Maxims of Baba
Here are two
versions of a list of maxims or reminders Baba gave to keep in mind
regarding following the spiritual path.
When Baba first arrived in America,
in 1977, he stayed at the home of Prema Mayi. Devotees would come to
visit, and he would speak to everyone either in Prema Mayi's living
room, or in a small room in the back of her house where he
worshipped and slept.
Baba provided spiritual advice on a daily basis, to all who came to
visit; one day he asked me to write down everything he was about to
say. It was pure instruction, in the form of a list, recorded as
1) Faith : must have faith.
2) Bhakti : devotion.
3) Prem : love.
4) Niyam : regular practice.
5) Faith that Guru and God are One.
6) Don't be small-minded.
7) Satsangha : bhajans, kirtan, the company of bhaktas.
8) Concentration of mind.
9) Don't see the faults of others.
10) Meditation on Guru's image and Arpon
: surrender to Him.
11) Once a week, gather together with Guru-bais and other bhaktas
for kirtan, bhajans, and meditation.
12) Keep up the [spiritual]
13) Don't waste time.
another longer version of "Baba's List" which was compiled by the Indian
- Have deep faith.
- Full and complete devotion to God (Bhakti).
- Love without limits, in the way that a husband loves his wife, a
wife loves her husband, or a mother loves her son.
- Steady attachment to God
- donít lose time unnecessarily.
- Constant devotion to Guru. Keep in mind that the Guru is not a
human being, although He has human form. He is God. If this is
understood, you will be able to see God through the Guru.
- Don't be small-minded. Think, "I want to get the One and
Only God. I must get Him, I must see Him." Always keep those
feeling with you.
- Keep satsang, pursue the company of satsanghis ("follow"
those who do satsang). Do dhyan (meditation), think about the Self,
and know that Self. Then you can feel the presence of God.
- Practice sankirtan
- the singing of devotional songs. Read holy
books, scripture. If you cannot do it aloud, then do it silently.
Those things help to bring Godís presence.
- Glorify God and His persons, to bring strength to your mind, and
to keep your thoughts from scattering ("keep your mind
- Don't see the faults of others. If you see others' faults, you
may become ensnared without your knowledge.
- When doing meditation, repeat the mantra given by Guru, and think
about Guru's form.
- Once a week, get together with Gurubais and devotees and do
kirtan, talk about God, and do meditation.
- If you do not love your parents, then you cannot love God.
- Flowers, bel leaves, fruit, incense, japa
- those are
traditional items for worship, but in addition to these external
things, you must establish God in your heart.
- Leave your pride and serve the poor, the helpless, the suffering,
and feel that they are all God.
- Take care of your family responsibilities, but whatever you do,
keep God in your mind and believe that this universe is His.
- If you have spiritual feelings, experiences, or perceptions, do
not speak of it to anyone except Guru.
- The way to surrender and take shelter in the Guru is by
surrendering the mind, intelligence, and pride to Him. Then the
devotee can get relief from sorrow. But you have to keep trying, and
have patience and perseverance.
- Every night, right before you lie down, evaluate your actions
what you have done, good or bad, during the course of the day.
- Cry to the Divine Mother (Mahamaya), and pray for forgiveness of
the sins and ignorance of your mind.
- Remember that with love, anything can be achieved.
- Remember that God alone is real, everything else is unreal.
- Do not overeat, and eat a balanced diet. You decide what you will
eat. But foods that are too hot, bitter, spicy, cold, or stale, do
- On Ekadasi (eleventh day of the full moon, and eleventh day of the
new moon), take less food and don't work so hard.
- You can do meditation in your mind at all times, but the best
times are the two junctures: dawn and dusk.
- If you do meditation and prayer with sincerity of heart, then you
will be able to keep your mind from falling into evil or filth.
- When doing meditation, it is best to breathe slowly and deeply.
You can repeat prayers as often as you breathe in and out.
- You can leave everything for God, but you cannot leave Him for
- Whether a householder or a sadhu, you should strive to live a
celibate life. If you don't live a celibate life, then your shakti
and mental happiness will wane. Without celibacy, spiritual
perceptions will not come.
- If you always think about the moment of death, then you will
develop an indifference to the sensual, worldly life.
- Too many years slip away before you realize the nature of desire,
that it is an illusion. But if you get Guru's grace, you can let
go of desire.
- The shape and form conceal the formless. To understand and to get
the formless, you need to recognize and focus your mind on the
- Even to pretend to be devoted is good, but it doesn't mean that
through this pretension, you should bring others to ruin. After a
length of time, feigning devotion may make you devout.
