Saturday, February 1, 2014

Awards Dinner Speech

My humble salutations and prostrations to my masters and prostrations to His Divine Holiness Swami Murugananda Saraswati. Greetings to all of you. This is yet another awards evening at the Gayathri Peedam of South Africa.

To all those who have passed their grade twelve year – congratulations! We wish you every success for the future. Education is not merely a learning process; it is a necessary process of transforming a human into a better and more efficient individual. Education makes people easy to lead but difficult to drive; and easy to govern but impossible to enslave. Know that your future will be shaped within the four walls of the lecture room. Your education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. This education is the only one that survives when what has been taught has been forgotten.

In the words of M.K. Gandhi, 'Literary education is of no value if it is not able to build up a sound character'. Have this always in your thoughts. Education is the time of imperishable wealth; all other things have no wealth. In the Thirukkural it is said, 'Only the educated have real eyes, all others have sores on their faces'.

To the system, it needs to provide excellent facilities for these meritorious students; otherwise the clock will be put backwards. The success also depends on the inspector’s quality of thought which he is able to promote in the minds of the headmasters and teachers. Even the best curriculum and the most perfect syllabus remain dead unless quickened in life by the right method of teaching. The right kind of teacher for educating is the backbone of a progressing nation; and the teacher is the pivot in any system of education.

To the students: you have both a dream and an aim. Both these words are just sensational, but make your dream your aim, never make your aim your dream. Aim high and dream to catch your aim. There is only one difference between a dream and an aim – a dream is effortless sleep, whereas an aim is sleepless effort.

I was once asked, 'Guruji, which is your best speech?' I replied, 'My next one'. Always let the future endeavour be better than the last. Remember, your attitude and not your aptitude will determine your altitude. Nothing can stop that one with the correct mental attitude from achieving the goal, and nothing on earth can help that person with the wrong mental attitude. With the right attitude anything is possible. Here I quote Helen Hayes, 'My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that "achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success"'.

Become an optimist. What is the difference? It’s simple. A pessimist sees the difficulties in every opportunity, whereas an optimist sees the opportunities in every difficulty. So develop the correct attitude. A positive attitude creates more miracles than anything else because life is ten percent how you make it, and ninety percent how you take it. Wherever you go in your future depends on your attitude.

With these few words I say to those who are entering the greater system of education: good luck and remember that you are the future custodians of this country.

Good night.

CLICK HERE to see photos from the 2014 Gayathri Peedam Community Awards Dinner.