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 excerpt of the Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the SSSIHL Annual Convocation
It is possible for one to master all branches of knowledge and win in an assembly of scholars, it may be possible for one to be born in a Royal family and rule over vast kingdoms, One can offer in charity any number of golden cows, one can count the stars in the Sky, one may spell the name of all the species of living beings in the world, one may learn the different arts and skills, one may reach even the moon, but it is very difficult for one to control the senses, steady the mind and maintain equanimity at all times.
Embodiments of Love! Students! Boys and Girls!
You can call yourself a student only when you know the significance of education. Education does not mean mere acquisition of book knowledge. There are many who are experts in bookish knowledge. Many have become educational wizards and scholars. What is the service these pandits and scholars are doing to the world? Having been born and brought up in society, having acquired their knowledge from society what is it they have done for the society? What is the use of their scholarship and education, if they don’t show their gratitude to the society?
Once, Aurobindo said at a University in Calcutta, “Oh students! Why do you acquire this knowledge? This learning is not for your selfish ends. You acquired knowledge in the community and if you don’t serve that community what is the use of your learning? If you do not use it for the benefit of the society, it is better you burn all the books that you read”.
Today knowledge of science is increasing. In fact, various scientific techniques are taught to the students. Is this knowledge imparted for the benefit of the society or for the personal gain? In fact, they are known as intellectuals. But what is the transformation you can find in them? Once Churchill said, “Man has conquered all but he has not conquered himself”. The scientific knowledge of today helps you to learn about many things but not about your own reality. Man is making efforts to learn all about the external world. This is physical and secular knowledge. Having known everything, he does not know about his own self. True relationship can be established only when you know about your Inner Self. Everyone is asking the others “who are you?” But no one seems to be interested to put to himself the question “Who am I”? There are two aspects of your personality one is physical and the other is spiritual. Only when the relationship between the physical and spiritual aspect is established intimately, the real total personality will blossom. Physical knowledge is negative and the knowledge of Self is positive. Only when there is blend of the positive and negative the human excellence will blossom. Education should help one to blossom into a total person. Man should be transformed into a compassionate one. What is the use of education when it cannot make one a compassionate person? The modern education is making a person hard hearted. Just as you want to gain the secular knowledge, you should also try to acquire the knowledge of the Self. The heart should melt at the suffering of others. If one has no such heart, of what use is the intellectual faculty? Along with the heart, mind also should be transformed.
In ancient times, in Bharat noble souls resorted to making lot of changes and modifications in the field of education. Before foreigners came here there were only a few educational institutions. There were only 5 or 6 Universities in this country. Each University had one subject as speciality and helped the student to achieve excellence in that subject. First there was the University in Kasi (Benaras) Grammar was the main subject in the Benaras University. Each University took up the responsibility of fostering the knowledge in a particular discipline. In Kashmir, the Alankara Sastra was the speciality. In Ujjaini University Mathematics was the subject of speciality. There was another University in a place called Navadweepa. The Nyaya (Law and Justice) was the subject of speciality in this University. Amaravathi was ruled by Bharata, brother of Sri Rama. In this University, not only Science but also Medicine was a specialised subject. The authorities of this University felt that morality and character were essential for the students. In order to eke out an honourable livelihood, vocational instructions in skills like carpentry, smithy, etc. were also imparted in this University, as they were useful for the daily life. What is the use of studying subjects which will not be useful in daily life? In fact, one should have professional skill. They also encouraged fine arts like music, dance, etc. The Amaravati University encouraged different disciplines. In Taxila University the subject of Ayurveda (Medical Science) was taught as a speciality. In those days only six or seven Varsities were there. Now, Universities have come up in hundreds.
What Truth we have realised from this large scale mushrooming of number of Universities? What help has the society got? What is the proof that we work for the advancement of society? With development of modern educational system, knowledge of the Self has declined, Vidya is called ‘education’. What is the meaning of this word? This has come from the root ‘educare’. What is meant by ‘educare’? The meaning is “to bring out”. All powers physical, mental and psychic are within the person. We should acquire the sacred education to bring out what is within us and serve the society. There are two things. ‘Educare’ is a Latin word. The inner meaning is “we have to bring out two things that are latent” One is to bring out external feelings. Head is the instrument to do this. The other is to bring out what is inside in heart (Hridaya). When once both the inner and outer faculties are made to manifest, life will be ideal. One is “life” and the other is “living”. All that come from the head will help you in carrying out works to earn your livelihood such as reading, writing, etc. This is called bookish knowledge. They say “Masthaka” (head) is absorbing the knowledge from “Pusthaka” (the book). Things from head have gone into the book and in the reverse order they go back to the head. Bookish knowledge is superficial knowledge. After this, we need general knowledge and later, we need discriminatory knowledge. It helps you judge what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad. After this only comes practical knowledge. All the others are only pertaining to the mundane matters. They are for external (Pravrithi) not for (Nivrithi) internal wisdom. Man is engaged only in selfish pursuits and does everything for self interest forgetting the welfare of society at large. You can be safe and secure only when you work for the welfare of the society. There are hundreds of thousands of intellectuals and highly learned scholars. What are they doing? They work for their own self-interest, to earn money for themselves and their families. Are you able to find any who work for the welfare of the society? In fact they are giving awards like Nobel Prize, etc., only for people who seek their own self upliftment and engaged in selfish pursuits. It is apparent that they don’t know the real meaning and significance of education. One who acquires several degrees is hailed as a great scholar. All these constitute only “quantity”. But what we need is “quality”. What is the use of one barrel of donkey’s milk? A teaspoonful of cow’s milk is enough. That is why in olden days, each University used to take one speciality and impart knowledge of the highest quality. The subject of grammar was developed in manifold ways in Taxila University. They taught all the rules of grammar in such a way that they could make practical use in day to day life. The principle of immortality (Amrutatva) was taught with great clarity to the students so that they could blossom as real ideal human beings who could realise liberation. In those days, there were not many schools and in each institution of higher learning there would be only nine or ten students. The Resident teacher will be the Vice-Chancellor. They were independent institutions which had no connection with Government nor bound by their laws. The Goddess of Education Saraswati, was honoured and she showered Her boundless Grace on the students to attain high standards of excellence. They did not take any salaries for teaching, nor did students pay any fees. There was no fixed time table for the classes and any part of the day the students will be taught at his residence by the Vice-Chancellor. Any time in the night the student will be woken up and taught some important lesson. They used to clear the doubts of students at any time. How did they study? They didn’t have imposing buildings. Somewhere on the banks of holy river, under the trees, classes would be held in natural environment. They used to have their classes in any temple where students would sit on the floor in divine atmosphere. Nowadays University needs imposing structures to house the colleges and offices, lot of instruments are bought at great cost. They used to have classes in open air in those days.
When they sat under trees in natural surroundings, they maintained good health because the trees absorb the Carbon dioxide exhaled by people and give Oxygen for their inhalation. The students were hale and healthy. There is no comparison between students and teachers of those days and the present days. Present day students have a number of Text books but many have no time to read them.
Students! Boys and Girls!
In those ancient days there were no written books. It was only by oral communication from teacher to student, that they absorbed all important instructions and were able to retain them in memory. Though there was no printed matter, whatever the student heard from the teacher got imprinted in their minds. Nowadays, what a student is taught an hour earlier, he is not able to remember. The power of retention is so poor, because the students are loading their minds with unnecessary and uncalled for stuff. The students in those days were able to control their minds properly and concentrate on their studies. Only when you control mind you can assimilate what you read or learn. That is why it is said, “Mind is cause for bondage and liberation.”
Eternal Truth is forgotten now. The practice of compassion and love in daily life is absent. Education is not put into practice. What is the use of such education? All the ideals were practised by students of ancient times. There is no objection to your learning the secular education. But you should not neglect the fundamental knowledge. You should expand your love. It should not be narrowed down to yourself when it becomes ‘contraction’ love. We have forgotten the ancient knowledge of our reality and taken to the pursuit of worthless mundane knowledge. You must bring out your inner feelings. Whatever you have learnt from the books is not so valuable as that which you learn from within yourself.
Today, due to advance of Science and Technology, people have dug deep into earth causing imbalance. That is why you are having lot of earth quakes and other dangerous natural disasters. What is it that Science and Technology are doing to you? Everything is within human itself. If you inquire deeply, everything is coming from within you.
For example, the Science teaches that water is coming from combination of two parts of Hydrogen and one part of Oxygen. You make water by this process. But are you able to distribute it to the society? You have to supply to the society, keeping the welfare of the humanity in view. What is the use of your education if it is not serving the society? They have spent crores of rupees in attempt to convert sea water into potable drinking water. We are spending lot of money which goes to waste. You have to spend five thousand rupees to get a glass of water. You have lot of fresh water in the rivers Ganges, Yamuna, etc. You should devise ways and means of pumping this water and supply to people. You have to formulate such viable schemes. What you are doing now is like paying twice the cost of peanuts to transport it to your home.
You waste money in useless things. It is out of ignorance (Ajnana). You are doing such unworthy things with the belief that it is scientific (Vijnana). You think science has progressed. Ignorance has progressed to the same extent as you believe science has progressed. You spend four times more than what you have to spend. That is why Bharat is finding itself in economic insufficiency. You should have good sense, good conduct thereby good intellect, devotion and sense of duty while you are studying. Along with intellectual acumen you should have good conduct also. We find the students are heroes in study but zeros in practice. Such education is of no use. You should be shining as real heroes in practice as well.
We are giving lots of discourses and writing lot of good books spreading the message of love and service. It is not enough if these are propagated. They should be put into practice. Then only you will be blissful.
Embodiments of Love! Students! Boys and Girls!
The modern education is useless. You take degrees and pass out of the institute. These degrees also add to your burden. You don’t get comfort out of it. At least an uneducated villager is leading a more peaceful and happy life. Educated people who go on hunting for job failing to secure one, sometimes have to fast due to lack of income. Is this the result you expect from education? You should seek happiness and peace. If you don’t get this what is the use of education? Money alone cannot give you happiness. Earth is revolving round the Sun. Man is going around earth for money. This is not proper. Even a beggar earns money. We need the wealth of virtue. Because of lack of this, you are full of pride. All these actions of getting the degree, settling in a job, earning money, running a family are only earthly activities or Pravrithi. You have to bring out compassion, love, kindness, forbearance, which come from within. That is why it is called – ‘educare’- bringing out what is within.
