Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 15 (1981 - 82)
Humanness in Man

Editor’s note: This discourse does not appear in the Sri Sathya Sai Speaks series. It appeared in Sanathana Sarathi, 1981.
The primary virtues that cleanse the intellect,
Steady adherence to truth, devotion to God,
Discipline of the senses, dedication to one's duty,
These are the things that a teacher ought to seek in order to teach
And the pupil must learn these things in order to be a pupil.
Embodiments of Love! Teachers and Students!
In this vast expansive the world, times are becoming worse, and great changes are happening very quick. Man is giving up his body even before he has been able to recognize his primary duty. Every person should recognize why is it that they have been given the body. The body has been given to us in order to do service. In order to do work, this body has been endowed.
And what is work? Work is to be done in order to make time sacred, sanctified. We must try to direct every work of ours in a holy path. Every work has got to be looked upon as a spiritual task. Work has got to be transformed into worship. The teachers must first evaluate time, body, work, the holiness of all these three. The body has been given for the sake of work. And work has to be done in order to sanctify time. These two things every person must instill into his heart. It is the work than man does that either raises him to the spiritual height or lowers him to perdition.
Work is like a mirror. This is a mirror, and you stand before it. It reveals to you your features. So, too, the work that you do reveals to others your character and your nature. Some people, before they begin work, they appear to be really calm and peaceful. But once they enter into work, they begin to exhibit irritation and even some anger. Others, before they start work, they are filled with unrest or irritatation and won’t be very earnest about it. But after they enter work, they’ll do it with a calm and peaceful mind and enjoy it with sacred feelings. Therefore, our holiness, or unholiness, is evident in the work that we do, in the manner in which we do the work.
That is why it is said in the Bhagavad Gita, “For work alone you have the right. You have no right for the consequence or the fruits thereof”. Every work that we do has got in it the power to develop character traits in us that will manifest in the future. Of course, it is very difficult in the beginning to enter into work about which we don’t regard the consequences (Nishkama Karma). We have got to enter into the really true or good work (Sathya Karma from
bad work—Dushta Karma). And from good work we have to proceed to work for which we don’t desire the consequences (Nishkama Karma).
Work is like a thermometer. Just as a thermometer shows the temperature of the body, whether it is increased or decreased. So also, the work that a person does indicates the level of tāpatrayas* (internal afflictions) whether it has risen, decreased or is extinguished. You can measure the motives, the vices and the virtues.
The work that you do indicates whether the person has got a balanced mind, or a passionate mind, or a slothful dull mind. Therefore, it is only when a person becomes an expert in work, or a heroic work, or he takes up sacred work, that we can reveal our real inner nature.
For a person who wants to reveal his divine nature, his real nature, through his work, first of all, he must develop one particular quality. That quality is virtuous character. If you’ve got virtuous character, you will never entertain any bad thought. Not only that, it will make him do more and more work with greater and greater and better and better motives. And the character will also endow you with an earnestness in social work and in work for society. And character also will make a person feel that they have to live, not for food, but for certain ideals. And a life without character is like a dark house. It will be like a kite that has no string attached to it. It is like a counterfeit coin that won't be accepted by anyone.
It is because the emphasis upon this character is absent in educational institutions, that now we have got all this agitation in the society. Moreover, we pride ourselves as educated people and scholars, but they have not got character. Today the educated people are masters of so many books, but in actual practice of what the books contain and what they profess, they are failing badly. It is in order to develop this character and the practice of this character that we have started Sathya Sai Bal Vikas, Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Sathya Sai High School, Sathya Sai Junior College, Sathya Sai Higher Degree College, and other educational institutions.
We say the end of education is character, but what exactly is character? We have not yet understood. If you want development of character, if you participate in bhajan, or if you join satsang, the company of others, and if you become a member of the Organization, these are not related to the development of character. The first step in character is to see the bad ideas and thoughts do not enter our hearts.
