A Unique University: A Gift To Humanity - Dr. Pallav Kumar Baruah

Dr. Pallav receiving his PhD from Sri Sathya Sai at the Convocation on November 22, 1995
Having been blessed with the good fortune of being a part of Sri Sathya Sai University as a student as well as a teacher for many years, I proudly assert that the Sri Sathya Sai University is a unique university: a gift to humanity. The vision of all the visionaries, panacea to all the cries to bring sustainable peace to human hearts came with the advent of Sathya Sai and His declaration of the Avataric mission. He has taken upon Himself the grandest of all challenges ever faced by anyone, the challenge of “The Realization of the Truth”. He said, “I am God, you are also God, but the difference is I know and you do not”. He also clearly states the ways and means to achieve this. 

The mission took off formally in 1940. About forty years down the line, He established a University. We know that the purpose of our university is to serve the society. If we take a panoramic view of the landscape of universities across the globe, we find only one university which defines “service to society” as one of its objectives. To help and initiate students in the highest order of spiritual discipline and to lead them through the four-fold path to self-realisation starting from self-confidence, is one of its core purposes. This is the only university which keeps spiritual advancement as its core purpose. No other university could ever address this issue or gauge the requirement.

Our university is the only one of its kind that has been established by an Avatar of the age. No other Avatar did that. Probably the time and situations were not ripe to achieve this. The question is how to achieve our objectives and goals. Do we have to think of doing something big like the giants Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Galileo and a host of scientists who brought far-reaching changes? Or should we get dejected that in more than 30 years of existence we do not have anything to show as the grand achievement of the University or a great alumnus whom the world will look at with awe and sing the glory of the University? One clear message that rings in our ears is: He does not want us to be great but good individuals, endowed with the goodness of character, personality, behaviour and conduct. Our students should be illustrious examples of ability coupled with nobility. Anybody endowed with one bereft of the other may not be able to contribute to the mission in the contemporary terms. He expects us to be proficient on the work spot, upholding truth, justice, love, peace and compassion.

Head of Shankara, Heart of Buddha and Hands of Janaka

We have alumni and students who are on the path to achieve greatness; we have capable people to bring good name to the university based on their achievements, but the emphasis has been always on goodness. We may achieve greatness but the emphasis is always on the goodness. We need good people who can, by their own illustrious life, inspire and motivate others to be good. We need leaders who can lead by the power of their own exemplary conduct and not by the power of material possessions. When such individuals mingle with others in the society, goodness spreads. Individual transformation leads to societal transformation. Unlike other conventional universities, in this University we provide training in all the six dimensions of human personality, namely – physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, psychological and spiritual, leading to the cultivation of a well-balanced personality and a good character. This lays the foundation for a student to enter into the society and lead “a good life” – a life of harmony and goodness as desired by Him.
Bhagavan explains the ideals for which the University stands through the utterance: “Head of Shankara, heart of Buddha and hands of Janaka”. This statement of Bhagavan contains the essence of integral education. Bhagavan declares that an ideal student is one who possesses the hands of Janaka, the heart of Buddha and the head of Shankara. The hands of Janaka signify Karma Yoga; the heart of Buddha signifies Bhakti Yoga and the head of Shankara signifies Jnana Yoga. The Sri Sathya Sai Educational System trains its students to travel from Karma Yoga to Jnana Yoga through Bhakti Yoga. 

The blossoming of the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual constitutes the human excellence. This is the very essence of integral education gifted by Bhagavan to humanity. All this is possible if there is harmony in the individual. Harmony in the individual leads to harmony in the family; harmony in the family leads to harmony in the community; harmony in the community, at last, leads to harmony in the world. Bhagavan declared in His discourses that individual transformation is the basis for transformation at all levels.

He emphasises: Transformation of the individual is the basis for all these. Progress of individual is the foundation for societal advancement. His analogy is “Providing water and nutrients to the root is important for the overall growth of the sapling into a plant and ultimately into a gigantic tree”. Individual transformation is the very foundation on which the mansion of Sri Sathya Sai mission stands. That is why Bhagavan encouraged individual participation and heart-to-heart communication. Hence individual transformation is the keystone to the success of the Sai Mission. Each one of us is important for the success of this Mission. There is no second thought about it.

How do we become part of the Mission and contribute?

Bhagavan Himself has given a simple recipe of Service and Prayer to us. He has declared in no uncertain terms: the path of love is the simplest and the best for achieving self-realisation. He has prescribed Seva to understand love; He has prescribed prayer to internalize the unity of the creation. If this can be practiced and propagated, this will yield much better result than all the propaganda that goes on in the name of national integrity or world peace. Universal brotherhood will be a natural consequence for those who follow the path of service and prayer. We all are witness to it. While this leads every individual to realise his inner Divinity, in the process it also solves all the problems within the family, in the society, amongst nations. Just like what cancer research has done to the field of medicine, when a great problem is attempted to be solved, bountiful benefits accrue to society. So when every individual is making efforts to realise his nature by taking part in Seva and Prayer, practicing love with responsibility, will solve many other problems. In His own sweet benediction, Bhagavan has permitted the existence of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, study circles and Bhajans to take care of these aspects in the most nascent form. It is up to us to make use of these avenues for self-development which itself is a contribution to His mission.
I think this should be the approach for all the alumni, in order to be a positive contributor to the Mission. “My life is His message”, should be the motto of our life. There is a tremendous demonstration of commitment by one and all, to the cause of integral education and the zeal to follow the path set by Him. We have also received very positive and inspiring feedback from a number of external bodies about this endeavour. Let me inform you in this context about the recent visit of the “Internal Audit Committee” consisting of expert academicians from various universities in the country. These people are totally new to our system. At the end of their visit, they complimented on the uniqueness of this university and its tremendous performance in all aspects of education including various components of integral education. More importantly, they strongly advise the preservation and propagation of this system set up by Him and that under no circumstances we should deviate from the course that is set for us. They reflect our own feelings. This is the message from Prasanthi Nilayam.
Dr. Pallav with Sri Sathya Sai at Prasanthi Nilayam - March 2008

- Dr. Pallav Kumar Baruah
Student and Research Scholar (1985-1995)
Currently, Head, Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam

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