Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Articles

  Self-confidence, Self-realisation, education

By Reet Priiman

Sai Ram

     Humans' worldly life activity and actions is bound by various kinds of social obligations. For such activity knowledge and education is necessary.  But it is far not enough of it. There is needed an internal motivation that gives direction and purpose of any human's worldly activity. By Swami and Vedic wisdom this internal motivation is the confidence of the Self as Atmic unity.

     If whatsoever humans actions and deeds  (in social, spiritual, scientific or cultural spheres) proceed from confidence of the Self that they are in harmony with Atmic unity,  God and therefore they are productive. If all people of the world will understand and experience it  that there would be no wars, enmity, cruelty, etc. There would be no danger of ecological destruction of biosphere as in consequence of consumer society's scientific and technological activity deprived their roots. Development of humanity and prevention global social and ecological  accidents can be carried out at comprehension of confident of the Atmic Self what unite carrier humanity is.

    This basic Truth is one of the root topics of  Swami's Teaching. His explanations concern to self-confidence, self sacrifice, self-realisation are in His many Works in various contexts appointed for students and devotees and seekers on various paths and distances of spiritual development. Swami's Messages are for all layers of population: be confident of the Atmic nature of the Self,  know that the initial point (active Divine force) for whatsoever worldly activity, actions  proceed from this primary point - Self-confident. By Swami self-realisation (as realisation of the Self in worldly life) is the outcome from confident of the Self. 

     All kinds of human activity have they of a spiritual or a scientific direction proceed from one harmonious vibration of God  reflected by human consciousness as Self-confidence, alias confidence of the Self. 

     (It is a need to note that in some spiritual works of Indian gurus and philosophers Self-confidence (Atma vishvasa), as opposed to methods of developing ego-self confidence and there are explanations what is the role of   'awakened ego-self confidence' used for unselfish deeds and services.  By Vedic wisdom ('Tat Sat' by K R Paramahamsa) ego, called the Ahamkara, is that quality which gives a sense of identity to a person. Ego makes possible to know (to be aware) about one's experiences or thoughts.

     For persons being not philosophers, such explanations are difficult, may be not correctly understand among international devotees and may be cause discussions about the same things from different angles, what is on the whole not important, as all are right from their angles of view). 

     Therefore the best way to follow the explanation of Self-confidence and related to it qualities by Swami's Teaching. It is more clear and proper; an opportunity of error in various expressions there is absent.

     Swami does not contradict worldly activity in area of science or education to spirituality, to the confident of the Self, but explained that this activity meaningful for service of humanity, when it is based on the root knowledge as prime base - confidence of the Self what leads through experiences to self-realization in whatsoever fields of humans actions, thoughts and deeds. 
     Below is a collection of Swami's quotations as a some kind compilation about Self-confidence, self-realization and connected with them education is presented. The quotations from His works (what have written during many years) have directed to various audience. Quotations have various spelling of terms (sometimes Atma is replaced with Aathma, what is the same. Confidence of the Self has mostly written as self-confidence, etc.). As the collection  based on quotations, the spelling is not changed. 
     How clearly one tries to explain his/her experiences concern to Swami's Teaching, alive speech Swami through His Works remains more evident simple and quick-witted for all.  Experiences concerning His Teaching are as subjective reflections of devotees. Spreading Swami's Teaching and personal experiences connected with His Teaching is more bright when there is present direct Swami's quotations as carriers of Divine energy hidden for eyes but possible to feel through heart.
      Namaste - Reet


