13. Love The Motherland: Serve The World
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 25 (1992)
Love The Motherland: Serve The World
English education has become all-important; Spiritual education has receded; How, then, can purity of heart be experienced? That purity alone is the backbone of education. Ignorant of the high ideals of The Divine culture of Bharath, Bharathiyas make no effort to know their heritage. What greater misfortune can there be than this? Dear Students! True Bharathiya education consists in instilling in the students reverence for Bharath and its cultural heritage. It is not politics that will protect Bharath. Nor will bombs and arms protect it. It is the patriotism and spirit of sacrifice enshrined in the hearts of the people and their spiritual outlook that will protect the nation. Hence students today should be filled with the spirit of sacrifice, cultivate selfless devotion to the country and prepare themselves to pursue the spiritual path. Only such students - boys and girls - can protect the nation and safeguard its security.
Bharathiya education is not a prison-house
Bharathiya education is not the kind of education which makes one spend a lot of money to acquire a degree and then go about with a begging bowl for jobs. It aims at promoting selfreliance, instilling in the student the noble idea of promoting the progress of the country in a spirit of sacrifice and leading a joyous life of dedicated service to the people. It seeks to promote unity in diversity. It prepares the minds of students to fight against all forms of injustice, corruption and wickedness afflicting society. Bharathiya education is not a prison-house for creating mental slavery or bondage to a job. It proclaims in strident terms: "The One abides as the Inner Spirit in all beings." It calls upon everyone to manifest his divinity. Thus, true Bharathiya education seeks to instil patriotism, promote the spirit of sacrifice, and encourage spiritual pursuits and thereby lead an ideal life. Students! Education does not mean imparting worldly knowledge for leading a mundane existence. True education should inspire one with feelings and thoughts to lead an ideal life. When a man is born, he is endowed with limited capacities. But owing to the misuse of the senses and the limitless growth of desires, these capacities are wasted away. As a consequence, he becomes prematurely old and dies. Hence, these limited capacities should be properly used by controlling the senses, thereby prolonging one's life, and dedicating one's knowledge and talents to the service of society. It is only when students develop character and integrity that they will be able to transform the moral climate of the word around them. It is because education has failed to transform human behaviour that there is no mental or spiritual development among them. For this purpose, a system of Dharma (moral order) has to be established that will promote both worldly and other-worldly well-being. Only then will humanity be divinised.
Three qualities and three Gunas
A student has to possess three qualities. "Sarva loka hithe rathah" (Rejoicing in the well-being of the entire world). This is the first quality. The student must wish for the welfare of every country. The second quality is "Sarvajnana Sambhavah" (acquire all knowledge). This means that his knowledge should not be confined only to worldly matters. His knowledge should comprehend the spiritual. Every man is endowed with Jnana (knowledge). This assumes many forms. It is not mere intellectual exercise or mental speculation. It does not mean living in a dream world. It is not a product of the imagination. Jnana, in its profound sense, is the experience of oneness - "Ekaika dharshanam." "Adwaitha dharshanam jnanam" (Perception of the One alone is Wisdom), declares the scripture. Them is no duality in this Jnana. Ajnana (ignorance) is the reverse of this awareness. This awareness should be reflected every moment, in every step of a human being. To acquire such awareness or knowledge, one has to secure three capacities. One, a healthy body, two, sense control, three, restraining the mind. If any one of these three is lacking, the awareness will be incomplete. All three should be in the right condition. If there is a defect in any one of them, full Sathwik knowledge cannot be got.
Abuse of the senses
The reason for the prevalence of various ailments among students today is the dissipation of energy caused by the abuse of the senses. For instance, the eye has a limited capacity to see. So the eyes should be used up to their capacity. This is the rationale for the motto: "See no evil. See what is good." The ears also have limits to what they can hear. You should not let the ears hear whatever you like. Thereby, the ears lose their power of hearing. The tongue is a powerful organ, but it also is subject to certain limits. By indulging in excessive speech, using harsh words and unpleasant language, the tongue's power is weakened. The tongue's power of speech is diminished by four practises: uttering falsehood, abusing others, indulging in slander, and excessive talking. In this manner, the powers of the senses are being wasted by their misuse. As a result, one's life itself gets debilitated.
It is not difficult to go through the education process. By some effort, marks may be scored. But neither the blossoming of intelligence nor the unfoldment of good qualities can be witnessed in such students. The scoring of high marks or winning of high rank is not great in itself. What is important is the transformation of the mind. In the pursuit of education, practising what one learns is most essential. The external gains derived from education are accompanied by an equal amount of losses. The powers of intelligence and discrimination are lost. Knowledge of what is good, what is significant and what is supreme wisdom is lost. People are becoming slaves of the senses. The Kathopanishad declared: "The slave of the senses is a fool. Only the man who subdues the senses is a hero."
Anyone who misuses his senses is a fool
Here is an illustration. Ravana was a greater scholar than Rama. He was a master of sixty-four categories of knowledge. He knew also knowledge about the training of cows and elephants. Despite all these accomplishments, Ravana was described by Valmiki as a muurkha (a stubborn fool). Rama was described as Dharmamuurthi (the very image of righteousness). Despite all his knowledge, Ravana failed to keep his senses under control. Because he let his senses have free play, he became a fool. Anyone who misuses his senses is a fool, whatever the extent of his knowledge. Rama had full control of his senses and maintained perfect equipoise in all circumstances, whether of joy or grief. When he had to leave for the forest at the very moment that had been fixed for his coronation, he left for the forest with serene equanimity. He was unaffected by gains or losses, pleasure or pain. Life is a mixture of happiness and misery. Students! Your first task is to cultivate control over the senses. Only the student who has mastery over the senses can be heroic in his life and be strong and effulgent as a diamond. The one who is a slave of the senses will be a slave of the world. Self-control must be the primary aim of education.
Students today are not filled with love for the country. They are also lacking in self-confidence. And there is no sign of faith in the Spirit in them. Students therefore should cherish patriotism and develop self-confidence. Only then will they be in a position to make use of their education for serving the country and promoting the well-being and prosperity of the nation.
Ideals in life are very important
Educated persons today are totally immersed in selfish pursuits. They do not think of service to others or the good of the nation. They are concerned about their jobs even before they complete their education. The link between education and employment should be completely snapped. Education should be for life and not for a living. It is not earning a livelihood that is important. What matters is the ideals for which you live. The primary purpose of education is to enable one to manifest the divinity within him. When students pursue education in this spirit, they will promote the welfare of the nation, of society and their own good.
Therefore, education should not be pursued as a means for achieving a desired end. This is a degrading attitude. All worldly desires can confer only limited pleasure. How, then, is one to achieve lasting bliss? It cannot be got through the body. Only through inner experience can lasting bliss be secured. Then alone is there fulfilment in life. Today there is no harmony between thought, word and deed. Thinking in one way, speaking in a different way, and acting in a different way, men are getting themselves bound by their own contradictions. In the process, they are deceiving themselves.
Keep desires within limits
Education should be pursued, not merely for acquiring degrees, but for cultivating human values. All riches are ephemeral. Do not become slaves of wealth. Become subjects of good qualities. Wealth without character is worthless. Life becomes an ideal one when character constitutes one's wealth. The blossoming of one's character leads to radiance in life. When a child is born, he is innocent of all desires. As he grows older, desires multiply. These desires have to be kept within limits. Life is a long journey and the less luggage you carry, the greater the comfort. Reducing desires is the true mark of civilisation. The government has imposed ceilings on land, on houses, and on many other things. But there is no ceiling on desires. Education should lead to restraint on desires. It should be realised that every organ in the body has a limit to what it can do. It is dangerous to use it beyond that limit. This applies to almost everything in life. Whenever the limit is exceeded, there is an adverse consequence. Excessive light will burn the retina. A deafening noise may damage the eardrum.
Students! You are not unaware of the situation in the world today. Wherever you turn, there is disorder and violence. Man has been given two boons. Sukham and Shanthi (happiness and peace). Every person in the world, from a king to a beggar, desires only these two. But what is the happiness that he should seek? Is it physical, mental, or material pleasure? Men are not sure about what kind of happiness they want and wherefrom they can get it. If it is sensory pleasure that they want, they will find that these are only momentary and that they are weakened at the end. This is no pleasure at all. What about peace? People consider freedom from worry as peace. Thyagaraja declared that there can be no pleasure without peace. How is peace to be secured? Only when desires are reduced will peace be secured. As desires grow, peace is lost.
Develop contentment to put an end to desires
Man is a prey to insatiable desires. As soon as he realises one desire, he develops a desire for something more attractive. He wants to become a legislator. Soon after he becomes one, he wants to become a minister and thereafter the Chief Minister. He is not content with that. He desires to go to Delhi. There is no end to these desires. Man should develop contentment. The discontented man loses in many ways. A student may desire to score high marks, but he should not wish that others should not fare equally well. This selfish attitude is unbecoming. All should fare equally well in the examinations. All should achieve excellence. Students should have this broadminded attitude.
Rejoice in the success of others
The stage of the student is like that of a tender sapling. When it is tended properly, it will grow into a good tree. From this young age you should see that the mind does not go astray. Do not give room for envy, hatred and arrogance. Rejoice in the success of others. Success will come to you of its own accord. Yield place to persons weaker than yourself in queuing for the bus. Shed the desire to get ahead of others. Do not always think narrowly about your own position. It is only when you develop a broad outlook that you will be able to emerge in the years to come as leaders of the nations. You are the leaders of tomorrow. It is only if you develop fight attitudes now that you will be able to play your roles properly in the future. Purify your hearts. Control your senses. This is the fight path. Spirituality does not mean mere meditation or worship. It means getting rid of the pollution in the mind. Students should be known for their serenity and orderliness. Instead, we find that there is excitement and agitation wherever a few students gather. This should not be allowed to happen.
Students! Yesterday Natesan brought two life-size figures of lions in bronze from his collection of antiques. You may wonder why these lions have been displayed on the stage. Many may be under the impression that they are kept for decorative purposes. But I considered them from a sacred point of view.
The lion is esteemed as the king of animals. It is not prone to commit anything mean or lowly. It is only when it is hungry that it kills an animal. It does not kill animals wantonly. Because it is known for its nobility of character it has been dubbed the King of animals. It has been said that human birth is rare among living beings. Hence every man should strive to become a lion among men. You should not fall a prey to weakness or fear. Be lions and not sheep. Our students should become lions who will protect the people as leaders. They should be content to use their abilities for satisfying their minimum needs. Do not get involved in foolhardy adventure. Observe the proper limits in the use of your talents, wealth or position. Pledge yourselves to promote the advancement of the country with determination, courage and spirit of sacrifice. Go forward with courage. "God is by your side. God is the Indweller in the heart." Have this confidence in yourself. This confidence begets courage. Mr. Justice Chandhrachud said that the first requisite is courage. What kind of courage? The one who is filled with doubts perishes - "Samshayatma vinasyathi." Never become "Doubting Thomases." Only when you are free from doubts will you become heroic. Doubts will disappear where there is self-confidence. "Shradhavan labhathe Jnanam" (The earnest aspirant gains supreme wisdom). It is lack of earnestness that gives rise to doubts. Students should develop firm faith in sacrifice, patriotism and the spiritual goal. There is no need to tell you more about this, as you are familiar with all this as students of the Sathya Sai Institute. But there are quite a few new things which you have to learn. And there are many things which you have learnt which you have to put into practice and experience the fruits thereof. Moreover, you have to share and rejoice with others your experiences. That is the way to experience real bliss.
Develop firm faith in God
Students! The Vice-chancellor expressed a wish that Swami should bless the students with knowledge of Bharath's culture as embodied in great works like the Mahabharatha and the Ramayana. These works are of value not only to Bharathiyas but to the whole of mankind. However, it is not enough if you merely listen to these discourses in the Summer Course. You should try to transform yourselves as a result. Without such transformation the Summer Course will be in vain. Therefore, cherish in your hearts whatever is said here. Develop firm faith in God. It is the loss of faith in God that has led to the degradation of mankind today. The existence of the Divine is demonstrated, even by science, in many ways. For instance, the sun, the moon, the earth and other planets are moving in their different orbits according to certain speeds. It will be disastrous for the world if they change their courses. There must be an unknown power which determines their movements. Without such a power they would not be following their prescribed courses. Who has determined these orbits and limits? We must ponder over this. We drop an object from the hand. We see the object falling to the ground. But we do not see the power of attraction of the earth - the power of gravitational attraction. The gravitational force is there even though you don't see it. To deny what you cannot see is a mark of ignorance.
How the Divine works
To give another example. During World War II, millions of men died in Europe. Two years after the war ended, the children who were born were predominantly males. What is the mason for this? It is the need for maintaining a balance between the ratio of men and women in the population. If such a balance is not maintained, the human race will be extinct. What is the power that maintains such a balance? It is the will of the Divine. Whoever enquires deeply into the workings of the Divine cannot fail to notice this. There is at the base of everything a power that is at work. That is divinity. Ignoring this, and placing his faith egoistically in some other power, man is falling a prey to ashanthi (unrest). He is a slave to his conceit as a doer and enjoyer. This is wrong. There is a principle that is the Prime Mover. There is a power which governs the Cosmic process. Few attempt to recognise this. However, it may be asked, if God is controlling everything, what is the need for human effort? God is like the electric current. But even if the current is there, you must have a bulb to obtain light. It is only when the bulb is switched on to the current that the bulb will burn. Students should understand how the four values Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, and Prema, are interrelated. If a bulb is to shed light, it has to be connected to a switch by a wire and current should flow in the wire. Sathya is the current. Dharma is the wire. Shanthi is the bulb. Prema is the light. When the current of Truth is connected to the wire of Righteousness and enters the bulb of Peace, you have the light of Love. You can see how all the four are essential. Human effort and Divine Grace should come together like the joining of the negative and positive ends of an electric circuit, to accomplish anything.
Students! Fill your hearts with the resolve to promote the welfare of the nation. Do not succumb to selfishness and careerism. Dedicate your lives to the well-being of the world and the promotion of world peace.
Drop the delusion that you have become old or diseased, or that you have become weak and debilitated. Some people count the years and grieve over advancing age and shudder like cowards afraid of Death. But remember, elation is Heaven, despondency is hell. Have always some work to do and do it so well that you get joy.
– Sathya Sai Baba