SSSIHL XXVI Convocation Discourse – 2007
Audio excerpt of the Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the SSSIHL Annual Convocation
Realisation of Oneness is the Hallmark of True Education
Dear Students! Boys and Girls!
Man struggles hard day and night just to earn money. Why should he waste all his time in such futile pursuits?
Embodiments of Love!
It is not proper for man to neglect what he is supposed to do and engage himself in unnecessary pursuits, and thereby waste his time and effort. Time is sacred and eternal. Time waste is life waste. You are students. You have to become leaders of others.
Human Values Signify Man’s True Nature
Every human being has desires. It is the duty of students to control their desires. Control of desires is the hallmark of a student. Desires come one after the other in an unending stream. The control of these desires should be the aim of a student. ‘Vidya’ comes from the root ‘Vid’, which connotes the light of knowledge. Hence, Vidya is that which gives us the light of knowledge and shows us the path where there is darkness of ignorance. Therefore, students! You should become ideal for all. We look after our students with great love so that they grow up to be ideal persons. Enormous amount of money is charged by outside institutions for providing education to students. We do not collect even a naya paisa from our students. Not only do we provide free education, we provide water and healthcare also totally free of cost to millions of people. In fact, we give something to our students instead of taking anything from them, and help all needy students in every possible way. When you understand this truth and conduct yourself accordingly, only then can you become a true student. We treat our students like our children (loud applause). Education is your property. Do not consider education as a means of your livelihood and sustenance in this world. Education is not meant only to help you to lead a worldly life. Even illiterate people can lead a worldly life in some way or the other. What is the use of your degrees like M.A., M.B.A., M.Sc., and all your education if you use your education to lead a worldly life like illiterate people? Modern education may be of some help to man to lead an outer worldly life. But there is nothing in it that supports man’s inner life. That which supports man’s inner life is adherence to truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence. These five values signify the true nature of a human being. Truth is basic to all these values.
The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?
Visualise this pure and unsullied truth.
God is the creator of all living beings of the world right from an ant to an elephant. Nothing can happen without the Will of God. Even the small ants that you see are born out of the Will of God. Therefore, Thyagaraja said, “Cheemalo Brahmalo Siva Kesavaadulalo Prema Meera Velasi Unde Birudhu Vahinchina Rama Nannu Brovara” (Oh Rama! In Your pure and unsullied form of love, You indwell all beings from an ant to Brahma as also in Siva and Kesava. Please be my protector too).
Do not Forget Fundamental Principle of Creation
You are aware of the truth of this song. But when an ant comes and bites you, you kill it at once. On the other hand, when Brahma manifests before you, you offer your salutations to him with folded hands. You should understand that the same Atma is present in all the creatures although they are of different forms. Those who have faith in the oneness of the Atma do not face any troubles anywhere, at any time. Everything becomes available to a person who has self-confidence. All the desires of man serve only his little self. He wants everything for himself. “This is my body, this is my head, this is my mind.” Then who is this ‘my’? When you say ‘my body’, it is your body only today and tomorrow. Day after tomorrow, where is your body? You have so much trust in and attachment to this body which does not belong to you! The body is the gift of God. In fact, everything is the gift of God. (Bhagavan showing His handkerchief) This is a handkerchief. Where has it come from? Has it come from the sky? No, no. It has come from cotton. From cotton thread is made and from thread comes the cloth. Hence, there can be no thread without cotton and no cloth without thread. Therefore, if we want a handkerchief, we require both cotton and thread. Just as cotton is the basis of cloth, there is a fundamental basis for everything. We should not forget this fundamental principle of creation. We become the victim of all problems and difficulties when we forget this fundamental principle.
We repeat the name of God. But where do you think He really is? God is with you, in you, around you and behind you. You are God. You should develop firm faith in this truth. God does not leave you and go somewhere else. He is present in the form of Atma in all the crores of people. We see different names and forms. But the principle of the Atma is the same in all in spite of the diversity of names and forms. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (truth is one, but the wise refer to it by various names). Jewels are many but gold is one. You may have all types of ornaments but if you melt them, all will change into gold only. Therefore, embodiments of Divine Atma! Try to know the fundamental principle.
