How should Sai Students conduct themselves?

January 24, 2003 (Friday) 

Swami came to Ganesh portico at around 3.40 pm. He called the teachers from the Institute and Higher Secondary School Hostels and asked them to sit in the front. He spoke at length about the way Sai students should behave when they go to the outside world. He also gave advice to the Music College students on their future. 

Swami : If students learn only music, they might not get opportunities. So they should learn languages and other subjects too. Wherever our boys go, they should not change their personality. Seeing you, others should distinguish you as a student of this College immediately. One student who passed sometime back tried to give something in return for the free education he received here. But this is not the way to show one’s gratitude. 

This morning, I told the Music College students that they should repay their debt to their parents. The parents of many students have retired and have struggled hard to get them educated. It is not enough if you learn music alone. You should know other subjects and should acquire some degree. There are some important things you should take note of. Wherever you go, you should safeguard your personality and try to get a good name for your institution. Outsiders recognise you by your personality and your good behaviour, your dressing, your conduct, words and actions. Music students should not sing while they are walking on the road, as it would not reflect well on them. They should sing with devotion when they are alone at home. If you sing on the roads, you give the appearance of rowdies and hence you will not be able to express the true feelings. So you should know what you have to sing, and where you are supposed to sing, appropriate to your learning. I have instructed that you should be taught other subjects along with music. I gave instructions to Vice-Chancellor that there should be exams in these at specific times apart from your regular exams. 

(Showing Niranjan Kanadia, a student who plays Tabla) Here is a Tabla boy. He has a desire to join M.B.A. Though he wanted to get admission, he didn’t fare well. The Hostel should provide the necessary coaching, especially in English and languages. Degree is also important as all people don’t appreciate music alone. You can choose any subject you like along with music as your major subject. These boys’ parents have retired and they get pension, which is just enough to sustain them. In our Institute, we give education free, but students pay for their food expenses. You should not strain your parents when you grow big. Study well. I will arrange for your scholarship. I have already given instructions to Vice-Chancellor. You will be needing pocket money for your miscellaneous expenses; I will take care of that also. I don’t want you to burden your parents. Parents should be happy. 

Wherever you go, you should be cautious of your conduct. You call yourselves boys. Who is a true boy? A boy is one with good behaviour. So, you should always behave properly. A man is one with good manners. So you should have both good behaviour and manners. When most of the boys leave for home, they wear coloured clothes while travelling by bus or train. There is nothing wrong in wearing coloured dresses. But few students, who have perverted minds, wear clothes that can frighten even an animal! That is not good manners. 

Sri Sathya Sai instructing Sri Sanjay Sahni
When you go home for vacations, you meet many of your friends and relatives, even some of your close relatives and cousins, be they cousin brothers or sisters. A cousin sister could be the daughter of your father’s brother or sister. You should behave yourself in front of them. You should not dilute and pollute the relation. All this will have consequences later in your life. We should speak good words and should speak softly. The relation should be only that of a brother and sister. You know the Principal of the Whitefield Campus (Sri Sanjay Sahni). He has a sister. Even though yours is a relationship of sister and brother, the world around you will think in different ways. So when they were travelling to Parthi, he told his sister that they should travel separately. Manners come into picture during travel. Even during travel, he maintained the dignity of the Institution. They travelled in different compartments. After reaching Bangalore, they had to travel by taxi. Then too, he sent his sister along with other ladies and he travelled with the men in the group. When he came here, I told him that he had demonstrated good behaviour. Because of such good behaviour and good conduct, he is now in a high position. If an old man of 60 years travels with a girl, everybody would think that their relation is that of a grandfather and granddaughter; but when persons of similar age travel, people would imagine in another way. Wherever we go, we should uphold the name of our College. I have told the Vice-Chancellor to speak to the students in this aspect. Wherever you go, you should maintain Swami’s standards. 

Once, I asked one boy to bring chairs for some old devotees. When he was coming out, his head collided with Mine. Immediately he apologised saying that it was his mistake. I told him, “There is no problem if you hurt Me, for there is no difference between you and Me; you and I are one. But the society will take an adverse view.” I am a woman among women; boy among boys; old man among old people; devotee among devotees. But one thing is to be taken care. We have to take into consideration the view of the world around us. 

You are given free education. You should take care not to get spoilt when you go out. Outsiders merely think that you are from Sathya Sai Institution. Therefore, you should behave in such manner as will reflect well on the Institution. One should develop his personality. Personality does not mean your physical attributes. It is the dignity, self-respect, and the bearing. You should respect others so that they respect you. First, you should respect your parents. We should pay our respects to three people. They are mother, father and Guru. It doesn’t matter even if you don’t respect God, as He is within you; whereas your parents are outside your body. I always tell that you need not say thanks to Swami. I am not a stranger. When your mother prepares sweets for you, do you say thanks to her? In the same way, you need not thank Me. However, though I tell you it is not necessary, it is your duty to show gratitude. 

