Satyopanishad – Upanishad Of Sri Sathya Sai – Part 7
Anil Kumar Kamaraju Questions Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Everywhere we hear people speaking of ‘brain drain’. Statistics indicate that from year to year the number of educated people going abroad is increasing. Is this good?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: This is not good. It is not proper on the part of the young people to leave this country and settle in foreign countries. Here, in Bharat, according to tradition, you have five mothers almost equally venerable. These five are the most revered and ranked along with one’s own mother. Who are those five mothers? The first and foremost, of course; is the dehamata, the physical mother. It is this mother who has given you birth, struggled hard serving you and sacrificed everything for your comfort and upbringing. So, she has to be revered. The second is gomata, the cow. It is the cow that gives you milk and helps to nurture and strengthen your body. You have to be grateful to the cow. The third is bhumata, Mother Earth. It is on the Earth that we live. We cultivate the land and grow grains. All the metal ores we extract and use are treasured in the Earth. The fourth is Vedamata, Mother Scripture. It is the Vedas, that teach you the aim and the goal of life while showing you the spiritual path as well. We should be grateful to Mother Scripture, as we should be to our mothers. The fifth is desamata, Motherland. Your culture, tradition, and rich heritage are all embodied in this land where you are born. You have to treat your desa, country, as your mother. So it is called desamata , Motherland.
For the simple reason that a woman you meet happens to be more beautiful than your mother, you will not call her ‘amma’, mother. This message is conveyed in the Ramayana. At the end of the war, after Ravana had died, Lakshmana said to Rama: “O Brother! This Lanka is prosperous and exceedingly beautiful. Our enemies have all died, and we have every right to rule this land. O Lord! Why don’t you become its king? Bharata has been already been there for fourteen years as the king of Ayodhya. We can as well ask him to continue his reign there, and we stay here and rule this kingdom.” Then Rama replied, “O Lakshmana! Your motherland is greater than heaven itself. Your mother may be ugly and another woman you have seen may be beautiful. Yet, you don’t address the beautiful woman as ‘amma’.”
Whatever may be the country you belong to, it is your Motherland. Everyone must be patriotic. Everyone must love his or her own country. You should serve your country.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! What are your comments on brain drain? Many highly educated professionals like engineers, doctors, computer experts plan to go abroad and settle there for better and higher prospects of income and placement in life. This is the cause for worry in many circles, both government and private. What do you feel about this?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: It is most unfortunate that this trend is on the rise. This is not good at any point of time anywhere in the world. You are born in this society. So you grow up, educate yourself, make money, name and fame in this society. Only through this society you could get your clothing, food and shelter: Have you come up on your own without the society you live in? Could you make a career for yourself without its support? Should you not express your sense of gratitude to it for all it has done for you?
Man should never be an ungrateful creature. The best way to be grateful is to serve. You know, our people put in greater effort, and work more sincerely abroad. While they are here they don’t show the same spirit and the same zeal in their work. They are not as sincere and industrious here as they are in foreign countries. In fact, the emoluments they get here by doing their best will be the same as they get abroad, a fact they fail to realise. To some extent, parents also are responsible for this problem of brain drain. They don’t properly inculcate in children the values of work, patriotism, sacrifice, love and gratitude.
So, it is your fundamental duty to serve the society in which you are born and brought up. You see many a foreigner coming here. They learn lots of things from this sacred land of your birth, whereas our people forget what they know. Some of our people are even inferior to locals and natives of foreign countries in respect of observing traditions. What for is our education? Is it for the decline of human values? Janani janmabhumi s’ca svargadapi gariyasi . Rama observed ‘Mother and motherland are greater than Heaven.’
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Modern youth, in the name of generation gap, are not prepared to pay heed to their elders. Advise and give us your message.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: This is meaningless. What are the changes you notice in the name of generation gap? The Sun rises only in the east and never in the west. There is no change in the laws of nature. Don’t you feed the same stomach every day? Don’t you wash the same face every day? Don’t you clean the same utensils every day? Don’t you wear the same clothes? So, all important things need to be done time and again. In the name of generation gap you should not neglect doing things that need to be repeated.
