Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Monday said the modern education system tends to focus only on the 'utilitarian' function of education and it is not equipped to deal with the moral and spiritual function which builds the character of the students.
Justice Ramana said this while delivering the 40th convocation address of the Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Institute for Higher Learning.
He said: "Unfortunately, the modern education system tends to focus only on the 'utilitarian' function of education. Such a system is not equipped to deal with the 'moral' or 'spiritual' function of education which builds the character of our students and allows them to develop a social consciousness and a sense of responsibility."
He added that true education is the one that imbibes moral values and virtues of humility, discipline, selflessness, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and mutual respect.
"You will have to deal with people from different walks of life that may occasionally challenge you. But be tolerant. Hold onto certain core values as you walk through this journey of life, and experience all the richness it can offer you", said Justice Ramana.
Lauding the university's founder Sathya Sai Baba, the Chief Justice said: "Education in this prestigious Institution has inculcated both ethical and moral values in the students. He promoted a combination of 'worldly learning' and 'spiritual learning'. This philosophy radiates in this institution. It flows from our rich mythology and Vedic philosophy."
He emphasized that as educated individuals, "you have the responsibility to enrich the society and they must educate all those around, and empower people, communities, and societies".
"Prema in action is service. There is no greater proponent of service, no greater mentor to follow, than Baba himself. Sathya Sai means love. Sathya Sai means service. Sathya Sai means sacrifice," he said.
Hailing it as a one-of-a-kind university built around the concept of a modern gurukul, the Chief Justice said: "It is also a 'Gurukula' where the essence of Indian culture, values, and lifestyle is inculcated in the students while at the institution. This ensures all-around development and mental fortitude."
He said "Baba has shown us the righteous path. This is a concept embedded in our cultural ethos, of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam."
Justice Ramana emphasized that the pandemic has exposed and highlighted the deep-rooted vulnerabilities and has increased the inequalities in society.
He added: "In such times, selfless service is the need of the hour. I feel so encouraged by the fact that this idea of service is still strong in the hearts and minds of the people. This is evident when people came together, including the students of this institution, to provide relief to those in need. I congratulate all of you for rendering service to the needy."