The Human Values
Sathya Sai Education is based on five human values: Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Nonviolence.
These fundamental human values are central to all cultures and ages, be it in the fields of religion, philosophy, ethics or law. They contain mankind’s deepest moral aspirations and form the basis of our lives as individuals and as societies. An educational system based on human values helps students to develop a holistic understanding of body, mind and soul. They learn that true happiness can only be found within, not in the ephemeral outside world.
True happiness is only possible, when we realize, who we really are. Throughout the ages philosophers have stated that beyond the individual, egocentric self, there is a deeper reality and a higher self, which is our true being. This universal truth can be expressed in many ways and be explained by different names and forms, but ultimately it leads to the realization that everything is permeated by the one truth. The search for truth requires discernment, intuition and introspection. The highest truth is unchangeable in the past, present and future.
To practice truth means cultivating truthfulness, honesty and sincerity, self-analysis and purity, accuracy and fairness, fearlessness and integrity. When truth is ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ (i.e., subjective or relative), a child learns that there are many facets related to it. This truth can change and continue to change, according to experience, age, perspective, culture and belief system. However, when searching for a lasting truth that withstands relativity, the values of common sense, intuition, justice, quest for knowledge, spirit of enquiry, and synthesis, are nurtured and enhanced.
SSEHV covers all these aspects of truth, by exploring the outer world of phenomenon – the world we see, touch and feel – and the inner world – the world of being, conscience and consciousness, which is the root of all the rest, as are the roots of a tree, of the trunk, branches, leaves and fruits.
By bringing to light the facets of truth, the faculty of discrimination – which enables good, wholesome decision-making and a safe journey through life – is fostered and developed.
Right Conduct has its roots in the Sanskrit word ‘Dharma’. This expression cannot be translated literally. It covers ethical guidelines, ethical behaviour and moral righteousness. The saying “Do good, see good and be good” captures the essence and intent of this value. It is rooted in attitudes and habits inculcated from early childhood that mature into respect and adherence to the duties and responsibilities that come with one’s life circumstances.
Everyone wants and seeks peace. Lasting peace cannot be found in the material world. Peace requires the capacity for introspection and self-awareness. Self-awareness enables one to become mindful of his or her thoughts, words and deed. When self-awareness becomes a habit, the individual begins to monitor and modify the habitual patterns that interfere with inner peace. True peace requires an inner balance regardless of profit or loss, success or failure, pain or pleasure. To calm the mind and open the heart are essential steps to achieve this peace.
The human value of love can best be expressed as the all-pervading life energy. In other words, this value has nothing to do with emotion, passionate feeling, desire or attachment. Love refers to something much deeper and more fundamental in the human nature. It is being selfless and detached from mutual expectations. All major religions emphasize the importance of love. It is kindness, caring, empathy and compassion.
Nonviolence is expressed, when all the human values are understood and practiced. Nonviolence is the state of mind in which one recognizes the unity within the apparent diversity. It manifests itself as a non-violation of the laws of nature and respect for law and order. Nonviolence requires restraint from consciously doing harmful actions, whether it is against oneself, others or nature as such. If the ethical principles of nonviolence are embraced as a means to world peace – then we can find global harmony.