You shouldn’t turn a deaf ear to the advice of your elders branding them as senile, old hags. No. They are persons with rich experience. They are your well wishers. You must listen to them, obey and follow their instructions. The modern generation is not prepared to listen to the elders. It is foolishness and utter ignorance to brush aside all that the elders say. It amounts to pride and egotism. You will be ultimately ruining yourself if you don’t follow the valuable advice of elders.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We have on one side our parents pulling us towards the world and on the other, the divine teachings we have been fortunate enough to receive from you. We wonder which of the two will dominate and influence us.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: If the ideas of your parents are against God, you should choose God and definitely not your parents. You must clearly explain and appeal to them and then convince them of the value and importance of the spiritual path. Among the Bal Vikas children, there are a large number who have brought about a change in their parents. There are many who have been influenced and transformed by the children of Sri Sathya Sai Primary School, Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and the students of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. There should be a change in the family of the children first, then in the society.
In fact, you are not from your parents, but you are through your parents. Truly, you are from God. If you are convinced of this, your words and actions would be godly. Take a simple example. You fill a container with sweet milk pudding, payasam. If the container has holes, you will expect the same sweet pudding to come out of these holes. Will you not? Similarly, when you know that you are from God, your words, thoughts and actions will be divine.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We are progressing in Science and Technology. At the same time, our modern youth are not able to face life’s problems courageously. They are depressed by the slightest problem. They are not able to bear any suffering with patience, and easily take to drink and drugs. What is Swami’s message to our youth?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Today, many young men and women go to Colleges and Universities for studies. There are many specialisations in every branch of knowledge. This is, on the whole, good. But the pity of it is that we find innate, vital human qualities deteriorating fast and disappearing altogether.
Education is not for living, but it is for life.
Education is not for transmitting information, but it is for transformation.
Education is for elevating the human personality to the mansion of God.
Education should not be instrumental to earning annas, but to earning gunas, values.
Education is not for ‘ji tam’, salary, but it is for ‘jivitam,’ life.
Without values even if one is highly educated, what is the use? Is there progress without values? Will Science and Technology help you, if you have no values? It is for this reason, viz., the absence of values, that modern youth take to drugs and alcohol.
The youth are not vira, courageous, but bhira, timid. They should be masters, instead they are slaves. They should know “Life is a challenge. Meet it”. They have to encounter and overcome all the problems and difficulties in life rather than choose to run away from them and feel frustrated. Since life is a challenge, you should meet it. Life is full of keen competition in all fields, scientific, technological, physical, ethical, political and spiritual. They should fully equip themselves with the right weapons and be ever ready to face the challenges of life.
A similar thing happened during the Mahabharata war. Arjuna wanted to run away from the battlefield being totally disheartened like a coward. At that time, Lord Krishna instilled in him the needed courage and morale by teaching him the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Celestial. This acted like calcium and glucose injections that gave strength of mind and body to Arjuna.
Life is a sports ground, life is a game, play it. You have to play with sportsmanship and accept victory or defeat, gain or loss, with equanimity. In this world, everyone may not have everything, but there is none without love. So, life is love, share it. God is love, love is God; hence, live in love. Your heart is full of love, but with how many are you sharing this precious gift? Question yourself. Love begets love. Today it is not happening. This is the main reason for all conflicts; misunderstandings, and differences. Do your duty with all your skill and to the best of your ability. Don’t be lazy, building castles in the air. You work such that your dreams come true, “Life is a dream. Realise it!” Nowadays, you plan in a funny way, so very far from reality. Is it life? No.
