for
spiritual and personal development.
"It is the Code of
Conduct which is responsible for the Organisation moving forward,
growing from strength to strength. The office bearers should
exercise maximum care to see that the Code of Conduct is adhered
to and guide others also in the right path... There should be no
scramble for power or position. What matters is the purity,
intensity of devotion and the spirit of self sacrifice."
Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba while placing the Sai
movement throughout the world on a firm footing with established
Universal principles such as those shown below has also proclaimed as
a guiding light for a devotee's spiritual and personal development-the
Nine Point Code of Conduct and the Ten Principles.
At the First Overseas Convention of Chairpersons of Sai Centers,
held in Prashanthi Nilayam in November 1998, delegates were asked to
have their Centers conduct a study circle on the Nine-Point Code of
Nine-Point Code of Conduct
Center members are expected to do their best to practice the
Nine-Point Code of Conduct in order to be examples of Sathya Sai Baba's
Daily meditation and prayer (Jap).
Group devotional singing (bhajan) or
prayer with family members once a week.
Participation in Sai Spiritual Education (Bal
Vikas Programme) by children of the family.
Participation in community service work and other
programs of the organization.
Regular attendance at the Center's devotional
meetings (Bhajan or Nagar Sankirtan).
Regular study of Sathya Sai Baba literature.
The use of soft, loving speech with everyone.
Not speaking ill of others, especially in their
Narayana Seva. Practice placing a ceiling
on desires - consciously and continuously strive to eliminate the
tendency to waste time, money, food and energy - and utilize the
savings for service to mankind.
"The Sai Organisations have been enjoined to carry
out a programme of ceiling on desires. Everyone should try to
control desires as much as possible. The promotion of human values
is another item in the programme. These human values are inherent in
every person. All that is needed is, for everyone to manifest them
in his daily life. Truth, Righteousness and Peace are all in you.
You are embodiments of Truth, Peace, Love and God. Recognise this
(Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Discourse on 21.11.95)
1. Daily Meditation and Prayer
Whatever religion one belongs to, whatever your spiritual
heritage, the necessity to still the mind, to control the vagaries of
thoughts, to make the "monkey mind" do our bidding and not what it wills, is
a basic spiritual practice.
Divinity resides and reflects in man - but we are unable
to see this reflection of Divinity in our consciousness because the lake of
our mind is subject to incessant storms, its surface ripped apart by wild
lashing waves. Only when the waters of the lake are still, can the
reflection of the moon be seen on its surface -likewise the reflection of
Divinity on the calm surface of our consciousness.
But if we merely do meditation and still our mind - is
this enough? The reflection of the moon will not be seen, even in the still
water, if the waters of the lake are filled with dirt and pollutants. Thus,
two qualities are required to see the reflection of the moon:
(a) the surface of the water must be still, and
(b) the lake must be free from dirt, debris, froth and pollutants.
Sai Baba has placed meditation as the first point of the
code for those who wish to glimpse the Divine within; - however stilling the
mind (the waters of the lake) is not enough - a recycling plant must be
erected beside the lake to clean the water. Other points of the code of
conduct relate to this process of 'cleansing the water'- not only for
ourselves but for our family members also.
Sai Baba in various discourses has instructed devotees on
the 'light' mediation. Devotees wishing to pursue this form of
meditation and its technique should make attempts to listen to tapes/cassettes
that are available or read books on it.
And what of prayer? Pray in whatever is way familiar to
you ... this will reinforce your meditation. You can chant mantras, sing
devotional songs, traditional hymns or just speak to God in your own way -
whatever makes you feel closer to Him and makes you truly feel that you are
communicating with Him.
We can do this silently, or quietly so that others hearing
your prayers may benefit by thinking of God at least momentarily. Your
chants/prayers at home will help to create positive and divine vibrations in
the environment and be of benefit to those who live in your house. But
most important of all do not take this daily task as a burden, something you
carry around your neck like the proverbial albatross.
Prayers, devotional singing should be done joyously,
providing a sense of uplifting -lightness. God is 'Bliss'-'Joy'-'PEACE' and
when you think of Him and sing or speak HIS name the same Bliss, Joy and
Peace should fill your being ... if this does not happen something is wrong
with your attitude or method of prayer ... reflect on this and adjust
The hunger to communicate with God - should be equal to
the hunger that we experience to fill our stomachs. We eat 3 or 4 times a
day for our bodily health, or to satisfy bodily hunger, pray at least twice
a day to feed the 'soul' or the inner being. There will come a time when
every moment, every act, every word, is a form of communication with God.
2. Devotional Group Singing/Prayer with members of
family once a week
There is an age old axiom, -'the family that prays
together stays together'. Sai Baba is merely trying to remind us of this
forgotten truth. In the early days families used to eat together and pray
together, in recent times the notion of every man for himself seems to have
crept into families too.
Some Sai devotees have expressed this problem -'I am the
only Sai devotee in my house - the rest refuse to accept Him - how can I
keep to this point of the code?' Sai Baba does not say pray to Him! Have
your family prayers in the traditional method of worship, be it Hindu,
Christian or whatever. We need not even have Sai Baba's photo there,
if this will help achieve the objective of weekly family prayer and family
unity. We should have HIM in our heart.
Also, it does not matter if all refuse to join. Start the
family prayer with whoever is willing. Keep to a fixed date and time and
continue with faith -let Sai Baba do the rest. Many such family prayers that
started with one or two, now include the whole family. If need be, start
alone and leave the 'door' open for others to hear your prayer and to join.
The important thing to remember is not to be disheartened
by the attitudes of others who do not join. Give them time! Not all buds
bloom at the same time when the sun shines - but the sun does not give up -
it shines daily and silently, and over time - all will bloom!!
However, it is important to show that we have bloomed -
through our prayers and other spiritual practices. Our family members
should see the visible, positive transformation in ourselves - that our
spiritual paths have made us more loving, more kind, more gentle, more
understanding .. this will have a greater effect on non participating family
members than our actual 'prayer' itself and encourage them to join us, -
i.e. we should make the whole day an extension of our morning and
evening-prayers. Slowly, they will be drawn to the power that has
transformed us and will join us.
It is important to be aware that if we as wives and
husbands, sons and daughters or fathers and mothers after starting prayers,
after becoming 'born again', become intolerant, demanding, insensitive to
the physical or worldly needs of others, and take a 'holier than thou'
attitude, then we will drive our family members away from our prayers.
Moderation and love should be the key guiding factors.
3. Participation in Educational Programs (SSE)
organised by the Centre for children of Sai aspirants
The reason for this point of the code is obvious when we
become aware of what is taught to the children in the Sai Spiritual
Education classes which includes:
a) one's own religion - chanting of prayers, songs, hymns,
lives of great saints etc.
b) knowledge and respect for other religions.
c) human values - respect for parents and elders, cleanliness, good
conduct, confidence, co-operation, self-help etc.
d) learning about the lives of great persons from all walks of life.
e) The Life and Message of Sai Baba.
All the above are taught through structured, dynamic
programs where only teachers who have undergone a specific training program
will be qualified to teach.
Many Sai aspirants, and leaders of Sai Centres around the
world are sometimes devoid of any in-depth knowledge of the great religious
and spiritual traditions of the world. Only their love for Sai Baba, often
fostered through his physical presence and love has put them on their
spiritual path. This needs to be supplemented with more study of Sai
teaching and the great world scriptures.
However, the children of today, the even leaders of
tomorrow, may not be so lucky - they may not have the opportunity of the
direct physical proximity of Sai Baba to foster their love, devotion, their
thirst for spiritual knowledge and world welfare ... the crowds of devotees
would be too great. Their spirituality must thus be fostered from within,
and the SSE program for children is so designed as to create a new
generation of spiritually motivated youngsters who will become a credit to
themselves, their families, society and nation - and uphold all the human
values that have the potential to make the human race grand and Godly.
No parent should want less for their child and no parent
should sacrifice the future destiny of their children by giving more
importance to other less important activities nor should they say that they
have no time to spare to send their children to classes. These classes
have been designed to enhance their development into children we can be
proud of. It is in this context that this point of the code requires
children of Sai aspirants to attend these classes.
4. Participation in community work and other programs
of the organisation
This is merely a codification of an injunction that is in
every religion of the world - to serve man and thus serve God - 'Service to
man is service to God'.
