Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s mission of education in human values

Thursday, 25 November 2010 00:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Sathya Sai Baba is one of the most revered spiritual masters presently living in the world. His mission has been to silently transform the world by re-establishing the eternal values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence in the everyday life of all human beings.

By Dhammika Kalapuge

Sri Sathya Sai Baba is one of the most revered spiritual masters presently living in the world. His mission has been to silently transform the world by re-establishing the eternal values of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence in the everyday life of all human beings.

His teachings are universal to all religions. He is not striving to start a new religion. Instead, he urges us to go to the roots of our own faith whatever it may be and to rediscover the ‘Universal Truth’ contained therein in order to be exemplary human beings.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba proclaims that he has come to serve all mankind and not for any particular community, religion, country, or interest groups and not to establish any new religion or philosophy. He has come to show all humanity the foundation of love on which every life is based.

Sathya Sai Baba says: “I have come not to disturb or destroy any faith, but to confirm each in his own faith, so that a Buddhist can become a better Buddhist, a Hindu a better Hindu, a Christian becomes a better Christian and the Muslim a better Muslim. I have come to reconstruct the ancient highway to God; to instruct all in the essence of the scriptures, to shower on this entire precious gift; to protect the ‘Eternal Righteousness’ and to preserve it. My mission is to serve happiness and so I am always happy to come amongst you, not once but twice, thrice, as often as you want me. To set right those who have taken to wrong path and to protect the good people, Sai will be born again and again.”


In his endeavours to make this teaching universal and not merely to attract devotees and seekers of all faiths and nationalities, he proclaims: “Let the different faiths exist and let the glory of God be sung in all languages and tunes. That should be the ideal. Respect the differences between the faiths and recognise them as valid as long as they do not extinguish the flames of unity. If each person lives the ideals propounded by the founders of their religion, unaffected by greed or hate, then the world will be a happy and peaceful habitation for mankind.”

These facts are obvious when one visits his ashram at Puttaparthi in Andra Pradesh. Devotees who come from all parts of the world gather peacefully every day under one roof to receive his divine dharshan and to listen to his discourses.

The self discipline, humanity and piousness demonstrated by every person therein, often creates the feeling in one’s mind, if the same conduct, spirit and the understanding is spread across the globe what a peaceful place this earth can be for everybody to live in harmony.

Moreover, it helps the entire humanity to solve most of the man made problems in the world today. Hence, his mission has been to create a new awareness in the world to establish ‘love and peace’ so as to unite all mankind towards enlightenment and for a new civilisation.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba says: “Love is God, God is Love. Love more and more people, transform love into Service, into Worship; that is the highest spiritual practice.” His basic teachings can be summarised in eight words, as follows: “Love all, serve all, help ever, hurt never.”

Message of love

Sri Sathya Sai Baba has emphasised the supreme importance of pure love. He says: “I have come to light the lamp of love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come on any mission of publicity for any sect or creed or cause; nor have I come to collect followers for any doctrine. I have come to tell you of this universal unitary faith, this path of love. Believe that all hearts are motivated by the one and only God, that all names in all languages, and all forms man can conceive, denote the one and only God. Cultivate the attitude of oneness between people of all creeds, all countries, and all continents. This is the message of love I bring.”

Selfless service

Born on November 23, 1926, Sri Sathya Sai Baba celebrated his 85th birthday yesterday. His vision and selfless service in the fields of education, health and improvement of the basic living standards of rural villages have been the continuous activities from the inception of his worldly mission. They are unique and targeted towards tangible results.

All activities performed by him over so many decades reflect the universal principles of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. The true religion of mankind is the ‘religion of love’. This is a clear endorsement of our basic learnings from all religions, which say, “Be good, do good and serve the mankind in the best manner you can”.

This is a prime responsibility of every person who is born to this world. It is an accepted fact that, for been born to this world as a human being we are expected to demonstrate our ‘attitude of gratitude’; the best way to do that is to serve one and another.

Education in human values

Particularly during the last two decades, Sri Sathya Sai Baba in his mission gave a lot of emphasis to education in human values and also youth development programmes. The human progression to a great extent lies on the propagation of good ‘human values’ and to the extent to which the next generations are going to abide by them.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba says: “What exactly is education? It means opening wide the doors of the mind. It means cleansing the inner tools of consciousness, the mind, the senses, ego and reason... Education, when it gets linked with egoism, loses its wider purpose. It becomes supremely purposeful only when it is directly related to spirituality.”

Moreover, in many of his discourses he continues: “Academic knowledge alone is of no great value. It may help one to earn a livelihood. But, education should go beyond the preparation for earning a living. It should prepare one for the challenges of life morally and spiritually. It is because ‘human values’ are absent in ‘educated’ persons that we find them steeped in anxiety and worry. The end of wisdom is freedom. The end of culture is perfection. The end of knowledge is love. The end of education is character.”

Development of character

The programme of Sri Sathya Sai education in human values aims at the development of ‘character,’ which is the end result of education. Its primary focus is the development of the full human potential of every individual. Aiming at the spiritual regeneration of mankind, the philosophy of this program is based on the universality of five human values that are innate in every individual: Truth, right conduct, peace, love, and non-violence. Taken together, they encompass a full vision of the human potential. They include:

1. The fulfilment of the quest of the intellect for ‘truth’ (love in speech). There are 21 sub values which are discussed in this, namely: Consciousness, creativity, curiosity, discrimination, equality, honesty, integrity, intuition, natural environment, optimism, quest for knowledge, reason, self-analysis, self-knowledge, self-worth, sense control, spirit of inquiry, synthesis, truthfulness, unity in thought word and deed, and unity in diversity.

