The responsibility of parents in values education

The responsibility of parents in values education
Published: 2 Dec 2009

Another area in which parents can help is by encouraging children to have their own opinions about things. If a child becomes aware that his views are respected, then that, too, will give him self-confidence. If everything he says is always made fun of, then he soon learns to hide behind the opinion of the majority—in other words, peer pressure.

Competition and the desire to be first: This is another area that requires delicate handling. Competition means someone wins and someone else loses, and we should all be able to deal with both. Help your children find the rewards for doing their best; show your pride in them for making the attempt. Encourage them to focus on their own effort, not on winning. Let them know that you believe effort counts as much as prizes. It’s just as important to be able to say, “I did my best” as it is to say “I won.” Your children will then learn the value of being as good as they can be, rather than in being better than someone else.

Sathya Sai Baba advises children against being over-competitive:

Sathya Sai Baba: “I do not like competition and strife, this cultivation of egoism through prizes and ranking. Do not let your achievements be spoilt by either pride or dejection. Take failure coolly, and take victory equally coolly. Whether in sport or examination, even when you fail do not be overcome by despair.”

Your child will not always get high marks: There is a fine line between encouraging your children to do their best and making them feel that they are failures when they do not achieve the standard of excellence expected of them. Expecting too much of them can be cruel. Feelings of failure are listed as one of the main causes for the shockingly high number of student suicides. So make sure that your child knows that you love him, whether he brings home top marks or not. Children are often lazy; then try and motivate them. They may not have understood the subject because it has been badly explained; then see if you can give them help. They may not like their teacher (or feel the teacher doesn’t like them) so they don’t feel like putting in any effort; try and sort the problem out, but make sure you are helpful, not condemning.

Sometimes, it is just a matter of accepting that your child is not likely to reach the scholarly heights that you had hoped he would achieve, but does it matter? “Nowadays, parents are anxious to see their children become scholars rather than men and women of character. Only those parents are worthy of esteem who prefer that their children should develop good qualities rather than just academic distinction. Education is part of life, but it is not the be all and end all of life. Virtues are the real backbone of life.” They may need to be shown that academic failure is not the end of the world, and that you are ready to help them make a worthwhile life for themselves in other ways.

Compiled by Sai Institute of Education West Indies

Trinidad Guardian Reference

Parents must set the best example

Parents must set the best example

Sai Reflections
Published: 18 Nov 2009

The following words (author unknown) are worth pondering over:

If a child lives with criticism,
he learns to condemn
If a child lives with hostility,
he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule,
he learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance,
he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement,
he learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
he learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
he learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval,
he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love. Praise is good, but don’t overdo it: It has at last been realised that a child does need some encouragement and praise but, like most things, this can be overdone. Give praise when it is due, but don’t shower praise on shoddy work and half-baked efforts. Your child is no fool, and knows perfectly well that it could have done much better, and so loses respect for your judgement if you are too easily satisfied. It is much more helpful to examine the work carefully (whether picture, homework, sandcastle, or anything else) praise the good parts, then give constructive hints on how it could be improved.

In that way, the child will appreciate that you have shown genuine interest, while, at the same time, being encouraged to do better. One needs to build the child’s self confidence, but giving praise where it is not due can produce the opposite result. The child can become addicted to praise and, when it is not forthcoming, a feeling of insurmountable inadequacy then often takes over. The need for ideals: Our aim should always be to prepare our children for life. This means giving them ideals, self-confidence, adherence to values, consideration for others, and the courage to face difficulties. But this also implies that you, yourselves, must practice these virtues. Sathya Sai Baba: “People want happiness in the family, but they fail to lead exemplary lives. The fault lies with both the husband and the wife. If children have taken to wrong paths these days, the parents alone are responsible, as they are not exemplary in their behaviour either.”