Sai Baba has prescribed that the qualification of
membership to the Sai Organisation is not just to attend devotional singing
meetings, but to accept the 9 point code of conduct as part of our life and
in doing so perform some service to the community. Aspirants are asked
to provide 4 hours of service every week to the poor, the sick and the needy.
Perhaps, among all of Sai Baba's injunctions, this one calling aspirants to
perform community service separates those 'devotees' who wish to hop along
on one leg i.e. making devotional singing their primary spiritual activity
from those who are the 'thirsty' seekers, striding forward in their
spiritual journey on the two legs of devotion and selfless service towards
the inevitable prize of divine knowledge.
Sai Baba has declared 'Hands that help are holier than
lips that pray'.
Very often aspirants sit back and wait for the Sai Centre
leaders to organise service activities, and even when these are organised
many find a hundred excuses not to participate in them, instead of finding
the one reason to serve. Aspirants should realise that community service
makes up part of the divine formula for salvation and God's Grace. And
if necessary, they should in fact be urging, and forcing complacent Centre
leaders to organise meaningful service activities to assist the spiritual
development of the members of the Centre.
As for leaders of Sai Centres who have taken up the divine
task of leading a SAI Centre - they should be fully cognisant of their
divine responsibility. Members depend upon them to show the way, set the
example and direction. If leaders are unable to fulfill this
responsibility, it might be wise for them to step down and allow those
aspirants with the time, the energy and initiative to take up the leadership
role in a Centre.
5. Attend at least once a month group devotional
singing organised by the Centre
By placing the requirement on 'at least once a month', Sai
Baba has given the directions for the future, i.e. that devotees should not
remain at the spiritual level of just singing devotional songs. It is
important to build our spiritual development on this foundation. All
the other points in the code are the bricks and mortar for us to build the
spiritual superstructure of our lives.
In fact the pursuance of devotional singing alone as a
principal activity on our spiritual path and ignoring the equally important
practices that Sai Baba has suggested that just focusing on devotional
singing may lead to retarding our spiritual progress.
Thus, it is vital that devotees understand the significance of devotional
singing and place it in the perspective of their total spiritual practice
and carry on moving forward.
Also devotional singing at the centre should not end there
- once a month or once a week. The sincere aspirant must constantly be
'tuned in' to the devotional songs, their lips or their minds constantly 'singing'
of Divinity, analysing the meaning of the songs and their messages, and
using them as a guide, as a beacon of love in their daily lives. When
devotional singing is used as such, it will bring about the necessary
results, the softening of the heart, the gentleness of speech, the kindness
of thoughts, the yearning to serve. If the name and message of God is
constantly in the mind, the cleansing effect will most certainly take effect,
and aspirants will see their lives, their character and behaviour
6. Regular study Sai literature
This should not be interpreted in a narrow or extreme way
that only books about Sai Baba must be studied. Needless to say all Sai
aspirants are expected to study the life and teachings of Sai Baba. However,
the literature of all the great religions and saints and other spiritual
texts should also be part of our reading material.
In short ?Sai' literature? should be interpreted as
literature that helps provide spiritual awakening and inspiration. Any
literature that falls under this category should qualify as Sai literature.
The regular study refers, not merely to individual study,
but also participation in 'Study Circles' organised by the Centre.
Some devotees, feeling that what takes place in a 'Study
Circle' is too basic, too simple for them, keep away. Well, if one thinks
they know more than others, more the reason to participate fully, and help
others to rise to your level of understanding.
Some find the study circle too advanced - here again -
absorb what you can, up to your ability. If you grasp only one paragraph of
what is spoken or read, reflect on it and put it into practice. You
benefit more than the person who only listens and perhaps, understands all
the words but does not reflect on the meaning or put any of it into practice.
Listening or absorbing, reflecting/ digesting and putting
into practice the message gained in the study of spiritual literature are
the three stages which can assist our spiritual development. It is
thus not the quantity of knowledge you absorb, but the quality and the
degree you reflect and integrate the message into your life, that is
7. Speak softly and lovingly to everyone
This is an interesting point of the code, it underwent a
slight metamorphosis during Sai Baba?s 60th Birthday. In the original point
the words were 'to speak softly with everyone' ... it appears that many
mistook this to mean the 'loudness of the voice' and neglected the aspect of
the 'harshness of the words'.
A dog sometimes barks loudly on seeing its master - but
all that loudness maybe an expression of love. A snake hisses very softly
but its soft sound maybe a forerunner of venom ... full of poisonous
This point has now been placed in its proper perspective,
not condemning those with naturally loud projecting voices and exalting
those who, even in anger and hate, do not have the capacity of 'voice
projection'. It is now very clear - speak with love, we should try to
lower the volume of our voices (most of us can do that) - but love is the
essence .... harsh words screech even if spoken softly.
8. Not to talk ill of others especially in their
Backbiting, character assassination, falsehood about
another, trying to belittle or bring down the esteem of one in the eyes of
the other, is a deadly cancer that has destroyed many groups, even great
movements and. most certainly must be considered an anathema to any
Here the talking ill or finding faults, should not be
mistaken as being blind to the genuine faults or mistakes of others. It
means simply that we must be totally conscious of our motive should it be
necessary to talk about the faults of others.
To say that it is a sin to talk about others in their
absence would be to make every living person a sinner. We always talk
of others - this is inevitable. What then is this injunction? It simply
means that if we do talk about others, than it should only be in a genuine
positive manner where we want to help, to improve and elevate not to degrade
9. Put into practice "Ceiling on Desires" and to
utilise savings generated
for service to mankind
Not only should you curb your desires, and set aside the
savings thus gained to serve the poor, all aspirants along the
spiritual path should put a rein on growing desires, within an increasingly
materialistic, uncaring, wasteful and obsolescence oriented society.
Sai Baba unearthing once again the message of all great
religions has called upon all people who want to have a measure of peace and
contentment in their lives to place a 'Ceiling on Desires' ... a ceiling on
Food, Energy, Time and Money.
In summary the Divine call is as follows:
Do not waste Food ... do not overindulge in food.
Do not waste Energy ... electricity, water, your own energy, (too much
anger, jealousy and other negative expressions are equally a waste of Divine energy).
Do not waste Time .... and whatever genuine knowledge you have, use
Do not waste Money
Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation
(granted by Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the third World
Conference on14th Jan,1981)
WHERE AS the
advent of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba as declared by Him is for
the establishment of Sanathana Dharma.
AND WHERE AS this
Organisation is a spiritual organization founded for the
establishment of Sanathana Dharma.
AND WHERE AS this
organization is a spiritual organization founded for the whole
mankind, not recognizing any distinction or separateness on the
basis of religion, caste, colour or creed.
AND WHERE AS this
organization takes within its fold persons belonging to all
religions in order to establish unity of all faiths.
AND WHERE AS it
is for establishing and promoting the content of such Sanathana
Dharma and also to establish oneness of all thoughts that the Sri
Sathya Sai Seva Organisations are taking existence.
AND WHERE AS the
most fundamental object of this organization as laid down by
Bhagwan is to ?Awaken in Man the awareness of Divinity INHERENT in
him? by propagating through practice and example the basic
principles of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema set by Bhagawan Sri
Sathya Sai Baba.
AND WHERE AS to
experience this Divinity, mere environment and circumstances
outside are not sufficient but a change in the minds of men is
AND WHERE AS the
activities of the organization are only a means to the spiritual
progress in this direction and which progress will ultimately
enable everyone to enjoy inner peace not withstanding the stresses
and strains, the frustrations and sorrows, the defects and
successes, the ups and downs of life.
AND WHERE AS to
achieve maximum results towards these objectives:
IT IS HEREBY
That this shall be the charter governing the Sri Sathya Sai
Seva Organisations all over the world.
That all the office bearers and the members of this
organizations at present and all those who will join this
organization shall be one in Deed and in Name by the name of Sri
Sathya Sai Seva Organisations and as such, they shall be entitled
to carry on the activities in the name of the organization.
That in order to achieve the objectives as laid down herein
above, the members shall follow a strict code of conduct of
Saadhana so that they become worthy instruments of our Divine
Master in the efforts to fulfil the objectives of this
That no person shall be qualified to associate himself or herself
as office bearer or worker with this organization who willfully
deviates from the Code of Conduct laid down herein after.