Project : ‘Understanding Human Values’

Need for study

The ‘Education in Human Values’ (EHV) landscape has expanded in depth and breadth around the world and taken many giant strides in imparting Human Values training and practice in the respective regions. We have been gifted with many Divine discourses on the specific topic of “Human Values”. Several world and national conferences have been conducted in the divine presence for the decades from 1970s. He has personally guided the evolution of the EHV paradigm around the world. Several books and articles have been written on the same by several erudite scholars and practitioners. However, there is no scholarly work done on the concept of EHV as enunciated by Bhagavan Himself. 

To achieve this understanding, we suggest embarking on a research initiative to ground the understanding of human values in the discourses and writings of Bhagavan. Given the volume and contextual spread of these sources, we suggest a phased approach to generating this understanding. We will embark on a pilot / scoping study focused on the keyword ‘human values’ as a starting point. The pilot will provide us with the lay of the land and help us articulate subsequent milestones and deliverables. This will be the first of many studies that will be undertaken by the Centre to develop frameworks around the construct of human values.  

Scope of the Study

As with any research quest in the social sciences, we must start by formulating research questions. These questions will serve to direct our inquiry towards answers that generate a deeper understanding of the construct. The questions would commensurate with the scope of the study. We would like to view these as a ‘starter set’ of questions.  

  1.     How does Sri Sathya Sai Baba define the construct: Human values?
  2.     Why does he emphasize it?
  3.     What are its philosophical underpinnings and practical implications?
  4.     How can this understanding be harvested into a body[MS1] of knowledge?
  5.     How will it influence professional thinking and practice?

Our intended audience for the answers to these research questions is primarily practitioners in the Sri Sathya Sai Organization – Educators, Healthcare workers, Service coordinators, Trust members etc.  It would also address the information needs of aspirants and followers keen on applying the teaching of Sathya Sai Baba to their lives.

Phases of Study

The SSSCHV recognises that the study will have to be undertaken in a phased manner with multiple resource persons engaged at various levels. We have divided this study in the following phases: 

Phase 1 : Study of selected discourses to develop an understanding of the definition and scope of Human Values as elucidated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. This would also involve the in-depth study of the philosophical foundations on which the constructs on Human Values have been made.

Phase 2 : Study of practical implications of Human Values substantiated by current knowledge from social science and behavioural science research.

Phase 3 : Development of content based on the research outcomes of Phase 1 and Phase 2.  The objective of this exercise is to establish how Human Values could influence professional thinking and practice.

Phase 4: Conducting conferences and seminars to further the deeper understanding of Human Values harvested into a systematic body of knowledge.