To what extent are the teaching of
Swami relevant to the modern world and how can it be useful to the
This topic has many branches, spiritual, scientific, social,
cultural, educational, etc. as Swami is the world Teacher. It is
correct to say that there is no area of human activity where His Teaching
does not shine.
There is system of Sri Sathya Sai schools
and high schools, where on the first place are universal human values:
Truth, Love, Peace, Non-violence and Right contact. There are many
free Sai hospitals and Medicare systems where the modern medicine
treatment is bound with wisdom of Vedas and Swami's teaching (look:
also Sanathana Sai Sanjeevini healing fragrances - a spiritual healing
system to awaken the body's own healing power).
It seems that
science is that mirror where Swami's explanations based on Divine
vibrations and wisdom of Vedas as though in new light is reflected.
Here Swami is a great scientist who entwines spirituality and science
into scientific-spiritual wisdom where knowledge about cosmos, atoms,
magnetic power and humanity, nature, plants and animals are diverse
forms of one and the same Atmic reality.
Below are some of
Swami’s quotations concerning to this topic.
progress of science and technology has not brought with it
corresponding powers of discrimination and wisdom. Man must realise
that the sense organs, through which he explores the external and
discovers the powers latent in Nature and the physical universe,
function because of the Divinity which is immanent with them. Without
the power of Divine, the eyes cannot see or the ears hear or the mind
thinks." (SSS.Vol.17.Chapter 11)
can direct man in the path of discrimination, between the true path
and false, the proper step and the improper. This is the reason why
man has been praying since ages, through the Gayathri hymn: "Illumine
me, prompt my intelligence, so that I may walk aright." (SSS.Vol.11.Chapter
devotees Awareness means an ultimate fusion with Divine, (Atma) and
they needn't any other explanations. Their real Self is united with God
(Atma) and they as reflecting light, love and harmony where they ever
are and relaying Divine Beam to everyone, who is ready to accept it.
Many human beings
have connected with Divine Spirit through sacred rituals, mantras and
Darshans. They are open to the fine divine vibrations. They need a bit
of love and proximity of God to obtain peace in mind and bless.
A lot of humans all
around the World do not think about God. Their consciousness is busy
with various scientific, technical and other truths. They too are
carriers of divinity within and need in helpful information to
understand the existence of Creator and results of creation. It seems
that for these people scientific approaches entwined with spiritual
ties are helpful pin pointers on their way to spirituality.
reached to the crucial stage: development or destruction. The causes
of this dilemma clear to everyone. To avoid the global ruin humanity
has to reach to the higher stage of spiritual consciousness signified
by Swami’s Teaching. Every one of Swami's devotees/followers would to
declare the principles His Divine Teaching more loudly, helping to the
spiritual awareness of people.
What concern to
science, it may be said, that His Teaching is higher than science: the
last is an episode in it, what has partly materialized in a great
number of educational and research institutions.
has a special position. Carrying the active form of Divine spark and
having chance to reflect it, gives to a human being a possibility to
various auto-regulation processes. The quality of these processes
depends on the level of a person's spirituality, his/her skill to
understand himself and his proximity with Atma.
Pictorially humanity belongs
as to a huge labyrinth, where all parts are connected with each other
and entwined with Atma. When a human being likes to act by
self-acting-knowing, as the crown of Nature, he/she has no patient to
notice own blindness as the divine Light is hidden under the sensual
desires. Swami's Teaching leads humanity to the light of Atma, and
teaches to use the capacity of human's auto-regulation power (as an
instrument of Divine Will) in harmony with laws of Creation and Being.
Swami’s teaching has
different approaches and delivered in different levels. The skill of
the teacher or lecturer is to be responsible for using the suitable explanation
from His Teaching according to the students or participants spiritual,
social and cultural level.
reproduced in a little short form the text of the Divine Discourse:
"Pari Prashna - The Divine Answers" delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya
Sai Baba during the Valedictory Function of the First Conference of
Sri Sathya Sai Schools World over, on 21st November 2001, Prashanthi
is the relation between Religion, Spirituality and Educare?
surprising to me to note that you have been unable to recognize the
relationship among religion, spirituality and Educare. First and
foremost, understand what religion is - 'Religion is realization.'
Only when you realize the truth about yourself, will you understand
what religion is. Spirituality is not merely singing Bhajans,
performing worship, and going to temples or on pilgrimages or
undertaking any other good activity. Spirituality is recognizing
oneness of all beings. Here is an example. When we close our eyes we
cannot see anybody. But the moment we open them we can see thousands
of heads in this hall. Where have these heads come from? If you
enquire into the truth, you will recognize that your eyes notice all
heads. They have not come from anywhere outside.
To recognize unity
in diversity is spirituality. The basic truth to be recognized is that
there is only one Atma in all beings. The questions and doubts arise
when you see multiplicity in unity. The entire creation has emerged
from love. Therefore, there is no difference among religion,
spirituality and Educare.
realization of your Self. Spirituality also is discovering who you
really are. For example you say, "This is my handkerchief, this is my
plate, this is my hand and this is my body." Then who are you? There
must be someone to say that he owns the tumbler, plate, hand and the
body. When you enquire into this truth you will realize that you are
separate from all these and in fact, you are the master of all these.
That master is the Atma.
The next aspect is
Educare. How can you call yourselves educated if you do not understand
what Educare is? The word 'education ' is derived from the Latin root
'Educare'. While education refers to collection of worldly facts,
Educare is to bring out from within. Education is for a living while
Educare is for life. Education is for 'Jeevana Upadhi' (livelihood).
Educare is for 'Jeevitha Paramavadhi' (the ultimate goal of life). It
is easy for us to recognize things outside us and difficult to look
within. There are many things inside us, which are not manifest. When
you join the three letters G, O, D, we get the word GOD. When you look
at the letters individually they have no meaning of their own. Our
effort lies in putting together these letters to get the meaning. This
is Educare. Educare means to bring out from within. The Atma is our
innermost reality. That is what Educare should bring out. Therefore,
there is actually no difference among the three - religion,
spirituality and Educare.
Whatever we see in
others is only a reflection of our own self. If we accuse somebody as
bad, it is just that our feeling towards that person is bad. Whatever
impression we have about others is a reflection of our feeling towards
them. Everything is just reflection, reaction and resound. Therefore,
you should not find fault with others. You do not have the right to
find fault because your assessment of a person is limited to your
experience with him. There are so many aspects of the personality of
that person you do not know. For example, you look at Anil Kumar; you
will know only his dress, his complexion, his height and weight. But
Anil Kumar is not merely what you see. There are so many qualities
like love, compassion or anger, which are in him that you cannot see.
Therefore, if you want to know a person completely you should
investigate into all the aspects of his personality. In modern times,
people go by the physical appearance and judge people based on their
external actions. This is wrong. Hence, defect lies in the vision and
not in the creation. When you put on red glasses everything appears
red and when you put on blue glasses everything appears blue. Only
those foolish people who fail to recognize this truth resort to
criticism. Even in the case of an ordinary human being your assessment
is wrong, then how can you assess God?
God has many
invaluable things in His store. But you come and ask, "Swami, give me
a locket." You ask Him for a locket because you do not know what
precious gifts He can bestow upon you. There is no dearth of anything
in His store. Therefore, you should not ask God for anything in
specific. When time is ripe, He will give you. God knows and acts
appropriately, based on the right time, place and situation. That is
why you find sometimes He Himself comes and gives you things unasked.
It is therefore very difficult to understand God. An ignoramus, who
fails to understand this principle, often misinterprets it. But you
should not fall prey to such calumny.
spirituality and religion are not different from one another. Here is
a ring, a chain and the earrings - all these are different forms of
the same gold. If one realizes this unifying truth then where is the
scope for multiplicity? Therefore, God is One though He may appear to
you in different forms. The fundamental basis for everything is love.
