Fifth Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality at Sri Sathya Sai University - 1995

Saturday, May 20, 1995 to 
Monday, May 29, 1995

The Summer Course for the students of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was inaugurated by Bhagavan at the Institute Auditorium in Brindavan on the morning of 20th May 1995. The Chief Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and the Education Minister of Karnataka were present during inaugural function. 
Chief Minister of Karnataka H.D. Deve Gowda (left) with Sri Sathya Sai at the Brindavan Campus Auditorium - May 20, 1995
After the Chief Minister’s inaugural address, Bhagavan delivered His Address in which He stressed on the glory of ancient Indian culture and exhorted the students to imbibe the great human values and patriotism, traditionally reflected in Indian culture. He said:
"Students! Teachers and lovers of education! In this work-a-day world, knowledge is the adornment for man. It is hidden wealth. It is the basis of fame, happiness and comforts. It is a teacher for teachers. It serves as a relation when one goes abroad. It is like a third eye for a man. Such sacred knowledge qualifies the person for honour at the courts of kings. It is more precious than riches. A man without such sacred knowledge is verily like an animal. 

Embodiments of love! Just as when a child is born, he is able to recognise his mother, likewise every student should recognise his motherland and its history and culture. The Motherland is the land of his birth. The nation's culture is like one's father. Without understanding the country's culture one cannot understand the true state of the nation.

Bharat's culture is without a parallel. Bharatiyas were known for their adherence to Truth and Dharma. Justice was their life breath. Bharat’s culture represents the eternal verities which are unaffected by the ravages of time or the vicissitudes of history. Students should realise that if they cherish Truth and Righteousness, the nation will get automatically protected. Success seeks Truth and Righteousness and not wealth or possessions.

Decline in human values

Students acquire human values, in addition to their scholastic, intellectual and other attainments. It is the decline in human values that accounts for the degradation of human-beings in the country today.

Technology has made great strides in modern times. The advances in other fields need no mention. The revolutionary advances in technology have brought about many changes in national life. The most important change is the decay of morals. All spiritual and ethical values have been undermined. Moral standards have collapsed. Hence, students today should be more concerned about good qualities than about knowledge. Society can progress only through men of virtue. Every student should have the welfare of society in view and have service as the ideal.

What is education? It is not mere acquaintance with books. Can mere ability to read and write be regarded as education or even the acquisition of degrees? True education is associated with the ideal goals of life. Today all ideals have been perverted. "Qualities like compassion and goodness have been replaced by unrighteous conduct. The ancient teachings have been given up. Education has gone astray," says a Kannada poem. India gave the message of peace to the world in ancient times because of its spiritual leadership. Then, as well as now, the Bharatiya message has been "Let all the people everywhere be happy."

Who are to blame for failure of educational system?

Who are responsible for the failure of the educational system? The parents at home, the teachers in schools and colleges, the leaders of society have failed to set the right examples and hence the students have gone astray. The parents at home tell the children one thing and act differently themselves. Teachers likewise teach one thing and act differently themselves. Leaders also preach one thing and practise another. Students are intelligently observing these double standards. They are induced to take to wrong courses by this divorce between words and deeds. Obviously, the elders are setting a bad example. The parents are not anxious to see that their children develop good qualities and lead ideal lives. Their affection for children is natural but it should not be, as in the case of Dhritarashtra, such as to encourage the children in evil ways. It is only if children are corrected and punished for their misconduct that they will learn to behave properly in society.

Every student today wants to lead a comfortable life. But they have no idea what comfort really means. They argue that comfort consists in eating, drinking and leading a free and easy life. But spending one's time in this manner is unworthy of a human being. The preciousness of human life has to be realised. To lead an animal existence is unbecoming for any student or anyone else. The first need is self-restraint and control of the senses. Only then can true bliss be secured. This alone will confer true freedom.

