Make it an ideal University
Students! Embodiments of Divine Love! Educators! Promoters of Education!
When we fall low in education or in knowledge, our parents feel great grief. When we fall low in morals and spiritual virtues, our motherland bemoans her fate ten times more sadly. We have to assuage the grief of the physical mother and the cultural mother and promote the peace and prosperity of the nation. Students alone have the enthusiasm and the skill necessary for this task. In this land revered as the treasure house of spiritual riches, Dharma is declining day by day, unrighteousness, injustice, violence, antisocial acts, and falsehood are running amok. They are indulging in their devil dance unhindered. In this Kali era, students have to rise up as lion cubs, reestablish peace and restore Dharma in individual, social and national life.
Students! Remember that all those whom we are accepting now as leaders, whom we respect as holding positions of authority, whom we worship as elders, were some years ago students like yourselves. Therefore, you in your turn will be the leaders, power wielders and elders of tomorrow. Do not forget this destiny of yours.
The motherland is not a mere lump of earth. When we desire its progress, we have to promote the progress of the people who dwell therein. The skills needed for resuscitating and reforming man are found only in students. The reforming process involves the removal, in daily living, of bad conduct and bad habits and the practice of good conduct and good deeds. A man’s worth can be measured by his efforts to reform himself. This day, the Government has no authority to reform the subjects and subjects have no authority to reform the Government.
Students are the very foundation of the nation. When the foundation is strong, the building can be stable. To make the foundation strong, the people, the government, the parents, the teachers, and the students all have to coordinate their plans and efforts. These five elements, these five vital forces, have to work together towards this end.
The solution for the problem is just one: the light of Truth has to be fostered and spread in the field of education. Students are proceeding along devious distorted paths, not because they are intrinsically bad but because they are influenced by the evils rampant in all fields, social and national. The nation cannot advance through reform of the educational system alone.
The educational process is basically a holy endeavour. We have many lessons to learn, many duties to fulfill, many points to note while trying to improve it. In ancient times, moral excellence was the goal of this endeavour. Gaining that excellence even today, students must roam, in the realm of education, free and fearless like lions in the forest. They should not degrade themselves to the level of the cunning, deceitful, marauding jackals or wolves. Today, there are no lions in the jungles of educational institutions, but only wolves and sheep. Acquaintance with the contents of a pile of books does not make one an educated person. Wherever there are students the place must shine with the brilliance of peace and security; it must radiate the aura of sanctity. But have we peace and security in the campuses today? No. Real education must be judged by the concern for others which it promotes. Students should be the guardians of the people. As the prospective protectors of the people, their future leaders and administrators, they should prepare themselves for national service. On the shoulders of the students of today rests the task of making India great. The educational system has to be shaped anew so that students can fulfill the task of brightening the future of this land.
Embodiments of Love! Every man desires to acquire Ananda. Wherefrom can Ananda be acquired? Faith alone can win Ananda. Peace can be got only through faith; faith is the spring of joy. But, now, we see sorrow wherever we cast our eyes. Why does this happen? Because, man has lost faith. He has no faith in himself. How then can he acquire Ananda? How can a person, who has not got faith enough to live happily for four days, win the grace of God? This day, when education has achieved remarkable progress in many directions, man has lost faith in the highest and the supremest—God. He queries, “What exactly is God?” He argues, “Is there God?” Well. I shall prove that God is.
Seek the Truth; you are seeking God. Truth is God. Truth exists; so, too, God exists. God does, because Truth is God. Does anyone argue that there is no Truth? Come. I shall show him Truth. He who denies the existence of Truth can never be a man. Can there be a God higher than Truth?
The human condition today is full of falsehood; it is sunk in wickedness. So, no one can understand the significance of Truth. Truth is generally understood to mean speaking out exactly what has been heard by the ears. No, this is not the meaning of Truth. What has been heard undergoes change; Truth is changeless, it is the same in the past, present and future. Have faith that Truth exists thus and can be experienced. Faith is the very breath of life. Without it, man is a living corpse.
Many have swollen heads because of the degrees they have won through the study of books. But of what avail is that load when they do not fold their palms to adore God? Humility is the mark of scholarship. If this mark is absent, the scholar is an ignoramus. Humility is the product of Atma Vidya. Of course, the study of the material world is important. It should not be neglected. But, the study of the Atmic core is essential. Other studies relate to the five elements, the energies, the composition of the objective world, the manipulation of Nature’s forces for living more comfortably. How does the earth rotate and why? How far is the sun from the earth and the stars? How far do the rays of the sun reach? To what distance can they travel in a minute? By learning these facts, to what extent can man profit? The more important items to study and watch are: How broad is your heart? How much benefit has society derived from you? What are the Sadhanas that can make you a better and more useful man? How much are you aware of your inner principle? What exactly is the purpose and goal of this human existence?
Bhagavantam has mastered the topics about the external world which I mentioned just now. He has also taught them to many students of his and they in their turn have taught them to many others who were their students. That was all. He knew and he made others know what he knew. Those others knew and they passed on that knowledge to others. Thus, it has spread from one set of people to another. Has this process furthered the peace and progress of the world? It has not helped in the least. As scholarship is accumulated, man is losing the compassion which urges him to love his neighbour, to discover his troubles and anxieties so that he might give relief. He is turning more and more egoistic.
