Sathya Sai Baba Human Values – EHV and Educare
Posted by robertpriddy on February 16, 2009
Despite it educational shortcomings, Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) is based on quite acceptable ideas of truthfulness, non-violence, peace, love and virtuous action. Unfortunately, the way these are defined has been ‘set in stone’ as the ‘eternally divine wisdom’ of the self-proclaimed creator of humanity and everything else. Adherents of this doctrinal system are no doubt well-meaning but as devotees of Sai Baba aiming to be voluntary child educators they are almost entirely unqualified, only relatively very few even being school teachers. No feedback, no comments to change the fundamental doctrine (however constructive) are acceptable to the authoritarian leadership, the structure of whose organization is entirely top-down and (allegedly) depends on the word of Sathya Sai Baba for every important decision.
Censorship replaces any attempt at interactive dialogue or introduction of the views of the world of professional educationalists, researchers in pedagogy and other well-established science dealing with children and their development. This is basically a religious teaching, based on Sathya Sai Baba’s rejection of various secular educational value orientations, such as human and women’s rights, human justice, democracy and social equality. . . these are also “human” values, not “divinely-ordained human values” (an oxymoron!) of their guru-God, held also to be the essence of all religions (i.e. religious and not secular values!). Though the values which are held by human beings have common features, they are nonetheless very diverse and changing in many ways. No teaching based on a set of chosen values which cannot be modified or disputed can reasonably be considered to be dealing with genuine human values. The subject of sex education or sexuality is taboo in EHV, which has an old-fashioned puritan agenda. The child abuse and sexual accusations against Sathya Sai Baba make the subject yet more avoidable.
The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) staff in all countries are totally impervious to any serious outside comment – other than praise. They ignore educationally qualified critics and ostracise them if their views diverge from the accepted dogmas of SSEHV, because they are then condemned as non-believers in the guru God, Sathya Sai Baba. SSEHV does NOT promote only universal spirituality, as is claimed, but promotes the personality cult of Sathya Sai Baba, as will be shown in extenso in later postings. Meanwhile, see image here.
Such an isolated system of teaching is a potential danger to citizens everywhere, not least to child development. The developmental aspect of a human being, especially a child, is not advanced by unresearched, uncertain methods of education by amateur volunteers whose minds are ideologically controlled in a personality cult.
Sathya Sai Baba’s EHV is still quite popular as a method of teaching in under-developed countries (especially India and in countries where there is a large Indian diaspora). However, it is all too vague as a doctrine, and asserts the divine nature of the values as eternally unchanging verities, instituted by God (like Plato’s values as ‘immutable perfect forms’). The inclusion of the word ‘human’ by Sai Baba is no doubt for the sake of gaining wider publicity for his ideas. Yet the values he promotes are put entirely beyond any open discussion, seeing they are claimed not to depend for their existence even on human beings, but solely on God (who Sai Baba claims he is). This amounts to a conflation of two meanings of ‘human values’– where the word ‘human’ is reinterpreted as meaning ‘actually God, but unaware of this indwelling divinity’. Making these values seem ‘human’ on origin is the doctrine ‘everyone is God’. This pantheistic appeal is circular and thus entirely untenable. EHV and its so-called ‘Educare’ system amount to a rigid indoctrination which allows of no critical thinking, no research findings, no pedagogical interchanges with the wider community and hence no modification or the hope of further development.
Defenders of SSEHV demonstrate to the full how blind devotion overrules sound thinking and obviates any genuine dialogue on any subject concerning Sathya Sai Baba or his doctrines. Since neither Sathya Sai Baba nor the Sathya Sai Organization have given any proper response to his widely alleged sexual abuse of male minors, the teachers have to find their own solution of how to teach morals and at the same time carry the burden of the allegations in the wider community. How can they teach their student openness, sincerity and commitment to truth if they themselves have to keep silent, be confused and participate involuntarily in covering-up without any chance to ask their leaders and to get a clear answer.
The consequences can be seen in e-mail exchanges (click here). For example, Dr. Madhava Majmudar – former leader of EHV in Scotland – was incapable of intelligent discussion of the value education system she preaches and cut off communication very soon. Majmudar was promoted by Dr. Malcolm Green, formerly Chairman of the Strathclyde Education Committee and later a prominent EU politician, who once declared his support to the Sathya Sai EHV programme and aided its dissemination as part of his multi-cultural agenda… until he suddenly broke all connection with the Sathya Sai movement without any announcement, apparently after seeing the definitive BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’. With his aid, the EHV system had become somewhat entrenched in some Scottish educational programmes, if in a modified form and allegedly without direct mention of Sathya Sai Baba. (See scan from ‘Sai Gazette’ in which Dr. Malcolm Green declared his allegiance etc.) She put an article on the Internet, which is still there, but evidently wants that it should escape any peer evaluation or criticism, for she then tried to get valid, informed but critical comments made in reply by Serguei Badaev removed by Google etc. For a person holding an academic degree, this response is simply unprofessional and her response actually verifies Badaev’s contentions about SSEHV by thus ignoring any modern research and being closed to reasonable dialogue, change or improvement. See here
Serguei Badaev, dismissed as President of the Moscow Centre for raising burning issues – former leader of EHV in Russia – asked: “Where are those model teachers who should teach SSEHV with Love and Wisdom. Who will choose them? What process will produce them? To my mind the system of SSEHV as it is cannot be not be an environment which will do that. No exchange of opinions, no discussion of problems, no sharing and support. Even the British SSEHV web site has not any sort of a forum.”
In a mail exchange with Badaev, Isobel Ritchie (SSEHV Convener for Scotland) admitted to some of the failings, as when she wrote: “We have had a couple of people here in Scotland removed from the Sai Organisation to my knowledge for ‘not following rules’ of the officials in the Sai Organisation” see here
Serguei Badaev received an e-mail from Linda Raine (from Southern Cross University, Australia where she was or is presumably studying), a Sai Baba devotee who is involved in the Education in Human Values programme. The e-mail speaks for itself as to finger-pointing patronizing moralism:-
From: Linda Raine <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2005 1:30 AM
Subject: Your Letter
I hope that since you wrote this letter, that you have educated yourself! No offense, but I am researching SSEHV and far from being a bogus idea, it is exceptional in that the human values, based on universal values of Love, Truth, Peace, Right-conduct and Non-Violence are an umbrella for every good value there is. Had you been a student of human values, you would have learned about discernment and truth at the least.
Everyone has the right to his own opinion, but, please, in this violent and unhappy world of ours, lets try our best to look at every point of view before making our decisions. The world is a mirror of yourself, so what you see in SSEHV is of your own making. I pray that you have learned more about yourself and have also learned to Live in Love
Further correspondence between Raine and Badaev is seen here
Prominent Educational Figure at Strathclyde University, Dr. Malcolm Green, defected from his support for SSEHV hn he discovered the nature of the figurehead. Formerly he had stated: (See scan from ‘Sai Gazette’ in which Dr. Malcolm Green declared his allegiance)
Full coverage of the above issues click here – SSEHV Exposed
Links for the study of Sathya Sai Education in Human Values and ‘Educare’ -and their shortcomings or failings – are found here:-
Why the Sathya Sai organization is a cult
Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
See also Devotee attacks on the Sai petition and petitioners
View ex-follower signatures