This translation from Telugu to English is done word-by-word to get the literal meaning. It is NOT an edited version.
First Conference of Sai Schools
Inauguration, 20 November 2001
A compassionate heart
whose speech is adorned with Truth
What is the Inner Significance of Education?
Embodiments of Love!
First and foremost, we have to inquire into the five principle aspects of education. The first one is: “What is education?” Its nature has to be recognized. The second one is: “What kind of education should we learn?” The third is: “What is the important aim of education?” The fourth is: “That there should be an attempt to teach the students what the uniqueness of education is.” The fifth is: “What is the result that we get from the education of today?” This matter has to be inquired into. Only when the inner meaning of these five aspects are recognized, we will be well informed about education.
What is the inner significance of education? We acquire it in two ways. ‘Education’ means ‘to bring all matters of the outside world together and teach it to the students’. The second (aspect) which must be seen is ‘Educare’. ‘Educare’ means to make the inner feelings arise out and it should be described in detail to the students.
But education of today is only education (not Educare). This means that we are only teaching external matters to the children. Individuality is only obtained through culture, but we cannot obtain individuality only through education. Therefore, culture is also essential for this education.
Education of today is devoid of culture. It is like a counterfeit coin. Even a beggar will not take a counterfeit coin. How can experienced experts accept such an education today? So if one wants to give joy to all, we have to develop Educare which has inner feeling.
We have to understand culture in another way. Education without culture is like a dark room. Only bats will be able to live in that dark room. Such a room will have a lot of dirt. So due to studying that kind of education without culture today, great darkness develops in the room of our heart and because of that (like the dark room) many wicked animals also enter into it.
Education without culture is like a kite that has broken (from the string). Where will it fall? Whose house will it make fall? What suffering will it put to which individual? Hence, no one can describe the good or bad of this (circumstance). So, only when there is culture along with education, will it (the education) shine and be respected.
What Does Culture Mean?
What does ‘culture’ mean? In daily life we experience good and bad, sin and merit, truth and untruth. We have to make distant, things like bad qualities, bad thoughts and bad contemplations. We have to make good feelings, good contemplations and good behavior arise in us. Culture means that we have to make the bad distant and we have to accept good.
Not only that. This culture makes (one to be) greatly broadminded. Just now a few people sang songs. They sang, “I and you are one.” This is also a characteristic of a narrow mind, narrow mind. ‘All are One’ is very good (better than the former). (Applause) If there is, ‘I and you are one,’ it only refers to an individual. At the very onset, an ethereal voice taught this to Jesus. It said:
All are one My dear son, be alike to everyone
Therefore, to develop this broadmindedness in us, we also have to increase this inner feeling of Educare. Hence, the ordinary education of today relates to the world, relates to the physical, relates to the materialistic and is only worldly education. This is only bookish knowledge.
All people today are only embarking upon this bookish knowledge. This is only superficial knowledge. This superficial knowledge keeps changing moment to moment. Therefore, from bookish knowledge this education has to be given our inner feeling of Educare. That Educare is practical knowledge.
However, there are a few steps in-between superficial knowledge and practical knowledge. From superficial knowledge we have to enter into general knowledge. From this general knowledge, we have to enter into discrimination knowledge by inquiring, ‘What is truth? What is untruth?’ Even from this discrimination knowledge, we gradually have to enter into practical knowledge. Only this practical knowledge is the eternal and true education. It will never change.
When the heart is ornamented with compassion and worships, it makes the heart very peaceful, expansive and sacred. When one is educated this means that bad qualities should not enter into him. Evil actions should truly not be embarked upon. How can he be educated (if he does evil actions)?
‘Vidya’ (education or knowledge) only has the meaning of ‘jnana’ (wisdom). What kind of knowledge? Worldly knowledge? Secular knowledge? Or general knowledge? No, no! This is only bookish knowledge. Man today is becoming bad, lowly and is getting spoiled in all ways due to this bookish knowledge.
