Recently, some organisational work got me a bit involved in
matters relating to what is usually called Educare; and in
the process, I had to do a lot of thinking. In this and some
of the articles to follow in this series, I shall share with
you a few of the thoughts on the subject that occurred to
me during this exercise.
A natural starting point is of course the
origin and the meaning of the word Educare. Most of us were
totally ignorant about this word until a few years ago when
Swami used it for the first time in one of His Discourses
on education. Immediately many jumped to the conclusion that
this was a new word and that Swami had actually coined it.
That is not so. The fact of the matter is that Educare is
an old word derived from Latin. Actually, there are two Latin
root words that are somewhat similar. The first is word EDUCARE,
pronounced EDOO KAARE while the second is EDUCERE
pronounced EDOO KERE. The Latin word EDUCARE
means to support and nurture the growth of, while the other
Latin word EDUCERE means to draw out or to
cause to come out. Scholars have pointed out the first word
has in due course given birth to the word education in the
English language. The second word, on the other hand, is really
what Bhagavan Baba has been referring to, but with the modified
spelling EDUCARE. So much for what might be called etymology.
Fine, but what exactly does it mean in our context and how
are we to understand and possibly apply what Educare is supposed
to mean? Also, whatever happened to Educare till now? How
come no one seems to have mentioned it earlier? And what made
Swami to pick this word and resurrect it? May be I should
deal with some of these questions first.
In olden days, morals and values were paramount
in all facets of Society – in the house, in the school,
and in the community. Thus, when children from different families
met, there was a general homogeneity of views and all were
aligned to the same basic principles and moral values. True,
the various temptations of life were present no doubt, but
societal forces on the one hand and restricted avenues of
communication generally helped children to be respectful,
obedient and principled. To put it differently, the absence
of large-scale disturbing forces greatly aided the process
of sustaining Morality in Society. In Swami’s words,
there was Love for God, fear of sin, and hence also Morality
in Society. Thus, Educare was implicit and
there was no special need to invoke it explicitly.
The one single major factor disrupting this process severely
in recent time to the extent of almost damaging entirely the
age-old fabric of Society has been the emergence of the Media
as a towering and totally independent force. It started with
print, then moved on to the radio, then to the audio, then
on to TV, and now to the internet. As of all this was not
enough, we also have the so-called blessing of the mobile
The press, the movies, and television are all associated
with corporations – there are owners, investors, and
those seeking profit. In the name of making money, and by
a clever projection of the so-called right to freedom of speech
and expression, the Media, which is almost invariably controlled
by giant and most powerful interests, has and continues to
wreck havoc, making parents and teachers almost powerless.
This large-scale [external] disturbing force did not exist
The question may be asked why the Media is
acting in such a socially corrosive manner. The answer is
simple: The Media is in the business of making money and not
protecting Society’s interests – those days when
it acted with concern for public good and with responsibility
are more or less gone. The Media is extremely
powerful and its influence is very strong. By ourselves we
might not succeed in meeting the challenge of today’s
disruptive forces but if we step forward with the Lord’s
Name on our lips, even the seemingly impossible would definitely
become possible – that is what faith is all about. Swami
has for years been talking about the need for a firm and committed
return to the Moral path, and it is by way of countering the
present disruptive forces that He reminded us of what was
once regarded as one’s normal duty, not only ourselves
observing Dharma but also helping
children to do the same. That, in brief, is the context in
which we have to understand how the term Educare came to be
placed before us by Bhagavan Baba. We have to make a
special and renewed attempt to bring forth from within,
especially in the modern context, the treasures already bequeathed
to us by God.
Let us now try to understand all this in context of Swami’s
basic Message to humanity. God as Sri Sathya Sai Avatar has
been exceptionally considerate in spelling out His Message
in considerable detail, not just once or twice but any number
of times, at various places and on various occasions. Although
the details of the exposition and the analogies used for illustration
might have varied, the essentials have always remained the
same; indeed they are precisely what the Lord in an earlier
incarnation as Krishna had stated. In brief God’s Message
· Man must first realise that he is Divine in origin.
· Next, having realised his intrinsic Divine nature,
man must act in accordance with that nature.
· When man follows the above two steps, he would automatically
experience Bliss, which is the Form of the Divine.
Three key words often used by Swami in this
- Atma Viswaasam.
- Atma Dharma.
- Atma Trupthi.
The first word means faith in the Atma;
the second essentially means acting in accordance with the
nature of the Atma; and the third
means achieving Self-satisfaction - true Self-satisfaction
is synonymous with Bliss.
To the uninitiated all this might sound rather
vague and abstract but there is deep meaning behind it. The
first step, namely realising one’s true nature, involves
looking deep within oneself i.e., going into
the Inner World. Having discovered one’s true nature,
namely that one is nothing but a Spark of the Divine, one
is then called upon to act in the external world in accordance
with one’s true nature – this is the second step.
