Honorable Chief Mentor, Vice Chancellor of the University and Members of the faculty, I humbly accept this degree that you have conferred on me.
See, today I received one but I gave away many. This is what education should do. What we receive we should give back to society, and as students you have received so much education here, now see how you can put that into use in life. The trouble in today’s world is not because of lack of education but because education is being misrepresented, misused and misunderstood. We need to clear these three things. Education is meant not to just make us tablets of information but living examples of high standards of ethics. Education is to make us such strong personalities, which would spread harmony, which would bring progress in the society and spread love and compassion. This is what I strongly believe. So we need to educate ourselves and people around us.
Education is to make one a strong personality, a personality which would stand up to criticism and give constructive criticism. A personality which would create friendliness all over, which has humor and a sense of belongingness along with it and this is what the world is looking for today.
Creativity comes up in a person when he has such an opportunity of free thinking and everybody in this planet is supposed to have free thinking. Unfortunately it is not there. We think in boxes, we think in limited spheres; we have to get out of this. We have to think freely and keep our mind free of narrow ideologies.
I am happy that Gyan Vihar University has given you such an opportunity in the midst of Jaipur to come up with brilliance, and I am sure you will make your country and your university proud.
I once again thank the management, the Vice Chancellor, Honorable Chairperson and the Deans and all of you and I give you my best wishes. I am part of you and now I am also an alumni of this University.
I wish that you become well educated in both humanities and science. Arts is the subject of the heart and science is the subject of the head, and we need both. Lord Krishna has said, Buddhi (intelligence) and Bhava (emotions), both are essential – this is the essence of Bhagavad Gita.
Development of heart and the mind, both are essential. Only then do you become a complete human being.
So I wish you all success in your endeavors and lead a life of service to society and a life full of fun and happiness.
Q: Guruji, you have said the knowledge about the self is most important, then why is it kept so secret and difficult to attain?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: In fact it is not kept a secret anymore. Unfortunately in the past, people kept all that is very precious and very good and useful for people a secret out of their selfishness. But now it is open to everybody. Pranayama was not taught to everybody, it was taught only to a few. That was the unfortunate story of our country. But now everything is available to you.
Q: Guruji, real education happens through life experiences, then why should one go to college?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: College life is pretty good; it is great! You learn a lot. Don’t think you will have no life in college; in fact college life is life because you learn a lot of things. Many times you fall in love, your heart gets broken and then it gets mended. So many things happen there.
Q: What is the secret of your success?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Walk the talk or talk the walk!
Q: If everything is destined, what is the power of prayer?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Everything is not fixed. There are some things that are fixed and some things that are not fixed, and prayer is the bridge between them.
Q: If money is not everything then why are all successful people so rich?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Rich people are not always happy. For me success is not just money in the bank. It is the smile and confidence in a person.