There is no compassion now. We see only passion. Compassion or Daya should come out from one’s heart. You should honour every one, you should respect and help everyone, you should serve your parents with affection. They have provided you education and given you everything making you what you are now. You know, what difficult problem it is to educate children nowadays. In our University, there is no fee charged for education, but, in other places, you have to pay Rs.10,000/- in advance when a child is born for reserving a seat in 1st standard. You have to pay heavily for tuition fee in other varsities. Who will pay all this money? The parents have to struggle hard throughout the day for giving money to the children as they are very keen to educate them. Such parents you disregard today. If you do so, later in life you son will do the same thing to you. If you respect your friend today, later your friend will respect you. The state of advanced age is frightening. You may not be able to walk, you will become a matter for mockery by others as a puppet. Remember this, you should develop sacred qualities. You should grow up as an intelligent, sensible and compassionate person with humane qualities. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be a good human fulfilling the purpose of this life. If you join bad company take to all sorts of vices and bad practices, you will ruin all that you have learnt. You should join good company.
“Thyaja Durjana Samsargam
(Run away from bad company)
Bhaja Sadhu Samagamam
(Be in the company of good people)
Kuru Punyam Ahorathram
( Do good deeds day in and day out)”
These are the principles that you should follow scrupulously. What happens if you have bad company? You also become bad. “Tell me your company and I tell you what you are” goes the saying – “Love all and don’t hate anybody” But you must keep in your heart good persons only. Textual knowledge is useless. You should acquire practical knowledge.
In olden days acquiring vocational education, they were able to learn all works such as carpentry, masonry, smithy, etc. Why do you depend on Dhobis for the simple job of washing your clothes? How much extra expenditure you incur and expect your parents to pay for it? By washing your clothes, yourself you can save money which you can use for some good purpose or to help a needy person. You should tread on the righteous path and shine as ideal person setting example to rest of the world. When people extol you as a student of Sathya Sai Institutions behaving in exemplary manner, how much good name you get for the Institute! Uphold your own respect first, without this you cannot uphold the respect of the Institute. Otherwise, you lose your respect, and come with shaven head! Even if you have no food to eat, make your parents happy and give them food. You cannot always oblige but speak obligingly. Nowadays, it is difficult to make out whether a student is talking to his father or mother or someone else. His manner of talking to parents is so reprehensible. When a father in old age with physical weakness calls his son, he says ‘go to hell”. Is this the way one should treat once parent? When the son speaks in soft words how much pleased the parent will be! If you cannot make your own parents happy what happiness you can give to the society.
In olden days, on the occasion of Convocation the Preceptor used to call the disciples and bless them to lead a happy life and advise them to follow the righteous conduct. Consider father, mother, teacher and guests as God and respect all elders and so on. This is the purpose of Convocation when the student completes education and goes home, he does not respect the parents. But the parents do not mind this and are interested only in the well-being and the progress of the son. They bear all sufferings for the sake of their children. Present day students do not understand the culture of Bharat. Our culture is to pray for the welfare of entire mankind.
There was a grandfather in a house. He used to do sandhya Vandana (daily prayers) in morning and in evening. He had a grandson who used to come and sit in the varandah of the house for doing homework. He had ink bottle by his side and used to dip pen in the ink every time and start scribbling. In the evening his grandfather used to take water in spoon several times and sip chanting a Mantra. His grandson stopped his homework and was watching his grandfather intently. He asked him “why are you taking water every time by the spoon and taking into your mouth several times”? Why don’t you gulp the entire water at one stretch, if you are thirsty?” The grandfather was intelligent. He said “it is my work I am doing. You attend to your work”. But modern boys are naughty. They argue with elders. The grandson asked him “why are you doing like this”? The grandfather said “why are you dipping the pen every time in the ink. Why do not you pour all the ink at one time”? Then the boy realised his mistake in questioning his grandfather. You have to dip the pen in ink to write every word. Then only it will be neat. The grandfather said “when I chant a mantra and take water it reaches the particular deity whose name is chanted. When you write a letter and write address correctly on the cover, it will reach the right person. Similarly, the mantras are addressed to the respective deities. If you don’t understand you should keep quiet”.
Modern students don’t understand practical knowledge. You should try to learn about our ancient tradition and culture.
Man is bringing out all metal ores and minerals from the bottom of the earth thinking that everything is created for him. What is earth? It is a globe. It is cylindrical. If you dig on one side, the balance is effected, as the other side is heavy. In fact, it is the divine dispensation that maintain the balance. Because of imbalance, you get earth quakes, etc. Man is not only interfering with the balance of the earth, but also meddling with the water in the oceans. All the dirty water from sewage is let into the sea polluting it. You have to understand nature properly.
You know what scientists are doing and in fact you are also in the same mould. You are all intelligent. You must know first that knowledge is at the top. It comes out of head. The second is skill, the third is balance and the fourth is insight. I tell you to skill your knowledge and not to kill it. When you remove “s” from skill, it becomes “kill”. When you kill knowledge, the balance is lost. It means you are not putting the God given intelligence to correct use.
The human (Jati) species is the composition of three factors. “Nithi” (justice or morality), “Rithi” (Dharma or righteousness) and Kyathi (Tyaga or sacrifice). The human race is a combination of all these three. The human species is the rarest and most sacred of all the species of living beings in the world. But you are not living true to this dictum. That is why world is in chaotic condition.
Students! Past is past, forget the past. Don’t brood over the future. Live in the present, which is omnipresent. Lead good life in present time. The past is like a tree, its seed is the present and future has to grow from this seed. Past is tree. Future is tree. But present is seed in between. This present is the most important and it is to be governed by morality. Without morality, human race will be ruined completely. Morality is very essential. I said yesterday: “Sathyam Bruyath, Priyam Brayath, Sathyam Apriyam na brayath Speak Truth and let it be pleasant. If unpleasant, don’t speak the Truth to the affected person”. This contains both physical and spiritual aspects. “Speak Truth” is physical while “if unpleasant, don’t tell Truth” is spiritual. It is real Tyaga or sacrifice. If some Brahmin is sitting and chanting Mantra, you make fun. Every Mantra is highly powerful. Take an example. While performing a marriage function which is auspicious people decorate with green leaves and banana plants within four poles. If you enquire deeply the purpose behind this decoration, you will realise that it is to ensure the good health of the big assembly of people within the small Mandap formed by four post, they adore with lot of green mango leaves which absorb the Carbon diaoxide exhaled by the crowd who usually come to attend the function and supply the Oxygen for inhaling. So it is sign of auspiciousness and provides healthy environment too. Today you decorate with plastic flowers and leaves. Will these provide Oxygen or absorb the Carbon dioxide? No. Students, you should understand the old tradition properly. This University was started only with a view to teach Atmic Principle along with Academic Education. You have to broaden your outlook. This is the ancient tradition of Bharat. In those days, friendship also was very deep and tended with pure love but these days it is only `hello’ in words, when money is there and disappear when pocket is empty. There is no love. In olden days, it was like one mind in two bodies. Krishna and Kuchela are good examples of such friendship in school, in an Ashram in the forest. You should not hate or harm anybody even in thought and word. It is my desire that all of you should have love and purity in heart and shine as examples and ideals for others.
So long as you were here you are safe and secure. After going away from here, you may resort to watching TV and cinema in which they show things that spoil your mind. You may watch only educational programmes and not others which may cause imbalance in your mind. TV at present has to be feared as a source of disease. It is like the disease of TB, because all vulgar and bad things are shown in the TV which may spoil your mind. Instead, you may go for walk in free air which keeps you healthy.
Make efforts to keep your parents happy. That is very important. Follow the principle of Bharat ‘help ever, hurt never’. Swami does not object to your going abroad, but wherever you are you should not forget your culture. Be an ideal person. Do good. See Good, speak good and be good. Never try to become great and try to be good. Be friendly with good people. Get a good name wherever you go. Swami wants you to be good person. Lot of sins are attached to great men. Ravana was a great man. Rama was a good man. Both had same education but look at the difference which their conduct has brought about. Ravana strengthened only his desire. Don’t give room for desires. He brought about his own downfall because of lust. Hiranyakasupu ruined himself because of anger. He was able to control even the five elements but because of anger he perished. Duryodhana was a miser of exceptional type. He refused to give the land due to Pandavas. His entire family was ruined. All these demons not only ruined themselves but ruined their entire dynasty. When each of them was ruined by one bad quality what will happen if you breed all the six bad qualities like lust, anger, greed, pride, envy and hatred?
Think well! When you watch bad men, you will recollect your own bad qualities. When you come across a good person, good qualities will come to your mind. You have a relationship with all these qualities. Unify every one. See Unity in Diversity then Divinity will be realised.
You should not keep company of bad people. Investigate good and bad. You need not discriminate while helping. You must help all. Don’t hate anyone. It is enough for me if you behave in such exemplary manner to get good name for our Institute. I shall be happy. You are not charged any fees here. No tuition, laboratory, sports, or examination fees. As there are no fees, you enjoy peace. In other Universities, they collect fees and so there is no peace but you find only pieces. You should lead a peaceful and good life. Live as exemplary ideal human beings. That is the gift of Swami to all of you on this occasion. Don’t forget God. It is your life and everything is for you. You will be successful in all ventures. Success begets success. I want you to lead a successful life of happiness and peace.
Today’s Chief Guest, Dr. Goldstein has been coming to Swami often. You may be thinking he is an ordinary person. Don’t underrate him. He is highly educated and also wealthy. He has a good reputation. He is the Chairman of the American Medical Council. He has sterling qualities which all of you don’t have. He does not have the evil qualities which many of you have! He has all good qualities. I should not say this in his presence. There is no dearth of wealth for him. He comes to Prasanthi Nilayam because he says he finds Bliss here which is not there back home. He is very rich. They brought a girl who is the daughter of a big and rich film personality. He could have celebrated the marriage there in America. He doesn’t want a grand and great celebration. He wants only to be ‘good’. That film personality came here with the daughter. The marriage was done in the interview room. The couple are even now very happy. His second son said, Swami should perform his marriage. Though he wanted me to perform the marriage, I didn’t do for six years. I asked him to bring his father Dr. Goldstein. Here, there was a girl, who is the daughter of another rich man. She is quite good and good looking. I performed their marriage in the interview room. They are happy. Both of them are good boys. How did they become good? They are associated with the Sai Organisation. Their wives are also good. On their returning after marriage, they cried. I asked them to come here again with child. I Blessed them in this way.
It is not enough if you serve with two hands. You have to serve with four hands, (husband and wife together), one is right and another is left. Right does good work and left is bad. They have come here with child. They have my Blessings wherever they go. Dr. Goldstein is in-charge of the American Sai Organization. He has all the three sacred qualities of Duty, Discipline and Devotion. You should also lead exemplary lives in a similar manner. Be ideal and get a good name, make your parents happy. Don’t neglect them. If you disobey your father, later on your son will pay you back in the same way. Be good, See good, Do good and this is the way to God.
