Objective and Mission
The Sathya Sai International Organization (SSIO) is a spiritual organization following the principles laid down by Sathya Sai Baba. The fundamental objective of the organization as laid down by Sathya Sai Baba is to awaken in man the Divinity inherent in him by propagating, through practice and examples, the basic principles of Love, Truth, Right Action, Peace, and Nonviolence. In Sathya Sai Baba’s own words:
“The sole objective of the SSO is to enable man to discover his innate divinity, and regain his self-confidence and faith in God” Click to see short video describing SSIO.
Inspired by Sathya Sai Baba, the SSIO spreads Sathya Sai Baba’s universal message of pure love and selfless service through 1,969 Sathya Sai Centers across 120 countries. Members of these “Sai Centers” are united by a common bond of love for God and the goals of selfless service, self-transformation and self-realization. Center activities include study of the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and the sacred literature of all religions, group devotional singing, meditation, education in human values, and selfless service to the needy with love and compassion.
As established by Sathya Sai Baba, the SSIO runs purely on the love and volunteer work of its members – there are no membership dues nor solicitation of funds:
“The main goal of the Sai Organization is to enable members, workers, and officers to lead ideal, perfect, and happy lives. The Sai Organization should live in Love. Exchange hearts with Love, give Love and take Love, and flourish in Love. Both money and power have no place in our organization.”
Sathya Sai Baba Centers
The purpose of a Sathya Sai Baba Center is to foster and support the spiritual activities of its members. The Center is a focal point for individuals to learn and practice Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings and message of Love and to lead disciplined, spiritual lives.
“The organizations named after Me are not to be used for publicizing My Name or for creating a new cult around my worship. They must try to spread interest in prayer, meditation and other spiritual practices which lead man Godward. They must demonstrate the joy that can be derived from singing and remembering the Lord’s name, the peace that one can draw from good company. They must render services to the helpless, the sick, the distressed, the illiterate and the needy. The service must seek no reward.”
Most Sai Centers meet once or twice a week. Each Sai Center has a president, vice president, service coordinator, devotion coordinator, and education coordinator. The president is responsible for the Center and is assisted by the vice-president. Each Center organizes its programs under three areas: service, devotion, and education. The service coordinator promotes and organizes service projects within the Center and the community. The devotion coordinator is responsible for organizing and overseeing the devotional meetings, devotional singing classes, study circles and guest events. The education coordinator develops and coordinates a value-based spiritual education for children.
In the United States, there are over 200 Sai Centers distributed across ten Regions, all coordinated by the Sathya Sai Baba Council of America (established in 1975). In turn, countries are grouped into several international Zones. Each Sai Center, Region and Zone has officers who help coordinate the various activities and administrate the SSIO guidelines.
Until early 1996, the emblem of the Organization was the ‘Sarva Dharma’, the symbol of unity across religions and human values, depicted by an open lotus with six petals and six leaves. The six petals show different symbols representing world’s six major religions. In 1996, the emblem changed to depict the five universal human values – Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Nonviolence – as the foundation for spiritual development.