 "Like food to a starving man, like showers on a parched field, the Vedic science of spiritual self-discovery is the life-saver for humanity sliding down to destruction because it has lost its hold on truth, morality, peace and love." (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 7, Chapter 17). 
      "Man is an amalgam of body, mind and spirit. The senses of perception and action, which form components of the body, are busy contacting the objective world. he mind - consciousness of the various levels, the faculty of reason and the ego - examines, experiences and judges. It decides after discriminations, which word or deed will be beneficial, favourable, fruitful and felicitous. It attempts to separate the good from the bad, ...the true from the false, the permanent from the momentary. The Spirit or the Self or the Aathma is unaffected, stable and foundational. Its quality is Sath (is-ness) but it is ever aware, ever chith (consciousness)."  (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 17, Chapter 31). 
     "The first thing you have to do is to develop self-confidence. It is such people who have no confidence in their own self who begin to wander about and to waver, and take to various different paths. When you take your body to different places, and when you go about moving aimlessly, the mind also goes to different places." (Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 13, Chapter 6).
     "The ultimate step of self-realisation depends upon the base of self-confidence. Without having and developing confidence in your own self, if all the time you are talking of some power being with someone else... when are you going to acquire any power and confidence in your own self?" (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 13, Chapter 6). 
     "...Each one views the world from one's particular circumstance, background and experience. The Aathmik Principle is explained or described in different ways. There is no connection between its reality and the way it is experienced.
    Develop that confidence on the Self. The Self is not visible even as the foundations of a big mansion are not visible. But without the foundation the edifice cannot stand. Likewise self-confidence is the base for  self-satification. The roof of Mansion is self-sacrifice. Then you have self-realisation." (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 30, Chapter 28).
     "All worldly knowledge is concerned with sustaining life. When knowledge of the Spirit which is the basis of all other knowledge of the sciences and the arts is acquired, it is easy to get any kind of knowledge.
    Self-confidence today is manifest only in matters relating to worldly achievements and self-centered pursuits." (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 19, Chapter 20).
   "Through Self-confidence, one can obtain at first Self-sacrifice and then Self-satisfaction. All this activity together expresses the state of Self-realization what depends on the base of Self-confidence - the awareness of the Atmic Self within everywhere whatever the same and can never be destroyed."
     (Compilation from: Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba during the Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture "Self-Confidence leads to Self-Realization." May, 1973, Brindavan.  http://beaskund.helloyou.ws/askbaba/discourses/d1973/d19730500-28.htm ).
     "Your journey starts with self-confidence and ends with the realization of the Self. That Self is you; it is God. This is who you really are.  Self-confidence is unwavering love for the divinity within.  What will help you to develop this confidence?  Be equal-minded.  Be satisfied with what you have. Don't hanker for anything outside. That is a great truth.  Always have complete faith in God, Who takes care of everything. True greatness can only come from faith." (Excerpts from Swami's answers to devotees; http://www.ramalacentre.com/sai_baba_print01b.htm).
     "Self-confidence cannot be purchased or obtained through learning. It is based on deservedness. To attain deservedness, develop divine thoughts. If you have faith in God, He will protect you in the face of all adversities. He is always with you, in you, above you, beside you, around you." (Excerpts of the Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "Cultivate Divine Love." 25 Dec 2001, Prasanthi Nilayam).
     "First of all, one should have faith in one's own Self. Develop self-confidence, which will lead to self-satisfaction. When you have self-satisfaction, you will be prepared for self-sacrifice. Only through self-sacrifice, can one attain self-realisation. Self-realisation means to realise that you are everything. Self-confidence is the foundation, self-satisfaction is the wall, self-sacrifice is the roof and self-realisation is life. No one can live in a building without roof. Roof cannot be laid without walls and walls cannot be raised without foundation. So, self-confidence, self-satisfaction, self-sacrifice are very essential for self-realisation. Today man has lost self-confidence. If one loses self-confidence, one loses everything. Only through self-confidence can one have the vision of the latent divine effulgence. " (Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "The Life Principles of Man." 9 Oct  2001, Prasanthi Nilayam).

     "The absence of self-confidence marks the beginning of one's decline. Today, the world is facing ruin and disaster because people have lost confidence in themselves. Self-confidence alone is capable of granting peace and prosperity to each person. He receives good everywhere; he is honoured in all places. Whatever he touches becomes gold. When a person has no faith in himself, how can he place faith in others? Even when he has such faith, it cannot be sincere and firm. It is at best artificial and superficial. Such a person will not have faith in his mother, father, wife and children. He pretends to believe, that is all. So he behaves treacherously and might even injure the parents.

     So, self-confidence is a must for every student. Students must study books about persons who stuck to justice and led straight lives."(Sathya Sai Baba: Vidia Vahini, XVII, p. 62).

 "For, loss of confidence in the Atma or Self involves loss of faith in God Himself. That Omnipresence, that Inner Motivator of all, who is the warp and woof of our body and mind, our emotions and intellect - strengthening faith in Him is the only means of realising the highest goal of man. This is the lesson that Bharathiya spiritual history longs to teach.

