Meher Baba was one of the most influential Indian spiritual masters of the twentieth century.

One of his most ardent followers is my favorite teacher, Mickey Singer, who brought Baba to my attention.

I could give a rough history of Baba, what he did in life and what his main teachings were, but I’ve found that the best way to convey the wisdom of these great masters is to relate the simple words they offered the world.

With that in mind, the following are my favorite words of wisdom that Baba gave humanity.

1. No amount of prayer or meditation can do what helping others can do.

For me, this gets to the heart of what spiritual work is all about. For many, spirituality seems to devolve into a self-indulgent exercise that centers on me, me, me. Meditating 24/7 so you can escape from your kids, people or the world in general.

I agree with Meher Baba, and most of the other sages, who believe that the ultimate goal of self-realization is to strengthen our inner world SO THAT WE CAN HELP OTHERS. Ultimately what this quote is about is that the state created when we help others, love, is a force more powerful than anything that exists in the universe.

2. There is no difference in the realization of the Truth either by a Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, or a Christian. The difference is only in words and terms. Truth is not the monopoly of a particular race or religion.

I couldn’t agree more. Truth is truth. Imagine the world we’d live in if everybody around the globe adhered to these wise words.

One way or another, all of these religions teach us the same thing: To clean up our inner houses in order to become closer to, or actually become, the god that we all are inside.

The hopeful optimist in me senses that humanity is moving, ever so slowly, in the direction of less religion and more focus on universal truths. Or, as Eckhart Tolle describes it, an evolution towards the conscious awakening of humankind.

3. The best way to cleanse the heart and prepare for the stilling of the mind is to lead a normal, worldly life.Living in the midst of your day-to-day duties, responsibilities, likes, dislikes, etc., will help you.All these become the very means for the purification of your heart.

Love this. It reminds me of Ram Dass’s famous description of how to travel the spiritual path: by chopping wood and carrying water. Just using the myriad daily events of our lives to practice being present and letting go of ourselves.

What Meher Baba, and Eckhart, Michael Singer and many other spiritual teachers, advises here also has to do with what we don’t need to do, which is to flee the world and go live in a cave in the mountains. There’s no need for that. Everyday life offers the best setting for becoming more conscious.

4A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine.

In my years working in politics in Washington, D.C., and in Hollywood as a writer, I used to think that lightning quick thinking was a necessary skill for success. Always trying to outsmart the next guy. I was wrong. It didn’t work.

Why? Because the master of the fast mind, the puppeteer so-to-speak, is our illusory, egoic self. And as a general rule, when the ego is in charge, our inner world is ill-served.

Not until I started slowing my mind by practicing regular meditation did I realize, as Baba does in this quote, the divinity of the still mind. There are many ways to describe the endpoint of the spiritual journey, but stilling the mind captures it perfectly.

5. Don’t Worry Be Happy

I would be remiss if I didn’t include this one. Why? Remember that great song by Bobby McFerrin in the 1980s called Don’t Worry Be Happy? Guess where he got that? Meher Baba!

Baba was known to communicate this particular line to his followers in the West. Its simplicity captures the essence of most of the great Indian teachings. Don’t overthink things. Just go inside, find the divine beauty within and happiness is yours.

The takeaway

Meher Baba truly was one of the great beings in all of history. We would all do well to heed his sage words and do our best to embody them in our lives.