How long will this remain? It is there as long as it remains in our mind. If we want to put this bookish knowledge into the practical field to some extent, it is not possible. (We) fill the head with this bookish knowledge and it only comes as far as the examination hall. In that examination hall, he will pour all the matters in this head on the paper. Then when he comes back, he comes with an empty head. This is always empty. What is the reason?
There is no chance to make this into discrimination knowledge. To reach discrimination knowledge, general knowledge is also very necessary. General knowledge has ordinary intelligence. In discrimination knowledge, there is also common sense. True external qualities will be seen when there is both general knowledge and common sense.
The Quality of Today’s Education must be Increased
Students! Heads of Educational Institutions!
The education that we should learn today is not this bookish knowledge. We should also have this (bookish knowledge) to some extent. In the very beginning it is like first steps. This is education that is arranged only to foster worldly life. No, no! We should also develop spiritual knowledge. The Bhagavad Gita said:
Adhyatma Vidya Vidyanam.
Spiritual education is the highest education.
The water that merges in the ocean, all waters are merging. Drainage water also merges. Sewage water also merges. Then, water that comes from a few mountains also merges. But, this discrimination knowledge changes into a sacred river of life. (A.K. says, ‘pure river’. Swami says aside, “Life river. Life.”)
That is always permanent. Its quantity may reduce a little or its quantity may increase but this river won't be without water. In perennial rivers (rivers that never dry up), to some extent, the quantity may change but the quality remains the same.
Hence, the quality of today’s education must be increased by the students. “We have studied such great education. We have taken such great degrees.” Thinking that, you should not go towards quantity. In order for us to increase quality, we have to inquire of Educare, which is inside.
What is the Meaning of Education?
What is the meaning of education?
Education means not only knowledge but it must be in act (put into action).
That is the education that we need today. We have to put all that is studied in the practical (field). It has to be shared with others. They also should be made to enter onto this path. Therefore, to some extent, the education that we should study has to be the inner power.
That which comes from inside is permanent. They say this is ‘Sathya’ (Truth). However, there is also another transcendental name for this Sathya. The Veda taught it as ‘Ritam’ (Absolute Truth). They say all that which is related to experience in worldly life is ‘nijam, nijam, nijam’ (factual truth).
However, that which is achieved (learned) through books, we have seen it in a certain way, and it is called ‘vidya’. How should this education knowledge be used? It should become practical knowledge. It must be act, act, act.
What is the Aim of Education?
Next, what is the aim of the education? No one is inquiring into the subject of this aim of education.
What is the aim of education?
Education should be for life, not for living.
But we are using all the education of today only to make a living. Yet if one only considers living, animals, birds and beasts are also living. They don’t even have any education at all! Is education needed to live? Is education needed for life? Even small ants and small mosquitoes are living. No, no! Our education is living for life (education is for life not for making a living). It should be seen like that.
What is the essence of education? We have to recognize that essence of education well. Concentration of the mind not collection of facts. (A.K. enthusiastically pounds the table when translating this and the audience laughs) (Applause) Concentration of the mind not collection of facts.
It is not education to collect all that is happening in the world. Why should we make a collection of all of these? We are forgetting even this collection.
A small example for this: There is a washerman in a village. That washerman goes from house to house. He will take all the clothes that the people give at each house. The people at each house will note the clothes that they have given in an exercise book. They will write: “One bed sheet, one shirt, one pant, one banian.” Each person from each house will each write in an exercise book like this. However, the washerman will not write anything at all. In the evening he will give the correct clothes to each house, whatever they gave.
That is only general knowledge. (Applause) Education is not needed for this general knowledge. Even a washerman has general knowledge. So today we are even worse than a washerman. If we give four cloths to a washerman, we will write it on four pages.
This is not our (true) general knowledge. The (true) general knowledge is permanent within us. That is not something that will come with today’s education. It started along with our birth. This general knowledge is something that develops along with that birth.
What is the End of Education?
