The system of education in Bhagawan's educational institutions mirrors the ancient Gurukula system that was followed in India in the days of yore. The Gurus or preceptors in those days recognized that merely absorbing secular knowledge for the sake of earning a living was not sufficient to ensure that the students achieved true happiness in their lives. They placed equal emphasis on the use of that knowledge towards serving society, and equipped their students with the wisdom to lead their lives in a righteous and responsible manner. Character building was considered the ideal of education. The ultimate goal of the educational system was in keeping with the scriptural declaration "Sa Vidya Ya Vimukthaye" (True education is that which liberates). The education system in our country today is in stark contrast to that ideal. Crass commercialization of this field is fast leading to a situation where the society is materially affluent but morally bankrupt. The values of truth, reverence, gratitude and righteousness have been forced to take a backseat and have been replaced by a hedonistic craving for power and wealth. But, if the turmoil in society in general and the unrest amongst students in particular is in any indicator, this system is no longer serving its purpose. It is in this context that Bhagawan has pioneered the concept of "Educare". The word educare in Latin means manifesting that which is latent within. The system of education in the schools and colleges set up by Bhagawan is a holistic one that aims at drawing out the knowledge, human values and wisdom that are present in a latent form in the student. In 1981, Bhagawan set up the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning by fusing together the colleges that had been established earlier at Anantapur, Whitefield and Puttaparthi. The Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School at Prasanthi Nilayam was started in 1983. These institutions provide education from the primary school level right up to the post-doctoral level. No fees whatsoever are charged from the students in these establishments. Bhagawan set up the Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri College of Music at Prasanthi Nilayam in the year 2001. Both Carnatic and Hindustani styles of vocal music are taught here apart from training in playing the veena, mridangam, sitar and tabla. The foundation course in these subjects is for two years and is open to boys of the age group 13-20. The diploma course is of three-year duration and is for boys of the age group 16-23.
© Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, West Bengal