SSSIHL XXVIII Convocation Discourse – 2009
Audio excerpt of the Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the SSSIHL Annual Convocation
Students should Practise what they Study
Bereft of truth, righteousness, peace and love,
the value of all your education is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, peace and love,
the benefit of all your acts of charity and kindness is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, peace and love,
the utility of all your positions of power is zero;
Bereft of truth, righteousness, peace and love
the result of all your good deeds is zero.
Truth, righteousness, peace and love are the very foundation of human life.
What else is there to be conveyed to this assembly of noble souls?
In spite of his education and intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities.
God manifests in the heart filled with Love
Education and intelligence of so-called educated people of today enables them to develop only their power of argumentation in all matters. In spite of acquiring high degrees like B.A. and M.A., they do not know the essence of education. The education they acquire is only worldly, physical, ephemeral and unreal.
Education should Foster Values in Students
There are crores of students and educated persons with high degrees in this world. After acquiring many high degrees, what are they doing for the welfare of the world? Are they giving even a little help to the poor and suffering masses? There are others who have amassed crores of rupees, but they do not give even a penny in charity. Even after earning so much money, they have no satisfaction; they keep on thinking of acquiring more and more money. One who exercises control over his desires can accomplish any higher goal in life. Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Thyagenaike Amrutatthwamanasu (immortality is not attained through action, progeny or wealth; it is attained only by sacrifice). But nobody is making efforts to attain immortality. Wherever you see, you find people indulging in selfishness. What use are such people making of education? No doubt, one should acquire worldly education but what for? This education only helps you to meet your worldly requirements like food, clothing and shelter. All this you do only for your sake and not to help others. This type of education breeds only selfishness. Educated people today crave for worldly pleasures which develop in them evil qualities like Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride and jealousy). All their efforts are only to attain external happiness. They do not make any effort to attain inner bliss which can be experienced only by developing the five human values, viz., Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa (non-violence). One who develops these five human values will always be in a state of bliss. Man’s senses can give him only outer happiness. But if he wants inner bliss, he has to put these values into practice in his life.
Education gives only external happiness whereas educare confers inner bliss. There is a lot of difference between education and educare. Education is limited to reading books written by different authors and listening to speeches delivered by others. But educare requires no books! It fosters the qualities like Sathya and Dharma in man. What is the form of Sathya and Dharma? They have no form. Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth, practise righteousness). Truth and righteousness have to be practised; they should not be limited only to speech. But people today limit truth and righteousness only to their speech; these are not reflected in their actions. But what is required is that people should demonstrate them in their actions rather than in their words.
God has endowed man with qualities like Sathya, Dharma, etc. But love is present equally in all beings. Even ants, mosquitoes and insects love their offspring. The love that is present in all beings is verily God. God manifests in the heart filled with love. It is only love that protects you in the face of all difficulties and dangers. In fact, if you have love, you will not have any difficulties. Instead of developing such universal love, you restrict your love to your family and friends which are only temporary relations. Love is God. Live in Love. Whatever else you may have, but if you have no love, then your life has no meaning. Worldly love confers only ephemeral happiness which undergoes change in a short time. True love emerges from your heart. This is the type of love that you must develop. You should always preserve love in your heart wherever you go and whatever you do. One who has such love will be protected always wherever he is, be he in a forest, in the sky, in a city, in a village, in the deep sea or on the top of a mountain. Man should develop this love which will protect him everywhere at all times. This love is always one and the same; it neither changes nor diminishes. It is one without a second. That is why the Vedas declare, Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma (God is one without a second).
God is one. Names like Rama, Krishna, Govinda attributed to God are merely our imagination. That which has neither birth nor death, neither a beginning nor an end is only love. That is Brahman. If someone were to ask God, “What is Your name?”, He will say, Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). Other than Brahman, you do not find anything true and eternal in this world. Therefore, do not waste your time in pursuit of all that is unreal. What is the use of acquiring all that is transient?
You may pursue worldly education but you must always have the feeling in your heart that it is all temporary. Only God is permanent. He is like digit 1 and Samsara (world) is like zero. Samsara can have value only when it is associated with God. If you place one zero after the digit 1, it becomes ten. If you place two or three zeros, it becomes hundred or thousand. In this manner, the value of zeros goes on increasing only when they are associated with 1. But today you are accumulating only zeros, forgetting the One. You think it is God who has given you the evil qualities of desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride and jealousy. But this is not correct. God does not observe any differences. It is only you who are responsible for these evil qualities. When your desires are fulfilled, you extol God. When your actions do not give you the desired fruit, you blame God. God is the eternal witness. He does not indulge in the business of giving and receiving. Even if you have to undergo some punishment, it is only for your own good. You yourself are responsible for all your difficulties.
