July 14, 2024

The word “Educare” is derived from the Latin word “Educare” meaning to bring out. Educare has two aspects – secular and spiritual. Secular education brings out the potential knowledge of the material world. Spiritual education brings out the divinity inherent in man. Hence, both secular and spiritual education are essential, without which human life has no value. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Despite continuing advances in science and technology, mounting suffering and unrest around the world show no signs of abating. Incessant conflict and a steady decline in morality are just a few of the factors that threaten the very survival of the human race. Most serious thinkers would agree that a fundamental change is needed in the way humans view themselves and each other. Such a spiritual awakening requires an educational model that has the power to transform the hearts and minds of all people. The model currently prevalent around the world needs to be expanded to embrace the spiritual as well, rather than focusing solely on the secular.

The message to educators is that students should not be satisfied with acquiring knowledge and adaptive skills that can be used only to earn a living. Rather, education should be equally concerned with helping students realize their full human potential, that is, the realization of the divinity inherent in man. Moreover, through this awakening of human consciousness, students acquire culture and refinement that will lead them beyond a concern for their own personal happiness to the happiness of all members of society. Recognizing this unity in diversity, such individuals will be guided by a sense of right and wrong, good and bad, and what is helpful rather than harmful to others.

Revolutionary change

It is in this context that Sri Sathya Sai Baba declared that “many revolutionary changes are needed in the field of education”. Secular and spiritual education should be integrated into the philosophy and methodology of education to better serve the needs of society. He has inspired and guided the development of an education system that will achieve this goal. The basic premise of this system is that through all forms of educational activity and through students at all stages of educational progression, the realization of one’s divine nature can be aided and fostered. Sathya Sai education therefore involves a lifelong process of transformation and is aimed at strengthening the divine connection between individuals, families, society and the entire creation.

The philosophical foundation of Sathya Sai education is the concept of Educare. Sri Sathya Sai Baba distinguishes between what has traditionally been thought of as “education” and what he calls “Educare”. He states that an educator who merely reads books and conveys the contents to students has not achieved the objective of true education. Rather, “true education is that which promotes unity, equality and peaceful co-existence with fellow human beings”. It “springs from the heart and is called ‘Educare’. Educare should therefore be pursued along with what has been meant by education.”

Provided by: Sai Institute of Education West Indies, St. Michael, Barbados. Visit www.siewi.org or https://www.sathyasai.org/about-us/education or email siewibb@saibarbados.org.

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