Discharge your duties with a sense of surrender to God

Listen to the discourse

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Makara Sankranti, Prasanthi Nilayam, 14 January 2006

God is love and love is God. True spiritual discipline lies in developing love to love relationship. Dear children! Hold on to this principle of love and demonstrate the ideal of unity. (Telugu poem)

Dear students! Boy and girls!

It is said Daivam manusha rupena (God incarnates in the form of human being). That is why human birth is considered to be highly sacred. God incarnates in human form to redeem mankind. Do not be under the mistaken notion that God is confined to a specific form. Divinity is not a separate entity. It is immanent in humanity. The human form is a conglomeration of five elements, namely, earth, water, fire, air and ether. The divine power which makes the five elements function is referred to as the atma. What is the form of atma?

Many people often ask this question. In fact, it transcends name and form.

Distinction between education and educare

Merely having a human form does not make one a human being; it is the conduct and behaviour that matter. In the same manner, mere acquisition of bookish knowledge does not make one truly educated. Such worldly education is negative in nature. One must make a distinction between education and educare. Whereas education is information-oriented, educare is transformation-oriented. Education is limited to physical and mental levels. Just as the rivers like Krishna and Godavari have their source in the ocean, education has its roots in educare. Physical and worldly knowledge corresponds to education. Educare is related to our inner feelings and purity of heart. Our mata, pata and bata (speech, song and way of life) should originate from the heart. That is the essence of educare. Even if you acquire a number of degrees, if you lack purity of heart, you cannot be called truly educated. Nowadays very few make efforts to understand what educare is. Only those endowed with practical knowledge and wisdom will be able to understand and appreciate the concept of educare. Others will be deluded by high academic degrees. They are interested only in acquiring bookish knowledge and disseminating the same. Such vain pursuits will not entitle them to be called really educated. It is common now-a-days for students to acquire various academic degrees such as B.A., M.A., C.A., Ph.D., etc. However, those who understand the real purpose of education and its inner significance are rare. Once you understand the purpose of education and act accordingly, your life will be redeemed. You should not entirely depend on what your teachers teach in the classroom. You have to understand the nature of your body, mind, senses and intellect to be able to realise your inner self.

Every individual has three attributes, namely, satwa, rajas and tamas. They represent the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. Satwa guna corresponds to the inner purity. Rajo guna is reflected in our actions. However, the fundamental truth is that atma has complete control over all the senses and functioning of the human body. You perform various tasks. You participate in sports and games. All these represent rajo guna. These days people teach parartha (spiritual values) without giving up swartha (selfishness). This is a grave error. You should give up swartha in the first instance and consider parartha as the basis of all your endeavours. Develop faith in God. God is the adhara (support) and everything else is adheya (supported). Divinity is one. The Veda has therefore declared: Ekoham bahusyam (the One willed to become many). The names and forms may vary, but the inherent divine principle is one and the same. For example, this hall is decorated with a number of bulbs. But the electric current that flows through them is the same. Similarly, sweets may be many, but the essential ingredient in them, that is sugar which imparts the sweetness is the same.

Often times, we merely go by the names and forms, forgetting the reality.

Everything originated from the atma

A human being should essentially have three qualities – nischalathwa, nirmalathwa and nirmohathwa (steadiness, purity and detachment). One who has these three qualities is verily God Himself. You do not need to enquire from others whether you are good or otherwise. Your conscience is the judge. You should think of God always. There have been many divine incarnations in the past, but the inherent divine principle in all of them is one and the same. Just as sugar assumes the form of a variety of sweets, divinity incarnates in various forms. People worship God, sing His glory thinking that He is present in some distant place. In fact, the panchabhutas (the five elements) are the very manifestations of God. Your heart is the temple of God. Hence, fill your heart with love. One bereft of love cannot be called a human being. Consider the five elements as divine and put them to proper use.

Who has given you life? What is the source from which it has manifested? Have you acquired it by some spiritual practice? No! God gives you life and He is the one, who sustains it. He is present in every living being in the form of atma. Everything has originated from the atma. Students study a number of textbooks and acquire high academic qualifications. What is the source of all their knowledge and learning? It is nothing but divinity. But, man due to his delusion is unable to realise this truth. First and foremost, develop firm faith that God exists. When He incarnates in the human form, He conducts Himself like a human being. Only then can man understand divinity and the sacredness of human birth.

Educare is related to bhava (feeling), whereas education is related to bahya (external). The education you acquire should be beneficial to society. You should utilise your knowledge and intelligence for the benefit of society. Keep your emotions under check. Do not fret and fume like Durvasa who had no control over his temper. Only the one who has complete control over himself is a true human being.

The atma represents the oneness of all beings. Ultimately, everything merges in the atma.

Religions are many but goal is one.
Clothes are many but yarn is one.
Jewels are many but gold is one.
Cows are many but milk is one.
(Telugu poem)

Unfortunately, today instead of visualising unity in diversity, man sees diversity in unity. That is the cause of all his suffering. The principle of atma is the basis of all creation. You may forget anything but not the atma. The five elements that are immanent in you are nothing but the manifestations of atma. Merely rotating the beads of a rosary does not constitute japa. One should transcend the worldly and physical plane of existence. That is true japa. One who realises the source of his being is truly human. You may study Bhagavad Gita and learn all the slokas by heart. But that does not make you a scholar. It is enough if you are able to put at least one sloka into practice. With the help of letters of the alphabet a,b,c,d … any number of books can be written. Hence, the letters in the alphabet form the basis for any book, be it Ramayana, Mahabharata or Bhagavata. Likewise, the atma is the basis for everything. Once you understand the principle of atma, you would have understood everything else. It is only to impart such knowledge that we have established educational institutions. In our schools and colleges, character, virtues and conduct are given utmost priority. One should have the desire to tread the right path in life and attain God. One should accept everything as the Will of God. When you develop purity of heart, you will be successful in all your endeavours.

In the name of meditation, people sit cross-legged and with closed eyes. How can such practices lead you to Divinity? When you close your eyes, you cannot see even the person standing in front of you, leave alone seeing God. In fact, God is present in you. A true vyakti (individual) is one who manifests the avyakta (latent) divinity. If you understand the principle of atma and make sincere efforts, you can certainly experience atmasakshatkara (realisation of the Divine). You may do japa or tapa, but if you lack purity of heart, all your spiritual practices will prove futile. Whatever may be the practice you undertake, you should always focus your mind on the atma only.

Strive to attain the state of ‘die’ mind

Manishi (man) is one who is endowed with manas (mind). Manishi is also known as manava. What is the inner meaning of this term? ‘Ma’ means maya (ignorance), ‘na’ means nasthi (without) and ‘va’ means varthinchuta (to conduct oneself). A human being is one who overcomes maya and conducts himself without ignorance. Education is meant to help you overcome delusion. One who transcends the mind is a Paramahamsa (a realised soul). We are not simply manavas (mere mortals). We are verily the embodiments of Madhava (immortal divine principle). We should have faith in God and face the challenges of life with courage and valour. Only then do we deserve to be called a human being. The mind is meant to contemplate on God. One who knows the value of a diamond will preserve it safely and make proper use of it. Likewise, the one who realises the power of mind will not let it go astray. One should strive to attain the state of ‘die’ mind (annihilation of the mind). It is possible only by contemplating on God incessantly. It is said, Mano mulam idam jagat (mind is the basis for the entire world). If you do not control your mind and get carried away by its vagaries, what will be your fate? It is only through mano nashana (annihilation of the mind) can one become a Paramahamsa. Never follow the mind. The mind by nature is highly sacred, but due to the impact of modern education it has become unsteady like a monkey. What is the use of going through voluminous books without understanding the nature of the mind? When you learn the alphabet from A to Z, you should also learn the meaning of words. What is the use of reading words without understanding their meaning? Here, students learn the Vedas. It is said, Anantho vai Vedah (the Vedas are infinite). They are endowed with infinite power.

Have unflinching faith in God

When you read the Bhagavad Gita, you should make efforts to understand its teachings and put them into practice. Otherwise, there is little meaning in going through the Bhagavad Gita or giving lectures on it. No benefit accrues from merely repeating the slokas like a parrot without understanding them. The Vedas have been handed down from generation to generation by noble souls. They contain the eternal truths. But, in the name of modern education, people are neglecting them. One may like it or not, but the study of the Vedas is very essential for one and all. It is not enough if you merely read the Vedas, you should also understand the teachings contained therein. Man has forgotten his true Self. He is trying to acquire education without knowing his own reality. As a result, he reposes faith in everything else except God. You should never forget the fundamental principle, namely, divinity.

Dear students!

You are able to understand and acquire worldly and secular knowledge. But it is not easy for all to understand the inner reality. The names and forms of individuals may appear to be different, but essentially all are one. The innate reality is adhara and the external names and forms are only adheyas. Knowing the adheya without understanding the adhara will serve no purpose. Even while dealing with physical matters we should have spiritual outlook. Hence, develop faith in God in the first instance. Anything can be achieved with unflinching faith in God. Discharge your duties with a sense of surrender to God. That is the essence of true education. Education does not mean mere acquisition of bookish knowledge. True education is beyond bookish knowledge.

Students! Embodiments of Love! 

First of all, you have to realise that divinity is present everywhere. Let all your actions be pleasing to God. You have come from God and are living in God. All your actions should therefore be dedicated to God. When you follow such a sacred path, you will ultimately merge in God. God is bhavapriya (lover ofinner feelings) not bahyapriya (lover of external form). He sees the feeling behind your actions. The world is interested in bahyam (outward show), but God is interested in your bhavam (feeling). Hence, purify your feelings in the first instance.

You ask others, “Who are you?” But have you ever enquired into yourself, “Who am I?” True education lies in knowing the answer for this question. What is the use of knowing about others if you don’t know your own reality? That is not true education at all! A true spiritual aspirant is one who understands and experiences the principle of oneness. You say, “She is my mother”, “He is my father”, so on and so forth. Such physical relationship is related to the mind. If you take the physical relationship to be real, you will never understand the truth. You say, “I am Ramaiah.” It is the name given to the body. But you are not the body. You should say with firm conviction, “I am I.” However, when you call yourself Ramaiah, you should act according to your name. Once you understand your reality, you will experience everlasting bliss. Many students have gathered here. But not all are studying the same subject. You are pursuing various courses such B.A., M.A., M.Sc., etc. You should understand the purpose of education. Nowadays several students aspire to go abroad after completing their studies. They forget the very purpose of education, and are enamoured by worldly attractions.

One should have single-minded devotion towards God. Your faith should be total and unconditional. If your faith is unsteady with ‘bumps and jumps’, you will be confused and will become restless. Keep your desires under control. Limitless desires will take you away from divinity. Annihilation of desires will lead you to the principle of unity. You should develop virtues and lead a good life. Understand the purpose of education and act accordingly. Only then will your birth as a human being be meaningful. One electric bulb can provide illumination to many. Likewise, a heart filled with love can illumine many lives. The educated people should not look down upon the uneducated. If they are truly educated, they will treat everyone equally and develop unity. Where there is unity, there is purity. When we have purity, we can experience divinity. Love is the basis for unity. Devoid of love differences are bound to crop up.


Having joined our institution if you merely acquire degrees without developing virtues, we will not be happy. You should develop purity within and purity outside. Only then can you earn a good name in society. People will praise you saying, “So and so is a good boy, he minds his own business and does not involve himself in unnecessary activities.” Such good persons can bring about transformation in society. Being students, you should follow the code of conduct prescribed for the state of Brahmacharya. On the contrary, if you succumb to the vagaries of the mind and move about without any restraint, people will call you a rowdy.

When you are good in thought, word and deed, everyone will talk high of you.

You are not different from God

Embodiments of Love!

There is love in one and all. There is none bereft of love in this world. Develop love. Let people speak what they want. Do not be perturbed by criticism. If someone criticises you loudly, it goes into thin air, if he criticises within, he will only be the one who will be affected by it. In this manner, you should neither be elated by praise nor depressed by criticism. If you want to attain God, there should be harmony in your thoughts, words and deeds. It is said, Manasyekam vachasyekam, karmanyekam mahatmanam, manasyanyath vachasyanyath, karmanyanyath duratmanam. (Those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony are noble ones; those who lack harmony of these are wicked.) It is not enough if you have good command over language and speak eloquently about Divinity. You should also put into practice what you speak and experience divinity. You may be able to attract people with powerful speech, but what is the use if you do not translate your words into action.

When Jesus was born, three Arabian kings came to see the child. Seeing the divine effulgence of the child, the first king exclaimed, “He is the messenger of God.” The second king said, “He is the son of God.” The third king proclaimed, “He is verily God Himself.” All the three statements are true. Never think that you are different from God. You should transcend duality and understand oneness with divinity. Whatever may happen, do not deviate from the path of oneness. You should have unwavering faith. Install these teachings firmly in your heart and put them into practice in your daily life. Even after you go back to your room, ruminate over what is being taught here.

With prayer to God, you can achieve anything in life. I want you to pray. I want you to stand united like brothers and sisters and earn a good name. Only then will the purpose of establishing colleges here be fulfilled. I am always with you, in you, above you, around you. Make efforts to instill such faith and devotion in your fellow human beings. That will make Me very happy.

Today is Sankranti, which marks the commencement of Uttarayana, the auspicious and sacred time. At least from today onwards, develop noble feelings. Follow the sacred path. Then your future will certainly be safe and secure. I hope I am not causing inconvenience to you by speaking at length. When I see all of you, My heart overflows with ananda (bliss). Happiness lies in union with God. Hence contemplate on God incessantly. Never give scope for anxiety or worry, thinking “examinations are approaching. How am I going to face them? Will I pass in the examinations?” Do not give scope for despair and despondency with such negative attitude. Have faith in God. Do your duty and face any situation with courage. Then, the result is bound to be good. Love is everything. Love is God. Live in love.