Education Wing

Welcome to Sri Sathya Sai Center of Tampa Bay
Sai Spiritual Education or Bal Vikas is not just a program. It is a noble movement that took roots in the year 1968 with the founding of Sri Sathya Sai Mahila Vibhag. Swami instructed Mahila Vibhag (Women’s wing) in 1969 to -
  • "Run a Bala Vihar for young children where they will listen to stories from the Scriptures, the Epics, and the Lives of Saints belonging to all religions. Children must also be trained to sing Bhajans, enact small plays with themes selected from the classics. They must be taught to cultivate habits of discipline, for these alone can ensure happiness: both individual and social."
  • "The ideal of the Bal Vikas is to raise a generation of boys and girls who have a clean and clear conscience. Bal Vikas is the primary basis of the great movement to restore Dharma in the world. The young minds of children are not polluted and hence they can be led into good ways of living, simplicity, humility and discipline."
  • "Guide the children in the spiritual path, through simple and moral living; install in the young minds, the importance of duty, devotion and discipline; help them understand the five human values, so that they can practice these in their daily lives; guide them to Love all and Serve all. In short help them grow into worthy citizens to serve the world; identifying the divinity present in all. Education must aim at providing the child not livelihood, but, a life worth living. The promotion of human values must become an integral part of the educational process."
The Sai Spiritual Education model is an inspirational model not an instructive one. The Aims of Sai Spiritual Education or Bal Vikas are:
  • To foster character development and spiritual transformation.
  • To inculcate habits of discipline and self-discipline so that students learn to be masters, rather than slaves, of the mind and thus have absolute control over the sense organs.
  • To engender in children a desire to be of service to all humanity and in this way to be of service to God by helping them to be of service to God by helping them learn about life and teachings of Swami.
  • To cultivate humility, practise ceiling on desires, and render selfless service.
  • To train them to be able to discriminate between right and wrong, between truth and non-truth; that is to always follow the inner promptings of the Divine.
  • To help children be fully aware of the Unity underlying all faiths and all mankind.
  • To guide all children to have purity and harmony in Thought, Word and Deed
  • To help children realise their conscience and follow that as the path for attaining Divinity.
  • To give priority to the development of character, self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
  • To foster the understanding and practice of the five inherent human values of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence.
Wing Overview
In the United States the Sai Spiritual Education wing took its first steps in the early 1970sThe Sai Spiritual Education Wing offers weekly classes to children between the ages of 4 to 17. Trained teachers undertake classes using a syllabus that has been developed to incorporate the core teachings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba whilst maintaining the need to reflect the culture of the country it is being implemented in. Children are taught in appropriate groups constituting the Nursery group (4-6), Group 1 (6-9), Group 2 (9-12), Group 3 (12-15) and Group 4 (15-17). These age groups are further split into year groups to facilitate effective teaching and learning.

In a SSE class, the teacher has to use a judicious combination of the five teaching techniques as prescribed by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to draw out the inherent goodness and divine qualities that are within the child. They are namely -
  • Prayers
  • Story Telling
  • Group Devotional Singing
  • Group Activities
  • Silent Sitting
These techniques are there to train the children from an early age to quieten their minds so as to be able to listen to the voice of their conscience. When put into practice the children gain self-confidence, attain excellence and acquire the quality of leadership.
Children are encouraged and provided opportunities such as enacting in dramas, participating in group devotional singing, public-speaking, chanting of prayers, taking part in service activities , to name but a few so as to develop their character, gain self-confidence and attain excellence.

How to get Involved
Please contact education coordinator if
  • You are a parent and interested in enrolling your child.
  • You are interested in becoming a SSE teacher or SSE helper.
  • You are interested in setting up a SSE class in your area.
  • You are able to assist in developing teaching aids, including multi-media resources