Bharat has, men who are capable of educating even the ancient sages about the essence of scriptures; men who have sacrificed their lives for the uplift of society; men who can wield power over the land. Bharat has many such eminent personalities. Alas! Of what use are such men in Bharat if they have no awareness of the wail of the oppressed? When will they respond to the heartrending cries of the poor?
Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached. The need of the hour is men, who set an ideal by their valour and courage in the battle of life, and not men who pursue the physical, ephemeral, fleeting pleasure.
Students! Investigate into the concept of ideal education propagated by the ancient sages. They enthroned Righteousness and welcomed Truth. They enshrined valour and courage. You should emulate such people, who strove for the glory of Indian culture. In fact you are the true inheritors of the legacy of Indian culture. You should resolve to uphold Dharma and work for the welfare of the country. Science and technology has improved by leaps and bounds over the past 200 years, yet no sanctity has been attached to it. This has stimulated development in human civilisation, but not within man. Absence of human values will lead to the decline in spirituality. Develop the strong faith that body has been gifted to uphold human values. Since ancient times Bharatiyas stood for peace, forbearance and forgiveness. A study of the history of Bharat will reveal the fact that many invaded Bharat and plundered its wealth, but never has Bharat invaded any foreign land on its own. Bharatiyas have considered divinity and purity as their two eyes. In such a sacred land justice and righteousness have been consigned to flames, resulting in trials and tribulations, turmoil and unrest on a large scale.
Education does not mean mere bookish knowledge. Knowledge acquired should be put into practice and shared with the rest of the community.
Does the ability to read and write make one educated?
Does securing college degree make one educated?
If education is for a living, are not the birds and beasts living?
There are millions of educated men and women all over the world, but what is the benefit accruing to their respective nations? None. They are utilising their education for selfishness and self-interest alone.
Embodiments of Love, Men and Women students!
The eternal and long lasting values have disappeared into thin air.
Good nature in men and women is on the decline.
Ancient Aryan wisdom is frittered away.
Western education is on the rise.
Bharatiya education makes one ideal and self-reliant. It inculcates the sense of sacrifice in man. Having called yourselves children of Bharat, you should keep in mind the welfare of Bharat Matha. Modern education enhances the intelligence, not broadmindedness. It makes the students stonehearted. True education is one, which instils compassion in you Patriotism coupled with sacrifice; devotion coupled with love should become a part and parcel of your life. Education confers humility. Humility confers deservedness; devotion to God.
In this sacred land of Bharat
Forbearance is our best wealth;
Of all forms of rituals, the highest
Is the observance of Truth and morality;
Of sweetness of disposition
The greatest is maternal love;
Jettisoning the national ideal
That honour is greater than life itself,
What a pity, people have
Fallen a prey to exotic practices!
What can I say about the plight of Bharat!
Like the elephant unaware of its strength
Alas! Bharatiyas have become docile today.
Since ancient times Bharat has stood as an ideal for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, we witness a different scenario today. We find educational institutions proliferating in every street, in every village. What is the gain therefrom? Absolutely ‘nil’. Humility, the hallmark of a true student, is not noticed.
Harm is done to those that help,
Sense of gratitude is lacking,
Teachers are made laughing stock.
This is the progress of modern education
To realise the purpose of education, serve the society. Cleanse the country of all evils. True education is that, which makes one a complete man. Only when one gets transformed into a complete human being, the purpose of education is fulfilled.
Resolve to make the best use of the education you have received. Respect and revere elders and set an ideal to humanity. Let your conduct befit the degrees you have acquired. Nothing great in obtaining good marks, see that you do not invite bad remarks. In modern system of education, a student is declared pass, if he secures just 35% of marks. What about the balance 65%. If a person completes only 35 out of 100 tasks assigned to him, can you call him a successful one? One should secure 100% marks. That is true education. Attaining high marks is not the aim of education. Education is meant to broaden the mind. Education and discrimination should go hand in hand. The prosperity of the nation depends on the progress you make in the field of education. The future of the nation rests on the students.
Moral and ethical values are confined only to books,
Heart has become a dwelling place for evil qualities,
Actions have become completely self-centred,
This is the progress of modern education.
Education acquired should be translated into action.
As I have told you repeatedly, knowledge can be classified into five categories: Bookish knowledge, Superficial knowledge, General knowledge, discrimination knowledge and Practical knowledge. General knowledge and commonsense are very much essential. You should set an ideal by exercising practical knowledge and following the four Fs. First F is Follow the Master. Who is your master? Conscience is your master. So follow your conscience. The second F is Face the devil. The third F is Fight to the end and the fourth F is Finish the game. Play the game of life in the true spirit of sportsmanship. Students lack self-confidence. Confidence in the Self is very essential. Lack of confidence in Self will lead to depression. Today 90% of the people are afflicted with depression. Depression will lead to weakness of mind. “Nayamatma Balahinena Labhyah”, a weak minded one cannot realise the Atma. If you have confidence in the Self, you will never be weak minded.
Bharat has stocked plenty of wealth for you. What is this wealth? It is the spirit of sacrifice, which can be acquired through service to society. Do not waste time. “Karmanubandhini Manushyaloke”, human society is bound by action. “Sariramadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam”, body is gifted in order to undertake righteous actions, not to eat, drink and make merry. Render service to others till your last breath. The essence of 18 Puranas can be summed up in one phrase: “Paropakarah Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam”. HELP EVER; HURT NEVER. Set an ideal, which is helpful and delightful to one and all.
“Janthoonam Narajanma Durlabham”, human birth is the rarest of all. Human life should be one of character, good actions and good qualities. It should be dedicated to the service of society, not for amassing wealth. Education is for life and not for a living. One need not strive for money. If education is properly utilised money will come on its own. Today educational institutions have become business centres.
Money has become our God;
Pride has become our creed;
Selfishness sits supreme in the minds of men;
Egotism has become our fashion; Greed has become our beauty;
Dharma has come to nought;
Compassion has sunk low;
Moral fervour is lost;
Hypocrisy has become the light of our life;
Love and kindness lie sick and diseased;
Modern education has blinded men with lust;
Life has become a burden;
Minds have gone astray;
Delay no more, for delay is disastrous;
Fuse morality with education in sweet harmony;
Live up to the reputation as children of Bharat.
Moral values should be the underlying current in each and every action of man. Only when you have moral and ethical values, you deserve to be called children of Bharat.
Embodiments of Love!
“Loka Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu”, Let the whole world be happy, has been the motto of Bharat since ancient times. Resolve to revive and rejuvenate the pristine glory of Bharat. Propagate these noble ideals in every village, every street and every house. Observe unity in every activity of yours. Believe in the dictum, “Brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God”. Do not feel jealous of anyone. Jealousy is an incurable disease. Praise and censure are inevitable for man. Only the tree that bears fruit is stoned. Likewise, only the good face problems. Do not attach importance to these trials and tribulations. A Tree welcomes stoning because it is aware of the fact that people have recognised its value. Similarly, man should not feel dejected when he is censured. Treat dualities like pain and pleasure with equal mindedness. Develop this broad mindedness. Divinity blossoms in those with such a sacred attitude. All are the embodiments of God. Krishna declared: “Mamaivamso Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanathanah” (All are sparks of My divinity). Do not consider yourselves as mere mortals. Have firm faith that you are divine. Only then you will be able to work for the emancipation of this country, and it will be restored to the status of teacher to the rest of the world.
The Vice-Chancellor quoted from the Taittiriya Upanishad, “Matrudevo Bhava, Pitrudevo Bhava, Acharyadevo Bhava, Atithidevo Bhava”, revere your mother, father, preceptor and guest as God. This was the teaching given to the students at the time of leaving the portals of Gurukul in ancient times. This act of benediction is termed Convocation today. Education is the very form of God. The word ‘education’ has originated from the root word ‘educare’, meaning ‘to bring out’ or ‘to elicit’. Educare has two aspects: that which relates to the head and that which relates to the heart. That which emerges from the head is pravritti (external) and that from the heart is nivritti (internal). Unless the head is empty (free from evil) it cannot be stuffed with good. Modern education relates to the head, but true education relates to the heart. Sacred qualities like Compassion, Truth, Forbearance, Love originate from the heart. Here is a small example. Physical features like height, weight, complexion can be seen by the naked eye, whereas there are innumerable qualities like compassion, truth, love which are unseen. Merely acquainting oneself about the physical features of an individual does not make one aware of his/her true personality.
Hiranyakasipu’s scientific achievements far exceeded those of the modern scientists. He could even reach the Polestar, whereas the modern scientists have travelled only up to moon. Prahlada cautioned his father Hiranyakasipu, “Oh! Father, you have conquered all the worlds, but not your senses. The same sentiment was expressed by the Prime Minister of England, Churchill, “Man has conquered all, but he has not conquered himself”. Man knows everything, but not himself. On being questioned by a westerner as to why he was in a pensive mood, Gandhi replied that he was ruminating over the modern educational system, which was making him stonehearted. Education should fill one’s heart with love and compassion. Two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen add up to make water. Greatness lies in sharing water equally, not making it. Everyone has an equal right in sharing water. Today everyone is fighting for rights, but what about responsibility? Students! You do not need to fight for rights. Discharge your responsibilities, rights will follow. Do your duty, duty is God; work is worship. What is your right? To make everybody happy is your right. Serve everybody and make everyone happy without expecting anything in return. Service is God. “The best way to love God is to love all and serve all”. “Speak softly and sweetly”. “You cannot always oblige, but you can speak always obligingly”. That is the essence of Bharatiya Vidya. Education does not mean “Twinkle Twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are” All this is artificial education. True Bharatiya Vidya is one, which fosters spirituality and human values.
Propagate the ideals of true education in the four corners of the world. Sacrifice everything for the sake of truth and tread along this sacred path. Truth is God; Love is God; Live in Love; Live in Truth. Imbibe these principles. Once you are along the path of love and truth, you will gain all wealth and wisdom. Be steady, do not waver. Students of our institutions live up to these ideals and bring a good name to the institute. There is no institution comparable to our institution in this country. Business has taken over education right from K.G. to P.G. in other institutions. But our institute is based on sacrifice. Offer education to your fellow beings free of cost. The Veda declared; “Na Karmana, Na Prajaya, Dhanena Tygenaike, Amrutatwa Manasuh”, Immortality can be attained only through sacrifice and not through wealth, progeny or action. Be prepared to sacrifice. First and foremost, make your parents happy. Make everybody happy and be an ideal. The Vedas declared,
“Sahanavavathu, Sahanau Bhunakthu, Sahaveeryam Karavavahai Tejaswi Navadhithamasthu Ma Vidhvisavahai”.
