Example and Precept 

Baba hurried from East Africa to Bombay and from Bombay to Anantapur, en route to Bangalore, since a great step in the campaign of Dharmasthapana for which He has come, had to be initiated on the 22nd of June 1968. Baba was establishing a college for Women at Anantapur!

Aurobindo has said, "A new center of thought implies a new center of education." This avatar has no destructive weapon in His possession, like the Kodanda (bow) of Rama, or the Chakra (discus) of Krishna. He relies on education, rather than elimination; instruction rather than destruction. The good are encouraged to become better, the better to enter the region of the best and the blest. The bad are encouraged to shed the coil of cowardice, which keeps them in fear and induces them to cause fear in self-defense.

Baba is therefore the premier educator of the age. Every word of His is a Mantra, every speech an Upanishad, every exhortation a Geeta, every song that He sings a pilgrimage into the holiest core of one's being; a revelation of one's destiny and Divine glory. Baba instructs the incorrigible, the intransigent, the infidel and the infant in spiritual Sadhana. He takes all into His fold. In His presence one cannot say, "The hungry sheep look up and are not fed." They may be sheep or goats; they may not look up at all; they may not realize that they are hungry; they may not recognize good food from bad; they may not be aware of where food is available in plenty! But Baba fondles them and feeds them with food that ensures health and happiness beyond measure, beyond the ravages of time and the erosion of doubt!

Baba often writes letters to those whom He wants to correct or console, or to conduct into the fortunate group of the illumined. He showers love, guides with sweet companionship, warns sternly and leads Sadhakas by the hand. The books He has written - Prema Vahini (The Stream of Divine Love), Jnana Vahini (The Stream of Eternal Wisdom), Prasanthi Vahini (The Bliss of Supreme Peace), Dhyana Vahini (Practice of Meditation), Dharma Vahini (The Path of Virtue), Sandeha Nivarini (Clearance of Spiritual Doubts), the Gita Vahini (The Divine Gospel) and the Bhagavatha Vahini (The Story of God and His Devotees) - are treasures that shed light on intricate problems of spiritual discipline. Passing down the corridor of time, the epics and Puranas have accumulated interpolations from imaginative enthusiasts, which mar the grandeur of the originals and disgust seekers of Divine Nectar. Baba has edited the Bhagavatha and the Ramayana (The Rama story, Stream of Sacred Sweetness) in a manner which makes them invaluable guides for aspirants to liberation. Baba's discourses which attract gathering of tens of thousands even in the most secluded village, herald a new era in the lives of all who hear them, even if they do not understand the language which He uses; for, as Baba says, when heart communicates with heart in Love, language is an impediment, rather than an instrument!

Baba as Educator does not spare even the hours of sleep of those whom he intends to teach. When He struck Swami Abhedananda on the heart while He was lying in bed at Sri Ramanasram in Thiruvannamalai, the aged Swami sat up, and wondered who, what and why! Baba gave him the Darsan of the late Sri Ramana Maharshi and of Himself, separately and as an upsurge of light in which both merged. This was to reveal to him that He and his Guru were the same. Then, he spoke to him in Telugu about the ways in which he had to modify his meditation, to enable him to get rid of the doubts and deviations that haunted him.

Baba appears to some Sadhakas during what can only be described as 'dreams' and favors them with timely advice, such as, "Concentrate on the Visuddhi Chakra." The Sadhaka who received this advice asked me what and where the said Chakra is situated. It was found that this Chakra is the Center of nourishment for the body, which at the time was just the problem confronting the Sadhaka. Or, "Read the Mahanyasa also." He advised another Sannyasi who was ceremonially reading the Devi Bhagavatham. Baba also teaches during Dhyana (meditation), as He does with Mr. Penn in California, whenever the latter has a spiritual dilemma or knot to unravel. I shall give here two extracts of what He once said to a Sadhaka in a dream, which the Sadhaka recorded in his notebook as soon as he awoke.