2. The channelling of the will into satisfying expression through ‘right conduct’ (love in action). There are 22 sub values which are discussed in this, namely: Cleanliness, contentment, courage, dependability, duty, ethics, gratitude, goals, good behaviour, healthy living, helpfulness, initiative, leadership, perseverance, time management, resourcefulness, respect, responsibility, sacrifice, self-sufficiency, self-confidence and simplicity.

3. The resolution of conflicts of human emotions and interactions in the achievement of inner and outer ‘peace’ (love in thought). There are 22 sub values which are discussed in this, namely: Attention, calm, concentration, contentment, dignity, discipline, endurance, focus, happiness, honesty, humility, inner silence, reflection, satisfaction, self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-control, self-discipline, self-respect, understanding, care for environment, national responsibility.

4. The expansion of the heart in the flow of ‘love’ (love in heart). There are 21 sub values which are discussed in this, namely: Bliss, caring, compassion, dedication, devotion, empathy, friendship, forgiveness, generosity, helping, human dignity, inner happiness, joy, kindness, patience, purity, sharing, sincerity, sympathy, tolerance and wisdom.

5. The realisation of perfect sympathy for all creation through ‘non-violence’ (love in understanding). There are 22 sub values which are discussed in this, namely: Appreciation of other cultures and religions, brotherhood, ceiling on desires, citizenship, compassion, concern for all life, consideration, cooperation, forgiveness, global awareness, good manners, inclusiveness, loyalty, national awareness, recycling, respect for property, service to other, social justice, sustainable growth, universal love and unwilling to hurt.  In the same way that every human being has a heart, that these five values are acknowledged to be an integral part of the very nature of human beings. They are qualities one can inculcate and develop from the childhood itself.

From childhood one can experience ‘truth’ through self honesty, unity of thoughts, words and deeds. Children can experience ‘right conduct’ through the sub-values, which include self-confidence, forbearance, responsibility, good manners, and other social skills.

Similarly they can experience ‘peace’ as they gain emotional equilibrium through self-acceptance, optimism, patience, contentment, and humility.  Children may develop ‘love’ through compassion, sharing, tolerance, friendship, and sacrifice as they discover that Love is not mere emotion, but the force that permeates all creations. ‘Non-violence’ can be developed from childhood as it encompasses cooperation, respect for diversity, ecological balance and the unity of life.

A life worth living

To achieve a life worth living, great minds over the centuries have written and spoken about the importance of this approach to education. For example, Mahatma Gandhi, the nonviolent liberator of colonial India, defined education as an all- around drawing out of the best in child and adult – body, mind, and spirit. Similarly, the Greek philosopher Plato said that the primary task of a human being is to know ourselves.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba says: “Education must teach a person how to live life as a true human being. It must purify the heart and clarify the vision. It must prevent pollution of the head, heart and hand, caused by habits injurious to the individual, the society and the nation. It must promote virtues and raise the moral and spiritual standards of mankind.”

The Sri Sathya Sai education in human values programme fosters within students the ability to learn and live happily, without making others unhappy and to evaluate things, pleasure, and possessions correctly and without prejudice. Education without character is not only useless; it is positively dangerous. Therefore, given the vicious cycle of war, anger, intolerance, greed, and so many other displays of man’s inhumanity to man, a value-based framework for education is crucially vital.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba says that education in human values is really 3HV (head, heart and hand), and that it applies to all persons. He says that what the ‘head’ thinks should be critically examined by the ‘heart’ to determine its true ‘human value’. Then, the right decision should be carried out by the ‘hands’.

The ideal of goodness

Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s followers regard him as an incarnation of God in human form (avatar). He is the ideal of goodness: One who manifests all human virtues in their purity and perfection; one who shows power, wisdom and knowledge beyond the comprehension of humans; and one in whom immense powers lies at his will.

With his extraordinary powers he is known for the miracles that he performs such as materialising objects, especially a holy ash called vibhuti, assisting people in distress, and letting those who come to him for advice know that he is aware of even the most intimate detail of their lives.

Yet, he has always maintained that his miracles are to be treated only as his ‘calling cards’. They are for the purpose of inspiring and encouraging people to begin their own spiritual journey of ‘personal transformation’. Thus, collectively leads to a creation of a ‘new civilisation’ in the world.

He says: “I give you what you want so that you should want what I have come to give – namely liberation itself.”

Indeed, the greatest miracle of all, from the inception of his mission, is the ‘liberation and transformation’ in the lives of the millions of people who have come in contact with Sri Sathya Sai Baba and his teachings.

He teaches that man’s basic nature is divine and that the purpose of one’s life is the realisation of this divinity. This will occur, he says, by leading a moral life, by rendering selfless service to those who are in need, by engaging in devotional practices, and by developing love, respect, and compassion for all life.

As one strives to transform the worldly life of self-centred desires and attachments into a higher spiritual life of selflessness and devotion, the foundation is built for receiving God’s grace. It is this grace that will reveal our true nature to each of us. Moreover, for us to remind and realise that we all are ‘spiritual beings who are having a human experience’.  He never asks us for blind faith. He encourages investigation and says that true faith can only grow on the root of inquiry. Nor does he ask us to forsake our devotion to the form of God which has become dear to us. In essence, God is formless, and only takes form to save and give a focus for our devotion.

Indeed, life is too short to grudge each other and live in misery. We all are born for a purpose. That is to give a true meaning to our existence, serve the mankind to the best our ability and preserve this world for the future generation to live in peace and harmony.

In this light, Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s existence, guidance and teaching truly can make one inspired thus making a significant contribution in the creation of an ideal civilisation for a better world tomorrow. Glory to Sri Sathya Sai Baba on this holy 85th birthday; may he continue his mission and bless all life-forms on earth for many more years to come.