Sri Sathya Sai Addresses The Second World Youth Conference

Thursday, November 18, 1999 to 
Tuesday, November 23, 1999

The 74th Birthday of Bhagavan was celebrated at Prashanti Nilayam from the 18th to the 23rd of November 1999. Bhagavan inaugurated the Rathotsavam in the Mandir at 6.40 am, on 18th morning. The consecrated idols were then taken in a procession led by Sai Geeta to the village amidst Vedic chants. Bhagavan inaugurated the Narayana Seva in Hill View Stadium at 9 am, that morning. More than 20,000 were given food and clothes. The Bal Vikas students from Tamil Nadu presented the dance drama, ‘Krishna Kuchela’, in Bhagavan’s Presence in Poornachandra Auditorium that evening. 

Bhagavan was led in a procession to Sai Kulwant Hall by the bands of Anantapur Campus and the Primary School on 19th morning. He lit the lamps amidst Vedic chants and inaugurated the Ladies Day programme at 7 am. Cultural programmes were offered to Bhagavan. That afternoon Bhagavan granted Darshan in Sai Kulwant Hall at 2.20 pm. Smt. Srinivas, Smt. Sarla Indulal Shah, Dr. Geeta Reddy, State Minister for Andhra Pradesh and Ms. Uma Bharati, Union Minister, gave short speeches. Bhagavan then delivered His Message. The professionals from Sri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Delhi, presented a programme, ‘Ram Leela’, in Poornachandra Auditorium in Bhagavan’s Presence that evening.  
The Second World Youth Conference was held at Prashanti Nilayam between 18th and 21st November 1999. 7,000 youth from India and 63 overseas countries participated. Bhagavan lit the lamps amidst Vedic chants in Sai Kulwant Hall and inaugurated the conference at 3 pm, on 18th afternoon. Sri V. Srinivasan welcomed the delegates and explained the theme of the conference ‘The Role of Youth in the Divine Mission’. Mr. Billy Fong from Malaysia spoke about the service activities done by the youth in Malaysia. Bhagavan materialised a gold chain for him. Sri Vijay Menon from Kerala and Ms. Pooja Sharma from Himachal Pradesh gave short speeches. Bhagavan then delivered His Inaugural Address.  He said:

“Goodness means good behaviour, good conduct, good discipline, and good character. Truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence are verily the five life principles (Panch Pranas) of man. Human life is a journey from ‘I’ to ‘We’. This journey is subtle and the goal is very near, but man takes many births to reach the destination. Why should he take such a long time, undergoing hardships, to attain the goal, which is so near? 

Modern youth are making every effort to know all that is happening in the world but are not making any effort to understand the fundamental truth of human life. No benefit accrues from acquiring such information, which does not lead you to the goal of life. There are thousands of intellectuals, scholars, and eminent educationists in the world today. But all the worldly knowledge and skills will be a mere waste if one does not know oneself. The primary duty of man is to understand who he really is.

Faith in God is very essential for Man
Man has achieved everything in life but has lost human values, which amounts to losing his five life principles. As a result, he has become a living corpse. Faith in God is very essential for man. You may question who God is and where God is. Truth is God. Truth is one and the same for everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, language, nationality and ideology.

There is no greater Dharma than adherence to truth. This fundamental Truth is God. Likewise, Love is God. So, live in love. True love is related to the heart, not to the body. Divine Love is “heart to heart, not body to body”. Body is like a water bubble, mind is like a mad monkey. Don’t follow the body, don’t follow the mind. Follow the conscience. Only then can you experience the Truth.

Service will lean you to Devotion
Your men and women! Your life is a long journey, and your desires are the luggage. “Less luggage, more comfort makes travel a pleasure.” So, reduce your desires. Human birth is gifted to serve others, not just to eat, drink, sleep, and make merry. The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. Man’s foremost duty is to serve his fellowmen and make them happy. Your life will be redeemed only when you involve yourself in the service of society. The highest Sadhana (spiritual practise) is to transform love into service. Service will lead you to devotion.

The Kerala boy who spoke earlier mentioned various diseases that affect the body. There are many instances in history wherein even mighty kings had to leave their mortal coil in spite of having access to the best medical facilities and the best doctors. Doctors by themselves cannot cure diseases. Divine grace is essential. There is no point in safeguarding your body if you do not uphold morality. For this, lead a life of truth and love. Modern youth do have love, but their love is artificial. It is limited up to saying “hello, hello,” and is in fact hollow within. So, their life has become artificial like a drama. 

Man can rise to the level of the Divine only through the path of service. When man is not able to understand humanness, how can he understand Divinity? First, know thyself. Human life is noble, since it is essentially divine. In fact, man and God are not two different entities; they are one and the same. Truth is one, but scholars refer to it by many names.” Your life will be redeemed once you understand this truth. The Divine power latent in man is not found in any other being. Since man is unable to understand his own divine nature, he is undertaking various spiritual practices such as penance, meditation, and Yoga. Spiritual practices bereft of love are a mere waste of time. Love is most important in life. Whatever you may say with love, it is bound to be true. 