    Children of Bharath! Teach your children this life-preserving, glorious and heart-expanding Truth from the early days of life." (Sathya Sai Baba: Vidia Vahini. Religion is Experience, p. 28).
     "Finally the elephant got tired and lost all his physical as well as mental strength. He had placed all his confidence in his physical and mental prowess, but having exhausted all that, he began praying to the Lord. As long as his vision had been directed to his body he did not look towards God. As long as he had confidence in his own bodily and mental strength, the thought of God did not arise and the Lord's grace did not descend. When the elephant lost his physical and mental power and turned towards God, immediately Lord Vishnu hurled his sacred discus, and freed Gajendra from the catastrophe that had overtaken him." (Sai Baba Gita. Turn Towards God and God will Turn Towards You. XXIX , p. 290).

      "It is only when you have developed self-confidence, confidence in the indwelling atma, that you will be able to develop a strong confidence in the Lord. If you do not believe in your self, you cannot truly believe in God. For the body-mind this master is the indweller. He will never leave you. Therefore, by means of inner inquiry, you should try to discover and recognize this unchanging indwelling divinity which is your true reality.

     Every spiritual aspirant should take up inner inquiry. In all your spiritual practices that you engage in, you should spend three fourths of your time on self-inquiry. The most important reason for all these sorrows you are prone to, is the weakness you develop because your senses are not under your control. Put your mind on the right path and develop a firm resolve. You will gain great strength thereby.

     The Gita declared that you should control the senses, not that you should destroy them. The Gita does not say that you should renounce action, but that you should renounce the fruit of your action. Therefore, you have to do your work. Although there is no need for the Lord to perform any particular work, you will find that he is working all the time.

     Perform your work and use all your senses correctly. Use them within the proper limits for the purposes for which they were intended. This is the message of the Gita." (Excerpts from Sai Baba Gita. Worldly Knowledge is Useless without Self-knowledge. XX, p. 205).
     "Far more valuable than the scholarship gathered from a million books is the grain of wisdom gained through a session of meditation. That flash (Jnana), however slight, is a precious acquisition. It is the product of personal Sadhana and indisputable authentic experience. As one cultivates and develops this grain of wisdom, controversy and criticism will cease. All arguments will be with one's lower self only until the Truth stands revealed. Self-confidence is essential for a person to enter on this path of spiritual practice." (Sathya Sai Baba:  Leela Kaivalya Vahini." Stream of Cosmic Sport Divine. p.1).

     "The main purpose is to help you to cultivate self-knowledge and self-confidence, so that each one of you can learn self-sacrifice and earn self-realisation. The teaching of the university curricula and the preparation for presenting you for the university examinations and the award of university degrees - these are only the means employed for the end, namely, spiritual uplift, self-discovery and social service through love and detachment. Our hope is that by your lives you will be shining examples of spiritual awareness and its beneficial consequences of the individual and society." (Sathya Sai Baba: Divine discourse "The Higher Role." 1974, Ananthapur;  http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1974/d19740800-1.htm).

    "Virtue can grow only in an atmosphere of theism; you must have faith in the omnipresence of God, that God is the witness, the guide, and the guardian. Self-confidence, confidence that you are the pure unlimited self, is the great reinforcement that religion can endow you with. When you establish this in your hearts, you can be entrusted with any type of responsibility, and any type of work." (Sathya Sai Baba: Divine Discourse "Instruments of the Divine Will." 1974, Brindavan;  http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1974/d19740620-1.htm).

    "It is in this context that it is said that one should essentially have faith in one's own Atma or have self-confidence. Only when one promotes self-confidence or confidence in himself will he develop the peace of mind and will he experience the satisfaction or Ananda of the Atma and then he will sacrifice everything else. Experiencing Ananda and removal of sorrow are simultaneous events." (Sathya Sai Baba: Divine Discourse "The Lord is the Embodyment of Prema and Can be Contacted Only Through Prema." 1974, Brindavan; http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1974/d19740600-31.htm).

   "There was once a Guru living in a place and he was communicating wisdom to people who used to come for his Darshan. Those people who were coming to have his Darshan used to bring some flowers and fruits in accordance with Indian traditions. One day, as the offerings were plenty in the form of fruit, he called a disciple and asked him to cut the fruit and arrange for its distribution as Prasad. The disciple cut the fruit and reported to the Guru that all was ready for distribution and asked him as to who should be given the first fruit. The Guru asked him to start with the person in whom he had the greatest faith and the highest confidence. All the people assembled there thought that the disciple would first give the fruit to the teacher and then distribute to the others. But the disciple did not do so. He took the first fruit himself. When the surprised onlookers asked for an explanation, he said that since he had the greatest confidence and affection for himself, he took the first fruit. This demonstrates that he had indeed, confidence in himself and that he truly loved himself.

