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Values & Methodology

Fundamental Values








The Sathya Sai EHV Programme is based on the five core human values:

These five values are inter-related and inherent in human beings, raising them above the level of the animal kingdom.


The Programme's logo is the tree of life bearing five fruits, each used to represent a value. These symbols are particularly effective when used with young children who find them easy to remember:

  A pair of cherries is used to symbolise Right Conduct, because they look like a pair of arms and legs.

   A Pear is used to symbolise Peace, because the spelling is similar.

  An apple is used to symbolise Truth, because it was related to truth in the Adam and Eve story.

  A strawberry is used to symbolise Love, because it is a fruit shaped like a heart and has sweetness.

  A bunch of grapes is used to symbolise Non-violence, as the four values of Right Conduct, Peace, Truth and Love, collectively, when put into practice, will culminate in Non-violence, so this bunch of fruit is used to symbolise unity.

The values are specific because they are in line with a human being’s make up. They are also heavily interrelated (e.g. right conduct is action with love, and according to conscience) and give rise to many related values under each main heading.

The Sathya Sai EHV Programme has been devised to draw out and encourage the integration of the five human values, leading to more balance, awareness and consideration in children. All the lesson plans seek to raise awareness and recognition of these in children as well as our own and others’ lives.

The Values are taught through five teaching components:

The Teaching Components:

Theme for the Week
Silent Sitting
Story Telling
Group Singing
Group Activities

When young people are given the opportunity to consider and practice these values and see the qualities within themselves, a fully integrated personality and character will develop.

Before explaining these teaching components, each value is explained briefly below:



Right Conduct 
Information is received through the five senses i.e. smell, taste sight, touch and hearing. When this information is referred to the conscience, the resulting action will be beneficial. Every action is preceded by thought. If the thought is consciously seen and noted, aims to help and is unselfish, the action will be good for oneself and others. If our mind is busy, or we are daydreaming, the action may be useless, clumsy or harmful to ourselves or others.

The Programme, through developing the powers of discernment and greater alertness, helps the young person to become more pro-active, making inner choices rather than simply acting from habits or familiar customs which they have never questioned.

Three aspects of life skills are identified:

  • self help skills, such as caring for self;
  • social skills, such as good manners, helpfulness and service in the community;
  • ethical skills, such as courage and dependability.

Right conduct is also concerned with how we look after and use our bodies. The body needs to careful maintenance to be strong, healthy and well co-ordinated to serve us in performing the tasks of life. Students need to understand the importance of exercise, such as gymnastics,yoga and sports combined with good rest. Good thoughts and good company (which includes everything imbibed by the five senses) are essential for healthy and well balanced development. Right conduct is taught through:Silent Sitting, Story telling and Group Activities.



We smile when we are happy and contented. Contentment is gained when we cease to want for ourselves all the apparent 'good' things conveyed to us through our five senses. When our willpower is sufficiently strong to enable us to discern the difference between real needs and superfluous desires, we cease to be driven by the urge to own more and more things.

Inner agitation stops and we are left feeling peaceful. When there is peace in the individual, there will be peace in the family. When there is peace in the family, there will be peace in the community. In order to learn, self-esteem, calmness and freedom from anxiety are necessary.

These qualities are fostered by two of the Programme's components, namely silent sitting and the self-reflective exercises in some of the group activity sessions.



The desire to know truth has prompted mankind to ask some of the great questions such as: Who am I? What is the purpose of life? How can I know my inner self/ God/ the Creator of the universe? How can I live fully in the present moment?

Learning to speak the truth is a first and vital step in the formation of a strong character. Voicing an untruth is an anti-social act and causes confusion in the mind of both the speaker and listener and leads to anti-social behaviour. Telling lies hurts ourselves as well as others in a subtle, but very real way.

One great distinction between humankind and the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to choose how to behave, rather than just to follow the lower instincts (the law of the jungle). A human being is also able to recognise past, present and future and to take note of changes occurring over time.

A quotation used in the lesson to stimulate thought and questions, may later come to mind to provide guidance and choice in a life situation. Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain: Choosing to refer to this higher level of awareness and to consciously exercise moderation in our behaviour leads to better health and greater contentment. The value of truth can also be taught through story telling which promotes curiosity, optimism, fairness to all and noble ideals. It also aids the understanding of the value of honest speech and self-analysis.



Love is not an emotion, affected by the sub-conscious mind, but is a spontaneous, pure reaction from the heart.

It is the power of love which causes one person to wish happiness for another and take pleasure in their well-being. A beneficial energy (love) is directed towards the other person. As this energy flows through our own body first, it also enhances our own health.

It is the power of love which causes one person to wish happiness for another and take pleasure in their well-being. A beneficial energy (love) is directed towards the other person. As this energy flows through our own body first, it also enhances our own health. Love is unconditional, positive regard for the good of another. It is giving and unselfish. Love is essential if children are to grow up healthy in mind and body. Love is the unseen undercurrent binding all the four values.

Thinking with love is truth
Feeling with love is peace
Acting with love is right conduct
Understanding with love is non-violence

-Sathya Sai

When the mind is turned away from selfishness, the 'heart' opens, and love flows. Love is an energy, not an emotion, and is inherent in every breath. It is the motive force of the physical body and is enhanced through breathing exercises. The component of group singing in the Programme promotes harmony, co-operation and joyfulness. In singing a child may experience the sweetness of love. Love may also be fostered through story telling and activities which provide young people with the opportunity to care for other people, animals, plants and objects.



For the non-violent person, the whole world is his family When the former four values are practised (i.e. the conscious mind is keenly aware, love is flowing, there is peace and actions are right) life is lived without harming or violating anything else. It is the highest achievement of human living encompassing respect for all life -living in harmony with nature, not hurting by thought, word or deed.

The SSEHV Programme recognises two aspects of non-violence:

  • Psychological - such as compassion for all.

  • Social - such as appreciation of all cultures and religions, and caring for the environment.

Non-violence can be described as universal love. When truth is glimpsed through intuition, love is activated. Love is giving, rather than grasping and in allowing our stream of desires to subside, inner peace develops and right conduct is practised. This results in nonviolence i.e. the non-violation of the natural laws which create harmony with the environment.

Living in a way which causes as little harm as possible to oneself, other people, animals, plants and the planet, is a sign of a well-integrated, well-balanced personality. Such a person is well tuned to the spiritual aspect of humanity and is in touch with an inner happiness which is permanent and part of one's real nature.

It is through our universal or spiritual aspect that we may experience:

  • a feeling of awe and wonder for the universe
  • a feeling of the unity of all
  • the desire to improve the quality of life for everyone
  • a sense of being part of a larger whole
  • a feeling of oneness of the planet and love for everything on it
  • an awareness of an underlying order to Creation
  • love and respect for the diversity of the human family

Non-violence is taught through quotations, story telling and group activities. True knowledge is that which establishes harmony and synthesis between science on the one hand and spirituality and ethics on the other.

Continue to: The Teaching Components

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