"You must have freedom not only from fear, but freedom from hope and expectation. Trust in My wisdom: I do not make mistakes. Love my uncertainty! For it is not a mistake. It is My Intent and Will. Remember, nothing happens without My Will. Be still. Do not want to understand; do not ask to understand. Relinquish understanding. Relinquish the imperative that demands understanding."

"Meditate upon the feeling between waking and sleeping, know how immediate, how close, how deeply compatible it is. There is the feeling of really giving up; the body is limp. Awareness too is limp. Let the feeling of God overcome you like sleep."

Appearing to devotees in dreams, Baba has taught them new Bhajan songs, sitting in front of them as music teachers do, with instructions to sing them during the Dasara festival at Puttaparthi. Later, when they arrived at Puttaparthi they were prompted by him to sing them! A devotee was once so involved in civil suits at court that he was nearly bankrupt. Appearing to him while he was asleep Baba told him plainly, "Properties, my dear fellow, are not proper ties!" Baba as an educator and as the incarnation that has come in order to educate, is engaged in that task, all over the world at all times.

His opening words at every discourse are "Divyatma Swarupulara!" Embodiments of the Divine Atma! That is the sum and substance of all His teachings. Man has to realize that he is the Atma, unconquerable, indestructible, unlimited, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-wave of the ocean that is God. The awareness of this truth is Bhakti, 'Swaswaropa-anusandhanam-Bhakthirithi-abhidheyathe' says Sankara.

Baba insists upon every one being told this truth about himself, every one being given a glimpse of himself in the mirror so that he may live in strength, faith, courage and peace. He says that the tree of life, the Asvattha (a banyan tree) (*), has its roots in the Atma. If that faith is absent we dry up and are wafted hither and thither by every wind of fortune - wayward whiffs of transience! The trunk and the branches, the leaves and twigs of the tree of life are the ramifications of our contacts and commitments with the outer world, the kith and kin, the I and mine, the plus and minus into which life proliferates. The flowers of the tree are words, thoughts and deeds of Love; and the Ananda derived is the fruit. But, Baba says the sweetness in the fruit is Virtue, Seela, good godly character. Without Seela which makes the fruit worthwhile, and the Atmic root which sustains the tree, life is a mere ploughing of sands, the body is but fuel, fodder for vermin.

In order to imprint upon man the truth of this Atmic core, Baba has a continuous chain of organizations which are supervised and managed by devotees soaked in His teachings and guided by Him. Toddlers are gathered by affectionate arms into Bal Vikas classes; they were called Bal Vihars, but the name has been made more purposive and significant. They are taught Bhajans, they enact plays on themes selected from the Upanishads, Epics, Puranas and the lives of Saints, many of them written by Baba Himself.

They are trained to revere parents and elders, to observe the rules of the road, to draw and make models of scenes and shrines reminiscent of the higher values of life. They greet each other reverentially with "Om," which is as it should be. In short the Bal Vikas child discards the A for apple and adopts the A for Arjuna stage. It does not repeat "Baa Baa Black Sheep, Have you any Wool?" or talk of Robin Redbreast and Santa Claus. It repeats 'Raghupate Raghava Raja Ram' - MP3 - (**) or 'Subrahmanyam, Subrahmanyam, Shanmukhanatha Subrahmanyam'!

Then the boys and girls enter the Junior Seva Dal, where they learn selected verses from the Bhagavad Gita, and songs sung by Saints in adoration of God. They attend first aid classes, practice meditation, develop artistic talents through plays, paintings and floral decoration and speak before gatherings on Baba and His Teachings, reproducing the illustrative stories and parables that Baba uses.

When they reach the age of eighteen, they are inducted into the regular Seva Dals and given a sound spiritual training to withstand the hard realities of Seva. They organize Bhajans in Jails, Remand Homes, Leprosoria Hospitals, Slums, Schools and Hostels. They help in keeping their town or village clean and healthy, donate blood to the blood-banks, study the scriptures and enact moral plays. Every opportunity is used by them to develop skills and place themselves at the disposal of the distressed and the deprived.