Man suffers from many types of Bhrama (delusion) whereas his process of inhalation and exhalation itself manifests Brahma. Mind is a bundle of thoughts. Wherefrom does speech emerge? It emerges from the mind. So, mind is the source of speech and breath is the source of mind. Therefore, man’s breath symbolises Brahma, his mind symbolises Vishnu and his speech, Maheswara. Hence, man need not go in search of Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara elsewhere. They are within him. You yourself are God; there is no need to search for Him anywhere. Mind is the cause of both happiness and sorrow. Speech is divine. You derive wisdom from speech. That is why it is described as Vangmayi (embodiment of celestial sound). You think wisdom has to be acquired from somewhere outside. But it does not come from anywhere else; it comes only from within. In fact, everything comes from within you. All that you experience comes only from the mind. Therefore, when you strengthen your faith, “I am God”, then you will become God yourself and will attain the eternal or changeless state. On the other hand, if you think, “I am so and so”, you will be deluded by diversity.
Put your Learning into Practice
Do not have too many desires. Less luggage, more comfort makes travel a pleasure. Therefore, reduce your desires. Desires are natural. But today man has lost the discrimination to distinguish between good desires and bad desires. Mind is the source of all desires and evil qualities. When you get married, you love your wife dearly in the beginning. But if she acts against your wishes, you develop hatred towards her. Your anger and hatred create distance between you and your wife. When such differences arise, you will be enmeshed in great difficulties. On the other hand, if both husband and wife make themselves free from expectation and anger and live in unity, they will derive great happiness. The same applies even to students. Many students have too many desires. They study many subjects and secure high degrees. They also pursue professional courses like M.B.B.S. and Engineering in the hope that they will derive happiness out of them. But the more the number of degrees they acquire, the more restless they become. They will have no happiness. Whatever education you acquire is good enough if you are able to put it into practice. If you go on acquiring degrees without putting anything into practice, you will not gain anything. Therefore, whatever you learn, put it into practice. Without practice, all that you have learnt is just a waste.
You enact many dramas. But, how long do you practise before the performance of a drama? It is only by practice that you attain perfection in acting and dialogue delivery. If you do anything without practice, then it is of no use. Therefore, practice is essential for everything. Everybody wants peace. But where is peace? It is within you. It is sheer foolishness to go in search of peace elsewhere. The peace you aspire to attain is very much within you. Self-enquiry is essential to know this truth. Wherefrom have you acquired your secular education? You have acquired it from books and teachers. You study today and forget tomorrow. But if you practise what you have studied, then it will stay with you forever. Without practice, what is the use of reading books or learning lessons from teachers? Without practice, your Mastaka (head) becomes another Pustaka (book). That’s all. Whatever you learn from your teachers, you should assimilate.
You might have seen how clean is distilled water. It is used in making many medicines because it is free from impurities. If you collect water directly in a vessel when it is raining, you will get pure water. If you drink such water, you will have no ailment. When the same rain water is mixed with other substances, it becomes polluted. Similarly, man’s mind is pure. But when it is associated with desires, it becomes polluted. Therefore, you should not pollute your mind; keep it as pure as possible. Whenever a desire arises in your mind, you should brush it aside, saying, “Fie on this, it will spoil my mind.” What you have to learn today is that apart from studying books, you should get rid of delusion and keep your mind free from pollution.
Try to Win God’s Love
You may or may not worship God but you should worship your parents because it is they who brought you in this world. First of all, you should respect and honour your mother and give her happiness. Your mother’s heart is full of love. Her love is ever pure and cannot be polluted. If you earn the love of your mother, it amounts to acquiring all degrees. That is why mother, father, preceptor and God are worthy of your respect in that order. Mother is your first God. Next comes father who helps you in many ways. It is your preceptor who gives you knowledge, because of which you are able to attain God. Mother is the foundation, father represents walls, preceptor stands for roof and God is the life. Therefore, those who want to attain God should first of all love and respect their mother. If you make your mother happy, you will attain all types of happiness. When your mother becomes old, you should not send her to old age home. Under any circumstances, do not forsake your mother. Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava, Atithi Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God). One who forsakes his mother is not a human being at all. She might have become old now. But you should always remember that it is she who has given you birth and brought you to this level. Therefore, when she falls sick, you should serve her with full dedication. Whatever she says, you should consider it as good for you. Even if she scolds you, you should not become upset with her; even her scolding is for your own good.
