Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 18 (1985)
Students and Satwic Purity

A son without virtue
An education without aim
A life without justice
A community without morality
And a night without the moon
Are of no use to the world.
DEAR students!
Moral education is the primary requisite in life for every student. It is his basic duty. In the Sanskrit language, personality is described as pourusham - the hallmark of a purusha. Although "personality" and pourusham may have the same meaning, they are words pregnant with significance. People who do not know the inner meaning of these terms, use them casually. Only the one who manifests the indwelling, invisible divine principle in him is qualified to describe himself as a purusha ( a person). He should manifest the divine power in him. The Sanskrit term Pourusha means a quality associated with moral behaviour. The English word "person" is delved from the Latin term "persona." In the post-Christian period, the term "persona" came to be used to refer to the Divine assuming a human form. In due course, it was applied to all human beings as persons who were inherently divine.
The primary duty of man
The term Pourusha is commonly used to mean hatred or anger or strength. The true meaning, however, is: it is a quality associated with Purusha. Purushatva does not refer to externals like dress or other physical features. The sage Narada referred to Purusha as Puman and declared that whoever realises Puman (the Supreme person) becomes saturated with Diane Bliss. Thus the terms Purusha can be applied only to the Divine. Hence it is the primary duty of man to manifest the divinity in him in his life. One's life-story is regarded as made up of his childhood, growth, achievements, his thoughts and ideals. But what is fundamental to a man's life is his moral stature. Neethi (Morality) is delved from the Sanskrit word Nitha. Neethi means right conduct. It is the path that leads one to the sublime. Good character, purity of thought and selfless sacrifice are all covered by Neethi. It comprehends all good deeds. "Only a community devoted to morality is a true community," says an adage. The ancients regarded Neethi as fundamental, without which the society will be mined. To promote Neethi the divinity that is in each one must be manifested. For this purpose, even the body has to be made pure and hence good health is essential. The word 'Health' is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'helig,' meaning paripoornamu (wholeness) or inner spirit. What is the wholeness that is to be achieved? The body consists of the sense organs, the mind, the intellect, the consciousness, and the indwelling Spirit. "Wholeness" means that all these elements should be whole. The mind should be in a state of fullness. It should not be in a state of "jumps and bumps." There should be no room for confusion or depression.
Practise sadhana to discipline the mind
To achieve such a state of mind, it is necessary to understand the meaning of everything and every situation. For instance, if a student has failed in an examination, he should not get depressed. Instead, he should examine the reasons for his failure, whether he had not studied properly or understood the subjects correctly. If he finds that his failure is due to inadequate preparation, he should resolve to do better in the future. To develop one's moral and mental strength, one should practise sadhana for disciplining the mind.
For this purpose, one has to promote ten kinds of purity (Satwa).
The first is purity of the place in which one lives. It is necessary to fill the room in which one resides or studies with a satwic atmosphere. The pictures or other objects you see should fill you with peace and pure thoughts. Objects which arouse agitation and bad thoughts should have no place. The room should be clean and free from anything that is impure.
Second: In the family in which you live, there should be mutual understanding and cooperation, and a sense of harmony. There should be no discord in the family that will create a bad atmosphere. A harmonious atmosphere will give you true peace of mind.
The third need is satwic food. This means that none of the edible items should be excessively sour, bitter or hot. You should eschew rajasic food like fish or meat. Even good satwic food should not be taken in excess. Some people consume so much of satwic food that even though it is satwa, it develops rajasic qualites. It is only satwic when you sit for the meal with a light stomach and get up from it with a light stomach! If you sit with a light stomach and get up with a weighty stomach, it becomes ramona.
Fourth: Whatever fluids you take should also be satwic. You should not drink whatever water is available. It should be pure water. Alcoholic splits should be eschewed.
Fifth: Satwic thoughts and feelings are of great importance. Students tend to neglect this factor. Only if your thoughts and feelings are pure, can you get the full benefit of a clean room, a good family and pure food.
Sixth: If you want to develop satwic feelings and thoughts, your vision must be pure. All Srishti (creation) is based upon drishti (sight). It is only when you have wrong vision that you have wrong thoughts. You must look upon every elderly woman as your mother and all women who are younger as your sisters. When you are filled with such pure thoughts, you will have pure feelings. It is because you are students, you have to be told this. Imagine how offended you will feel if someone looks at your mother or sister with an evil eye. Realising this, you have to entertain pure feelings towards other women. You should not commit the sort of offences which you will not tolerate in others.
Seventh: Whatever books you read or whatever you write should be pure. This is the Sadhana relating to study - Sahitya Satwika. If you read or write that which is not pure, it warps your mind. A good book makes for a good mind. Any book you may study about Physics or Chemistry or other subjects, does not affect your character. But books which are literary, are not always good literature. If improper books are prescribed for study, treat them as mere text-books and do not attach any high value to them as guides for life.
Eighth: Pure Satwic service. With regard to service, you have to decide what is satwic and what is rajasic. We go and clean streets, build roads in villages or dig wells and do them all as a service to the community. But the kind of service which we do should give real happiness to the people. In the name of 'Social work' you go to a hospital and approach a patient. This is not real service. Any person whom you wish to serve, you should regard as an embodiment of the Divine. Going to the help of the destitute and the neglected is rendering service to God. Narayana has two forms: one is 'Lakshmi Narayana', the other is 'Daridra Narayana'. This 'Lakshmi-Narayana' is full of wealth. He is able to help any number of people. He will be able to get many persons to serve him. But, for 'Daridra Narayana' there is nobody to serve him. It is to such persons that we should do satwic service.
Ninth: Sadhana. This is spiritual discipline. This must be satwa. Some people do Hata Yoga. Some strive to develop the Kundalini Sakthi Some invoke evil spirits, to do harm to others. These forms of sadhana are not sadhana at all. The individual is Chith (Consciousness), God is Sath (The Eternal Absolute). When Sath and Chith combine, you have Ananda Sath-Chith-Ananda. Only the sadhana undertaken to realise Satchidananda is true sadhana. Where is this Sath? This Sath, the Diane, is in everybody. So, you must be prepared to serve everybody, regarding everyone as the Divine. You may have normal relationship with your kith and kin. There is nothing wrong in this. You must perform sadhana in the spirit that the One pervades the many. In this process, you must cultivate the feeling of Love. There is no higher sadhana than the cultivation of Love!
Gopikas' devotion to Krishna
Uddhava was an adept in the path of Jnana Yoga (Knowledge and Wisdom). He wanted to teach the gopikas (the cowherdesses) the path of Wisdom. So, he approached Krishna. Krishna told Uddhava: "The gopikas are totally devoted to me. Their devotion is fundamental to their life and reaches My heart! Their purity and devotion are like a light that shines! You cannot understand the hearts of such devotees! I am completely enshrined in their hearts." Uddhava doubted whether ignorant illiterate gopikas could understand the Divine. To dispel the doubts of Uddhava, Krishna sent him to Repalle. Uddhava summoned the gopikas and told them: "I will teach you the path of dhana to realise the Divine." The Gopikas came to Uddhava and told him: "We are not interested in learning any sastras! Teach us one simple means by which we can realise Krishna! We are not aware of any yoga or bhoga or mantra. Krishna is everything for us, our yoga or bhoga. Please, therefore, tell us the means by which we can obtain Krishna! We do not want to waste our time on yoga. Uddhava asked the gopikas: "How can you become one with Krishna?" One gopika answered: "If Krishna were a flower, I would be a bee whirling round Him. If He were a tree, I would be a creeper twining round him. If He were a mountain, I would be a river cascading from its top! If Krishna were the boundless sky, I would be a little star, twinkling in the firmament. If He were the deep ocean, I would be a small stream, joining the ocean. This is the way I would be one with Krishna and merge with Him." Another gopi said: "If Krishna were a flower, I would be a bee which goes on sucking every drop of honey in the flower rasing the nectar that is there! This is our approach to God." So, spiritual sadhana means to regard a mountain or a tree, or a flower, or the ocean, as a means of God-realization.
Tenth: Your occupation or profession. What is the kind of work you should take up? It should be work which can benefit the nation, the community. The nation enables you to earn a living. You must see what you can give to the nation, in return. You must ask yourself: "What is the service, what is the help I can do for the community?" You must see that there is no untruth in any work you do, no unfairness, no fraud, no evil motive.
Ensure freedom from birth by present karma
These are the pure things which you have to observe in your life. If you engage yourselves in right action, you will not be bound by the consequences of karma. Because of past karma, you have got the present life. By your present karma you can ensure freedom from birth. Through love, you develop faith; through faith and earnestness, you acquire knowledge; through knowledge, you develop sadhana, and through sadhana, you achieve the goal. So, for practising sadhana, you require wisdom, and for acquiring wisdom, you require Sraddha (earnestness and faith) and for Sraddha you must cultivate love. So love is the means and for this you must acquire control of the senses. If gradually you reduce your desires, you will be able to bring the senses under control.
Every student should prepare himself to serve as an ideal for the community. There should be no discord among your college-mates and no room for hate or ill-will. You should discharge your duties and please your parents by your conduct. Strive to bring credit to your educational institute. Above all, try to earn the grace of God by being helpful to your fellow-beings. Only these constitute true education. Different branches of knowledge are like rivers, while spiritual knowledge is the ocean. Even as the rivers merge in the ocean, all types of knowledge merge in spiritual knowledge. You must bear in mind the company you keep. Kabir said, "I salute the bad and also the good!" Kabir was asked: "We can understand your offering salutations to the good, but what is the point in offering salutations to the bad?" He replied, "When I salute the bad, I am saluting them, saying, please remove yourself from my presence. I salute the good, saying, please come to me!" You must avoid the company of the bad and cultivate the company of the good. Association with the good is pure yoga! I desire that you should pursue this kind of yoga and confer happiness on all people with whom you are associated! You should strive to get rid of all your bad thoughts, give up all your bad traits, discharge your obligations to your parents, render self-less service to the community and thereby redeem your lives and earn the grace of God. This is my blessing for all of you.
The best way to gain happiness is to choose God as the leader and guide. Then, He will guide and guard, from the heart itself.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse
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