This is what you should aspire for. Do not worry about religion. There
is only one religion, the religion of love. Educare means to bring out
the divine love latent in man. That is why it is said, Love is God,
live in Love. Then there would be no conflict in the world and all
would live together happily. Only when are differences, there is
conflict. Push aside these differences and live with the feeling of
There is only one language, the language of the heart;
There is only one religion, the religion of love;
There is only one caste, the caste of humanity;
Religions are many
but the path is only one and we need to discover this path. "O heroic
sons of Bharat! No religion is bad for the one who has a good sense of
understanding." It is incorrect to see differences among religions. In
our daily life, we need to realize the limitations of education. What
you read for the first time may look new to you but when you read it
again and again it is no more new. Here is an example. Once God wanted
to grant liberation to a person and sent Yama, the God of death, to
him. When Yama approached this devotee, he questioned whether the
devotee knew him. But the devotee answered that he (Yama) was a
stranger to him. Then Lord Yama told him that he would return to him
only when he could recognize Yama. When Yama returned after three days
the same question was posed to him. Now the devotee answered that Yama
was no longer a stranger to him, because he had already seen him.
Everything appears strange and new before acquaintance. But once we
acquaint ourselves we tend to shed differences.
Basically, you have
to get rid of the sense of differences and develop the sense of
oneness. Then you will know that religion; Educare and spirituality
are one and the same.
relationship should Sri Sathya Sai Schools have with Government?
Sri Sathya Sai
education and Government education are two separate entities.
Nevertheless, Sathya Sai Schools should have good relationship with
the government. Sai belongs to everybody but government does not
belong to everybody. Sri Sathya Sai Schools should obey all rules of
the government, but with Sai, the only rule is Love. In Sri
Sathya Sai Schools we follow all rules of discipline with love. The
government enforces its rules, therefore it is 'force', but Sai's
method is from the 'source'. One can pursue Sri Sathya Sai education
along with government education. Sri Sathya Sai education imparts
human values. Follow these values, and at the same time pursue
government education. But do not split them into artificial divisions.
Everyday we have
twenty-four hours at our disposal. At the most we spend six hours -
three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon in schools.
We still have eighteen hours at our disposal. Allocate six hours for
your sleep, six hours for personal activities and the remaining six
hours can be utilized for spiritual pursuits and developing human
values. Sri Sathya Sai education imparts practical knowledge, while
the government education teaches only bookish knowledge. But do not
ignore bookish knowledge also, because the former grants us spiritual
happiness and the latter, worldly happiness. Government education
gives us the means of livelihood whereas Sri Sathya Sai education
leads us to the ultimate goal of life. The two constitute the two
sides of the same coin.
teachers how can we understand the minds of students?
The teacher must
first have a thorough understanding of his own mind before trying to
understand the minds of the students. If the teacher’s mind is good,
the students will reflect it in their behavior. Since the teacher
cannot see the student's mind, he has to understand it only by
observing the student's behavior. The teacher should observe and
analyze the student's behavior with that of his parents, his friends
and his fellow students. Basing on this, he will be able to lead the
student on tote right path.
give too much freedom to the children and children in turn misuse this
freedom to interact with their friends with laxity in behavior. At
school his freedom is curtailed. He must be taught to strike a balance
between freedom and discipline. The teacher cannot interfere in the
student's family affairs, for, parents give freedom to their children
out of their love. Nevertheless, the teachers must keep in touch with
the student’s activities at home. But the sad plight of the modern age
is that the parents are ninety-nine percent responsible for their
children getting into bad ways, by providing them with excess of money
and freedom. The parents are misguided by imagining that their
children would be hurt if their freedom is curtailed. But they feel
dejected if the child gets perverted and runs into bad ways.
The child must be
groomed well right from the beginning itself. Just as speed-breakers
control the speed of vehicles on the road to ensure safety, so too
restrictions must be enforced upon children's freedom for their safety.
