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Divine Discourse on - Anniversary of the Sri Sathya Sai School of
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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Anniversary of the Sri Sathya Sai School of Business Management,
Accounting and Finance, Prasanthi Nilayam. August 21-22, 200
Today’s function is being held to celebrate the anniversary of the School
of Business Management, Accounting and Finance. What is meant by business?
Does business mean exchange of goods? No, it is not so. Truly speaking,
the entire world is engaged in business. Right from the Prime Minister of
the country to an ordinary worker, everybody is involved in some kind of
business or the other and is following the working system appropriate to
his occupation. Knowing fully well this reality, our students are making a
mark for themselves in all fields of life.
Never Forsake your Culture
Man is endowed with five senses of perception. The functioning of the five
senses is also a type of business in which all the limbs are engaged. All
the senses perform their business in the most appropriate manner with
regard to the limbs they are associated with. Those who give proper
direction to their senses so as to lead them on the right path are truly
first rankers. Business which is done mainly by reading books, business
journals and comparing Indian business with overseas business cannot be
called business in the true sense of the term. Indian business should be
concerned with Indian traditions and values. It should keep in view the
interest and situation of the country. Other countries are making changes
in their business ventures just to increase their power. We should not
imitate them in any such manner. We should adopt those practices which are
appropriate to our culture and traditions.
Taking only money into consideration in business is flawed; culture has to
be given utmost importance. Along with culture, the interest of the
country should also be given high priority. True business is that which
keeps in view, culture and country. Some people today ignore the culture
due to the influence of modern times. You should never forsake culture at
any cost. What is meant by culture? We should understand and follow our
ancient traditions and values. We should never ignore our culture in our
business matters. We should enquire into the relationship between culture
and country. Culture has its existence due to the country. True humanness
lies in the integration of culture and country. Culture is not related to
your worldly relations and practices. Culture is concerned with the
feelings of your heart and your power to discriminate between what is good
and what is bad. Hence, you should develop strong power of discrimination.
This discrimination brings about many changes in the life of man. It is
due to lack of discrimination that our culture has suffered a decline. And
because of the decline of culture our country has become weak. Wrong
cultural practices followed by the people are, in fact, the main cause for
the weakness of a country. Today people do not follow the true culture of
our country. Consequently, the Government also takes to wrong path. As you
all know, different political parties today follow different cultural
values and ideologies. But if they all work together for a common cause,
the results are sure to be good.
Give up Craze for Fashions
Once when I was a student, some political leaders approached Me and
requested, “Raju! We understand that You write good poetry. We have
arranged a meeting in Bukkapatnam where a large number of people are
expected to come. We request You to please write a good song that can
inspire the people.” Those were the days of the Second World War. Adolf
Hitler was marching forward to conquer various countries in Europe. He was
trying to invade Russia. India was then under rule of the Britishers.
Taking the situation into account, I wrote a small playlet. In that
playlet, I kept a rubber doll in a cradle and sang the following song,
rocking the cradle gently:
Do not cry, my child, do not cry.
If you cry, you will not be called a valiant son of Bharat.
Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.
Did you get scared because the terrible Hitler has invaded the invincible
Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep.
Do not cry, my child, do not cry.
For the Red Army is marching under Stalin.
They will put an end to Hitler.
Then what else is the reason for your crying?
Is it because the countrymen lack unity?
All the countrymen will unite and fight to win freedom;
Go to sleep, my child, go to sleep. (Telugu song)
I used to compose songs and make the children sing those songs in the
village so that people might give up their craze for fashions and
cultivate noble thoughts. The wrist watches had just arrived in those
days. If anyone in the village wore a wrist watch, he was considered to be
a great person. Not only that, gents used to keep a small moustache under
their nose as a fashion. I composed a song on these fashions.
Oh folks! What are these times that have descended on us!
People hang silver medallions from a leather strap on their left wrists –
and call it fashion!
Grotesque appearances are made that cannot be seen by the eyes – and they
call it fashion!
Long moustaches are cut to tiny patches under the nose – and they call it
Seeing all these fashions, I asked them, “My dear! Why have you done this?
Your moustache appears like two flies sitting on your upper lip. This is
not good.” New fashions do not become prevalent all at once. These are the
result of imitation; people see others and start imitating them.