Character means that the words that you utter must be transformed into action. It doesn't matter, it's not a fault, if once you commit some fault. The greater mistake is, to do the same fault again and again. It is, of course, very unnatural for a person to go on entertaining, either knowingly or unknowingly, bad thoughts in the mind. But once he recognizes it is bad and that it should not be entertained, you must see that it doesn't come again.
Today in the Bal Vikas we must take up this task of developing character and good thoughts. But before we teach or we persuade the students to develop character, we must also in our own life, develop it and practice it. We are not fulfilling the ideal if we don't ourselves have that character, but we go on telling the students to have that character. We must practice it and experience it, and then only can we communicate it to the students. Whatever mistakes that the students commit, if we punish them or if we find fault with them, we will see that we do ourselves commit those faults. The prosperity and peace of the future depends upon the students developing this kind of character and our practicing it, too.
What is the most precious thing in the world? If you ask, some people may say silver, some may say gold, some may say diamond. But it is not silver or gold or diamonds that is most precious. Man is the most precious thing in the world. It is man who discovers the veins of gold under the earth and then takes them out and purifies them and brings out what we call value. It is man who takes a lump of stone and cuts it and makes it and recognizes it is diamond and makes it bright and shiny. Who is it therefore, that has given value and price to the diamond? Man. Therefore, the most precious thing is man. And man alone must substantiate this value and maintain it, and prove that he is the most precious thing.
Make good use of chances given
The government, in order to progress the prosperity of the country, makes a number of laws. And they also can arrange for various things that are necessary for the daily living of man. And they may afford various opportunities and comforts for the rural people who are suffering from poverty. But whatever may be the lofty idealistic measures and the laws that the government or the rulers might bring about, unless the people themselves have ideal character to carry them out, it can't succeed. So, what we want today are people who can make good use of the chances they are given.
Man has got all the things that are necessary for a happy life. And he has got many things that can give him a happy daily life. And you ask about education, there are so many situations all over the world. And if you ask for means of earning money, there are plenty. But, in spite of all this, man has no contentment, and man has no peace. What is the reason? It is because he has not developed the qualities of a human being that are in latent in him that he suffers, in spite of all these other things.
Now what we must immediately attend to is the development of humanness in man. In the western countries the scientific and technological advance is increasing very fast. They are developing the ability to move in water like a fish. They can fly like birds in the air. But there is no attempt to live upon the earth like men. We must try to live upon the earth. That is what we should try to do, and not fly in the air like a bird or move in water like a fish. The most important is we must identify what exactly is meant by humanness. It is only when we know what exactly is humanness that we can teach the Bal Vikas pupils. Humanness does not mean eating and drinking and catering to the senses and somehow living out this life.
This you might have read in the Bible, many of you. Once Jesus was walking through a bazaar.
And in one corner he found a drunkard who had fallen senseless on the floor. Jesus went to him and near him and said, “Friend, how have you fallen like this? Even if you drink, you must not drink until you lose you consciousness.” Then that person said, “Lord, formerly I had no eyes, I was blind. I did not know what life meant. At that time, you gave me eyes. You gave me eyes, and then all the joys and other things in this world, I became conscious of them, and entered into those worldly things.”
Jesus said, “What! I used my supra-human powers, in order to make this man a man, and that has resulted in his becoming lower than man. I should not have done this, merely giving him eyes.” Another person was going along the bazaar who was mad after the senses, who was suffering from lust, and was moving about in a mad type of way. Then he went and told him, “Friend, what is this? Your life is worse than street dogs. How is it that this thing has happened to you?” Then he said, “Lord, I was a leper once. Through your super-human powers. I was relieved from that misery. For as long as I was a leper, nobody approached me. At that time, I could not enjoy my senses. Now you have given me very good health, and, therefore, I am full of lust.” Then Jesus said, “Fie upon this. What! I have myself, out of my own hands, ruined this person.” Therefore, life does not mean merely catering to the senses, or taking food and drink, or living a life wandering hither and thither.
Even birds and animals have got hunger and thirst and cater to their senses. Why should we be born as human beings? And, in fact, being born as human, and being educated, and going to universities, and getting a number of degrees, and moving about like big scholars, if we descend to this level, what exactly is the purpose of life? Animals don't go to school or attend universities. Therefore, it appears that at least the animals are much better than ourselves. Birds and animals and bees have got a certain season and some reason, but we humans have no season or reason. Therefore, under these conditions, what are we doing having been born as human?
Three types of human behavior
There are three types of human beings at the present time. One type of human is governed by emotions. The other type is anxious to do work, they are active. The third type are intellectual, they are inquiring and rational. Emotional, active and rational. In the emotional type of people, they enjoy bliss by taking part in meditation, bhajan or the recitation or repetition of the Lord's Name. In the active type of people, they take up to social service and various activities that produce joy in the world. In the rational type of people, they have got the intellectual capacity, and they go on inquiring into the truth. And these three types take up to the paths of bhakti, the devotional aspect, the karma or the active aspect, and jnana wisdom for the rational. Worship, work, and wisdom.
But at the present time, these words ‘work, worship and wisdom’ have been distorted and given even opposition meanings. The rational mind has to be devoted to the discrimination between the transient and the permanent. In order to discover the truth and that alone, the rational mind must be used. But now intellectual inquiry is limited to low and narrow things. And the rational mind is now being devoted for selfish purposes. And the inquiry is dictated through personal choices and tastes.
But these, emotional, active and rational are not three distinct and separate. They follow one, the other. They are three very much interrelated. You can't have one, and the others separate. Even in the emotional you have the active and the rational temperaments mixed. And in the activities being done by the active people, you have the emotional and rational also. And in the rational also there is an undercurrent you have the emotional and the active. Therefore, if the rational people go on arguing all by themselves without any emotional or active attitude, that is also a wrong interpretation. The purpose of rational is to exhibit sacred intelligence.
Here is one example. Here is a stool. It is a three-legged stool. And if this three-legged stool has not got one leg, it can't stand. And if there are no legs we can't sit upon that stool. These three, the emotional, active and rational, are the three legs. So, work, worship and wisdom, these are the three legs. And upon those three legs we place a soft, fine, well-polished plank. If you've not got a plank over it, you cannot sit on it. Upon these three legs you must place the plank of love equal for all. We've got these three, emotional, active and rational, as the legs, and we've got universal love as the plank, then our life can take rest on it.
Even the rational people have love, and the active workers also have love. And the emotional also, you must have love. Because over all these you have got a screw in the plank of love. And the screw with which we fix this plank of love is faith. And the more faith you have, the tighter the screw, and the firmer it becomes. The plank of love is affixed to the legs of emotional, active and rational with the screws of faith, faith and faith. If you've not got this faith of screws for three legs, even if you have the whole thing with plank and three legs, you can't sit with confidence. Therefore, faith is a very important thing. And whereupon should you have faith? Upon all these three, work, worship and wisdom.
Another example. There is a difference between faith or confidence, and love. People may ask, if we have love of God, is that not enough, why should we have faith? Love is different. Confidence is different. How? Let us inquire. The mother will have great love for the child. We have got love as a child, but it won't give the child a golden cup. Because there is no confidence the baby will hold the thing securely. So love is different, confidence is different. But in the Divine, you must have both love and confidence. Love is now being experienced by us in worldly things
Now this is very important for people in the Sai Organization to recognize. In the Sathya Sai Organization, Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema - Truth, righteousness, peace and love are essential. Are these four attached to some quality? Or, are they beyond qualities?
What is truth? Truth is one only and not two. To what is this truth related? It is not truth to repeat what you have seen, or to relate what you have heard, or to describe what you have experienced, so that is not truth. If you get jaundice, we will see all colors as yellow. The eye can see only, can speak only about what it sees, and not about truth. So what you tell by seeing with eyes is not truth. Truth is connected with the tongue. That is why the Vedas say, Speak the Truth. Because the speaking is connected with the tongue, not with the eye.
