Sathya Sai Education in Human Values fulfils the ultimate mission of education. He, who has inspired this educational programme, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, goes directly to the essence of the institution of education and its role in human civilization, as he does with other social institutions and, indeed, with human life itself. He distinguishes between, "the really real and the relatively real", between the universal and the parochial, between that which is lasting and that which is transient.
Most educationists acknowledge that an important part of the mission of education is to transmit the knowledge and skill necessary to navigate through this journey of life safely, effectively, and with a modicum of happiness. However, too often in our modern educational systems, overwhelming emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills and knowledge that will enable the student to find a job or practice a profession. Too often the educational process becomes a procession of students who pass through a perfunctory exercise. Worldly education in many places has become an assembly line in which 'educate' means 'matriculate, inculcate, and then graduate'.
Preoccupation with this aspect of education obfuscates the deeper and most important role of education. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has said, "The end of education is character." He has declared that the attributes of character are found in one who practices the universal human values of Love, Truth, Right Action, Peace, and Nonviolence. Finally he has assured us that these values are inherent in all of us and will emerge and prevail in our being as we come to know ourselves. The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values Programme is based on these universal principles.
The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values Programme is presented directly as a separate lesson plan unto itself, indirectly by incorporating the principles and values into the lesson plans in the various school subjects, and it is practiced in all extracurricular activities as well. The teachers must strive to exemplify the human values at the heart of the programme. They must strive to be exemplars. This brings to mind the great philosopher-teachers of ancient Greece, like Socrates, who taught not only by speaking and explaining, but, more importantly, by demonstrating the lofty ideals that they espoused through their noble characters. It also brings to mind the great saints and sages of all religions who taught and inspired, who instructed and transformed.
The ultimate mission of education, according to the Sathya Sai Education in Human
Values Programme, then, is to contribute toward our knowledge of ourselves, so that
we can have a sense of the purpose of human life, and the qualities necessary to apply
ourselves to the fulfilment of that purpose. In this manner, true education, as inspired by
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, becomes a transformational, life-long process. Students seek and
find answers to the perpetual and perplexing questions: Who am I? Why am I here?
What must I do to obtain lasting, profound happiness? How can I achieve the highest
good for myself and for the world?
This book is the most comprehensive attempt to elucidate the origin, development,
history, philosophy, pedagogy, accomplishments, current status of programmes all over
the world, and future plans for this great and most needed programme of education.
The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values Programme stands by itself:
It is universal.
It results in the most profound transformation and greatest happiness for student and
Michael G. Goldstein, MD
Chair, Sri Sathya Sai World Foundation