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In his valedictory address, Patrik Siljestam expressed deep appreciation for the TM-Sidhi program that is the main source of his 'inspiration, creativity, and happiness'.



MUM student offers profound and practical wisdom
by Global Good News staff writer
4 January 2012

The 2012 valedictory address of Patrik Siljestam, a Swedish student at Maharishi University of Management (MUM), was punctuated by frequent bursts of applause from the audience as Patrik shared the depths of his heart as well as profound—and practical—wisdom.

After deeply appreciating his parents for raising him in the Ideal Village in Sweden (a community of people practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme). Patrik explained what led him to MUM. He said that after high school, he had taken various courses at a Swedish university, but hadn’t felt at home there or inspired or engaged in what he was studying.

So he stopped school and found his real passion traveling to Africa and working there as a volunteer. ‘The people in Africa,’ Patrik related, ‘they were so happy. They were smiling and dancing and singing and laughing.’ He found that pang’ono pang’ono, words used in the country he was visiting, became very meaningful to him. This phrase means taking things slowly, little by little, step by step. Patrik said he feels ‘it allows people to be human instead of always trying to achieve too much.’

The true value of education

At the same time that he valued the joy of the people in Africa and their pang’ono pang’ono approach to life, Patrik realized that the people where he was—in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world—were facing great hardship. From this he realized the true value of education. ‘Possessions and money,’ Patrik told the commencement audience, ‘can’t cure poverty. But education can, as illustrated by the saying, give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for one day; teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for his life.’

Although Patrik had helped schools in Malawi improve their teaching methods and had even helped construct a building for a pre-school, it became apparent to him that he was providing external help, and that he wasn’t the people from within. ‘I realized,’ Patrik said, ‘that true education not only teaches the students about the world around them but also about their own inner self. I wanted to lead people towards fully knowing themselves and help them find true happiness within.’

Attending a university which supported his high aspiration

With this goal in mind, the young Swedish man, who had learned the Transcendental Meditation technique at his own request when he was only five years old, decided to attend Maharishi University of Management where everyone—students, teachers and staff—enjoy this practice for unfolding their full potential.

Patrik expressed his thinking in choosing to go to this university by saying, ‘I decided that I wanted to come here to MUM and study because there was no other university in the whole world, according to me, that could support this aspiration of mine’—to help people find inner knowledge and happiness. ‘And I knew I would feel at home here and connect to people from a deeper level,’ he added.

The valedictorian appreciated every aspect of the university and expressed that he feels it to be an evolving learning-organization where teachers, as well as students, learn. He said that although when he looked at things over the short term he may not have noticed big changes, he realized that changes happen bit by bit—pang’ono pang’ono—and that he had seen significant evolution of MUM during his three years there.

Patrik found the most important part of MUM to be his fellow students, ‘because we are the reason MUM exists.’ He sees students at this university as possessing three particularly noteworthy characteristics.

First, they possess a strong sense of individuality, each student knowing that he is a unique expression of life. Patrik expressed that each student feels that the individual is cosmic, values his own thoughts, experiences, and opinions, and believes in the divinity of human existence.

Second, MUM students are continuously asking questions in their pursuit of knowledge.

Third, and of greatest significance for Patrik, the students at MUM have a strong sense of inner knowing. ‘We ask questions not because we are ignorant, but because we know the answer deep inside of us, and we want to manifest that answer into the world.’ In this context, Patrik told the audience, ‘I want you all to remember this: that the unbounded ocean of pure knowledge exists within you.’

A tool for greatness

Patrik’s direct experience of this ocean of pure knowledge within grew when he learned the TM-Sidhi Programme. Although he was in no hurry to enroll in the course—pang’ono pang’ono—despite encouragement from others when he first arrived at MUM, after a little more than a year at the university, he decided of his own accord to take it. He told those gathered at graduation that it was the most significant course he had taken at MUM and explained what was so special about it.

‘If Transcendental Meditation is coming to a beautiful ocean and gazing upon it,’ Patrik said, ‘then the [practice of the] Sidhis is surfing the waves of that ocean. And if Transcendental Meditation is diving into your inner silence, then the Sidhis [practice] is discovering the dynamism within that silence. So, I consider the TM-Sidhi course the most important tool I have for success in life because it is my main source of my inspiration, creativity, and happiness.’

Patrik ended his speech by expressing the words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the university’s founder. He said, ‘”If we think of defeat, that’s what we’ll get. If we are undecided, then nothing will happen for us. We must just pick something great to do and then do it. Never think of failure at all, because as we think now, that’s what we’ll get.”’

Speaking to his fellow graduates, the valedictorian went on, ‘And I encourage all of you to do this. Pick something you feel passionate about and do it. Remember to be patient and that success takes time to build—little by little, pang’ono, pang’ono.’


For Patrik, the time at MUM is continuing. He is now an MBA intern student there and continues to love what he is experiencing. ‘It’s an honour to be at a workplace where my colleagues dive deeply within everyday,’ he told the commencement gathering. ‘I can feel a clear difference in the coherence that I can sense here compared to other places I’ve been working. So, disagreements still come up, but they are belittled by the great unity that connects us all. The great dedication I see in my colleagues everyday at work inspires me to do my best.’

The university appreciates Patrik in return. Commencement emcee and Executive Vice President of MUM, Craig Pearson, said, ‘Patrik, stick around for a long time. We would like to keep you here.’


© Copyright 2013 Global Good News®


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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