What is the end of the education? This is very important. No one is trying to recognize this. What is the end of education? They say that education has no end. What does ‘no end’ mean? There is an end to reading and writing, but the end of education is character. (Applause) Without this character, this education won’t be useful.
In the hermitages of the past, many sages would take the students wherever they went and without seeing the time of morning or night, they were ones who even taught them while walking. Ours in not like that. There are classes from eight in the morning till twelve. Afterwards there are classes again from two till five. We are studying by determining hours in this way.
All this is limited knowledge. But ours is not limited knowledge. There is no limit to character. Therefore, only that which is limitless when we study, is the end of education. This is in our behavior. It is in our conduct. It is in daily life. It is in our words. It is in our play. All words should be sacred, soft, and should not hurt others. Our character is not only in our conduct. It is also in our words.
You cannot always oblige but you can speak always obligingly.
This is also related to character. All the works that we do also are related to character.
Now women will be cooking something. When cooking (they think), ‘a measure of rice should be boiled. What size vessel is needed to boil this rice?’ So, depending upon the item (to be cooked), the vessel also has to be changed. Depending on the vessel the item also has to be changed.
“Why should we have such a huge vessel to cook one measure of rice?” This is also discrimination knowledge. Things like this (rice overflowing from the pot) happen due to not having it (discrimination knowledge). So, here very good discrimination is necessary for us. How big a vessel is needed for a certain quantity of rice? How useful is the flame we use? Fire suitable to the cooking, cooking suitable to the fire. While doing this type of discrimination, the suitable type of character also will be fostered.
Someone comes to the house. Elders come to the house. Even if they are not given anything to eat (invite them in, saying), ‘Please, please come inside.” Say soft and sweet words to them in that way. You have to thus respect them and give them joy.
Instead of that, if you say (Swami demonstrates using a gruff voice), “Why have you come?” Even though father is inside, you say, “Father isn't here. Go away!” This is a big mistaken education. Say good words. If the father is asked for, if the father is there, say he is. Or (if he’s not there), say he’s not (there).
Factual Truth, Truth and Absolute Truth
I spoke regarding this. There are three aspects: nijam (factual truth), Sathya (Truth) and Ritam (Absolute Truth). Factual truth: What is factual truth? It is factual truth to say whatever dress someone wears, at the time that one sees it.
You have come here. You have worn a white dress and come. I saw you. I saw (you) in a white dress. We say it is ‘factual truth’. However, as soon as you go home, you change that white one and you put on a blue bush coat. Then what I said isn't truth. What was said is factual truth when I saw it. All is not factual truth after it is changed. Meaning, it is factual truth to say what is there, when it is.
Then, what does ‘Sathya’ mean? You change so many banians and shirts. But you are unable to change your body. That is the Truth that doesn’t change. Sathya is that which remains (the same) in the three periods of time. It is said:
Trikaala Baadhyam Sathyam.
Truth is changeless in all the three modes of time
(past, present and future).
You are Not One Person But Three
Therefore, regarding this I am saying now and then:
You are not one person but three.
What are those three?
The one you think you are.
That is the dress that you put on. That is the physical form.
The one others think you are.
That is mind. That mind cannot be seen by anyone. Depending upon the actions that you do, they will determine ‘this is bad, this is good’. But there is something higher than this. That only is the Absolute Truth:
The one you really are.
That only is relating to Atma. Relating to the body, relating to the mind and relating to the Atma: You are the form of all three. Therefore, the body changes. But our heart is not something that changes. The heart that is in us is always permanent. That which is permanent is Absolute Truth. The Vedas gave the name of ‘Absolute Truth’ to it in every situation. It does not change. It doesn’t have qualities. How did they compare it?
Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathanam, Niketanam,
Nithya, Suddha, Buddha, Muktha, Nirmala Swarupinam.
Attributeless, unsullied, eternal, always pure,
Pure intellect, free, unpolluted form.
They call this ‘Absolute Truth’. Out of all the words that we speak, some may be Truth and some may be factual truth.
