First Sri Sathya Sai World Youth Conference at Prasanthi Nilayam – Part 1

Wednesday, July 16, 1997 to 
Friday, July 18, 1997

First World Youth Conference at Prasanthi Nilayam
Sri Sathya Sai World Youth Conference was held at Prasanthi Nilayam from the 16th to the 18th July 1997. Over 2,000 delegates from 66 countries and 10,000 delegates from India participated in the Conference. Bhagavan lit the lamps in the Sai Kulwant Hall and inaugurated the Conference on 16th morning after the March Past by the representatives from all the participating countries. Bhagavan then delivered His Inaugural Address. 
Sri Sathya Sai Addresses the First World Youth Conference
“When one's wealth is lost, it can be acquired again. If one friend is lost, another can be got. If the wife passes, one can many again. If land is lost, it can be acquired, again. But if time is lost it cannot be got back. In this vast cosmos and among the myriad species, man is the highest and noblest being. He is sublime. He is full of good traits. If a man loses these attributes of humanness, they cannot be easily regained. 

Young men and women! The prosperity and well-being of the world depend on the conduct of the youth. Only when their conduct is good, the world can have an ideal future. The night that has passed Cannot be recalled by any means. The waters of the Yamuna, once they have merged in the ocean, cannot be turned back. A fruit that has been eaten and digested cannot be recovered. Man is spending his days aimlessly without any awareness of what is in store for him in the future. He is not aware of the continuous erosion of his life-span by the passage of time.

Life is like a mega-clock. Its three hands indicate the rate at which the days, months and the year are passing. Man rejoices in the movement of the clock's hands but does not realise that every movement is a reminder of his diminishing lifespan. Hence, before the final hour strikes, every man should realise what his duties are and see that the remaining time is well spent. 

What is the root cause of man's birth in the world? What are the duties of man? No one seeks to recognise the inherent divinity in man. Young men and women today waste a good deal of their time, without realising, the preciousness of human life.

Transform from the human to the Divine 

There are two qualities in man. One is the animal nature; the other is humanness. Unfortunately, man is forgetting his humanness by falling a prey to the six enemies - lust, anger, greed, envy and others, and misusing his God-given talents. He thereby degrades himself to the level of the animal. On the other hand, man should use his mind, status, and talents to become virtuous, pursue the path of righteousness and strive to raise himself from the human to the Divine. All things in the world should be used properly, and not misused. A knife can be used for cutting vegetables or another's throat. How a knife is used depends on the man using it. His mental state should be in proper condition. A man's conduct is related to his thoughts and feelings. The heart is inherently pure. But one's thoughts can pollute it or keep it pure. One can make or mar his destiny by his thoughts and actions. 

Today everywhere the world is haunted by suffering, tin-rest, disorder and agitations. Any country filled with noble beings is bound to be peaceful and happy. What is the mason for the sad plight of a country? It is the absence of men and women of high character. To protect a country, it is not so important to have arms and missiles and atom bombs. It is most essential to have men and women of great virtue.

The world's prosperity or otherwise is based upon the character of the youth--men and women. Hence, young men and women should be pure hearted and render selfless service to the country. They should keep the company of the good and godly. Losing Paapa Bheeti (fear of sin) and not cultivating Daiva Preeti (the love of God), men today have lost the essential quality of humanness. This has resulted in the loss of peace in the world.

Show your gratitude by serving the society

Everyone should realise what one owes to the society in which one is born and from which one derives so many benefits. Young people should reflect on the question what gratitude they can show to the society which has given them so much. What service are you doing to society? Every man should show his sense of gratitude to society by rendering selfless service. It was for this purpose that the Seva Organization was started. But even here the Seva Organizations are being used to promote one's name and fame and not to render service for its own sake. 

The body is given for rendering service to society. Today wherever you turn in the administration, in the business world, in politics or other fields - you see no spirit of sacrifice. In every field, the atmosphere is saturated with pollution. This foulness has to be removed. Today the pollution affects people in authority, the parents, the educationists and intellectuals. Those who preen themselves on their scholarship have no humility that should characterise genuine scholarship.

People should consider the whole world as the mansion of one human family, when this spirit of oneness prevails, there will be no tendency to harm others. You should forgive even those who harm you. The youth should cultivate the quality of forbearance. Forbearance is a supreme virtue in man.

Love of God is selfless and everlasting

Embodiments of Love! Man should be free from fear. Animals inspire and birds are subject to fear. But man should neither cause fear in others nor be afraid himself. Today's young men and women should develop fearlessness as a principal quality. You should be afraid of only one thing: fear of sin. God is the only being to be loved. All other forms of love are transient and selfish. Love of God is selfless and everlasting. 

God seeks nothing from you. He is utterly selfless. Today if you wish to earn the esteem of society you have to secure Daiva Preeti (the love of God). For this you have to entertain fear of sin. What is sin? It covers all those activities which are motivated by selfishness born out of regarding the body and sensual pleasures as the primary things in life. Punya (merit) arises from all actions which take one nearer to God Para + Upa + Kaara = Paropakaara. Sin has been defined as Parapeedanam (causing harm to or forgetting the Divine). To remember the divinity in everyone is the means to acquire merit.

Young people today have lost the feeling of forbearance and as a result have become a prey to many bad qualities like anger and envy They should remember that today most young people are afflicted, in getting degrees, with Ahamkaara (the disease of egoistic pride). And this is the cause of all sickness in the world. This egoism has no real basis because the individual is an insignificant speck in the vast cosmos. it is born of ignorance. This ignorance will go if man realises that the whole universe is permeated by the Divine and belongs to the Divine. Everyone should do what is good and never forget God. That is the way to overcome egoism.

"Hands in the society, head in the forest"

It is the privilege and duty of the young men and women to promote the welfare, progress and peace of the world. Transform all your actions into sacred duties. Experience the love of the Divine. That is the meaning of Swami's declaration: "My life is my message." Adhere to the ideals set before you by Swami. Today people tend to forget Aaashayaalu (ideals) and foster Aashalu (desires). Selfishness prevails over patriotism. This should change. Never forget your motherland. Remember that our ancients enthroned sacrifice as the supreme virtue. They stood for justice and   truth. And as a result they enjoyed peace.

Today humanity is haunted by fear because there is no spirit of sacrifice; righteousness is at a discount and truth has become rare. Young people should enthrone Tyaga (sacrifice) in their hearts, wear the crown of justice on their heads and carry the sword of Truth in their hands. These are the weapons needed, to defend the nation. Young people should consider the true purpose of life. They should get rid of all the impurities in their hearts. With pure hearts, they should embark on service at all times and everywhere. Hands in society, head in the forest. From today develop an unwavering mind and a steady vision. That is the way to Divinise the world. 

…Young men and women! Today at the inaugural function only the broad pattern of the tasks before you has been presented. In the ensuing days the details of the duties you have come to discharge and the programme of activities you have to rake up, will be considered. What is basic to all these in the spiritual path is the chanting of the name of the Lord. By this means you can experience God. You must chant the name with love.”

On the 17th evening, Bhagavan addressed the delegates in Poornachandra Auditorium. The Discourse can be viewed here.

Thereafter, a musical programme was presented by the Indian devotees in the Divine presence. 



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