HUMILITY AND CHARACTER
ARE THE HALLMARK OF EDUCATION
emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place in the cosmos where truth is not?
Visualise this pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu
of Love! Students!
You have joined this institution to pursue your education.
Firstly, make efforts to understand the true meaning of education.
Humility and character are the hallmark of education. But,
today students do not develop humility. They are interested
only in acquiring degrees. However, our educational institution
is an exception in this regard. Few students come here with
the sole objective of acquiring degrees. Most of them come
here with the single aim of pleasing Swami by striving to
follow Swami’s ideals and attain exalted position in
life. They give happiness to their parents by their good conduct.
Education does not mean mere
acquisition of degrees.
Oh man! Examine and enquire for yourself what great happiness
you have achieved by spending all the time from dawn to dusk
in acquiring knowledge and earning wealth unmindful of God.
One may acquire a high academic
qualification such as M.A. and B.A. and attain exalted position,
One may amass wealth, perform acts of charity and attain name
One may have physical strength and enjoy a long and healthy
One may be a great scholar studying and preaching the Vedas,
But none can equal a true devotee of the Lord. (Telugu
Having entered the portals of this educational institution,
you should try to understand the value and true meaning of
education. Only when you understand these aspects, can you
be called truly educated. There is a lot of knowledge in pustakas
(books), but what is the use if the mastaka
(head) is filled with ‘mud’? Once you fill your
mastaka with knowledge, you need
not refer to pustakas any more.
Elders should evince interest in the education of their
children. They should enquire as to what the children are
learning in the educational institution and constantly monitor
their progress. Modern students react to the queries of elders
in a discourteous manner. They indulge in mere verbosity and
confuse the elders.
Students should earn a good name in society and uphold the
reputation and prestige of the institution in which they study.
An educational institution is like a gigantic tree. Different
subjects are like its branches and sub-branches. Virtues are
like the fragrant flowers that you find on the tree. Faith
is like the roots. When you water the roots of faith, you
get the fruit of Ananda.
At present, all educational institutions have begun to feel
that character is very important for a student. The end of
education is character. Character does not mean good conduct
alone. One should consider the fellow human beings as one’s
own brothers and sisters. One should develop Bhava
Shuddhi (purity in feelings), which will ultimately
lead to Jnana Siddhi (attainment
Our students are highly virtuous. I repeatedly say that they
are My property. When I have such a property with Me, why
should I worry about anything? I asked the boys who appeared
for the GATE examination, “My dear ones! How did you
write the exam?” They said, “Swami, with Your
grace and blessings we have done well. You say that students
are Your property. Having been blessed with the opportunity
of being Your students, our only aim is to live up to Your
ideals and bring a good name to the Institute.” I was
very pleased and deeply touched by their answer. It is heartening
to note that there are such ideal students in our Institute.
It is because of such noble students that the country has
progressed and prospered. If there are no men and women of
virtues, how can the world shine with all its brilliance?
Our students do not indulge in empty rhetoric, they are men
of action. Their sincerity makes Me happy. I have come to
impart such ideal education to the students and inculcate
virtues in them.
In spite of his education and
intelligence, a foolish man will not know his true Self and
a mean-minded person will not give up his evil qualities.
Modern education leads only to argumentation, not to total
wisdom. What is the use of acquiring education which cannot
lead you to immortality? Acquire the knowledge that will make
you immortal. (Telugu
Once you acquire the knowledge of the Self, you would have
acquired everything else. These words of wisdom are imprinted
in the hearts of our students.
Embodiments of Love! Students!
You have proved your worth among lakhs of students and secured
high ranks in the GATE examination (loud
applause). The examiners were highly impressed with
the intelligence and behaviour of our students. They wanted
to know whether our students came from East or West, North
or South. Our students replied, “Sir, we are neither
from East nor from West, neither from South nor from North,
we are the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher
They are not
satisfied with what they have achieved. They are striving
hard to bring more and more laurels to our Institute. Wherever
you go, you find our students leading exemplary lives propagating
the ideals of our educational institutions.
Once someone asked our students what type of food they like
to take, vegetarian or non-vegetarian. They replied in one
voice, “Non-vegetarian food gives rise to evil thoughts
and feelings; hence we would never touch non-vegetarian food.”
They are 100% vegetarians. Even the students who used to eat
non-vegetarian food earlier become vegetarians once they join
our Institute. Once someone tried to persuade one of our students
to take non-vegetarian food, saying it contained a lot of
good nutrients. But, he not budge from his stand. He said,
“I don’t want such vitamins and proteins. Even
vegetarian food has all the vitamins and proteins that I need.
I want to tread the path of truth and non-vegetarian food
is not at all conducive for spiritual progress. Along with
secular education, I want to acquire spiritual education and
propagate it to the world.” There are many such students
who are firm in their resolve to spread the Sai ideals. It
is because of such noble students that our institution has
attained worldwide fame.
Students should develop good habits right from their childhood
to enjoy good health and happiness. In this context, there
is a poem which reads as follows:
Get up early in the morning
at the crowing of the cock,
Have a bath after your morning ablutions,
Wear a proper dress.
Eat properly and moderately.
Go to school and study diligently.
Earn a good name.
Don’t move out when it is raining,
And never go near the murky pools.
Take part in games,
Run and play.
If you abide by all these rules,
You will have both health and wealth. (Telugu
Students should exercise restraint over their food habits.
Even birds, beasts and animals observe certain regulations
in this regard. Born as human beings and having acquired education,
is it not expected of you to follow proper discipline with
regard to food? Students who eat non-vegetarian food right
from their childhood give up that habit when they join our
institution. Even their parents are surprised at their transformation.
When one of our students went home during vacation, his mother
tried to serve him non-vegetarian food. He refused to touch
it and requested his mother not to prepare non-vegetarian
items in future. He explained to his parents the ill effects
of consuming non-vegetarian food.
Non-vegetarian food is the cause of several diseases like
cancer. You might have read in journals and newspapers that
most of the people in Singapore eat fish. Consequently, they
are infected by several harmful micro-organisms. Similar instances
were reported from various parts of Bharat. It is because
of unhealthy food that people suffer from diseases. Many are
under the mistaken notion that non-vegetarian food gives them
strength, but in reality it makes them weak. Once you spoil
your health by partaking of non-vegetarian food, you will
never be able to regain your health even if you spend the
rest of your life in forests eating fruits and tubers.
These were the answers given by our students when they were
asked questions about their food habits. The explanation given
by our students made such an impact on the audience that many
of them became total vegetarians. As is the food so is the
mind. As is the mind so is the man. Hence, one must necessarily
partake of sacred and sattwic food to lead a happy and healthy
life. Of late, there is a growing awareness among the Bharatiyas
about the influence of food on one’s mind. Consequently,
people are changing their food habits for the better. Our
body is made up of flesh. Why should you feed it again with
flesh? Such unsacred food gives rise to unsacred thoughts.
It is not enough if you observe regulations with regard to
food alone; you should cultivate good habits also. You should
participate in sports and games regularly. Take part in such
games which will help in the blossoming of your physical and
mental faculties. Healthy food and good habits will take you
to exalted position in life.
Dear Bangaru Students!
Truly, you are like gold. It is not possible to describe
your sacred feelings. You speak from the depths of your hearts.
The language you speak is not ordinary. It is Atma
Bhasha (language of the spirit). You are leading your
lives with sacred feelings. However, keep away from bad company.
It is said, “Tell me your company,
I shall tell you what you are.” “As is your company,
so you become.” Hence, always keep good company.
Be in the company of those who speak good words. Never utter
harsh and unsacred words. If you use unkind words, people
will treat you like an enemy. If you speak softly and sweetly,
people would enjoy your company and talk to you for any length
of time. When you are in the company of others, make sure
that your body is clean and your mouth does not emit bad smell.
You should take proper care of your health in every possible
way. When your body is clean and healthy and when your thoughts,
words and deeds are pure, you will be loved by one and all.
Wherever you may go, ensure that you are presentable and acceptable
in every way. Only then will you earn the respect of others.
Always keep your mouth clean. Bad breath leads to various
diseases. Not merely that, it will cause inconvenience to
others. If your mouth emits foul smell, people try to avoid
you. Hence, the moment you get up from bed in the morning,
you should brush your teeth and clean your tongue thoroughly.
When you keep your mouth fresh and clean, you will enjoy good
health. Though I don’t sleep in the night, I brush My
teeth before going to bed. I brush My teeth at regular intervals
so as to keep My mouth fresh and clean. That is why I don’t
have any health problem. I don’t have any pain whatsoever.
You should take care that no food particle sticks between
your teeth. Some people use a hard brush to clean their teeth.
As a result, their gums start bleeding. But I use a very soft
brush. Even now My teeth are so strong that I can crack a
betel nut. My students are struck with awe and wonder when
they witness My physical power.
It will be a matter of shame that you spoil your health and
submit yourself to the hands of a doctor. Hence, each one
has to take care of one’s own health. One should never
be dependent on others. This is what I teach to My students
quite often. Get up early in the morning, do some jogging
and exercise so as to keep your body fit. During examination
time, students try to keep themselves awake in the night for
late hours to study. They keep dozing with books in front
of them. Such studies will take you nowhere. Do not force
yourself to study when you feel sleepy. Keep the books aside
and go to bed peacefully. You should study only when your
mind is fresh and attentive.
Oh man! Do not feel proud of
your education and scholarship. If you do not offer your salutations
to God and not contemplate on Him with devotion, of what use
is all your education? (Telugu poem)
First and foremost, take care of your health. Your education
will prove as mere waste if you do not maintain proper health.
Do not rest content with secular education. You should also
acquire Educare. Education is related to gathering outside
information, whereas Educare relates to inward transformation.
Educare is that which makes the human values blossom from
within. Whether you have acquired educare or mere education
will become evident in your speech. A word of caution in this
regard - you should not talk loosely. Especially when you
speak to elders, you should carefully frame your sentences
and speak with all humility and respect. True education is
not limited to textual knowledge. You should manifest the
human values of truth, righteousness, love, peace and non-violence.
Truth should not be confined to mere words. It should be translated
Having come here and acquired education of
the highest standard, lead a life of virtues. Share your knowledge
Let us all move together, let us all grow together,
Let us all stay united and share our knowledge,
Let us live together with friendship and harmony. (Telugu
This is what you have to learn today. Always have a smiling
countenance and be a good friend to others. A good friend
is one who always has good thoughts, speaks good words and
performs good deeds. When you lead your life in such a manner,
you will be an ideal person and a source of inspiration to
Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, “Hari
Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin …”