Practical Insights for Sai Students from Sri Sathya Sai

Sri Sathya Sai at the Prasanthi Nilayam Hostel

There are various kinds of knowledge. Bookish knowledge is what you are acquiring. This knowledge and intelligence will not last long. Try recapitulating all that you studied for the exams. You will realise that you are unable to do so. If you can’t remember what you have studied after the completion of exams, how can you remember it all through your life? If you don’t have the spiritual energy and penance, whatever you have studied gets evaporated in no time. Our thoughts are the main reason for good and bad. What is responsible for the movement of the clouds from somewhere to here and here to somewhere else? It is wind that moves the clouds. Your mind and mental faculties are responsible for your feelings. Hence get rid of your evil feelings and acquire good feelings.

Four patients go to see a doctor complaining about stomach pain. The doctor doesn’t give the same drug to all the four patients but advices different treatments to each of them. One patient suffers from indigestion, while another may have appendicitis, and still others may have some different problems. All the patients have the same stomach pain. Yet the treatment is different for each one of them. In the same way, pain may be in different forms in different countries. Treatment corresponds to the country and its teachings. Externally the disease seems to be the same. But internally the causes may be many. Medicines also may be different. For our country, the dicta of our ancient scriptures are the medicine. We do not become great or valiant because we have studied. Real education is for knowledge. One works hard so that one can fill one’s stomach. You should work hard to earn livelihood through the use of your knowledge. Today, because of the effect of Kali Yuga, people are working hard for filling their stomach. You will not be satisfied if your stomach alone is full. There are many people who are like your brothers. You should try to fill their stomachs too. Enter the society as an individual. From society, the transition should be to the country. You should not remain self-centered.

Transformation of mind is essential for changing the animal nature of man into Divinity. It is not enough if the man changes externally. A person changes only when the mind transforms. That should be the greatest achievement one should gain out of education. Acquiring degrees one after the other is not enough. These degrees should induce Divinity at the level of the mind. You should earn the title ‘Amritasya Putrah’ – child of immortality. That is the degree you should earn. Of what use are all other degrees? Along with worldly degrees you should acquire this degree also. You should not have wicked desires. You should earn money and use it judiciously and righteously. Give generously in charity and gain sanctity. But exercise limits on everything.


I have told you many times that money is like a shoe. You may say that Swami is comparing money with shoes. It is truly like the shoes. If we are wearing the shoe that fits exactly to our size, we can walk properly. We can’t walk if the shoes are either tight or loose. You should have money to suit your requirement. You should not ask for more than what is required. Imprint this thought in your hearts. Earn money and use it judiciously. 

 Vidya Dadati Vinayam, Vinayaadyaati Paatrataam
Paatratvaaddhanamaapnoti Dhanaaddharmam Tatah Sukham

Education confers humility. Humility bestows deservedness. Out of deservedness comes money. When you have money, you can involve yourselves in charity and righteousness. From these, man attains bliss here and hereafter.

To attain purity, you should start with charity. From charity man attains purity. From purity emerges unity. If there is no unity, there will be enmity. Because of purity, you attain Divinity. Divinity, therefore, should come from true charity. Man attains immortality only through sacrifice. You should think of serving the society as a means of sacrifice. You should lead a cordial life with your fellow men. To broaden your heart you should develop Divine thoughts. You should enjoy the sweetness that comes out of melting the heart. Or else, life will become artificial. Hence develop love. Change your life to a Life filled with Love.

Source: Education for Social Welfare, Discourse 10, My Dear Students Volume 5, Discourse delivered at Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi Nilayam on July 2, 1989

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