Students should set ideals for others

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Divine Discourse
Sri Sathya Sai University Auditorium, Prasanthi Nilayam, 4 June 2009 

Since ancient times, women have been performing their duties, serving their husbands, praying to God, and observing high moral principles in their life. In this country Bharat (India), honour is considered more valuable than life itself. But, today, in the name of freedom, people are imitating western culture. In the Bharatiya (Indian) culture, decent dress, vermilion mark on the forehead, and proper hairstyle are very important for women. But women today have given up their dress code and have started wearing pants and shirt like men after getting their hair cut. This is totally against Bharatiya culture.

Since ancient times, Bharatiya culture has been held in high esteem, and it has been a source of joy for all. But such a sacred culture is being forgotten today. Not only men and women but students are also affected by this modern trend. Students are supposed to conduct themselves with dignity and honour, secure high marks, and make their parents happy. Not only to their parents, they should give happiness to society also.

God has no form

What are the reasons for the ills of modern society? The reasons are lack of love for God, fear of sin, and morality in society. You may forget God, but, God will never forget you, because God is in you. It is very difficult to know God. No one can say what is God and where He is. You think that God has a form, but in reality, He has none. If you question God, “Who are You? What is Your name?” He will reply, “I am Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi).”

It is because of your delusion that you ask Me who I am. I am Brahma (God), and you are in bhrama (delusion). Since you identify yourself with the external form, you are unable to realise the truth contained in the axiom, “God is in the form of a human being (Daivam manusha rupena).” You attach great importance to the body, but, in fact, this body is only like a bag, which contains many subtle organs like mind, intellect, subconscious mind, and ego. All these organs are present in you. You think that these are all associated with the body, but in fact it is not so. Though they are within the body, they do not belong to the body. However, when all these leave the body, it cannot remain even for a moment; it becomes useless and is burnt on a pyre. Therefore, do not put your faith in the body.

All of you worship Krishna, Vishnu, Siva, and many other deities. Where have these forms come from? They are only the creation of artists like Ravi Varma. Whatever pictures such artists make, you consider them as pictures of God. When you see the picture of Krishna, you consider it as the form of Krishna. No, no, it is only a symbolic representation of Krishna. Who is Krishna? Krishna is Divinity in human form. Whichever form you attribute to Divinity, contemplate on that form. When you worship that form, your mind may waver quite a bit in the beginning.

One-pointed focusing of the mind on a particular form is called concentration. When you practise concentration, the wavering of the mind may somewhat reduce. That is the state of contemplation. In contemplation also, there is some wavering of the mind. When the mind becomes totally steady, then only can you call it meditation. Gradually, you forget yourself. That is the state of samadhi (superconscious state) in which you transcend all forms. Then, you will experience the attributeless Atma. If you merely sit with closed eyes, it is not meditation.

See your reflection in all beings

God is one, and He is the only reality. There is no second. When you think of Him as Krishna, He will manifest before you in the form of Krishna. When you think of Him as Vishnu, He will manifest as Vishnu. But all these forms are your own imagination. They do not correspond to reality. It is all your mind’s work. You think God will manifest before you when you undertake spiritual practices like worship, rituals, and sacrificial practices. It is only your imagination. Your mind is the cause of this imagination. Continue your spiritual practices till you transcend the mind. Mind is always indulging in imagination. Go beyond the mind. Focus only on the Atma. It has no form. Understand that the formless and attributeless Atma is the only truth. It pervades the whole universe.

Creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place in the cosmos where truth does not exist?
Visualise this pure and unsullied truth.
(Telugu Poem)

Wherever you look, truth is present there. Divinity is the life force that is immanent in all beings, including insects, birds, and animals. Therefore, whomever you come across, offer your salutations to him. What does it mean? It is not the person to whom you offer your salutations but to the Atmic principle present in him. Hence, even if you come across a mad person, offer your salutations to the Atma present in him. Except God, there is no other entity in the world. God is one without a second (Ekameva adviteeyam Brahma). One Atma dwells in all beings (Ekatma sarva bhutantaratma).

When you fill a thousand pots with water, the reflection of the sun is seen in all of them. Does it mean that there are different suns in all the pots? No. The sun is only one. All bodies are like pots. The same Atma is reflected in all of them.

Everything is reaction, reflection, and resound. You hear the echo of your voice. You see your own reflection in a mirror. You should, therefore, see your own reflection in all beings. If you love someone, it means you are loving yourself. If you hate someone, it means you hate yourself.

You think everything that happens is done by God. In fact, you yourself are the cause of everything. If you hate or love someone, God has nothing to do with that. God is always steady, pure, selfless, changeless, and attributeless. It is your ignorance if you imagine that God has attributes. Therefore, do not attribute any particular form to God to worship Him. Focus your mind on the principle of the Atma present in you and consider it as your God.

Morality is the very life-breath of man

When you put a step forward, there is God in it. When you look at something, there is God in it. It is the same current that makes the bulb shine, fan rotate, and mike function. God is the divine force that makes everything function. When you put off the main switch, all the electrical gadgets stop functioning. God is like the main switch. When you forget God, it amounts to forgetting everything. Therefore, always love God.

Kill the demons of your evil qualities. Strive for the progress of society. Who can develop society? Only those who have good qualities can develop society. Those who have love for God are endowed with morality. Morality is the very life-breath of man. Without morality, one is lifeless. The whole human race (jathi) will be doomed without morality (neethi). What is jathi? People think that jathi is community. But it is not so. Jathi denotes the human race. This is its real meaning. Jathi does not refer to any particular caste. It refers to humanity as a whole.

You say, “I am a brahmin, you are a business person (vaisya), he is a protector (kshatriya), you are a labourer (sudra).” This division of people into these four castes is your own creation. It is not given by God. What God has given is only one thing, and that is love. When you develop love in you, you will love everyone. When you don’t have love in you, you will hate others and become distant from them. This is not good. Love All, Serve All. You will achieve great progress when you preserve this truth in your heart. Those who perform good deeds, help others, and do not cause any harm to the poor — only such people are truly endowed with morality. It is not good if you respect a few and ignore others.

Cut the ego and rise to the level of Divinity

The entire universe is the creation of God, and every being is the embodiment of Divinity, including small insects. Do not observe any difference between the ant and Brahma. Thyagaraja propounded the same truth,

Oh Rama! In Your pure and unsullied form of love, You dwell in all beings from an ant to Brahma as also in Siva and Kesava. Please be my protector too.

Cheemalo Brahmalo Siva Kesavaadulalo Prema Meera Velasi Unde Birudu Vahinchina Rama Nannu Brovar.

Therefore, God is present in every being. Do not hate or deride anybody. Do not quarrel with anybody. When you lead your life in such a manner, you will be able to realise your Self.

You say, “I, I, I”. What does “I” mean? It means ego. As long as you have ego, you will not be able to understand your reality. When you cut the “I” from the middle, it becomes cross (†). The cross symbolises cutting of ego. When you cut your ego, you rise to the level of Divinity. If you have the feeling of “I, mine, and thine,” it will develop duality in you. Duality is not correct. The Upanishads do not approve of it. All the Upanishads teach oneness of the principle of Atma. The principle of Atma is without any differences.

In the realm of Atma all are females

The body has been given to you to lead your life in this world and to discharge your duty. Duty is God. Perform your duty. After marriage, you have a wife. Wife has to be treated as wife. But in the realm of the Atma, all are females. You say, “He is my son, he is my son-in-law.” This relationship is of your own making. Truly speaking, nobody is your son and nobody is your son-in-law. It is you who create differences, but, in reality there are no differences. Therefore, consider all as one. The Ramayana also states this principle of oneness.

Welcome to all for Rama’s wedding; together we shall witness the joyous scene.

Many have gathered already, decked up in all their finery.

With necklaces the ladies are adorned of jewels pure and gleaming.

Rama shall tie the knot today to beauteous Sita.

Oh, what a fine match they make!

Father Janaka has made ready bounteous feasts.

All learned sages are assembled with Vasishta presiding.

Oh, what an assembly of multitude to rejoice, hearts with joy overflowing!

(Telugu Poem)

Who is Rama? One who pleases everyone is Rama. When you get happiness from the Atma within you, you become Rama. Sita symbolises the Atma and Rama, the Paramatma (God, Supreme Atma). Therefore, the marriage of Sita and Rama symbolises the union of the individual soul (jiva) and God (Deva). When the marriage of Sita and Rama took place, all the people of Ayodhya came to see it. After the performance of the marriage of Sita with Rama, Viswamitra went to his dwelling place. Not only did his name Viswamitra denote “friend of universe,” he actually was so. He imparted knowledge to everyone.

The principle of love

So many of you have gathered in this hall. Why have you come? You have come to see this form. Any number of people may come here, but their vision is focused only on this form. Whatever you do, do it for the sake of attaining God’s love. In this regard, I wrote a song:

Sathya Dharmamu Santhi Premalato
Nee Nitya Jivana Yatra Saginchu

Perform the journey of your life,
Adhering to the principles of truth, righteousness, peace, love.

Truth is permanent. Truth is one, not two. Similarly, righteousness is one; it is the image of truth. When truth and righteousness come together, peace manifests there. Peace is not something available outside in the bazaar. Outside you get only pieces. When you have peace, you do not hate or hurt anybody. Only then do you develop love.

The principle of love is present in all. When people develop love, there will be no conflicts in the world. Therefore, you should develop love. Never resort to untruth under any circumstances. If you follow untruth, you will never be able to develop love. Therefore, always adhere to truth. Develop love at all times.

You can develop love only by following truth and righteousness. These two qualities are most essential for man. This is the essence of all Upanishads. All the Upanishads teach the same truth in different ways. The sum and substance of all the teachings of the Upanishads is that the principle of Divinity is one. “God is one without a second (Ekameva Adviteeyam Brahma). God is one, not two. It is due to your delusion that you see duality. Never give scope to such delusion. You will have true devotion when you do not have even a trace of delusion.

People are important, not money

Many beggars come to a rich person. Some ask for food, some for clothes, some for money, and some for house. They are all beggars. In the same way, if you beg this and that from God, you become beggars. Do not beg anything from God. God is in fact in you only. He will give you whatever you require. You need not beg anything. Today, everybody in this world has become a beggar. Politicians beg for votes. They give notes for votes. They win elections by buying votes. This world is all a drama of beggars. Society is ruined and polluted because of such beggars.

Today, there is pollution, pollution, pollution everywhere. There is pollution in water, pollution in food, and pollution even in air. The milk you buy is also polluted. So, everything has become polluted today. Nowhere is there anything pure. Even pure water is not there. It has also become polluted. You are aware that the river Ganga comes down from Rishikesh. In our country Bharat (India), the Ganga is revered as mother. But people are polluting such a sacred river also. A brahmin standing in the Ganga to perform worship may find even human limbs flowing with water. Similarly, everything is being polluted. Students should develop pure mind to get rid of this pollution. Then only will they become the emancipators of the country. Pure mind is without any doubts, unsullied, steady, and selfless.

What is the use of merely acquiring so many degrees? There are so many who are sitting unemployed in their houses after getting degrees. In what way are they benefited by their degrees? The subjects they have studied in their classes are totally unrelated to their day-to-day life. They strive hard to earn money with the help of these degrees. They do not make any efforts for anything higher in life. Wherever you go, money is being considered all important. If you want to travel by bus, you need money. If you want to have coffee, for that also you need money. Even for water, you need money. If you want to go to a temple, even then you need money. All this world has become a play field of money.

But what is important is the human and not money. You will attain everything if you protect humanness. All problems arise if you lack humanness. You are yourselves responsible for all these problems.

Humility and obedience are the hallmarks of a student

It will be good if our students put into practice what they have learnt in this university and set a high ideal for others. All of you should lead your lives with humility and obedience. Destroy all your evil qualities such as pride, ego, and wickedness. When you drive away all these evil qualities, you will become a pure human being. Wherefrom does humanness come? It comes from your heart. Here, the heart referred to is not the physical heart but the spiritual heart, which is free from all blemishes. Like fragrant air, your purity should spread everywhere. Share with others the pure thoughts and the pure feelings that emanate from you. Whatever you do, it should be helpful to others. Help Ever, Hurt Never. If you imbibe these two qualities, everything will become good for you. Then only will you become a student in the real sense of the term.

Students today indulge in hurting others. It is not good if you do not help others. You are not a student at all if you do not develop humility and obedience. These are very essential for students. But, today, educated people have become highly egoistic. They are proud of their Ph.D. degrees. What does Ph.D. mean? The letter ‘P’ stands for person, ‘h’ for help and ‘D’ for divinity. Hence, one with Ph.D. degree is the person who helps others and attains divinity. On the contrary, if he does not help others, then the letter ‘P’ will denote that he is a papi (sinner).

However high an education you may acquire, always remain humble and modest and respect your parents. Even if your parents are too poor to provide two square meals to you in the house, you should still love them. Your mother brings you up putting up with so many difficulties. If you forget such a mother, it is a great sin. Your father also looks after you and helps you in every way. Therefore, never forget and forsake your parents. Love them till your last breath. That is the true quality of a student. Serve your parents and satisfy them. You will find fulfilment in life only when your parents are satisfied.