Then we come to the second, dharma (righteousness). That is connected with the body, the entire physical body. There is no meaning in saying that it is connected with simply saying, it must be acted. That is why the Vedas say, 'act righteously'. Then we have shanti (peace), that is connected with the mind.
Sathya is the word, dharma is the body, shanti is the mind. So, it is a tripurna, trinity, three things. Sathyam is what is called the sathwic character, the balanced. The body that acts righteously is rajasic, active. And manas (mind) that has got shanti is thamasic (inactive). Sathya, dharma, shanti, these three are related to the three qualities of sathwa, raja and thamas.
Love is above all qualities
Beyond these three qualities, beyond body, word and mind, we have love. That is why as God is above all qualities, love also is above all qualities. So, love is God. The Universal Divine Love is getting impure as mankind is taking this Love towards attributes, body and mind. We are being subjected to agitation as we are bringing down Divine Love to mind, speech, faculties and body, to worldly traits. Love should always remain as witness to preserve its Divine quality and be pure
Take your word, your thought (mind) and deed (body) higher up to the level of universal divine love. Don't bring down the divine love to body level. You may worship a picture as a God, but not God as a picture. Call this towel as God and send it higher up to God. Chair also is God. But don't bring down God as chair because any empty chair is God. Don't bring down God and say God is a chair, God is a cloth, God is a microphone. All lower things must be elevated to the highest, and not the highest brought down to the lowest.
These four words, Sathya Dharma Shanti Prema, are like the four Vedas, the four great Axioms. And the first three are related to the word, the thought, and the deed, but love is beyond all the three. The emotional, active and rational can be compared to Sathya, dharma, shanti. And these are the three legs. And the plank upon that is this universal love. We must try to teach this spiritual truth, combining with the moral principle and the worldly ways of existence.
We usually think that we teachers are a low profession. Of all the professions that they have got in society, the teacher's profession is the noblest, and the highest and the most important. Because it is these teachers who shape the future and raise the level of the country. They make the future citizens of the world. They make ready the heroes who will govern the world later on. If we only make these tender hearts imbibe noble ideas, then they will become rulers of the world.
In India you may have heard of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He was one of the pioneers in the fight for independence in this country. At that time some people asked him, Tilak, after gaining independence, will you be the prime minister of this county, or will you take up any other ministry? Then he said, no, I do not want to be one among the rulers. I want to prepare the rulers of the country. I will be a teacher in one of the high schools in Poona city. I want to ensure the future peace and prosperity of this country by teaching these children great ideals.
So, also, Lord Krishna, though He was omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, and Who knew everything, He established a number of thrones, but He never occupied a throne. He was not a king. He was a king-maker. Is a king great? Or, is a king-maker great? King-maker is great.
So, because the teachers are preparing the rulers of the world hereafter, you are greater than even the rulers. Therefore, you are the people who are preparing the rulers. On your efforts and efficiency depends the future of mankind.
If it is true that you are earnest about creating a better world, a more peaceful and prosperous world, then it is your duty to teach and make children ideal rulers. Among those people that are here, how many are the real teachers? We call ourselves teachers, but we are not completely immersed in the spirit of the profession. If you do your duty with your full heart, then you will get also results that will satisfy your heart. One example. In a college a lecturer is appointed fulltime. And he is given full salary. A part-time man is not given full salary. Therefore, if we do your work with full heart, we will get full grace. If we do it with part time devotion, we will only get part time salary (grace).
Editor’s Note: The audio file for this discourse ends abruptly. The translator, N. Kasturi, was also the editor of Sanathana Sarathi. Kasturi ends the magazine’s summary of this discourse with this statement by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba:
Teachers must be students forever, in order to discharge their duties effectively. They should lead simple lives, without outrageous dress and wild, vulgar hairstyles and beards. Their language must be soft, sweet and simple.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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