What is Real Knowledge?
Sai students undertakes village services!
The SELF is the basis for everything!
Knowledge is considered the world over as 'secular knowledge'. But the secular knowledge can at best fill one's belly! Once Saibaba has told the students of his University that 'the degrees should not be used as 'begging bowls'. Students should enter into the society with the knowledge gained to improve the living conditions of the villagers. Job and earning is incidental to life. But we should gain the real Knowledge for which we have taken birth in this mundane world!
Let us introspect "What is real knowledge". Scriptures reveal that only the Knowledge of the SELF is real knowledge and once acquired, man need not bother about other learning skills. To eke out a living, the education obtained in schools and collages can help but that is not the end of learning. In the University founded by Saibaba, spiritual education is inculcated along with secular subjects like 'Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Arts and literature. Even business administration is thought along with moral responsibilities towards the society.All the students are required to undertake 'Village Service programme' as part of their studies. Students in batches are sent to different villages around Prasanthi Nilayam. They do the initial survey of the living condition of the people there with reference to their immediate problems, health conditions, the condition of agriculture, animal husbandry, their resources, food , clothing and drinking water adequacy etc., In short, the students are able to gauge the immediate requirements of each villages. Then they formulate a plan to provide the needed assistance in phases. The villagers are asked to maintain personal hygiene besides keeping their surrounding clean.. The lady students who visit the villages are required to give a neat bath to the children, cutting the nails etc. and the parents are advised to follow the daily cleaning of their surroundings.Drains are cut to let waste water to go away from the habitat. Toilet soaps and other items are distributed free to educate them, the need to maintain proper personal hygiene. Here, the students are taught the importance of sacrificing their time and energy for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden.
School going children are taught a few lessons whenever the volunteers visit the place. Veterinary camps are held bringing Doctors and their assistants. Handicapped people living in the villages are supplied with rice and grains to sustain them. If there is no potable drinking water in the vicinity, plans are drawn to bring them near the villages and the same is implemented in phases. Thus the students are able to organize help from various quarters and bring it to the doorstep of the beneficiaries.
The secular knowledge we learn in schools and collages will be useful only for living in the outer world. But we are neglecting a vital aspect of education. Our ancients gave much importance to the scriptures and philosophy. They understood that it is the SELF which sustains the individual as well as the Universe. They intuitively understood that the Self is ever existing principle and do not undergo birth or death like the created beings.They came to know that the basis for the creation is the SELF but the self is unaffected by the creation or cosmos. The Self is like the pure white screen on which the pictures are projected in a cinema hall. The screen exists independent of the pictures but the pictures need the screen. This Self knowledge is essential for our ultimate destiny!