Baba once started one of His discourses with the following Telegu poem:

“Can you call all those who
know how to read and write educated?
Can one be called educated
merely by acquiring degrees?
Can you call it education
which does not confer virtues?”

There has been astounding progress in science but the world is witnessing widespread political and economic chaos, and many national, racial and religious conflicts. Baba once questioned the reason for this contradiction between scientific advancement, on the one hand, and deterioration in human behaviour, on the other.

He explained that alongside the growth in knowledge, ignorance is also growing, which has accounted for the decline in human character and the growth of violence and hatred. Baba emphasized that education without a spiritual basis is causing harm and that true bliss can be experienced only when both science and spirituality are combined.

Baba said Atma Vidya, or spiritual knowledge, is the basis of all education. It reveals the divinity that sustains the universe and promotes the welfare of mankind materially, mentally and socially. He emphasized that only through spiritual education can one understand creation and the truth about humanity. Education must show that mankind constitutes one divine family.

Of what use, He would ask rhetorically, is it to know everything about nature if one does not know anything of the Self. For Self-knowledge and the knowledge of God are not different; they are the same spiritual wisdom, the one Divine Knowledge. Thus,
“The knowledge of one’s own Self is the knowledge of inner Divinity.”

Baba taught that good education is that which teaches the method of achieving world peace; that which destroys narrow-mindedness and promotes unity, equality and peaceful existence among human beings. He said right education leads to refinement of conduct, which enables one’s life to be sublimated. He added that true education consists of sanctifying everything one utters and every thought and action.

The basis of this divine knowledge is purity of the mind. In a discourse in 1987 He said the mind should be brought under the control of the buddhi (intellect) and should not be allowed to go after its whims and fancies.

Education is meaningless if it does not confer happiness. Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence are reflections of feelings emanating from the heart, and so manifest from a pure heart.

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