Children learn by example: As Sathya Sai Baba says elsewhere, “Parents must set good examples for their children. Parents talk of honesty, but they utter lies in the presence of their children, and even encourage them to speak falsehood. The father, while at home, asks the child to tell the unwelcome visitor that he is not at home! The child is thus taught his first lesson in prevarication by the father himself. There is no use blaming the child if he grows into a social menace.” It is natural for children to imitate the grown-ups around them; that is how they learn. It is no use scolding your child for using some four-letter word that you, yourself, use at every turn. By all means correct the child, but say also that you realise that you must correct yourself as well; you can even ask him to help you correct yourself—he will be very good at it, and you might even succeed in breaking the habit! Sathya Sai Baba: “You should have proper control over your children, but first of all you must have control over yourself. Only when the father is good, can he expect his son to be good. Is it possible for him to keep his son at home if he, himself, roams about as he pleases and goes to places that he should avoid?”

Compiled by Sathya Sai Institute of Education West Indies.

Trinibad And Tobago Guardian Reference


Sai Baba birthday celebrations

The Sai Nilayam at No. 113, New Chetty Street, Colombo 13 will celebrate the 84th birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on November 23. The program will commence at 5 a.m. The inter-religious flag hoisting ceremony will commence at 9 a.m. and special poojas and bajan will be held the full day. A Sai Chariot Procession will be held on the November 22 at 6 p.m.

Daily News Reference

A Garland For Sathya Sai Baba From The Children

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Sri Sathya Sai Baba


A Garland For Sathya Sai Baba From The Children

Knowing that Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has advised against offering of garlands to Him, children of the Vidya Vihar at Ooty hit upon an acceptable method of presenting Swami with a “garland” in the entertainment programme they got up during Bhagawan’s stay there in April.

The “flowers” in the garland consisted of pearls from the Divine lips. Before making the offering, one child came forward and said to Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba: “We, the little children of our Beloved Lord Sai, have picked up a few pearls that fell from our Lord’s lips. We have made a Garland out of them. Now we pray for our Lord’s gracious permission to place them around His Lotus Feet.”

After that, one child after another came forward to recite the allotted piece and take his or her place in the semi circle in front of Sathya Sai Baba, which became a garland for Swami. The following “pearls” glittered in the garland:

“Lord, you have told us that by cultivating devotion, that is Love for God, from childhood, we can reach Him, who is the treasure of all Ananda. You have also told us that how much we think we are, and not more, are we and so help us to learn more and more and then become better and better.”

“We also know that Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa are the chief noble qualities that we have to cultivate from our childhood and continue it throughout our lives. Because, Swami has said, Life is a search, explore it; Life is a challenge, meet it; Life is a game, play it; Life is a dream, realise it; and Life is Love, enjoy it.”

“So, for this we have to start early, drive slowly and reach safely. But we have to remember, ‘less luggage more comfort’, and we should always remember Love is God and God is Love and so we have to live in Love. If we do so, we will enjoy our lives.”

“In order to enjoy life, we must put a ceiling or limit on our desires. We must put a limit on our expenditure of our money. We must not talk too much thus wasting our time and energy. We must not waste food, because food is God, and when time is wasted, it is equal to life being wasted.”

“So, we have to remember that one of the best ways to spend time is, by doing good service to others, because doing seva to humanity is doing seva to divinity, that means serving God and helping God’s creation is the same thing. When we please man, we please God.”

“We have also to do our duty in life with discipline and devotion. For that, we must start the day with love, spend the day with love, fill the day with love, live the day with love and end the day with love and remember love lives by giving and forgiving and self lives by getting and forgetting.”

“And when we talk, we must remember to talk soft, talk sweet and talk the truth. We must watch our words, watch our actions, watch our thoughts, watch our character and watch our heart and we must also avoid backbiting, falsehood and harsh words.”

“Also we must remember that one must not only do the work one likes, but like the work one has to do. We cannot always oblige but can always speak obligingly. Swami has said, we are all caskets of divine love and so we must share it, spread it and express that love in thoughts of compassion, words of sympathy and acts of service.”

“Not only that, we must practice Ahimsa and Brahmacharya. We must cultivate humility, fearlessness and develop a sense of sacrifice and renunciation. Also we should eradicate ego, lust, anger, breed, envy and jealousy and practice selflessness, generosity and tolerance and thus make ourselves better persons.”

