Organisational Culture at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute
Organisational culture represents a complex pattern of beliefs, expectations, ideas, values, attitudes and behaviours shared by the members of an organisation. Sri Sathya Sai Baba as the Founder Chancellor of the Institute, created an organisational culture in the Institute that is based on the ancient Indian Vedic values. Baba says that “Education is for Life and not for Living” and that “The End of Education is Character”. He is the primary motivation of all those working for the Institute: students, administrators, teachers and non-teaching staff. All the employees of the Institute are highly committed to Baba’s ideals and follow his guidelines (which are solely aimed at social welfare) of their own volition. They all have experienced the all-compassing love of Baba in their personal lives and with respect to their families and friends. Therefore, they reflect more on their duties and responsibilities rather than merely their rights and privileges. They are internally motivated. This kind of committed frame of mind makes them consider every responsibility given to them as an opportunity and regard every constraint as a challenge. They put in their best efforts to overcome hurdles to accomplish the tasks to the best of their capabilities. Baba exhorts the teachers, “If you take care of my children (meaning the students in his educational institutions), I will take care of your children (meaning the children of teachers)”. Therefore teachers (ought to) regard the students as their ‘Karma-Putras’ (those construed as children arising out of work-relationship).[i]
|Sri Sathya Sai with the Sri Sathya Sai Institute Convocation Chief Guest |
- Dr. Manmohan Singh, November 1995
Baba’s life is his message. His respect for the Sanatana Dharma (ancient Indian values and culture) as well as other world major faiths and cultures, is amply demonstrated through his demeanour and activities. Therefore, people at all levels in the Institute and other Sai institutions are encouraged to have similar attitude with respect towards all faiths and religions.
|Sathya Sai with Students|
Baba lays great emphasis on the character of students, teachers, administrators and the support-staff. Character applies to one’s personal standards of behaviour. It encompasses an individual’s honour, integrity, veracity, constancy and moral fibre. It is based on an individual’s internal values and the resulting judgments about what is right and wrong. There is ‘high legitimacy’ for on-the-job-job-related behaviour and on-the-job-not job related behaviour and ‘moderate legitimacy’ for off-the-job-job-related behaviour and off-the-job-not-job-related behaviour. All the stakeholders concerned with the Institute (students, faculty members, non-teaching staff, administrators, etc) conduct themselves bearing this in mind.
The Institute’s Emblem
|The Emblem of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning|
Every University has an emblem of its own, which is a symbolic representation of its aspirations, ideals and philosophy. Sri Sathya Sai Institute’s emblem (displayed on page 621 of this Book), is designed by its Revered Founder Chancellor and presents beautifully and in a comprehensive manner – the essential unity of all faiths and religions, the pursuit of the Ashtanga Yoga (eightfold path as expounded by Sage Patanjali), culminating in the illumination of one’s intellect and blossoming of a holistic personality. The emblem also contains the motto of the Institute, a commandment from the convocation advice of the ancient Vedic Gurus (as given in the Taittiriya Upanishad) in the Gurukulas: ‘Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara’ – ‘Speak the Truth, Act Righteously’. [ii]
The Institute offers five-year integrated programmes consisting of three years Undergraduate and two years Postgraduate programmes in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biosciences, Economics, English Language and Literature and Telugu Language and Literature. There are Undergraduate programmes in Management, Political Sciences, Commerce, Computer Applications and many others. The Institute offers specialised Postgraduate courses in Management, Finance, Technology (Computer Sciences and Applied Optics), Nano sciences and Education. Besides the aforementioned courses, the Institute also offers Doctoral Research Programmes in all areas where Postgraduate programmes are currently offered.
Qualities of an Ideal Sai Student
The educational philosophy of the Institute is based on the integral system of education, which integrates the head, the heart and the hands (symbolising thoughts, words and deeds) of the students in an integrated manner. It is processed through the inputs given by the Institute to the ‘head’ (intellectual dimension), the residential hostel (social dimension) to the ‘hands’ (the performance and the work orientation of the students and faculty members in the hostel), and the Ashram (the place which houses Baba’s residence, prayer halls, and the residential accommodation of devotees) to the heart (the emotional and spiritual dimension). In Baba’s words, in such a system of education, the students will have the right environment, training and opportunities to mould themselves into integrated personalities. He refers to this as a unique combination of ‘The Head of Shankara, the Heart of Buddha, and the Hands of Janaka’[iii].
[i] Though this appeal of Baba applies to the people working in Sri Sathya Sai Institutions with special reference, however it should be inferred that it applies equally to everybody working in other organisations, wherein if they do their best to the people working under them in a paternalistic way, Divine grace will extend equally to them and their families.
[ii] Shah, Shashank and Srirangarajan, G.S. (2010) Sri Sathya Sai System of Integral Education: An Overview, Sri Sathya Sai Students and Staff Welfare Society, Prasanthi Nilayam. For more details click here.
[This book can be referred for more information about philosophy of education of Baba and the education system that is being operationalised at the Sai Institute.]
[iii] The head of Sri Adi Shankaracharya represents wisdom, the heart of Buddha symbolises love and compassion and the hands of King Janaka symbolise detached and selfless actions.