Gradually, this imitation changes into fashion for a particular period of
time. See the influence of fashion on women! They have given up the use of
auspicious turmeric and kumkum (vermillion) mark on forehead and have
started putting a miniscule dot which is hardly visible. All these
fashions keep changing. How long does a fashion last? It lasts only for a
few months. Similarly, fashions of youngsters and adults undergo change
within a short period. As you all know, earlier bell bottom pants became a
fashion for youngsters; these were tight from above and loose below like
the shape of a bell. This fashion lasted only for a short time. After some
time, pants of the shape of a pipe tightly sticking to the body came into
fashion. Recognising that it was not good, people thereafter reverted to
ordinary dress. In this manner, many unnecessary fashions appear from time
to time like clouds in the sky which come and go. I corrected the people
when they took to such fashions. Man should live like a human being.
Unnecessary Changes are Harmful
Today many changes are being made in the field of education also. Many
meaningless changes are being made in the syllabus. Authorities may thrust
such changes from above. But, do they prepare the teachers who are
responsible for putting these changes into practice? No, not at all. What
can the students learn from such teachers? First of all, qualified
teachers are required. Our university is making great efforts to prepare
such qualified teachers. If the teachers are good, the students will also
Not only in the field of education, but changes have now crept in the area
of health also. Earlier, people used pitchers, plates and pots made of
clay by local artisans. After some time, stainless steel utensils replaced
the clay utensils. But now plastic pitchers, plates and pots have come
into vogue. These plastic articles have exposed man to great dangers. The
plastic bags and other articles have created enormous waste material which
is not biodegradable. Even if you bury it underground, it does not
decompose and remains as it is even after many years. Much land is being
spoiled by this plastic waste. Vegetables grown in such land are harmful
to man. In this way, many harmful changes have crept in the life of man
today. Therefore, we should not resort to unnecessary imitation and
changes, particularly in the field of education.
Living in Present is Most Important
We should follow our indigenous system and experience the happiness of
living in the present. Then our future will also become happy. Many people
are worried about their future. Do not brood over past; don’t worry about
future. Past is past; forget the past; do not think about it. Present is
important. It is not ordinary present; it is omnipresent. Many people
worry about their past and future and spoil their present. We should make
proper use of our present. Sathya Sai colleges are the only institutions
which teach the students to make proper use of their present, though the
environment in these institutions may appear to be like that of a rural
Future does not always bring happiness. And so far as the past is
concerned, how much happiness have you experienced in it? Therefore, live
happily in the present. Nothing is lost when you lose money. Acquisition
of good qualities makes your mind steady. A steady mind is a good mind. It
is the mind that brings about a change in the life of man. Even the
parents do not know the mind of their children. The parents also should
live in present. What is the use of thinking about the past? Presently,
our students have achieved great progress in many fields and set ideals
for all. What should we do in the present? Follow the maxim in the
present: Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure. We should not
worry about the past at all. Thinking about past will not do any good to
us. Therefore, we should lead our life in the present and achieve
all-round progress. You should realise the significance of the word
‘present’. What does it mean? When you are in the class, you are present,
otherwise you are absent. Absence will reduce your value. In every aspect
of your life, present is important.
You achieve good results in all subjects when you are present. Therefore,
all of you should think about only present. Today many elders have fond
memories of past times, thinking, “Our past time was so good, but
everything has turned bad in the present time. In those days, children
respected their elders; they conducted themselves with great humility.
They revered their elders and learnt good things from them. In fact, there
was no need to go to teachers; the grandmother in the house taught many
good things to children. In ancient times, all led a happy life.” “Old is
gold” is a proverb. True to this proverb, people in olden times were like
pure gold. By their teachings, they helped the people to take to noble
path. But today we have damaged this path. Therefore, we should repair
this damage and restore the path again.