And when one follows steps one and two, Bliss is the automatic
result. In short, the above three-point formula that captures
the essence of God’s teaching to man involves both the
so-called Inner as well as the external worlds.
To put it differently, the word EDUCARE as
Swami uses it really means to draw forth from the
Heart; and in this sense, it subsumes steps one and
two mentioned earlier. [Swami also once told students that
the commonly used word education in fact came from EDUCARE,
and in a restrictive context. As we all know education is
for just making a living while educare is the Compass for
life.] In other words, EDUCARE is a one-word summary of the
first two points of God’s Message to man spelt out earlier.
Seen in the above light many things become immediately obvious,
the most important of which is that Educare as a concept is
not only all-inclusive and comprehensive but also applicable
to one and all, and in all situations in life. Nobody or anything
is excluded from its purview.
In this and some of the subsequent articles in the series
entitled Reflections, I shall try and elaborate on many different
aspects of life, linking them to the basic point made by Swami.
Swami has always stressed individual transformation and Educare
is a word that focuses explicit attention on that. We shall
now examine in some depth the implications of the word transformation.
Transformation implies change and in our
context it means a change for the better. In turn this means
giving up the bad and embracing the good. But there is more
to transformation than just this. Now when relating to Swami,
we must clearly understand that Swami’s focus is always
on Spirituality and that He wants us also to have the same
focus. This means that transformation must be seen
as a process originating Inside. Unless we seriously
look Inwards, we would never be able to relate even feebly
to the Atma or the Universal
and Eternal Spirit/Soul. Any transformation that a Sai devotee
seeks, must involve such introspection, if
the seeker is serious.
Swami wants man to look into his Heart and start from there
– that really is what Educare is all about. Some years
ago, while speaking to students of the Business School in
His University, Swami related the processes associated with
Educare to Import-Export. He said we must first import LOVE
from the Heart into the Head and then, after processing it,
export it to the world outside through LOVING WORDS and LOVING
ACTIONS [via the Body of course]. This is typical of Swami,
translating a seemingly complex concept into not only simple
language but also a practical recipe.
OK, agreed as I said earlier that human actions
must generally reflect Divine attributes. What are the attributes
that one expects? The most important of these is the harmony
of feeling, thought, word and deed, a harmony that Swami often
refers to via the word Trikaranasuddhi.
In practical terms, it means the harmonious functioning of
the Heart [the seat of feelings], the Head [the seat of thought]
and the Body [the source for words and action]. When these
three components, namely the Heart, the Head and the Body
function coherently and in unison, it automatically implies
that the feeling that underlies the word/action is Divine,
so is the thought that formulates the word/action and so is
final word spoken or the action performed. In other words,
if Trikaranasuddhi or Purity
of Thought, Word and Deed is achieved, then it automatically
implies that Educare has been given practical expression to.
It is pertinent to note that Sathya,
Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa
that are normally referred to as the Human Values manifest
only when there is Trikaranasuddhi;
no Triple Purity, no Human Values – Swami has made this
abundantly clear on more than one occasion. The last mentioned
point is important, especially in the context of the various
efforts being mounted to spread Human Values. As Swami has
pointed out – take care of Trikaranasuddhi
and the Human Values take care of themselves automatically.
I think I have said enough for an opener.
The bottom line for the present is: The first step in identifying
oneself with the Atma is to make
Trikaranasuddhi an essential
and non-negotiable part of one’s life. Without this
virtue, any Love that one claims to show, even to God, would
be tainted – this we must never forget. This last point
is non-trivial and yet forgotten frequently. For example,
when one is in dire difficulties one often prays intensely
to God, promising all kinds of things, including in terms
of good behaviour etc. But soon after God responds and removes
the difficulties He is quickly forgotten as also the many
promises made, till of course the next crisis.
We all would do well to introspect carefully
and honestly and check how often we have defaulted on our
promises, not only to God but also to fellow human beings.
[Incidentally, in the Atmic language, if we are untrue to
a fellow human being we are in fact untrue to God.] Failure
to keep promises and following up this failure with excuses
is far more common that we care to admit. Whether we like
it or not, and no matter what we think are the extenuating
circumstances, every single failure is a loud announcement
of a lapse in Trikaranasuddhi.
Without this Inner Harmony, all Sadhanas
become totally bereft of meaning, although we might not be
willing to admit it.
In future articles, I shall take up specific
matters related to today’s existence and discuss how
these are to be viewed in the context to Atma
Viswasam and Atma Dharma.
Hopefully, all this would help you to appreciate that Swami’s
teachings are actually meant to be applied in day to day life
though on the face of it they might appear far removed from
the reality of mundane existence.
Perhaps this Reflection is a bit “heavy”! Feel
so? Why don’t you write back and let us know? Jai Sai