Yogah karmasu kaus’alam: Do your duty sincerely praying to God. Then, your work will be transformed into worship. Your karma, action, will turn into yoga, spiritual communion. Then, duty and work will become a spiritual discipline on the path of karma yoga. Don’t merely dream, don’t spend time in meaningless fancies. Know that life is duty.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! You seem to be very much upset and annoyed when anything goes wrong in respect of discipline, educational standards and personality development in general.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: First of all, you should know that Swami is completely selfless. You should also note very clearly that Swami is never angry with anyone: “God is Love, Love is God” . I pretend to be angry and unhappy with you only to correct you. Even that apparent anger vanishes very soon like a shower of hail. You cannot call anyone a guru if he accepts and endorses all that you do and say. He is a guru in the true sense of the term if he corrects you and turns you in the right direction as your wellwisher.
Suppose this is a workshop. All damaged and spoiled vehicles come here for repair. I must, if I am a mechanic, tighten bolts, nuts, screws, etc. Similarly, I should correct your mistakes, make you free from your faults, see that you are rid of your weaknesses and defects and finally mould you into ideal citizens of this country. Your mistake must be corrected immediately then and there itself, as and when it is committed. I should be harsh enough to correct you. You bend iron when it is hot, don’t you? But, when it is not hot, no man with all the strength of his muscles will be able to bend it. So, you should be corrected and admonished when you go wrong immediately. If your mistakes are pointed out in public, you don’t repeat them.
Take a small example here. Suppose, wearing a lungi (a South Indian informal dress, a long robe wrapped round the waist, down to the feet), you are sweeping your room with a broom. Suddenly your friend comes to see you. What do you do? You will put the broom aside, change your dress and make yourself presentable to your friend. Why do you do that? After all; you are cleaning your room. Nothing wrong about it! You don’t want to be seen in your informal dress. You want to be dressed neatly before you meet him. You care for him. Don’t you? So also here, when I point out your mistakes in public, you will be able to correct them forthwith and you will also be careful enough in future not to repeat such mistakes, won’t you?
In fact, I don’t lose anything if you are spoiled. I don’t gain anything if you are good. I don’t expect anything from you. I want you to be good and get a good name to your parents, your institution, and your country. This is not for me, but for your ultimate good.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Today when we meet students and ask them what they are doing, we hear them say that they are in the computer line or doing an M. Tech. Course. We want to know Swami’s views on this craze for computer studies?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: One of the most important things you should know is that all your modern education is within you. You are the ‘Computer’. You are the ‘Generator’. There is ‘Electricity’ in you. There is ‘Heat’ in you. You are the ‘Magnet’. Everything around you is nothing but the ‘reflection’, ‘reaction’ and ‘resound’ of your inner being.
You say that a computer is great. You stand in front of a computer and put a question, “Who is my wife?” Do you get the answer? No. Why? The computer should be fed with some information which you get back as and when you want it, isn’t it so? It shows only what has already been supplied to it. Nothing new! It was, after all, a man who made the computer. So, naturally, man is greater than a computer. Your brain is a computer with all your memories and experiences recorded therein. When a mosquito bites you even while you are talking to me, you will pick it up and throw it out. How? There is communication. On the way, when your eye finds a thorn, the leg automatically passes it, but doesn’t step on it. Why? There is a magnetic force within you.
When I ask you, “What are you doing?” some of you may say, ‘M. Tech’. What do you mean by ‘M. Tech.’? You may reply, ‘Master of Technology’. Then who is ‘master’? What is “Technology”? A person who has control over his senses is a ‘master’, but not everybody. You are merely ‘Misters’: Mr. Rao, Mr. Kumar and so on, and not ‘Master’. You should use your ‘knowledge’ for the advancement of society; otherwise, it turns into ‘allergy’. You should go to society with your knowledge, ‘Take knowledge’; this is ‘technology’. Otherwise it is ‘tricknology’. It can never be ‘technology’.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! What are the qualities of a leader?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: There are mainly two qualities that every leader must possess. Since these are missing, we don’t have good and ideal leaders today. Eventually we find disturbances, agitations, and tensions everywhere.
