Monday, July 22, 1968
Swami inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai Arts and Science College for Women at Anantapur on 22nd July, 1968. The public meeting held in connection with the inauguration was presided over by the Andhra Pradesh Minister for Education, Sri T. V. Raghavulu. Dr. S. Bhagavantam explained in full length the administrative setup of the Institution. Sri Raghavulu acknowledged with gratitude the concern that Swami exhibits about the progress of women. Swami in His Discourse explained the role of women as mothers and teachers of the coming generation. He said:
|Sri Sathya Sai presides over the inauguration|
“This is a day full of significance, not only for Anantapur or this District or this State, but, for all other States also. On the occasion of the School Day of the High School for Girls in this town, as early as 1964, I had announced that what this town needed most was a College exclusively for Women. That Sankalpa (resolve) has today realised itself. Very soon, this will become a full-fledged completely equipped educational institution, with a status peculiar to itself. The prompting behind this college is not the search for reputation, or the desire to propagate a cult, or the hope of monetary profit. I know that fame is a fickle figment, that reputation is something that rots, that profit is defiled when it is measured in terms of cash.
I have allowed this college to rise, because it will instill in the minds of the students the ancient ideals of Sathya, Dharma, Shanti and Prema, ideals that are delineated in the Vedas, described in Shastras, illustrated in the epics, practised by countless generations of the men and women of this land and confirmed as best suited for individual and social progress by its saints and sages, law-givers and leaders, for centuries.
All are eager to learn the secret of peace
Every student born and bred in this land is the inheritor of this precious heritage and has a right to know it and benefit by it. Agriculture is for living; mind-culture is for life. Skills are for shaping material things so that they cater more for the comfort of man; studies are for shaping attitudes, feelings, desires, emotions and impulses of man, so that they may confer more peace, more joy, more fortitude on man.
Prahlada told his father that "the father who leads the son to God is the only father who deserves the reverence due to that status." Fathers who lead their sons into the vortex of sense pleasure, the volcanoes of physical passion, the boggy marsh of pride and pomp are unaware of their duties and responsibilities. So too, an educational system that keeps children away from God – the only refuge, the only kinsman, the only guide and guard is really a system where the blind are engaged in blinding those who depend on them.
India has forgotten its real source of strength; it is seeking strength in the debilitating hunt for cankerous comfort. This college will feed the roots of that genuine culture of Bharat, which alone can revitalise the people of India, and through them, of the whole world. My visit to East Africa has shown that people there are eager to know about the culture and philosophy of India so that they may learn the secret of peace and joy.
Women, who were all these centuries, the bulwarks of Indian culture, the guardians of Indian spiritual wealth, are fast succumbing to the flimsy attractions of foppish culture, as is evident from the modes of living and the social behaviour of many educated women. This is the result of the artificial and empty system of education, as well as the subtle pulls of cheap literature and shoddy films. Women are the mothers of the coming generation; they are the teachers of that generation, during the first five years of life.
The mother’s responsibility is most crucial
The mother is the first of the five Matas (Mothers), that the Indian child encounters: Deha-mata (the mother that gave birth to this body); Go-mata (the cow that gives sustaining milk); Bhoo-mata (the land that grows the crops which feed the body); Desha-mata (the native country that gives protection, care, love, rights and chances to serve and elevate oneself to one's full height), and Veda-mata (the heritage of spiritual treasure that reveals the aim and purpose of human life and takes one step by step, towards the Goal of Self-realisation).
The Deha-mata must reveal to the child the glories of all the other four; so her responsibility is the greatest and most crucial. That is the reason why it has been resolved to start a women's college, in every State, in order to promote the Dharma, which I have come to establish. This is part of the general task. Every act of Mine, every word, will have only that goal in view.
Atma-vidya (science of the Self) alone can fix the mind in Dharma. The students here will be given a glimpse of that Atma-vidya; they will develop a keen desire to know about it - knowledge and desire that will stand them in good stead, when they encounter the problems of life. The war of Kurukshetra, for which the Mahabharata is the background and the stage, lasted for 18 days; other wars have lasted longer, 7 years' 30 years and even 100 years! But, however long, they ended! They had a finish, some time!
But the battle between Jeevi and Maya, the individual and the fascinating, deluding wiles of the really unreal Nature with its enticing multi-fariousness - this battle is continuous; the earliest man got entangled in it; the last man on earth will have to fight it. It can bring victory to the Jeevi (individual) only when, like Arjuna, he chooses the Lord as his charioteer and surrenders his judgement, his desires, to Him. Maya can be conquered only by allying yourselves with the Master of Maya, Madhava. This is the lesson that Atma Vidya teaches, this is the lesson that children in India have a right to imbibe; children from all over the world can benefit immensely from it.”