Purity of thoughts is very important. Pandavas learnt all expertise from Dronacharya. Dronacharya taught them the secret knowledge, which he didn’t even share with his son. Earlier, in the court of Drupada, Dronacharya asked Drupada to give him a cow in order to feed milk to his young son. The king replied that it would be difficult for a Brahmin to milk the cow and to maintain it, and hence he would give him how much ever milk he wanted. Dronacharya became very angry and he left the court. So, on this silly issue, he left the kingdom of Drupada. On his way, he saw the Pandavas and Kauravas playing with a ball. The ball had fallen into a well and they were making various attempts to take the ball out of the well. Dronacharya went towards the well, took a bow from them, and shot an arrow at the ball. Then he shot a series of arrows, each hitting the tail of the preceding arrow making a chain. In this way they pulled the ball out. The Pandavas were very impressed by Dronacharya’s expertise in archery and told Dhritarashtra about this. Subsequently, Dronacharya became their Guru. He taught them all the skills. After their education, Arjuna went to Dronacharya and asked him what they could offer to him as Guru Dakshina (gift of gratitude to the Guru). At this juncture, Dronacharya remembered what had happened to him in the court of Drupada. With all hatred, he wanted to teach Drupada a lesson. So he told Arjuna to go and defeat Drupada, tie him with ropes, and drag him to Drona’s presence. This was wrong. Though Arjuna felt bad that he should fight against a king whom he didn’t even know, he nevertheless obeyed the command of his Guru. Arjuna fought, won and brought the king to Dronacharya. Dronacharya felt very happy. Even though the Guru says many things, we should discriminate between what is good and what is bad. Whatever the Guru says may not be completely correct, but whatever God says is always true. Krishna was a perfect Guru to Dharmaja. In the Kurukshetra war, Dharmaja shouts: “Ashwatthama Hatah, Kunjaraha” (Ashwatthama has been killed, the elephant). On hearing this, Dronacharya was overcome with grief and left his weapons. He loved his son very much and after he heard of his son’s death, he felt that there was no point in fighting on. The actual statement was that an elephant by the name Ashwatthama was killed, which was not a lie. When thieves break in at night and are escaping from the back door, there is no point in searching for them in front of the house. The owner has to go in the same direction the thieves have gone and catch them on the way. Here, Krishna had done the same thing. There are two meanings in whatever God says. You have to take the correct meaning. 
Dronacharya with the Pandavas and Kauravas
Finally, I want you to be good, behave properly, get a good name for yourself, for your Institute and for Swami. Bhagavantudu Gaana Priyudu (God loves music). He is bound by your melodious songs and not by your poetic or prosaic praises. Tyagaraja was very great and was respected very much because of his music. The king of Tanjavur and all the citizens respected him. To please God, music is the best. Three essential things are required: Daiva Preethi, Paapa Bheeti, Sangha Neeti (Love for God, Fear of Sin, Morality in Society). With the love that you bear for God, you will have the fear of sin. With these, you will be able to establish morality in the society. Students should uphold these three things. God does not discriminate. He will help everybody. You study well and I will do the rest. 

I had said that there would be a great fall for computers. See, today, the industry is in a very bad state. They are closing down many companies and are sending the employees back to India. Knowledge is very much necessary, but whatever knowledge you acquire, you must skill it and not kill it. Students here must do that. Students must maintain the prestige of our Institute. 

Vice-Chancellor S.V. Giri with the Chancellor Sri Sathya Sai
V. C. : Swami is always with us. 

Swami : I am always in you, not merely with you. I am in you, beside you, around you, above you, below you; I am everywhere. (Talking to the Music College students) Study whatever you want along with your music. 

Teacher : They can make use of distance education. They can study here itself. It will be very useful for them. If they want any help, teachers here will help them. 

Swami : Not now, but from next June. (Swami called the Music College Principal) There is no problem if they study that way. Some people have stopped studying in between and joined Music College. They can complete their studies. 

Principal : There is no problem, but they should not neglect music. If they are capable of doing both the things without affecting each other, then it is alright. 

Swami : Yes, only those who are capable should do so. They will concentrate on their music course. (To Music College boys) Don’t neglect one in the name of the other. (Swami asked the Music College boys to sing “Endaro Mahaanubhaavulu...”) I have given these students more than what anyone else would have given. Even great musicians have asked Me, but all didn’t get this chance. They are getting the opportunity to sing here. 

(Editor’s Note: The song ‘Endaro Mahanubhaavulu’ is a song composed by the great saint-poet Tyagaraja in Telugu. The very first line of this song means – ‘There are many great people in this world, I offer my obeisance to all of them.’ Swami is very fond of this song and has asked the students to sing this song in His presence on many occasions. He enjoys the lyrics and the music of this song so much that He would Himself sing the lyrics while the students sang, and also give the beat on His chair. It was a sight for all to enjoy – pure bliss!) 

Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami. I have seen it for the past so many years. They are really getting a great opportunity. (The boys sang the song.) 


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