     When we look at this story in its external aspects, it may look as if the disciple had no faith in the Guru but we should realise that he acted in this manner because of supreme confidence in himself. Therefore, if one does not touch the feet of God, does not go to a temple or does not go on a pilgrimage, we should not conclude that he has no faith in himself. Confidence in one's self is something which can only be experienced and cannot be exhibited." (Excerpts from Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "The Ladder that Enables an Ignorant Person to Become a Liberated Soul." 1973, Brindavan; http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1973/d19730500-3.htm).

     "There are two things which are important for man's life. One is confidence in one's own self and the other is cleansing one's own mind. Man cannot live by himself in isolation. The entire world depends upon the social structure and on the manner in which individuals are knit together into a society." (Excerpts from Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "The Company of Good People." 1973, Brindavan;  http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1973/d19730500-5.htm).
     "Sanctify all the limbs of the body in selfless activities. But it is not that easy to practice. There is always some self-interest in whatever man does. Self-interest is also necessary, but it should be within certain limits."  (Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "The Life Principles of Man." 9 Oct  2001, Prasanthi Nilayam).

      "Life is not a one way traffic. You should conduct yourself in such a way that you give happiness to others and then ask others to give happiness to you.  Man cannot live in isolation like a drop of oil put on the surface of a sheet of water. The happiness of the individual is intimately connected with the happiness of the society. The prosperity of the society itself is intimately connected with the happiness of the world. Our educational methods should include spiritual, religious, ethical and moral aspects.  Every youth must make an effort to generate confidence in himself and he can then enjoy happiness and bliss." (Excerpts from Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "Opening Address to the Students."1973, Brindavan;  http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1973/d19730500-1.htm).
      "Every thinking individual concerned with education is today faced with a large number of problems; problems that have been agitating the minds of students and of teachers. It is the duty of everyone to see that these problems are solved and the right solutions are put into the hearts of young people, and thereby infuse a sense of the Divine in their minds. Because good qualities like sacrifice, forbearance, truth and love have been somewhat pushed to the background, the society is suffering from various ills. It is the sacred duty of good education not only to rectify such ills and give proper shape and form to society, but also to rid the minds and hearts of people as well of all evils. In our educational methods of today, we are attaching great importance to giving voluminous books and the information contained in these voluminous books to the students. We are not making an effort to improve the ideas and ideologies of the students.
     The first thing to have is self-confidence, after which alone you will get self-satisfaction. Once you have got self-satisfaction, then you must acquire the virtue of self-sacrifice and after self-sacrifice alone, you come to self-realisation. Thus to achieve self-realisation, self-confidence is the most important thing. In all these four attributes, namely, self-confidence, self-satisfaction, self-sacrifice and self-realisation, the one common word is self." (Excerpts from Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "Exhortation to Students." 1972, Brindavan; http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1972/d19720500-2.htm).
        "When you recognise Me as the dweller in your heart? you will walk on the path of self-knowledge, self-confidence, self-satisfaction and self-realisation." (Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "Thirst and Quest." 1971, Dharmakshethra;   http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1971/d19710107-2.htm).

     "No doubt, worldly education is also essential... but it cannot impart true wisdom. Only Atma Vidya (knowledge of the Self) can grant you everlasting happiness. However, secular education is also essential to take care of your physical needs. You should not give it up altogether. Worldly education is Negative and spiritual education is Positive. Both are essential for happiness here and hereafter." (Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "Concentration the mind on the Divine is real Sadhana." 19 Feb 2004, Prasanthi Nilayam).
      "Education is not an exercise. Neither is it meant to make a living. It is for the purpose of achieving the goal of life. It is said, "Secular education is for happiness in the mundane world and spiritual education is for happiness in the other world." In order to acquire spiritual education, one must spend some time in enquiry. Spiritual knowledge cannot be acquired with secular education."
     Today, scientific knowledge is considered to be great. How did science acquire this greatness? Science deals with the physical aspect of the universe. It strives to explore the secrets of the universe, and not beyond. But, there is a knowledge beyond this which forms the basis for its creation, existence and dissolution. That is spirituality. Without that spiritual basis, science has no effect. 

