SSSIHL XIX Convocation Discourse – 2000
Audio excerpt of the Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the SSSIHL Annual Convocation
Education for supreme Bliss
True education is that which teaches us the way to achieve world peace by removing narrow-mindedness and inculcating unity, fraternity and equality.
Embodiments of Divine Love, Students –Boys and Girls, Patrons of Education and Educational Administrators!
Today what the world needs is neither wealth nor any materialistic advancement. It needs students who are ideal and who work for the welfare of society. The field of education today is plagued by problems which confuse everybody. We rarely find students working for the welfare of society and strengthening its moral fabric. Today students struggle to acquire power, position and wealth. They do not put in any effort to inculcate virtues in themselves. It is a mistake to think that service done to society is for someone else. In fact, it is service to oneself and to God. Sarvata Pani padam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham, Sarvata Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Thishthati (with hands, feet, head, mouth and ears pervading every-thing, God permeates the entire universe).
Recognise the Truth of your Divinity
There is one power that pervades both microcosm and macrocosm. That power is the Cosmic Divine. The divine consciousness present in you is the same as that present in all. The whole world is filled with this divine consciousness. People who realise this eternal truth will not tread the wrong path. Forms are many but the divine power is one. Therefore, man should endeavour to recognise his innate divinity. Today there are millions of scholars and intellectuals. Have they done anything good for society? They promote only their selfishness and self-interest. Rarely do we find such people working for the welfare of the country. Only when selfishness is removed completely from the nature of men will there be purity in the country.
The body, mind and intellect alone do not make a man. They are the vestures put on by man. The body is inert. The mind is negative. Man considers himself to be a combination of the inert body and negative mind. But man is eternal and changeless. ‘Man’ lives eternally at all times and in all states of existence. Whatever you hear, talk, think and act is the reflection of the inner being. You may consider yourself to be highly educated. It is merely the reflection of the inner divine. The studies you undertake are merely reflection, reaction and resound and cannot be considered as true education. All these shall diminish in their value in course of time. Humanness is permanent and has no birth or death. This body is bound to change but the ‘man’ never dies. You take man to be the embodied being which is subject to birth and death. The permanent man lies in humanness and is imperishable. The other name of man is ‘Nara’ (one who does not perish). The Atma does not change. Why then do you fear death when you are the embodiment of the Self? You are the eternal truth. Being the embodiment of truth and eternity, why do you go after these changing and temporary things? Today’s education can confer only worldly comforts. Besides secular education, one should acquire the knowledge of the Atma. You can experience the divine power which is all pervasive. This is called the Cosmic Divine. Many scientists have experimented a lot to discover this power. But what is the outcome? They tend to discover what is transient and worldly. You should try to recognise the oneness of the divine power that pervades the entire universe. Once you recognise this truth, you will never be subjected to worries. The power that pervades the whole universe is also in your little finger. You doubt this fact, go by the name and form and enfeeble yourself. Once you transcend the name and form and realise the divine energy, you get enormous strength.
Divine Energy is the Basis of Life
Embodiments of Love!
Love is the basis of life in this world. There is nothing which you cannot accomplish with love.
“It is the power of love that makes the earth revolve without the support of any axle. It is the power of love that holds the stars in their positions without falling down. It is the power of love that withholds the oceans from submerging the earth. It is the power of love that makes the wind blow over the seven worlds. This sacred love is eternal, most amazing and indivisible. That love is the life breath of man.”
Without love, mankind cannot exist. Humanness is not based on the form alone. In fact, we can consider all beings to be divine. But man is carried away by the differences in form. When you realise the oneness of all these forms, you can enjoy eternal bliss. Therefore, it is important to start practising this principle of unity in your lives.
“What is the use of all your learning when it does not help you to change your destiny? When bad thoughts enter your mind, all your education and intelligence become futile and meaningless.”
Therefore, you should never entertain bad thoughts. You should recognise the purity present in humanity. Fire burns everything. Cosmic Divine is like fire. It is present everywhere and incinerates all evil to ashes. Mind makes the man. But man can be transformed into the divine. Thus, there is no difference between Manava (man) and Madhava (Divinity). The power latent in you is the same as in God. Because of his physical form, man appears to be different. Never be carried away by these forms. Put your faith in the divine power. The Manas (mind), the Buddhi (intellect), the Chitta (limited human consciousness) and the Antahkarana (inner instrument) appear to be different. But the energy that activates them all is one. All are nothing but consciousness. Because of his narrow vision, man is unable to perceive these verities.
Embodiments of Love!
Never hate anyone, because the principle of love is immanent in all. Divine energy too is present in all. Never criticise or denigrate anyone. Love all. That itself is divine consciousness which transforms into divine power. Therefore, never give scope to bad thoughts. With pure conviction declare that you are the Cosmic Divine present in all. Many people take recourse to many spiritual practices without understanding their own innate divinity. “Neither by penance nor by pilgrimage nor by study of scriptures nor by Japa can one cross the ocean of life. One can achieve it only by serving the pious.” (Sanskrit Verse) So, enter the path of service. Divinity is the same in all. There is no duality in the universe. The Vedas proclaim: “Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti”. (truth is one, but scholars refer to it by many names). Though the bulbs are many, the current is one. Dresses may be many but the cloth is one. Men are many, but the consciousness is one. This is universal consciousness or the Cosmic Divine. Universal consciousness gets limited to individual consciousness by man’s attachment to the physical form. Consciousness is one, but man is cultivating differences on the basis of forms.
Jewels are many but gold is one
Cows are many but milk is one
Beings are many but the breath is one
Castes are many, humanity is one
Science has also to recognise this oneness of universal consciousness. There is only unity in this universe. Man sees plurality on the basis of names and forms. Once he transcends names and forms, he can experience unity. Since he has been experiencing duality on the basis of names and forms, he sees plurality and gets deluded. There should be no scope for doubt, hatred or anger. Realise that everything is love. Imbibing in yourself this principle of love, you should serve others with the feeling that you are serving God Himself. Lead your life inspired by such sacred ideals.
Transcend the Mind to Attain Equanimity.
There is an inner being in man which is his subtle body. Body consciousness is related to the gross body; it can overshadow the inner subtle body which is comprised of the mind, the intellect, the Chitta and the Antahkarana. One has to transcend this body consciousness and rise to the level of Higher Consciousness which is also termed as Overmind. This Higher Consciousness experiences everything but is not attached to anything. As long as the mind exists, it is not possible to enter the realms of Higher Consciousness.
It is said, “Mano Mulam Idam Jagat” (the mind is the basis for the universe). The mind pervades the entire universe. The mind sees names and forms; it sees the duality of the material world. If you go beyond the material life, you can experience what is called ‘vibration life’. This higher state is also termed as Super Mind. In this state of Super Mind, you experience equanimity. The state of equanimity is true Vedanta. There can be no happiness without equanimity. The Vedas declare:
Saha Nau Bhunakthu
Saha Veeryam Karavavahai
(May the Lord protect and nourish us!
May we grow in intelligence and valour working together!
May we live in friendship without hatred!)
The primary teaching of the Vedas is cultivation of unity. The Vedas teach the principle of oneness. But there is no unity in the world today.
Today is the day of Convocation when you all receive degrees. These degrees are also some kind of titles. Of what use are such titles if you have to beg in order to live? Your education is not for this. Secular knowledge is for earning your livelihood. It is through spiritual knowledge that you attain the supreme bliss. But as long as you live at the level of the mind, you have to pursue secular studies. The moment you transcend the mind, this education can be overlooked. Man ascends to the Divine by transcending his mind.
One should cultivate the Cosmic Mind. Westerners refer to it as the Cosmic Power. They have come upon this truth now, while the Bharatiyas have known it for centuries. But having known the truth, they have not been able to put it into practice. Man has become zero in practice. Only through practise, can you realise the Atma.
Divine Energy Pervades Everything
Everything is governed by the Divine Will. Whatever happens in this world is only the Divine Drama. He who understands this is truly a man of wisdom. The Atma is the true nature of man. What is the Atma? What is Chaitanya? They are all aspects of energy which has no form. While the current is without any form, a bulb, a fan or an electric stove has a definite form. In each appliance, it does have a different function. If you say, “Oh current, how helpful you have been to me!” and touch it, you get a shock. Current has that energy and hence it is a form of the Cosmic Divine. This is also illustrated in the story of Bhasmasura who could reduce anything to ashes through the power he had acquired from the Divine by penance. This inner energy expresses itself in the form of knowledge. Knowledge has to be transformed into skill to achieve balance in life. But people today are killing this knowledge thereby losing their balance. By losing balance in their lives, they acquire only outward vision and do not cultivate inner vision or insight. When your outlook is projected outwards, your mind starts wavering. You should maintain balance in life. It is possible only when you transform your knowledge into skill. For this, you should get rid of all bad feelings and shun body attachment. All the suffering in the world is due to body attachment. You should cultivate attachment to the Atma. Many people may feel why Bhagawan teaches all these to the youngsters. Actually, it is very important to everyone be it a youngster, middle-aged man or an old one.
‘Man wastes his childhood in fun and frolic. In youth, his life is wasted by indulging in sensual pleasures. In middle age, man submerges himself in materialistic pursuits and struggles all the time to earn wealth. In old age, he laments over the lack of this or that and does not think of God. Without any interest in the path of devotion, he is bogged down in the cycle of cause and effect and thus ruins his life.”
Start early, drive slowly and reach safely. Start making efforts even when you are still young. What will you gain if you waste all your energy in your youth and then start thinking about God in old age?
Students! Boys and Girls!
Realise that the cosmic energy present in everyone is the same. Everything is Universal Cosmic Energy. This is referred to as ‘Divine Cosmic Power’. This Divine Cosmic Power is present within ourselves and we need not seek it outside. In this world, all the energy that we see, all the energy that we study and all the energy that we hear of is within us. Anything that you do not have within yourselves does not exist anywhere else. Everything is reflection, reaction and resound. Every human is divine. When you realise this truth, all your troubles and worries vanish. When body attachment increases, worries also increase. On this basis it is said ‘Less luggage, more comfort, makes travel a pleasure.’ Vedanta refers to this as ‘renunciation’. Renunciation does not mean giving up home and hearth and going to forest. It means experiencing the unity of all beings. You imagine all the differences. They do not exist really. All that you study is borrowed knowledge. All this education is required in the material world. You should acquire it only as much as is necessary.
Can you call a person educated just because one knows how to read and write? Are you an educated person just because you have acquired a college degree? No. Can education without good feelings and good mind be called ‘true education’? If education is merely for a living, then are not the animals and birds living?’ Education is for life, it is not for a living. Without realising this truth, men put themselves in many snares for the sake of eking out a livelihood.
Secular Education Vs Spiritual Knowledge
Embodiments of Love!
Being born as human, we should recognise the divine energy within us. We should experience this divine energy. Today what we have to share and spread is bliss and not misery. Human life is highly sacred. Secular education is also important. You should try to acquire it within certain limits. Otherwise, why should we establish colleges and educational institutions?
Secular knowledge is essential for your welfare in this world. But for the welfare hereafter, the knowledge of Brahman is essential. Secular education is merely for the body and not for life. It cannot help you to understand the nature of the Atma. There is no greater education than the one which helps you to understand the nature of the Atma.
Why can’t you recognise your own truth instead of knowing so much about others? You enquire of others ‘Who are you?’ Instead of that you should enquire ‘Who am I?’ Of what use is knowing about others when you do not know who you are? When you know yourself, you will easily understand others. The same principle is immanent in you and others. It is the all-pervading universal consciousness. You should recognise this divine energy. Then you will not have any suffering or misery. Bhagawan states this from His own experience. My life is My message (cheers). Bhagawan is always blissful. Bhagawan has no worries. People greet Bhagawan ‘Happy Birthday’. Greet others who are not happy. Worries come and go. These are like passing clouds. Why then do you fear? Body is bound to perish one day or the other. It is like a water bubble. Mind is like a mad monkey. Why do you follow it? Follow the conscience which is eternal. That is the goal of your life. Everyone in this world seeks happiness. This bliss is within you. Human body is made up of five sheaths. Annamaya Kosha (food sheath) relates to the physical body. The subtle body comprises Pranamaya Kosha (life sheath), Manomaya Kosha (mind sheath) and Vijnanamaya Kosha (wisdom sheath). The ultimate sheath of bliss (Anandamaya Kosha) is one’s goal of life. The Vijnanamaya Kosha should not be confused with science.
The body undergoes changes in four stages childhood, youth, middle age and old age. But you remain unchanged. You introduce yourself as ‘I’ when enquired by others in all the stages of your life. This ‘I’ is a single letter. You attach many decorations to it. Cross the ‘I’, i.e., feeling of body consciousness or ego. The Christian Cross is a symbol for the elimination of ego. When the feeling of ‘I’ is eliminated, the ego vanishes and you become God. You should understand and experience the real nature of ‘I’.
Your life is full of love. Anything may change but love does not change. Being born and brought up in love, we are full of love. Cut your ego and cultivate love. When ego enters, love vanishes. Do not give any scope for ego to enter. When you recognise the purity of love, you will get rid of your faults. Everything is based on pure and selfless love. In fact, love is Divine. But you ignore this divinity. This is the biggest mistake.
Human body will perish one day or the other. Don’t go by the body. It is only an instrument. The strength that lies in the body is yours. When you recognise this power, you will become divine. “Master the mind and be a mastermind.” Do not become a slave, but become the master.
Students have to pursue secular education as it helps them to earn their livelihood. You also have to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of your parents and make them happy. Along with secular education, spiritual education is also necessary. This type of education confers happiness and peace upon you. Develop sacred and good feelings and live a noble life. Make your parents happy. Never trouble them. It is they who gave you life and brought you up. If possible, try to explain to your parents the noble and good things you have learnt here. The Vedas say, “Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava…”. So, consider your parents as God. Follow their words and keep them happy. With good conduct and behaviour earn a good name in this world.
The knowledge acquired by you should make you recognise your inner being. Secular education is like a passing cloud. It comes and goes. The reality which is within is eternal principle. Hold on to it and strengthen your faith. You have already acquired good and high education. On this Convocation day, Bhagawan’s only advice to you is to put it into practice. Share with others what you have learnt and derive happiness therefrom. The Union Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, is a highly educated and knowledgeable person. He has told you many good things. How far have you understood them? If you are able to understand even one principle mentioned by him, it will transform your life. A single matchstick is enough to burn any quantity of matter.
There is only one reality that exists. If you realise this, you can achieve anything. It is only the body attachment that obstructs your vision. In a house you have different rooms like drawing room, dining room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. Each room is separated from the other by a wall existing between them. If you remove these walls, you will find only one big hall. Similarly, when you remove the walls of body consciousness, you will develop a broad mind.
Education should be Free
You have studied in this institute for many years. When you go out, teach others what you have learnt here and be a role model. Lead an exemplary life and be happy. Your happiness is My happiness. Bhagawan does not expect anything other than this from you.
The Minister has said that there is only one way to keep students on the right path. Bhagawan too agrees with him. That is purity. It alone guides you in the right way. Our students are not paying any tuition fee, laboratory fee or examination fee. They come here empty handed and go out with immense wealth of education (cheers). They learn here humility, discipline and faith. Education should confer humility. In other institutions, many students do not possess this quality of humility. Those students pay fees. So, the teachers and authorities are not able to question the students and correct them. Since the authorities are collecting money for providing education, they are afraid of taking any disciplinary action against the students. Educational institutions, which are supposed to be Saraswati Mandirs (centres of learning) have turned into Lakshmi Mandirs (centres of money). Money is able to purchase even degrees. Admission, attendance and, it is said, even promotion to a higher class is possible on payment of money.
In My opinion, Government should provide free education to all students (cheers). It is spending crores of rupees on many programmes. Collection of fees from students cannot add to Government revenue much. Provide free education to the children and they will be good. Education which is purchased can lead only to agitation. Unable to secure jobs with purchased degrees, some students even put an end to their lives. The Government is responsible for this. Only free education will develop good relationship between the people and the Government. We at Prasanthi Nilayam do not collect even a paisa from any student in our institutes. Not only do we provide free education, scholarships are also given to our students as an encouragement and reward. Our students develop an unwavering mind and make their parents happy. They lead a happy life. They are pure at heart. They do not possess any evil feelings. Leaving aside a negligible minority, they are like pure unalloyed gold. (cheers) They do not like to leave the Institute and Swami even after they finish their education.
But some students have to leave the Institute after finishing their education. Parents wish to live with their children. So, they have to obey them and fulfil their wishes also. Many of our students, even after completing M.Sc. or MBA, again apply for Ph.D. Their intention is to stay with Swami for a few more years. They desire all these degrees only to be with Swami. On the other hand, those students who purchase education (in other places) long to leave their institutes and go in search of jobs as soon as they receive a degree. Our students are not like that. Along with degrees, they also possess good character. They conduct themselves in a befitting way.
Audio Source: Sri Sathya Sai Media Centre, Radio Sai Archives
Transcript Source: ‘Benedictory Addresses’ (Edition: May 2011), published by Sri Sathya Sai Sadhana Trust, Publications Division