Let us all move together and grow together,
Let us grow in intelligence working together,
Let us live in friendship without any conflict.
I wish that you practise and propagate these sacred ideals. Blessing you, I bring this discourse to a close.
Audio excerpt of the Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba during the SSSIHL Annual Convocation
Wealth has been apotheosized;
Arrogance has become a creed;
Peace has become remote from man;
Egoistic boast is fashionable
Property has become an adornment;
Selfishness is installed in the heart;
Sense of self-respect has declined;
Hypocrisy has become the hallmark.
Love and affection have become sickly;
The heart is divorced from righteousness;
Life has become a burden;
People have lost their moorings.
What does the future hold?
Make education value based
And ensure a future for Bharat!
Students! Embodiments of Love! Educationists!
Bharat, which has been the treasure house of spirituality, is steadily going down in righteousness (Dharma). Injustice, dishonesty, immorality and other demonic qualities are having free play in the country. In this situation, students alone both men and women will be able to deal with these evil forces and establish peace.
If your parents will feel unhappy if you are backward in your studies, how much unhappy will Mother Bharat be feeling over the decline of moral values! Students must take a resolve at the outset to serve their mothers and the Motherland. They must strive for restoration of peace and order in the country.
A country does not mean a piece of earth. It is the people who make the country. What is the meaning of transformation of people? Transformation is not one specific object. It is the entire process of refinement by which people get rid of their bad thoughts and actions and cultivate good thoughts and do good acts in daily life.
What is the meaning of education (Vidya)? What is the kind of education suitable for young people today? What are the norms of right education? What kind of education will promote the elevation of man? What is the use of the present system of education? The one who examines and finds the right answers to these five questions will be a wise adviser for the nation. The value of a person is not derived from education alone. The cultural refinement of his life-style is also essential.
Value of Culture
What is meant by the culture? It is the realisation of the inherent divinity in man and making it manifest in one’s way of life. A life without culture is like a house without light. A dark house is a home for foul smelling bats and not for fragrant objects. A person without culture is like a stringless kite, which is tossed hither and thither. An education bereft of culture is worthless like a counterfeit coin.
Hence culture is most important, especially in relation to one’s character. In the sphere of education many revolutionary changes are needed. Since the attainment of freedom 50 years ago, many committees have been set up by the government to go into the problem of educational reform. These committees have recommended many reforms. There has been no implementation of these reforms.
Even now, no one is trying to restore the ancient ideals of education. As a result the country is riddled with violence and disorder. Educational institutions have become centres of disorder. “Vidya” means acquisition of knowledge. In the English language this is called “Education”. The term education is derived from the Latin term educare, which means “drawing out”. The idea is to draw out what is latent. This is a worldly change. But what has to be is the divine feeling present in the human heart. One refers to living and the other to life itself. In addition to earning a living one has to understand the purpose of life. Both these aspects are as essential as the two eyes for a person.
Today there is too much concentration on one aspect; how to earn a living. Even here, there is a steady decline in moral standards.
The Divinity in Man
No one makes a serious attempt to realise the divinity in man. No attempt is made to understand one’s true nature. That is the real purpose of life. True education means trying to manifest the inner divinity in man. How is this manifestation to be brought about?
Education is that which illumines the physical, the mental and the social environment of man. It is not confined to one specific sphere. Education should illumine every aspect of life the economic, the political, the moral, the spiritual and other spheres of life.
Students consider book knowledge as education. This gives them only superficial knowledge. They need practical knowledge. This knowledge should enable them to lead righteous life.
Decline in Values
Today people are worshipping wealth as divine. This is totally wrong. Wealth can never give peace of mind. It may provide physical comfort, not mental peace. Without understanding this, people and the Government imagine that there is a great progress in education. “What is this progress? Justice and morality are confined to books. The hearts have become the abode of all that is foul. Hands have become instruments of selfishness. This is the progress achieved by education today.” (Telugu poem).
Aims of Education
Is this the mark of true education? No. Efforts must be made to eliminate such feelings. Moreover, all that is learnt must be utilised for promoting the well-being of Society. All should work for the welfare of Society.
“Sarve loka hithe rathah” (Let all rejoice the well-being of all people in the world). “Sarve jnana sampannah” (Let all be bestowed with the wealth of all knowledge). “Sarve samhita gunaihi”(let all be endowed with good qualities). These are three main pronouncements (regarding the educated persons). This implies that every student, after completing his studies, should dedicate himself (or herself) to serving Society. For this service, one should acquire all the necessary knowledge. Students should have all good qualities. A good student should promote a calm atmosphere wherever he stays. He should be ever prepared to help others. These are the marks of a good student. Unfortunately, students today are not having any of these qualities. Who is to blame? Not the students. Not the teachers. All in Society are responsible. Students do not possess the requisite abilities to pursue the right path. Teachers also lack these abilities. They do not take up the task of moulding the character of students from an early age. To do so, they have to train themselves to be ideal teachers. When teachers lead an exemplary life, the students will follow their example. There is no scrutiny of how teachers teach or how students’ study.
The Government is spending over Rs.2000 crores a year on education. No one knows what the outcome of all this expenditure is. What transformation is taking place in the students? What is their future? No one seems to enquire into all this. Only money is spent endlessly.
Politics and Education
Nor is that all. Politicians are invading the educational field and ruining the students. Students have, of course, to study Political Science. But the educational field should not be politicised. Today, students are entering the political field and not only spoiling their studies but ruining their entire future. Hence students should resolve to pursue their studies with devotion.
Parents should also encourage their children to pursue education in the right spirit. They should not desire so much that their children should secure high ranks. It is not greatness that matters but goodness. They should wish that their children should earn a good name rather than achieve purely academic excellence.
Education and Society
Make proper use of your education for the good of society. Be men of good character. That will make you shine before the public. True education will make you divine. Education is not mere knowledge of words. It should broaden the mind. The mere acquisition of degrees is valueless. Character is more important and it can be developed only by taking to the spiritual path. Of what use is an education that does not promote good qualities?
Need for Humility
Students! Boys and Girls! Together with academic education you have to acquire wisdom and a sense of right and wrong. Knowledge without wisdom, scholarship without determination, music without melody, learning without humility, a society without discipline, friendship without gratitude, speech without truth all these are utterly useless. Hence everyone should seek to follow the correct path.
There is no sense of respect for people on society. Gratitude is absent. Scholars are without discretion. The educated lack humility.
Humility is the hallmark of true education. Humility does not mean moving about with a bowed head. It calls for respect to humanness. It is beastly to go about causing fear in others. Humans should be free from fear. Both fear and frightening are animal qualities. Men must be fearless. Today fear haunts every place. How does fear arise? When one is full of bad thoughts and bad feelings.
Free Education in ancient India
Educational institutions today are full of disorder and indiscipline. How different were the ancient abodes of learning! In ancient times, education used to be offered free. In those days, the preceptors used to send the students to the forests. The students used to be examined periodically about their studies. For instance, the students would be asked: “What tree did you find useless in the forest you visited?” The replies of the students varied, each one saying that one particular tree was useless. The preceptor did not accept their answers. He told them that all trees were useful, each in its own way. Every tree had something or other which had medical properties. If a tree did nothing else, it served to take in the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release the life-giving oxygen for the benefit of man. Every tree serves a useful purpose. Equally every human being is valuable.
Today education has become very expensive. Education should be made free. Then there would be no more room for corrupt practices over seats.
In the Sai Education system, there are no problems of student unrest because education is free. Our students are happy as also the teachers. All of us are also happy.
Because of free education, the students’ behaviour is exemplary. All the students feel spontaneously: “Here we are getting free education. We must conduct ourselves well to show our gratitude to all concerned.” Opportunities should be provided for students to develop such an attitude towards their alma mater. In our Institute no fees are charged for anything.
We must strive to revive the ancient system of free education. Today such a sacred approach to education is lacking among students, parents, teachers and the authorities. The change must come at the governmental level. Then the public at large will also change.
There must be a change in the moral climate of the educational system. Only then the educational institutions can turn out young men and women of character.
Tribute to Sai Students
The first thing students have to learn today is moderation in speech. Talk less and study more. Although I do not speak about it often, I am immensely happy over the character of our students. They are inspired by high ideals. Some of the students even go to the extent of reforming their parents. With due humility and reverence, they tell their parents to change the ways of living. Whenever I hear report of such conduct by our students, I rejoice in the fact that we have such students.
I do not expect anything from the students. All that I desire is that they should earn a good name when they go out. Their behaviour should be beyond cavil. Ill-educated students are worse than illiterates.
Skepticism seems to grow with more and more education. The more intelligent the students are, the more doubts develop in them. Lacking self-confidence, ultimately, they fail to reach self-realization. Our Institute students are always happy. This happiness lends beauty to their lives. It is not physical beauty, but the spiritual beauty derived from good character.
Decline of Dharma
Our Vice-President (in his Convocation Address) dwelt at length on Dharma. Today, Sathya and Dharma are not very much in evidence. Dharma seems to be fleeing from the people. Sathya and Dharma are declining among the people. The ancient sacred vedic teachings are disappearing. It is essential to revive them.
Students should not be obsessed with earning money. They must be keen on acquiring good qualities. Education without ethics is no education at all. Education must teach men to be sincere in thought, word and deed as the mark of humanness.
The state of Indian education is such that it breeds all sorts of bad tendencies in the students. It encourages deception and dishonesty.
Education should result in the purification of the heart. Students need not be over anxious to score high marks. It is more important to cultivate a good heart. Revere your parents. Promote social improvement. Co-operate with your fellow men. These are the things you should learn.
Nature as Teacher
Make Nature your teacher, instead of relying too much on books. The vast universe has many lessons to teach. Make your heart your preceptor. Esteem God as your best friend. He will never fail you, unlike most fair-wealth friends in the world.
I prefer to hear that you have earned a good name for your behaviour than praise for your scholarship. Do not calculate what money you can earn from your degrees.
You must ask yourselves: “What good can I do to my family? What help can I render to my fellowmen?” Education is not for securing a job. It is for acquiring knowledge and wisdom. It is unfortunate that education has been linked to jobs and earning money.
You must move among the people in a friendly and comradely spirit. Do not hate anyone. Follow the principle: “Help ever; hurt never”.
Salaries and Service
Today many occupy high positions and earn fabulous salaries. How many of them do work that can justify the salaries they are paid? Men who receive Rs.20,000 a month do not do even Rs.20 worth of honest work. This is treachery to the nation. An educated person must give proper return for the salary he receives. Students must bear this in mind when they enter service. They must give adequate return for the salary they receive. That will give you job satisfaction and soothe your conscience.
