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Satyopanishad - part 10:
Direct Directions from the Divine

Dear reader, in response to positive feedback to this section where we have a dialogue with the Divine, we continue with Prof. Anil Kumar’s “Satyopanishad” after completing the serial Dr. John Hislop’s “Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba” in January 2008.

This also is in the “question-answer” format that many devotees prefer, and has answers from Bhagavan on topics as wide-ranging as the origin of evil, the goals of human life, aspects of God – embodied and formless, to price hikes, women’s liberation, vegetarianism and the generation gap of the present times.

Published in two parts by the author, these volumes have 270 questions in all, which are neatly grouped under separate chapters. In this issue, we continue the third chapter: Youth.

(Continued from the previous issue)

Prof. 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?

Conversations with Sai

Bhagavan: 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'.

Prof. Anil Kumar: Swami! What are the qualities of a leader?

Conversations with Sai

Bhagavan: 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".

Prof. 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 University are here. Would you please give them a message?

Bhagavan: 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 self-interests. 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 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!

Conversations with Sai

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 be aware of the trade unions and their activities, and also about the obligations of the company to the government. In no case should you compromise on quality, because then 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 meet them when they are calm and cool, and then 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 socioeconomic 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 only because of this reason. Always keep in view the needs of your country, the systems to be adopted, and the procedures to be followed, about her national resources and national development.

Prof. 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: 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.

Conversations with Sai

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 judge 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 ( India); 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 Bhagavad Gita 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. Sathya and Dharma (Truth and Righteousness) 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.

Prof. Anil Kumar: Swami! We don't understand what wisdom actually is. Isn't the knowledge we gain in our educational institutions wisdom? If not, how are we to acquire it easily?

Bhagavan: Practical knowledge is jnana or wisdom. It is not textual information. Feeling the presence of God always, everywhere, within, and around is jnanam, true wisdom.


(To be continued)

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Vol 6 Issue 11 - NOVEMBER 2008
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