Any work you undertake with love is Dharma. So, in the first instance, develop love. Lust, greed, hatred, jealousy, anger, and pride are animal qualities. These qualities are the result of the impurities in the food man partakes of. These are of man’s own making. Man is forgetting his divine nature due to the effect of these evil qualities.

Seva and Prema possess Infinite Power
Man should make proper use of his Mati (intellect), Gati (destination), Stithi (situation), and Sampatti (wealth). Wealth here does not mean worldly treasures. It refers to the power of the senses. This power should be utilised for service of society. The words Seva and Prema may be very small, consisting of only two syllables, but they possess infinite power.

Inquire and understand who you really are. Know yourself and you will know all. Since many of you are newcomers, you have to understand simple things to begin with. When you say, “This is my handkerchief,” it means the handkerchief is different from you. Similarly, when you say, “This is my body, my mind, and my intellect,” it means you are different from all these. Then the question naturally arises, “Who are you?” Inquire into this. Body, mind and intellect are mere instruments. Identifying yourself with these instruments is absurd.
You are the master. Master the mind and be a mastermind. Never be a slave to your body, mind, and senses. In fact, they should be under your control; you should not be controlled by them. One of the speakers quoted Swami, “My life is My message.” She also referred to the statement, “Your life is My message.” You should understand the meaning of these statements clearly. Saying that your life is Swami’s message and indulging in wicked activities and unrighteous deeds is treacherous. That constitutes 'your' message, not My message. You can declare that your life is Swami’s message only when you take to the path of truth and righteousness, install peace and love in your heart, and uphold nonviolence.

Don't Judge Others
All that you see outside is a reflection of the inner being. Good and bad do not exist outside; they are mere reflections of what is within you. No one has the right to judge others. Give up all that is bad in you and you will find goodness all around. As the colour of the glasses you put on, so is the colour of the world you visualise. The defect lies in your vision, not in the creation.
Heart is the dwelling place of God. So, only noble feelings should emerge out of it. If there are any evil qualities like lust, greed, and anger in it, then it ceases to be a human heart. It is verily the heart of an animal. If your conduct is devoid of humanness, then you are not a human being. Act in a manner that befits your human birth. When you are angry, remind yourself, “I am not a dog, I am man.” When your mind wavers, tell yourself repeatedly, “I am not a monkey, I am man.” Patiently think about your real nature.

Never act in haste. Haste makes waste. Waste makes worry. So, do not be in a hurry. Take time and think calmly. All these evil qualities can be eliminated by developing good thoughts and feelings. The remedy for all your mental ailments lies within you.

Undertake Service with Love
Only young men and women are capable of eradicating the evils prevailing in society. If we have virtuous youth, all ills of society can be removed. Today, the whole world is embroiled in wicked thoughts, wicked company, and evil acts. Excessive desires are the main cause for the suffering of man. Keep a check on your desires.

As a student, discharge your duties diligently. Study well and obtain good marks. Respect your parents and serve them. Keep in mind the welfare of the society and nation at large. Earn a good name in society. Do not feel proud of your education. Your education is a mere waste if it is not utilised for the welfare of society. The education you have received from society must be dedicated to it by way of service. The essence of education does not lie in merely acquiring degrees, securing good jobs, and amassing wealth. Service is the hallmark of the educated one. Morality is most essential for human life. No doubt money is essential, but it should be under certain limits. Excessive money makes many wrongs. Money comes and goes, morality comes and grows.
Students! Young men and women! First and foremost, make efforts to understand your true nature. The difference between God and man is very subtle. As long as you do not understand the Truth, you remain a human being. Once you recognize it, you are God.

Service is the best way to understand your innate divinity. Service should be for self-satisfaction, not for name and fame. Experience the bliss that you derive from selfless service. Share it with others. Before serving others, serve yourself by making your mind broad and pure. Get rid of the narrow feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and extend your love to one and all. Love is the binding force that brings together the entire world as one family. I wish that you develop love and live like brothers and sisters.

This body has been engaged in service right from birth. You should also spend your life in serving others. This is My message. I practice whatever I preach. I love all and serve all and exhort you to do the same. You are not able to understand My love as your feelings are narrow. That is your mistake, not Mine. Today, conflicts are on the rise as there is no proper understanding and adjustment among people. Adjustment will be possible only when there is proper understanding. 

Develop Love and Uphold Truth
Only love has been constantly with you right from birth. It is love that remains with you all the time, not your relatives or friends. This love is God. Enjoy the bliss of love and share it with others. Absence of love is the root cause for all the unrest in the world. 

Develop love and uphold truth. Truth does not mean describing what you have seen, heard or done, as it is. Truth is that which is changeless in all the three periods of time. The Vedas call this permanent truth Rutam. 

Just as you change your dress, you have to change your body one day or the other. That is why it is said, “Death is the dress of life.” Therefore, you should have no fear of death. Life is not permanent. It is like a passing cloud. As long as there is life in the body, use it for the service of others. Engage yourself in service till your last breath. Service to man is service to God. Have control over your senses, because loss of sense control engenders demonic qualities in man. Service without sense control is an exercise in futility.

