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Swami teaches....Part 18

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 17

 

Swami teaches.... (17 March 2005) 

   What is True Education?

    There is nothing more precious in the world than true education. It reveals the divinity that sustains the universe and promotes the welfare of mankind materially, mentally and socially. Those who realise the nature of the Divine can know the relationship between Nature, society and human's infinite potential. In the educational system today, the spiritual element has no place. Education must proceed primarily from the Spirit to Nature. It must show that mankind constitutes one Divine family. The divinity that is present, in society can be experienced only through individuals. Born in society, one has the duty to work for the welfare and progress of society.

    Education does not mean imparting of verbal knowledge. Humility, reverence, compassion, forbearance, sacrifice and self-control are the qualities which reveal the outcome of true education.

    Humans today are concerned solely about their rights and have no regard for their duties, obligations and responsibilities. Scholarship without culture is valueless. Both have to go together.

    The world to-day is in the grip of a supreme moral and spiritual crisis. People everywhere are feeling frustrated and helpless and anxiously wondering what is in store for humanity. The hopes raised by the advances of science and technology have proved dupes. While science has overcome the barriers of time, distance and nationality, it has done little to promote better
understanding between man and man and nation and nation. Never has there been so much distrust, hatred and violence as is witnessed to-day, in almost every country.

    There are, however, heartening signs that earnest people in many countries are turning to the way of the Spirit as the answer to the crisis that faces humanity. There is a spiritual hunger that is growing in every country.

     Human must realise that the sense organs, through which he explores the external and discovers the powers latent in Nature and the physical universe, function because of the Divinity which is immanent in them. Without the power of the Divine, the eyes cannot see or the ears hear or the mind think.

    Our ancients were not ignorant of science. But in pursuing scientific enquiries, they did not rest content with knowing all about creation. They were keen to understand the Creator who was responsible for the creation. They sought to know the nature of the unchanging reality, that was
behind the continually changing phenomenal Universe.  

    The Taithiriya Upanishad exhorts the student to look upon one's father, mother, teacher and guest as God. Students today have little respect for parents or God. They lack even confidence in themselves. We do not need today a new faith or creed, nor a new system of education. Nor do we need to create a new society. All we need are men and women who have pure and loving-hearts. The transformation has to be effected in the minds of the people. The mind should be brought under the control of the buddhi (intelligence) and not allowed to go after its whims and fancies. The oneness of all creation affirmed by the ancient seers and sages must be expressed in a transcendental love which embraces all people regardless of creed, community or language.

    Vidhya (education) is that process which makes us aware of the bondage we are in, the suffering we live through and the darkness within. The Upanishadh exhorts us: Utthishtatha, Jaagratha, Praapya Varaan Nibodhatha (Arise, Awake, Approach the wise and learn).

    All degrees, scholarships and punditry have no value if one does not have good qualities. Cultivate virtues. Today good qualities (gunamulu in Telugu) are forgotten and only good dress (guddalu in Telugu) is being flaunted.  The Upanishad declares: "Narayana pervades everything inside and outside."

    People talk about Neethi (morality). Morality simply means right conduct. Without good behaviour there can be no morality. Your moral life in society must express itself in service to the suffering and the helpless. The devotion and understanding that are implicit in selfless service cannot be found in any other thing. 

    How can education shine in human if he does not attain these fruits? Gandhi once said, "Knowledge without character is a powerful evil." Today, there is knowledge but character is seldom seen with it. Practice promotes Vidhya. Experience is the Guru. But he is not visible at all. Teaching ends with the school, but learning ends only when life ends. Vidhya does not mean mere attendance at school or college, mere study of some books, or mere mastery of a few subjects.

    Living, not for the sake of food but for the sake of an ideal, that is the goal of education. The human personality must blossom into enthusiasm for work, into eagerness to raise society to the highest level. Without character, one becomes the plaything of every passing whim, a kite whose string has broken, or a counterfeit coin, without benefiting any one.

    Steady interest is essential in order to master worthy knowledge. Education must be oriented towards the attainment of character for leading clean simple lives. Rivers are dammed and the waters are stored in reservoirs. Of what earthly use are these if the waters are kept therein? Through canals, they have to be taken to the fields to feed the crops in order to appease the hunger of millions. So too, we store the knowledge available in libraries in our heads as reservoirs, But, is that enough? Can this be the end of education? It has to be utilised through canals of service in order to fertilise and feed the minds of one's fellowmen and make them more intelligent, more skilled and more loving.

    Vidhya or education is a penance, a thapas; but it is being reduced into a dull routine, thamas. Teachers decide the prosperity or poverty of a country. Theirs is the most responsible profession. Teachers have the task of sculpturing the leaders of peoples. Teachers should not descend into politics; their status is far too high. They have to do service to the sacred, the innocent, the tender minds of the children of the land.

     The development of material resources and the defence of the country ultimately depend on the kind of education that is imparted. But a tripod is not only 'three legs'! How can one sit on three legs? There should be a plank, resting on them - the plank of Love of the Country. "Country" does not mean a specific area on the map, the soil. It means the human community inhabiting the territory. 'Love' means the sense of inter-relationship and involvement of the individual with that community.

    This degree of love is absent now in many highly educated, highly placed persons. Education is being confused with the acquisition of verbal scholarship. This is wrong. Education has to open the doors of the mind. Many describe science today as a powerful acquisition, but, science holds before mankind a great opportunity, that is all. It cannot be as great a power as it is imagined to be. If it is devoid of character, it brings disaster. It can then cause evil and wickedness. Intelligence can be found to be very high among clever thieves. So, too, scientific knowledge can be misused for destructive purposes.

    To enter the heaven of science through true education, human has to mould into a humble, unselfish seeker. However, mankind is caught in the mire of egotism, self-seeking and envy and, as a consequence, it is wandering in the realm of demon kind.

    Though Sai is involved in events conditioned by time and space, Sai is ever established in the principle that is beyond both time and space. Sai is not conditioned by time, place or circumstance. Therefore, you must all recognise the uniqueness of the Will of Sai, the Sai Sankalpa. Know that this sankalpa is Vajrasankalpa - it is irresistible Will. You may ignore its expression as weak and insignificant but, once the will is formed, whatever else undergoes change, it cannot change.

    In order to promote truth, righteousness, and universal love, the Sathya Sai Trust is establishing primary schools, high schools, universities, junior colleges and colleges where emphasis is laid on spiritual education so that good character becomes the core of the personality. The sankalpa of Sathya Sai is to offer, for serving humanity, heroes of action and heroes of self-sacrifice.

    This is Sai's Message to you all. May you all develop this Divine Love and stand out as the harbingers of a new age free from selfishness, greed, hatred and violence. Let each of you be light unto himself or herself and thereby be a light unto others. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 15. "Call to Sai Samithi members," Chapter 17, "Character training," Chapter 18 and "The unique University," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol 17. "Spread the message of Love," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.20. "Spiritualise Education," Chapter 28).


 Swami teaches.... (18 - 19 March 2005)

   From Spirit to Nature and Science 

    The Vedhic science of spiritual self-discovery is the life-saver for humanity sliding down to destruction because it has lost its hold on truth, morality, peace and love. The world and its ephemeral attractions have become the goal of human endeavour. God who is the Source, Sustenance and Supreme Goal, is ignored both in the external world and in the inner world of impulse and intellect.

    Bhaarathavarsha (India) is the birth place of spiritual science. Here, every man, woman and child is a student of that science. In this spiritual science, some one method or other has been emphasised during the various periods of history. It was manthra (mystic formula) once, yaaga (ceremonial sacrifice) another time, yoga (Divine communion) a little later and after the rise of Buddhism and its spread to all parts of India and even her neighbours, it has been Thanthra (magical and mystical formularies). Shankara gave great encouragement to Thanthra and Poet Kaalidhaasa also considered it important. It flourished due to the encouragement which Shivaaji gave to the thaanthric scholars and it dominated the spiritual life of the country for many centuries.

    Thanthra, a spiritual science based on Shakthi Thanthra means only "that which saves well" and so there is no reason to feel apologetic about it. It is just a means to achieve the aim of the merging of the Jeeva with Brahman (individual soul with Supreme Soul). Sir John Woodroffe has shown in his books that Thanthra is a systematic discipline which employs symbolism and
sublimation to purify the instincts and control the mind. He removed to a great extent the prejudice which had kept people away from Thanthra. It is spiritual science based on the Shakthi (Feminine aspect of Energy) that plays a central part in the spiritual progress of human.

    The Geetha is available in all languages. The Bhaagavatha and the Raamayaana and all other books are sold at the rate of thousands of copies per day; but there is nothing to indicate that they have been read and assimilated. Such is reality.

    Do not treat Swami's words too lightly; do not say, "We saw Sai Baba and heard His talk and it was all very fine." Decide at least to carry out some one piece of advice for your spiritual advance. Your study must develop your powers of discrimination, not your egoism.  

    Anyone cannot understand Swami  and His Secret without first understanding themselves. To grasp His meaning, you have to tear into tatters the doubts and theories you now have and cultivate Prema (Love), for the embodiment of Prema can be understood only through Prema. The "miracles and wonders" which cannot be explained by the categories of science, are  natural to Swami, it is His life style.  The Lord had announced that He would come down for the restoration of Dharma (righteousness) and that He would assume human Form so that all might gather round Him and feel the thrill of His companionship and conversation.

    Usually, when you are asked where God is, you point to the sky or some such distant place and say He is there, as if He is just a Person and has a definite place of Residence. But nara (human being) is Naaraayana (God), each one of them; Maadhava is maanava, each one of the species. So the number of Gods is thirty three crores, as given in the Shaasthras or, as can be calculated today, much, much more.

    The world itself is subject to constant agitation; how can your plan to lead a quiet contented peaceful life upon it succeed? It is like trying to float without any heaving or falling while being tossed about on the waves of the sea. Under such conditions, the best thing is to recognise the fact and not to worry about the unavoidable. If you have shraddha (faith), more than half the battle is won.

    Doctors speak of vitamin deficiency; Swami calls it the deficiency of Vitamin G, and recommends the repetition of the Name of God, with accompanying contemplation of the glory and grace of God. That is the Vitamin G. That is the medicine; regulated life and habits are two-thirds of the treatment, while the medicine is just one-third only. 

    Above the spiritual aspect of human's life has explained. Swami reveals His role among humanity by simple and imaginable explanation. His explanations have many angles. Above is one angle of the many.  

    Let's examine the similar outlook towards spiritual based science through modern and ancient science, education and eternal laws what are independent of human being's believes and discoveries. 

    All human beings are made up of the same chemical elements. Although human beings differ in form and characteristics in various respects, they belong to the human species. In terms of the human body, every human being has one thing in common regardless of other differences.

    Differences of race, religion, caste, language or community do not affect oneness of humanity. What is the reason for these innumerable differences? What is the force that is behind these genetic differences?  When scientists are able to understand the reason for these infinite differences, they will achieve fullness in their knowledge. However, no one can determine the magnitude or range of the powers of the Divine.

    Scientists are imbued only with a sense of enquiry into matter. Consequently, today there is a complete divorce between science and spirituality. They hold the view that matter is convertible into energy and vice versa. But they are inseparably interlinked and interdependent. 

    Matter and energy have existed from the time of creation. Both are comprehended by the mind only. When the mind functions in relation to the Divine it acquires the form of energy. When the mind is turned towards Prakruthi (Nature), the latter assumes the form of matter. Mind is the cause of experiencing joy or sorrow and for comprehending matter and energy. Recognising this quality of the mind, the sages declared: "The mind is the cause of liberation or bondage for humanity."

    Spirituality is engaged in exploring the inner workings of the Divine. The scientist is one who has an external vision. The one who has an internal vision is a saint.

    Detachment and attachment result from the way the mind functions. When the mind is directed towards Prakruthi (Nature or the phenomenal world), bondage ensues. When you turn your mind towards Divinity, you experience Ananda (bliss). "End the mind" means turning the mind Godward. All you have to do is to dedicate every action of yours to the Divine. Then everything becomes easy and a source of bliss.  (For this purity of mind is needed. What is pavithram (purity)? This has been characterised as Shakthi (energy, power). Purity has been described as the state of desirelessness. The mind is the cause of both desires and purity).

    If we desire peace for the individual, for the society and for the nation, it can only be achieved through spiritual means. No doubt physical comforts are necessary up to a point. But they should be limited to meeting the basic demands of nature.

    It is true that science has helped to improve the conditions of living. But the harm it is doing outweighs the benefits. Human has lost peace of mind and the sense of security.  The result is that daily life is becoming more precarious. Morality and justice have declined. This must be ascribed mainly to the craze for acquiring modern scientific gadgets what serves the consumer society needs. Such is the result that science is divorced from spirituality. Without education there is no science. Without true education there is no development towards universal science interconnected with spirituality for humanity.  

     Education is an ornament for humans. It confers wealth, prosperity and fame. It is the teacher of teachers. Education is the basis for leading a purposeful life in the physical world, in the realm of the mind and in society. It equips one with the mental strength and steadiness to face the challenges in life. It enables one to understand the myriad manifestations in nature. It is only when one understands the powers of his mind that he can recognise the relationship between the world and the society. Education is also closely connected with culture what refines the human spirit and makes one a complete human being. Culture seeks to integrate the various aspects of daily life and develop a unified outlook.

    Even in pursuing the spiritual path, the process should not be from Nature to Spirit  but from Spirit to Nature. By seeking to master the forces of Nature through education, people tend to become subjects of nature. However, people are not subjects but reflectors the eternal Atma.  It is the transcendental Truth which is the eternal verity that is true for all time - past, present and future. Be aware of the divinity that is inherent in every being. Thereby you will grow in your own self-esteem. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol.1. "Manushya and manas," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The obliterating flood," Chapter 17;  Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "The Scientist and The Saint," Chapter 13 and  "Make Others Happy," Chapter 32).

 

     Namaste - Reet


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