The older people have the Seva Samithis, which organize Bhajan Mandalis, Nagarasankirtan, study circles and the celebration of holy days to commemorate the greatness of saints and sages. The Mahila Vibhags of these Samithis extend Seva among women and conduct Bal Vikas classes guiding the children, along the path to truth. Thus, under Baba's continuous and consistent inspiration and guidance, a fertilizing flood of higher education and spiritual transmutation is sweeping over the earth.

Baba has declared that He has come to establish truth, uproot untruth and revitalize the moral ideal in the affairs of mankind. The Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization has become the new center of education for the new center of Sai thought, in this Sai Era. Baba says, "This organization is intended to broaden service. It has not been devised to parade devotion, or collect devotees or canvass support for some newfangled creed. It is dedicated to the great task of progressively aiding people to realize their reality and merge in it."

"Vidya dadathi vinayam," Education must endow man with humility. The wise are humble that they know no more; the fool is proud that he knows so much. Humility and reverence are the genuine fruits of education. Instead, reverence is the first casualty in schools and colleges today. Baba repeats a Geeta dictum: Pandithah Samadarsinah, Scholars visualise Unity. They do not promote factions, they do not encourage hatred. They seek the One; if known, all else in known! They seek harmony and not conflict. But nowadays, scholars have envy, malice and conflict as their professional malady. Baba finds that the task of Dharmasthapana, the re-establishment of morality and righteousness, has to be undertaken in the educational institutions also, for every year they pump into the stream of national life the perfidious poison of irreverence, indiscipline, inefficiency and rootless culture.

Jesus said: 'The scripture says, Man cannot live on bread alone, but needs every word that God speaks'.
Baba says: 'Man does not live by bread alone. He lives by the Atma. Devotion and surrender - and not greed and deceit - should form the basis for man's life and lead to the blossoming of spiritual wisdom in his heart'.

The Upanishadic student was advised by the Guru before every lesson that education was a shared experience, and that the slightest tinge of anger and misunderstanding between the teacher and the taught contaminates the gift, the giver and the receiver - all three. Students of today terrorize the teacher; teachers calculate their monetary rewards and evade their fundamental duty to teach. They do not examine their right to claim reverence. The Upanishadic Guru sent the student home, after he had completed his studies, with the exhortation: Sathyam vada, dharmam chara, mathr devo bhava, pithr devo bhava, and acharya devo bhava! Utter Truth. Walk in the path of righteousness. Revere the mother as God, revere the Teacher as God! But, parents are now treated as obstructions, troubling the young from the other bank of the generation gap. The mother is a bundle of old-world superstitions and the teacher is a person who can be bribed or frightened into granting certificates and marks to pass examination and get degrees!

Therefore, Baba felt that youth has to be quickly led back onto the road they have missed. They must be warned of the calamity that awaits them, and through them, the country, not only in India but in all lands. The student unrest that is spreading over the world is but the external rumbling of an internal maladjustment. The atmosphere in which they grow up, and the roles which they are being prepared for by parents, elders and rulers, are reeking with hypocrisy and pettiness, triviality and titillation.

Example is better than precept, the saying goes; but the example that the older generation is holding forth before the young now is more pernicious than their precept! Baba has laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of parents, teachers and society, for bringing up the rising generation in dull, drab, dismal schools, with God kept out and idealism negated. Baba holds that there is no authority which has laid down that an Avatar can do this or cannot do this. Krishna planned to drive a chariot, for this was the best and speediest way for the task which He had come to accomplish. Rama went hunting a golden deer though He knew that it was only a clever decoy, for, it was necessary that He should be away so that Ravana could kidnap Sita by a stratagem, a fell crime for which death was the legitimate reward! So Baba asked, "What prevents me from starting colleges? No one can prevent a flower from imparting its fragrance to the air! It is my Nature to educate, to draw forth into the light the Divinity that is inherent in man. I use all means for that consummation. You have been praying - Thamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya - lead us from darkness into Light! This is one of the answers."

Baba thought of correcting the education of women, in the first instance, for, as He has written in "Dharma Vahini" - "No nation can be built strong and stable, except on the spiritual culture of its women. This generation is full of unrighteousness and injustice, malevolence and greed, falsehood and cruelty, because the mothers who brought it up were not vigilant enough or intelligent enough, or because they were not trusted enough by men with the responsibility of chastening and fostering their children. What is past is past. To save at least the next generation, women have to be educated in a well-planned manner and endowed with the wisdom, fortitude and faith that can equip them for the great responsibility that rests upon them."

In June 1996, Baba was at Anantapur, the biggest town of the District and its official capital, 60 miles from Prasanthi Nilayam, at the invitation of the High School for Girls. The plight of the girls who had to go to distant places for higher education and also the kind of education for which they were spending much time and money, affected Him. He resolved upon another step in His task of Dharmasthapana; for women have been the custodians of Dharma since millennia; the cradle is the first school for the children of man. He announced that there would be a Women's College at Anantapur soon. He resolved upon making Anantapur the focal point of the Educational Revolution that will consummate the Revival of Sanathana Dharma, for the lasting benefit of the human family.

The Women's College was inaugurated on the 22nd of July, 1968. Very few colleges are inaugurated under such distinguished auspices or with the promise of such triumphant careers for the alumni. Few have on the opening day itself such an imposing array of equipment, furniture, books and above all, a band of teachers with such enthusiasm and academic efficiency.

The Minister in charge of Education in the Government of Andhra Pradesh who presided over the Public Meeting said that what was being inaugurated was not just one college among so many, but a New Chapter in the History of Women's Education itself. He knew that the College was to be the precursor of many more such colleges all over the country, for Baba announced that He was planning a college or two in every State of India, all to be knit together later into a University, as an instrument forged for His Task.

Baba said, "The prompting behind this College is not the search for reputation or the desire to propagate a cult, or the hope of monetary profit. Fame is a fickle figment! Reputation rots quite soon. Profit, when it is calculated in terms of cash, defiles. I have allowed this College to rise because it will install in the minds of the students, the ideals of Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace) and Prema (love) - ideals delineated in the Vedas, described in the Sastras, illustrated in the Epics, practiced by countless generations and confirmed by experience, as best suited for individual and social progress. Every child born in Bharat has the right to know and benefit by this precious heritage.

"Agriculture is for living; Atma-culture is for success in life. An educational system that keeps children away from God - the only refuge, the only kinsman, the only guide and guard - is a system where the blind are engaged in blinding those who long for light."

"Women are the bulwarks of spiritual culture, But, as is evident from the attitude and behavior of educated women today, they are fast succumbing to the flimsy attractions of froth and frippery, cheap and shoddy literature and sensual films."

"Every child has five mothers, and owes its loyalty to these five; they fill its life with meaning and purpose:
* the Dehamatha - the mother who gave birth to its body, 
* the Gomatha - the cow that gives it milk and the bullock that is the partner in growing its food throughout life, 
* the Bhoomatha - land, that in return for seeds offers grain a hundred-fold, 
* the Desa-Matha - the region inhabited by the society it is born into that stamps on it its way of living, lines of thinking and ideals and goals, and
* Vedamatha - the heritage of spiritual treasure. 
The first Mother has to reveal to the child the glories of all the other four and so, her status is crucial, her responsibility is pivotal. That is the reason why I have resolved to start a women's college in the first instance, in order to preserve and promote Dharma - the Universal Sanathana Dharma I have come to vitalize and lead to victory."

"Atmavidya (Self-knowledge) alone can fix the mind in Dharma," Baba declared. The Sathya Sai Vedasastra Pathashala at Prasanthi Nilayam is preparing a number of young men, acquainted with the terrain of the spirit as explored by the adventurous pioneers of ancient India. They also imbibe the message of Prasanthi Nilayam, practicing the discipline of silence (not the negative silence when the temptation to speak aloud and to express emotion and passion are resisted) but the positive silence that springs from freedom, holiness and awareness of the Omnipresence of Baba.

