“Sathya Sai Schools should not collect Money from Students”

June 20, 2002 (Thursday)

After Darshan, Swami comes directly to the chair and sits.

Swami    :    (To a foreign devotee) How are you?

Devotee    :    Very Happy.   

Swami    :    Now you are happy. Not in California? (The devotee hailed from California. After a pause) Have you seen the new boys?

Devotee    :    Yes, Swami.

Swami    :    40% of the boys are new boys. Which subject?

Devotee    :    Finance, Swami.

Swami    :    (To a teacher, talking about the village) We have to give two pants, shirts, knickers and two more shirts for these knickers in a suitcase to all the children. Where are they having their food?

Teacher    :    Swami, today they are eating there only.

Swami    :    Did the bank manager come?
Teacher    :    Yes, Swami.

Swami    :    Has he finished the work?

Teacher    :    I do not know Swami.

Swami    :    It should be finished fast. (Turning to Prof. Anil Kumar) Each child is getting Rs. 100,000. Totally, I am spending one crore rupees. Nothing is for Me. Everything is for them only. (As part of the new project called Deenajanoddharana Pathakam, Swami had arranged a fixed deposit in each orphan student’s name for Rs. 100,000. This amount along with compounded interest would be handed over to them the day they would complete their education and leave for a job or self-employment.)

(To the devotee) What is your name? (The devotee tells his name. After a while turning to a student) Where do you come from?

Student    :    Swami, Chokkadi.
Swami    :    It is a very nice place. There is a Sathya Sai School on the top of a hill. (Swami confirms with the student.)
        (To the student) Where did you study?

Student    :    Alike, Swami.

Swami    :    Until when did you study?

Student    :    12th standard, Swami.

Swami    :    How old are you?

Student    :    18 years, Swami.

Swami    :    How much fees did you pay?

Student    :    Swami, Rs. 20,000.

Swami    :    Rs. 20,000!!

Student    :    Swami, for hostel.

Swami    :    Call one of your Alike teachers. (To Prof. Anil Kumar before the teacher arrives) He has got four degrees. M.A., M.Sc., M.B.A., M.Phil. He held high government posts. He also got many awards.

(To the Alike teacher) How much fees do you collect?

Teacher    :    Swami, Rs. 20,000.

Swami    :    Why do you collect so much? (Swami chided him for doing so.)
(To the students) How much do you all pay for education?

Students    :    (In a chorus) Nothing, Swami.

Swami    :    (To the teacher) See, I do not collect anything. Sathya Sai Schools should not collect money from students. (The teacher whispers to Swami.)

(To students) He says that he has committed a mistake by hurting Swami. So he is shivering. (To the Alike boy) Why do you pay so much?
(To the students) How much ever money you are asking your parents, you are drawing that much blood from them. Rs. 20,000 are like 20,000 drops of blood. Whatever you want, you ask Me. I am ready to give.
(To the Alike student) What does your Father do?

Student    :    Swami, headmaster.

Swami    :    What is his salary?

Student    :    Swami, I do not know.

Swami    :    You must know it.

Swami    :    Do you have any brother?

Student    :    Yes, Swami. He is studying in III B.A. (The student comes.)

Swami    :    What is the college fees?

Student    :    Swami, Rs. 15,000.

Swami    :    Education does not merely mean collection of knowledge. It is putting into practice what you have learnt.
(To the Warden) Once you also collected money from old students.

Warden    :    Swami, they gave for Orissa Relief Fund. (When a natural calamity had hit the state of Odisha.)

Swami    :    But, why should you collect from them when I am ready to give. Those were old clothes. When people would ask who gave these clothes and if they tell My name what would they think of Sathya Sai. I would have given you new clothes. (After a pause, to Prof. Anil Kumar) When you get good thoughts, if they can be put into action, do it immediately. But, if you get bad thoughts, take your time and discriminate. The bad thoughts will subside gradually.(Referring to the Alike teacher) Once when I went there in car, he stopped all the cars and made way for My car. You can do it as a mark of respect if it was a minster. But, what is the need of doing it for Me. What will the other people think? I sent him a message telling him that what he had done was wrong. And now he has come to ask for forgiveness.
(Turning to the Alike boy) What is your name?

