Sunday, November 14, 1965
Swami presided over the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of M. G. Municipal Higher Secondary School, Hindupur on 14th November, 1965. He emphasized on the role of students. He said:
“It is a rare type of Festival, this Diamond Jubilee of a school; I am glad you have asked Me to inaugurate the Celebrations. To illumine a place with the lamp of knowledge for sixty years, to have trained up for life hundreds and thousands of persons, is no ordinary achievement. I am glad you have as a part of the programme, the expression of gratitude for the Headmasters and Teachers who toiled at this School to make it a successful training centre in this region. It is now twenty-five years since I last came to this place, which is so near geographically to Puttaparthi. People in America, Europe and Africa, in Hongkong and Australia are establishing Sathya Sai Bhakta Mandalis and Study Circles; they are having Telugu Classes, so that they may listen to Me and learn things directly from Me. But, places near Puttaparthi take long to derive the benefit. As for Me, I have no 'near' and 'far'; all are near to Me, except those who keep afar. Even they are close to Me, if only they dedicate themselves to God, under whatever Name and Form.
Considering the system of education sixty years ago when this school began and the system prevalent now after many experiments and modifications, one has to say that a great many valuable characteristics of the old system have been lost. Numbers have increased; but, quality has suffered. More information is forced in; less knowledge to meet the fortunes of life is imparted. Skills are added but virtues are subtracted. Respect for the great scriptures and sacred texts has diminished; how then can patriotism strike root? Love for India springs from reverence for her role in the history of the world, in the upliftment of man.
Students are not told how the sages and seers of India saw the highest truths that man can ever hope to visualise; they decry their forefathers as fools, and their elders as old-fashioned. They have other lands and other cultures as their ideals, for, they are carried away by material victories like space ships and rockets to the moon. They have no idea of the utter danger which these adventures into space denote and of the vastly grander adventures into the soul which Indian sages have achieved.
Recast the mind as an instrument for Liberation
The Jubilee which has to be celebrated by every individual is not the Diamond, but, the "Diemind", the occasion when through Sadhana, the mind is mastered. Modern civilisation is based on competition in which the interests of the individual precede the interests of society. Therefore, fear haunts men wherever they turn, fear of poverty, fear of loss, fear of death and destruction of property. The mind urges the senses to seek and secure softness, sweetness, fragrance, melody and beauty, not in God whose heart is soft as butter, whose story is sweet as nectar, whose renown is fragrant as the jasmine, whose praise is melodious to the ear, whose Form is the embodiment of perfect beauty, but, in the shoddy contraptions of material things. So, the mind has to die, so that it may be recast as an instrument for liberation, through fulfilment.
Sixty years ago, and until recently, in some primary schools, Sumathisathaka and the verses of Vemana were passed on to the children and they implanted in the tender minds the seeds of Sanatana Dharma. Today, they have given place to nursery rhymes, like "Who killed Cock Robin?", "Jack and Jill went up the Hill", rhymes that cannot grow into goodness or virtue. The neglect of the study of the Sanskrit language and literature is denying our students the spring of wisdom, from which generations have imbibed courage and confidence to face life. Consider first things first---that is the message of the Shastras. The true culture of India can be experienced only then. Bharat is the only country where the process of exploiting the mine of Ananda lying in the inner consciousness of man has been systematically explored.
Basis of the Indian ideal of Ahimsa
India has always laid down disciplines to cultivate Universal Love; the Yajnas and Yagas (Vedic sacrifices and worship) which are recommended in the Vedas are for Loka Kalyana and Loka Sangraha, the welfare and security of all mankind. That is why India is as the engine which drags the wagons along, all wagons that are coupled with it. The wagons are the different nations. Loka Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the denizens of all the worlds be happy) is the prayer that rises from the children of this land, since thousands of years. God is omnipresent; He is immanent in every being in equal measure. So, man must visualise Him equally in himself and in others. That is to say, he sees only God in all. So, how can he injure others or fear that he will come to harm through others? This is the basis of the Indian ideal of Ahimsa. We have such world-transforming truths embedded in the ancient texts, but having them there or even inside the heads does not help; they have to be put into practice, steadily and with faith.
You are happy when you have a watch; you are happy when you have a transistor radio hanging round your neck; the happiness is due to the fact that you have them and that others have no right over them. The sense of possession, the sense of 'mine' (Mamakara), that is at the root of the joy. The thing by itself is powerless to evoke joy; for, if the thing itself was the source, every one having it must derive the same quantity of joy. When a neighbour gets a transistor, you do not feel happy at all; you might even feel it a nuisance. Analysis will show that all joy is in us, for us and from us. And it is but a reflection of the boundless joy that the Atman is. So, instead of scattering attention in many directions, man must endeavour to attain that Atmic joy while here, with body. The moon that shines in the waters of a million lakes is one; the shine in the lakes is due to the reflections; look up and know the truth. Do not be deluded that inside each lake, there is a distinct moon. The bodies are many but God is reflected in every one of them.
Establish contact with that Almighty Power, that Omniscience, that Omnipresent Entity and all things will be added unto you – power, wisdom, vision, liberation. The way in which schools are now attempting to shape the tender minds of children is full of defects. They are not given the sustaining food of Vedantic truths; they are not trained to grow straight and strong, breathing the bracing air of virtue. They are not allowed to grow in an atmosphere of love and endurance. The hatreds and factions, which elders indulge in are their examples and inspirations now. Their energies and enthusiasms are not canalised by means of restrictions and directions, precept and example, into beneficial activities.
Efforts in these directions, however elementary, will, if persisted in, yield good results. Begin this day this task of rousing in these students the keenness to become masters of their senses and the tasters of lasting joy.”
He addressed the Rotarians at the Hindupur College on the same day. He emphasized on the role of youth in nation building. He said:
“I am glad I came to this newly established College and saw these students who are the builders of India in the coming years. Virtue is the fragrance of the flowers which the tree of life puts forth. Educated people must be identified in society by their strict adherence to virtue, not by more skilled methods of escaping the consequences of vice. Education is now sought after, more for securing a means of livelihood. The attempt of many parents and their children is to learn some skill which will give them a good job, in a factory or business establishment or bank, on a decent salary. Of course, man must live and live comfortably. So, it is necessary that some useful skill is mastered. But, man needs things much more satisfying, much more essential, than comfort. He must have faith in himself, so that he may respect himself. This Atma Vishwasa (trust in the Self) lies at the very root of joy.
In India, the education that leads to the knowledge of the Atma and faith in the Atma has been perfected since ages. That education teaches a proper sense of values; giving the Vishayas (the objective, world), relative importance for temporary periods, for transient ends and encouraging man to hold fast to disciplines that confer inner peace. The Atma Tatwa (principle of the Self) grants Amrita (immortality). The Deha Tatwa (principle of the body) is Anrita (untrue), and so, cannot give absolute Bliss. Man is not an improved type of monkey; he is a child of this Immortal Entity. That is why he refuses to accept that death is his end. That is why he strives to perpetuate himself for ever. The hunger for escaping death is strong in man; he does not believe that he is a bubble that can be pricked out of existence by chance.
Teach youth the fundamentals of Indian culture
The system of education has to be recast in order to allow the children of this land to grow up as the seers and sages of this land, to hand over to the sons and daughters of Bharat Mata the precious heritage, which the world too is anxious to share. The significance of Yajna, Dama and Tapas (sacrifice, self-control and penance); of Sahana, Sadhana, Samyama (forbearance, spiritual discipline and sense restraint); of the great Mahavakyas (Vedic dicta) enshrined in the Vedas; of the three Yogas – Bhakti, Karma and Jnana, as elaborated in the Geeta; of the Daivi and Asuri (godly and demonic) natures, all these and many more of the fundamentals of Indian culture have to be taught to the children in schools and colleges. They must be encouraged to practise them, for their own as well as for the country's good.
The Principal requested Me to bless all the candidates who have appeared for the examinations so that all of them may pass. My blessings are with them; but, I do not consider passing the examinations as so profoundly important. This College is started on the basis of a big donation of a lakh of rupees, by a merchant of this place. Show by your discipline, character, sacrifice and other traits that he has not donated that amount in vain. Let him be happy that, from the institution he founded, the country is getting a steady stream of honest, efficient, reliable workers, who will enhance the glory of India in the spiritual field as well.
Become worthy children of your Motherland
This is the land where the Upanishads called upon the students to adhere to truth, to follow Dharma, and to revere parents and teachers. If you learnt those great lessons, then, certainly there would be no anxiety and grief; but, now, parents are neglected and even disowned. How can a nation that does not revere those deserving to be revered, be revered in its turn? If the teacher is not listened to with the respect due to his age and attainments, how can the student learn from him the ideals on which he should plan his own life? Satya and Dharma are the two rails on which the locomotive of the nation runs; when Satya is given up, chaos prevails; when dharma is discarded, might becomes right.
So, whether you have it in the curriculum or not, learn the underlying principles of Sanatana Dharma from elders and teachers; practise at least the very first steps in spiritual discipline, like silence, reciting the Name of God, reading of the scriptures, etc. Avoid wasteful and harmful forms of recreation; maintain your health by moderation; become worthy sons and daughters of your Motherland.”