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Date: 21 Aug 2004 Occasion: Discourse Place: Prasanthi Nilayam

My Students are My Wealth
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

One may acquire a high academic qualification such as
    M.A., B.A., MBA and MFM and attain exalted position,
One may amass wealth perform acts of charity and attain name fame,
One may have physical strength and enjoy a long and healthy life,
One may be a scholar, but if he lacks human values all his
    achievements will prove futile.
(Telugu Poem)

Students! Boys and Girls! Teachers! Patrons of Education!

By mere acquisition of worldly education man cannot attain exalted position in life. All human efforts will be in vain without divine grace. There are many in this world who are highly educated, but are they rendering any service to the nation? No. In this respect, the unlettered people appear to be better human beings than the highly educated. In spite of his education and intelligence, a person who does not know his true Self is but a fool. One may be highly intelligent and educated, but, bereft of human values, his life is meaningless. In fact, one devoid of human values is no human being at all! There is little use in acquiring a number of degrees without imbibing human values.

Embodiments of Love!

To know and recognise a truly educated individual, you have to look closely at our students. They are not satisfied with mere acquisition of degrees. They utilise their knowledge for the benefit of society. Education that is not useful to society serves no real purpose. Our boys are highly virtuous and are endowed with the wealth of character. They consider virtues as their very life. Men of eminence who come here from all over the world learn many things from our students. Some of our students remain here and serve as teachers after the completion of their education. I am very happy about it. We don't need to be worried about getting good and noble teachers from elsewhere for our Institute. Our own students, after their studies, take up the responsibility of teaching. In other academic centres, students are interested in pursuing higher studies for their own selfish ends, but our students are interested not in accumulating degrees but in disseminating their knowledge for the benefit of others.

One cannot acquire such character and nobility from mere education. The education they received here is not limited to textual knowledge alone. It develops virtues that originate from the heart. Our students are incomparable. They are taking up the roles of teachers all over the world and are helping society by moulding ideal students and men of character. Character is the prime objective of education here in our Institute. A person of such education and character can rule over the entire world. Education without character is useless.

I am very much pleased to have such students who are virtuous, energetic, and intelligent. Our MBA students have all the noble qualities that are expected of them. In addition to their studies, they learn various languages. Students from Kerala have gained proficiency in various languages, such as Tamil, Hindi, English, Telugu, etc. They speak all these languages with such fluency that it is very difficult to identify their mother tongue. For such talented students, it is not difficult to learn the language of the Atma. They give talks even in Sanskrit. But they also adhere to our samskriti (culture). Samskara is not imbibed by learning Sanskrit, it comes from adherence to samskriti. One who adheres to samskriti will be able to attain all types of wealth and be an ideal to others.

When I asked one of the students which place he belonged to, he said, "Swami, I belong to Puttaparthi." That boy speaks Sanskrit very fluently. He has also learnt various other languages. Students who have studied in Puttaparthi are spreading Swami's message in various countries, such as America, Japan, Germany, Italy, etc. Students who have such dedication and devotion are very rare these days. But here are many such students in our institutions. It gives Me great joy to have such students here. We need such students. I wish that these students, after completion of their education, share the knowledge that they have acquired here with fellowmen in society and transform them. Men of eminence like the President of India, the Prime Minister, and Chief Ministers are all praise for our students. They extol our students whenever they visit this place.

In our Institutes, students are provided education totally free of charge. In addition to this, scholarships are provided to deserving students.

If you ask what is Swami's property, I say, "Students are My property." Without the students, I will not be able to do anything. They are looking after Swami with utmost love and care. In fact, they are responsible for all the development that we find in our educational and other institutions.

The culture of Bharat (India) is based on the Vedas which are in Sanskrit language. Here students chant the Vedic mantras both in the morning and in the evening. You cannot get such students even if you do intense penance. They can certainly bring about progress in society.

There is no language that our students do not speak; they are very versatile in all kinds of skills. You may be under the impression that Swami is taking great pains to mould the character of students. There is no pain whatsoever. In fact, students are of great help to Swami. They are spreading the ideals of Sai to the rest of the world giving hai (joy) to one and all. There is a need to establish more similar institutions in order to mould such ideal students.

Parents themselves are not aware of the innate potential of their children. Our students are filled with noble thoughts and sacred feelings. They give top priority to the service of their parents. They treat their friends and relatives with love and affection. They have no desire for accumulating wealth. Their sole aim is to obey Swami's command and work for the progress of society. I do not want any other property than My students.

With the help of these students, many educational institutions can be developed. Unlike students elsewhere, who wake up very late in the morning, our students get up in the early hours at the crowing of the cock. They observe moderation in food and habits. Such discipline you do not find among student community elsewhere. They are attentive in classes and learn their lessons well. They are obedient to their teachers. They take part in sports and games, such as badminton, tennis, and volleyball, in the right spirit. They take good care of their health too. They are all very strong in physique and spirit. You do not find anyone weak and afflicted with diseases. Such students who take care of themselves are capable of taking care of the country as well. Our institution is fortunate to have students of such calibre. If there were another five institutions of this quality, they would be able to raise the happiness level of whole regions of the country. In fact, other colleges are trying to emulate our institution.

Our students are like diamonds. They are obedient to elders, courteous towards relatives. Seeing their good conduct and listening to their sweet words, the guests who visit their houses are highly impressed. They are creative in their thinking and shine as role models. We do not wish to praise the qualities of our own students. But when dignitaries who visit this Institute talk highly of our students, I feel very happy.

[Here Bhagawan referred to the hip bone fracture He suffered last year.] I am not suffering from any disease or any ailment. Last year, one boy was hanging colour buntings on the door while standing on an iron stool. Meanwhile, I opened the door and came out of My room. As soon as he saw Me, he became nervous and fell down from the stool. As he was falling, the iron stool got toppled and fell on Me. He too fell on Me. That was the time when My hip bone was fractured.

The doctors tried their best to set it right. They felt sorry that it would be difficult for Swami to walk. I told them, "No one needs to feel sorry for Me. My students will take good care of Me. They will follow Me like shadow wherever I go." My students have become My doctors. It is because of them that I am able to move around. Our students tell Me, "Swami, we don?t need to be worried about anything when we are with You. We want to sanctify our lives in Your service."

With such love and faith, hundreds of students have remained with Swami after completion of their education, performing various duties assigned to them. They do not want to go outside for a job. You may find it hard to believe if I tell you about the work they do. Once someone from outside came here and took two of our boys for employment. They were given a salary of 50,000 to 60,000 rupees per month. They utilised the money to serve the poor children. Later on, they resigned their jobs and came here because they could not bear the separation from Swami. Our students have transformed Prasanthi Nilayam into a big workshop. They are able to handle various types of instruments and equipments very efficiently. They are striving hard for the development of hospitals. It is not possible for anyone to understand the sacred feelings of our students.

[Swami asked one of the boys who was sitting near Him to get up.] This boy did his Engineering and then completed his MBA degree in our Institute. Many people from all over the country requested him to join their companies. But he rejected their offers. What is he doing at present? He is spreading Swami's message all over the world through Radio Sai Global Harmony. Even his parents tell Me, "Swami, please keep him with You always." When he was with his parents, though they would force him to eat more, he did not put on weight. But after coming here, he has gained 18 kg. even without timely intake of food. Now he is always with Me, attending to My needs. At the same time, he does not keep his office work pending. He attends to it at night.

[Swami asked another boy to get up.] What do you think of this boy? He hails from a backward area in Orissa. His father has three sons. Now, all the four of them are working in Puttaparthi. These boys have completed their M.Sc. and MBA. They do not want to undertake any job outside. All of them have remained here serving Swami. They are satisfied with the salary they are paid here. In this manner, all the boys who are working here are full of virtues and are leading a life of sacrifice.

For the last few months, our boys are taking good care of Me. I do not have any pain. I do not require any medical treatment. I do not need to be worried about anything. It is because of the loving service of My students, I am spending My time blissfully without any inconvenience or suffering whatsoever. They are always ready and eager to serve Me. They carry out My instructions meticulously. There are 200 such students around Me in Prasanthi Nilayam. They do not sit idle; they discharge their duties diligently. It is not possible to describe the magnitude of work they do. They attend to all jobs. If there are such students everywhere, the nation will certainly prosper. They help everyone. I want to make them totally self-reliant. They should depend on the work they do and not on anybody else. They will certainly be able to lead their lives in that manner.

I am telling all this today so that you will know the noble qualities of our students. They are gunavantulu (virtuous), balavantulu (energetic), and also dhanavantulu (wealthy). They earn their own money. They do not take even a paisa from their parents. Sometimes, the parents may come and ask, "Do you require anything?" They reply, "Swami has provided everything. He is taking care of us very well."

In the future, many great events are going to take place. The country need not fear. Bharat will certainly become a land of plenty and prosperity. Our students will contribute a lot to the development of the nation. They are the future leaders. It is a matter of great joy for Me to see the students as future leaders.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahin".