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End of Education is Character

Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) has its deep roots, spanning over 40 years of history since 1969, when Sai devotees in India convened local classes for children to teach them ancient scriptures through story telling, enacting plays with morality themes, and through singing of devotional songs. The responsibility for implementing the program, named as “Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vihar”, was assigned to the Ladies Wing of the Sathya Sai Seva Organization. A national conference was organized in 1971 for volunteers who had been trained as teachers and administrators of the program. At the conference, the name “Bal Vikas” was chosen to better clarify the objectives of the program. Bal Vikas is a Sanskrit term which means “blossoming of the child”.

The Sai Spiritual Education program rests on the five pillars of Truth, Right Action, Peace, Love and Nonviolence. The spiritual principles embedded within these values are the foundations of true humanness. The values are interrelated. Love is the source and sustenance of all the values. Love associated with thought is Truth. The same Love expressed as action is Right Action. When one contemplates Love, the heart and mind are filled with a state of supreme Peace. When Love becomes the guiding principle of understanding and reason, the intelligence becomes permeated with Non-violence.

SSE program at SSSBC SSE classes take place every week as part of our regular weekly program from 2:45 PM - 4:15 PM on Sundays. Children at the SSSBC are divided into four groups based on their school grades, as shown below:

Group 1

Grades: 1, 2 and 3

Group 2

Grades: 4, 5 and 6

Group 2

Grades: 7, 8 and 9

Group 2

Grades: 10, 11 and 12

 

SSE classes coincide with the academic program calendar in the local school districts, in that classes are convened in the Fall and Spring time, from approximately September 2nd week to middle of June. In addition to the regular classes, SSE children at SSSBC have the opportunity to participate in plays, exhibits and study circles.

Format and Curriculum

SSE program at the SSSBC is designed in conformance with the Region 2 curriculum. The primary objective of the curriculum is to foster character development and spiritual transformation of children through helping them to:

• practice placing a ceiling on their desires,
• render selfless service to others,
• appreciate the unity of the different faiths,
• learn about the brotherhood of man, and
• learn about the life and teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

The culmination of each lesson is the Life Application exercise. Students are given the opportunity to practice the value/subvalue they have learned throughout the week. The five human values are elicited through lessons based on the five teaching techniques: stories, songs, prayers or quotations, silent sitting/tuning-in, and group activities. 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. 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.

To download details of the format and curriculum, guidelines, and other SSE forms please click here.

If you would like to enroll your child or provide volunteering support, please r each for the SSSBC SSE Coordinator at bethesda.education@gmail.com