Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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  Speech by Former Vice Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sri S.V. Giri (23rd June 2005) in the Divine Presence

Offering my most humble and loving Pranams at the Divine Lotus Feet!

Revered elders, brothers and sisters and dear students,

Bhagawan has given me the rare opportunity to express my gratitude in public. I do not know how I can really do justice, express myself adequately. My sense of gratitude to whatever Swami has given me. It is something like what Mr. Gokak just now mentioned. I wish to share with you one incident. I have not really come out with all this so far because I am very sure Swami would not like his Vice Chancellor to be someone with some indifferent health. Let me confess to you, this was way back in 1989 or so. The present Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Mr. Venogopal Reddy and myself were good friends. We went to a doctor. He examined both of us, cleared Mr. Reddy and said, "You can go, but let Giri stay for sometime. Then he put me through different tests and finally said, "You have a problem and you will have to get yourself operated upon for a heart surgery. I didn't know what to say. It was an elective surgery.

There was no problem. I took Swami's permission and just entered the hospital and got through without any major problem. Someone who was doing the cardiac operations here, operated on me. But sure enough, within three years unfortunately four of my five bypasses had got blocked. So, I got only one part of the artery functioning. I came back to Swami and said, "This is what it is." Then He said, "What is it, I asked you not to go last time when you came. You went away." I said, "Swami, it was not an injunction not to go, but I perhaps did not take leave of Swami adequately and in a proper manner." He said, "It's alright, but then you are not going to get operated upon." And in the state of technology at that time, a second operation was 95% fatal. So, the doctors put me on medicine and I continued with that. I must tell you a revelation here. Someone who examined me a year ago said, "It is a miracle that you are surviving because you are under God's umbrella.

There is absolutely no chance. But then, during the last six years which I had spent which Bhagawan was gracious enough to confer on me. I had absolutely no problem in terms of discharging my duties. The energy levels were so high and with His benign grace I could get through everything successfully. And recently, when I went to East Godavari to see the water supply scheme, I could even climb with this one coronary artery a hillock, inspect the scheme and get down the valley. That's Bhagawan's grace. Reminiscences are plenty, almost thirty years plus by now. And yet every step I think that I distinctly recall, "Padhe, Padhe", Swami guides you. It's not merely Yuge Yuge, that's what the Vice Chancellor just now mentioned. He commanded that I be at Delhi. This was one occasion when I had to come back on account of certain major problems. That was the worst critical period in my entire career. When I went back, there was no looking back at all. It was a very steady rise, thanks only to Swami and all gratefulness to Him. Only one instance I will cite. When I resigned as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), it was something totally unprecedented, because no CVC had resigned earlier. It creates a flutter if the CVC resigns because many things are read within that. There would be quite a lot of embarrassment. But Swami handled it so beautifully for me. There was a report which the government accepted. So, the commission had to be broad based.

The single Central Vigilance Commissioner had to be replaced by a commission. When I put in my resignation, the ground was absolutely well prepared and there was no embarrassment to any side and I could have a landing very, very smoothly. And thereafter, it was entirely His guidance. I do see how different this Institution, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. How different it is from all the other universities in the country. As Education Secretary, I had seen a large number of universities. I had occasion to look at the functioning of the universities in fair amount of detail. The type of education which you get here is not obtainable elsewhere. You may get information, but you will never get this transformation. Through the process of moulding the young minds, there is an emphasis on character building. Something where you internalise all the five human values into yourself ? Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema, and Ahimsa becomes part of you. That is the way you are trained in this institute. You live those values, it is not merely preaching those values and Swami's emphasis is always on practise of values (Acharana). It is not merely Akara Manava (human with form), but the Acharana Manava. You should be able to practise what you say. That is the most important aspect. That gets internalised in the persons. Hostel life is so important. I have seen successive batches of boys moving out, as they enter they are one type of people. As they go out, it is altogether different. The three major items of emphasis in this entire institution is service, society and faith. You really see God only through society. It is not just direct relationship between God and devotee which is not purely personal, but if are able to see God it is only service to your fellowmen.

Serve your fellowmen, then you are reaching God. You realise that you are part of the total living system. A fruitfly is living just as a man. But you have certain uniqueness. You realise that it is the Advaitic principle that all living beings are manifestations of the soul. But what is unique about man? Uniqueness about man is in terms of his physical endowments. He has evolved, he has acquired, there is a brain development. There is a development of a limb, from a quadruped, he became biped. He stands on his two legs, but his hands are free. Why are they free? They are free to serve society. The brain is big, so that they think what is good to the society. Speech (Vak) is very unique in the entire system. No other animal or living being is able to speak. You evolve language and you express your thoughts and through the speech you endear yourself. Bhagawan say, speak obligingly. "You may not be able to oblige, but you can speak obligingly." That Madhuryam (sweetness) in expression and a certain harmony among all the three unique features of man ? Thought, Word and Deed. This Trikarana Shuddi of all the three unique faculties of man which ought to be achieved. That's what Swami emphasises in this system of education. And the hope is He looks to His students as agents of transformation. If Swami liberates the world, it is through his students mostly from the institute and outside also. Everyone of us in that sense is a student. Many of us regret why we were never given a chance to be Swami's student formally. But in some cases, He guides those who happen to work with Him, visibly, that is, directly or otherwise. Take that guidance, turn the mind and keep focused on Swami. Then you are able to receive those impulses and then act according to that with absolute unshaken faith. That is most important. There is no question of half believing and half not believing. No half way believing with Swami at all. But then when the hand is extended, take a firm hold of that and then be sure. One of the very important statement which Swami makes, "There is no question of leaving you, if you have caught hold of My hand, stay with Me." There is no dropping half way through. Then you are rewarded. What is the reward? Realising your own self is the reward. Swami has said, He has not come to establish any particular faith, but He makes you a better Christian, a better Hindu, a better Muslim and so on. Thereby, the entire multi faith character of our Institution, of those who pass through this institution and those who come under the umbrella and influence of Swami.

They transmit these messages. So in this Kali Yuga, the exercise of transformation, not just a conventional information. That is the approach and that's where all of us are being privileged to be blessed to partake. I have lots of things to say on the service part of it, how a simple service really gets spiritualised in terms of Seva in the highest sense. How things ought to be given, how things ought to be done, how the students should learn at the feet of the Guru? What are the guidelines for learning, how learning is assisted, it is not so much teaching, but making the students learn and learn truths which are higher and higher. How from the grossest to the subtlest the mind is assisted to progress. Several instances, I have lots of things to say on these aspects. Many more occasions hopefully, I will have to share these things. I am grateful to Swami for having given this opportunity to share a few of my thoughts and I seek His continued blessings.

Sai Ram

Source: sssbpt.org website


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