Therefore, in human nature, the special changes that happen in this education are very exceptional. We complete learning our studies and he (the student) says, “I have taken three postgraduates (degrees).” What are these three postgraduates? All of these are only a type of certificates.
Who is the one who studied these three? ‘I’: That is factual truth. These three postgraduates are only that which change. The one who learned these three postgraduates is only one.
The Waking, Dream and Deep Sleep States
One small example to show what this means. You make a journey with your body in the daytime, when you are awake. You see everything. You eat everything. You are experiencing but what are these? It is only you who says, “I am experiencing.”
However, in the dream state you are creating yourself. You are doing your works. You are making a journey somewhere. You don’t buy any bus ticket or plane ticket. You go about all around Delhi, all around America and all around England. What is this? It is in the dream state.
Yet you don’t go anywhere in the deep sleep state. That (state) never moves or wavers a bit. It is a witness. It has no type of changes. Therefore, it is only one person who experiences all three states. You only are the ‘I’ who experiences the bliss that is latent deep, deep inside.
In the dream state you create numerous things, you create yourself and experience all. This is the dream state. However, in waking state you do (things) with your own hands, walk with the feet, see with the eyes, hear with the ears and you experience with the mouth. All these are experiences relating to the senses. Experience relating to the senses. They say all is only ‘waking’. (The word ‘jagrath’ means both ‘waking’ and to be ‘alert, careful or vigilant’)
So, in the past when Adi Shankara thought that he should develop his order. Man has so many imaginations. To control these imaginations, he (Adi Shankara) gave a small practice to the students (living there). A devotee had to go (pace) in front of his (Adi Shankara’s) door on this side. Another devotee had to come (pace) from the other side. They have to do work, volunteer work, by going and coming, going and coming, in this way. In what way should it be done? One has to go around saying, “Be careful, be careful! Be careful, be careful!”
At that time, Shankarcharya was overwhelmed with a certain major feeling inside. “I have such a big ashram. I have so much income. I am the head of all of this.” While he was thinking that inside, from outside the sound of “Be careful, be careful! Be careful, be careful!” was heard. Then, hearing that sound, he made a change within himself.
Not only that. Be careful- there are numerous kinds of things to be careful about. It is said:
Birth is sorrow. Old age is sorrow.
Worldly life is sorrow, again and again.
At the end, terrible sorrow.
So, beware! Beware! Beware!
You are thinking, “I am a great man.” As long as (you are) in the waking state, there will be your name and fame. But:
At the end, terrible sorrow.
You will forget all of these and at the end you will suffer a lot. For that reason they said:
So, beware! Beware! Beware!
Afterwards, he thought a bit. ‘Who is there to look after my mother and father now in their old age? Where will they stay?’ He was thinking a bit like that. Then he thought, ‘What is it to be careful?’
Matha Nasthi. Pitha Nasthi.
Nasthi Bandhu Sahodaraha.
Artham Nasthi. Griham Nasthi.
Thasmath Jagrata, Jagrata!
Mother unlasting. Father unlasting.
Relatives unlasting. friends also.
Wealth unlasting. Home unlasting.
First, beware, beware!
In the past the great sages in hermitages taught education like this to them (their students). Hence, the educated people of those days changed into heads of institutions of today.
So, education of those days began from Absolute Truth. We call that ‘Educare’. Care, care, care. So we should always be careful. For that reason, three letters have been put: A, B, C: ‘A’ is ‘Always’. ‘B’ is ‘Be’. ‘C’ is ‘Careful’. Always Be Careful. (Applause) That which teaches this inner meaning is A, B, C and D. We are concluding it only with the mere letters. We are not even recognizing the inner significance of the letters. Therefore, Always Be Careful. This is what Sankaracharaya taught everyone.
Without Spiritual Knowledge, General Knowledge is Negative
So, that which should be taught today, along with worldly education, is spiritual education should also be taught. Without this spiritual knowledge, general knowledge is only negative. This general knowledge is only like a bulb. That is negative. But the positive current also must enter into it. Then only it has brightness. Therefore, only when the negative and positive come together, this has brightness, and darkness in us will go away.
Therefore, along with negative, positive also should be increased. It doesn’t matter if there isn't negative. It is enough if there is positive. Its power may be put to use anywhere. Even if there isn’t a bulb, a fan may be put on and the air will blow around nicely. Even without a fan, a stove may be put on and cooking may be done.
When there isn't any (electrical appliances) at all, if you think, ‘What work do I have with this current?’ and touch it, it’s enough, you will get a shock. Its power is also there.
Therefore, the power of Divinity is in everyone. That only is positive. Today positive human beings are bringing in too much negative. Birth, death, growing, eating and being; all are negative. No, no!
He is permanent, without any death and birth.
He is eternal, with no beginning or end.
He does not die, is not born and will not be killed!
He is the Witness of everything, the nature of Atma.
Therefore, the spiritual nature is the principle for everything. That only, first and foremost, is more than practical, more than such general knowledge, more than practical knowledge and more than natural knowledge. That is higher than anything. This is fundamental knowledge. All started from it.
We have to develop fundamental knowledge first and foremost. Spiritual nature is also infinitely contained in it. So, the ancient spiritual education is also necessary along with today’s education.
It is great simply to lead our life of Truth. However, how long will you be able to lead a truthful life? A life of Absolute Truth should be lead. Where does our life go? We are thinking that it is the body. A big mistake, mistake!
There is No Death for Praana
There was a mother of 25 years old. There was a son 15 years old. But as soon as this 25 or 30-year old mother died, that 15-year old boy was suffering. How was he suffering? He was crying, “Mother, did you leave me and go?! Who do I have to depend upon? Who will look after me? Have you left?! Have you left! Have you left!”
If it is inquired well, what is it that has left him? From so long what you have been feeling as ‘mother, mother’, that same body is before your eyes! Therefore, why are you saying, “Have you left me?” It (the body) is beside you only. It is before your eyes.
But that body is not the mother. He is saying, “Have you left me?” What is it that has left that body? The praana (the life-force). “So, this body is not my mother. Only the praana is my mother.” There is no death for praana at all. The body is only like a changed dress. Death is the dress. This death is the dress of life. These (bodies) go on changing.
There is a basis for everything inside (us). That only is fundamental. We have to live with this fundamental education first. If we achieve that first and foremost, go to any country, go to any village, go at any time, go anywhere, it will be right with you. But we should not keep the body as an aim and have the body as a basis.
The nature of Atma in us has to be developed. That is called Educare. Educare along with this education is also very necessary. We cannot gain (true) education without Educare.
Therefore, all of you are beginning education (activity). You are practicing numerous types of education in many countries. However, while gradually progressing, your uncertainty, affliction and doubts are coming in that. We will talk about them (the doubts) afterwards.
First and foremost we should know these five elements. The five aspects (of education) should be recognized. What are they? What does education mean? What (kind of) education is the education that we study now? What is the basic quality of this education? What are the five aspects of this education? What are the results that happen through the education of today?
We have to recognize these five, first and foremost. This only is the entrance into the five aspects. This only is the discrimination of the five aspects. This only is the inquiry of the five aspects. Only when this inquiry is done, all types of education will be understood easily by us.
The Doors of the Mind Must be Opened
Therefore, first and foremost what is our education? It is not merely familiarity with books and it is not the words written on the blackboard. We are saying that it is all education. Education is not opening your mouth and saying something.
True education opens the doors of the mind, the doors of the mind. The doors of the mind must be opened. That only is true education. If all the doors are closed now and everyone is called in, how can they come in? You are hoping for so much happiness. You are hoping for so many comforts. You are hoping for so many virtues. But open the doors and then hope for them. Then only, after the doors of it are opened, anyone may be let in.
