Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 30 (1997)
14
Role of Sai Youth in World Crisis

Contents 
Wealth once lost, can be regained; A lost friend can be retraced; A lost wife can be replaced; A lost land can be recovered; But the time that has gone cannot be recovered. EMBODIMENTS of Love! Young men and women! Future citizens of the world! When one's wealth is lost, it can be acquited again. If one friend is lost, another can be got. If the wife passes, one can many again. If land is lost, it can be acquited, again. But if time is lost it cannot be got back.
In this vast cosmos and among the myriad species, man is the highest and noblest being. He is sublime. He is full of good traits. If a man loses these attributes of humanness, they cannot be easily regained.
Young men and women! The prosperity and well-being of the world depend on the conduct of the youth. Only when their conduct is good, the world can have an ideal future. The night that has passed Cannot be recalled by any means. The waters of the Yamuna, once they have merged in the ocean, cannot be turned back. A fruit that has been eaten and digested cannot be recovered. Man is spending his days aimlessly without any awareness of what is in store for him in the future. He is not aware of the continuous erosion of his life-span by the passage of time.
Life is like a mega-clock. Its three hands indicate the rate at which the days, months and the year are passing. Man rejoices in the movement of the clock's hands but does not realise that every movement is a reminder of his diminishing lifespan. Hence, before the final hour strikes, every man should realise what his duties are and see that the remaining time is well spent. What is the toot cause of man's birth in the world? What are the duties of man? No one seeks to recognise the inherent divinity in man. Young men and women today waste a good deal of their time, without realising, the preciousness of human life.
Transform from the human to the Divine
There are two qualities in man. One is the animal nature; the other is humanness. Unfortunately man is forgetting his humanness by falling a prey to the six enemies - lust, anger, greed, envy and others - and misusing his God-given talents. He thereby degrades himself to the level of the' animal. On the other hand, man should use his mind, status, and talents to become virtuous, pursue the path of righteousness and strive to raise himself from the human to the Divine. All things in the world should be used properly, and not misused. A knife can be used for cutting vegetables or another's throat. How a knife is used depends on the man using it. His mental state should be in proper condition. A man's conduct is related to his thoughts and feelings. The heart is inherently pure. But one's thoughts can pollute it or keep it pure. One can make or mar his destiny by his thoughts and actions. Today everywhere the world is haunted by suffering, tin-rest, disorder and agitations. Any country filled with noble beings is bound to be peaceful and happy. What is the mason for the sad plight of a country? It is the absence of men and women of high character. To protect a country it is not so important to have arms and missiles and atom bombs. It is most essential to have men and women of great virtue. The World's prosperity or otherwise is based upon the character of the youth - men and women. Hence, young men and women should be pure hearted and render selfless service to the country. They should keep the company of the good and godly. Losing Papabheethi (fear of sin) and not cultivating Dhaiva preethi (the love of God), men today have lost the essential quality of humanness. This has resulted in the loss of peace in the world.
Show your gratitude by serving the society
Every one should realise what one owes to the society in which one is born and from which one derives so many benefits. Young people should reflect on the question what gratitude they can show to the society which has given them so much. What service are you doing to society? Every man should show his sense of gratitude to society by rendering selfless service. It was for this purpose that the Seva Organization was started. But even here the Seva Organizations are being used to promote one's name and fame and not to render service for its own sake. The body is given for rendering service to society. Today wherever you turn - -in the administration, in the business world, in politics or other fields - you see no spirit of sacrifice. In every field the atmosphere is saturated with pollution. This foulness has to be removed. Today the pollution affects people in authority, the parents, the educationists and intellectuals. Those who preen themselves on their scholarship have no humility that should characterise genuine scholarship.
People should consider the whole world as the mansion of one human family, when this spirit of oneness prevails, there will be no tendency to harm others. You should forgive even those who harm you. The youth should cultivate the quality of forbearance. Forbearance is a supreme virtue in man.
