This talk was not previously planned, but it is a case of the
prayer of devotees being fulfilled. I am not giving you any new
advice today; it is the same advice that I have given to students
in many places. For, places may be different, but students are the
same; and their nature, character, ideals and problems are the
same in all places.
The President of this meeting said just now that you are all
busy preparing for the examinations, and that many of you have
taken up your books only now. This has become quite usual
now-a-days; nine months of the year you read all kinds of trash
and in the two or three months left you pore over the really
essential ones. This is not correct! It is very harmful to stuff
the brain with all kinds of unwanted and paltry things. When you
have some free time, read and assimilate such books as will
promote an intelligent appreciation of the world and its mystery.
To live a happy, peaceful and contended life, good education is
necessary; education which is based on Dharma (righteousness).
Do not develop a dread of examinations; there, in a fixed time,
you have to write answers to a certain number of questions. Well,
some students start answering the very first question and go on
serially with the rest; but it is always better to pause a little
and read the entire question paper and select the ones that you
can tackle with confidence, and write the answers for these in the
beginning. This will give you a good fillip to exercise your
brains better for answering the more difficult questions later.
Cultivation of Virtues is very important
Never lose courage in the examination hall or outside. Courage
is the fertilizer which will make the plant of scholarship grow.
The field may be good, but manuring is also necessary.
You must all become heroes, adventurous and bold; prepare for
that role from now on. Man has inside him a whole set of animals:
the dog, the fox, the ass, the wolf. But he must suppress the
tendencies of all these animals and encourage the human qualities
of love and friendship to shine forth. Friendship that is
cultivated from childhood onwards is more lasting and so try to
cultivate real friends now. Above all, begin the cultivation of
virtues; that is more important and beneficial than mere
book-learning. That gives real Aanandha; that is the essence of
all knowledge, the culmination of all learning.
Treat every one as your own people and even if you cannot do
them any good, desist from causing them any injury. Burn the lamp
of love inside the niche of your hear and then the nocturnal birds
of greed and envy will fly away, unable to bear the light. Prema
makes you humble; it makes you bend and bow when you see greatness
and glory. An unbending person is infected with egoism of the
worst type; remember man is the only animal that can recognise and
revere the great and the glorious. Use that capacity and derive
the best advantage out of it.
Just as there are two wires, the positive and the negative,
which are brought together to produce illumination, similarly, the
Paramaathma (supreme self) and the Saadhaka (spiritual aspirant)
have to come together in Yoga, to grant illumination. So, go to
the holy men and holy places and keep company with pious men. A
magnet attracts only iron; so a student attracts towards him only
those who will help his study, only such things as will give him
Aanandha and Dhairya (joy and daring).
The easiest Habit is speaking the Truth
Have faith that truth will save you in the long run; stick to
it, regardless of what might befall. For if you are true, the
sense of guilt will not gnaw your insides and cause pain. It is
cowardice that makes you hide the truth; it is hatred that
sharpens the edge of falsehood. Be bold and there is no need for a
lie. Be full of love and there is no need for subterfuge. The
easiest habit is speaking the truth, honesty; for, if you start
telling lies, you will have to keep count of them and remember how
many you have told to whom and be always alert not to contradict
one lie with another! love a person and you need no longer deceive
him with a lie; you will feel that he deserves the truth and
nothing less than the truth. Love saves a good deal of bother.
Do not be led away by all this present-day talk of equality,
either of men and women, or of all men. Each has a certain fund of
intelligence and a peculiar bundle of instincts and impulses and
Vaasanas (past impressions). To the extent that you develop them
or divert them or diminish their strength, to that extent there is
bound to be difference in your equipment and achievement. Use all
chances you get to develop your skills and your health and your
character. That is your present duty. Make lasting friendships. Do
not by any action of yours cause pain to another; nor suffer pain
yourself, by foolishness or sheer bravado.
In your school, I find there are some girls too; treat them
with great respect and do not speak slightingly of them. They are
your sisters and by honouring them, you bring honour to yourselves
and your sisters. Respect for women is a sign or real culture.
So, I call upon you to read good books; revere your teachers
and to love all. Do not dishonour your elders; cultivate the
spirit of service and learn how to serve the sick and the needy
and seize every chance to help others. Or at least, desist from
causing sorrow to others.