Sai devotees who are attracted to the activities of the Education Wing in the Sai Organisation are poised on the brink of a great endeavour. All over the world there is a yearning for a system of value-based education for the young. For nearly sixty years the Sai Organisation has been laying the foundation for a program of moral development which is applicable not only in Sai Centres but also in the wider community and in all schools. The momentum of change is increasing and we must be ready to meet the challenge. Sai Baba has said:
"Because of your good fortune, because of your good deeds in your previous lives, you are able to participate in the propagation of the Human Values. You should fulfil this in the right way. Never misuse this opportunity."
(Divine Discourse, 13-1-1993)
It is now agreed world wide that the term Sai Teacher will refer to those members of the Sathya Sai Organisation who conduct children's classes based on the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba. A Sai Teacher is not necessarily a schoolteacher; she is the Sai devotee who can teach Human Values classes both in the Sai Centre and out in the community.
Since 1982 there have been a number of handbooks for Sai Teachers published in India and several other countries. Each one offers something useful and special. Some are written primarily for those teaching Bal Vikas or Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) classes; others focus more on Education in Human Values (EHV) in the community and schools.
The present 'Handbook for Sai Teachers' seeks to bring together the best of what is available into one publication. Those members of the Sai Organisation who want to get involved in conducting children's classes based on the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba are in need of comprehensive guidelines for both training and practice.
With the increasing number of Sathya Sai Baba Centres being established in the world, it is no longer sufficient for the guidelines for Sai Teachers to be passed on by word-of-mouth, brief conference talks and other ad-hoc procedures. The present Handbook connects Sai Teachers to the worldwide development of this unique form of teaching universal spiritual and moral values.
In recent years Sai Baba has given two major discourses which focus on Human Values, the first on the 13 January 1992 and the second on the 20 November 1993. These messages are blended in with the guidelines presented throughout the Handbook.
It is important that the 'Handbook for Sai Teachers' be truly representative of what is evolving in Australia and throughout the world. As such, we can regard the present Handbook as a first edition, subject to modification as time goes by. To effect such changes, experienced Sai Teachers should direct their suggestions for improvements to the authors.
This Handbook will be of greatest value to those as devotees who have not been active as Sai Teachers in the past, and now wish to play a part in this great endeavour.
Experienced Sai Teachers will also find the Handbook useful, for it serves as a standard up-to-date reference on all matters relating to the Sri Sathya Sai Human Values Program. In particular it gives an in-depth exploration of the five Human Values, using many examples from the Divine Discourses of Sathya Sai Baba. Studying each Value in greater detail will foster a clearer understanding of facets of our true Self and a greater commitment to base our lives on them. Let us always remember that, when we are studying and contemplating on the Human Values, we are merely being reminded of who we really are; we are training the mind to be receptive to and supportive of our true nature. It is our duty to awaken to the Values within, and to assist the children in our care in their natural wish to retain these Values as the foundation of their developing personality.
"Swami's view is that Human Values are contained in everyone and these should be preserved. Those who have forgotten this should be reminded. That duty you should carry out."
(Divine Discourse, 13-1-1992)