Sri Sathya Sai Felicitates Top Ranking Students of Sri Sathya Sai College


Sunday, August 01, 1976

Swami felicitated the students of the Brindavan College who had secured many distinguished ranks and first classes in the University exams in a function organised by the local Bangalore Samiti on this day. The Revenue Minister of Karnataka, Sri Huchmasti Gowda, presided over the function. Sri Huchmasti Gowda, Dr. M.B. Sundara Rao, Prof. V.K.Gokak, and Principal Narendra addressed the students. The function concluded with Swami’s Discourse in which He exalted the grandeur of the ancient system of education and highlighted the changes required in the current education milieu in India. He said:

“Education is now caught up in confusion; instead of leading the country on along prosperity and fraternity, it struggles to take it along alien and degrading paths. It does not build on the strong, sustaining foundations of Indian culture, but is still based on the plans of Macaulay. Among most of the products of modern education we do not find even traces of moral virtue, honesty, integrity, eagerness to serve and readiness to renounce.

One who lives for the sake of eating is a sinner

The education that was practiced in ancient India was far superior and far more fruitful, for it equipped the student with a healthy spirit of self-reliance. It endowed him with mental peace and equipoise. It never allowed him to be enslaved by the glittering fancies and fascinations of other cultures. It taught him to discriminate between the flippant and the stable, the upgrading and the down pulling. It enthused the student to offer his life at the feet of his Motherland with a glow on his face and a sparkle in his eye. It armed him against all obstacles on the path of self-culture and self-realisation. It exhorted him to oppose, without rest or relief, untruth, injustice and violence. But instead of cultivating these high ideals and incorporating them in our educational system, we are now borrowing educational Ideals from other peoples with different heritages. We have no faith in the system that has been extolled by our ancestors for millennia.

Education is to be valued not as a means of earning one's livelihood, but as the essential requisite for a happy, peaceful and progressive life leading man from the animal stage of existence to the presence of the Divine, where love and light reign undisturbed. He who lives for the sake of eating is indeed a great sinner; he who lives for the sake of reaching the full awareness of his Innate Reality is blessed. The first one is a Papi (sinner), the second a Gopi (blessed one).

Readiness to renounce is a prime virtue of character

Intelligence being the special mark of humans, every effort must be made to amplify and sharpen it so that it may be a fit Instrument for understanding the inner and the outer worlds. Along with intelligence, character, too, has to be cultivated in equal measure, for then alone can that Intelligence be used to serve society. The readiness to renounce one's pleasure in order to relieve the burden of another is a prime virtue of character. Moksha means liberation; renunciation, too, involves giving up, or liberation. The secret of both is the same.

What exactly has to be renounced? Desire is the worst enemy and it has to be canalised and reduced with determination until it ceases to bother you. Besides desire, anger and greed also have to be discarded, for they are present wherever there is desire. When you say bowman, it is implied that arrows, too, are there with the bow. Thus desire is ever associated with anger and greed. Desire is bad even if it is for fame and authority. It is the avarice for power and pelf that ruins many a human life.

Life is a journey. The students here have to journey long. So, it is necessary to give them the skill, the enthusiasm and the security that can take them happily along. Their hearts are pure, steady and inclusive. Elders should so behave that they do not tarnish their hearts or make them narrow and vengeful. They must be encouraged to enlarge them and soften them through intensive social service.

Wealth cannot yield joyous contentment

Our educational institutions have failed to maintain the high standards of yore. In the past, in the Ashrams (hermitages) of the rishis (sages), one was declared fit only if one secured a hundred per cent marks in one's subject of study. Now, however, thirty marks out of a hundred are enough for the university to grant one a certificate of having passed. That means that one can commit seventy mistakes with impunity and be none the worse. When such is the ease with which degrees can be secured, and when degrees are the basis for being appointed to positions of authority, the person so appointed will tend to commit a hundred mistakes for every hundred assignments and be safe in his post. How can these people be the saviours and pillars of the India of tomorrow?

Therefore I always tell the students of my colleges to attach more importance to avoidance of ‘remarks’ than acquisition of ‘marks’. Wealth cannot yield joyous contentment. Divinity alone can confer that. Yearn for God, and joy and peace will be added unto you. Embodiments of the Divine Atman! When you pursue these elevating ideals, you will come up against many obstacles which others place in your path. So you must be ever alert and vigilant not to be taken in by their specious pleas.

Awareness is life; be aware of your Inner strength and glory. Express that glory through loving service to society. In northern India yogis (spiritually advanced person), sages and monks are addressed as ‘Maharaj’, which means ‘Emperor’, for an emperor is he who has a rich treasury of the gems of detachment and service, not one who has his vaults full of precious metals. The wealth that you hoard is not yours; the wealth that you have shared is yours. For wealth that belongs to you needs not to be hidden.

The wealth that you have given away is really yours. That is the reason why the Vedas (ancient sacred scriptures) have declared, “Not through actions, nor through progeny, nor through wealth can immortality be won; it can be won only through renunciation.” The youth must acquire and invest in themselves all the skills and virtues which can help India prosper and shine forth as the benefactor and preceptor of mankind. They must develop self-confidence, the base for the mansion of their life; they must then erect the walls of self-satisfaction and put on them the roof of self-sacrifice. Then they can live in that house and achieve Self-realisation. Thus they must progress along these steps and become exemplars of Indian culture in its glory. 

Source: Sri Sathya Sai Digvijayam (1926-1985)

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