The child should be given freedom in areas related to right conduct
and must be punished when it errs. When the parents give freedom to
their children, they should watch carefully as to how the children
behave. It is then that the child will tread the right path. The first
responsibility rests with the mother for the child to tread on the
right path. Generally, if the daughter in the family is spoiled,
mother irresponsible and if the son goes astray, father is responsible
It is in order to
ensure that unlimited freedom is not given to children that the
institution called school has come into existence. It is here that
teachers should strike a balance between freedom and restriction in
student’s life. The teacher must advise the student regularly that his
conduct will be responsible for the name he earns for his parents and
the school in which he studies.
In some countries
the concept of kindness and respect for elders is not stressed upon.
The teachers of Sathya Sai schools must advise the students in the
right way. The teacher must advise the student that he is born as a
human, and that he is neither a 'wild animal' to strike terror in the
hearts of people nor is he a 'domestic animal' (docile person) to be
afraid of others. He has no cause to fear nor should he cause fear in
others. In this manner, the teacher must lead the students on the
right path. Life is a long journey and must not be dismissed in a
trivial manner. It must be spent in the most auspicious manner
possible. We should aspire for a divine life and not long life. It is
possible to bring about a change in students by such good advice.
You are 'Acharya'
and not merely a teacher. Acharya is one who first practices and then
teaches the same to his students. So when you want to teach good
principles to students, first you practice and then set an example.
For example, if you smoke in the class, students will also emulate you
and start smoking. If you try to correct them by saying, smoking is
bad for health; the students will in turn ask you, "Sir, then why are
you smoking?" The true characteristic of good education is good
teaching. Good teaching brings about transformation in students. It
will make students confess their mistakes before the teacher. I know
this very well. Sometimes I punish My students for their mistakes and
be strict towards them. Yet, I love them and give them what they need.
This transforms their hearts. They come and pray to Me, "Swami please
forgives. It is our mistake that we did not conduct ourselves
according to Your words. Now we have realized it. Swami, we will never
repeat such mistakes again". Words that come out of true repentance
melt Swami's heart and Swami forgives them by saying, "My dear son,
whatever I do is for your good." All teachers can learn to emulate
is the most important quality a good teacher must have?
This is a very
important question. Teachers should practice what is good and teach
the same to students. Teachers should lead an exemplary life. Here is
an example; when I was studying in third Form in Kamalapuram, we had a
teacher by name H. Iyengar. Students were very afraid of him and would
often avoid meeting him. I had great respect for my teacher. One day
Iyengar got angry because he observed Me going into a lane when he was
coming from the opposite direction of the road. Next day, I went to
the class. I was the class monitor and had to get a bundle of sticks
with which he would punish students. When he came to the class he was
angry with Me for not meeting him on the road. He asked Me, "Why did
You not meet and greet me?." I replied, "Sir, I did not see you. I was
going to My friend's house to take My notebook from him." He shouted,
"So You did not see me!" I replied, "No I did not see you." He
threatened to punish Me. I told him, "Sir I am speaking the truth. If
you wish to punish Me, you can do so." This answer melted his heart
and he shed tears. He called Me near and said, "Raju I knew that You
would never commit such a mistake. It is my mistake to get angry with
You. I have a request, would you please come to my house tomorrow
As instructed by H.
Iyengar, I went to his house. Iyengar had great love for Me. He gave
Pakodas in an aluminum plate. He said, "I made a mistake by thinking
of punishing You. As an act of repentance, I want to cultivate
friendship with you." Our goodness, our truthfulness and our sacred
qualities will transform any person. I said, "Sir your position is
much higher than Mine. Friendship is possible only between equals." He
replied,” You may look at it that way. But, one's age and education
are not important, what is important is one's heart. You have a good
heart." He further enquired whether I was studying well. I told him, "Yes
Sir." He cautioned Me that exams were fast approaching and wanted Me
to study well. I appeared for the examination. The examination was for
two hours duration, but I finished answering the paper within half an
hour. I handed over the answer script to the invigilator and came out.