Our students are behaving in an exemplary manner. Whatever their background before joining the Institute, within a month the new students are transformed into ideal students. They develop commendable qualities.
Boy and girl students! Wherever you may go and whatever institutions in which you may work, bring a good name to the Institute and earn a good name for yourselves. Girl students who may get married should serve their in-laws in such a way that the good name of the Institute is vindicated. The mother-in-law should be proud of a well-educated daughter-in-law coming from the Sai Institute (cheers).
The good name you earn will rejoice me. Do your duty wherever you may go. Earn the esteem of your employers. That will please me. This is my message to you.
Students’ devotion to Swami
Students! Many of you have secured high ranks in the examinations. This year 150 students of the Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School appeared for the public examinations held by the Central Board. All of them passed in I class. In many States when one or two candidates get first rank, they give publicity to it. I asked our students why they do not get their photos published in the papers when they have secured first rank. “We studied for the sake of Swami and not to get our photos published in the papers”, they replied. Those words delighted me immensely. That such high sentiments are present among young children is known to very few. The children are full of fine qualities. They have the ability to develop the whole world. But they do not try to utilise it. Students should realise the integral relationship between them and the world. Hence, they should not hesitate to serve the world. With determination they can achieve anything they want to.
Students possess immense power, more than anybody else. My students are my property. Earn a good name wherever you go from the home to the nation. That will please me more than anything else. When you earn a good name, your human birth is redeemed. Sankaracharya has warned youth against being proud of wealth, progeny or youthhood. All these are transient. What are enduring are truth and fame. (“Sathyam and Keerthi”). Never bother about success or defeat, loss or gain, happiness or sorrow. They are incidental to life in the world.
With the conviction that very soon our students will go out into the world, set an example to everyone in whatever institutions they may work and usher in a new era, I bless one and all.
One more thing. I do not mind whether you achieve high ranks or not. But do not get any “remarks” against you. I am aware that nearly all of you are behaving well. But one or two may go astray. I desire that everyone should be exemplary. This is my benediction.
Adhere to Sathya and Dharma
This motherland of ours gave to the world
Noble souls renowned in all the continents;
It is the land which freed
The nation from Western rulers.
This Bharat is reputed for its scholarship.
It is the sacred land which stood forth
As the master in the realms of music, literature and sacred lore;
Born in the land of Bharat, noted for its fine arts and natural beauty,
It is your bounden duty to foster
The glory and prosperity of the Motherland.
Bharat, which in the past was noted for its educational achievements in various spheres, is today confronted with a crisis in its educational system. The system attaches value only to the acquisition of degrees. Is it for earning a mess of pottage that these degrees should be got? Or should they be acquired for rendering service to society? Or are they to be acquired for getting wisdom (Vijnana)? Neither students, nor the authorities, nor the parents appear to be bothered about these questions.
Can an education which is not of use to society or the nation be called education at all? Every year the colleges are letting lose upon the world lakhs of degree holders. What is their future? What is the goal of the educational system? What is the essence of all the studies? When you pose these questions, the answer you get is that the educational system has become mechanical. In today’s education you find no trace of character building, respect for values and regard for tradition. Education is pursued for selfish purposes and not for serving society.
There are in Bharat today 200 universities, 90,000 colleges and nearly a crore undergraduate students. What is the outcome of all this prodigious educational effort? What is happening to these millions of students and how is the outside world affected by them? The educational institutions appear to be mainly factories turning out graduates. Even the educational authorities seem to be content with statistical progress rather than the real achievements of the educational system. Schools and colleges are mushrooming everywhere, with or without official sanction. There is a pretence of acquiring education, without anyone being aware of what it really means.
Knowledge vs. Character
“Of what use is the acquisition of all kinds of knowledge if one has not good qualities and has no moral values?” (Telugu Poem) What for is academic knowledge acquired? Is it for deceiving others? Or is it for promoting one’s selfish interests? Or for the selfish enjoyment of pleasures? Education today is being used largely for these purposes than to promote the well-being of society or the nation. An education that serves no useful purpose in daily life is utterly worthless.
Education today promotes largely intellectual cleverness. “What is the good if the head is filled with bad thoughts, if the ears listen only to scandals, if the eyes look enviously and the mind is plotting misdeeds?” (Telugu Poem) All that is noble in human life is being destroyed. The students of today are divorced from all that is ennobling.
Educated youth, instead of going to the relief of the suffering and the needy, are raising problems for society. But they are not to blame. The fault lies with the educational system. Governments in India set up many committees to report on reform of the system. From the time of Morarji Desai till today these committees have been set up. No one knows what happened to the reports of these committees. There is no evidence that anyone in authority is concerned about training our young people to be useful and ideal citizens of the nation. In the place of high ideals, students today are cultivating high ambitions. What is required is not desire (“Asha”) but the ideal (“Asaya”).
Students have no awareness of the greatness of humanness. They do not understand the significance of unity in thought, word and deed. Instead of unity and harmony, you have only discord and division. All problems arise out of this discord.
Respect for Culture
What is important is culture (samskara) much more than mere knowledge. “Occidental education has undermined respect for Indian culture, eclipsed Truth and righteousness in daily life, encouraged fascination for foreign languages and eroded the love for native languages, broken the norms of social behaviour, and destroyed the respect for teachers” (Telugu Poem). The higher values of education are being eroded continuously.
Education is getting increasingly commercialised, especially in professional courses like engineering and medicine. I am unable to understand what joy the students derive from going through these excessively expensive courses.
Students should first of all know how to deal with the problems of daily life. They have to acquire general knowledge and common sense. Practical knowledge is more important than familiarity with books. It is this kind of bookish education that has led young people astray and made them lead worthless lives.
Serve the Motherland
Students! You are the children of Mother Bharat. You must cherish and foster the great culture of Bharat. Born in this Motherland, you breathe her sacred air, drink her holy water and are sustained by her produce. Follow her sacred footsteps, engage yourselves in service to society in a spirit of dedication. You have to transform yourselves in accordance with our ancient culture. Only then will your humanness be vindicated. Otherwise all your education will be like cultivating a barren land.
Your own conduct accounts for how you live. There is no need to blame anyone else. Begin with the purification of your minds. Then your thoughts, your looks and your behaviour will become pure.
Today men’s actions are governed by selfishness and self-interest. Even when one appears to love another, it is only out of self-interest. Self-interest is bound to exist. But there should be a limit to it. As long as they remain as students, the young people appear well behaved. But the moment they get out of colleges and enter the outside world, they get polluted. Students! Wherever you may be, remain in good company. Entertain and do good deeds. Adhere to good conduct.
Inherently all students are good. But the social environment pollutes their minds. They are spoiled by bad associations. Hence, they should take good care about the company they keep. They must bear in mind three vital maxims: One, “Sarvabhutha hithe rathah”: Rejoice in the well-being of all living creatures. Two: “Sarvajnana samayuktah”. “Have comprehensive knowledge of all things”. Three: “Sarvaguna Samayuktah”: “Develop all qualities equally”. When you develop these qualities, your life becomes exemplary.
Today the world is filled with violence and fear. The root cause of all this is selfishness. Adhere to truth. Truth is your life breath. Truth transcends the categories of time. It is changeless. It is invincible. “Sathyameva jayathe” is our national motto. The Chinese, though different in culture from us, also adore Truth. Truth is the basis of genuine prosperity.
There is a story relating to Prahlada. Once Indra secured from Prahlada the gift of his character (seelam). When character left Prahlada, the goddesses of Fame, Royal Prosperity and Prowess left him one after the other. Prahlada allowed them to go. But when Truth (Sathya) started to leave, Prahlada prayed to the goddess not to leave him. The moment Truth stayed with Prahlada, the other deities representing Fame, Prosperity etc… also returned.
Students! In whatever situation you may be placed in your official careers, never give way to untruth. You must uphold “Dharma”, which means acting according to your conscience. Always follow the dictates of your conscience. This is the meaning of the Upanishadic dictum: “Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara” (Speak the truth, follow righteousness). This was the advice given by the Rishis to their disciples when they completed their studies.
Students! This is a great opportunity in your lives. Esteem this day (of the Convocation) as a sacred day. Take to your hearts the good counsel given to you. Dedicate your lives to righteous ways. Earn a good name for yourselves. That is all that I desire. Bring a good name for your parents and for the Institute where you have studied.
Shed all fear except the fear of swerving from Truth. You should not be afraid because you are not an animal; You should not cause fear in others because you are not a wild beast. You are human beings. When you act up to this truth, you will benefit society.
I bless you all with the hope that you will not only lead good lives but make your friends and all others with whom you are associated lead worthy lives.
Cherish Bharatiya Culture
Embodiments of Love!
Education lends beauty to man;
Education is man’s secret wealth.
Education is the source of fame and happiness.
It is the teacher of teachers.
Education is the true kinsman for one going abroad.
It is the third eye for man.
Rulers honour the scholar more than the man of wealth.
One without education is an animal.
This is the message of Bharatiya culture.
Life goes on whether a man acquires culture or not or pursues studies or not. But the lifespan melts like ice from day to day. Even before he realises his duties, his life comes to an end. In the sphere of education, every thinking man is confronted with baffling problems. Educational institutions have forgotten their obligation to make education a source of strength and happiness in daily life. Educational ideals have lost their appeal. Education has ceased to be creative. It has become a destructive force. Respect and reverence are down in the dumps. Education has been commercialised. Students are keener to make money by means rather than to acquire knowledge. Educational institutions, which ought to be citadels of morality, integrity, sacrifice and character, have ceased to foster morality.
Students don’t make any attempt to develop good qualities, while cultivating friendships and participating in common activities. All associations without good qualities are valueless. Character is most important for a student. It is the essence of Bharatiya culture.
Without cultural refinement, can anyone hope to earn honour? Without morals, can you acquire the esteem of others? If you preach righteousness without practising it yourself, will anyone respect you? Without fear of sin, with sinful thoughts, you commit sinful acts. At least from now on, recognise the truth and live up to the name of sons of Bharat.
It is not a good index of pure education, if having been born in Bharat, you do not live up to the ideals of Bharat and lead a mundane existence.
Bharat Matha’s lament
Students! Awake! This is not the time for slumber. Don’t you see the tears Mother Bharat is shedding? Why is she shedding tears? Because her sons have forsaken the sacred path and are leading a sub human existence. Morality and integrity have been given up. To wipe the tears of Mother Bharat, every Bharatiya should cherish the culture of Bharat.
Every student should observe the three principles of equality, unity and cooperation. The nation is going to pieces because of the lack of mutual respect and unity.
Education is not confined to reading, writing and listening. Degrees do not constitute true marks of learning. Without wisdom and spiritual knowledge, can there be real education?
Education is not for earning a living but for leading the good life. All education which imparts worldly knowledge and develops intellectual activities without promoting character is utterly worthless.
True education should promote morality, character and spirituality. Science and Technology are undoubtedly necessary for comfortable living. But there is an unseen power which underlies the physical world. Today students should acquire both physical knowledge for living and spiritual knowledge for understanding that which sustains life. The two together help to make humanness blossom.
It is morality that imparts value to human life. “Morality and Integrity are today confined to books. The heart is utterly polluted. Hands are engaged in selfish pursuits. This is the progress of modern education” (Telugu Poem).
Man has progressed in science and technology. But morality and integrity are going down from day to day. The immediate task is to promote moral values.
There are ninety crores of Bharatiyas, but few who will assuage the agony of Mother Bharat. Of what use are these myriad sons?
There was a time when Bharat stood out as the example for the world in holiness and purity. The ancient sages enthroned righteousness and gave the highest place of honour for the spirit of sacrifice. They adored justice and revered truth. In this way, they bequeathed to the nation its greatest cultural heritage.
Lessons of history
Students! Recall for a moment the past history of Bharat. There is no record at anytime of Bharatiyas having invaded other countries. Bharatiyas always adhered to justice. They protected Righteousness. They esteemed truth as their lifebreath. They took to arms only when foreign hordes invaded the country. Otherwise they never committed aggression on any country.
Many foreign nations plundered the wealth of Bharat, but Bharat never coveted the wealth of any country. Not only did they loot Bharat’s wealth, but they desecrated the sacred culture of Bharat. They created divisions between persons. They set at naught the sanctity of the plighted word. They undermined human relationships. It is because of these outrages that Bharat is in a deplorable plight today.
Reflect for a moment on the glorious record of Bharat’s past history. Bharat has always cherished noble virtues. Unable to recognise the purity, sacredness and spiritual heritage of Bharat, students treat it with levity. They consider it as uncivilised. This is totally wrong. Bharat has been the home of prosperity, morality, sacrifice and fraternity. But modern education has polluted all these qualities. Evils like corruption, dishonesty, injustice and falsehood were unknown to Bharatiyas in ancient India. Today the people have become victims of exotic modes of living and have no respect for the traditional culture.
The collectivist spirit
Bharat has upheld the collectivist ideal as against the concept of individualism. Community singing of Bhajans was preferred, not individual singing. Collective action was promoted. The Vedas also glorified the collective spirit. It was Guru Nanak who initiated the practice of congregational bhajans.
Students today should take a pledge to go to the villages and serve the rural population. Most students soon after they get their degrees, either wish to go abroad or desire well paid jobs. Students should realise the importance of our villages and try to improve them. Money is not important. It is character that counts.
Dharma and moksha
The ancients attached value to the four goals of life¾Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation). They followed righteous means to acquire wealth and transformed their desires into yearning for liberation. Thus they gave primary importance to Dharma and Moksha. Today people have given up Dharma and Moksha and are pursuing only Artha and Kama.
Students! Examine your hearts. Rectify your thoughts and earn money by moral means. Our ancients considered Dharma as the basis for the world. Today Dhanam (wealth) is esteemed as the basis for everything.
The achievements of our ancients and the greatness of their qualities are beyond praise. Emperor Sibi was prepared to offer his own flesh to save the life of a bird (pigeon). Many sacrificed their lives to protect the lives of others. Harishchandra gave up his kingdom and even his wife and son to honour his word. Students today do not cherish the lives of these heroes.
The educational system should not be subject to changes according to changes in Education Ministers. Education, like Justice, should be free from governmental interference. Students should realise that what matters is not the religion they profess, but how far they are truly human in their life. They should realise the sacredness of their Motherland, Bharat. It is a name which is anterior to either Bharata, Sri Rama’s brother, or Shakuntala’s son, Bharata.
Foreigners should understand the precise meaning of the word Hindu, the name which they associate with India. The five letters in the name HINDU represent five qualities. Humanity, Individuality, Nationality, Divinity and Unity. Unity is essential not only for Bharatiyas, but for the entire world.
Today students tend to migrate from villages to cities after their education is completed. Students who come from villages should stay on in their villages and improve the quality of life of the villagers. Students should learn three essential things: Cultivate the company of the good. Avoid evil associates. Do ceaselessly meritorious deeds.
Students should dedicate themselves to social service, striving always for public welfare. Social service leads to the ripening of wisdom. Wisdom is the source of good qualities. Develop good qualities and good conduct. Realise that service is the means to overcome the ego, broaden the vision and promote love. Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached!
Mother Bharat is shedding tears. Find out the cause, as Lava and Kusa did when they found their mother Sita was in tears. They asked their mother: “Oh Mother! Why are you weeping? Here we are, more valiant than Sri Rama. We can bring for you a Golden Mountain if you desire it.” (Bhagawan sang a Telugu song which was both sweet and deeply moving). The boys held her feet and declared that they would not leave until she revealed the cause of her grief. See what the children of Sita, the daughter of the Earth Goddess, did to assuage the grief of their mother. Which son of Bharat today is trying to wipe the tears of Bharat Mata? This is deepening her grief. She laments: “I have ninety crores of children but of what use are they? They are not relieving a mother’s sorrow.” Mother Bharat’s grief affects the whole world.
The Motherland should be revered as divine. Only then there will be worldly peace. Make your studies useful to the country. Values are necessary for acquiring education. Education is for life. Life is for love. Love is for service to the nation and the world. Then there will be peace. Starting with values you end up with peace. There can be no peace without values (cheers).
What Sai expects
When students acquire education in this manner, they will promote the wellbeing of the country and the world. Students should take a resolve to develop their native places and make their lives meaningful. This is what Sai expects from you. This is what you should offer to me. Be good and make the country better. Be ideal students. Ensure security and prosperity in the country. Experience bliss by taking to the spiritual path (cheers).
Education and Culture
Wealth is worshipped as God ;
Selfishness has become the basis of life ;
Pomp and show have become the fashion of the day ;
Ego is ruling supreme in everyone;
Ambition makes men ignore righteousness.
There is no humility and no regard for truth.
Education is sought for earning money;
Hypocrisy has become the order of the day;
How can the sons of Bharat Mata
Hope to progress in the right path?
Spiritual education is the urgent need
Of the hour to reform our children
And turn them in the right direction (Poem).
Students, teachers and educators!
What do you mean by education? What type of education should you have? What kind of education will set an ideal? What is the outcome of education? One must enquire deeply, investigate and get the right answer to these questions. People feel that education helps in materialistic pursuits and rest content with this. This is not a right attitude Education should promote culture. It is not by education alone but by culture that one gets refined.
Culture promotes refinement. It is termed as “Samskara” which consists of Sadguna (Good Character), Sadachara (good practices) and Sadbhavana (good feelings). For a person to be deemed educated, his behaviour should be good; his actions useful to society and his feelings should be compassionate and kind. “Sarva bhutha Hithe Rathaha”. One should have concern for the welfare of all beings.
It is not enough if a student is endowed with scientific and worldly knowledge. He should have essentially moral and spiritual knowledge also.
The aim of education should be to bring about an all-round development of the personalities of the students. Education should make all virtues emerge and shine forth in students. Indian culture essentially aims at developing human beings with such a personality.
What is education without culture? It is like a kite cut off from its main thread. It is not possible to predict where this kite would land whether on thorny bushes or on dwelling places. It is difficult to predict how such education is going to affect and harm society. It may also be compared to a house without light; bats and poisonous reptiles enter into such houses. Education without culture makes man forget his true human nature and take to evil ways. Such education is like a counterfeit coin. Even beggars refuse to accept a counterfeit coin. Even parents would hesitate to love a son without culture. Refinement and culture are the very life breath of human life.
Knowledge and character
It would be wrong to call it education if it merely teaches the meanings of words. The basic aim of education is to make men of character and virtue. Many people think that knowledge is power. It is not so. In fact, character is power. Education should confer humility. Education without humility, action without discrimination, scholarship without wisdom, words without truth, friendship without gratitude, music without melody, politics without morality and integrity can never shine in society. One’s personality blossoms only when one has humility along with knowledge.
Education should be useful to society. It should make citizens follow the path of morality and righteousness and make their lives happy.
Human life is very sacred and valuable. Today people are not aware of the uniqueness of human life. They have forgotten human values. That is the reason why one comes across various agitations and strife in society today. What is the reason for the country getting poverty stricken, for suffering from fear and anxiety, for not recognising the sacredness of spirituality, for losing morality and integrity? The reason is that man is not living as a human amidst his fellow beings. He is living like an animal or like a demon. Today, the cloud of ego and pomp is covering the sun of Atma and hiding its natural splendour.
Selfishness is rampant. The true meaning of word ‘Swartha’selfishness is that one has to know “Swa” (Atma). Understanding the Swa (Atma) is SWARTHAM (SWA + ARTHA). The syllable ‘Swa’ in SWARTHAM does not refer to the body, but the soul. The spirit or Atma is pure, unselfish and eternal. That was the reason why the ancient Rishis described the Atma in such glorious terms, but today, man is misunderstanding the meaning, of the word ‘Swa’, Identifying it with the body instead of the soul.
Man today is treating the body as the source of all happiness. Such happiness is not true and permanent; it is momentary. Educated persons are not striving to earn spiritual, permanent and real happiness.
We are acquiring knowledge, but do not put it to proper use. Knowledge without action is useless. Action without knowledge is foolishness. There is a divorce between knowledge and action today. We need a fusion of knowledge and action. Students should cultivate patriotism and a spirit of service. It is conspicuously absent today.
In India today there are 200 Universities and 9000 colleges. About a crore of students have been enrolled in these colleges. Universities are becoming factories which manufacture graduates. These students are let loose on the world after graduation. No one is bothered about the future of these graduates and how they will benefit the nation?
What is the use of having education which does not benefit society? No one seems to bother to examine all these matters, whether Government, society, educational authorities, Vice Chancellors or other administrators, etc. This is a sad state, which ails the system of education today. It is making man a slave of the senses. How can such people serve the society? Wherever you look at the students one finds sacrifice conspicuous by its absence.
Universities are busy developing different types of subjects to be taught, but are not aware of the Real Subject which they should teach. What is that subject which is the very basis of all other subjects? Atma Vidya, Spiritual knowledge, is the basis of all education. It is like the ocean while all other types of education are like rivers which must merge in the ocean. Today, education without a spiritual base is causing harm. The essence of Spiritual Education is faith and dedication. They are like the two bunds of a river. Only when the river of life flows between these bunds would the river be safe. If there are no bunds, the waters would flow over villages and towns and cause vast destruction. It is the absence of spirituality which is responsible for all the problems, violence, agitation and strife. Education should foster the two bunds of dedication and faith in students.
