August 18, 1992
This morning Bhagavan was speaking to a group of high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Education, Himachal Pradesh.
Swami: All parties have their eyes only on votes but are not genuinely concerned about the welfare of the nation. Everybody wants to be a leader today, but no one wants to accept the responsibilities. A leader must lead, not push. But, today’s leaders push from the back.
Official 1: Bhagavan, you must be knowing where the Rama Janma Bhoomi (birthplace of Lord Rama) really is, don’t you?
Swami: Yes! I do.
Official 1: Please tell us then - where is the Rama Janma Bhoomi?
Swami: Where else – it is the womb of Kaushalya! (smiling)
The entire portico burst into a resounding laughter!
Swami: We must be more interested to seek the ‘Atma Rama’ – the Rama within our ownselves. That is the real residing place of Rama.
The officials received the answer with great reverence.
Official 2: Bhagavan, what is the cause for rebirth? Why do we keep taking birth?
Swami: When some unfinished or unrealised ‘Sankalpa’ persists at the end of one birth-cycle, it materialises as another birth to get itself fulfilled. When rice is planted with husk, it grows again as paddy. But if the husk is removed and the grain alone planted, there can be no more growth of paddy. Instead, it can be cooked and eaten. The Sankalpa is like the husk. As long as it exists, a rebirth cannot be escaped. But, if it is removed, there ends the cycle of birth and death.
The talk then turned to the school here.
Official 3: Bhagavan, Your schools are the best in the country.
|Sri Sathya Sai in the Prasanthi Nilayam Mandir portico|
Swami: Don’t say the best. But yes, they are good. Do you know why? Here, it is not the Vice Chancellor or the Registrar who control the organisation. I control it. That is why it is so good. You must also not compare it with outside schools. The standards are totally different. Even those schools are slowly coming up now. But it will take time. (To the Director of the Hospital) Is the Nurses Training School ready? When it will begin? (To the Education Minister) We are now beginning a Nurses Training School here at our hospital itself. Good nurses are as essential to the hospital as good doctors. But, what to do? Today in our country all the trained nurses and compounders are flying off to other countries! We don’t want that problem here. So, we are going to open our own Nurses Training School shortly.
Then as He turned to go inside, one of the birthday boys showed a life size photograph of Swami to be autographed.
Swami: Boy! Why did you spend so much money? You can worship a photo as a God, but not God as a photo. So saying, Swami went in.