- Human beings are above all other living creatures. Because they
are above all others, only human beings can perceive God.
- Before you undertake any work, you should weigh it in terms of
karma - good or bad.
- If you cannot obey rules, then you cannot rise above rules.
- Nervous debility is a physical disorder. The proper medicine for
this condition is provided by retention of mental coolness, keeping
company of good people, by the study of the lives and activities of
great men, and by renunciation of the company of evil and feeble
- Never place considerations of the body above the health of the
- Other than your own wife, think of every woman as your mother.
- When you worship, begin with meditation, which will lead to Bhava
(ecstatic love). Then, after Bhav, MahaBhav. In the state of
MahaBhav, there is nothing else.
- KulaKundalini Shakti (the active power of the universe) is
sleeping within you. That is why you need to practice devotion, to
awaken this force within you.
- Who is a Hindu? ("Hindu ke?"). A Hindu is that person
who does not have any hatred for others, and can love all beings
And finally here are some more spiritual hints
which is from a small publication done by Baba's Indian disciples
and printed in a small pamphlet. It appears that it was transcribed
and translated from a tape recording.
Discourses with Devotees, from the Divine Gurudev
Devotee: Who is God?
Guru: "I am the bull, I am the butcher, I am the one who eats
the bull." God is love.
Devotee: Who is the greater of the two: mother or father?
Guru: Mother gives us birth. After we take birth, we see our mother
first. Mother raises us with love and care. Mother helps us to know the
father, and also other members of the family. In childhood, we know that
mother is the closest to us in our lives. Exactly in this way, it is our
duty to worship the Universal Mother. Without any hesitation, you
surrender to your Mother. Then that Universal Mother will reveal to us
the Universal Father. Now, you judge who is greater.
Devotee: My only wish is that you grant me initiation.
Guru: You begin by repeating 1, 5, 00, 1. On this number, you do japa.
One means God, Ishwar. Five, the five elements (earth, fire, water, air,
ether). Zero, Zero, the two nostrils. These two nostrils Ė if we can
stop our breath with the aide of yoga, we can go back to the original
"One" from which we came. When we come to that One, it is such
a sublime feeling that it cannot be expressed in words.
Devotee: If you would grant me initiation as your chela (son), I
would consider my birth as a human being to be successful.
Guru: That which did not exist, exists, then will no longer exist
("Cheelo na, ache, tagbe na"). Always ponder and chant these
Devotee: Thakur, I cannot understand these words.
Guru: Donít worry, you will be able to understand it at the right
Devotee: Can I pray to God for worldly wealth?
Guru: Yes, if you use that wealth for a noble cause. Nothing pi,
single mind one! ("I havenít a pice or a penny, my mind has a
single focus on the One!")
Devotee: All day and night, I am so busy with my own duties that I
have no time to chant or pray.
Guru: We get time to do everything, but we donít get time to
worship God. In that situation, if you have no time at all, then do it
when you are in the bathroom.
Devotee: Baba, I have come to know that there will be a water well
(tube well) at the ashram. If you give me permission, I want to give
money towards this.
Guru: Many others want to give money for the well, just like you do.
But if I take money from only one person, then that person will be
proud. So I will accept money out of charitable funds put together from
a large number of people. God gives when you ask, and gives even when
you donít ask. If it is necessary, He will bring it to the person,
even carrying it on His head.
Guru [to an American devotee]: You bear good signs. Do you practice
American Devotee: I donít have a girlfriend.
Guru: Whether or not you have a girlfriend is not what I want to
know. Do you observe brahmacharya (celibacy)?
American Devotee: No. What sort of rules should I follow?
Guru: Not that many. Trust in God and practice celibacy with respect.
If you respect this celibacy, Ma Ananda Mayi (the Mother Who Grants
Spiritual Bliss) will give you what you need. Purity is the inner
meaning of Dharma. Until you practice celibacy, you cannot get purity in
your mind. Being virtuous towards your fellow man, helping one another
Ė if you do those things, joy will accompany you wherever you are. If
you donít observe celibacy with respect, then what I said before about
purity will not make any sense.
Devotee: Why am I unable to have complete faith in You?
Guru: It is very difficult to place complete faith in the Spiritual
Preceptor. A Spiritual Preceptor has in common with others His food
and sleeping habits. A disciple should be simple-hearted and pure in
mind to understand his Preceptor even marginally or fractionally. To
have complete faith in the Preceptor is tantamount to seeing the
Preceptor revealing God to the disciple.
Guruís Grace is the Main Thing
[this is how the chapter ends.]