From Self-reliance to Self-realisation
Education should inculcate in students the spirit of Self-reliance and Self-confidence. The first thing in life is Self-reliance, second is Self-confidence, third is Self-sacrifice, and fourth is Self-realisation. With Self-realisation life finds its final fulfillment.
Sage Valmiki has compared Rama and Ravana in his epic, the Ramayana. Rama is described as a great Jnani and Ravana as a fool. Ravana had mastered 64 types of worldly knowledge whereas Rama had mastered only 26. Why was such a highly educated person as Ravana called a fool by Valmiki? It is because Ravana lacked three important qualities which Rama had. They are: working for the welfare of entire humanity, possessing the supreme knowledge and having great virtues. Ravana was only a slave of the senses.
Knowledge bereft of noble qualities and virtues becomes only bookish knowledge which is of no use to society. What is it that made Rama God? It is imbibing of the six qualities, namely: character, compassion, non-violence, control of the mind, control of the senses and fame. Students should, imbibe these six qualities which make man God. Students should never indulge in violence. Hurting or harming any person essentially means hurting and harming oneself. It is in this context Vyasa stated that the essence of the eighteen Puranas is “Help ever, Hurt never”.
In today’s system of education, the teachers are not teaching this basic virtue. The Ramayana, Bhagavata and Mahabharata are like three important life breaths for Indian culture. Today’s students do not know these three texts without which a person cannot be called Bharatiya. Instead, students indulge in reading cheap novels, which contain evil and wicked ideas.
Spread Bharatiya culture
Students going out from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning should take an oath that they would plunge into society and spread Bharatiya culture from house to house to all people. Indian culture is the very backbone of our life. If you cannot spread this culture your studies have no meaning. I desire only one thing from you: You should enjoy peace yourself and spread peace all around. That is the gratitude which, you have to show to the Institution which has given you free education and which has showered so much of love on you. Strive to bring about unity; there is no greater strength than unity.
Whatever you have learnt should be made relevant and useful to society. The gap between learning and practice should be bridged. Knowledge from books and laboratories should be made relevant and useful to society. Work for the honour and glory of the society and the nation.
What are you planning to do after you obtain the Degree from the University? It is no use going in search of a job from office to office with your Degree certificate or registering your name in the employment exchange. If the Government starts colleges without being able to give jobs to the graduates, it leads to all sorts of problems arising out of unemployment. The colleges must be operated, keeping in view the demand for graduates.
Our University spends Rs. 60,000 per head on Arts students, Rs. 90,000 per head on Science students, but we do not charge any fees. What benefit do we get out of this? The only benefit is to make your lives exemplary to the world at large. We want you to carry on your secular life with spiritual outlook and attitude. With the education obtained in the Institute, if you have determination, there is nothing which you cannot achieve. During your student days do not enter into politics. After completing your education, you may enter into politics and practise the values which you have learnt as a student and serve the society and the nation.
We got Independence, but unfortunately after Independence unity is lost. Independence without unity does not benefit the nation.
Today in the Convocation you have taken an oath administered by the Vice-Chancellor. Oath taking is like giving a promise. You must take the oath whole heartedly. It would be a great sin if you conduct yourselves in daily life contrary to the oath.
Students! Whether you are aware of it or not, Mother Bharat is pining for you. You are not even recognising the fact that you are born in the sacred land of Bharat. Mother Bharat has hidden an enormous treasure for you, the treasure of knowledge and spirituality.
You may return to your places and conduct yourselves in keeping with human dignity and the type of training that you have obtained here. Do not get a bad name either for yourselves or for your parents. You should be, free from ego, jealousy, arrogance and be full of humility, nobility and sacredness. Service to society and the nation must dominate your thought, word and action.
Education Should Develop Human Values
Education confers beauty on man;
It is his secret treasure;
It confers pleasure, fame and happiness;
It is the teacher of teachers;
It is one’s kinsman when abroad;
It confers supreme vision;
In a royal assembly it is learning alone,
Not wealth, that counts;
A man without learning is an animal.
Students and teachers!
Today neither students nor teachers are aware of the true meaning of education. Education should foster morality, righteousness and character. Man today has acquired prodigious knowledge in the fields of science and technology. But this serves only to promote a material civilisation and teaches only knowledge of the external world to students. What man truly needs today is not this external knowledge. He needs refinement of the heart. This can be got only by internal culture.
It is not enough today to make a man a mere human being. He has to be transformed into an ideal human being. Education makes a man compassionate. That is the fulfillment of the purpose of education. Education should not be equated with book knowledge or the acquisition of skills for leading one’s life in the world. The modern student is unable to determine what is the basis of his life and what is important in it. Hence, he loses confidence in himself. Because they lack the patriotism, born out of love for the country, and the devotion to God, which instills a spirit of sacrifice, students today have lost all Self-confidence.
Most of the troubles tormenting the world today stem from loss of Self-confidence (Atma Vishvas).
“Devoid of the fear of sin and love for God, mankind today is plunged in a grave crisis” (Poem) The eternal verities proclaimed in the scriptures have assumed bizarre forms. Sacred nature is divorced from humanity. The ancient wisdom is in eclipse. Perverted knowledge is growing. In such a situation, how can ethical and spiritual values appeal to youth?
The entire educational system should be changed. The true purpose of education should be understood. “Reading and writing cannot make a man educated. Are those acquiring degrees scholars? Without right knowledge and proper conduct, can one be deemed educated? If learning for earning a living is esteemed as education, are not birds and beasts able to live without learning?” (Poem)
Education and life
Education should be the life breath of human beings. By converting education into a means of earning a livelihood, people are forgetting the meaning of life. Character determines life. It is power. It is pure and holy. Without character how can man lead a worthwhile and sacred life? For this reason, from ancient times, Bharatiyas fostered a life style based on ethics. Students are forgetting this ancient culture of Bharat. Pursuing worldly, ephemeral knowledge, they do not understand the nature of life.
Man should recognise the cosmic basis of education. Education today is based on mechanical skills. Students should strive to promote blossoming of the heart together with development of the intellect. Intellectual knowledge alone cannot suffice for the conduct of life on right lines.
It is true that Bharat is lagging behind in the economic sphere. But what harm does this do to the world? There is a greater danger from another source. This arises from the fact that people are immersed in material pursuits, ignoring moral and spiritual values. Unless this process is reversed, education cannot make headway.
Two hundred years ago, scientists in other countries started exploring the powers of nature and experimented with control of the five basic elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth). They invented dreadful bombs and envisaged terrible wars. This is a wholly misguided effort.
Role of science
The arrogant claim that they have achieved scientific progress is utterly unwarranted because this is not true science at all. Does knowledge of how to cause mass destruction merit the name of Science? Cannot their scientific investigations be devoted to causes which promote human welfare and betterment?
All the Scientific discoveries of today were excelled by the achievements of Hiranyakasipu. The powers obtained from them are prone to be misused. Deluded by their scientific and technological progress, the nations are losing their wisdom. What is the purpose served by these discoveries? While they promote temporary pleasures, they virtually destroy the sources of inner strength. The education that we must aim at is one which will direct the children towards the right path and promote the well-being of the nation. Only when mankind realises this need will world peace be a reality.
Man needs today a mind free from attachment and hatred, speech that is untainted by falsehood, and a body that is totally free from violence. Of these, truthful speech is most essential. Unfortunately, man is not free from these taints. Hence, students should receive an education that produces purity of mind speech and body.
Of what use is man’s conquest of the external world if he cannot realise his own true nature? Scientists are only helping to satisfy man’s selfish desires. They are keen on securing accolades for themselves, but are not concerned about the welfare of society or the goals of life. How glorious will be their achievements if their discoveries are useful to the people and promote the prosperity and welfare of nations?
Today every step of man is marked by unrighteousness. Every word is tainted by untruth. His thoughts are not free from evil. All his desires are rooted in selfishness. Caste and religious conflicts are rampant. Parochialism is growing. In short, humanness has reached its nadir. How then, can man be called a human being, when there is no harmony in thought, word and deed?
Bad example of elders
Moreover, there are no ideal leaders today. Even exemplary parents are not to be found. Nor are there ideal teachers. In olden days, the leaders, the parents and the teachers led exemplary lives. It is because such persons are absent today that students are without ideal examples to follow. There is a Telugu saying that the calf follows the cow. Because the elders set a bad example, the students also are going astray.
The students are not to blame. They are inherently good hearted and good natured. But they take to bad ways because of the elders. Therefore, the first requisite is for the national leaders and the parents to understand how the educational system should function. They should realise that education should aim at developing good qualities in the children and should not be regarded as a means to acquire wealth. Character is based on good conduct. Only a young man with good qualities can become a good leader. He must take part in social service as a preparation for leadership. Everyone should realise that his happiness is bound up with the happiness of society as a whole. Parents and teachers should develop such attitudes in the students.
Despite all his achievements in the physical world, how far has man been able to develop his human qualities? This is the question facing the world today. If people study the ancient history of Bharat, they will realise the importance which the ancients attached to Truth.
Need for unity
There may be differences at the individual level, but when national interests are involved, these differences should be forgotten and all should act in unity. This was the attitude of Dharmaraja in respect of his Kaurava cousins. At the individual level, Dharmaraja said that the five Pandava brothers might be ranged against the hundred Kauravas “But if the nation is in peril, we are 105 against the rest. It is our duty to protect the nation”.
Unfortunately, today, each party is ranged against the other and there is discord among the people. This should go. All should bear in mind the interests of the people.
Education today is not inculcating in the students the spirit of compassion and kindness. Once Gandhiji told a foreigner that he was feeling sad because education was making students heart less and lacking in fellow feeling. Students do not show any sweetness in speech. They have no sense of gratitude. Of what avail is such an education? The foremost quality students should have is humility. They must be free from conceit. They must be unselfish. Without these a student lacks lustre. Students today lack these qualities. They have little concern for the plight of their parents. But, there are also parents who pamper their children like Dhritarashtra (the father of the Kauravas). If parents do not correct their children, who will correct them? How can parents cherish children who misbehave and earn a bad name?
The birthday that should be celebrated is the day when good qualities are born in one. You must become ideal students. Students must work hard. They have to be grateful to their parents for all that they have received form the latter. Children who cannot please their parents, how will they serve the nation?
