I am pleased at the prospect of speaking to the youth and the students. The first thing about the youth that comes to my mind is what today I would like to say to you in detail.
For the old the past exists; that is already gone, and their whole world is behind them. Children imagine about and desire for the future; old people think and worry about the past. For the youth, there is neither past nor future; for them there is only the present. If you are young, you can really be so only through your ability to live in the present. If in your mind there are thoughts about the past, you have begun to grow old. If imagination about the future still goes on in your mind, you are still a child.
Youth is a balancing midpoint, when the mind is in a state where there is no past and no future. When we rightly live in the present, the mind is young, fresh and alive. The truth is that nothing else exists except the present. The past and the future do not exist. Only the present moment exists.
How many are there who live in the present moment? I call one who lives in the present moment youthful. One who has attained to the ability to live in the present moment has a young mind; it is neither old nor childish. But what happens mostly is that people directly move from childhood to old age; very few attain to youth. One does not necessarily pass through youthfulness. However, the interesting thing is that one who really becomes youthful does not become old, because one who knows the secret of being a youth does not need to become old. The body will become old, it will age and pass away, but the mind will remain constantly young and sharp.
So the first thing I would say to you is not to think of yourself as young just because your age is between that of a child and of old people. Just because of your age you do not become a youth. Being a youth is a very deep happening. I shall tell you a few things in that connection.
I am told you are students. That too I don’t see, because if there were students in the world, there would be a lot of knowledge; students go on increasing but not knowledge. Ignorance is increasing. Students are increasing, universities are increasing, but the world is becoming worse and worse. If knowledge was increasing, then the world would really be better.
It would really be surprising if someone took me to a garden and said, “I have grown so many plants and flowers. Flowers go on blossoming, but there is also an increasing stink, instead of any fragrance.” We would have to ask then, “How are these flowers and plants grown that the stink is increasing?”