Student    :    Swami, Ajit.

Swami    :    Are you studying in school?

Student    :    No, Swami. 1st UG.

Swami    :    (To another student) Which place do you come from?

Student    :    Swami, Bhopal.

Teacher    :    Swami, please forgive me for the mistake I have committed.

Swami    :    Past is past. Live in the present.

(To the students) How many times I told you to sit straight. Do not bend and sit. See how I am. Very straight. (Swami calls a boy and takes his letter. He opens the letter and sees a lot of empty space.) See how much of paper is wasted. Sometimes I use this extra paper to write letters to others. I do not waste any paper. Wasting money is evil.
(To Venugopal, another student from the first year M.B.A. class) Hyderabad boy, come here. (The student comes and sits front.) How is your gang? (Referring to the Hyderabad youth group.)

Student    :    Swami, they are fine.

Swami    :    (Smiling) So you agree that it is a gang.

Student    :    Swami, since You have told, I have agreed in that manner.

Swami    :    No, that is not correct. You should tell boldly that it is not.

(To another student) Darjeeling, what are you doing now?

Student    :    (The student comes forward) Swami, second year in M.A. (Economics). (Swami takes his letter.)

Swami    :    (Takes letters from four to five students. He asks some of the students sitting in the front, in which class they were in.) How many Bioscience boys? (The students raise their hands. To one of the students referring to Prof. Anil Kumar) How is the teaching?

Student    :    Swami, it is fine.

Swami    :    (To a student) What do you want?

Student    :    Swami, Your grace.

Swami    :    Grace in what form?

Student    :    Swami, You are omnipresent. I want to have that feeling.

Swami    :    That is too big. Ask Me for something else. (The student does not reply anything. Swami then creates a ring for the student. The student comes forward to receive it. As Swami was keeping the ring into the student’s finger) When a goldsmith makes a ring it may not fit exactly. But this goldsmith is perfect. (smiling)

Student    :    Swami, You are the Divine goldsmith. (The student goes back to his seat. After sometime as he is inspecting the ring…)

Swami    :    (Smiling) Do not worry, all the stones are there. (Calls another student and takes a letter from him. After the student goes back to his place,
to Prof. Anil Kumar) He is studying here from first standard.(To the student) How many marks did you get in the Summer Course?
(The student did not reply.) I know, you got 99. After M.Sc. what do you want to do?

Student    :    Swami, whatever You say.

Swami    :    After M.Sc. there is no course. There is only Ph.D. (After a pause, to
Prof. Anil Kumar) Prajnanam Brahma means Divine Knowledge. ‘Prajnanam’ means Constant Integrated Awareness. Prof. V. K. Gokak
(The first Vice-Chancellor of Swami’s University) was a very nice man. He was very good at English. What is the meaning of Ayam Atma Brahma?

Prof. A. K.    :    I am Atma and Brahma.

Swami    :    Why do you say I am Atma and I am Brahma? I, Atma and Brahma are one. Ekam Evam Adviteeyam Brahma.

Prof. A. K.    :    Swami ‘Ekam’ means one, then why do we have to mention ‘Adviteeyam’ again.

Swami    :    When you tell “Nenu Okkade Vachanu” (I have come alone) why do you say ‘Nenu’ (I) and ‘Okkade’ (alone)? Is it not enough if you have said ‘Nenu’? You are stressing upon the fact that you are alone. Similarly, when you say – Ekam Eva Adviteeyam Brahma, you are stressing upon the fact that there is one and only one Brahman. (After a pause) Did I not go inside?

The usual practice was that Swami would go to the interview room after Darshan and then come outside and sit. But this day, Swami had come directly to the portico without going to the interview room.

Prof. A. K.    :    No, Swami. You came and sat here directly.

Swami then went into the interview room.

Source: Students with Sai: Conversations (2001-2004)

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