Love of God is selfless and everlasting
Embodiments of Love! Man should be free from fear. Animals inspire and birds are subject to fear. But man should neither cause fear in others nor be afraid himself. Today's young men and women should develop fearlessness as a principal quality. You should be afraid of only one thing: fear of sin. God is the only being to be loved. All other forms of love are transient and selfish. Love of God is selfless and everlasting. God seeks nothing from you. He is utterly selfless. Today if you wish to earn the esteem of society you have to secure Dhaiva preethi (the love of God). For this you have to entertain fear of sin. What is sin? It covers all those activities which are motivated by selfishness born out of regarding the body and sensual pleasures as the primary things in life. Punya (merit) arises from all actions which take one nearer to God para + upa + kara = Paropakara. Sin has been defined as Parapeedanam (causing harm to or forgetting the Divine). To remember the divinity in everyone is the means to acquire merit. Young people today have lost the feeling of forbearance and as a result have become a prey to many bad qualities like anger and envy They should remember that today most young people are afflicted, in vatting degrees, with Ahamkara (the disease' of egoistic pride). And this is the cause of all sickness in the world. This egoism has no real basis because the individual is an insignificant speck in the vast cosmos. it is born of ignorance. This ignorance will go if man realises that the whole universe is permeated by the Divine and belongs to the Divine. Everyone should do what is good and never forget God. That is the way to overcome egoism.
"Hands in the society, head in the forest"
It is the privilege and duty of the young men and women to promote the welfare, progress and peace of the world. Transform all your actions into sacred duties. Experience the love of the Divine. That is the meaning of Svami's declaration: "My life is my message." Adhere to the ideals set before you by Svami. Today people tend to forget Ashayalu (ideals) and foster Ashalu (desires). Selfishness prevails over patriotism. This should change. Never forget your motherland. Remember that our ancients enthroned sacrifice as the supreme virtue. They stood for justice and truth. And as a result they enjoyed peace.
Today humanity is haunted by fear because there is no spirit of sacrifice; righteousness is at a discount and truth has become rare. Young people should enthrone Thyaga (sacrifice) in their hearts, wear the crown of justice on their heads and carry the sword of Truth in their hands. These are the weapons needed, to defend the nation. Young people should consider the true purpose of life. They should get rid of all the impurities in their hearts. With pure hearts they should embark on service at all times and everywhere. "Hands in society, head in the forest." From today develop an unwavering mind and a steady vision. That is the way to divinise the world.
Goodness is more vital than greatness
People should realise the distinction between "greatness" and "goodness". Most parents want their children to acquire greatness. But they have no true idea of what is greatness. They may desire that their children should become great scholars, get big jobs and the acquire large wealth. Do these constitute greatness? No. Man is the one who sees the human in God. But the one who sees God in human is a good man. The mark of goodness is to see the divinity in every man. There is no use in acquiring greatness without goodness. You must seek goodness and not greatness.
Today there are many "great" men in this country. What is the benefit the country has derived from them? Ravana was a great scholar. Rama was equally great as a scholar. But he was much more than that. He was a good man. Ravana performed rigorous penance and mastered a vast deal of knowledge. The result was ignorance arising from indigestion. Unable to control his desires, he brought ruin on his clan and his kingdom. All his studies did not save him from his evil qualities, which brought about his ruin. The only desire all should cherish is to win Dhaiva preethi (the grace of God). Rama was devoted to truth and righteousness. Hence he became a good man and not a mere great man. After thousands of years, the very name Rama evokes veneration. Rama manifested divinity in the human. That is the sign of goodness. To see humanness in Rama is nothing special. Being human yourself you see the human traits in others. What you must see is the divine in human beings.
You must realise that greatness related to power, position or wealth is transient. It is lost when power and position go. But goodness is respected always. Therefore dedicate your lives to goodness. What is goodness? It is living according to Dharma and justice, to love all and cherish faith in God, to help the needy and raise the lowly - all theses constitute goodness. Young men and women! Today at the inaugural function only the broad pattern of the tasks before you has been presented. In the ensuing days the details of the duties you have come to discharge and the programme of activities you have to rake up, will be considered. What is basic to all these in the spiritual path is the chanting of the name of the Lord. By this means you can experience God. You must chant the name with love. Inaugural discourse to the Sai World Youth Conference in
Transformation of the heart is what is called for. All that you do should lead you nearer to God. When you act in this way nothing bad will touch you.
– Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse