The Sathya Sai System of Education: Reflections of Truth – By Sundar Narayanaswamy

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning - Brindavan Campus

Dreams sometimes are educative. They may not teach ‘E = mc^2’ or demand = supply at the equilibrium point. Nevertheless, dreams are a different sort of teaching. They are as though it all takes place in the heart! I did have such a dream. I could hear a voice calling me. I immediately responded. The voice was seemingly familiar to me. I somehow began to ask it a number of things. I really don’t remember all of them! 

However, I can say I asked about the great promise of Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita and its redemption in the Sai Avatar. The ‘Voice of Wisdom’ then explained the purpose of the coming of the Avatar. The Sai Avatar in Kali Yuga is not just to ‘locate’ the evil and ‘delete’ (destroy) them. If the Avatar does that, then, perhaps the whole humanity would perish! If I may say, the Sai Avatar has come to ‘send’ the evil in all of us to the ‘recycle bin’? However, the very idea of an Avatar itself brings about two very vital issues - one is the raising of the individual consciousness or the developing of one’s mind; the other is the blossoming of the Golden Era. 

From the former, we may perceive an imagery - the mother bending down to pick up her child. It doesn’t mean that by bending down she bows down to the child. So is the Avatar. He comes down to our level and raises us to the ultimate level. The latter is not a Karl Marx concept of utopia where we find the rivers of milk and honey flowing! It is the age where we will find people with more of virtues and not otherwise. Moreover, it is the evolution in the individual consciousness that will bring about this Golden Age. The former is the technique the Divine Manager uses to get this ‘estimated output’. 

To implement this technique He prepares His chosen students, in His educational institutions, to be the instruments in His Divine Hands. This ‘preparation period’ becomes the most crucial period in the students’ life. Well, His students in their initial stages may be like any other normal soul of Kali Yuga. But Sai has a process by which He makes them well-refined human beings at the end of their study here. 

The environment itself helps largely in the personal growth of the student. The system is almost like the ancient Gurukula system of education. Students stay in the hostel. Some of the teachers also stay with them, helping them and guiding them in all ways possible. The hostel schedule, drawn up by Bhagavan Himself, benefits the students not only during their stay here but also throughout their lives. Apart from learning to adjust and live together, the student learns many other things: time management, stress management and the like, for instance. 

Students practicing Vedam at the Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi Nilayam Campus - Inner Quadrangle

The Sai System of Education aims at an all - round development of the student. 

Academics plus a little spiritual wisdom does not alone make a Sai Student. The ward’s physical ability is also taken care of. The sports meet exhibits it all. On 11th January every year, we find the students mount the army horses and jump over the hurdles or fly a glider! All these do not just build his body. The student, in the process, learns so many skills. The system attempts to build - up a mental maturity in the student. It makes him choose the correct approach and a positive attitude towards life. The student finally gains “Strength in Mind and Harmony in Action.” 

Sri Sathya Sai with Students after the Sports Meet events

Thus, when the student leaves the Institute after the completion of his course (both in worldly and spiritual sense), he takes along with him the goodness of the Sai System of Education and at least a little goodness of Sai Himself. Wherever he goes he creates an atmosphere of this goodness. The world is not too good to accept goodness every time! Therefore, he may initially have to face many difficulties in life. Ultimately, “Goodness gives back Goodness!” 

The voice now said or rather reminded me that ‘I am a Sai Student’. It further said - “Think for a while... What not the Avatar has done for you...?” Then that voice faded out! 

However, it left me thinking - not on the grounds of how much the Avatar has done for me but how do I repay all that...? In fact, this very thought itself may upset Him. God’s Love is not a commodity to go in exchange for a payment of any sort! Yes, I must be grateful to Him. Of course, His Love is unfathomable. So is His Grace. Yet, the investment made on me in terms of education, and health (and personality) is in the physical sense quantifiable. However, His educational institutions do not accept the dividends! 

Here, I find a way that will please Him and keep high the name of my Alma Mater. That is to please ‘MYSELF’. It should not be taken as a matter of selfishness. The ‘Self’ here is the Good Spirit that is in me. As Bhagavan Himself says - “A true Sai Student need not wear white clothes to prove himself so but he will be known even otherwise.” When I am recognised as His student based on my conduct and my approach towards people I come across, it is sure to make Him the ‘Proud Mother’! 

An Avatar is said to be ‘an ideal set for man’. This idealism is latent in all men. The mission of the Avatar is to bring forth this true trait of man. Bhagavan sends us, His students, into the world, after being made His ideal students, to set an ideal for others to follow. Thus, all that we will have to do is to reflect the inner Truth. Then we become the reflections of Truth. 

Oh, God of Truth! Sathya Sai,
Grant us the strength to reflect Thee.
When falsehood pulls us without shame,
Grants us the power to prevail the same.
A little let us be a part of Your Mission Divine,
And ever as Sai Students shine.

- Sundar Narayanaswamy
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

Source: Sai Nandana 2000 (75th Birthday Offering)


  1. Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.



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