So, if we want the education of Absolute Truth to come to us, the doors of the heart have to be opened. Then only the Absolute Truth will begin in us. That Absolute Truth moves about everywhere. It is the same for you, for Me, for them there, for them here, and for everyone.
Not only uniform dress. There should be a uniform mind for us. That mind should be uniformly sacred in everyone. It should be refined with culture.
Education is Water, Educare is Sugar
Embodiments of Love!
There is so much that we should know regarding the education of today. That which should be known is not being known at all. We are finding out about everything that is unnecessary. You are accepting what someone wrote in a book. That is only worldly education. Educare should be joined to some extent with that education. Then only will you have bliss.
What is the difference between this Educare and education? Education is only water. Educare is sugar. Add the sugar to that (the water). After adding it, drink it once and see. But you don’t know that taste. However, take one spoon. Put it in that (the glass) and mix it around well. The sugar that is at the bottom will spread everywhere (in the glass). It will be sweet all over.
Therefore, our heart is the tumbler. Divinity is the sugar. All the worldly education is only the water. Take the spoon of vijnana and stir with inquiry. Vijnana will spread everywhere. (Applause) So we also need the spoon. That is vijnana.
From that vijnana, it will change into prajnana in us. When we put this prajnana into practice, it will take the form of sujnana.
You are thinking, “I am a jnani, jnani (one of wisdom).” But the one who thinks he is a jnani is never a jnani. A jnani has no form. No one can show jnana (wisdom).
Adwaitha Darshanam Jnanam.
The perception of non-duality is Jnana.
All are one.
All are One, be alike to everyone.
To recognize this truth is jnana. The unity in everything has to be recognized.
The Three Together are only One
What is this? A kerchief. This is a cloth. I will say that this is not a cloth. Then what is it? We say it is threads, threads. You say that it is not threads. But they say this is cotton. This cotton, thread and cloth, the three together are only one. However, without cotton there is no thread. Without thread it is not cotton, it isn't a cloth. Therefore, that which contains all the three is unified. Hence in human nature:
Trijanma Papa Samharam.
Eka Bilvam Sivararpanam.
He (Siva) is the form of the three qualities.
He has three eyes and holds three weapons.
Offering a three-leafed Bilva leaf to Siva
will destroy the sins of three births.
It must be felt that everything, whether happiness or sorrow, is offered to God. When sorrow comes you are scolding God saying, “Ayyo! Lord, why have You given me this sorrow?” No, no! He has given some happiness even in that.
This is good for me; this is good for me.
Afterwards happiness comes. We think, “Ayyo! This is the gift that God has given.” No, no! That also is for your good.
Pain and pleasure, both are for your good, good, good.
Only when you take it in this way, so much broad feeling will be developed in our life.
(Swami says aside:) How much longer is this program? Do whatever is going on (carry on the group deliberations) and I will give answers for each one (meaning the questions the participants in the Conference ask). (Applause)
We Should Not Criticize Anyone
Now they will talk about these deliberations. (Swami keeps repeating the word ‘charchas’ [deliberations, discussions] to A.K. A.K. keeps translating as ‘discussions.’ Finally A.K. says aside to Swami in Telugu, “That IS what I'm saying, Swami!” [Audience laughs.] A.K. then guesses that Swami may be saying ‘churches’.)
So, any type of inquiry, discrimination, or some criticisms, (criticize), shouldn’t come at all. You have to discuss well, with love and without things like these (criticisms).
Whether a church, or a temple, or a mosque, all is one; all are one. Therefore, you should not criticize anything. That is not the characteristic that should be in our devotees. We should not criticize anyone. We have to share that kind of equality and the nature of love.
So whatever you discuss and inquire into today, I will give all the answers tomorrow. (Swami tells A.K. aside, “Tell it correctly!” After A.K. says it again, Swami imitates A.K. in a gruff voice, “Bhagavan will tell!” Audience laughs and claps).
(The program of discussion beginning at 10 AM is announced.) After breakfast! (Applause)
(Bhagavan did not sing any bhajan after His Divine Discourse)