There is also the All India Prasanthi Vidwan Maha-Sabha with its galaxy of Vedic Pandits and Sanskrit Savants, who have been commissioned by Baba to share their scholarship and their wealth of Prasanthi (unruffled mental peace) with the uninitiated and the struggling, so that they too may get a glimpse of the Glory and move forward. But, Baba says, Atmavidya should no longer be the monopoly of Pathashalas and Pundits; it is the right of every human being, endowed with Viveka, Vairagya, and Vichakshana: (Discrimination, Detachment and Reason), whether they are aware of it or not, to imbibe, and earn joy and peace.

Water is cheaper than milk. Water is essential for the process of living. Milk is essential for health and strength, to resist the onslaught of disease. Now, secular education (water) which teaches skills and transmits information is being supplied in schools and colleges. Atmavidya (milk) is stored by Pathashalas and Ashrams. Water becomes costly and a high price is paid for it, when mixed with milk. Then, it too becomes nourishing! Therefore, Atmavidya has to be communicated to youth in the colleges along with skill and information, so that they can boldly face the dilemmas of life.

Baba says, "We have heard of the seven year's war, the thirty year's war, the hundred year's war. The war between man and mind, between the Jivi and Maya, the individual and the objective world, is coterminous (same as) with Time. The earliest men were entangled in it; the last man will have to fight it. Unless, like Arjuna, you choose the Lord as your Charioteer and surrender the senses, the mind, the intellect, the desires, the means and the ends to Him, the war shall not end in your victory. That is the lesson that Atmavidya teaches; that is the lesson that the children of men have the right to imbibe."

Apart from the curriculum and the attention paid to its demands, the College insists upon the students attending prayer sessions, and meditation classes. A course of lectures on the cultural heritage of India is given during the year. The importance of Yoga and mental poise for physical well-being is emphasized and practical lessons arranged. Students are trained to keep away from the contaminating influence of films and horror comics. They are encouraged to be simple in dress and avoid elaborate hairstyles which attract attention by their outlandishness. They are advised to emulate the great women of ancient India, celebrated in the epics and the Upanishads, as well as in history.

The atmosphere of the College charged with the blessings of Baba, is itself conducive to the development of Sathwic qualities. Baba visits the College often and advises the students Himself. Occasionally, He brings with Him eminent educationalists filled with Sai inspiration to speak to them. Above all, Baba knows every one of the staff and students. He is immediately aware of whatever happens in each one's mind and so, all are ever alert that the limits set by Him for conduct are not infringed. Dr. Gokak has said that many others have emphasized the ideals of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema. But it is only Baba who has shown them in practice so clearly and so uncompromisingly. "If you yearn for Santhi, learn it from Baba. If you aspire to find Prema, approach Baba and be inspired by Him. But, there is one more superb excellence - an excellence that is unique, in Baba, and that is Power. He has the power to change circumstances, to shape the course of events, to redirect help forward, transmute and terminate whatever He feels needs such treatment. So, when He starts a College and dedicates it for a purpose, it is bound to move along the lines He has laid down. He has the Power. Its students have the fortune of being forged as instruments for transforming the world into the Heaven He has planned it to become."

"Make Me your Charioteer!" Baba tells us. "Take hold of the unique chance. Ask Me about the Sadhana which can grant you Liberation. For later, it will be difficult for you to approach Me. Flood streams of people are coming to Me from all quarters. This Divine Phenomenon is bound to grow into a Viswa Vriksha (a World-tree that provides shade and shelter for all humanity). This has come down in this Form for that very purpose. It knows no hesitation, no halting. My Name is Sathya (Truth); My Teaching is Truth; My Path is Truth; I am Truth."

Baba, luckily, is the Charioteer of the College, and so the students will grow into straight, brave, honest, pilgrims. They will grow into good daughters, efficient citizens, faithful wives, affectionate mothers and expert teachers. The mother brings up the child; she also teaches the child to revere the father. She has to do it because nature does not bind the father to the child as intimately as it binds the mother.

