“Bal Vikas (Sai Spiritual Education) is the primary basis of the great movement to restore righteousness (dharma) in the world. The ideal of the program is to raise a generation of boys and girls who have a clean and a clear conscience. It is the creation of an atmosphere where noble habits and ideals can grow and fructify.” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba (SSS, Vol X, Pg 163)
The objective of the SSE program is to bring out the latent divine qualities within each child. This program sow the seeds of Human Values at young age so that they live life to the fullest potential and share and contribute to the general welfare of the local and global community. The education wing focus on promoting character development in children using HIS teachings based on the five Human Values : Truth, Right Action, Peace, Love and Non-Violence. We teach by way of story-telling, games, silent sitting, quotations and singing. Classes are conducted every Sunday 3 – 4pm at the Center in Sai Seva Sadan.
There are four broad tracks of learning imparted in Sai Spiritual Education.
|National Culture & Spirituality||Lessons to be learnt from our country of residence (USA) and of origin (any immigrant origin such as India, Carribbean etc.)|
|Sai Culture & Spirituality||Culture and traditions as followed by Sai Baba’s institutions and organization.|
|Practical Spirituality||Applying Sai Baba’s message in a practical context in daily life.|
|Value Based Spirituality||Lessons learnt from teaching of the five human values, the unity of all religions, and the brotherhood of man.|
Each class adopts multiple strategies to demonstrate the lesson to the children. Taking the students through the cycle of Awareness –> Inspiration –> Experience –> Sharing. This provides for all around spiritual development.
|Awareness||Raise awareness about a topic or principle e.g., unity of faiths. This can be accomplished by providing basic information, examples, and descriptive presentations.|
|Inspiration||Use Sai Baba’s personal example and that of other spiritual and social leaders, so the children may be inspired and motivated to try to do the same in their life as well.|
|Experiential||Activity based session allowing the students to experience the message in addition to hearing about it.|
|Sharing||An important part of the cycle is to give time for students to share what they have experienced. After becoming aware, being inspired to try, and experiencing for themselves, the final step of sharing helps reinforce the message.|
The typical structure or flow of the class is as follows:
▪ Opening prayers
▪ Silent Sitting
▪ Review of previous class
▪ Lesson plan for the day
▪ Q&A /Life Application /Assignment
▪ Om & 3 shanthis
|Group 1 Objectives Ages 6 to 8||Group 2 Objectives Ages 9 to 11|
|Develop faith in and a relationship with God.|
Encourage respect for parents, teachers, others, and the environment.
Foster self-esteem and self-discipline.
Promote ceiling on desires.
Cultivate a spirit of loving service to self, family, school, and others.
|Demonstrate increasing integration of objectives from Group I.|
Foster the understanding of Divinity in all.
Develop the faculty of discrimination.
Promote the practice of placing a Ceiling on Desires.
Foster understanding of the Unity of Faiths.
Encourage the practice of selfless service.
|Group 3 Objectives Ages 12 to 14||Group 4 Objectives Ages 15 to 17|
|Demonstrate increasing integration of objectives from Group II.|
Develop awareness for the Atmic reality.
Strengthen moral living.
Emphasize selfless service.
Promote the practice of having a Ceiling on Desires.
Foster a sense of one’s role in society.
Facilitate learning to control negative emotions.
Provide practice in applying Spiritual Principles to concerns and challenges faced in the wider community.
Develop communication skills, in oral and written form, that reflect Spiritual Principles.
Develop a spirit of mutual trust and love, especially with parents and peers.
|Demonstrate increasing integration of objectives from Group III.|
Encourage self-motivation and regular routines in spiritual practice.
Establish a sense of the interdependence of self and society; deepen an understanding of one’s role in and responsibility to society.
Increase ability to make dharmic choices when facing moral dilemmas.
Demonstrate human values by meeting life challenges with love, confidence, and understanding of others.
Establish habits of non-waste of resources and continue all disciplines of the Ceiling on Desires program, including developing keen awareness of the effects one’s choices of media, companions, and activities.
Deepening the practice of controlling negative emotions.
Foster excellence in all endeavors without straying into egoistic competition.
Apply all aspects of the curriculum, and develop awareness of self as exemplar, through leadership roles.
Provide increasing emphasis on selfless, loving service through participating in local and regional service projects and activities. In addition, initiating service projects with age-group peers.
If you would like to know more about this program or have any queries, please contact the Edcuation Coordinator, Koteswara Rao Ruvva at email@example.com