This translation from Telugu to English is done word-by-word to get the literal meaning. It is NOT an edited version.

Discourse By Sri Sathya Sai Baba


November 22nd, 2001

Sarve Vedam Vidhassura, Sarve Lokaika Sarva

Sarve Lokaika Mangalam, Sarve Jnanopa Sapannah

Sarve Samudita Gunaihih.

All knowing the contents of Vedas.

All people in the world being auspicious.

All rich with wisdom.

All having pleasing qualities.

(Sanskrit sloka)

Characteristics of Education

Embodiments of Love!

Even though man studies so much education, there is no use of studying that knowledge if it is not put to good use in society. Hearing that knowledge and experiencing it, people have to love him.

Sarvo Loka Hitaratah.

Beneficial for the whole world.

(Sanskrit sloka)

All the people of the world also have to experience this and derive joy. That knowledge must be studied.

Sarvo Jnanopa Sampannah.

All rich with wisdom.

(Sanskrit sloka)

It is not enough just to study this knowledge. What is wanted is to be perfect in wisdom.

Sarvo Samudita Gunaihih.

All having pleasing qualities.

(Sanskrit sloka)

It is not enough just to have wisdom. All good qualities should also arise in him. There are three characteristics of education.

Sarve Veda Vedhah Swarupam,

Sarve Lokaika Vandanam,

Sarve Jnanopa Sampannah,

Sarve Samudita Gunaihih.

The embodiment of all the Vedas.

Revered by all in the world.

All rich wisdom.

All having pleasing qualities.

(Sanskrit sloka)

One should have wisdom and all good qualities, and convey much bliss to the world through that education. That which makes one earn moral and spiritual character is (true) education. It is not enough only to foster the body. Along with that, the heart should also be made expansive. This only is the main aim of education.

Education is not merely to amend mankind into human beings. Human beings should be rectified as ideal human beings and human beings with great virtues. Are you able to think (about this)?

Problems that immerse every man in a state of confusion are increasing in education today. What is the value of education in situations like this? Students have to try think over such matters well, recognize them and to experience joy.

Limitless Scientific Knowledge

Man today has experienced limitless scientific knowledge. However, man should not be proud just because he is greatly educated. Endless scientific knowledge is only teaching us worldly knowledge today. Yet it is only virtuous character that is necessary for man. Man cannot have a virtuous character just by learning only worldly education. Only the student who is demonstrating an ideal, fostering his virtues, practicing them in society, and experiencing them in a way that attracts others, is truly the best student.

The student of today takes refuge in limitless science. He is recognizing the nature of his body and perverting his mind (but not recognizing) the matter of who he is. What is the use of recognizing the matters relating to the physical, worldly, and secular body? At one time, Churchill also said this:

Man has conquered all but he has not conquered himself.

Man is able to find out about everything. Yet the educated person of today is unable to know who he is. It is the true positive to know who he is. It is only a negative characteristic to conduct oneself recognizing only all that is happening in the world.

No matter how much education is studied, without putting it on the path of experience, without showing an ideal for others, and only keeping the degree that we studied in hand, moving about for a job saying, “Job, job, job,” are not correct qualities for a student.

One may learn all types of knowledge and win in an assembly.

Being perfect, one may fight in a war.

Being born King of kings, one may reign a kingdom.

One may give gold and cows in charity.

One may count all the dots (stars) in the sky.

One may say the names of all the living beings.

(But) one cannot control the senses of the body,

Stop the mind and look within,

And remain steady in samadhi.

(Telugu poem)

Man may describe in numerous ways the outer, worldly prakrithi (Nature or creation). Reaching the moon in an instant, he may also recognize the matters of the moon. Yet he is only discovering the way to go to the moon but he is not getting to know at all how to go even a half-inch within. Therefore, today man, meaning, educated people should make the suitable effort to recognize the nature of Truth within him.

Rama is One of Wisdom

Valmiki wrote the Ramayana. However, Ravana studied the same education that Rama studied. Ravana also was not an ordinary man. He was one who learned all kinds of knowledge.

Yet what did Valmiki say? “Ravano Naala Murkhah.” (‘Ravana is completely foolish’.) Ravana is completely foolish. Only Rama is one of wisdom. Therefore, regarding the knowledge that was studied, he (Valmiki) said that one (Rama) was ‘one of wisdom’ and another (Ravana) he (Valmiki) said was ‘foolish’.