These two qualities are ‘Individual Character’ and ‘National Character’. In the past this country had leaders possessing these two qualities, leaders such as Tilak, Netaji, and Patel, and so on. You can’t just call anyone a leader unless he possesses ‘Individual Character’. A leader should lead, but not push from behind. A true follower becomes a good leader later on. Without being a servant; you can’t be an ideal master. Every leader must always remember this, ‘first be’, ‘then do’, and ‘then tell’. First, you must ‘be’ what you ‘profess’, and ‘do’ what you ‘profess’. Then you will have the right to ‘tell’. By doing good, an ideal leader tells others to be good. This is why I often tell my students, “Be good, Do good, and See good”.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! We often wonder at the way you instruct and advise your students. We don’t think that we, as parents, can ever do this in the same manner as you do. You are great and benevolent, offering free education to our children. You also teach them how they should conduct themselves as responsible citizens in society. Your love excels the love of even a thousand mothers. Your love is an ocean of fathomless depth. Some of the M.B.A. boys of your Institute of Higher Learning are here. Would you please give them a message?
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Education is not for living, it is for life. This has to be known first. It is not the job or salary that matters. You have got to make use of your education for the betterment of society through service. Education is not meant to help you meet selfish ends and selfinterests. It is very strange to see students nowadays opting for courses with one eye on the salary they are likely to get after their studies rather than on their aptitude. Parents also think along the same lines. This is not proper or correct. It is most necessary to express gratitude to the society in which you are born and brought up, and where you get name and fame besides money. You must respect your parents, serve and please them. You should make them very happy in every way. You say that Swami’s love is equal to the love of a thousand mothers. You don’t know even the love of your own mother. How can you, then, know and estimate the love of a thousand mothers!
The MBA boys, after getting their degree, are going to be appointed as managers. It is very good, no doubt. But you should also know certain things that you don’t find in books. You have stuffed your brains with bookish knowledge. But you must put it into practice. You should also know that it is not always possible to put into practice all that you have read in books. You have to apply your knowledge to the ground realities and work out solutions for the problems you face.
As a manager, you can’t simply sit, dressed in a suit, and relax in a chair under a ceiling fan, having your tiffin and other refreshments. You have to put to yourself the question whether you are working justifying your salary. Otherwise, you should consider yourself a cheat or a betrayer of the company. You have to work sincerely. You shouldn’t change your jobs and companies frequently. No one will trust you because the new company you want to join for higher emoluments will start feeling that you would quit any day for a little more money, if offered elsewhere. You can come up in your company with your skill, talent and hard work.
The MBA boys should know all the details with regard to raw materials, power supply, accounting, finances, marketing, advertisement and machinery as well. They should also be aware of the trade unions and their activities and the kind of obligations of the company to the government. In no case should you compromise on quality, because you lose your name in public. The rise and the rate of profits may be slow and low initially, yet this should not trouble you. One day it will stabilise. You should observe every worker and the way a machine is handled by him. You should ensure that every worker is able to do all kinds of assignments given to him from time to time such that you don’t have to depend on one hand or a few hands to run the factory.
As an MBA degree holder, in the capacity of a company’s manager, you will be under the control of the Managing Director or Board of Directors. At times, you may have to consult them before taking certain important decisions. You have to be very humble and polite in their presence. Even if you disagree with them on any issue, you shouldn’t condemn or contradict them outright. You shouldn’t oppose them openly then and there. Take another opportunity to meet them. Find out their mood and when they are calm and cool, you meet and explain clearly the pros and cons of the problem and try to bring them round to your point of view. Then, there will be every scope for them to find a point in what you say.
