Sri Sathya Sai Message on the Inauguration of His University

Sri Sathya Sai leads the procession;
(left) Air Chief Marshall O.P. Mehra, Governor of Maharashtra;
(right) Justice Y.V. Chandrachud, Chief Justice of India;
(extreme right in second row) Prof. V.K. Gokak - Vice Chancellor 
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was inaugurated at Prasanthi Nilayam on this day. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Revered Chancellor of the University, came in a procession wearing a resplendent white robe accompanied by Sri Y.V. Chandrachud, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India; Governor of Maharashtra Air Chief Marshall O.P. Mehra; Chancellors from 10 Universities of Maharashtra; Smt. Madhuribhen Shah, Chairman, University Grants Commission; Sri Anjaiah, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh; Prof. V.K. Gokak, Vice Chancellor of the Institute; and Sri Chakravarthi, Registrar of the Institute. 

The procession also included the Trustees of the Institute Trust – the Rajmata of Nawanagar, Justice Bhagawati of the Supreme Court of India, Dr. S. Bhagavantam and Sri Indulal Shah. Justice Y.V. Chandrachud inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, and Governor O.P. Mehra presided over the function.
Dignitaries on the dias at the Poornachandra Auditorium:
(from left): Sri Chakravarthi; Prof. Bhagavantham, Justice Bhagwati; Prof. Gokak; Chief Justice Y.V. Chandrachud; Chancellor Baba; Governor O.P. Mehra
 
In His Inaugural Address, the Chancellor said:

"Students! Embodiments of Divine Love! Educators! Promoters of Education!

When we fall low in education or in knowledge, our parents feel great grief. When we fall low in morals and spiritual virtues, our motherland bemoans her fate ten times more sadly. We have to assuage the grief of the physical mother and the cultural mother, and promote the peace and prosperity of the motherland. Students alone have the enthusiasm and the skill necessary for this task. In this land revered as the treasure house of spiritual riches, dharma is declining day by day; unrighteousness, injustice, violence, anti-social acts, falsehood are running amok. They are indulging in their devil-dance unhindered. In this Kali era, students have to rise as lion cubs, reestablish peace and restore dharma in individual, social and national life.

Students! Remember that all those whom we are accepting now as leaders, whom we respect as holding positions of authority, whom we worship as elders, were some years ago students like yourselves. Therefore, you in your turn will be the leaders, power-wielders and elders of tomorrow. Do not forget this destiny of yours.

The motherland is not a mere lump of earth. When we desire its progress, we have to promote the progress of the people who dwell therein. The skills needed for resuscitating and reforming man are found only in students. The reforming process involves the removal, in daily living, of bad conduct and bad habits and the practice of good conduct and good deeds. A man's worth can be measured by his efforts to reform himself. This day, the Government has no capacity to reform the people and people have no authority to reform the Government.

The Educational Process is a holy endeavour

Students are the very foundation of the nation. When the foundation is strong, the building can be stable. To make the foundation strong, people, rulers, parents, teachers, and students, all have to coordinate their plans and efforts. These five elements, these five vital forces, have to work together towards this end.

The solution for the problem is just one; the Light of Truth has to be fostered and spread in the field of education. Students are proceeding along devious distorted paths, not because they are intrinsically bad, but because they are infected by the pollution rampant in all fields, social and national. The nation cannot advance through a reform of the educational system alone.

The educational process is basically a holy endeavour. We have many lessons to learn, many duties to fulfil, many points to note while trying to improve it. In ancient times, moral excellence was the goal of this endeavour. After gaining that excellence even today, students can roam free and fearless in the realm of education, like lions in the forest. They should not degrade themselves to the level of cunning, deceitful, marauding jackals or wolves. Today, there are no lions in the jungle of educational institutions. But wolves and sheep abound!

Acquaintance with the contents of a pile of books does not make one an educated person. Wherever there are students, the place must shine with the brilliance of peace and security; it must radiate the aura of sanctity. But have we peace and security in the campuses today? No. Real education must be judged by the concern for others which it promotes. Students should grow to be the guardians of the people. As the prospective protectors of the people, their future leaders and administrators, they should prepare themselves for national service. On the shoulders of students today rests the task of making India great. The educational system has to be shaped a new so that students can fulfill the task of brightening the future of this land.
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks at the Poornachandra Auditorium
The Importance of Faith

Embodiments of Love! Every man desires to acquire Ananda. From where can Ananda be acquired? Faith alone can win Ananda. Peace can be got only through faith; faith is the spring of joy. But now, we see sorrow wherever we cast our eyes. Why does this happen? Because, man has lost faith. He has no faith in himself. How then can he acquire Ananda? How can a person, who has not got faith enough to live happily for a few days, win the grace of God? This day, when education has achieved remarkable progress in many directions, man has lost faith in the highest and the most supreme - God. He queries, "What exactly is God?" He argues, "Is there God? Well, I shall prove, that there is no God."

Seek the Truth and you are seeking God. Truth is God. Truth exists; so, God exists. God IS, because Truth is God. Does anyone argue that there is no Truth? Come. I shall show him Truth. He who denies the existence of Truth can never be a man. Can there be a God higher than Truth? 

The human condition today is full of falsehood; it is sunk in wickedness. So, no one can understand the significance of Truth. Truth is generally understood to mean speaking exactly what has been heard by the ears. No; this is not the meaning of Truth. What has been heard undergoes change; Truth is changeless, it is the same in the past, present and future. Have faith that Truth exists thus and can be experienced. Faith is the very breath of life. Without it, man is a living corpse.

Education must broaden the Heart
Many carry swollen heads because of the degrees they have won through the study of books. But of what avail is that load when they do not fold their palms to adore God? Humility is the mark of scholarship. If this mark is absent, the scholar is an ignoramus. Humility is the product of Atma Vidya. Of course, the study of the material world is important. It should not be neglected. But, the study of one's Atmic core is essential. Other studies relate to the five elements, the energies, the composition of the objective world, the manipulation of Nature's forces for living more comfortably. How does the earth rotate and why? How far is the sun from the earth and the stars? How far do the rays of the sun reach? To what distance can they travel in a minute? By learning these facts, to what extent can man profit? More important items to study and watch are - How broad is your heart? How much benefit has society derived from you? What are the Sadhanas that can make you better and more useful? How much are you aware of your inner principle? What exactly is the purpose and goal of your existence?

Bhagavantam (Former Director, Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore) has mastered the details about the world which I mentioned now. He has also taught them to many students of his and they in their turn have taught them to many others who were their students. That was all. He knew and he made others know that he knew. Those others knew and they passed on that knowledge to others. Thus it has spread from one set of people to another. Has this process furthered the peace and progress of the world? It has not helped in the least. As scholarship is accumulated, man is losing the compassion which urges him to love his neighbour, to discover the neighbour's troubles and anxieties so that he might give relief. He is turning more and more egoistic.

Embodiments of Love! Do not think otherwise. When truth is made known, one is apt to resent it. Educated persons today are all afflicted with selfishness. Why! They have been rendered so helpless by this disease that they do not pay attention even to the misery of their parents. This is no sign of education. Education must broaden the heart, it must expand one's love. Fortitude and equanimity belong to the Reality in man. One must reveal this fact in every act, also gratitude for kindness shown.

Students should strive to earn Virtues
People forget those who helped them to advance in life; they repay kindness with injury. The very teachers who contribute to the progress of students in studies are hit on the head by their students. The teacher may have faults but the student has no authority to search for faults or expose them or retaliate. Upanishad means 'sitting at the feet' of the teacher. The Guru is the Tat; the Sishya is the Twam. Tat speaks; Twam listens. That is the lesson in humility which the Upanishad conveys. 

Students strive in many ways to attain 'ranks'; they do not strive to earn highly esteemable virtues. No, not even a thousandth part of that effort is spent for earning virtue. They are eager to collect marks; they do not try to avoid remarks and ensure a good reputation. Strive to earn a good life, good conduct, good thoughts and good opportunities. 

Students! You are aware that there are now 108 universities in India. This University is the 109th, one more than that traditional total. Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu. May all the universities succeed and serve the country well. But, this university must be distinct from the rest and attain a unique status. It must be the ideal for others. For this consummation students, teachers, parents, rulers and the people must cooperate.

My Students Are My Property

To have inaugurated a University cannot be a source of full satisfaction for me. It has to be fostered and made to fructify. It is like accepting the gift of an elephant; it brings with it the responsibility to feed it and utilise its potentialities beneficently. If some deviation occurs while managing it, the elephant might run amuck and destroy lives. Students and teachers are valuable assets to make the University an ideal one. Along with subjects related to worldly knowledge, this University will impart instruction in ethical, moral and spiritual codes and Sadhanas. It has as its goal the cultivation of the student's mind on these lines. Virtues, purity of the mind, adherence to truth, dedication to the Supreme, discipline, devotion to duty - these qualities will be fostered and promoted in this University. Such seats of learning were established in ancient times by the sages and seers of India and as a result of their self-sacrificing efforts, they have left for posterity the priceless heritage of Bharatiya culture. This culture has sprouted from the vision they had of God, in every atom in creation. "God resides," it proclaims, "not only in the idol installed in the temple, but in every atom and cell, without exception." Bharatiyas have allowed this all-inclusive, sublime, eternal culture to slip out their lives, in the frantic pursuit of illusory, trivial tantalising cultures.
Leading Educationists with Sri Sathya Sai
at the Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir
Students! Teachers! Devotees gathered here! Administrators! This is the inaugural day of our Institute. It has been planted today. The students are its roots. The tree will grow with branches on all sides; countless flowers will bloom; it will provide and promote peace and security to the world. In order that it may realise this result, students must as the roots do, remain firm and provide sustenance. I know that the roots have to be watered so that flowers and fruits may emerge. Students are My all. If you ask Me, what is My property, many expect the answer to be, "Oh! All these buildings, all this vast area of land." But, My answer is: "My entire property consists of My students." I have offered Myself to them.


Source: Divine Discourse on the Inauguration of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning on November 22, 1981 at the Poornachandra Auditorium, Prasanthi Nilayam

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