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Students–Set right your attitude

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

03 April 1998

LineDrawing-PSji

So, do not lose heart or make any room for disappointment. Be strengthened and enlightened more and more, through everything that comes. With that gain, go forward. You have my blessings for right growth and fulfilment. The world is wide and extensive. You will have what you rightly deserve and in the hands of which you will find elevation and fulfilment. Be sure.

Dear Swamiji,

Pranāms at your feet. My class X Board examinations went off well with your blessings. I believe I will get good marks in all the subjects, only in Mathematics I may score much less than I wanted.

I may get only 76% aggregate, but I badly need 80% because I don’t want to fail in obtaining the marks I wanted. Already I am feeling sad and have lost courage after my failure in NTSE (National Talent Search Examination).

These questions are bothering my mind: Will I not be able to get the marks I wanted? Won’t I ever be able to score according to my aim? Will I become unsuccessful in life due to my average results? Won’t I get success and prosperity in life?

I shall try for IIT only once. If I don’t succeed I shall throw IIT out of my mind and go for C.A. so that I can get a good salary and prosperity. Kindly give me a boon that I may pass C.A., because it will be the last chance for me to live a prosperous life…

My Pranāms to Ma, Nutan Swamiji and others in the Ashram.

Yours lovingly, D.

*  *  *

Dear and blessed Son D:

Harih Om Tat Sat. Your letter speaks that your personality is deeper and broader than what it seemingly is – timid and subdued. Here are my observations and instructions:

1. Some other students also speak or write to me in the manner you have done about examinations and their results. I feel quite concerned about the attitude even good students foster about their studies and examinations, and the miserable fate of their mind in the hands of their own desires and expectations. I think a good student should look at studies and examinations in an entirely different manner.

Examination is a valuation process. Every student is evaluated for his merits, performance and potential by the examiners. The student should look at the examination results purely with objectivity and realism. From the results, he as well as others can have an idea about his merits and potential. He should, in all faith and propriety, take the results just as a reading on a thermometer.

On the basis of this reading, the student should, in consultation with his parents and guides, decide about the further course of studies. The decision should be purely on the basis of (i) which field will be most harmonious with his qualities and talents, and (ii) which field will be most beneficial for him. Instead of deciding patiently and discreetly the fittest course or vocation for him, why should a student get obsessed, deluded, nervous and tormented over the issue?

If you will do well in Engineering, try Engineering. Try to get selected in the IIT entrance exam. If your worth, aptitude and performance do not bring your name in the selection list, accept the verdict or position faithfully and impersonally, and try for other suitable courses. If you are a good student and have a proper assessment of your own merits, then alternate choices should not become necessary. For this, you have to be objective and confident about what you attempt first.

Engineering is not the only course in the world! Don’t we need teachers, professors, marketing experts, doctors, financiers, travel & tourism people, journalists and so many other professionals? Society is a complex aggregate. Various contributions are needed for its comprehensive welfare and progress. We should be happy to be where we fit best.

2. If God were asked by all for their choicest blessings, He would certainly not give all that is asked for. A careless driver should not be entrusted with sensitive driving. A short-tempered selfish person cannot be given the task of public administration. A bad teacher should not be given the responsibility of teaching good students. So, the blessings of even God have to be rational. If all the indiscreet boons which people seek were to be sanctioned straightaway, then the world would turn chaotic.

So, think well about your position, dear son. Be a good student. Study well. Write well in the examinations. Look at the examination results purely as a process of evaluation that reveals your merits, aptitude and abilities. Try to choose the course of further study on the basis of these revelations. You must deserve what you would very much like to have. Don’t get carried away by undue fascination for any particular course or career.

3. All students will not have the same level and kind of merits and aptitude. In fact, it is the basic variety and multiplicity that sustains the multi-splendoured Nature. That is why we have the four-fold division of tendencies and qualities in man. We must have wise intellectuals – the conscience–keepers of society. We must equally have the courageous people to serve in the police and military. Farmers and traders are no less important for the sustenance of the society. Can we ever progress without the nursing team and people who serve with their physical might? All the four together alone will make the society function and grow harmoniously.

4. Dear son, don’t get deluded. Learn to judge objectively. Your examination results are merely a revealer – nothing more, nothing less. On the basis of the revelation, as of the face in the mirror, go ahead to plan your further life. There will certainly be a proper course and opening. Here is a beautiful poem which speaks about the course of an earnest individual:

“Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.”
(from ‘In Tune with the Infinite’ by R W Trine)

So, do not lose heart or make any room for disappointment. Be strengthened and enlightened more and more, through everything that comes. With that gain, go forward. You have my blessings for right growth and fulfilment. The world is wide and extensive. You will have what you rightly deserve and in the hands of which you will find elevation and fulfilment. Be sure…

Love and Ashirvād,

Swamiji

– From the book – “Be what you are”.

LineDrawing-PSji

“So, think well about your position, dear son. Be a good student. Study well. Write well in the examinations. Look at the examination results purely as a process of evaluation that reveals your merits, aptitude and abilities. ”

“Instead of deciding patiently and discreetly the fittest course or vocation for him, why should a student get obsessed, deluded, nervous and tormented over the issue? ”

“I feel quite concerned about the attitude even good students foster about their studies and examinations, and the miserable fate of their mind in the hands of their own desires and expectations. ”

“All students will not have the same level and kind of merits and aptitude. In fact, it is the basic variety and multiplicity that sustains the multi-splendoured Nature. ”

“If you are a good student and have a proper assessment of your own merits, then alternate choices should not become necessary. For this, you have to be objective and confident about what you attempt first. ”

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