Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 33 (2000)
Education Should Foster Values

Embodiments of Love!
Modern education fosters
only intelligence, not virtues.
Of what avail is education
if it does not inculcate virtues in man?
(Telugu Poem)
SINCE ancient times, the Bharatiyas have been using the word 'Prapancha' while referring to this world consisting of mobile and immobile objects. It is constituted by the five elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and ether.
The Bharatiyas have been worshipping these five elements as the manifestations of divinity. They called earth as Bhudevi (goddess Earth), water as Gangadevi (goddess of Ganga), fire as Agnideva (fire god), wind as Vayudeva (wind god) and Akasha (ether) as Sabda Brahman (primordial sound). The five elements relate to five senses of perceptions in man and their attributes are sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing. The true meaning of the worship of the elements is that man should not only make proper use of these elements, but should also sanctify his senses of sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing. But neither the students are making any effort to understand the divine nature of these five elements nor are the teachers making them aware of this truth. The students are interested in acquiring merely bookish knowledge and not in understanding the sanctity of these elements. True education is that which confers virtues, good intellect, devotion, duty and discipline. The teachers are also interested in imparting only bookish knowl-edge to the students and not the spiritual aspect of education.
Convert Your Knowledge Into Skill
Today, all the five elements are polluted and, consequently, man is mired in insecurity. Mere acquisition of degrees should not be the objective of students. They should make proper use of the five elements. This is the true value-oriented education the world needs today. Values are for education, education is for life, life is for love, love is for man, man is for spirituality, spirituality is for the world and the world is for peace. So, one should travel from values to peace. Today the students are acquiring education with selfishness and self-interest in mind. They are craving for money. Money comes and goes but morality comes and grows. The students should strive hard to cultivate morality. They should convert their knowledge into skill and bring about balance in their lives. But modern students are actually killing their knowledge, i.e., they are putting it to misuse. Consequently, they have completely lost their mental power and their inner reality is also eclipsed.
Modern education cannot be called education in its true sense. What is the use of intelligence if one lacks power of discrimination? And of what avail is knowledge if it is not converted into skill? True education is that which develops in you love for your fellow-beings and motivates you to serve the community. Modern system of education has undergone many changes but no change has brought about any worthwhile results. First of all, the mind of man should be transformed. Then the entire world will be transformed because the mind forms the basis of the entire world Mano Moolam Idam Jagat.
Maintain Ecological Balance
Today the students do not know how to convert their knowledge into skill. Where does the mistake lie? Does it lie with the parents or the teachers or the leaders? It is the mistake of everybody. The students are pure and tenderhearted. It is the responsibility of the parents to teach them the importance of human values like truth, righteousness and love. But the parents are not making any effort to teach the children to speak the truth. In fact, some parents misguide their children in this regard. For example, if the father does not want to attend a particular telephone call, he tells his son to utter a lie, saying his father is not available. In this manner, children are taught to speak untruth. As a result, they lead a life of untruth after they grow up. Under any circumstances, one should not utter a lie. The students should learn to practise this maxim: Help ever, Hurt never. Those who adhere to this dictum will certainly progress in life.
Today boys and girls acquire education with an eye on the external world. They do not realize that all that is seen in the external world is transient. One can develop inner vision in life only when one makes proper use of one’s knowledge. Humanness has declined because man lacks balance in life. If human values are to be fostered , man should convert his knowledge into skill and maintain proper balance in life. Today the world is losing its ecological balance, as man, out of utter selfishness, is robbing the mother Earth of her resources like coal, petroleum, iron, etc. As a result, we find earthquakes, floods and such other devastating natural calamities. Human life will find fulfilment only when ecological balance is maintained.
Balance in human life and balance in nature, both are equally important. Today even marine life is in danger due to so-called advancement in science. Advancement in science is welcome but it should not lead to ecological imbalance. The people and the world at large should be benefited from science. But today everyone is interested in selfish gains. No one seems to care for society.