Cultivate Noble Thoughts
All of you have gathered here without being extended any invitation. It is your love for Swami and Swami’s love for you that has brought you here. If there is love in your heart, you will never be put to any hardship whatsoever. Your love should be extended to one and all; it should not be limited to your family and friends alone.

Today, we do not have ideal parents. There are no ideal teachers either. We do not have ideal friends and relatives too. How can then we find fault with the youth? First of all, the parents should be good. The teachers should also do their job of teaching in right earnest. Good company is very important. Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are. As is your company, so you become. How can one be good if one is in the company of bad people always? 

You are all virtuous and noble. Make every effort to enhance this goodness. Make the best use of your stay here. Run away from bad company and bad feelings. Cultivate noble thoughts and noble qualities. Develop the Atmic relationship with all, since all are your brothers and sisters. Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita, Mamaivamsho Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanatana (the eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). The sun is one but it has many reflections. All that you find in this world is the reflection, reaction, and resound. Do not get carried away by them. Aspire to attain the reality. In order to experience the reality, give up body attachment and try to understand the divinity within. 

Help Ever, Hurt Never
Divinity is latent in everyone, but you are not making any effort to realise it because you are deeply engrossed in worldly matters. You are the embodiment of pure, unsullied, true, and eternal Atma. Experience this reality. Discharge your duties keeping this truth in view. Help ever, Hurt never. This is the essence of the Vedas and sacred texts such as the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Quran. All these holy texts speak of the same fundamental truth. 

It is a mistake to entertain differences based on religion. There is only one religion, the religion of love. There is only one caste, the caste of humanity. There is only one language, the language of the heart. Travel from ‘I’ to ‘We’ through the path of service. I will tell you how to go about doing it in due course of time. 
There are millions of people in this world, but only you, the fortunate few, have got the golden opportunity of coming here. Make the best use of this opportunity and share this joy with everybody. Serve the whole world. Understand the truth that you are born to serve society. It is not government service. It is the service of mankind. 

Do not lead a selfish life amassing wealth. Do not be satisfied by filling your own belly; understand that there are millions in the world, who are hungry and suffering. Your life will be sanctified only when you help the poor, the sick, and the down-trodden. That is true spirituality. Spirituality is a way of life. It is not something separate from life. That should be your way of life. In order to acquire a worldly degree, you need to study various subjects. But in spirituality there is only one subject and that is love. Undertake service activities in a spirit of love. Being young, you may have a few doubts. I will clarify all of them. Do not give scope for hatred, jealousy, and ostentation. Be a humble devotee and render humble service. That is the true human quality.”

On 20th evening, the overseas delegates presented a cultural programme in Poornachandra Auditorium titled ‘The Millennium Challenge.’ In this presentation, 221 youth from 63 countries participated. Bhagavan showered His love on the cast after the performance. On 21st afternoon, Bhagavan granted Darshan in Sai Kulwant Hall at 2.45 pm. The valedictory function of the conference and the celebration of Education in Human Values Day were held that afternoon. The programme commenced with Vedic chants.  Sri Indulal Shah spoke about the importance of human values. Sri Jagadeesan presented the recommendation of the overseas devotees to Bhagavan. Sri V. Srinivasan placed the recommendations of the Indian delegates to Bhagavan. Dr. Jumsai presented a report to Bhagavan about the working of EHV and establishment of Sathya Sai Schools all over the world. Bhagavan then awarded the diplomas to the teachers who had completed their training courses in value education. Sri S.V. Giri addressed the delegates. Bhagavan then delivered His Valedictory Message for more than 100 minutes. 
18th Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
On 22nd, the 18th Convocation of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was held at Prashanti Nilayam. The Institute band led the academic procession consisting of the Revered Chancellor, the Chief Guest Dr. Michael Goldstein and the Vice Chancellor Sri S. V. Giri, to Sai Kulwant Hall at 3 pm. The Vice Chancellor presented the Welcome Address. The Chancellor declared the Convocation open and awarded gold medals to the meritorious students. Dr. Michael Goldstein then delivered his Convocation address followed by the Chancellor’s Address. That evening, the Institute students staged in Poornachandra Auditorium a drama entitled ‘Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha.’ Bhagavan went on stage, blessed the students and presented gifts to them.  
Sri Sathya Sai Birthday Darshan
On 23rd morning, Bhagavan accompanied by the Trust Members was led in a procession to Sai Kulwant Hall by several band groups amidst Vedic chants. Prof. Chittibabu, Dr. G. Venkataraman and Sri Kondal Rao paid their tributes to Bhagavan. Bhagavan then delivered His Birthday Message and released a postal stamp commemorating Sri Sathya Sai Water Project. That afternoon, many renowned artists presented music and dance programmes to Bhagavan. They were Begum Parveen Sultana, Rahul Sharma, Playback singer Purnima, Aman Ali Bangash, Ayan Ali Bangash (sons of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan), Anand Shankar (son of famous dancer Sri Uday Shankar). The celebrations concluded with Mangala Arati to Bhagavan.

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