“For this, what we have to do is to ‘See Good, Be Good and Do Good, because that is the way to God.’ The past is beyond recovery. The future is uncertain. The given moment is now and here. So sanctify it with holy thoughts, words and deeds and thus make life a rose that speaks silently in the language of fragrance. Remove desire, attachment, and cultivate patience, fearlessness, control tossing of mind and temper; Love God, Trust God and Surrender to God.”

“So, for making us better persons, we must take a dose of Japam and Dhyanam for breakfast; have Satchintanam, Sat sang and Satparana for lunch; do pooja and archana for Tea; consider an hour of bhajan as Dinner; and do Manana, as a cup of milk at bedtime. This diet is enough to make our being happy and healthy.”

“And so we pray to our Lord to accept this little garland of pearls. We also pray to our Lord to help us to ‘Follow the master, Face the devil, Fight to the end, and Finish the game’ and when we become big, to be considered by YOU as Your fit instruments to carry out YOUR Message to Your complete satisfaction. Lord! Bless us all for that.”

Reference

Himachal Governor Stressed Upon Value Based Education

Himachal Governor Stressed Upon Value Based Education
May 10th, 2009 at 7:50 pm | By NVO Bureau

Shimla: Smt. Prabha Rau, Governor Himachal Pradesh stressed upon the need for value based education in schools for overall development of the students. She was presiding over the ‘Eswaramma Day’ celebration at Sri Sathya Sai Educational Center, Anand Vilas, Pujarli near Shimla today.

Smt. Rau said that education without value of sanskaras has no meaning and added that parents and teachers should educate children in right perspective so that they could become quality citizens of India.

Governor lauded the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organization for providing education with emphasis on moral and ethical values, development of mental and physical faculties, nurturing character building and all around development of children.

The Governor said that the children are needed to give environmental education so as to prepare them for facing changing environmental scenario. She stressed upon incorporating environment studies in school curricula’s and said that she is happy to learn that Sri Sathya Sai Sewa organization are providing acquacare facilities to people in different parts of the country and has actively participated and aided people during natural calamities.

Smt. Rau facilitated the parents who selected this school for education of their children and congratulated the students for performing fascinating cultural programme depicting aims and objectives of the school. The knowledge empowerment played a great role in nation building and students could contribute significantly in nation building activities, she added.

On the occasion the Governor also gave away prizes to the students of the school.

Earlier, Governor inaugurated the function by lighting a lamp.

Krishan Singh, Principal, Sri Satya Sai Seva School, Pujarli presented the report.

Dr. Neeta Khanna, National Deputy Education Coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Sewa Organization welcomed the Governor.

A Sarva Dharam Bhajan and colourful cultural programme was also organized on the occasion by the school children.

NVO Bureau Reference

Easwarrama Women’s Welfare Project

Sathya Sai Baba On Empowering Women

Sathya Sai Baba On Empowering Women


Easwarrama Women’s Welfare Project
Chethana Raju

RECOGNISING WOMEN’S CENTRAL role in society, the Easwaramma. Women’s Welfare Project-seeks to help in the development of women in a holistic manner by understanding and supporting the different roles which they play in life, be it daughter, mother or breadwinner.

It is a well-known saying, “Give a man bread and you feed him for a day, teach him to farm, and you feed him for life.” Along these lines, we felt our sisters in the villages would be better served by the acquisition of skills; the goal being self-support and independence.

Powered by the idea of sustainable development, this philosophy motivated the adoption of a Welfare Project to first address the need for a woman’s financial security. Before the Project launch, a survey was conducted in the surrounding villages, identifying the most deprived and impoverished women in the area. Their economic condition and whether they had some basic or no skills were all points taken into consideration before selection for the Project.

