About – Genesis

Genesis of Education in Human Values


As the name suggests, the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Values has been founded with the aim to study and propagate Human Values as propounded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Bhagawan Baba, considered by millions as the Avatar of the age, is the very fount of ‘Education in Human Values’. From His early writings it is amply clear that Bhagawan Baba’s emphasis has been on moral and spiritual uplift of the humankind in His own words:

Akhila mānavulaku ānanda munagūrci rakṣin̄Cucuṇḍuṭa dīkṣa nāku

Sanmārgamunu vīḍi, Cariyin̄Cu vārala peṭṭi kāpāḍuṭa vratamu nāku

Bīdasādalakainā penubādha tolagin̄Ci, lēmini bāpuṭa prēma nāku

Niyama niṣṭhala tōḍa nanugulcu vārini kāpāḍu Cuṇḍuṭa ghanata nāku

Man̄Ci Ceḍḍalu kūḍā manasulō samamugā bhāvin̄Cu Cuṇḍuṭa bhakti nāku

I have a ‘task’: to foster all humankind and ensure for all of them lives full of bliss (ananda).
I have a ‘vow’: to lead all who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them.
I am attached to a ‘work’ that I love: to remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack.
I have a ‘reason to be proud,’ for I rescue all who worship and adore me, aright.
I have my definition of the ‘devotion’: I expect those devoted to me have to treat joy and grief, gain and loss, with equal fortitude.

– Letter to His elder brother dated 25th May 1947 (Sathyam Shivam Sundaram Vol 1)

In the line “Sanmārgamunu vīḍi, Cariyin̄Cu vārala peṭṭi kāpāḍuṭa vratamu nāku” – He declares His vow to lead all those who have strayed away from the right path. In order to fulfil this right from His young days, through His own life and acts, He demonstrated the ways and means to tread the right path. Through His many writings and discourses also He propounded this philosophy.
One of His earliest writings was in the form of a poem which goes as follows:

“Satya Dharmamū Śānti Prēmalatō nī nitya jīvana yātra sāgin̄Cu jīva (jīva…)”

Carry on the journey of life with Truth, Righteousness, Love and Peace… O Being

His mission has been to impress upon humankind the crucial importance of leading moral lives by the practice of universal human values: Sathya (Truth); Dharma (Righteousness); Shanti (Peace); Prema (Love); Ahimsa (Nonviolence). He says education should bring out human values. “To bring out” means to translate these values into action. Since then, He has remained a constant motivator and guide in the development of Education in Human Values.

Speaking at the Maharani’s Women’s College in Mysore in September 1963, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said:
“Education is not for mere living; it is for life, a fuller life, a more meaningful, and a more worthwhile life. There is no harm if it is also for a gainful employment; but the educated must be aware that existence is not all, that gainful employment is not all. Again education is not for developing the faculty of argument, criticism, or winning a polemic victory over your opponents or exhibiting your mastery over language or logic. That study is best, which teaches you to conquer this cycle of birth and death and that will not be disturbed by the blessings or blows of fate. That study begins where this study of yours ends.”


Bal Vikas / Sai Spiritual Education (SSE)

The year was 1969 when, inspired by the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and under His guidance, a programme was established in India to teach children about the country’s ancient scriptures through storytelling, enacting plays with morality themes, and through singing of devotional songs. The responsibility for implementing the programme, which was named as “Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vihar”, was assigned to the Ladies Wing of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation. A national conference was organised in 1971 for volunteers who had been trained as teachers and administrators of the programme. At the conference, the name “Bal Vikas” was chosen in order to better clarify the objectives of the programme. Bal Vikas is a Sanskrit term which means “blossoming of the child”. Accordingly, rules, regulations, and a course syllabus were developed in order to enhance the blossoming of “truth, beauty, and goodness in the child”.

By 1975 the number of trained Bal Vikas teachers in India had grown to 3,500, and the number of students to over 50,000. The programme was soon to be introduced to countries outside of India. In the very early 1970s a Bal Vikas programme was begun in the United Kingdom. In 1977, Sri Sathya Sai devotees in the United States of America started a Bal Vikas Programme, modelled along the lines of the one in India, and published an international Bal Vikas Newsletter, The Om Publication.

In 1980, Sri Sathya Sai Baba introduced His ‘Ceiling on Desires Programme’ at the Third World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations held at Prasanthi Nilayam (Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh). He said children must be taught not to waste food, water, time, energy, or money. Sri Sathya Sai Baba explained that wastage is a form of violence against nature. Further, the only remedy to curb violence in the world is for individuals to minimise their desires. This implied that the Ceiling on Desires Programme should be adopted not only by children, but adults as well.

