Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) is a unique universal programme offered by The Sathya Sai Organisation for children globally. Our mission is to raise a generation of boys and girls with a clean and clear conscience and inspire them to become torch bearers of Sai Ideals.
The aims of SSE are to foster character development and spiritual transformation through helping children to:
Tatou Tatou E
practice placing a ceiling on their desires,
render selfless service to others,
appreciate the unity of the different faiths,
learn about the life and teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and
The SSE program is sustained by the co-operative efforts of the SSE teacher, Centre SSE coordinator, Regional SSE coordinator, National coordinator, the centre and the parents.
In New Zealand, SSE classes are held once a week between February to early December during the four school terms. These classes are co-ordinated through the Sai centres across the country.
SSE program in NZ caters for children from (4 to 12 yrs), Teen Youth from (13 to 18 yrs) and Youth 18yrs and over. For each age group, from young children to teenage youth, the teacher takes on a specific role linked to the psychological development of the children.
There are 3 regions in NZ; Northern Region, Bay of Plenty and Central/South Island represented with over 10 SSE programs at Sai centres. The program has grown to over 220 children and teen youth with over 60 volunteer teachers and coordinators who dedicate their time and energy to create a vibrant program for the children.
Lessons are based on the Educare pedagogy of interactive learning and spiritual transformation.
"The word Educare means ‘to bring out that which is within’. Deep within every human being are the values---truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence. One cannot acquire them from outside; they have to be elicited from within. People, however, have forgotten human values, so they are unable to manifest them. Educare means to bring out the human values. To bring them out means to translate the human values into action."
Sathya Sai Baba
Discourse, July 2004
The five human values are elicited through lessons based on the seven teaching techniques: stories, songs, prayers or quotations, silent sitting/tuning-in, group activities, mind-mapping and creative visualisation. Stories, songs, and prayers are selected from all countries, cultures, and faiths in order to foster awareness and appreciation of the unifying principles underlying all of the major religions. Stories of exemplars from society are given equal placement with the great prophets, as examples of ordinary human beings who have risen to the status of hero. Such examples inspire and encourage children to believe that they can aspire to similar heights. Through these lessons, the children learn about the importance of respecting their parents, properly discharging their duties at home, being loyal to and taking pride in their country, helping the less fortunate, and showing tolerance and respect for all religions.
An important extension of the lesson is the Life Application Activity, where students practice the value throughout the week thus reinforcing the ‘Awareness → Inspiration → Experience → Sharing of the value’.
- The Love
- The Truth
- The Peace
- is within us
“The teacher has the greatest role in moulding the future of the country. Of all professions, teaching is the noblest, the most difficult, and the most important. The teacher should be an example to the pupils. If a teacher has a vice, thousands are polluted. If the teacher is dedicated and pure, thousands of children will be improved and the nation will gain from educated men and women of character."
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Teacher Training Camp, Prasanthi Nilayam, August 1983
Currently SSE Teacher Training courses are facilitated by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education NZ.
Please note it is compulsory for all SSE teachers to complete Level 1 Introductory course.
In-house informal workshops for teachers and parents are facilitated throughout the year based on needs assessments and SSE advancements.
Expression of interest in teaching or assisting SSE classes can be made to Centre SSE conveners.
Mutual Commitment and Responsibilities of SSE Teachers and Parent
"When you teach children, you must remember that you are engaged in a noble task for the sake of the children entrusted to your care. You must feel that you are educating yourselves when you are educating the children. When you impart knowledge to the children, your own understanding of the subject improves. When you study information for teaching, you derive joy from that study. Always have the feeling that whatever you do for others is in reality a service done to the Divine, which resides in everyone. When teachers do their duty in this spirit, they will imbue the children with the spirit of universal love. Remember that children have tender hearts and innocent minds. Only if you fill their hearts with love will the world have genuine peace."
Sai Baba, Teacher's Training Camp, Prashanthi Nilayam, 1983
The Loving Teacher
Believes that both the teacher and the child are divine and therefore endeavours to inspire through their learning as an exemplar.
Creates an atmosphere of love and empowers through reflective teaching.
Fosters a ‘Heart to Heart’ process of learning.
The Sai Library has a selection of Spiritual Education Teacher manuals along with exercises to create and teach a lesson. On-going training modules are also conducted at a regional level. For further enquiries contact Regional SSE coordinators.
The Loving Parent
"To instil in the minds of the young the values of prayer, humility, and loving service to others, the homes have to be the first schools. The parents have to be imbued with faith in the basic universal truth of all religions. They must be seen worshiping at the family altar, meditating in silence, forgiving faults in others, and showing sympathy for pain and grief. Children should not see them worried, helpless, discontent, or distressed, as if they have no God to lean upon, no inner resource of strength and courage to fall back on."
SSS 5:335; Meeting of Headmasters, 3-4-67
The parent agrees to reinforce the goals and objectives of the SSE program in the home, to see that the SSE student attends regularly and to participate as often as possible in regularly scheduled SSE activities.
Parents can attend the SSE workshops or read the teacher manual to become educated about the program and Swami's message to the parents. Parents should actively participate in the Parent Sessions which is an important part of the program and volunteer to assist at SSE classes.
Parenting workshops are currently facilitated when feasible .Training of facilitators is currently being explored.
Below are links to sample resources to support SSE coordinators and teachers. Additional SSE Resources are available at the Sathya Sai Library on Dunbar Road, Balmoral, Auckland.
Reflection and feedback
Continued development and progress in the advancement of SSE largely depends on lesson reflections from a child, teacher and parent. We encourage feedback in various forms. Firstly an informal way of either a conversation, an email to the SSE teacher or SSE centre convenor.
We also have forms that are designed to assist parents, teachers and children.
Please use the form below to contact us if you have any queries