A Step towards Making Women Self-reliant
On 19th November 2004, on Ladies Day, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba officially inaugurated the Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project by unveiling a plaque. On 19th July 2005, the Project facility for these women was graciously inaugurated by Bhagavan Sri Satya SaiBaba within Prasanthi Nilayam. The Project is already producing a large number of products and has started marketing them initially through local outlets in the Ashram. The proceeds of the sales will be spent on remuneration for the women and will also go towards charitable projects in the villages.

Once the products are identified, trainers are engaged to teach the women how to make these items. When they are proficient at their tasks, one or two women in the group are trained to interact with suppliers and customers. In addition to providing women with a skill that is a lifelong source of income, this Project will also have socially beneficial effects. As an income earner, a woman’s self- esteem and her respect in society increases. Speaking on women, Sathya Sai Baba has said, “All women should be provided with opportunities to become self-reliant”.

The Project seeks to translate this into reality. A major step was taken to expand and organise the work of Easwaramma Women’s Project when Bhagavan graciously established Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Trust on 18th February 2005.

Mother and Child Project
Recently, another dimension has been added to the Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project by initiating Mother and Child Project. This project was started after conducting thorough research at grass root level by visiting a large number of villages as well as by assessing the needs of expecting mothers from Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Puttaparthi. As a result of this, two requirements have been recognised as vital. One is for maternal and infant care, which has given rise to the Mother and Child Project. The central role that the mother plays as “the Guru of the children … and the upholder of spiritual values” has been emphasised by Swami many a time. Recognising the importance of her health and well-being for society, the Mother and Child Project strives to support her during this crucial stage in her life.

Visits to the General Hospital, Puttaparthi showed that the general health condition of some of the pregnant women coming in for care is a cause for concern. Many come in for deliveries with extremely low haemoglobin levels, far below the international recommended level for delivery. Lack of proper nutrition is one of the main causes for this deficiency.

They often come to the hospital at a very late stage, which significantly increases the chances of complications. Regrettably, some are unable to come because of the considerable journeying distance and / or monetary constraints. Therefore, the Mother and Child Project aims to provide medical care for pregnant mothers and infants in the villages. Bhagavan, in His infinite grace, has provided a fully-equipped ambulance which can be utilised for on-the-spot medical treatment. The two objectives of the Project, medical and educational, are pursued side by side. The medical care is dispensed in a regular manner, over a significant period of time, in keeping with the Project’s goal of sustainability. The voluntary team of doctors, nurses and Seva Dal members visit each village throughout the year. Records of all mothers and children are maintained systematically so that their health condition can be monitored on a continuous, long-term basis. These records prove to be invaluable resource for the next team of doctors to assess the follow-up care.

Each mother-to-be receives a Sari and a special kit for mother and baby as a token of Bhagavan’s love and blessings. The kit provides the mothers with important supplements such as iron and folic acid. High protein nutritional supplements are also distributed regularly. As for the delivery itself, only emergencies are advised to go to the hospital. The traditional practice of home-deliveries with the central role of Dhais (midwives) is encouraged and made increasingly hygienic with the training of these Dhais and the supply of sterilised kits that assist in safe deliveries.

Once the baby is born, it is welcomed into the world with a fresh set of clothes, regular health check-ups and full immunisation. Immunisation is done for major locally-prevalent diseases including polio, measles, mumps, hepatitis-B and tuberculosis. Nutritional supplements are also regularly given to the infants. In conjunction with the treatment, the doctors conduct educational talks for mothers. Advice is given on a variety of practical matters, i.e., available good foods for pregnancy, post-natal and infant care, and handling of emergency cases.

We envisage a world where women have equal privileges in every sphere of life, a world in which women have opportunities to support themselves, a world in which they are self-reliant and not dependent on others. We believe that Easwaramma Women’s Welfare Project is a step in this noble direction. One of the Mission statements of Bhagavan Baba is: “I am attached to the work that I love: To remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they lack”. We pray that we all become humble instruments in His Divine Mission!

