A look at Sathya Sai Baba's Discourse on Education at Brindavan Ashram 2nd June 2003
(Sanathana Sarathi July 2003)
by Reidun Priddy
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202 f. : "Wherever man goes, he is haunted by fear. In the present-day world, it is difficult to find a person who is without fear. What is the cause of this? Every moment of man's life is full of fear which emerges from within. He is haunted by fear whether he is in home, street, office, college or bazaar. Is there any place where there is no fear? The only place which is free from fear is a temple which is suffused with the love of God."
What of the temple where there were bloody killings of 6 people in 1993?

p.203: "The fundamental cause of this widely prevalent fear is man's defects and shortcomings."
So it's our own fault.

"You become a victim of fear because of a lack of courage. So develop courage to face all the challenges of the world."
Could this really be the wise teachings of an avatar?

And how does man get courage?
"He can get courage only from God. For this, he has to develop faith in and devotion to God."

Modern education will not help us here:
p. 204: "Modern education gives only bookish knowledge. Bookish knowledge is superficial. It does not fill the heart with love. (….) You should acquire practical knowledge which can provide you fulfilment in life. Only then can you earn the status of a true scholar."

Sai Baba goes on to praise the 'eminent scholars and sages' of ancient times, saying that none such can be found today and that the type of knowledge acquired by modern educationists is meaningless. No, it was different in the old days when one was taught the 'practical knowledge which can provide you fulfilment in life':

p. 205: "Get up early in the morning at the crowing of the cock,
Have a bath after your morning ablutions,
Wear a proper dress.
Eat properly and moderately.
Go to school and study diligently.
Earn a good name.
Don't move out when it is raining,
And never go near the ditches.
Take part in games,
Run and play.
If you abide by all these rules,
You will have both health and wealth.
(Telugu Poem)
Parents of those days used to teach great lessons. We have to learn such good practices from our parents and elders and not from books alone."
Great lessons, indeed. No silly bookish knowledge there.
"Modern education has only a profusion of voluminous books devoid of all wisdom. They are fit to be used only as pillows to sleep on. (…..) When you chant the Name of Hari, you will have true education."
He must feel threatened by what he calls 'bookish' knowledge and those who have it, the way he goes on and on about it year in and year out. He never seems to tire of it and at the same time pointing out the vast superiority of his own kind of knowledge, which he says is true wisdom. Any non-devotee would say that he exhibits an inferiority complex and good old fashioned fear of the unknown? He seems to think the best defence against this fear is attack.

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