|Chapter 4.0 from "Study Circles for Divinity"|
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4.0 LIVING THE VALUES - INTRODUCTION
The five Human Values of 'Love', 'Truth', 'Peace', 'Right Conduct' and 'Non-violence' are the corner stones of the educational program set in motion by Lord Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Asserting that the only true "end of education is Character", He urges each one of us to live these Values so that we can be ideal role models for all children who are so easily influenced by the example of adults. Whether we are parents, school teachers, teachers of Sai Spiritual Education and community Education in Human Values classes, or simply an adult who is observed by children in shops, home, buses and in the street; each one of us has a clear responsibility to be an exemplar in living the five Human Values. For the sake of our future, and for the children who will become adults, we must do our best in this role.
We would be mistaken if we thought that the words 'Love', 'Truth', 'Peace', 'Right Conduct' and 'Non-violence' are limited to what their English definitions imply. Their meanings are of limitless depth and are only truly represented by their Sanskrit names: Prema, Sathya, Santhi, Dharma and Ahimsa. The English representation of each Human Value is written with a capital letter for the first letter (eg Love) to indicate its correspondence to the original Sanskrit word.
Another factor which sets the five Human Values apart from all other words describing good qualities is that each individual Value includes the other four Values in the definition. That is, Truth cannot exist independently of Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-violence; if Love is not present, one is not living according to Truth. Similarly, to live according to Truth, we have to avoid speaking unpleasant truth which will inflict pain on another; that is, we must practise Non-violence in order to live according to Truth.
Perhaps the most astounding knowledge we have about the five Human Values is that they are our true nature, existing within us, as fire lies dormant within the coal, awaiting the right conditions to emerge and express itself. In one of many analogies, Lord Sai explains that the Values can be likened to the beautiful sculpture already existing in perfect form within the rough block of marble, awaiting the sculptor's hammer strokes - the hammer strokes are, of course, the blows of fate, the promptings of the Teacher, the acts of God's Grace, and the exercise of our own discrimination and will.
We journey towards our true nature discarding that which we are not - "not this, not this" - using the hammer of discrimination or the voice of one's conscience to cast away those thoughts, words and deeds which are not in accord with the five Human Values.
Lord Sathya Sai also gives the example of the human hand with its five fingers representing the five Human Values. We know from our own experience that one finger or thumb alone has very limited utility, two have slightly more, and so on; whereas the hand with five fingers can engage in a multitude of tasks. In the same way, only the person who lives according to all five of the Human Values can be said to be a true human being.
Each of the following five Study Circle topics on 'Love', 'Truth', 'Peace', 'Right Conduct' and 'Non-violence' leads us to the same mountain. It is our destiny to climb the Human Values mountain to see all of its sides at once; in fact, to awaken to the certain knowledge that we are that mountain and can only be truly happy when we live according to that knowledge.
If each of us can take even a few steps forward to living the five Human Values, there will be hope for the future. The children of our society are waiting for heroes, for role models, to emerge who can replace those on the sports field, the movie screen and television. Let us strive to become those heroes, to stand beside our Lord Sai as living examples of Love, Truth, Peace, Right Action and Non-violence.
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