Sathya Sai Baba: Self-imposed discipline is conducive to real Shanti, peace of mind, poise, equanimity and the stable equilibrium of the mind. Peace of mind is the most desirable thing in the whole world. It gives us physical and psychical euphoria. In order to achieve this peace, an aspirant must develop a thirst for spiritual wisdom. He must acquire the qualities of love, sympathy and compassion, and do selfless service to others. Shanti (peace) should not be regarded as a part-time virtue to be cultivated only during meditation. It is a constant state of inner tranquillity. It should become habitual and instinctive.

Reference: Sanathana Sarathi pgs 381-383 – November 2005

Children To Lead Walk For Values In Queen St

Otara Sathya Sai Preschool

Otara Sathya Sai Preschool


Children To Lead ‘Walk For Values’ In Queen St
4:00AM Friday Mar 20, 2009
By Simon Collins

The Sathya Sai preschool in Otara is free. Otara preschoolers will get a taste of downtown Auckland tomorrow when they lead New Zealand’s first “walk for values” up Queen St.

The mostly Pacific Island and Maori children attend New Zealand’s only preschool run by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education founded by an 82-year-old Indian guru, Sathya Sai Baba.

Sai Baba followers in Canada held the world’s first “walk for values” in 2003 in response to gang violence.

Since then walks have become annual events in Canada, the US and Australia, and the movement’s 1500 followers in this country hope the Queen St walk will help to spread their message of love and peace.

“If you look around you from broken families to family violence to the statistics that show our alcohol and drug abuse, it’s very apparent that our society does need to go back to the values that we essentially are,” said spokesman Manoj Nathoo.

“In promoting the walk, we have asked people who have shown interest to undertake to practise a certain value. If you pick love, we hope that from the time you register to the time you walk you will make a deliberate effort to be more loving and caring.”

New Zealand Herald Reference

XIMBians Leave An Enduring Smile In Orphans’ Life

XIMBians Leave An Enduring Smile In Orphans’ Life
Kalinga Times Correspondent
Bhubaneswar, Dec 7:

A little way off Damanna Chhak of the city, exists a little group of houses that was home to over 60 children and their caretakers. Welcome to Anand Mission Ashram, run by a group of Sathya Sai Baba devotees and maintained over the years by the kind hearted donations that keep flowing in from the generous public. The children belong to the age group of 2-17 years, with the oldest girl now taking up graduate studies in a local college.

It was with a mission of repairing their broken down computer that a group of 10 XIMB students, calling themselves Dus Bandar Class Ke Andar, ended up in the Ashram. This computer, donated by enthusiastic donors had long since been ruined by disuse and had to be replaced. But the group was so moved by the conditions within the Ashram, they decided that putting a smile on the children’s faces was just as important as repairing their computer.

The fun activities directed at the children started with movie screenings, where the latest animated Hindi movies were shown, much to their obvious delight. Diwali saw the entire group landing up in the Ashram to brighten up the Festival of Lights for the orphans with loads of firecrackers and sweets in tow, a gesture that was much appreciated by the caretakers.

Children’s Day on November 14 saw the biggest initiative in what was called `Project Smiles’, where all the children were brought down to XIMB campus. There were competitions galore, from drawing and singing competitions to lemon and spoon and musical chair competitions and lots of prizes and goodies to boot as well.

According to one of the caretakers of the Ashram, the children were totally exhausted but very, very delighted with their day of fun and frolic on the campus. Project Smiles had indeed achieved its desired impact.

When asked about what his biggest learning from the entire project was, Chandrasekhar Kartha, one of the members of the group said:

“There were a lot of Ashram centric activities that we performed, including providing a new computer so that the children can never lag behind their peers in computer education, distribution of cold weather material, provision of a netted frame over the well so that their frequent well cleaning expenses are significantly reduced and replacing water purifier candles so that they can get pure, safer drinking water.

But the biggest thing that I will remember is the pure joy in the faces of the kids as they ran around during musical chairs and the pure exhilaration they showed when playing outside in the football grounds. I am sure everyone in the group will definitely agree.”

Perhaps that is why, at the end of the term exams, the entire group is planning another trip down to meet the kids again. It is because Project Smiles has just started.

Reference