Rama was one who put the education that was studied into practice, demonstrated an ideal to others, and made the country to experience the right type of welfare. But Ravana was one who succumbed to the senses and remained under the control of the senses. He spent his entire life relating only to the senses, without recognizing at all the knowledge that was studied. He finally made his body, his kingdom, and his everything into ash.

Therefore, all the knowledge that we study is not only to give joy to the senses of the body. The nature of the character that transcends the senses has to be demonstrated as an ideal to the world. This is very necessary to students now, in the modern age. Only when students like these are increased, the sacred country of Bharath can obtain any amount of good fame.

Distorted Paths of Today

But today’s student does not think about sacred feelings at all. Hence, as students of today, you should learn knowledge in order to offer an ideal life.

All the eternal and true dictums

are changing by distortion.

Every day the sacred prakrithi

is leaving the people and going away.

Looking after Dharma and compassion

is considered as bad practices.

Noble Vedic knowledge is dwindling

and bad knowledge is increasing.

(Telugu poem)

These are only the distorted paths of today. All of these are only medicines that give even more strength to diseases, but they are not medicines which cure diseases.

Learning a way which brings world peace,

Giving up narrow feelings,

(Telugu poem)

Man of today should give up narrow feelings and demonstrate an ideal life to the world. That only is what the student should do today to help the country.

We are saying that we are helping the country. We are saying that we are doing a lot of service to the country. However, what services are we doing? Man of today is wasting life due to selfishness and self-interests. When he tests and inquires of himself once, from his head to his feet he is doing the dance of selfishness and self-interests.

He desires all the things in the world. However, does he want this desire for the objects? No, no, no, no! He desires these objets for himself. I want this kerchief. I do not want it for the sake of the kerchief. I want the kerchief for my desire. I desire an object in the world. You do not want that object for the sake of that object’s joy. You desire that object for yourself (your own joy).

In that same manner, one aspires to experience all the senses. He does not only desire it for the satisfaction of the senses. He is aspiring to satisfy the senses for himself. So, he is a slave to the senses. Why? Because those senses have control over him. When he brings his senses under his control through the knowledge that he studied, then only he will be a superior student. However, the student of today is acting just as his mind wishes. You should think about what characteristics should be in a student.

Good qualities, good intellect, truth, devotion, discipline and following duty: these are what education confers and what students should learn.

(Telugu poem)

These are the things that we should learn today.

Embodiments of Love!

All of you are very virtuous and have so much intelligence. You are ones who have sacred hearts. Yet we are not giving suitable things to that sacred heart. The heart is very pure. Nothing other than compassion and love should enter into this pure heart.

However, today there is no compassion in the heart, hridaya (hridaya= heart: that which has daya, compassion). There is no love in the heart. Everything is entering into the heart. However, the reflection, reaction and resound of the heart are reflected to us in everything. All the scenes that we see, are seen as negative scenes. What is the reason? Everything has been printed in your heart. They only are reflected to you. Therefore, every thing that is reflected to you has come from you but is not seen from outside. All that we hear and all that is eaten should be worthy of God's Grace.

Everything is Full of Atoms

No matter how much science is taught, no matter how many spiritual powers are taught, finally that which comes to the surface for us is atoms. Whatever educated person or whatever scientist it may be, all that is taught is, they are teaching about atoms.

What is the inner meaning of telling about atoms? The food that we eat is atoms. The air that is breathed is atoms. The sounds that are heard are atoms. Even the steps that we walk are also atoms. Everything is full of atoms.

In this world which is full of atoms, it is not necessary for you to know about atoms. We should recognize ‘paramaanuvu’ (‘param’ = supreme or beyond; ‘anuvu’ = atom) which are subtler than atoms. This ‘paramaanuvu’ is fundamental atom. Everything comes from this fundamental atom. Instead of us holding onto that which is fundamental, we are only considering ‘branch, branch, branch’ and ‘care of address’. First and foremost you have to obtain it directly.

In the atom, smaller than the atom.

Bigger when in the big.

It is only the atom,

Which is the Witness of everything.

(Telugu poem)

It is big in a big thing. It is small in a small thing. This atom also is the combination of atoms, which becomes a form of atoms.

Here is a flower. This flower also is the form of atoms. Due to numerous atoms combining, this takes the form of a flower. This is a cloth. This also is only atoms. The object that isn't made up of atoms cannot be seen in this world at all. All is full of atoms. Why should we try to inquire about atoms like this?