Today you need to know another subject, Re-engineering. When a factory or industry is closed or bankrupt, you should investigate the reasons for its closure. You should study every factor very clearly and find out proper solutions to the problem and the appropriate steps to be taken to reopen and revitalise the factory and make it effectively function thereafter. You also have a paper on Rural Development in your MBA course. You need to know the background, resources and needs of the village, its atmosphere and socioe-conomic conditions even before you start working in a particular village. Three or four of you may join and start an industry on your own. You have to uphold the basic human values unconditionally and uncompromisingly. You are valued because of this reason only. Always keep in view the needs of your country, the systems to be adopted, the procedures to be followed, the national resources and national development.
Question) Anil Kumar: Swami! Listening to your spiritual elucidation of worldly studies, we are lost in wonder. Our Swami, who brings into the open the values of several disciplines, is the World Teacher. We learn that Swami had given a message to the M.B.A. students. If you consider us fit to receive it, kindly describe the salient points to us.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Our institute offers M.B.A. and M.F.M. courses. But, first, what is meant by “business”? What does a “market” mean? Who is a “manager”? Students learn these things in the classroom and from their texts. However, business and marketing are spread across the entire globe. Know that wherever giving and taking occur, that is a market. This exchange, this give and take activity is business. Not merely a shopping complex.
In the market called the world, what we call the Mind is the Manager. This Mind has to manage well; then, the Heart is a Leader. Between one event and another, there is time; between one thing and another, there is space. What takes place between the two is karma.
Now let us turn to appreciate the love of a guru or preceptor. Teachers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are famous the world over. Of these, Socrates is quite familiar to you. The judges sentenced Socrates to death because he thought that under the ‘evil’ influence of Socrates, young men were taking to wicked ways instead of joining the army, as they should. But Socrates who loved his students was not prepared for that sort of death. Ordering them to obey him strictly, he bade them to procure some poison. He had them seated all around him, and asked them to touch the vessel of poison. He thought, it is better to die among his students than at the hands of foolish judges. Such was his love for them. The disciples who realised this became illustrious later on.
Consider the founder of the Bata Company, a man of immense devotion to God. He used to make creaking shoes with a cushion of horse and donkey hair. He made a living out of selling these and served the people thus. His devotion and his spirit of service led to his rise to honour and fame. Therefore, love, devotion, and the spirit of service are essential for a Manager
Alexander was getting ready to invade Bharat; he approached his teacher to seek his blessings. Then, the teacher said, “My son! I heard that some of the most highly esteemed objects are to be found in Bharat. Get them for me as your offering to the teacher. First, there are in Bharat wandering ascetics endowed with perfect devotion and absolute detachment. Bring along with you one such ascetic. Second, Bharat is a land sanctified by the feet of great spiritual aspirants, mahants, heads of mendicants, sages, and incarnations of God in the course of their wanderings. That dust is very sacred. Bring some along. Third, they say river Ganga washes off all sins. My son! Bring some Ganga water in a vessel. Fourth, there is the riches of the Bhagavadgita which underscores the right way to live and its goal. Procure a copy for me!”
Now, being born in the land of Bharat, you have to develop the spirit of sacrifice. Our high ideals and values help students to attain prestige and fame. Satya and Dharma are very important in life. They are as precious as the vital breath. Know that without these, life is barren. These qualities are absolutely essential for a Manager.
Upanishad means the “inner” or “mystic teaching”. The term Upanishad is derived from “upa” (near), “ni” (down) and “shad” (to sit), i.e., sitting down near. Groups of pupils sit near the teacher to learn from him/her the secret doctrine. In the quietude of the forest hermitages the Upanishadic thinkers pondered on the problems of deepest concerns and communicated their knowledge to fit pupils near them. The most well known Upanishads are: Aitareya, Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Chandogya, Kena, Isa, Svetasvatara, Katha, Mundaka, Mandukya, Prasna, Kausitaki, Maitrayani, Kausitaki, Muktika and Shakta. The Satyopanishad is the Upanishad of Truth (Sathya) but more specifically the Truth as revealed by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Anil Kumar questions the illustrious Guru and provides us with Sathya Sai Baba’s answers to ponder, ruminate and derive ananda.
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