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Dedication, Devotion and Love
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
I am not an educationist and I don't think I can even boast of much education myself, but all human beings have the capacity to dream, and some have the capacity and the divine blessings to realise those dreams. So we have been recording a number of dreams, you know-Lalaji's dreams, Babuji's dreams, and so on and so forth. And this school has come up quite, I should say, in time, in tune with the development of the Mission. It is not part of the Mission, but the Mission is very much part of it. The school will be run by the Baal Vatika Educational Society. The funding will be done by the Baal Vatika Educational Trust. The major source of finance, even for the Trust, will be the Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation.
So, you see, there is a link-like all life is linked by life itself. You may be a cow, you may be an Italian-the life is the same, the form is different. Similarly, here the linkage is vision and realisation. We want here education with dedication-dedicated teachers, dedicated staff, not just salary earners. Salaries are meant to keep us alive. Dedication is to make us grow. Spirituality is there for us to realise. And to add to the three 'R's of learning, and to the 'S' that Krishna has added [referring to the preceding talk], I add a 'T'-the triumph of the final liberation from humanity, from all life itself.
So what we need, I repeat, is dedication, devotion and love for children. You don't teach children through books and audio-visual facilities; you teach them with love. I have seen some teachers in schools for the deaf and dumb, schools for the blind-they give their life for those children. But when you have living children with all faculties, our teachers don't want to be so dedicated. They say, "You do it." This is something of a problem with dedication itself that we want to give life to a stone, but we want to turn into a stone a living thing. This is an un-understandable aspect of human nature: that teachers will spend time and break their hearts over teaching a handful of blind children and find some sort of fulfilment, but when they are given living children with all faculties present in them-intelligence in them, necessity in them, need, aspiration-they neglect them. They say, "You can learn. You read, you listen, you hear!" This aspect of human nature must be corrected, not by us, not by society, not by government, but by every individual, that dedication does not depend upon what you put your dedication upon. You must be as dedicated to a completely whole child as to a child which has no eyes, no arms, no legs, no nothing.
You know the famous case of Helen Keller. Why should only Helen Keller be so famous? Because she is rare. So even in the educational field we value rare things. Deaf, blind, mute-rare; voila-famous! Carbon, charcoal is useless. But diamond? The same carbon is valuable. Why? Because it is rare. If fools were rare in this country or in this world, the biggest fool would get a Nobel Prize-for foolishness! This is the way our governments, our society rewards, you see.
You have all seen the movie A Beautiful Mind. If a man like the famous Professor Nash, a paranoid fellow, could create a theory and get a Nobel Prize for it, why not we do something sensible with our children here? Love them, make them learn. You don't teach. A teacher who thinks he or she is teaching is a failure. It is like Sales. You know I was in the sales field for thirty-five years or so. You never sell. You make the customer buy. Even in love, you don't press; you make your wife want you. That is a successful marriage. Similarly in teaching: you must create the fire of aspiration in the children. "I want to learn. Teacher, give me more." That is a good teacher. That is a loving teacher. That is a successful teacher.
So, let us see teachers coming out of this school who will be wanted by schools everywhere. I want to see our teachers leaving their jobs and going to, I don't know, Milwaukee, to Tokyo, to Timbuktu. I won't be sad; I will be happy that my teachers are so much in demand. And I will train more-given dedication, devotion, discipline, most of all, love.
Of course we need money to realise all these things. We are already indebted to the Allahabad Bank. Fifty lakhs we have already taken. We have to build the school buildings, prepare the grounds, plant trees-so many things have to be done. It is a continuing process. Like a child starts to grow, you buy baby clothes, Pampers; then you need knickers, then you need half-pants and shirts, then you need trousers and T-shirts. Then somebody like this guy comes, you want fashionable clothes, fashionable everything you see-what they call designer clothes nowadays. So money needs grow.
So, we need generosity of our people. Parents of children should not only give fees, they should also consent to giving a donation. Receipts will be issued; there is no black money transaction-no trustees following the money. I am here to see to that. [chuckles] So you see, to provide adequate resources, I propose to start a scheme of donations, say, a minimum of three lakhs which will go to a corpus fund called the Scholarship Fund. The funds will be invested suitably and the interest will be used to provide scholarship for deserving children, for children from what we call the section of people who cannot really afford education, provide facilities for them: free food, clothes, books, the whole thing. So this scheme will open today in the ashram. Those who are willing to give may bring their cheques-three lakhs, which will be gratefully received. The cheques must be in the name of Baal Vatika Educational Trust. Remember, the Trust receives the money, the Society spends the money. [chuckles]
So, that is what I have to say today. Blessings-everybody says, "Blessings!" Blessings are there for all, at all times, throughout the history of the world, throughout the history of this universe. Whether we are using them depends on us. Transmission is available all the time. Then why only a handful of thousand people should be utilising this transmission? Why, of all the millions and billions in this world, the transmission is being accepted only by, say, two hundred thousand people all over the world, is being really used by maybe fifty thousand people? And, perhaps, the people who have really benefited by that may be half a dozen. Why? Because we say, "Ah, what is this transmission? How can it exist?" But when you hear of a Switzerland building a cyclotron which goes half around France, half around Belgium, half around Germany and comes back to Switzerland, spending, I don't know, seven thousand billion dollars, we are happy. "Atoms are smashed together!" Who knows? Who has seen it? You believe in it because it is in the name of that holy cow-science. So we have to learn to also trust spirituality and say, "Yes, I feel transmission."
"I feel the breeze coming from this fan."
"No, no, that is imagination, Chari."
So we have only two hundred thousand people in this Mission, and five million people minus two hundred thousand have no transmission. But it is there. Even when you are in the lowest dungeon of a prison, the sun is still shining-you are not in it.
So let us not shut ourselves up into the ignorance of non-acceptance. There is no real ignorance. Ignorance is only the inability to accept what is put before us as the truth. We call it prejudice. Remove prejudice, wisdom comes automatically. Because wisdom is given by nature, health is given by nature, strength is given by nature. But all this is dammed, made un-utilisable, by prejudice: "No, no, it cannot be." But we are all firm believers in Satan-Shaitan. If astrological predictions say, "Tomorrow afternoon you are going to have headache," we are watching right from today for tomorrow afternoon's headache. "Tomorrow afternoon means what time?" "After noon-après midi." And at one past twelve, we say, "Ayyo! I think it is beginning." You see? So all negative things we believe. Positive things we don't want. If the astrologer says, "Tomorrow afternoon you are going to feel wonderful." "So many people have said, sir."
So, human nature has to change in very fundamental ways, and all this we will try to inculcate in our curriculum: extra-curricular activities, free lectures, campus talks, interacting with eminent people from various fields. I mean the plan is-I will not say ambitious-but really the plan is vast, all-encompassing, and how it will go, I repeat, depends not on blessings, because blessings are always there. Remember a steam engine-the steam is always there. When you open the valve the engine begins to move. Sunlight is always there, but only when you put some solar cells you can organise the energy of that sun. Isn't it? They are always there. We are to put something in between to make these resources of nature, of divinity, available to us, like using the gears of an automobile-and that is belief.
I recommend that all of you believe in what you are doing; all of you believe in what is going to happen here; all of you put your hearts into it with belief, and then you will see that each one of you has been able to add to this enterprise, to all the future enterprises, not your power, but your power with the power of the Almighty.