Win Prizes in the Game of Life!

What lends beauty to sports and games is the spirit of unity with which the participants play in them, eschewing feelings of envy and hatred. The supreme virtue in a man is to forget his individual differences with others and move with them in a spirit of equality and harmony. Today people derive only physical fitness and strength from taking part in sports and games. But man is not the body alone. Fulfilment in life is not attained by physical health and strength alone. Even when the stomach is full, the mind must get satisfaction. Hence, efforts should be made to promote mental health also. Only when both the mind and the body are healthy one can experience happiness. However, young people today are concerned only about physical appearance and fitness. Man is endowed by Divine grace with physical, mental and spiritual potencies of many kinds. Unfortunately young people tend to misuse these powers and come to grief. They do not recognise the magnitude of their internal powers. The mind is the source of all powers. Only when the mind is subdued can man realise the Divine.

The Extraordinary Energies in Youth

For achieving anything, strong determination is necessary. Young people in particular should take note of the powers in them. It is comparable to a kind of electrical energy. This energy enables them to see things through the eye (which is like a bulb). You must ensure that your vision is pure, sacred and pleasing. Do not taint or pollute your sight by looking at undesirable objects. Do not look at anything with bad thoughts. The eyes are spoilt by misuse. Then you have circulating in the entire body a magnetic energy. Although this energy is present throughout the body, its presence is conspicuous in the hand. Hence the hands should be employed for good purposes. They should not be used for doing harm to others or hurting them. Moreover, there are in the body rays emitting light. The electrical energy in the body serves to transmit these rays throughout the body like radio waves. People do not use these energies for right purposes. The ears listen to gossip, slander and evil talk. The result is that the power of hearing gets polluted. Then, you have the power of speech. This power finds expression in sound waves. This power has to be used with great care. The words one utters should be examined to see that they do not excite, irritate or anger others. Bad words come back to the speaker with double strength. Hence one's speech should be soft and sweet.

The major weakness of young people is the tendency to misuse their boundless potencies. This degrades them as human beings. Young people, failing to exercise control over their actions, tend to become unruly and ungovernable. You may be great scholars or intellectual giants. There are many Nobel Laureates. How many remember them? But the great benefactors of mankind, the men of noble qualities, are cherished by all mankind. For instance, there is the example of a noble soul from Calcutta. Calcutta produced many great intellectuals. After a time they are not remembered at all. But if today Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, an illiterate person, is enshrined in the hearts of millions all over the world, is education responsible for it? Likewise, if many noble persons are enshrined in the hearts of people, what is the reason? They have earned their good name by their faith in God, their character, magnanimity and spirit of sacrifice. God has been the prime factor in their lives.

Your Faith in God will save You

The other day you witnessed in the sports festival a young child dancing as Krishna on the hood of a serpent. Owing to the firing of some crackers, the cloth on a platform where the child was dancing caught fire. As the flames rose, the police, the students and others rushed to the spot with buckets of water to put out the fire. There was great commotion. But the child Krishna went on with his dance, totally indifferent to what was happening all around. His entire concentration was on the role he was playing. The child went on with the dance with his concentration on Swami. His eyes were centred on Swami. When one’s look is centred on the Lord, nothing untoward can happen. All around the child, the decorations had been prepared with paper. Behind the decorations 500 children were seated. What disaster might have happened if the fire had spread towards them? But, even a mountain of danger will melt away if one’s thoughts are centred on God. This means that together with concern for worldly things, there should be devotion to God. Together with education Samskara (refinement of character) is essential. What is meant by Samskara? ‘Samyak Kriti Iti Samskara’ (Refinement of action is culture). The true implication of the benediction, ‘Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu’ is not properly understood. “All should be happy”, this is the assurance of the Divine.

Develop Good Qualities at an early age    

People today speak about God having forgotten man. This is not true. God can never give up the devotee. It is the devotee who gives up God. God can never forget the devotee. It is the devotee who forgets God. God is never away from you. Only the devotee is away from God. You think that God is moving away from you. Not at all! You forget God and declare that God has forgotten you. Your own feelings are reflected in your utterances.

What is the result of education? You find that in any conference, the members criticise one another in unspeakable terms. The critics are invariably petty-minded persons. Many leaders today indulge in mutual mud-slinging, which is totally unbecoming. Indulging in abuse of others is a grievous sin. Develop your own good qualities and share them with others. That is the right way. Try to correct yourself rather than to criticize others. Most young people today indulge in slander, instead of cultivating qualities like devotion to God, service to society and sympathy for fellow-beings. They should realise that they have to lead exemplary lives and serve their fellowmen. Every individual should dedicate himself to social service. The spirit of sportsmanship which you display in sports and games should be displayed in other fields also. The determination displayed in sports should also be shown in the game of life.  

Young people have to learn many things. First and foremost, get rid of Ahamkara (arrogance). Earn a good name as a scholar, a man of character, endowed with a spirit of sacrifice. Realise that if you please God, you can please the whole world. You saw the film about the saint Gora Kumbhar. In his total absorption in God, he forgot the presence of his son and unwittingly caused the child’s death. When he realised what had happened, he did not mourn the death of the child. He declared that God took away what God had given him. Such was his total faith in God. While pursuing your studies, remember that you have also to strive for the well-being of the world Loka Hiterathah.

Do Work commensurate with your Salaries and Serve the Nation

Make use of your education for public welfare. You have no doubt to take up a job for earning a living. See that the work you do justifies the emoluments you get. It is treason to the nation to receive thousands by way of salary and do hardly a few hundred rupees worth of work. Today such disloyal employees are increasing in numbers all over the world. High salaries and poor turnout are the rule today. This accounts for the deplorable condition of Bharat today. The public debt is growing alarmingly. Who is responsible? If public servants rendered service according to the salaries they received, the country would not be in such a bad plight. Discharge your duties according to your conscience. Our students should live up to this ideal. There is nothing wrong in receiving a high salary provided you do the work to deserve it. Nowadays, young people are concerned only about the pay packets and not the work they have to do in the service of society to deserve the pay. Think more about what you owe to society than what you can get from it. It is sheer selfishness to be concerned only about your earnings. The Vedas declare that immortality can be attained only through sacrifice. 

Students! Boys and Girls! 

Wherever you may go, wherever you may live, serve the elders at home, serve the society and bring a good name to the Institutions which have educated you. Observe discipline all through your life. Do your duty. It is not easy to bring back the glorious days of the past. You young people cannot be aware of the times when a bag of rice could be got for four rupees, when people could go about without any fear of attack and houses could be left unlocked. Today fear stalks the country. No one is safe. For all these evils the insatiable craving for money is responsible. The evil began in a sway in the Dwapara Yuga. Today it has reached frightful limits. The craving for wealth has led to many other evils like jealousy and pride. The money that comes from the people should be given back to them in one way or other. This is Bhagavan’s will. People say that Sai Baba is spending crores of rupees on the drinking water, project. There is not a single rupee of Sai Baba in all this. What has been received from the people is being given back to them. I do not own anything. I have only one property, My most valuable property. My students are my only property. It is enough for Me if My students conduct themselves well.

I bless you all that you should carry on your lives in the same spirit in which you have distinguished yourselves in games and sports. Win prizes in the game of life, carry out the injunctions of God and stand forth as ideal citizens. Never forget the supremacy of love as the ruling principle in life. 


  1. Sairam, can you please share the link from Radio Sai from where you got the poster used in this article -- on 'grace'?




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