"Baba has come to teach!", declares Charles Penn. "Let us all avail ourselves of Him. Know that we have been drawn to Him, to learn! We must not only bathe in the momentary bliss of His being, but learn to carry this security, this inner Peace with us to our homes. When we arrive home, we must remember that distance has no power to prevent Baba's teachings to flow to us. We must remember to ask Him to solve each of our problems and then, be constantly aware of each succeeding moment for His guiding answer. The answer will be clear and correct, and the interpretation will be easy, if only we pray." Every student of Baba's college is privileged to have such a Teacher! This is indeed a great good fortune!

Baba has a sense of urgency when He speaks educational reconstruction, for the consequences of starving the spirit at a time when boys and girls are preparing for the battle of life, are serious. So the Anantapur College was started in borrowed rooms and halls and hurriedly erected sheds, so as to avoid any further delay while the buildings came up, according to the plans He had drawn and designed. So, too, when He resolved upon a boy's College at Bangalore, He graciously allowed the College to encroach into the garden at Brindavan itself, so that temporary structures could be erected there in order to commence the college instantly. "Colleges are not composed of brick or mortar; nor are they to be evaluated by the magnitude of the buildings which house the classes. They are to be evaluated by the character and usefulness of the students who fill the classrooms, their behavior in the playgrounds and outside, their attitudes towards their parents, elders and teachers, and the ideals they follow in their later lives." Baba says.

Baba Himself supervised at every stage the erection of the buildings for the laboratories, the library and the classes. He guided the fulfillment of all the contingent requirements and so on the Inauguration Day, the college looked spick and span - a rare example of a college completely equipped and furnished on the very day when it began receiving the first batch of pupils!

On the 9th of June 1969, the College was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Mysore State, Sri Veerendra Patil. He said, "Baba has come to resuscitate Dharma, which is the foundation for the welfare of humanity. Dharma insists on the supremacy of ethical and spiritual values, and a College fostered by Baba is bound to promote these values among the youth." Dr. V.K. Gokak, the Vice-chancellor of the University of Bangalore, to which the College is affiliated, welcomed the new addition as a "gem in the jewel crown of the Bangalore University." "It will set the pattern for the College education, not only in the academic field, but also in the ethical and spiritual fields. This is a college conceived, devised and completed by Baba's Love, Grace and Wisdom. Brick by brick, plank by plank, He attended to every detail. It is a lesson for all who seek to do sincere loving service. Here teachers and students have the unique chance of learning the art of achieving harmony and gaining peace, apart from the intellectual attainments which the curriculum enjoins."

Baba drew the attention of the large gathering of rural folk who had evinced enormous enthusiasm that a College had been established in their village. He said that villagers still preserve and promote traces of mutual cooperation and brotherly love, faith in God and reverence to elders. He exhorted them to uphold those ideals, so that their children might grow into happy citizens, unaffected by the damaging distractions of city life.

"This College will pay attention to providing for its alumni a complete education, namely Karmamarga, Dharmamarga, and Brahmamarga, all the three - the principles of right action, right social behavior and spiritual advancement," He said.

Addressing the students He said, "You may continue in this college or leave and join some other one, returning home after completing your studies, but wherever you are, I desire that you should shine forth as recipients of the special attention we bestow upon you. Do not enter the fray of political controversies. Politics at present, and perhaps always, is a sordid game, where passions run high, power is sought through devious ways and prejudices are fanned into hatred. You must become a new type of leader. Shaped in the crucible of Seva, march into the future with the Light of the past, as one who appreciates the wisdom that has been garnered through the ages."

In a message, Baba gave to be printed in the Prospectus of the College, He stated, "This is a divine and blessed land. The tradition of this land is spiritual, but ninety-nine percent of the people are either ignorant or scornful of anything that bears the label of spirituality. The people have themselves devalued their culture. Correct your own faults and do not search for faults in others. Be respectful and loving to your near and dear ones, and to your fellow beings; serve the country and pray for the welfare of the world."

