“Even little money is good enough… But Character must be Good”

October 11, 1991 

Swami spoke to one of the elders about the Hospital. He said that the inauguration was set for November 22nd and named a host of V.I.P.s who were expected in Prasanthi Nilayam that day. Swami then asked some of the boys from the II M.B.A. about how they had done in their viva. 

Swami : Students' primary duty is to study. You are all students, not stupids. Hence you should not waste away your time in useless pursuits. You may be good in other activities, but you should study well. That is what Swami wants. By studying well, you make your parents, teachers and yourself happy. Swami is also pleased then. Otherwise you are simply wasting your energy and your parents hard earned money and efforts. 

In our country, people want only money. They are motivated purely by selfish motives. To appease their selfish needs for more salaries, the Government has to borrow from others. People take more and more money but there is no corresponding work. He who does not work has no right to a salary. Students also have no right to waste the efforts and money of their parents. They must study well, behave as students and get a good name. Students must hence study and progress. If you are not interested, you can stop studying. But once having undertaken to study as students in this Institute you must not shirk that responsibility and lead a carefree life. Riding two horses is dangerous and harmful. Marks are not important compared to one’s behaviour. It is all right if one has no good marks. He must guard against earning remarks. Students’ behavior must not be such as to earn a bad name. 

Devotee : Swami, this is all the effect of Maya (illusion). 

Swami : No! This is not Maya. There are two aspects of it - Innocence and Ahamkara (ego). That which is done out of innocence is not the effect of Maya. It is done without knowing. But that which is done deliberately with full knowledge of the consequences and the situation is the effect of Maya. It is nothing but Ahamkara. What is the use of studying so much if there is no good character? It is better to beg at a bus stand, where you can earn better! Education is not for earning money. It is not how much you have studied but what Character you have is important. In Telugu there are words - Alpa and Swalpa. Even though both appear to be similar; there is a lot of difference. Alpa means large quantity but very little quality. Swalpa means small quantity but of very high quality. Like barrels full of donkey’s milk compared to a small spoonful of cow’s milk. Money is not important. Even a little money is good enough, but character must be good. Even in Sathya Sai Organisations, I never tolerate collections of money for any purpose. If need arises, you can ask Me. I will give it. But you must not extend a begging bowl.

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