Serve the Society
XVII Convocation Sandesh
Serve the Society - Divine
Discourse at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
22nd November, 1998
Bharat has men who are capable of
educating even the ancient sages about the essence of scriptures;
Men who have sacrificed their lives for the uplift of the
society; Men who can wield power over the land; Bharat has many
such eminent personalities. Alas! Of what use are such men in
Bharat if they have no awareness of the wail of the oppressed?
When will they respond to the heart-rending cries of the poor?
Arise, awake and stop not till
the goal is reached. The need of the hour is men who set an ideal
by their valour and courage in the battle of life, and not men who
pursue physical, ephemeral, fleeting pleasures.
Students! Investigate into the
concept of ideal education propagated by the ancient sages. They
enthroned Righteousness and welcomed Truth. They enshrined valour
and courage. You should emulate such people, who strove for the
glory of Indian culture. In fact, you are the true inheritors of
the legacy of Indian culture. You should resolve to uphold Dharma
and work for the welfare of the country. Science and technology
has improved by leaps and bounds over the past 200 years, yet no
sanctity has been attached to it. This has stimulated development
in human civilisation, but not within man. Absence of human
values will lead to the decline in spirituality. Develop strong
faith that the body has been gifted to uphold human values. Since
ancient times Bharathias stood for peace, forbearance and
forgiveness. A study of the history of Bharat will reveal the
fact that many invaded Bharat and plundered its wealth, but never
has Bharat invaded any foreign land on its own. Bharathias have
considered divinity and purity as their two eyes. In such a
sacred land justice and righteousness have been consigned to
flames, resulting in trials and tribulations, turmoil and unrest
on a large scale.
Education does not mean mere
bookish knowledge. Knowledge acquired should be put into practice
and shared with the rest of the community.
Does the ability to read and
write make one educated?
Does securing college degrees make one educated?
If education is for a living, are not the birds and beasts
There are millions of educated
men and women all over the world, but what is the benefit accruing
to their respective nations? None. They are utilising their
education for selfishness and self-interest alone.
Embodiments of Love, Men and
Eschew selfishness and
self-interest and resolve to serve the society.
The eternal and long lasting
values have disappeared into thin air;
Good nature in men and women is on the decline;
Ancient Aryan wisdom is frittered away.
Western education is on the rise.
Bharathia education makes one
ideal and self-reliant. It inculcates the sense of sacrifice in
man. Having called yourselves children of Bharat, you should keep
in mind the welfare of Bharat Maatha. Modern education enhances
the intelligence, not broad-mindedness. It makes the students
stonehearted. True education is one which instills compassion in
you. Patriotism coupled with sacrifice; devotion coupled with
love should become a part and parcel of you life. Education
confers humility. Humility confers deservedness; devotion to God.
In this sacred land of Bharat
Forbearance is our best wealth;
Of all forms and rituals, the highest
Is the observance of Truth and morality;
Of sweetness of disposition,
The greatest is maternal love;
Jettisoning the national ideal
That honour is greater than life itself.
What a pity to exotic practices!
What can I say about the plight of Bharat!
Like the elephant unaware of its strength
Alas! Bharathias have become docile today."
Since ancient times, Bharat has
stood as an ideal for the rest of the world. Unfortunately we
witness a different scenario today. We find educational
institutions proliferating in every street, in every village.
What is the gain therefrom? Absolutely 'nil'. Humility, the land
mark of a true
student, is not noticed.
Harm is done to those that
Sense of gratitude is lacking;
Teachers are made laughing stock;
This is the progress of modern education.
To realise the purpose of
education, serve the society. Cleanse the country of all evils.
True education is that which makes one a complete man. Only when
one gets transformed into a complete human being, the purpose of
education is fulfilled.
Resolve to make the best use of
the education you have received. Respect and revere elders and
set an ideal to humanity. Let your conduct befit the degrees you
have acquired. Nothing great in obtaining good marks, see that
you do not invite bad remarks. In the modern system of education,
a student is declared "pass" if he secures just 35% of marks. What
about the balance 65%. If a person completes only 35 out of 100
tasks assigned to him, can you call him a successful one? One
should secure 100% marks. That is true education. Attaining high
marks is not the aim of education. Education is meant to broaden
the mind. Education and discrimination should go hand in hand.
The prosperity of the nation depends on the progress you make in
the field of education. The future of the nation rests on the
Moral and ethical values are
confined only to books.
Heart has become a dwelling place for evil qualities.
Actions have become completely self-centered,
This is the progress of modern education.
Education acquired should be
translated into action.
As I have told you repeatedly,
knowledge can be classified into five categories: Bookish
knowledge; Superficial knowledge; General Knowledge;
Discrimination knowledge; and Practical knowledge. General
knowledge and common sense knowledge are very much essential. You
should set an ideal by exercising practical knowledge and
following the four Fs. First F is "Follow the Master." Who is
your Master? Conscience is your master. So follow your
conscience. The second F is "Face the devil." The third F is "Fight
to the end" and the fourth F is "Finish the game". Play the game
of sportsmanship. Students lack self confidence. Confidence in
Self is essential. Lack of confidence in Self will lead to
depression. Today, 90% of people are afflicted with depression.
Depression will lead to weakness of mind. "Nayamatma Balahinena
Labhyah", a weak-minded one cannot realise the Atma. If you have
confidence in the Self, you will never be weak-minded.
Bharat has stocked plenty of
wealth for you. What is this wealth? It is the spirit of
sacrifice, which can be acquired through service to society. Do
not waste time. "Karmanu bandheeni Manushyaloke", human society
is bound by action. "Sareeramadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam", the
body is gifted in order to undertake righteous actions, not to eat,
drink and make merry. Render service to others till your last
breath. The essence of 18 Puranas can be summed up in one phrase:
"Paropakarah Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam." HELP EVER; HURT NEVER.
Set an ideal, which is helpful and delightful to one and all.
"Janthoonaam Narajanma Durlabham",
human birth is the rarest of all. Human life should be one of the
character, good actions and good qualities. It should be dedicated
to the service of the society, not for amassing wealth. Education
is for life and not for a living. One need not strive for money.
If education is properly utilized money will come on its own.
Today educational institutions have become business centers.
Money has become our God
Prided has become our creed
Selfishness sits supreme in the minds of men
Egotism has become our fashion
Greed has become our beauty
Dharma has come to naught
Compassion has sunk low
Moral fervor is lost
Hypocrisy has become the light of our life
Love and kindness lie sick and diseased.
Modern education has blinded
men with lust
Life has become a burden
Minds have gone astray
Delay no more, for delay is disastrous
Fuse morality with education in sweet harmony
Live up to the reputation as children of Bharat.
Moral values should be the
underlying current in each and every action of man. Only when you
have moral and ethical values, you deserve to be called children
Embodiments of Love!
"Loka Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu",
Let the whole world be happy, has been the motto of Bharat since
ancient times. Resolve to revive and rejuvenate the pristine
glory of Bharat. Propagate these noble ideas in every village,
every street, and every house. Observe unity in every activity of
yours. Believe in the dictum, "Brotherhood of man and Fatherhood
of God." Do not feel jealous of any one. Jealousy is an
incurable disease. Praise and censure are inevitable for man.
Only the tree that bears fruit is stoned. Likewise only good face
problems, Do not attach importance to these trails and
tribulations. A tree welcomes stoning because it is aware of the
fact that people have recognised its value. Similarly, man should
not feel dejected when he is censured. Treat dualities like pain
and pleasure with equal-mindedness. Develop this broad mindedness.
Divinity blossoms in those with such a sacred attitude. All are
the embodiments of God. Krishna declared, "Mamaivamso Jeevaloke
Jeevabhuta Sanathanah" (All are sparks of My divinity). Do not
consider yourselves as mere mortals. Have firm faith that you are
divine. Only then you will be able to work for the emancipation
of this country, and it will be restored to the status of teacher
to the rest of the world.