All education is only atoms. All sankalpas (resolves) are only atoms. The entire body is only atoms. The indweller of the body is atom. All is only atoms. Birth is an atom. To be on the earth is an atom. Worldly life is atom. Death is an atom. Life is atom. Worldliness and relatives are only atoms. All is only atoms.

What will you desire when such a nature of atoms is recognized? That which transcends this, must be experienced. That only is your nature of Atma. That is recognition of fundamental. If we want to recognize such a nature of atoms, we also have to necessarily study spiritual education along with this (worldly) education.

Practical Knowledge

Therefore, familiarity only with books is not right for us. All the education that we study is only limited to books. Hence, if we only have this bookish knowledge, we are changing only into ones of superficial knowledge. However, that which we need to be is not ones of superficial knowledge. Practical knowledge is needed. One has to undergo this in one’s experience. The sweetness of the nature of atoms has to be experienced.

We have read (about) a sweet, a jelabi (fried sweet soaked in syrup) or a laddu (sweet ball) in a few books. But just by reading about them in a book, will that sweetness enter into our body? It does not enter. Take it once and you put it on your tongue. Then you will know its sweetness. That only is your practical knowledge. Taste it. To experience the delight is your practical knowledge.

We only know the meaning through books and put it to use only through books. That is not the right type of books and not education. This is all becoming bookish knowledge today.

So, good kinds of individuals cannot be found in the world today. Aren’t there so many educated people in this country of Bharath? There are very highly educated people. There are those who have taken great titles.

Though there are so many people, what are they doing for this country? Are they doing any works that benefit at least some people? Are they doing any works that give joy to some people? Are they doing any works that give comforts to anyone? They are not doing anything at all. They are not giving joy to others, and they aren’t experiencing joy themselves. Then why should this education be studied?

One studies so much knowledge

And gains a lot of discrimination.

But still he does not know his Self, the dull-head!

No matter how much is studied,

he will not give up his low qualities.

Studying again and again

leads only to argumentation

but he can never get full wisdom,

O, crazy fellow!

Studying and studying all education,

why should one die?

The education about life without death

should be studied.

(Telugu poem)


Give Joy to at Least One Person

Hence, out of all the knowledge that we study, the knowledge that gives joy to the heart should be studied. That which gives joy to others should be studied. Then only you will have bliss and the world will have bliss.

There are crores and crores (tens of millions) of people in society who struggle in numerous ways for bliss, and suffer. Are we trying for even one moment to give joy to even one person? No, no! Attempt to give joy to at least one person through your education, or at least you be happy. Even you aren't happy! Not experiencing joy oneself and not giving joy to others, what are you doing with the education that you study? Can this be considered education? No! It all becomes wicked.


Your degrees and certificates are very great. If each student is observed, he passes MSc, then again he passes MBA, and he also passes Ph.D. He is taking so many degrees. However, is he using even a tiny bit to put into practice?

He only has familiarity with books, gets the (information in) books by heart and goes to the examination hall. He is emptying his head there and returning. But he is not inquiring into even one thing.

That (what he should inquire) only is: “What is the inner meaning in this education that I studied? What is the suitable experience to this meaning? What does education mean? What is the taste of education? What are its qualities? What are its characteristics? What is its result that we get from it?” No one cares.

Embodiments of Love!

All of you are such good, educated people and great students. However, due to the ones teaching you not being proper people, you are going on the wrong path. At least the teachers should teach you the right answer. Or at least the parents should teach you the right answer.

The parents are not educated. They don’t have the authority to teach. Even the teachers, who are educated, are not teaching the right meanings. They are only trying for their own ranks but are not inquiring into how should the sacredness of the students be developed. Therefore, we have to keep the essence of education in our experience well and experience joy.

Happiness Cannot Be Obtained Through Happiness.

However, there was a learned scholar. He was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), learnt much knowledge and earned name and fame. He was one who sanctified his name in the world: Eswara Chandra Daya (Vidya) Sagar. Eswara Chandra Vidya Sagar: his very name was ‘Vidya Sagar’ (ocean of learning)!

In what situation did this Vidya Sagar come? He was born in very poor circumstances. There wasn’t even a light in the house to study with. Vidya Sagar went under a street light and studied the books depending on it (the streetlight).

The mother used to suffer a lot. Mother didn’t have even a naya paisa. “Dear son, Vidya Sagar! When you sit under the streetlight all night and study, (I worry) what will become of your situation.” Saying that, paapam, she used to cry. Then, he would give an answer to his mother. “Mother, only when I go to a lot of difficulty, I will obtain happiness.”

