Lead Ideal Lives
Students! Preceptors! Educationists!
From times of yore, Bharat has been promoting peace and security in the world by its spiritual message. The quintessence of that message is contained in the pronouncement: “Let all the peoples of the world be happy.” The culture of Bharat is based on the eternal truth, which is unaffected by time and place, unchanged by circumstances, untainted by historical changes and untouched by natural calamities.
The ancient Vedic tests proclaimed the dictum: “Speak the Truth, Live righteously” (“Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara”). Students should be the guardians of Truth and Righteousness. They need not be the protectors of the nation. Truth and Righteousness will protect the nation. “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshitah” (“Righteousness protects him who protects it”).
We are able to see the Divine aspects of man only in the mirror of education. Education is the primary means of comprehending and controlling manifestations in creation.
Knowledge and virtue
What students have to acquire are human values. Together with the acquisition of every conceivable knowledge and the pursuit of scientific studies, they should cultivate human values. They need good qualities even more than Intellectual abilities. Of what use is a mountain of knowledge without good qualities?
It is virtue that lends beauty to man. “Knowledge is a secret treasure for man. It is the source of fame and peace and security. It is the teacher of teachers. Such knowledge is like a kinsman when one travels abroad. “Knowledge is an additional eye for man. Kings honour knowledge and not wealth. A man without knowledge is a more animal.” (Bhagawan recited a Sanskrit stanza and translated its purport).
It is not enough if one becomes a scientist. To equate science with all knowledge is a travesty of truth. Together with knowledge, the student should acquire humility, egolessness, and selflessness as essential ingredients. Education should be pursued for the development of one’s personality and cultivation of the heart.
To make one a full man it is necessary to instill in him faith in the Indwelling Motivator (“Antahkarana”). Education today seems to be concerned with artificial things rather than the understanding of the inner consciousness (“Chaitanya”). “Discarding the idea that education is for acquiring degrees, students should engage themselves in social service and promote the progress of the nation.” (Poem)
Education: then and now
‘In olden times’ in the hermitage of the preceptor, when the disciples completed their term of education, the preceptor used to offer them wise and whole some counsel such as: “Truth should not be neglected. Duty should not be ignored. Speak the Truth. Follow Dharma. Revere your father and mother as God. Revere your teacher as God.”
Today there is no evidence of unity among the people. Hatred and jealousy are growing. The reason for the loss of peace in the world is the disappearance of fear of sin and love of God.
Without wisdom and good conduct, can there be right education? The ancient system of education has gone and a misdirected system has taken its place. Consequently, truth and righteousness have assumed bizarre forms. Sacred Nature has turned away from the people. Qualities like compassion and goodness have given place to their opposites because fear of sin, love of God and social morality have declined.
Students! Remember that every atom in Bharat is sacred. You owe a great deal to Bharat. You must strive to serve the Motherland, earn her grace, and share the joy derived therefrom with others.
Devotion and faith are essential for man. Divinity is present in invisible subtle form in’ the human being. Only the student who manifests this divinity within him is worth the name. “Good qualities, truth, devotion, discipline and duty are what students should learn through education.” (Poem)
Students and sense control
Discipline, which should be the primary characteristic of a student, is seldom in evidence today. Students seem to think that an easy and physically comfortable life is conducive to happiness. This is not so. True happiness can come only from control of the senses (“Indriya nigraham”) and from the bliss of the Spirit (“Atmanandam”). The first requisite is for students to develop sense control. The Goddess of Knowledge, Saraswati, confers her blessings only on the student who practises self-control.
Unfortunately, educational institutions, which ought to be Temples of the Goddess of Learning (Saraswati), have become today abodes of the Goddess of Wealth (Lakshmi). Money has to be used for getting admissions, for manipulating marks, for securing a pass, and soon. This process of commercialisation of education has led to the flight of the Goddess of Knowledge from the educational institutions.
Students! Bharat lost its sacredness from the moment the sale of food, the sale of knowledge and the sale of medical services started in the country. Education should not be a salable commodity. It is high time teachers took a pledge to impart education to students without regard to emoluments or rigid timetables. Education should be for life and not for earning a living. Students who are interested in education only for the purpose of getting a job and earning an income, should remember that “Money comes and goes. Morality comes and grows.”
Education should aim at making a man a full human being. It should go further and make him an ideal human being. This was the aim of the ancient culture of Bharat. It laid stress on a system of refined practices (Samskaras). But today “Samsara” (family life) has taken the place of Samskara. Students should bear in mind that what will keep company with them all through life are their good actions (Samskaras) and not their domestic exercises. Your fortunes in life depend upon your good actions. Developing your thoughts on right lines, I wish that students going out from this University should serve as ideal examples in the world, promoting peace and prosperity wherever they go. Bear in mind four important sayings
“Sow an action, reap a tendency.
Sow a tendency, reap a habit,
Sow a habit, reap a character. and
Sow a character and reap a destiny.”
You are the maker of your destiny.
You can do or undo it.