Embodiments of Love! Do not think otherwise. When truth is made known one is apt to resent it. Educated persons today are all afflicted with selfishness. Why! They have been rendered so helpless by this disease that they do not pay attention to the misery of even their parents. This is no sign of education. Education must broaden the heart; it must expand one’s love. Fortitude and equanimity belong to the reality in man. One must reveal this fact in every act. There should be gratitude for kindness shown.
But people forget those who helped them to advance in life; they even repay kindness with injury. The very teachers who contribute to the progress of students in studies are hit severely on the head by their students. The teacher may have faults but the student has no authority to search for faults or expose them or retaliate. Upanishad means sitting at the feet of the teacher. The Guru is the Tat: the Shishya is the Twam. Tat speaks; twam listens. That is the lesson in humility which the Upanishad teaches.
Students strive in many ways to attain high ranks; they do not strive to earn highly estimable virtues; no, not even a thousandth part of that effort is spent for earning virtues. They are eager to collect marks; they do not try to avoid remarks and ensure good reputation. Strive to earn good life, good conduct, good thoughts, good opportunities.
Students! You are all aware that there are now 108 universities in India. This University is the 109th, one more than that traditional total. Lokassamastha Sukhino Bhavantu. May all the universities succeed and serve the country well. But this university must be distinct from the rest and attain a high status. It must be the ideal for others. For this consummation students, teachers, parents, rulers and the people must cooperate in the task.
To have inaugurated a university cannot be a source of full satisfaction. It has to be fostered and made to fructify. It is like accepting the gift of an elephant; it brings with it the responsibility to feed it and utilise its potentialities beneficently. If some deviation occurs while managing it, the elephant might run amok and destroy lives. Students and teachers are the most valuable assets which can render the University an ideal one. Along with subjects related to worldly knowledge, this University will impart instruction in ethical, moral and spiritual codes and Sadhanas. It has as its goal the cultivation of the student’s mind on these lines. Virtues, purity of the mind, adherence to truth, dedication to the Supreme, discipline, devotion to duty—these qualities will be fostered and promoted in this University. Such seats of learning were established in ancient times by the sages and seers of India and as a result of their self-sacrificing efforts, they have left for posterity the priceless heritage of Bharatiya culture. This culture has sprouted from the vision of God in every atom in creation. God resides, it proclaims, not only in the idol installed in the temple, but in every atom and cell, without exception. Bharatiyas have allowed this all-inclusive, sublime, eternal culture to slip out of their lives, in the frantic pursuit of illusory, trivial tantalising cultures.
This is the inaugural day of our Institute. It has been planted today. The students are roots. The tree will grow with branches on all sides; countless flowers will bloom; it will provide and promote peace and security to the world. In order that it may realise this result, students must, as the roots do, remain firm and offer sustenance. I know that the roots have to be watered so that flowers and fruits may emerge. It is my conviction that the students are my all. If you ask me, what is my property, many expect the answer to be, “Oh! All these buildings, all this vast area of land.” But my answer is, “My entire property consists of my students.” I have offered myself to them.
But many are not aware of this fact. Some unfortunate people cannot believe the Reality of this love of a thousand mothers. Those who cannot gauge the depth of a single mother’s affection for her child, how can they ever understand the possibility and the presence of the love of a thousand mothers? “When disaster impends reason is perverted,” says the adage. They ruin themselves by denying the fact of such love. I know that all the thousands of fruits that a tree bears do not ripen into tasty edible ones. Some are stolen; some rot away, some are attacked by pests: only a few ripen and confer Ananda on others. In a running race, all do not win the first place. Many drop out along the track. If at least a few students rise up to the high ideals we have set before us, I am confident that the country can be made prosperous and happy through them.
The chief characteristic of Sathya Sai is, let me tell you, equanimity, forbearance and Sahana. There are many who are engaged in criticism and calumny. Many papers publish all types of writings. Many pamphlets are printed. All kinds of things happen in the world. My reply to all these is just a smile. The reason is such criticisms and distortions are the inevitable accompaniments of everything good and great. Only the fruit laden tree is hit by stones thrown by greedy people. No one casts a stone on the tree that bears no fruit!
There are some others who suffer from sheer envy at the increasing number and phenomenal progress of Sathya Sai Seva Organisations and the Sathya Sai Educational Institutions and they try to invent falsehoods and cause agitation in the tender minds of innocent students.
Embodiments of Love! Not these only, but even if the entire world opposes unitedly, nothing can affect me. My mission is essentially mine. I am engaged in the good. My heart is ever full of benediction. I have no ego. I do not own any thing. This is my Truth. Those who have faith in this, My Truth, will not hesitate to dedicate themselves to it. Those who have faults and defects react with anger and fear. But, the lion with no fault and no defect will not react so. I am aware of this and so I am always in Ananda, Ananda, Ananda.
Many of the devotees from foreign lands wish me “Happy Birthday”! I tell them, “I am always happy. Wish happiness for those who are unhappy.” There is no need to wish that I may have Ananda or happiness. I am happy at all times. When you identify Divinity and Truth, such confusion will not arise in your minds.
Cultivate faith in God and Love towards all beings. And, as always, follow the directives I have been emphasising.