He kept watching Me. He quipped, "Raju! You don't seem to have written
anything!" I replied, "Sir! You will see it for yourself tomorrow. I
have written everything correctly. I do not write or speak untruth."
Next day, from the
pile of answer scripts, he picked up My answer script first. He
checked My answers one by one and found that there were some answers
which were not known even to him. So, he wrote very, very, very, very
good on my paper. In those days, the teacher retained the answer
scripts. The next day, he asked his wife to prepare some snacks and
invited Me to his house. He told Me, "Raju! Have a cup of coffee." I
said,” Sir! I do not drink coffee. I don't have that habit." "At least
have a Dosa", he requested. I replied, "But I do not have the habit of
eating at odd times." Please eat at least for my satisfaction," he
pleaded. To satisfy him, I partook of it. Likewise, students have many
opportunities to make their teachers happy. Though the students were
afraid of our teachers, I was not. The reason was that I never
committed any mistakes. I used to talk very sweetly. Because of this,
my English teacher, MahbubKhan, was very eager to come to My class. If
any other teacher continued to be in the class even after the bell, he
would ask him to leave. In the class, all other students would tease
Me by saying, "Raju, go to the front!" Mahbub Khan loved Me very much.
He used to caress My hair, fondle Me and pinch My cheeks. He was 50
years old and had no children.
He would ask Me to
visit his house frequently. He was very devoted to Me. At the age of
11, I left that school. Till that time, I used to lead the prayers at
the school. Mahbub Khan was looking after the prayer arrangements and
he asked Me to lead the prayers saying, "Your prayer smelt our hearts.
You compose a prayer song and sing it." "How can I compose a prayer
song?", I asked. He said, "You can do it!" I composed a song and sang
at the prayer meetings. In that song I had incorporated the idea of
unity of religions even at that age.
After listening to that song, all were surprised. After sometime, I
left the school, declaring, "I am Sai. No one however great can ever
Me. Give up your attempts to retain Me with you.
I belong to the whole world!"
All were bewildered. They came behind Me crying, "Raju! Raju." Without
answering anybody, I went straight to Anjaneyulu's garden. I sat on a
rock there and started preaching, "Manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam
Dustara BhavaSagara Taranam (Contemplate on the feet of the Divine
Master who alone canhelp you to cross over the ocean of life and death.)"
The next day, the
Telugu teacher and also Mahbub Khan resigned from their teaching posts.
They loved Me so much that they did not want to teach in the school
without Me. Many other teachers followed their example. A Muslim boy
was asked to go on the stage to lead the prayers. After coming on to
the stage, he broke down thinking of Me. He could not sing the prayer.
Others also started crying. From that day onwards, prayers were
There is a bond of
pure love between teachers and students. Students can win over any
teacher's heart and a teacher can win over students' hearts. If you
want to be loved, you have to love others first. First and foremost,
we should aspire for truth. The basis of Indian culture is,” Speak
truth, practice right conduct." I was always very humble. Now also, I
teach the same thing to students. You cannot always oblige, but you
can speak always obligingly! But sometimes, one needs to be strict.
That is what I do. I can be harder than diamond when the situation
demands. Otherwise, I am softer than butter. Teachers understood this
nature of Mine.
Teachers! If you
want to take students into your confidence, you have to approach them
with love. You have to point out their mistakes and lead them on the
right path. Only then will they follow the right path and accept their
mistakes. For the progress and prosperity of the nation, teachers
should develop love for students and mould their character. Then the
society will get many good citizens.............
Q7. How can
we attract children of non-devotees to Sathya Sai Schools?