Every human body is sustained by five life breaths Prana, Aparna, Vyana, Udana and Samana. What are the five life breaths for a student? They are: Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence. All these five principles have to be rigorously observed to sublimate one’s life. Each one should cultivate the qualities of compassion, patience and oneness. These qualities will promote the unity of mankind. These are based on the love principle. Without love, there is no life. Love gives rise to truth. Love begets peace. When you have love, you practise non-violence. Love is the under current in all these.
Education has to be reformed. But Ministers are only trifling with changes. Reports of Committees are gathering dust in shelves. Educational reforms should be related to the five basic human values, without which education has no Meaning and life itself is devoid of purpose. A student today has no conception of the value of sacrifice (Tyaga). He has to learn to do his duty without expectation of any reward. This is a form of Yoga (spiritual discipline).
Dear Students! Giving up the craze for going abroad after the completion of your studies, take a resolve to dedicate yourselves to the service of your village, your state and your nation. Act according to your conscience. In your heart shines the knowledge of the Spirit (Atma Vidya). Knowledge should beget wisdom like the lightning in a cloud.
Every one of our students should stand forth as a shining example to others. The light of their example should spread all over the world and bring about spiritual unity among mankind.
All changes in the educational syllabi or other changes in the economic and political spheres are of little value. There should be a change in the mental attitude of people, as the prelude to a change in the national scene. Transform yourself first and then preach to others.
True science should foster the well-being of the people and promote unity amongst them. Unity will lead to purity and both will lead to Divinity. Today there is none of these. We have only “Community” (or caste). It is this communal feeling that is the cause of conflict. Giving up all differences based on caste or creed, people should regard themselves as the children of one human family. There is only one religion, the religion of humanity. Students should develop this spirit of unity.
Truth and righteousness
Students! The future of the country, for good or ill, depends on you. The older generation cannot reform the nation. Only a disciplined and well educated younger generation can serve the nation well as future leaders. Treat the whole world as a vast mansion. Strive for the well-being of all nations equally with Bharat.
The Sri Sathya Sai Institute has been established to promote sacred ideals among students. Adhere to your principles and beliefs regardless of what others may say. Have the example of the Gopikas in mind. Their devotion to Krishna was firm and unwavering. Consider truth as your life breath. If you speak the truth and practise righteousness, you will attain the highest state.
Truth and Righteousness are interrelated. Together they constitute humanness. Bear in mind the glorious example of Harishchandra, who sacrificed everything for the sake of truth.
Adhere to truth in earning a living or in experiencing anything in life. Ill-gotten wealth will be lost in the same way. Engage yourselves in some kind of socially useful activity in the educational, medical or other fields. Sacrifice is more important than earning money. Students imbued with this spirit of service may go to any country. Do not use your diplomas as begging bowls for jobs. Make proper use of your education to render service to the nation and to lead noble lives. This is my benediction to all of you.
Recovery of Moral Values
Sathyadheenam thu Daivatam
Uthamo paramo devatha.
The Cosmos is controlled by the Divine.
The Divine is governed by Truth.
Truth is subject to the high souled.
The high souled are supremely Divine.
Students! Educationists! Patrons of Education!
The entire Cosmos is under the control of the Divine. But the Divine is bound by Truth. Truth is under the control of high souled persons. These persons are the embodiments of the Divine in the world.
The universe is infinite and marvelous. Unable to comprehend the nature of Creation, man is a prey to divisive forces. Creation proclaims the Will of the Divine. It is known as Prakriti (Nature). Every man, who is a child of Nature, should have Divine nature. Man is born in the world to proclaim the Will of the Divine. Man is a part of Creation. He is bound by all the material objects in the world. His awareness is based on his perception of the world. Man has to order his life for the purpose of furthering the creative process.
Unfortunately, today, as a consequence of scientific and technological progress, humanness has declined and man considers the world as only intended for his enjoyment. As a result, the powers of Nature are being used in a manner which poses a great threat to the world. The world has not been created for mere enjoyment. Abusing the resources of Nature and forgetting his own basic human nature man is going against the purpose of Creation. Many natural catastrophes are entirely due to man’s behaviour. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wars, floods and famines and other calamities are the result of grave disorders in Nature. These disorders are traceable to man’s conduct. Man has not recognised the integral relationship between humanity and the world of Nature.
In the human body, all organs like eyes, ears, mouth, etc., are integrally related to each other. Just as these organs are important for man, man is equally important for society as a limb of the social organism. Man is a part of the human community. Mankind is a part of Nature. Nature is a limb of God. Man has not recognised these interrelationships.
Rights and duties
Man is a kind of stage director of what goes on in Nature. Forgetting his responsibilities, man fights for rights. If a deep enquiry is made, it will be realised that man has no rights at ail in this world. He has only duties and no rights. It is foolish to fight for rights without discharging one’s duties. All the chaos and conflicts in the world are due to men forgetting their duties. If everyone discharges his duty, the world will be peaceful and prosperous. When the master performs his duties properly, the employees will work well. When the parents discharge their duties, the children will realise their responsibilities. When the children do their duties by the parents, the latter will be honoured. Likewise, when teachers discharge their duties, the students will conduct themselves well. When the students perform their duties well, the authorities will secure due respect.
Today men are forgetting their obligations. The Cosmos is an integral organism of interrelated parts. When each one performs his duty, the benefits are available to all. Man is entitled only to perform his duties and not to the fruits thereof.
Need for ideal persons
Students! Today the educational world is immersed in multifarious problems which are baffling the authorities concerned. The educational system is contributing to the collapse of human values in society. Educational institutions, which ought to give a lead in promoting the nation’s all-round welfare, are leading the country astray. Human values like sacrifice, integrity, fairness and morality have almost disappeared. Reverence and respect (for elders) are totally absent. What we need today is not a new system of education, nor a new social order, nor even a new religion. There is a good deal of speculation about how to bring about a new social order. All these are exercises in futility. What we need today are noble and high-minded men and women (Uttamapurushulu). The nation will be prosperous only when there are such persons with noble minds and hearts. Such persons will emerge in society only when there is purity of mind and morality in society. Only a society with a moral foundation can foster such noble persons.
Spirituality and progress
Morality and integrity are based upon spiritual consciousness. Spirituality alone will take man to the sacred path leading to his destiny. Spirituality alone can elevate man and raise him to higher levels. It is the means to real national progress and prosperity. World peace can be secured only through spirituality. It is the means for the redemption of mankind.
Forgetting spirituality, man is leading an artificial life based on worldly pleasures. Education should be used for promoting the nation’s welfare. Knowledge gained through education should be used selflessly for promoting the welfare of humanity.
Truth is the ornament for the mouth. Charity is the ornament for the hand. Education is the ornament for the ear. Apart from these ornaments, what does anyone need? A man with these ornaments can reach great heights. He alone is a full man.
Rama and Ravana
Mere knowledge by itself is of no avail. Ravana had studied as many branches of knowledge as Rama. Educationally both were equals but Valmiki described Ravana as a “moorkha”, a self-willed fool. Rama was hailed as a perfect man. Wherein lies the difference between the two? Rama utilised all the knowledge he had gained for noble purposes and the welfare of all. He had mastery over the senses. He gave up his rulership. He was pledged to the upholding of truth. Dedicating his knowledge to the cause of truth, to set an example of ideal life to mankind, he dedicated his life to the welfare of the country. Rama exemplified human perfection by his sacrifice, his adherence to truth and his spotless character. On the other hand, Ravana utilised all his knowledge for enjoying sensuous pleasures. He became a slave of his senses and brought ruin upon himself and his country.
Whatever knowledge one may acquire, one should use it for the well-being of all (“Sarvahithe rathah”). Only then he can be deemed rich in wisdom. (“jnana-sampannah”). Such a wise person will be endowed with all good qualities. It is for these noble purposes that the ancient system of education was devised.
All that students learn today is unrelated to the Bharatiya system of education. A system which enslaves the mind and promotes the office hunting mentality can have no relation to Bharatiya education. It was a system which sought to combat injustice and corruption and promote truth and righteousness. It was not designed to make a student acquire a degree at great expense and then go about with a begging bowl in search of jobs. It aimed at promoting self-reliance and encouraging one to take up social service in a spirit of dedication. Bharatiya education was based on the twin mottos: “Sathyam vada; Dharmam chara” (“Speak the truth. Practise righteousness”).
Love is the spiritual discipline governing human life. Truth is one’s life breath. Bharat produced any number of men in the past who were dedicated to these two ideals. Bharatiya education made the human personality shine effulgently like a multi-faceted diamond.
Bharat: then and now
Bharat is like a myriad petalled lotus. The variety of creeds and communities, languages and customs, manners and traditions to be found in Bharat cannot be found in any other country. With its many languages, customs and cultures, Bharat is a magnificent garden blooming with flowers of many hues. Bharatiyas today are oblivious to the greatness of their country. People of many faiths lived in harmony as members of one family in ancient times. This harmony has now been lost. The love principle has become extinct. People are unable even to recognise what is truth.
Students should enshrine in their hearts the greatness of Bharat. Their lives should not be offered as a sacrifice to selfishness and self-interest. Give up completely selfishness. Only then you will have acquired education that is Divine and holy.
In the olden days, after the students had completed their education, the teachers (gurus) used to offer them words of advice before they embarked on the life of house holders (Grihastaashram). It was a kind of Convocation. The advice the preceptors gave them was: “Serve the world. First of all, revere your father and mother. Develop love for the nation.” What kind of patriotism do students have who, after completing their studies here, go abroad for work? Live in society and earn the esteem of your fellowmen. These are the essential lessons to be learnt by students.
The gospel of service
Today you took the Institute pledge as to how you will conduct yourselves after you go out into the world. You have pledged yourselves to lead ideal lives. This pledge should pervade every corpuscle of your blood. You will be guilty of treason to yourselves if you fail to live up to the pledge.
Students! From now onwards you should engage yourselves in service to society and cherish Indian culture. Do not aspire for positions. Practise at least a fraction of what you have learnt. Action alone counts. Only through practical experience is wisdom gained. Money is not everything. Acquiring good qualities is vital. Education without character is utterly worthless.
Go to the villages and serve the poor and the downtrodden. The essence of education is service to one’s fellow men. There is no greater occupation than service to society. Become leaders through service. Only when you lead such exemplary lives can you be deemed truly educated.
Live in God
Whatever may be the situation in other universities, the students from the Sathya Sai Institute should behave in an exemplary and ideal manner. Foster moral, spiritual and social values. Dedicate your lives to the upholding of morality. Officials without morality can never serve society properly. They can never protect the greatness of Bharat.
Dear students! Uphold the ideals of education. Cultivate the love of God and inspire in everyone devotion to God. Live in God! Make others live in God!
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.