An in-depth analysis of the Path shown by Baba leads to certain obvious pointers
essentially required for spiritual evolution of human beings. Baba, during His
interaction with a very large number of devotees of different religions and paths had
repeatedly brought out certain common emotional, psychological and physical
parameters to be followed by the devotees. Although specific instructions were
given directly or indirectly to most of the devotees to solve their immediate or
mundane problems, yet the general parameters for ethical living and spiritual
evolution were more profound and long term. After Baba left His human form, those
who followed the parameters and advice for the rest of their lives benefited
immensely. Others, who deviated, in the absence of interaction with a Sadguru with
a human body, did not evolve much. This is the conclusion one is bound to draw
when lives of the prominent devotees of Baba are examined as a whole.
These general parameters for a contented and evolved life have been brought to the
fore extensively in Shri Sai Satcharitra when it narrates real‐life happenings at Shirdi,
anecdotes and interpretations. Most of the other books written on Baba have also
tried to bring out these parameters in different ways. Thus for a good disciple the
examples from the life of Baba and his percepts, as codified in Shri Sai Satcharitra
and other published materials should work as the best reference points of guidance
for their ethical conduct and spiritual progress. This is why I always prescribe
reading of Shri Sai Satcharitra in particular and other related materials to the
devotees and others following any path or religion. Whenever in doubt about his
thoughts and actions a devotee should try to relate with the information on similar
situations provided in Shri Sai Satcharitra. He should always judge to find out as to
how far he is able to progress with reference to these parameters as the permanent
principles of an ethical existence.
Baba has spoken about these greatest principles in the simplest way, when
exemplifying these principles through his own conduct as well. For example let us
take the case of a man who spoke ill of another devotee to Baba. Baba told him that
pigs will only eat dirt even when given the best of food. The meaning of this
sentence is too obvious to be explained. Or when, while giving two rupees to a
person who had helped Baba with a step ladder in going up and coming down the
home of Radhakrishnamayi, announced that one must pay for the labour of another.
In fact the entire gamut of all his advice reiterates the principles of ethical conduct
reflected in Shrimad Bhagavata Gita.
The problem with some of the devotees is that they read Shri Sai Satcharitra more
intensely for its miracle stories rather than for understanding the applied principles
of an ethical living. Further while carrying on their mundane deeds or misdeeds they
often forget Baba’s advice at that moment. Therefore, they are prone to ask the same
questions on various issues again and again over the years when ever in trouble.
What Baba wanted the followers to do is more to practice these principles than to
read. As Baba’s intentions reveal, the question is not as to how many times one has
failed while trying but as to whether he is determined and remembers these
principles while doing any act, good or bad. Each devotee needs to ask this question
to himself and find the answer. Shri Sai Satcharitra can only guide them.