Na Sukhath Labhyate Sukham

Happiness cannot be obtained through happiness.

(Sanskrit sloka)

“I won't obtain happiness from happiness. This happiness will be obtained by me only when I go to difficulty.” Saying that, finally in some way he got a degree. Not only obtaining it, he studied well in books the situation of our entire ancient history.

If he went anywhere to lecture, groups of thousands of people would gather. His lectures were so sweet. It would be imprinted (in the listeners). It was so sweet. It was so sensitive. It was so sacred and was imprinted in the heart.

He Was Without Pride

One day the next village called him to their school. They prayed, “Sir, Vidya Sagar, you have to come to our college and give a lecture.” He was going. He held a small bag in his hand and he went on the train.

On that same (train) was an IAS officer. Thinking, “Vidya Sagar’s lectures are very great it seems,” he was also going to hear. Now it is IAS, then it was ICS officer. This means that a high ICS was a very great title.

Both of them were going together in this train. Both got down from the train. When they got down from the train, he (the ICS officer) saw Vidya Sagar. He thought that he (Vidya Sagar) was some coolie. He said, “Sir, my box is a small box, a hand bag. Will you bring it and come (with me)?”

Then Vidya Sagar was so happy, thinking, “He, this great man, gave me a service like this, isn't it?” He asked, “Where do (we) have to go?” Then the IAS officer said, “It’s said that someone called Vidya Sagar will speak at a particular place. Take me to the place where the lecture will be given.”

Vidya Sagar laughed within himself, thinking, “That man doesn’t know my name yet. He doesn’t know who I am. He thinks I'm some laborer, paapam!”

He (Vidya Sagar) took him there. He gave (the bag). When he was going to give him (the bag), that ICS officer said, “Sir, look here, take!” Saying that he gave two annas (an ‘anna’ is an obsolete coin, then valued at 1/16 of a rupee). He (Vidya Sagar) asked, “What are you giving this for?” He said, “You brought my suitcase, bag. I'm giving it for that.” He said, “Sir, I didn’t come for wages! I came wanting to do service for you! Please forgive me. I don’t need this money.” He went away.

After wards, this ICS officer went near the stage and he sat down. All were waiting, thinking, “Vidya Sagar will come, Vidya Sagar will come, Vidya Sagar will come!” Vidya Sagar held a small bag in his hand and was a simple man. He came near the stage. Everyone met him, praised him in numerous ways and put garlands on him. Then this ICS officer thought, “Hey! Isn’t he only the one who carried my suitcase?” He thought that in his mind.

Even though he was so highly educated, he was without pride, without pride. (Applause) An educated person like that (usually) has so much pride. So, even the wife who was tied (in marriage) and the own son will not respect the one who has pride.

Hence Vidya Sagar was one who was without pride. He went there on that stage and gave a very ideal, useful speech to the people. They (the audience) kept clapping every minute. He talked of such sacred matters with such a sweet voice, in a way that imprinted on the heart. He told things that were happening in his daily life. He didn’t only tell stories. He didn’t just say things that were in a book. He spoke of all his experiences. Hence, when such an educated person shared his experiences with others, they were so joyful. He felt that their joy was his joy.

The Supremely Sacred Land of Bharath

So, there are so many of such great ones in the land of Bharath. Today also there are so many who are without pride. The country of Bharath is a very sacred country. It is a sacred land. What is the use of us of being born in such a sacred land of Bharath if we don’t recognize such a sacred Bharath?

Holding onto ignorance without any fear of sin, holding onto that which does not have any Love for God,

human values are reduced in men.

This only is detrimental for World Peace.

(Telugu poem)

What is the reason for lack of peace today? This only is the main cause.

In the supremely sacred land of Bharath,

forbearance is the beauty for us.

Out of all the rituals, adhering to great Truth

is the most difficult penance.

In our country, what is the sweet feeling higher than

the motherly feeling?

Our moral culture,

which considers self-respect greater than life,

is being burnt by seeing foreign moral culture,

which gives strange freedom

that is like a sharp knife.

What should I say about the reign of Bharatiyas?

(Telugu poem)

Today such a sacred country of Bharath, such a country that gives such an ideal, such a sacred country is experiencing this fate. What is the reason of this? The reason is that we don’t understand well the sacred culture of Bharath. The reason is not putting it in practice and experiencing.

Boy students! Girl students!

Remember one time the sacred history of Bharath and remember in the mind about the wealth of this country. Even though any great help may not be done, do at least a tiny help to man and experience bliss. Even in the past in this world, when one would place their foot in such a sacred land of Bharath, very sacred feelings would arise.

First for Mother

After the Rangoon war a mother and son came walking from there (from Rangoon). A small boy, a boy of ten years. They came and arrived in Madras. The boy became hungry. The heart of the mother melted. “Dear son, sit under this tree.” Saying that, she went to a few houses and brought food received by begging. She gave that to the child and after that child ate, she also ate what was leftover.

One day, two days, three days passed in that way. “Who will give us every day, who will give that charity to us?” They didn’t give. Due to them not giving, that which the mother brought was given to the son, and she used to fast. The mother who has such a true mother-goddess nature, is a mother of Bharath.

So she used to remain fasting. Continuing, continuing, continuing with that fast, finally her body became weak. There was no strength even to go for food by begging. Then the son got up, “Mother, you have become very weak. You sit. Today I will bring food.”

However, (Swami’s voice breaks in emotion), the mother didn’t accept the son going for begging at all. Even today also there are so many mothers like that in the country of Bharath.

He went. He got food by begging. Only very, very little was obtained. He used to bring it and give it to the mother, “Dear son, have you eaten?” He used to satisfy her saying, “I have certainly eaten.” As it continued on like that, his body also became weak.

He went to one house. Paapam! He was very weak. He couldn’t even speak. He asked, “Bhavathi Bhiksham Dehi!” (‘May there be food, obtained by begging, for the body’)

An officer was sitting on an easy chair on the verandah and reading the paper. Then he saw him (the boy) and heard the subject matter. He said, “Hey, boy! Who are you?” He (the boy) didn’t have strength to answer. He sat.

When he sat, that officer went inside and brought some rice, put it on a leaf and asked him to eat. He didn’t eat. “Hey, you said you were hungry, why don’t you eat? You are only a thief. If you truly had hunger, why can't you eat?”

Then that boy, unable to say an answer, spoke very softly so it was hardly heard. That officer put his ears near his (the boys’) mouth. Then that boy said, (Swami’s voice breaks again in emotion), “First for mother.” The mother should be given first. Saying that, he gave up his life.

In the times of those days such children used to serve such mothers in so many ways. Even though he was dying from hunger, “First for mother, first for mother, first for mother.” (Swami’s voice again breaks with emotion as He says,) I am hoping that such children will be found somewhere today.

Yet, they are there. They are not lacking in the country of Bharath. In the sacred land of Bharath, there are some hearts with more or less compassion. However, today even one cannot be seen in this land which has progressed so much.

First and Foremost Develop Compassion

Embodiments of Love!

First and foremost develop compassion. Shed tears seeing the difficulties of others. Make suitable efforts to reduce their difficulties. Give them the appropriate help.

If you have ten rupees in your pocket, keep nine rupees and give at least one rupee in charity. (Applause) The (true) culture of our Bharath is only when one has that true sacrifice.

Na Karmana, Na Prajaya,

Dhanenat Thyaaganaike,

Amritatwa Manassu.

Not by action, not by progeny or wealth.

Sacrifice alone confers Immortality.

(Sanskrit sloka)

Such a man will gain the form of immortality. So, at least give a naya paisa and give help to them. Do that kind of help.

Hastyasa Bhushnam Daanam.

Bhushanam Kanthasya Sathyam.

Charity is the ornament for the hands.

Truth is the ornament for the neck.

(Sanskrit sloka)

Truth is the ornament for the neck. A necklace is not the (true) ornament for our neck. Truth only is our ornament. Charity is an ornament for the hand. Why should we, who have ornaments like this, hope for numerous (outer) ornaments?

Service Like This Should Be Done

Therefore, boy students! Girl students!

Have hearts of compassion. Study knowledge and also do suitable sacrifice in society. Earn a good name in society. However, just push aside bad qualities in you like anger, ego, and hatred. When keeping these bad qualities inside, no matter what charity is done, it is only like Neem-fruit charity. That is bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter. Don’t do charity like that.

Push your bad qualities aside. Develop love. Make others happy with this love. That only is what you should do and what is the inner meaning of education.

Truly, the service like this should be done to the country today. Don’t build great buildings. Don’t build great ‘this things’. Build schools. Do as much work as your hands have the power. Whatever is done, do it with love. There is no charity that excels love.

Bhagavan ended His Divine Discourse by chanting the bhajan, ‘Prema Muditha Mana Self Kaho…’