The Vice-Chancellor quoted from
the Taittriya Upanishad, "Matrudevo Bhava, Pithru devo Bhava,
Acharya Devo Bhava, Athithi Devo Bhava." Revere your mother,
father, preceptor and guest as God. This was the teaching given
to the students at the time of leaving the portals of Gurukul in
ancient times. This act of benediction is termed Convocation
today. Education is the very form of God. The word 'education'
has originated from the root word, 'educare' meaning 'to bring
out' or 'to elicit'. Educare has two aspects; that which relates
to the head and that which relates to the heart. That which
emerges from the head is pravritti (external) and that from the
heart is Nivritti (internal). Unless the head is empty (free from
evil) it cannot be stuffed with good. Modern education relates to
the head, but true education relates the heart. Sacred qualities
like compassion, Truth, forbearance, and Love originate from the
heart. Here is an example: Physical features like height, weight,
complexion can be seen by the naked eye, whereas there are
innumerable qualities like compassion, truth, love which are
unseen. Merely acquainting oneself about the physical features of
an individual does not make one aware of his/her true personality.
achievements far exceed those of the modern scientist. He could
even reach the Polestar, whereas modern scientists have traveled
only up to moon. Prahlada cautioned his father, Hiranyakasipu,
"Oh! Father, You have conquered all the worlds, but not your
senses." The same sentiment was expressed by the Prime Minister
of England, Churchill. "Man has conquered all, but he has not
conquered himself." Man knows everything, but not himself. On
being questioned by a westerner as to why he was in a pensive
mood, Gandhi replied that he was ruminating over the modern
educational system, which was making him stonehearted. Education
should fill one's heart with love and compassion. Two parts of
Hydrogen and one part of Oxygen add up to make water. Greatness
lies in sharing water equally, not making it. Everyone has an
equal right in sharing water. Today everyone is fighting for
rights, but what about responsibility? Students! You do not need
to fight for rights. Discharge your responsibilities, rights will
follow. Do your duty, duty is God; Work is worship. What is your
right? To make everybody happy is your right. Serve everybody
and make everyone happy without expecting anything in return.
Service is God. "The best way to love God is to love all and
serve all". "Speak softly and sweetly". "You canot always oblige,
but you can speak obligingly." That is the essence of Bharathiya
Vidya. Education does not mean "Twinkle, Twinkle little star,
how I wonder what you are?" All this is artificial education.
True Bharathiya Vidya is one, which fosters spirituality and human
Propagate the ideals of true
education in the four corners of the world. Sacrifice everything
for the sake of truth and tread along this sacred path. Truth is
God; Love is God; Live in Love; Live in Truth. Imbibe these
principles. Once you are along the path of love and truth, you
will gain all wealth and wisdom. Be steady, do not waver.
Students of our institutions live up to these ideals and bring a
good name to the Institute. There is no Institution comparable to
our institution in this country. Business has taken over education
right from K.G. to P.G. in other institutions. But our institute
is based on sacrifice. Foster this sacred quality of sacrifice.
Offer education to your fellow beings free of cost. The Veda
declared, "Na Karmana, Na Prajaya, Dhanena Thyagenaike, Amrutatwa
Manasuh", immortality can be attained only through sacrifice and
not through wealth, progeny or action. Be prepared to sacrifice.
True Yoga lies in scrifice. First and foremost, make your parents
happy. Make everybody happy and be an ideal. The Vedas declared,
Sahanavavathu, Sahana Bhunakthu,
Sahaveeryam Karavaavahai Tejaswi
Navadheethamasthu Ma Vidhvisavahai
(Let us all move together and
Let us grow in intelligence working together,
Let us live in friendship without any conflict.)
I wish that you practise and
propagate these sacred ideals. Blessing you,
I bring this discourse to a close.
(The convocation ended with
singing of Indian National Anthem accompanied by Students Band.)