National Seminar on Education in Human Values at Prasanthi Nilayam

Saturday, June 01, 1985 

Sri Sathya Sai Speaks

Bhagavan inaugurated the first National Seminar Cum Workshop on Education in Human Values in Poornachandra Auditorium on 1st June 1985. This was the first time nearly 3,000 Primary school teachers from all over India and high-level education officers from State Government and Municipal Corporations participated in a seminar held by the Sai Organisations. The programme commenced after Bhagavan lit the lamp. Smt. Maniamma, Convenor of the Sri Sathya Sai Education in Human Values Trust, welcomed Bhagavan and the gathering. Senior Office Bearers of the Organisation spoke on the scope and purpose of the National Seminar. Dr. Somnath Saraf, Advisor to the Planning Commission, and Dr. Art Ong Jumsai, a leading scientist from Thailand, spoke about the practice of human values in life. Bhagavan in His Discourse urged the teachers to infuse human values even in academic subjects. He said: 

“All living beings on each have bodies composed of physical elements, but the human body is unique in many respects. This makes man the crown of Creation. For instance, man has his spinal column erect and not horizontal like the rest. As a result, he can, by Yogic exercises, awaken the latent vital energy, the Kundalini, and train it to ascend to the Sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus that crowns the brain. The gross impulses become subtle; they unite and are sublimated thereby. 

Another feature of the human body, another boon man has been blessed with, is his Buddhi (intellect), which enables him to analyse and determine what is right and what is wrong, what is lasting and what is ephemeral. The head is the most important part of the body. The head discriminates and decides upon action and behaviour, which build up habits which shape one's Sheelam (character). This too is possible only for the human species.

The Animal in Man 

But man is unaware of these boons. He spends his years of life as a beast does. Beasts are deluded by the desert mirage; they run towards it in order to quench their thirst; they die of despair and exhaustion. Men, too, are deluded by the objective world; they run towards it in. order to quench the thirst of the senses for pleasure and happiness. They die, disappointed and exhausted. The dream is real until one awakes. The pleasures delved while awake are known to be unreal, when one awakens into the light of one's Divine Substance. 

However, man is not allowed to know his glory, by the six thieves who hide in his mind - lust desire, anger, greed, undue attachment, pride and hatred. They pollute his values by their emanations. There are also eight waves of pride which obstruct his attempt to know himself—the pride of caste, of physical strength, of scholarship, of youth, of wealth, of personal charm, of overlordship and one's spiritual attainments. No one discovers that these are liable to disintegrate very soon. Shankara has warned men against placing faith in any of these sources of pride. “The All-Powerful Time robs you of these in a trice,” Shankara has said. Even while laughing and playing as a boy, youth overtakes you, and old age creeps in even while you imagine that youth is still with you. Death waits round the corner, even as old age overtakes you.

The Basic Principle of the Human Nature 

Just as the rays of the sun absorb water vapour from the sea, gather them into clouds, drop them as rain on earth so that they may flow as rivers back into the sea, the senses of man contact the world and collect experiences out of which the sacred and sustaining ones are selected, stored and utilised by the mind, as values, as instruments for individual and social uplift. They are Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Non-violence and Prema For the first four, the last value, Prema, is the life-giving spring. They can be achieved most quickly by Prema. 

Prema (Love) is the basic principle of human nature. That short two-syllabled word has immeasurable potentiality. Too often, it is confused with the affection of the mother for the child, the attachment between husband and wife, the dependence of friend on friend or the relationship of teacher and pupil. In every one of these, a trace of egoistic need can be discerned. Love untainted by ego is genuine Love. It is all-inclusive, pure, full and free. It is the Love that urged Meera to walk away, Tukaram to sing and Chaitanya to dance. Love can emerge from the heart and brighten with delight only after anger (the mastiff), pride (the boar) and the ego-sense (the buffalo) are put out of action and removed from the heart. So long as these beasts occupy the heart, man cannot escape being a beast. Being a human, what does he aspire for? Absence of grief and presence of Ananda and freedom to follow one's will. Grief and joy are like night and day, inevitable phases of life. Freedom for one's will can cause disaster to oneself and others. Man must know that he is the Atma; that knowledge is all that is needed for one's Ananda.

As the King, so the Subjects 

You are dealing with tender children, as their teachers, guides and example. You have to equip yourselves for those roles by living the values that distinguish man. Establish the values in yourselves, practise them and derive Ananda therefrom yourselves. "As the king, so the subjects," says the proverb. Live the ideals and lead the children along. Let the urges for Truth, Right conduct, Peace, Non-violence blossom in their hearts. These spiritual treasures alone can ensure happiness and joy. Or else, why did Dasharatha, the heroic emperor who fought on the side of the Devas and granted them victory, seek guidance from sage Vasishtha, or Emperor Janaka welcome the sage Yajnavalkya to his court? Why did the indomitable five, the Pandava brothers, seek Krishna's counsel and cure for their ills? And consider how Shivaji sought the advice of Samartha Ramadas, for ruling the empire he founded. 

Values that are key to human progress 

These authentic human values cannot be learnt from books or from lessons given by teachers or gifted by elders. They can be acquired only by experience and example. You must be the examples and the children have to experience. You have come to Prasanthi Nilayam for this seminar and workshop, from long distances, spending large sums of money, and taking days of for the journey. Gather from here in return all the information and inspiration you can. For, these values are the goals, the bases, the roots, the keys of human progress. 


Truth is unity of thought, word and deed. When action is saturated with Truth, it becomes Dharma (Righteousness). When all actions are right, Peace reigns and one's mind is free from traces of violence. Love is the sustenance for all the four. Love as thought is Sathya, as action it is Dharma, as feeling it is Shanti and as understanding it is Ahimsa (Non-violence). When these four fundamental values that raise man to even Divine levels are practised and propagated by you, in school after school, in village after village, Bharat will justify the meaning of that name: Bha (light) rat (delight) – drawing delight from light.

Spiritual Arithmetic 

The subjects that you teach at school may be different but, through everyone, you can emphasise human values. The human body is a vastly busy, well organised chemical laboratory. Every limb is activated by Rasa. When you hit the table, the table too hits you with equal force. Learn from this that every action has to meet with reaction. While teaching mathematics, you can explain the role of plus and minus as affecting, even in life, the fate of man. In arithmetic three minus one is two. But in the mathematics of the spirit, three minus one is one. God mirrored in Nature is seen as the Image, Man. There are three entities here, but remove the mirror and what remains is not two but only One, the One God.

And, above all, be always aware of the two meanings of the Sanskrit word for man Manava. (1) Ma means 'not' and Nava means 'new.' Man is not new. He has come trailing the impact of countless lives. (2) Ma (Ignorance), Na (without), Va (acting). Man should act with full jnana, with no trace of ignorance. Model your lives on the lines of these two meanings and be blessed.”

The historic seminar concluded with the Valedictory Message of Bhagavan and the National Anthem. 


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