     I have often quoted the example of Abhraham Lincoln, the late President of America. In his childhood days, Lincoln did not have enough money to prosecute his studies. He was so poor that he used to sit under the streetlight in the bazaar and read. He used to borrow books from his classmates and read them during night times and return them the next morning. One day, his friends made fun of him saying how could this beggar pursue his education. Lincoln felt very sad and humiliated. He came home, crying. His mother tried to comfort him with soothing words. She enquired: "My dear son! Why are you crying? What is the reason?" He replied: "Mother! I don't have any money even to drink a cup of tea. I realise the situation in our house. I am aware that you and father cannot afford spending money on my education." Thus, Lincoln struggled hard in his childhood days and studied well, with self-confidence and self-respect, with the moral support extended by his mother. He did not hesitate to supplement the family income by doing some painting work and boot polishing. Nevertheless, throughout his educational career, he sustained his self-respect. By doing so, he earned a good name in society. In the meanwhile, he could secure a small job. With the meagre income from that job, he used to support his father and mother. The good name he earned in the society commanded their respect and love for him. In due course, elections came. His well-wishers and supporters advised him to contest in the elections. They assured him of their support and votes. On their advice, he contested in the elections and got himself elected to the position of the President of America. How could a poor carpenter's son with no money even to pursue primary education, become the President of the United States of America? It is only because of the self-respect and self-confidence, he assiduously cultivated right from his childhood. Therefore, Dear Students! Do not ever give up self-respect, wherever you are and whichever circumstances you are placed in.

    Humility is the hallmark of education. Give up ego and serve society with Self-confidence." (Excerpts from the Divine Discourse by Sathya Sai Baba on Convocation. 22 Nov 2002, Prasanthi Nilayam).
     "Today, the education being pursued by you is only secular (i.e., value neutral). Mere secular education is not enough. It must be supplemented by spiritual education. Secular education is for making a living, whereas spiritual education is for reaching the goal of life. Therefore, it is the duty of students as well as educators to harmonise the secular education with spiritual education. Today, the world has recognised the importance of harmonious relationship between secular and spiritual education.

     Modern studies in institutions is referred to as education. But, spiritual education that has its effect on one's heart, is 'educare'. 'Educare' means bringing out the latent divinity in a human being and establish it as an ideal to the whole world. Modern education ends with mere bookish knowledge. This is confined to what is contained in the books. Educare, however, is not related to the books. It is related to teaching about the source of all knowledge, that is latent in the heart of a human being. Therefore, underlying such type of education is the prime necessity, today.

     A harmonious blend of secular and spiritual education is ideally suited to the present-day world. One is an inner awakening and the other is an external teaching. Secular teachings are related to the physical world. They are the negative aspect; whereas teachings related to the inner awakening are positive.

     Education without knowledge is useless and knowledge without education is foolishness.
     There is a vast difference between modern education and ancient wisdom. The time in which you are pursuing your education may be modern, but your behaviour should always be in accordance with the ancient wisdom. Only then will your education command respect. 

     Modern science is, of course, great. But, your senses are at a low level. Along with science, the senses must also be raised to a higher level. Today, we are leading a high level life, keeping our senses at low level. This should not be what is meant by 'educare'. Educare is bringing out the latent divinity in a human being. Whatever words you speak, you must watch whether they are the result of your education or educare. 

     Science starts with an enquiry. "What is this? What is this? On the other hand, spirituality begins its quest with the enquiry "What is that? What is that?" The enquiry "What is this?" indicates nearness, nearness to the senses. This is science. In contrast to this, the enquiry "What is that?" indicates distance, i.e., distance from senses. That is spirituality."
 (Excerpts from the Divine Discourse: Sathya Sai Baba "Character - True End of Education." 20 Nov 2002, Prasanthi Nilayam).

       "Self-confidence is helpful to secure advancement of the individual, but it is not enough to promote the welfare of the society or the world. Everyone should realise that he is born to discharge various obligations and not to enjoy rewards for unrendered services.
    Education is not solely for a living. Essentially it is a process of Self-realisation. Without understanding his own Self, how can  one understand the world or achieve anything worthwhile? What is the value of scientific knowledge without wisdom?" (Excerpts from: Sathya Sai Baba. SSS. Vol. 30, Chapter 1). 

        "Where there is confidence, there is love;
     Where there is love, there is truth;
     Where there is truth, there is peace;
     Where there is peace, there is bliss;
     Where there is bliss, there is God."
      (Sanathana Sarathi. June 2003. P. 171).

Source: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saidevotees_worldnet/message/906

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