This is a very
important question. Our students are our spokesmen. We have to reform
the students so that they will attract the attention of their parents
and bring about a good change in them. The parents may not know about
Sai Baba. But when they see the good behavior of their children
because of the practicing of the principles of Sai Baba, they will
naturally change their minds. Students can also tell their parents
that all their good behavior is because of their joining the Sathya
Sai schools. This will also attract other children to the Sathya Sai
Let us take for
example the good practice of the students chanting 'Brahmarpanam'
before partaking of food. Even the parents will be surprised at their
devotion to God. If children explain to the parents themeaning of the
prayer saying, "Food is given to us by God. Therefore, we must offer
it to Him before partaking of it. Then the food becomes Prasadam and
will not be tainted by impurities." Thus even the parents will learn
to pray. This is the way to bring the parents on the right path
through their children.
Whatever we do, we
must do it properly. If any guests visit our house, we must speak to
them courteously. We must offer them seats, make them comfortable and
tell them, "Please be seated. Father will meet you in a few moments."
Such behavior will make the guests happy and will naturally appeal to
the good sense of the guests, whether they are devotees or not. This
is how we have to train our students so that they will attract others
and be an example to them.
Q8. How do
we deal with parents who do not follow Sai's teachings?
We must bring about
a change in the parents through their children studying in our schools.
For example, the parents of a student may be non-vegetarians. When the
student goes home for vacation, he can bring about a change in his
parents by narrating to them with humility the sanctity of eating
vegetarian food. The student can tell his parent,” Mother, I cannot
feed myself by killing another being. This is not good for me. This
body, which is made up of flesh, should not be fed with flesh. Our
body must be fed with nectar and not with flesh. Eating of flesh will
induce in me animal feelings. We should eat only vegetarian food which
God has provided for us." Thus, we can teach parents through students.
And in course of time even the parents will stop eating on-vegetarian
food. Many families have stopped eating non-vegetarian food after
their children joined our institutions. Thus, it is easy to bring
about transformation in the parents through students.
Q9. How to
actively involve parents in Educare program?
It is very
difficult to directly involve parents in the Educare program. Hence,
Educare must be taught to the parents through their children. Parents
do not know what Educare is. What will they understand if you speak
about Educare to them? Since you understand what Educare is, you
should teach them about it through your actions.
Q11. How to
go about starting the first
School in a country?
It is not possible
for all to start schools, as all may not have the resources to do so.
But they can start imparting Educare through the Balavikas program.
Gradually, it can be upgraded into a school. Here I have an important
point to make. The good work done by women in this field is highly
appreciable. Men lag far behind in this aspect. Women are somehow
finding time for Balavikas in spite of their daily chores. In this
Kali Age, it is a good blessing for both women and children. Men too
should come forward to participate in such work. Only then can the
nation progress. Big schools and buildings can land us in worries when
we lack resources. Let it be in a small scale.
is Sai Baba's vision of the future of Sri Sathya Sai Schools around
There is no need to
worry about what awaits us in future. Do whatever you are supposed to,
in the best way you can. This will lead you to a brighter future.
Future is not sure, it is not in our hands. Present is important.
Present is not ordinary present; it is omnipresent. Take care of the
present, the future will take care of itself. Did you ever think in
the past that you could grow to the present state of attending the
conference? When you do good work that itself will bestow upon you a
Should Gayathri Mantra be chanted in Western Sathya Sai Schools?
You can do as per
the dictates of your heart. If you feel its chanting bestows upon you
benefits, you can do it. Gayathri is not a woman or this Mantra
belongs to any particular religion or country. It is only the name and
the form of a deity. It represents the three aspects of
materialization, vibration and radiation. These three are present in
everyone irrespective of one's country and religion. In this Mantra,
one prays for inspiration and stimulation of one's intelligence. I do
not force anyone either to chant it or not to chant it. Mine is not
'force’ but only 'source'. You can do whatever gives you joy.
I have answered
your questions in brief. Purify your hearts and follow the Divine
command. You can pray to God - Allah, Jesus,
Krishna or Zoroastra. It does not make any difference.
Develop virtues and get rid of vices. Sathya Sai is absolutely
selfless; whatever I say, follow it implicitly. It will be good for
you. Attain happiness and share it with others.