The Foremost Duty Of The Students
The food that we eat, the water that we drink, the air that we breathe are all polluted. In fact, all five elements which are of utmost importance for man, are polluted. It is the foremost duty of the students to cleanse the world of pollution. Keep your body and mind clean. Cleanliness is godliness. Purify your actions and feelings. Speak sweetly and softly to everybody. The culture of Bharat teaches Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak the truth and adhere to righteousness). Love everybody because God is present in all. The Vedas teach, Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God dwells in all beings). God has another name Viswa. It means that the entire universe is His form.
One does not find unity among students as they lack the virtue of love. You should consider love as your very life. I often tell My students “when the electric current of truth flows through the wire of righteousness and enters the bulb of peace, you get the light of love. In order to cultivate love, you should adhere to the values of Sathya and dharma. Sathyam Bruyath, Priyam Bruyath, Na Bruyath Sathyam apriyam (speak the truth, speak it in a pleasant way and do not speak the truth that is unpleasant). Sathyam Bruyath is the moral value, Priyam Bruyath is the social value and Na Bruyath Sathyamapriyam is the spiritual value. But modern man is not interested in spirituality.
Who Is A True Human Being?
Today the rich and the educated are neglecting spirituality. They consider money as the be-all and end-all of life. Money can never give peace and bliss. Devotion is most essential. The country is facing hardships because people lack devotion to God. They do not think of God who is manifest in the form of five elements. We know water is essential for life. But values like truth and righteousness are as essential for man as water. Who is a human being? Is he merely the body? No. One with purity, love and devotion alone is a true human being. Today people are in mad pursuit of money. No doubt, money is essential but it should be within limits. Once you have love for God, money will follow you of its own accord. People are ready to sacrifice even their lives for the sake of money but do not spend even a minute in the contemplation of God. They do not undertake even a single sacred activity during the day in the 24 hours given to them by God. Each one has to enquire whether he is making proper use of time. People waste a lot of time in vain gossip and in watching television, etc. What is it that you get out of these activities? You just waste time. Time is God. Time wasted is life wasted.
One may be wealthy but wealth is useless if one lacks character. After death, are you able to carry your bank balance with you? No. It will remain in the bank only. You cannot carry even a fistful of sand with you. So, character is most essential, not money. True education is that which removes the pollution of the mind and develops character. It is not enough if the students get good marks; they should take care that they do not get bad remarks. Only then will their marks have value.
The Essence Of True Education
Embodiments of Love!
Everyone should foster divine qualities, be he a student or an elder. Without these virtues, life is meaningless. For all your needs, do not depend on others, depend on God. In fact, you are not human, you are God as God is present in all beings. You will remain a human being so long as you think so. Have the firm conviction that you are God. Follow dharma and share your love with all. This is the essence of true education.
Can you call all those who know
how to read and write educated?
Can one be called educated
merely by acquiring degrees?
Can you call it education
which does not confer virtues?
If education is just for a living, Don’t we find birds and
beasts carrying on their lives?”
(Telugu Poem)
The goal of education is not merely reading and writing, which constitute worldly education. It is to attain purity and divinity. Worldly education is transient. Knowledge of the Self alone is eternal. It can be acquired only through devotion and love for God. Man is born to set an ideal to the rest of the world, not to amass wealth. Money makes many wrongs. Make your mind sacred. Where are all those kings of yore who amassed riches and conquered kingdoms? What is the use of such a life? One should lead a life that makes one immortal.
A foolish person boasts of high education and intelligence,
Yet does not know himself.
What is the use of all the education he has
If man cannot give up his evil qualities? All the worldly education will lead him
only to vain argumentation, not total
It cannot lead him to immortality.
So, man should acquire that knowledge
which will make him immortal.
(Telugu Poem)
That is true education. It will protect you wherever you are. This education will earn you the friendship of all, even if you do not have money and you are in a foreign land.
Cultivate Human Values Through Self Effort
Never give up human values under any circumstances. Only then can you set an ideal to the world. Human values cannot be acquired from textbooks nor can the teachers bestow them on you. They are with you right from your birth. You have to cultivate them through self-effort. Lead a truthful life. The whole creation has emerged from truth, is sustained in truth and ultimately merges into truth. Is there any place where truth does not exist? In order to lead a peaceful life, one should always adhere to truth and righteousness. No doubt, the path of dharma is beset with difficulties. In the beginning, you may have to face many problems, but you should take them in your stride and proceed on the path of truth. Purity, patience and perseverance are very essential for man. But man is becoming a patient as he lacks patience. Each one has to question himself or herself whether he or she has these virtues. It is not enough if you proclaim that you are pure; let others say it.
True Education Fosters Purity And Unity
Embodiments of Love!
Do not have excessive desires. It is said, “Less luggage more comfort make travel a pleasure.” Your desires are the luggage in the journey of your life. You will have peace of mind only when you reduce your desires. Swami is the best ideal in this regard. I don’t have any desires; I don’t want anything. As you are aware, we have a very big hospital at Puttaparthi and there are many educational institutions. They are functioning smoothly because they have been started with love and noble intentions.
My only desire is that all people should live like ideal human beings. After the bhajans, you chant the prayer Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu (may the entire world be happy!). It is not enough if some are happy and some are not. All should be happy. That is possible only when human values are practised. There are many who give lectures on human values. He alone is a true human being who puts them into practice. Elders should sow the seeds of human values in the tender hearts of the children. They will grow into gigantic trees and give shelter to many in future. It is said, “Start early, drive slowly, reach safely.” Human values should be taught to the children right from their early years. So, some schools have to be started for this purpose. If you start fostering values from Primary School level, the children then will grow to become ideal leaders of the nation. Parents and teachers should strive hard to inculcate ideals in children. If the parents at home, teachers in school and companions in the neighbourhood foster values in children, then there is nothing greater than this.
Love Is Most Essential For Mankind
It is said, “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are.” As is your company, so shall you become. So, run away from bad company; join good company. Undertake good activities day in and day out. Even the wicked will get transformed on seeing your good conduct.
Love is most essential for mankind. To whichever country or race you belong, however rich or poor you are, you must adhere to truth and righteousness. Use your tongue to speak the truth only. With the hands given by God perform acts of charity. With the ears capable of hearing, hear only pure words. This is the purity of the limbs of man. In the same way, you must maintain the purity of the five elements.
It is solely for this purpose that Jumsai has done a lot of work. This task of fostering human values cannot be accomplished by a single person. All have to join together. Will a single thread make cloth? When threads are interwoven, cloth is produced. All worthwhile causes can be achieved only by the cooperation of several people. This handkerchief is strong only because many threads have been interwoven closely. If you remove the threads one by one, they will break easily. So, unity is essential for our movement to advance. Jumsai has great hopes for the growth of this movement. In the coming three or four days many new ideas will emerge in the conference. The faltering of a few must be compensated by others and all must move forward together. Unity, goodness and good action must be practised. If these are practised well, you can grow faster and increase in number.
Human Values Can Not Be Acquired From Books
It is not enough if you start an institution. The students must be brought up in the right way. Speak gently. Never show anger towards the children. You cannot always oblige but you can speak always obligingly. Talk to the children softly and sweetly. Interaction between the teachers should also be pleasant. Then the children will be encouraged by their example.
Every little thing should be taught to the children to the best of your ability. Only then the children will learn with enthusiasm. Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry can be learnt from books or by experiments in the laboratory. But human values cannot be learnt that way. It is not something that can be acquired from books. It cannot be taught by a teacher by mere oral instruction. It is like training in physical exercise. Drill can be taught only by demonstration. The drill master demonstrates the actions and helps the learners to follow the steps. The children imitate their elders.
Therefore, you should teach the children the values of Sathya, dharma, Santhi and Prema by first practising the values yourself. Then the children will progress in the right direction. The whole country will grow. Not only this country, all countries of the world will be transformed. There are very few who teach these things today. Fewer still try to prove them. Those who practise are rare. That is why the world is in such a bad state now.
Swami Wants Quality And Not Quantity
Embodiments of Love!
Many of you may be wealthy. Many of you are scholars. Your greatness will not be judged merely by your possessions. To what extent you are spending your wealth in a good way, to what extent you are using your learning to good purpose, to what extent you are using your intellect for the good of the community, that is what counts with Bhagawan. Swami wants quality and not quantity. One teaspoonful of cow’s milk is useful. Of what use are barrels of donkey’s milk? What you have not put into practice is of no use. Practise and demonstrate. Then you become truly rich, a true scholar. Wealth, scholarship, intelligence - all become worthwhile only when used in the right way.
Money may come and money may go. Things like money are mere passing clouds. But love comes and grows. You have to realize this in all sincerity and earnestness. Then you become truly human. If you have love, all will be drawn closer to you. If you are devoid of love, none will come near you. A small example. Bhagawan is the embodiment of Love. That is why there is such a large gathering here. No invitations have been sent to you. My Love has attracted all of you here. So, you should also expand your love. With love you can achieve anything.
You have three or four days more in this conference. Put together your queries and doubts. Analyse them and arrive at appropriate solutions. You have to make this conference an ideal for other such gatherings. Many people go to seminars and conferences. Harldly any understanding results. This is not such a conference. The outcome of the conference should appeal to your feelings and intellect. That is a proper conference. All should be united. Develop love and share love. Speak the truth. Practise righteous conduct. Lead a sacred life. That is true living. Then your life will become meaningful.
Internalise Human Values And Redeem Your Life
Embodiments of Love!
Many of you have come from far off places, spending a lot of money. After making so much effort and spending so much money, you must take back with you what will really sanctify your life. All of you have assembled here. Share your love with others and receive their love in return. Understand the meaning of Sathya, dharma, Santhi and Prema. Fully internalize these values. Truth does not mean merely to repeat faithfully what you have seen. Truth is eternal; it does not change in all the three periods of time (past, present and future). You must speak the truth and practise righteousness. What is dharma? Dharayati Iti Dharmah (that which sustains you is dharma). Dharma is the true nature of man. Fire is that which burns. If it does not burn, it is mere coal. Only when dharma is well-established in a person, his humanness manifests. The principle of love must shine prominently in you.
In the coming few days, if you have any doubt, ask without hesitation. Bhagawan is ready to clear all your doubts. Make full use of Bhagawan’s proximity. Ask and be satisfied. You are Mine and I am yours. I and you are one. We are not different from each other. Many say ‘thank You,’ ‘thank You’ to Bhagawan. It is a meaningless cliché. You thank only the third person. Bhagawan is not a third person. He is the second person. You do not thank the second person. If your mother serves you good food, do you say ‘thank you’ to her? No, no, it is her duty. To love you all is the duty of Bhagawan. Don’t ever say ‘thank You’ to Bhagawan. It is your right to ask. It is your right and Bhagawan’s responsibility. When right and responsi- bility are balanced, bliss results.
When the Lord does not approach the devotee, the fault lies in the heart of the devotee; it is not pure enough. Purify the heart by being good and kind to all. Do not attempt to find fault with others. Look upon all with love, with respect, with faith in their sincerity. I would ask you to treat your servants kindly. Do not entertain hatred or contempt in your heart; show your resentment, if you must, through words, not action.
Repent for the errors that you commit and decide never to repeat them; pray for strength to carry out your resolution.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The ancient sages proclaimed two eternal verities: “Sathyam Vada; Dharmam Chara” (Speak the Truth; Adhere to Righteousness). These were regarded as the two eyes of man. Today man has lost these eyes and is helpless.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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