Babaji taught people to chant the ancient mantra OM NAMAH SHIVAYA, which may be translated as I take refuge in God. A mantra is a Sanskrit phrase which invokes the Divine by a name. There are thousands of names of God and thousands of mantras. Constant repetition of a mantra (the repetition is called japa) is used to focus and purify the mind, to push out the useless, worrisome or tantalizing thoughts that constantly flood our minds, allowing the stilled mind to hear what comes from the Divine.
Babaji called japa the water to cleanse the mind. He said that people in this Age cannot meditate as the ancient sages did because our minds are so easily distracted by the ideas which pass through them. He urged people to do japa all the time - as we walk, work, bathe, or any other time when the mind is not necessarily and usefully engaged. Japa, and work, together, comprised a major portion of the day's schedule at the Haidakhan Ashram in India. The sound vibrations of the mantra activate and purify every cell and atom in the bodily, psychic and spiritual being.
Although Shri Babaji appeared in the Indian culture and is usually worshipped through Indian rituals, he has not been attached to any existing religion. He stated that all religions lead the sincere devotee to God. At Haidakhan, Shri Babaji is worshipped by Hindus, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, even atheists find themselves bowing in reverence to him. He often reminded his followers that all mankind is one family, the family of God. For those who ask about religion, he said "Follow the religion that is in your heart."
Even before his reappearance in 1970, Babaji taught Mahendra Baba to preach that all lovers of God should lead lives based on truth, simplicity, and love. It is very difficult to nurture hatred, greed, anger, lust, jealousy and selfishness when a person strives to live in truth, simplicity and love with all. He said over and over again that Karma yoga - work dedicated to God is the best, easiest, and fastest way to God in this chaotic, confused era.
Karma Yoga is the path of action, connecting every action in your life to God, and God can be felt through and with your actions. We all do action in some form and why not do it with God. Karma Yoga is selfless service, work performed in harmony with all Creation as an offering to the Divine, rather than done for personal ego-stimulated reasons. Karma Yoga reminds us of our duties as stewards of the earth to serve all forms of God's Creation with equality, equanimity and unqualified caring. Baba said, "Do Japa (repeat a name of God) with your work and be liberated." Also, "Everyone who comes here (Haidakhan) should be prepared to do any kind of work. In this Age, work purifies you and is the best sadhana (spiritual practice). By working selflessly, a man can achieve peace within himself and in the world around him. If everyone works diligently and with love, there will be peace throughout the world."
Shri Babaji instructed people to live in truth, simplicity and love. He was more concerned with the way people lived than with the forms of religion which they practiced. He said, in many different ways, that humanitarianism is the real religion or duty of human beings. By living in truth, simplicity and love, one can gain insight into mind, body and feelings of the heart; walking this Path leads to a happy, useful, and contented life in the world.