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You and I - Together
Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Brindavan, 31 Jan 1974
A college which does not confer the knowledge of their Aathmic reality to the students engaged in the pursuit of various objectives and material studies is as barren as a sky without the moon, or a heart without peace, a nation without reverence for law. Colleges in India have a greater responsibility in this matter, for, here, more than the material, technological and scientific side of civilisation, emphasis was laid for centuries on the social, cultural and spiritual side. The goal of life and the ways of ensuring harmony were discovered here and propagated by saints and sages. The young men and women that emerge from the colleges of India have to cleanse this land of untruth, injustice, violence and fear. They must spread the message of peace, tolerance, righteousness and service, and be exemplars of these qualities for the people.
You are not educated, if all that you have achieved is, the study of a ton of books. The body and the mind have to be illumined by the light of love that emanates from the awareness of the soul and its essential divinity. Since education today deals only with the body and mind, and is unrelated to the soul and spirit, the youth of the land is wafted hither and thither by every gust of passing, like rootless vegetation. Awareness of the Aathman will grant unshakeable power and courage. The Vedhas teach the means of securing this awareness, and drawing on it to meet the challenges of life. That alone can crown education with success. That alone can strengthen youth to encounter the problems of unrest and anxiety. The colleges have to teach not only certain subjects, but, the subject-object relationship too. The process by which man can transcend this duality and cognise the unity has also to be communicated, in order to render education complete.
Today Deceit is the Rule that guides Man
Institutions where education is imparted today have no atmosphere of moral or spiritual value. Discipline is missing; honesty is at a discount; politeness and good manners are estimated as outmoded forms of behaviour; grab and not give is the rule; intolerance is held in high esteem.
If a man is not equipped with detachment, virtue, tolerance and truth, how can he raise his head and proclaim himself a human being? Man has so degraded himself that he revels in untruth in an unashamed manner - his intention is different from his words, but still his actions belie his profession. Thought, word and deed are not co-ordinated. Deceit is the rule that guides. Man should redeem himself from this downfall; he should not sacrifice his gory and his goal for the petty triumphs of the moment; if he does, he would only make himself cheaper than clay.
Men should grow straight, without any Crookedness
At the present rate and under present conditions, the future of India, once the preceptor of humanity, is grievously poor. Students must awaken in time and decide to transform themselves into worthy instruments for the revival of the grandeur of Bhaarath. They must grow straight, without any crookedness. They must grow as Indians on Indian soil, in the Indian atmosphere; they should give up the itch for aping foreign fashions of thought, speech and dress. Instead of delving into their inner reality and living true to it, they are now exploring the outer delusions and imitating the outer trappings of equally deluded people. They silence the voice of conscience and behave in exotic styles. The heart warns, the brain protests, but, the mind prods on. He who smothers the voice of God is as good as a living corpse.
Note the type of dress that is now considered fashionable - the weird uncouth bush-shirts and drainpipe pants. Note the sideburns and the weird moustaches and beards that besmirch the face of youth. Note the value attached to slovenliness and primitivity, to foulness and frivolity. No one can appreciate this trend, except those who are victims to it; disgust is the only reaction one gets. When the exterior is reeking with untidiness, how can the interior be tidy? How can harmony and honesty be installed in such a cluttered heart and in such a lumbersome brain? Young people move about like clowns; they pay no attention to the seriousness of the task which lies ahead of them. When the parents, society and the nation yearn that they should become 'biggers', they revel as 'beggars', before the fashion fabricators of other lands, the imitators of other countries and the hysterics of other cultures.
Use the present Moment best to face Life's Challenges
And, every tick of the clock snips a length off the thread of life. Money when unspent remains in your account at the bank; but, spent is your life with every moment whether wisely or unwisely. It marches relentlessly on. Use the present moment best, to sharpen your skills, to broaden your intelligence, to expand your heart and to master the technique of facing the challenges of life with courage and equanimity. That will be the reward you offer your parents for the love and sacrifice they have poured on you; do not offer them in return, an ill reputation, a ruined career, a damaged character. Make them happy and proud; win a 'first class' in your studies and a 'first class' in your character.
Do not despise the villages where you have grown, do not desert the parents, who have sacrificed so much for you. Live with them and make them happy. Also, love and serve every one in the village, as if it is an extension of your own family, as if all are kith and kin. Do not be led away by the artificial brilliance and deceptive display of the towns; whatever salary you may get from jobs in those places will be frittered in trivial pursuits; you cannot be free, fresh and pure in that atmosphere nor can you serve your parents and people. You will be a burden on others and a problem to yourselves.
I am depending upon you, students, for a great transformation in outlook, a great revolution. Students of the Sathya Sai College must lead this movement. The older generation can only talk; it is you who must act. You have to prove yourselves worthy of this college. Be disciplined; be sweet in manners, in speech, and in your relations with the less fortunate. Be grateful to your parents, your villagers and those who strive for your welfare. Try your best always to earn a fair name for yourselves, for your college and for your parents.
Do not be under the impression that you and I have come together only now since you study in this college! You have come to Me for the sake of far higher triumphs, as a consequence of merit acquired in many previous lives. You and your teachers are destined to achieve tremendous tasks under My guidance, in the execution of the mission on which I have come.