Love and Serve your Motherland
Today, wherever you go you see people fighting with one another. There is
neither unity nor purity anywhere; it is enmity everywhere. Anybody you
come across, you will see him in anger. You talk to someone, he will talk
against you. We should therefore drive away the evil qualities like anger,
jealousy, hypocrisy, etc. We should never harm anybody; we should not
cause pain to anyone. Help Ever, Hurt Never. You can achieve anything
through unity. Therefore, you should always stick to the noble path of
unity. Why Subhash Chandra Bose had to leave the country? It was nothing
but enmity. When does enmity arise? It arises when selfishness overtakes
you. Though he had to leave the country, he fearlessly kept serving the
people wherever he went. Our country is in dire need of such noble people.
Our professors also said, “Swami, our students are very good. They can
bring about many good changes in society. Many parents today are sending
their children to overseas countries. But, why should they send them out?
Instead they can remain in our country and bring about changes in the
community.” Instead of earning 10,000 rupees a month abroad, it is better
to be satisfied with 1,000 rupees in Bharat. In overseas countries, even
pure water is scarce. Life is full of difficulties. Half of your earning
will go as house rent. All other things are equally expensive. A small
banana costs ten rupees! Wherefrom can you get so much money? How can you
bring up your children? Impossible! In Bharat, your children would be
happy and satisfied if you give them a simple food of rice and chutney.
Forgetting this simple life in our own country, people want to go to
foreign countries undergoing all sorts of difficulties.
I have never visited any foreign country except East Africa. Even in East
Africa, I spent most of My time seeing wild life in the forests and
observed the good qualities of wild animals. There I saw large hordes of
elephants; that looked very beautiful and majestic. I offered bananas to
some elephants which they accepted very gladly and wanted more of them.
Their ears were as big as a winnowing pan. When they swished their ears,
mosquitoes sitting even at a long distance would fly away. There were many
zebras and giraffes also. They were happily moving in the forest. None of
these wild animals causes any harm to man. They will be inimical towards
us only when we approach them with the intention of harming them.
Otherwise, they will be friendly with us and follow us like pets. I saw a
group of lions sitting at one place with their young ones. Even when we
were very close to them, they did not show any feeling of enmity. In this
way, all the wild animals behaved in a very gentle manner. Your evil
qualities are reflected in the animals. If your feelings are good, the
snakes will also not harm you even if you were to lie down by their side.
Otherwise your own pet cow may gore you with its horns. If a person is
angry with you, what is the reason? It is only reaction, reflection and
resound of your own feelings. It is only the evil qualities of man which
bring about a change in the gentle nature of animals, birds and beasts.
Today there is hatred and conflict even between two sons of the same
mother! What is the reason for this mutual hatred? Their evil qualities
are responsible for this. We should never give room to such qualities.
Cultivate Unshakeable Faith in God
You are studying in a good college. You should uphold the good name of
this college with your good conduct. If you want to earn a good name, you
should join good company. Tell me your company, I will tell you what you
are. As is your company, so you become. Hence, join good company. It is a
great good fortune to be associated with good company. Therefore, you
should join such good company and try to develop all-round goodness.
Yesterday, the talks delivered by two of our MBA students were very good.
Listening to them was a great pleasure to Me. We are very happy to have
such good boys in our college. These two boys stood first in their class
and were awarded gold medals. But you should not be satisfied with these
awards and rewards. You should become good boys. Even the value of gold
may diminish but not the value of goodness. Hence, you should cultivate
goodness and earn a good name which will remain forever.
First of all, you should develop self-confidence. If you have
self-confidence everything will turn out to be good for you. Devotees like
Dhruva, Prahlada and Radha led their lives with sacred feelings.
Everything became good for them because they had good thoughts. Wicked
Hiranyakasipu subjected Prahlada to all types of sufferings. He attempted
to get Prahlada trampled by elephants. Prahlada continued to chant the
divine name of Narayana. He was never afraid of elephants. He saw Narayana
in elephants also. Hiranyakasipu threw him before snakes but he escaped
unharmed. When he was pushed down from a mountain top and thrown into a
deep sea, Lord Narayana held him in His arms and saved him. In this
manner, one with faith in God will never be put to harm. Hence, you should
develop unflinching faith. Your firm faith in God confers on you all types
of knowledge. Where there is faith, there is love. Where there is love
there is Atma. Atma has no specific name or form. Similarly, faith has no
form and divinity is also formless. Love is God. Live in Love. Truth is
God, God is Truth. The entire creation has emerged from truth.
