25. True education fosters human values
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 31 (1998)
True education fosters human values
Daivadheenam Jagathsarvam Sathyadheenamtu Daivatham That Sathyam Uthamadheenam Uthamo Paradevatha
The whole world is under the control of God;
God is subject to truth.
Truth is subject to noble souls.
Such noble people are the embodiments of Divinity.
Students! Embodiments of Love! Teachers and promoters of education! Today, people have not understood Divinity, have not understood the meaning of God, and are wasting their bodies, their time, and all precious things in life. Human values do not depend on education alone. They depend more on culture. What do you mean by culture? Culture means giving up one’s bad conduct, bad behaviour, bad deeds and cultivating good thinking, fostering good sentiments that lead to good actions.
The state of the whole world depends on human activity. When the actions of the people are noble, the country is equally noble. The people’s behaviour and conduct depend on their thoughts. Thoughts depend on the mind. Good thoughts are the basis of human values.
Good thoughts yield goodness
Because human values are not practised, the world is in a mess. The head and the heart are two important organs in every human being. Thoughts that arise in the head are worldly and fickle. They are influenced by external activities. Reading, writing, eating, and earning are all outward activities. They are the products of the head.
All sacred feelings arise from the heart. Sacred qualities like compassion, love, sympathy, forbearance, and truth emanate from the heart. They are all called inward qualities. The world is nothing but a combination of external and internal tendencies. Just as a sapling grows into a huge tree giving you flowers and fruits, likewise, thoughts that are sacred lead to actions that yield fruits of all goodness.
Man is combination of three entities: the body, the mind, and the Atma (spirit). First comes the body. It is the instrument of action. The mind thinks. The conscience is the Atma, or spirit that exists as consciousness. So, human life is a combination of these three aspects: action, thinking, and consciousness.
If the body functions independently without consulting the mind and the spirit, the activity will be animal activity. If the mind acts independently without coordinating with the body and the spirit, the activity is likely to be demonic. If the spirit acts independently, the actions will transcend the body and the mind. The true mark of a human being is goodness. Goodness is not a product of academic education. Can bookish knowledge be called true education? Without spiritual knowledge and wisdom, can a person be called educated?
Every student must cultivate human values
Education must inculcate respect for human values like truth, righteousness, love, and peace. Education is for life. Life is for man. Man is there for society. Society is meant for spirituality. The spirituality is there for the nation. The nation is part of the world, and the world is for peace.
Today everyone wants peace. In fact you can attain and acquire peace only out of human values. For peace and happiness, human values are most important. Bereft of human values, man can never be in peace.
Without understanding this principle, man tries to acquire education. Man today considers that receiving information is education. It is not information that confers human values. Modern education makes a man machine, a computer. Greatness lies in becoming not a computer but a composer. You have to acquire education to make your life ideal.
Modern education tends to make men selfish. There should be a limit even for selfishness. Every student must necessarily cultivate human values. The Government, by establishing educational institutions in every village and street, thinks that the education in the country has progressed.
What are the qualities of education? Virtues, good intellect, adherence to truth, devotion, discipline, and duty are essential qualities. Education must teach these values. Students have to learn these things.
What is the progress in modern education? In fact, students try to ruin those who are responsible for their food. They harm those who help them. They make fun of those who teach them. This is the progress in ‘modern’ education. Students have to foster obedience, humility, and human values and attain Divinity. This is true education. Modern students do not understand what true education is. As a result, society is polluted. Truth and other human qualities have been distorted and perverted altogether. Sanctity and sacred quality of human nature is fast disappearing. The practise of righteousness, compassion are viewed as bad practices. Do you call this ‘progress’ in education? No. you should express human values by practicing righteousness and cultivating compassion.
The true meaning of education
With good education, you will have culture, When you have culture, that is true life. If you have good education, you will be happy. When you are happy, you will be peaceful. When you have good education,
You will be in good company.
When you are in good company,
You will have good qualities.
When you have good education,
Your life will find fulfillment.
Thereby, you can attain liberation.
Students should adhere to the twin ideals of sathya and dharma (truth and righteousness). In this world, there is nothing greater than truth. You should become embodiments of truth. In your daily life you should follow the path of truth and realise the Divine.
You have to water a sapling to get fruit and seeds. Love, which is natural to human beings, should be watered with faith to sustain it. We should make an effort to attain peace in the true sense of the word. The peace that we get today is momentary. We cannot call it peace anyway.
The history of Bharat is one long saga of sacrifice
In the modern world, Bharat stands for all that is sacred. Since, ancient times, it has been a model and an ideal for the rest of the world. There is Truth in the air of Bharat. There is dharma in the dust of Bharat. There is love in the sands of Bharat. And there is compassion in the water of Bharat.
Forbearance is the core of Bharatiya (Indian) culture. In order to enjoy and experience these values, even foreigners have decided to come and settle down in Bharat. In ancient times, Bharatiyas were determined to follow the principle of sacrifice. They were dedicated to righteousness and truth.
Having been born in the sacred land of Bharat, you should not forget this important aspect. If you go through the history of this sacred land, you will certainly understand that Bharat never tried to invade or conquer any country. They had to resist foreign invaders. Bharatiyas stand for selflessness. They were never selfish at any point of time. Bharatiyas never coveted the lands of others. The history of Bharat is one long saga of sacrifice.
Emperor Harischandra was prepared to give up everything for the sake of Truth. Emperor Sibi sacrificed his own flesh and blood to save a dove. Bharat has given birth to men and women who stood for sacrifice. Modern students are trying to change this land of sacrifice, from a land of spiritual practices into a land of pleasure seekers. But all pleasure is transient. You should seek the bliss that is enduring by realizing your inherent Divinity.
Yesterday, an American boy came to Swami. Bhagavan asked him, “How old are you?”
The boy said, “Seven years.”
Swami asked him: “How do you know?” He said, “My mother and father told me.” Swami said, “It is only one that has become seven. One plus one plus one... comes to seven.” Without one there cannot be seven. All numbers come out of one. Truth is one; scholars call it by many names. Names and forms differ, but Divinity is one and the same in all. First, have faith in yourself. Without self-confidence, you cannot have faith in yourself. Then how can you have faith in others? Let this visvasa (faith) become your svasa (life-breath). Let our education become true education. Education that is not practised is bookish knowledge.
You should have love for your country also. Rama Said, “Motherland is greater than heaven itself.” That spirit of patriotism is very important.
When you ask God for help, He is right beside you with hands held out to help you. All you need is the discrimination to pray to God and the wisdom to remember Him.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba