To the students

What is called modern civilisation might give a little more comfort, health and personal happiness, but real mental strength and peace are absent in it. Only virtue and truth can award these two. Why should the body be kept in good trim? Why should man be fed, clothed and housed comfortably? Why should man live well or rather, live at all? Who is exactly deriving happiness? Is it the sense or mind or intelligence or consciousness? Who is this I that seeks happiness and is happy or is not happy? Try to think of answers to these questions.

After knowing who this I am, you must try to know what this outside world is. You see these flags fluttering; now, what is it that flutters? Is it the cloth, or the rope or the wind? You know it is the unseen wind that causes that flutter. So too, you see the effect, not the cause, when you observe Nature around you. The bungalow is seen, not the foundation under the earth; the tree is seen with all the crowning glory of leaf and blossom and fruit but, the roots that grip it and feed it are not visible. You cannot therefore deny them. So too, for everything that can be seen, heard, smelt, tasted and touched, God is the cause. Man is born as man because he is to realise this truth, and feel the presence of God in all beings and things.

The message of Sanaathana Dharma

Education is incomplete and even ineffective if the educated have not known the Reality or at least the means of knowing it. The only means of knowing it is to cleanse the intelligence of delusion and deluding prejudices. To cleanse the intelligence, virtue has to be practised, along with reverence, humility and detachment. Reverence has to begin with the parents and elders and teachers. Revere them, be humble before their longer experience and deeper love. Know what dharma (virtue), is and follow it strictly. That is the message of Sanaathana Dharma (eternal religion), which is the precious gem in the necklace of Bhaaratha maatha (mother India). Now, you are casting off that gem and priding yourself on the plastic tinsel that you have put in its place! Years ago, the copy books in primary schools had the lines, ’ ”Jayaraam Jayaraam Jai Jai Raam” “Suddha Brahma Paraathpara Raam”, introducing the children to the glory of the Name of the Lord and the Brahmic substratum of all creation. Now, they are taught to sing, “Ding dong bell, pussy is in the well” or, “Baa, Baa, Black sheep, have you any wool?” reducing them to the level of sheep or pussies. The sense of human dignity is destroyed by this tinsel type of education.

The tree of life is dried up if the roots are eaten up by greed or envy or hate. Education must train children to love, to co-operate, to be brave in the cause of truth, to be helpful, to be sympathetic and to be grateful. The training must be supplemented by the conduct of the teachers, the parents, and the elders. There is no use teaching the children one thing and holding out examples of the opposite before them. When Bharatha sought Raama and weeping, told him of the death of their father, Raama told him, “Bharatha! You do not follow the disciplines taught by dharma. That is why you are weeping now.” Dharma makes you brave and calm.

Editor’s Note. The date of the discourse is believed to be 1966, the exact date and place are unknown.