The 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)
Realisation of truth is sakshatkara (God-realisation). Therefore, we
should develop faith in this truth. No doubt, people do have faith but
their faith is wavering. As is the faith, so is the result. If you have
total faith, the results are bound to be good in all respects. When you
are confronted with difficulties, you tend to lose your faith. You may
lose anything but not faith. You should consider faith as your life. That
is the path you should follow. You have a strong belief that your parents
are your parents. Even if a thousand people tell you that they are not
your parents, you will not agree with it. You must have such total faith
in God also. God will go to any extent to help those who have such
unshakeable faith in Him. Your faith in God should be total. We may have
to undergo any number of difficulties and hardships, yet, our faith should
remain firm. Ramadas worked as Tehsildar (revenue officer). He prayed to
Rama, “Swami, whatever revenue I have collected I have spent it in your
service. He sang thus:
Oh Ramachandra! I have spent ten thousand gold coins to adorn Mother Sita
with a gold necklace and another ten thousand sovereigns to decorate Your
brother Lakshmana with a gold belt. That crest jewel which adorns You cost
me another ten thousand gold coins. Unmindful of my travails, You are
flaunting the jewellery as if You got it with Your own money! (Telugu
The compassionate Lord Himself appeared before the king and paid the money
due from Ramadas. Later on, Ramadas repented and prayed for forgiveness,
saying, “Unable to bear the hardships of Your test I have spoken such
harsh words. Oh Lord! Please forgive me.”
One can achieve anything in life with the help of God’s grace. When you
face all the tests of God with total faith and do your duty, you are sure
to succeed. Do you know the depth of faith of overseas devotees? Many of
them come to Puttaparthi and live in small hutments. Even then, they are
very happy. It is not possible for anyone to describe their happiness
which is the result of their unflinching faith. If you have such strong
faith in God, He will take care of you wherever you are.
God is your sole refuge wherever you may be,
In a forest, in the sky, in a city or a village, on the top of a mountain
or in the middle of deep sea. (Telugu poem)
Study to be Steady
First and foremost you should develop confidence. Mere acquisition of
knowledge is not enough. Your knowledge may be as vast as an ocean, your
common sense may be as great as the mighty Himalayas, but if you do not
have discrimination, then everything is useless. It is enough if you have
discrimination. Before you undertake any task, always enquire, “Is this
good or bad, is this right or wrong?” You will come up in life if you
develop this one quality in you. This itself is self-realisation. So, it
is important to have discrimination first. Unfortunately, people use their
discrimination to suit their self-interest. This individual discrimination
varies from person to person. The same thing is viewed by ten people in
ten different ways. You must adopt fundamental discrimination which is
beneficial to society at large. Only fundamental discrimination will give
you self-satisfaction which in turn will lead you to self-realisation. So,
proper discrimination is of prime importance for self-realisation.
Students! You are like pure gold. You are all very good. But sometimes you
encounter waves of disturbance and doubts in your lives. Many a time, your
faith is shaken by some aberrations. Do not pay attention to these. They
will go as they come. Come what may, you must remain fearless and steady.
Your studies are meant to develop steadiness in you. Study to be steady.
Keep this always in your mind. Look at these two boys. How happy they are!
In fact, all the MBA students are good. It is not possible to say that one
is good and the other is bad. Their singing also was so good. They are
intelligent, virtuous and full of vigour. They will be an asset wherever
they go. Such boys should stay back to serve the institution so that they
can impart their goodness to others. There is nothing great in going
abroad and earning a lot of money with your academic qualifications. Money
comes and goes, morality comes and grows. You should develop such
morality. It is enough if you have morality. What can money do? Can you
eat money? Unless you spend it to buy something, you cannot satisfy your
hunger. Hence, money is not important, morality is important. Faith comes
first, job next. Do not give up your sacred culture and love for your
motherland. Subhash Chandra Bose never forgot his motherland even when he
was staying in other countries. You should proudly proclaim, “This is my
motherland.” Do not tarnish the image of the sacred culture of your land.
- From Bhagavan’s Divine Discourse in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam
on 22nd August 2007 on the occasion of 21st Anniversary of the School of
Business Management Accounting and Finance of Sri Sathya Sai University.