My Words, Actions and Life itself is for your Welfare
You may think that you, your mother and your father are different. In fact, all three of you are one. Therefore, you should never think that you are different from each other. A man with a dual mind is half blind. Hence, do not have a dual mind. The education that you are acquiring today is not merely for your benefit; it is for the benefit of your fellow human beings and even animals, birds and other creatures. You should help each and every living being. Only then can you call yourselves truly educated. Even if you come across someone who bears enmity against you, you should greet him with love, saying “hello, hello”. Love everyone. Do not hate anyone. Nobody bears any hatred towards Swami. You may ask if there is anyone whom Swami does not like. All are recipients of My love. My love is present in all. I neither bear any hatred against anyone nor do I cause any harm to anyone. I do not betray anyone either. Since the feeling of oneness is firm in Me, everybody loves Me. In fact, the entire mankind loves Me and I love the entire mankind. It is only those who lack faith think that Swami may have the feelings of hatred. It is merely their delusion; there is no truth in it. All My words, all My actions and My life itself is for your welfare (loud applause). You should understand this principle and develop faith in it. When you develop faith, love will manifest there on its own. When you have both love and faith, all your aspirations will be fulfilled. Therefore, love and faith are most important in the life of man. All other things which come in between are like passing clouds which come and go. You should not pay attention to them. You should carefully preserve love and faith. Faith is the image of love. Love is the very form of God. Love is God. Live in Love. Truth is truth and it never changes. Hence, truth is God. Never think God is separate from you. God is not separate from the world because the entire world is His form. You should constantly remember this principle of oneness.
Understand the Oneness of the Principle of Atma
You read many types of books. All these books contain the letters of the same alphabet. Voluminous books can be written using only 26 letters. You would have seen lawyers carrying big books. The same alphabet is the basis of all of them. Similarly, the basis of everything is God, whether it is health, happiness, comforts or conveniences. Only God is the basis of even good and bad. Truly speaking, nothing bad is seen in this world. Wherever you see, it is good only. Since you do not understand the meaning of goodness properly, you see bad in it. The bad that you see is only due to the difference of time. The good food you eat today becomes waste matter tomorrow morning. What is Phala (fruit) today becomes Mala (excreta) tomorrow. If you understand this relationship, you will understand the unity of good and bad. And unity is divinity. God is present in everything. There is no place where God does not exist. Nobody has the right to say that God is here and not there. Only one thing exists and that is Divinity. We imagine many forms of one Divinity and thereby create confusion in the world. The reason for this confusion is that we consider all individuals separate from each other. We should give up these individual differences to some extent. All the education that we acquire is meant only to help us to do away with these individual differences. When you see the unity in this relationship, then everything will become one.
Religions are many but goal is one.
Clothes are many but yarn is one.
Beings are many but breath is one.
So many people are sitting here. They are not separate individuals. Only bodies are separate, but the divinity present in all the bodies is one only. Therefore, whomsoever you see, you should consider him as divine. Love everyone considering him as the embodiment of divinity. Due to the illusion caused by the body attachment, you see individual differences. All your troubles are caused by this delusion only. Therefore, you yourself are the cause of your troubles. Both good and bad originate only from your mind. Mind is only one but it plays all types of tricks on you. All your education and all your degrees are meant only to understand that the principle of the Atma is one. Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second). You should carefully preserve this truth in your heart. You may think that some people have enmity towards you. It is due to your own feelings that you see change in others. Otherwise, there is no change in them. Everything in this world is only reaction, reflection and resound but the reality is only one. If we have such a feeling, we will be filled with immense bliss. You may wonder as to how Swami is always smiling blissfully. I always keep smiling because I consider everyone as one. Your bliss is My food. You should also attain this bliss. The other day, our children performed a drama. I was filled with bliss on seeing it.
All are one. We say, ‘I and we’. Where does ‘we’ come from? It comes only from ‘I’. Without ‘I’, there can be no ‘we’. Hence, ‘I’ is only one. When you cut it in the middle, it becomes a cross. What is meant by cross? It means breaking of the individual ‘I’. Therefore, we should consider everyone as one. We should cultivate the feelings of oneness and consider all as our brothers and sisters. There is no one other than brothers and sisters anywhere. Moreover, brothers and sisters are not separate; both are one. If you think on these lines, you will see total unity in this world. You may think, there is diversity in the world. But there is nothing like diversity. It is only unity. When we install the principle of oneness in our heart firmly, we will find unity everywhere. Suppose, you love a girl. But who is this girl? She is not separate from you. It amounts to loving your own self. When you consider her separate from you, you call her your wife. But if you think in terms of unity, both of you are one. You should clearly understand this principle of oneness. In spite of the diversity of forms, there is the underlying principle of unity.
A Truly Educated Person Recognises the Unity of All
Embodiments of Love! Students!
You should all become ideal. If you become ideal, others will also become ideal. Therefore, do not observe any differences of mine and thine. All are one. Be alike to everyone. You should always remember this. Only then can you be called a true student. Otherwise, you can be merely called a literate person but not really an educated one. There is a lot of difference between an educated person and a literate one. What is the meaning of an educated person? A truly educated person is one who recognises the unity of all. Modern education gives only bookish knowledge. It is Vidya (light of knowledge) which makes us understand the principle of unity and illumines our path. In the absence of Vidya, we will have to live in the darkness of ignorance.
Embodiments of Love!
Develop love for God. If you divert your love towards worldly things, it will keep changing from time to time. Love is only one. Focus it on the principle of oneness and experience bliss. Consider all your brothers and sisters whomsoever you come across. Someone addressed a public gathering, saying ‘Brothers and Sisters except one.’ When someone asked him, he told that the one referred to his wife. It is because you tied Mangal Sutra (sacred thread worn by married women), she became your wife. If there is no Mangal Sutra, there is no husband and no wife. Therefore, all are one. Live in unity without observing any differences. Whatever little you have, share it with your fellow beings.
Arjuna won the hand of Draupadi in a Swayamvara (ceremony to select a groom by the bride). When the five Pandava brothers returned home along with Draupadi, they told mother Kunti that they had brought a wonderful fruit. Kunti did not see anyone and said from inside the house, “My dear ones! Share the fruit among five of you equally.” That is how Draupadi became the wife of all the five Pandavas. It is for this reason that Krishna publicly declared:
Draupadi dutifully obeyed the command of her husbands. She would never say to any one of them that she had no time to serve him. She was satisfied with whatever she got in life. She was the supreme example of chastity and none could match her in this respect. (Telugu Poem)
The relationship between Draupadi and the Pandavas was so intimate as if she was in them and they were in her. That is how she faithfully served all five of them. All the five brothers observed proper discipline. They could live happily because they observed discipline. You should follow the principle of oneness in order to lead a happy life. When you observe this principle of oneness, there will neither be any differences nor any anger or mistakes.
Everything is fine with Me; not only My body, but everything. My mind does not waver hither and thither. Body may undergo changes but I always remain changeless. Some people ask, “Swami! How is it that You are always smiling? Don’t You have any sorrow?” No sorrow can ever touch Me. Whatever has to happen will happen at its own time. If you unnecessarily worry about it, can you escape from it? If you start worrying, your worries will become manifold. Therefore, do not allow the worries to come near you. Once you allow a worry to enter your mind, it will not leave you. When your examinations come near, you start worrying, “How am I going to write my examinations?” Why all this? Whatever you know, you will write. Then why should you have fear? When you stop worrying, you will be able to write your examinations well. Do not have any fear even if someone comes with a gun to shoot you. He can shoot only your body, but can he shoot your mind, intellect or Atma? None can touch the Atma. How far is the Atma? The sky is far away. Nobody can tell how far away it is. That is why it is said ‘sky is blue’. How deep is the sea? None can estimate. So, they say ‘ocean is blue’. Since nobody can tell the height, width and depth of the sky and the ocean, both are described in the same manner. Similarly, none can describe the form of divinity. Hence, blue colour is ascribed to God. But in reality, God is not blue in colour. If really God were to manifest in blue colour, you would put Him in an exhibition. None can bring about any change in divinity. There may be change in you but not in your Atma. Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (It is attributeless, unsullied, final abode, eternal, pure, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). That is why it is said, Buddhi Grahyamatheendriyam (the Atma is beyond the ken of the senses and can be understood only by the intellect). Do not make futile efforts to change the principle of Atma.
Students should Bring a Good Name to their Parents and Institution
Earn a good name and bring a good name to your parents and society. Society can be good only when the students are good. From all quarters, I hear that our students have a good name wherever they go. You should live up to this good reputation and maintain it. This is the only desire I have. Whatever you require, I will give. In fact, I have given Myself to you. Be always happy. Do not fight and abuse each other. Live like brothers. Education is meant to foster this equality in you. You can be called truly educated only when you have this equality. What is the use of all this education if ultimately one is going to die? A mean minded person will not give up his wicked qualities in spite of all his education. You should always remain a good student. First and foremost, make your parents happy. If you cannot make your parents happy, how can you make Me happy? When you live happily with your parents in your house, I am also happy. When people say, these students are from Sri Sathya Sai College, then our institution gets a good name and you also earn a good reputation. When you go to Delhi and enquire, you will find that Sathya Sai School and Sathya Sai College are held in high esteem by the government. The recognition that our university has received is not attained by any other institution. There are many colleges which have been functioning for a number of years. But they have not been recognised. On the other hand, our college had hardly completed two years when Madhuri Shah (the then chairperson of U.G.C.) came from Delhi and said that it should be made a university. Many people opposed her, “How can we give recognition to an institution which has not completed even two years?” they argued. At that time Bhagavantham, who used to translate My Discourses, was by My side. He was a scientist. He also whispered into My ears, “Swami! This is impossible.” But I declared emphatically, “It is possible.” During the second year, the committee came and saw everything. They said that it was the topmost college and it should be given the status of a university. Madhuri Shah again came here and inaugurated it. Then she said in public, “Bhagavantham, you said it is impossible. But how has it now become possible?” In fact, this is not possible for others.
All our students are highly virtuous, learned and intelligent. You may not be aware how great name our university has in America. There are 180 students of our university in America. All of them came here some time ago. They wanted to spend their entire vacation here only and did not want to go anywhere else. Goldstein, who is the President of the Sai Organisation in America for the last 20 years, is here with us today. (Bhagawan then called Dr. Goldstein to the dais and asked him to speak).
Dr. Goldstein said, “It has been my experience with many students who have come to America that they have brought light to the Sai Organisation not only in America but all over the world. The light of Swami’s love has conveyed the divine essence to his devotees in almost 200 countries all over the world. These students have brought Swami’s message, Swami’s love and inspired the devotees to rise and aspire to achieve the realisation of their own divinity. You must realise how fortunate you are to be here at the Divine Lotus Feet, to have studied in this university and to be the ambassadors of divine love and inspiration to the world. Should it be necessary for me to live another life, I pray to Swami that He would let me come and be a student at this university.”
Long ago, when Bhagwati was at Ahmedabad, I told him, “Very soon, you will be going to Delhi.” I asked him to pack up his luggage. Bhagwati was doubtful. He said, “My name is not there in the panel. How can I go to Delhi?” Very soon, he received the orders. He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court. Right from that day, he has never forgotten Bhagawan any moment of his life all these years. He is dear to Me.
Justice Bhagwati (former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India) said, “Today words fail me to express what I am feeling within myself. Swami has been so kind and so affectionate all these years that I can never forget. He has shaped and moulded my life. Whatever I am today is entirely because of His divine grace. My prayer to Him is that He may continue to be my Divine Master so long as I am alive. Not only in this life but in all the lives to come, I may always continue to serve Him.”