Kuchela was a poor Brahmin whereas Krishna was a king. When Kuchela went to Krishna, he was afraid whether he would be allowed to meet Krishna or not. But God does not forsake anyone. Krishna received him with all honour and asked, “Kuchela! What do you want?” Kuchela replied, “Swami, I do not want anything except Your love. Your love is everything for me.” On his return to his village, Kuchela could not locate his house because there stood a big mansion at that place. His wife and children were moving around wearing costly dresses and ornaments. All that he got was due to the love of God. Therefore, if you win God’s love, you can attain everything. Without that love, nothing will remain with you. Therefore, strengthen your faith in God.
Fill your Heart with Love and Prayer for God
You may have a lot of money. But if you do not give up your bad qualities like hatred and anger, you will lose everything. Money is not important, human values are important. Therefore, develop human values. How can you call yourself a human being if you lack human qualities? When you have human qualities, then God will be always with you, in you, around you, above you, below you, guiding you and guarding you. Therefore, do not crave for money. Try to imbibe values. Some people keep on shifting from one job to another for earning higher salaries. Do not crave for high salaries. Money comes and goes, but morality comes and grows. Develop morality. You will have morality when you develop love for God. All demonic qualities in you will vanish when you develop love for God. When you get rid of your demonic qualities, then society will also become good. You will earn a good name and people will say, “He is a good person, we need him.” To earn such a good name, you should immerse yourself in prayer and contemplate on God. Fill your heart with love and prayer for God. You will become a good person when you have Daiva Priti, Papa Bhiti and Sangha Niti (love for God, fear of sin and morality in society). Then you will earn a good reputation and everyone will call you good boy, good boy! Therefore, do good work, fill your mind with good thoughts and earn a good name. Do not allow any bad thoughts to enter your mind. Bad thoughts do come at young age but this is the effect of your age. You should drive them away.
Now you are a young boy. After some years, you will become a man and then a grandfather. When you grow old, where does your boyhood go? Child, boy, man, grandfather, all are one. Name and form undergo change but the individual remains the same. In the same manner, God is one though people attribute many names and forms to Him. Have total faith in this divine principle. Spend all your time in the contemplation of God. Then everything will become good for you. All of you should develop virtues, good behaviour, good thoughts and good feelings. Very happy. All our students are good. In other institutions, the students go to cinema every day. They spend so much money on buying cinema tickets but they do not derive anything good from it. Instead, if they come and see the cultural programmes presented by our students, they will get real happiness.
Do not Make Improper Use of Cell Phones
Due to the effect of cinema, TV and tape recorders, human values have now totally declined. Today cell phones have become very common and students receive calls even from strangers. Such calls from strangers can put them in great trouble. If you have a cell phone, make proper use of it and never give your phone number to anyone because this may land you in trouble. Better you do not have cell phone at all. Even if you have one, do not give your number to anyone. Some people always keep their cell phone on their ear and talk continuously. This is a great mistake. Not only that, it may lead to great sin. If you give your number to strangers, they will call you back. In the beginning, you will be happy that they called you. But you will start receiving calls from them repeatedly. You may consider them as your friends but they may lead you astray and ruin your life. On the first day, they may say, “I am your friend.” Gradually, this friendship will lead to relationship and you may be trapped in a difficult situation. Therefore, do not make such unnecessary contacts. Always contemplate on the name of God. When you have time, read good books.
Today is the 28th Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai University. It may bring about a great change in your life. Have only good contacts and earn a good name. Samuel Sandweiss spoke to you about his experiences which are all divine. The good counsel you receive from such elders should be imprinted on your heart. Whosoever speaks good words to you, you should treasure them in your heart. As it is not possible for Me to speak to each one of you individually, I have given this Discourse. Compared to the students of other colleges, our students are very good. They should maintain their good name. I want all of you to sing a song together (In a spontaneous response, the students sang the song Humko Tumse Pyar Kitna … to the delight of the entire gathering). Your song has satiated My hunger. Very happy.
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