The College emblem selected by Him is eloquent about the ideals that are being translated into action in the College. It has a five-petalled lotus within a circle. The petals represent the five major religions of the world. Om standing for Sanathana Dharma, the Cross for Christianity, the Chakra for Buddhism, the Crescent for Islam and Flames of Fire for Zoroastrianism. The Lotus is the ancient Aryan symbol, untouched by the mud where it is born, and unsoiled by the water through which it emerges and upon which it floats. It is a symbol of beauty, peace, and auspiciousness. Inside the Lotus is the Flame of Illumination, without which knowledge is a burden and life an arid encounter with the flimsy urges of the senses. Overarching the circular emblem, is a semicircular border along which is printed the College motto, 'Dharmo rakshathi rakshithah; Sathya annasti paradharmah,' embodying the very core of Vedic Teaching. Dharma, it says, guards those who adhere to it, and there is no Dharma higher than Truth. When Dharma ceases to inspire and transform individuals, the world will inevitably be afflicted by agony and fear.

Among the rules for students that are given in the Prospectus, we find this sentence: "Now that you have earned the privilege of being students of this College, under the direct guidance and fostering care of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, make up your minds to be worthy students, remembering Baba's exhortation, "Education without character is a great danger." No. 10A of the Rules reads: "Students are particularly advised to cultivate courtesy, helpfulness and tolerance. Baba's fivefold message of conduct - Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa (Truth, Right conduct, Peace, Love and Nonviolence) , should inspire every one working and learning in this College." No. 11 reads: "The College attaches great importance to studies." Weekly and monthly tests, quarterly examinations etc. are laid down, and progress reports are sent to the parents periodically.

Here too, Bhajan, meditation, and prayer at the beginning of the day's work, for which students and members of the staff have to be present, are insisted upon. Above all, Baba evinces maternal affection upon every student, however large the number in the College. He loves the boys so much that they obey Him implicitly. They are so afraid of His neglecting them or ignoring them even for a minute if they misbehave or break any of the taboos, that they are ever vigilant in discipline.

Baba always advises them to avoid five delinquencies: The eyes should not wander towards sights that inflame the senses, or arouse ideas conflicting with morality or the duty towards parents, elders and the culture of our country. Words that emanate from the mouth should not hurt the self-respect of others, or utter lies simply because they are pleasant; they should not smack of scandal or spite. The hand should not be raised in anger against anyone, nor should it be used to wreak vengeance, or steal another's property. The ears should not exult in salacious stories, scandal or deleterious lilts. The mind should not be fouled by attachment to bad habits, bad impulses and plans to achieve the conspiracies of the senses. These five 'Doshas' are anathema [devoted to evil] in the opinion of Baba, and every student is made to remember this by constant warnings from Him.

There is no activity of the College in which Baba does not evince interest, for He knows that it is the atmosphere in which education is imparted and imbibed that really counts. Since the College and Hostel are situated within the compound, Baba walks in during the prayer session, presides over the moral instruction lectures and Himself supplements the instructor. He writes and directs plays for the College Dramatic Society. Often He pats a good student on the back, pulls up a lecturer who saunters into the lecture hall a few minutes after the bell, inquires from a sluggard the percentage of marks he secured at the monthly test, creates a fountain pen or a watch for some diligent well-behaved boy about whom the principal gives a report that confirms His own opinion, advises the librarian about classification, peeps into the dissection room of the budding zoologists and generally moves about as the Guardian Deity of the Institution.

As a result, the students of the Colleges established by Baba reveal qualities of goodness, levels of sympathy, depths of learning and veins of golden devotion that few would believe they have.

(*) See the Bhagavad Gîtâ, Chapter 15.

(**) Raghupatey Raghava Raja Rama
O Raja Rama O Sai Rama
Patita Pavana Sita Patey Rama
O Raja Rama O Sai Rama
Dasharatha Nandana Raja Rama
Kausalya Atmaja Sundara Rama
Rama Rama Jai Raja Rama
Raghava Mohana Megha Shyama
Jai Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram
Jai Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama
Rama Rama Raja Ram
Patita Pavana Sita Patey Rama
O Raja Rama O Sai Rama

'Pray and chant the name of Lord Rama, the Prince of King Dasharatha and Mother Kausalya. Victory to Lord Rama, the savior of the downtrodden and the Lord of Sita'. 

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Written by N. Kasturi M.A., B.L.