Freedom emanates from Spirit

Freedom does not mean living as you please. Sva-Tantra (True freedom) emanates from the Spirit. The goal of self-realisation can be attained only through self-control. Knowledge of the Self, control of the senses and Self-realisation constitute true freedom. Bharatiyas got freedom (from foreign rule) but have not achieved national unity. Unity is essential for achieving anything, as has been declared in the Vedic saying “Let us live together, strive together, impart to others what we have learnt and lead a life of harmony and unity.”
India has never lacked, from ancient times, people of knowledge, ability, heroism and courage. But, because of absence of unity among them the country became a prey to foreign conquerors. Students should therefore learn the lesson of unity. The Nation's progress and good name are dependent on the behaviour of the students. Hence, their conduct should be exemplary. Today's students are the future leaders of the country. From now on, you should develop good qualities and cherish ideals of service to the nation. Become heroes in action and plunge into society for service, with self-confidence.

Today, people talk about egalitarianism, a new social order and so on. There is no need for a new social system. We need only boys and girls of high character. Only they can save the country and not those who indulge in subversive activities. Humanity is one. If you strive to serve the country unitedly, Bharat will make enviable progress. If all the ninety crores of people in Bharat act as one, Bharat will stand forth as an ideal nation.

Pursue studies with welfare of society in view

The educational process should aim at developing character and not merely intellectual abilities. Of what use is it to get a Doctorate without character? Education should have a practical bias which will make the student useful for himself and society. Students! Pursue your studies with the welfare of society in view. Develop love towards the Motherland, realising that the mother and the Motherland are greater than heaven itself. You owe so much to Bharat. Do your duty to Bharat.

Bharata-Mata (Mother Bharat) is greatly concerned about the state of her children. You must be good and become ideal students. You must win fame for the country. You must share in the prosperity of the nation with all others. To whatever country you may belong, cherish love for your country. ‘All are one. Be alike to everyone’. Don't give room for differences of race, creed or nation. There is only one race, the race of humanity. There is only one caste, the caste of spirituality. There is only one language, the language of the heart. There is only one God, the Supreme Divinity, that is present in all beings and permeates the entire cosmos. The Divine is present in every atom. Everything in the world is composed of energy and matter. Einstein called it ‘Supreme Power’. Bharatiyas described it as Divya-Shakti (Divine Energy).

In every human being this divine energy is present. It is this which makes man live and survive. Students! There are many here who have come to study science. Scientists have invented many new kinds of machinery and instruments. But the scientists have not recognized that there is one machine which exceeds all other machines put together. The scientists have produced satellites which go round the earth and spacecraft that can land on the moon. They are harnessing solar energy. They have made atom bombs and hydrogen bombs. There is one machine that is more powerful than all these. That is the human body. Man is the maker of all these machines. The marvellous powers of the human body are not fully recognized by any one. You should examine your own potentialities. It is man's potent power that has created all the wonderful machines. All the powers in the world are within you. The outside world is a reflection of your inner being. Students should recognise this truth. Various scientists are being praised. But all powers are within you, electrical power, magnetic power, the power of light and fire and radiation. Every human being is a computer. Every individual is mini-generator. Every person is a lamp and a radio station.

Tension and temper destroy humanness

Our ancients knew the secret of enjoying peace. Today even a tiny tot suffers from "tension." Where there is tension there is temper. Tension and temper are jointly destroying humanness. How can peace be found? Peace has to be found within each of us. You are the embodiment of peace and truth, You are the embodiment of love. Instead of realising the truth about themselves students are engaged in studying various subjects, thereby missing the main object of education. Just as the most complicated and expensive machine cannot work without electric power, the human machine cannot work without divine energy.

Students! You have a powerful machine in your body. Activate it with Divine energy. You have all the power you need within yourself. Being unaware of it, you misuse it You should not waste time, which once lost cannot be recalled. Utilise all your learning for the service of society. Experience the life Divine, by putting into practice a fraction of what you learn from the Geeta. Practise any one of the human values. Prema is the basis for all -the values. Action with love is right conduct. Speak with love and it becomes-truth. Thinking with love results in peace. Understanding with love leads to non-violence. For everything love is primary. Where there is love there is no place for hatred.

Cultivate humility and discipline

Make right use of the period of youth. Banish conceit. Respect your parents and elders. Cultivate humility and discipline. A boy is judged by his behaviour and a man by his manners. A devotee is judged by his discipline. In these summer classes you must try to understand how to realise Divinity, how to lead a spiritual life in the work-a-day world, and how to render service in the best way possible and how to lead an ideal life.

The poet Eliot defined culture as 'a way of life'. But Bharatiya Culture has far wider connotations. Life itself is culture. What is done from moment to moment is an expression of culture. Having been 'born in this sacred land of Bharat you should learn to behave in such a way that you please Bharat Mata. Mother Bharat is deeply distressed not only over the conduct of students but all others in this nation. No section of the people is behaving properly. Even in the field of spirituality, the Motherland has cause for grief. The garb is changed, but not the qualities. Treat the Motherland as the mother and our culture as the father. Students today have no patriotism. Students must be prepared to give even their lives to protect the integrity and honour of the motherland.

Students! Make best use of the next ten days and try to practise what you learn. You have listened today to the addresses of the Chief Minister and the Education Minister of Karnataka. You must try to imbibe the ideals they have set forth before you and live up to them. The Chief Minister has been deeply concerned about the state of the nation and of Karnataka for many years. Even now he is keen to do some lasting good to the country. Well-meaning persons are always confronted with obstacles. Those troubles only serve to ennoble them, just as a diamond gets added value from more cuts. Students should face all the challenges of life and serve the country well.”

Bhagavan addressed the students on all the 10 days of the course on various characters and stories from the Bhagavatam including the lives of Krishna and Balarama, Ambarisha, Priyavrata and Jadabharat, Dhruva, Vishwamitra, Prahlada, Gopalas and Gopikas. The Divine Discourses in original can be accessed here

The Evening Sessions during the Summer Course in the Sai Ramesh Hall, Brindavan
At the valedictory function on 29th, Vice Chancellor Dr. Hanumanthappa, gave an overview of the proceedings of the entire Summer Course. Bhagavan, in His Valedictory Address, exhorted the students to practice some of the teachings imparted in the Summer Course. He said:

“Students should acquire spiritual knowledge along with secular knowledge. They should delight in the well-being of all creatures: ‘Sarvabhoota Hite Rathah’. They should also cultivate total awareness. Paripoorna Jnanam (total knowledge) is essential to acquire the qualities of good conduct, unity and purity which leads to Divinity. Education should foster human values such as Truth and right conduct.

Buddha taught that truth, right conduct and non-violence constituted the most sacred qualities. You consider Ahimsa as merely not hurting others. This is not the whole truth. Speaking too much, working too much, harping on the mistakes of others are all acts of Himsa (violence) and should be avoided. These result in the wasting of energy, which causes harm to oneself. You must observe restraints in eating, talking, sleeping, working, and all actions in daily life. Human beings make attempts to know God. They are confused about the meaning of the words used in spiritual parlance, like Jeeva and Deva, Atma and Paramatma (Divine Self and Supreme Self). Vedanta has explained these terms, but still they are not fully clear to many people. Unless you have the right attitude you cannot understand the Divine. God has been described as smaller than the smallest atom and bigger than the biggest thing in the Universe. Anu is Atom and signifies the Atma. Anu is also Brahman (the Supreme Absolute). This Atma is in every being, however tiny it might be.

Divinity is the same in all

For example, one may take water from the river Godavari in a small tumbler or a big vessel. Whatever the size of the container, the water is the same in taste and quality. If you understand this principle you can easily understand the truth that the minute atom and the mighty Universe contain the same Brahman. The divinity is the same in all. God is everywhere. Once a disciple asked a sage about this. The sage asked him to get a cup of water and some sugar. He asked the disciple to mix the sugar with the water. Then he could not see the sugar, which was dissolved in the water, nor could he feel the sugar with his hand. But he was sure he had himself put it in the water. In order to know the truth of its existence in water, he was asked to taste a little of that water when he could experience the sweetness of sugar. It was pervading in the entire quantity of water.

In the cosmic context, the Atma is the sugar which is present in every being. Just as sugar cannot be seen or felt while in water, you are not able to see or feel the Atma. Sugar has-no form in the water. So also the Atma or Paramatma cannot be seen, but has to be experienced. This is cosmic consciousness and is infinite. It is in the form of consciousness in human beings.

In the Geeta, Krishna says "Beejam Maam Sarvabhutaanaam" (I am the seed in all beings). The seed is Anu and the tree is Mahat. The Anu is contained in the tree and the tree is in the seed too. Divinity as the seed is there invisible under the earth and is also pervading externally in the tree, branches, leaves, flowers, etc.

When you are asked: "Who are you?", you may first give your name. then your profession and address, etc. All these descriptions pertain only to the body and physical features. They are subject to change. You may change your name, profession and nationality. But the Atmic principle in everyone is changeless and eternal. Things pertaining to the world are like rivers while the Divine is like the ocean. The moment rivers merge in the ocean they lose the names and forms.

If you worship the mother you worship God

You have to acquire Atma Jnana (knowledge of the Spirit) along with worldly knowledge. People refer to Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshvara. No one has seen their real forms. Brahma is the creator. The essence of creation is in everyone. The physical bodies of your parents have this essence and they are both the cause of your birth. They bring you up and protect you. This is their aspect of protection. If you worship the mother, you worship God. The child has to be given education and brought up properly. This is done by your father and so he is 'Vishnu' the sustainer. Maheshvara is a giver of boons. He grants boons easily as He did to Bhasmaasura, who immediately sought to use his power against Maheshvara himself. Power has to be used with discrimination. By respecting the teacher who imparts this discriminatory knowledge you respect Maheshvara. That is why the Vedas declare "Treat the mother as God, the father as God and the Preceptor as God." This is the basis of Bharatiya culture. A true son should seek the truth. He should not leave this pursuit for selfish reasons. That is why ‘Satyam Vada; Dharmam Chara’ (Speak the Truth; follow Righteousness) has been the sheet-anchor of Indian culture You should not sacrifice the truth for the sake of name and fame. You should have unshakable faith in the Divine.

One should know the basis for whole creation

Scientific knowledge is subject to continual change, while spiritual knowledge is changeless and will help you to realise the Eternal Truth. Today man does everything out of selfish motive to satisfy self-interest. The scriptures declare. ‘Dharma Moolam Idam Jagat’ (The whole cosmos is rooted in righteousness). This is the Truth. The planets, the sun, the moon and the stars are all moving in a set pattern according to their Dharma. You must understand this harmony and unity.

In the world today there are more than 550 crores of people. Not one is identical with another. Who is the author of all this complex but orderly creation? It is difficult to comprehend the Creator. Scientists have explored a small part of creation. But they have made no attempt to understand the Creator. One should know the Moolaadhaara (the basis) for the whole of creation.

Students should not waste time or energy in wrong pursuits. They should cultivate Satsanga not in the worldly sense. Sat is a part of Sat-Chit-Ananda, the attribute of the Divine. You must always internally be in the company of God, who is the embodiment of Bliss. Sath is Truth. Chit is Awareness and Ananda is Bliss. The significance of this can be understood by a small example. Sweetness is the essence of God. We sing in the Bhajan ‘Madhuraadhipate Madhuram Madhuram’ (Oh Lord of Mathura You are Sweet). Sugar is sweet. God is like Sugar. Sath 'may be compared to sugar. Chit can be compared to water, because it is everywhere. It is necessary for the sustenance of life whether one is a prince or a pauper. If you mix sugar and water you get syrup. Likewise the syrup of Ananda comes out of the combination of Sat and Chit.

Students! Always think of the Lord. Don't give room for selfishness. Engage yourself in service to humanity with a sense of sacrifice. This is the lesson you should learn from the ten-day course that you have attended now. You must understand that matter combined with energy is God. Make use of the things in the world with the awareness that it is all God's creation and you should be grateful to the Divine for everything. Have everything within limits, including your desire for comforts. Even the five elements should be used within limits. Otherwise they will spell danger. Students! Work for the peace and prosperity of society without selfish motives. You have to put these things into practice and shine as ideal students.”

Source: Sri Sathya Sai Digvijayam (1986-2005) and Summer Showers in Brindavan 1995

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