“It is by pure thoughts and actions that one’s humanness is revealed”, asserted Sathya Sai, adding that, though we often speak of Education in Human Values (EHV), we need to realize that EHV is 3HV. “The first H stands for the Heart, the second for the Head, and the third for the Hands. The harmony of Head, Heart and Hands reflects true human life.”
To help children learn to align and coordinate these three aspects, SSEHV advises them to take their thoughts to their heart to see whether the heart approves of them, before taking any action. When love fills our minds and dictates our actions, we cannot fail. Love’s attributes, such as respect and kindness, humility and tolerance, consideration for all people and nature, spring spontaneously from the heart. Unity of three H (3HV) manifests as creative potential.
To make “three into one” is what the Greek philosopher Plato had intended as well. Speaking of Righteousness, he said:
“Righteousness is not related only with the external activities of man, but its sphere is a person’s inner activity. It means not to let the three parts of one’s soul to do any job which is not their own. One has to set them in order according to their own function and to become his own master and friend of himself. He has to unite the three parts of his soul, as if they were the three basic keys of an octave – low, high and middle – and create a harmony out of them and make himself one out of many, self-disciplined and internally attuned.”
Plato’s Republic, 443 c9-e2
An education of the head corresponds to attaining a good understanding of the influence of our senses, and of how to handle our thoughts. The heart is the seat of the soul, and in strict connection with the workings of our higher intellect. We ponder and choose intuitively with the heart. An education of the heart builds awareness as to the difference between desires and will, and fosters introspection. An education of the hands refers to the power of action, and to how we translate into practice what our head has conceived, and our heart approved. By attaining unity of these three basic expressions of human nature, we foster integrity and moral uprightness and become naturally inclined to ‘see good, speak good and do good’.
When we tune our head, heart and hands, all thoughts pass through the sieve of the heart making our actions not only consistent but aligned with our highest values; this is how we become remarkable instruments of beauty and kindliness for ourselves, our families and for the whole society.
In this light, SSEHV is an invitation to tune ourselves (3HV) so as to find inner harmony and provide happiness to others; it offers us the assurance that our behaviour will be guided by Conscience, and thus manifest the best part of who we are by calling forth from within our hearts Human Values.
Introduction to the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values programme, known also as Sathya Sai EDUCÆRE.