The Bal Vikas Programme began to spread rapidly to other countries around the world, and in 1981, a conference for overseas teachers was held at Prasanthi Nilayam. It was here, during this conference, the concept of education in human values was introduced and Sri Sathya Sai Baba called for the development of objective assessment techniques. Subsequently, added emphasis was placed on the further development of Bal Vikas teacher training and curriculum. In 1983 the 15th Anniversary of Bal Vikas Celebration was held in Prasanthi Nilayam. This was attended by well over 20,000 children and teachers. In 1995 at the Sixth World Conference of Sri Sathya Sai Organisations, in order to emphasize the universality of the Bal Vikas Programme, it was decided to change the name to Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) in countries outside of India.

Sri Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSSEHV)

Bal Vikas or Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) classes are designed for children aged 6 to 14 years. These classes are conducted at local Sai Centres by devotees who have been trained by the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation. The core content relates to the five universal human values of Truth, Right Action, Peace, Love, and Nonviolence. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has long held that these human values are valid and necessary for the education and schooling of all the children of the world.

In the early 1980s, a modification of the Bal Vikas programme was developed and given the name Sri Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSSEHV) which is a secular programme (in the sense that it is equally respectful of all faiths and religions), which promotes character development, and seeks to instill in the students a respect and reverence for nature and for the rights of others. The SSSEHV teacher is expected to earnestly practice the human values in her or his own life. The teacher, as an exemplar, encourages students to grow in self-confidence and strive to realise their full potential as human beings.

Sri Sathya Sai Colleges and Schools in India and other countries

In June 1966, Sri Sathya Sai Baba was at Anantapur, a town in Andhra Pradesh, about 80 kilometres from Prasanthi Nilayam, at the invitation of a high school for girls. The plight of the girls who had to travel over large distance for higher education, and also the plight of education for which they were spending much time and money, became the harbinger for the unfolding of His Divine resolve.
He announced that there would be a women’s college in Anantapur soon. The first educational institution to be established under the direct guidance of Sri Sathya Sai Baba was the Sri Sathya Sai Arts and Science College for Women, inaugurated by the then President of India, Sri V. V. Giri, on 8 July 1971. The purpose of establishing this institution was expressed by Sri Sathya Sai Baba in His inaugural speech (1968) in the following words:

“This is a divine and blessed land whose tradition is based on spirituality. This college has to be an example. Motherhood aspect is very important. The influence of good or bad, which a mother exerts on her children is far-reaching. Good mothers are needed to rebuild India again.”

Sri Sathya Sai Arts and Science College for men at Brindavan, Whitefield, Bangalore, was inaugurated on June 9, 1969. Some years later on November 28, 1978 Sri Sathya Sai Baba laid the foundation stone of the College of Arts, Science and Commerce at Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba founded the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) as a deemed to be University, on November 22, 1981 and has been guiding its course as the Chancellor from its very inception.

The Peer Team of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), UGC, in 2003  noted in their report that this University stands out as a crest-jewel among the University education system worthy of emulation by the institutions of higher learning in the country and elsewhere, so that these benefits would be reaped fast and on the widest possible scale.

SSSIHL is a visible manifestation of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s vision of education for the transformation of humanity. The Institute today has four campuses offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses with research facilities for doctoral candidates at Anantapur, Brindavan, Muddenahalli (Karnataka) and Prasanthi Nilayam.

The SSSIHL a non-profit, autonomous institution. The admission policy is open, based on an entry examination and admission is granted purely on merit. No consideration is given to caste, creed, income, region, religion, or language. Students come from different states in India, and a few from other countries, creating a national and international character for the University.

Right from its inception, the SSSIHL has integrated ethics and values as the undercurrent of every subject taught at the university. Combined with academic excellence, the university provides a holistic framework of inter-personal development for its students. Its compulsory residential character trains the mind, body and spirit of the student in an environment similar to the ancient Indian ‘gurukula’ system of education, in the most modern context.

More about SSSIHL

Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School

On 15th June, 1981, Sri Sathya Sai Baba, initiated a primary and higher secondary school in Prasanthi Nilayam christened as Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School (SSSHSS). The school has been guided directly by Bhagawan Baba and His philosophy of education. This school is a fully residential English Medium school for boys and girls affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi. It consists of classes from I to XII and forms a vital educational limb of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

The school has been often adjudged the only school in the entire country to have achieved academic, cultural & infrastructure excellence at national level with free of cost education, with focus on integral development, with rural based location and with students of diversified culture and languages.

More about SSSHSS

By the early 1970s, several devotees and followers of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, began establishing Sri Sathya Sai Primary and Secondary Schools in their local areas with the idea of offering this unique model of education. Most of these schools where run in collaboration with the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations (a voluntary service based spiritual organization).

By the early 1990s Sathya Sai Schools were established in Zambia, Thailand, and Nepal. Similar schools were soon started in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Paraguay, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka,Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Currently, there are over 60 Sathya Sai Schools in India and 41 Sathya Sai Schools in 26 countries outside India.

The Sri Sathya Sai Organisation is careful to ensure that these schools operate within the jurisdiction and educational norms of the country where they are located. The local educational authority must be satisfied that the school meets all appropriate requirements, including approving the aims and objectives, the site and structural adequacy of the buildings, syllabus, teacher preparation, proper classroom size, physical resources, staff salaries, and the capacity to meet maintenance and sustainability needs.

The main purpose for establishing Sathya Sai Schools is to provide quality education permeated with human values to children who would otherwise not receive it. To this end, the schools are often located in disadvantaged areas. Funding comes primarily from donations and, in a few cases, from government grants when such grants are consistent with national educational policies and those of the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation. The Schools strive to provide free education. In some cases a small fee is charged for consumables.


In the Code of Conduct enunciated for the members of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization – National and International, ‘Regular Study of Sai Literature’ has been put down as an expectation to be followed by every member as part of Sadhana (spiritual discipline) at a personal, family and societal level. Sri Sathya Sai Baba commenced the Study Circle as a means to grasp His message so that as many as possible understand it and practice it in their day to day life. This activity has been going on for over 50 years.

Bhagawan Baba’s teachings are a treasure trove which needs to be elaborated to understand how a person can tune their life to reach the goal. This needs proper understanding through discussions and clarification with appropriate elaboration to digest and absorb. Only correct and proper assimilation of His teachings can result in adhering and following the right path to reach the Divine.
Baba says that the spiritual growth of a person is best achieved through an integrated practice of devotion, study, and service. The purpose of a study circle is made explicitly clear by Baba as follows: “It is not just reading books make a Study Circle. Study circle means taking a point and each person discussing what is the meaning of the point to them—like a round table conference. Each person gives his point of view, and finally values are derived from this. If there is just reading, there is doubt, but if each one gives his view, doubts will be answered. The topic is viewed; the study circle looks at the same point in different facets. It is like a diamond with its different facets, but there is one facet that is flat, the top facet, and from this all can be viewed. To discover the top facet is the task [purpose] of study circle”.

Baba further tells us, “Not information, but transformation, not instruction but construction should be the aim. Theoretical knowledge is a burden, unless it is practiced, when it can be lightened into wisdom and assimilated into daily life. Knowledge that does not give harmony and wholeness to the process of living is not worth acquiring. Every activity must be rendered valid and worthwhile by its contribution to the discovery of Truth, both of the Self and of nature.”

The study circle carries many benefits to participants. The primary benefit is the acquisition of Self-knowledge. Swami says, “In the study circle you can learn a lot of things, but the most important thing to be learnt is your own true nature – your Atma-Tatva. Learning all about external things without knowing your real Self is like studying the branches of a tree, ignoring its roots.”

Swami also cautions us with the following statement not to turn the study circle into a reading group, study with faith and devotion. Delve into the significance and the meaning of what you read, and always have before you the goal of putting into practice what you read. Unless you do so, the study circle will remain a half-circle forever; it cannot be a full circle.”


All of the above developments and practice culminated in a report that was submitted to Bhagawan Baba in the year 2004 which stated “that a Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Universal Values be set-up in Prasanthi Nilayam which would serve as an apex body for all Educare / Education in Human Values- related matters not only with regard to interpretation and clarification of basic concepts but also in terms of offering practical guidelines for all who are concerned with various types of Educare related activities.”

Based on this recommendation, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust inaugurated the Sri Sathya Sai Centre for Human Values (SSSCHV) on 15th November, 2017. The focus of the SSSCHV is to take up a more concerted and deeper study of the extant Sai Literature available in terms of research and its applications through training programs.



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Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication Trust, Education in Human Values Handbook Part II, Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, India.

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