Nature is more progressive than man, and to protect Nature, man has to make use of it within limits. When man tampers with Nature recklessly, it reacts adversely, and trouble arises. In order to protect Nature, man has to practise ceiling on desires.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 26 Ch. 3, January 21, 1993
‘Serve The Planet’ (STP) is a Young Adults (YA) led initiative that was launched in October 2013, as a global public outreach service project of the Sathya Sai International Organisation (SSIO). Since then, it has evolved and now seeks to engage members of the SSIO and the community in practicing Sathya Sai Baba’s message on ‘Ceiling on Desires’ and caring for our environment, by placing a ‘Ceiling on Desires’ (COD) and practising the five universal human values of Truth, Peace, Love, Non-violence and Right Conduct
Your life is a long journey. You should have less luggage (desires) in this long journey of life. Therefore, it is said, ‘Less luggage, more comfort, makes travel a pleasure.’ So, ceiling on desires is what you have to adopt today. You have to cut short your desires day by day. You are under the mistaken notion that happiness lies in the fulfillment of desires. But, in fact, happiness begins to dawn when desires are totally eradicated.
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 32 Ch. 6, March 14, 1999
Theme for 2019: ‘Protect The Planet - Time for Action’
STP focuses on Sathya Sai Baba’s message on the environment using his framework of “Be, Do, See, then Tell”. With the first step, “Be”, we realise the relationship between God, Nature and Man, and that the practice of COD and the five universal human values are practical means to live each day in harmony with Nature.
Step 2, “Do” is to actually practice with dedication, discipline and determination the COD and five universal human values as part of our spiritual practices each day. The wisdom and personal transformation this brings leads us to “See” the positive impact we can have cumulatively at home, at work and in society. As we consume the Earth’s resources more responsibly and with greater moderation, we consume less and so generate less waste (recycling as much as possible, sharing what we do not need), we use less plastics, we live more simply by consuming what is grown locally, we walk or use public transport, we dispose of our waste carefully, etc.
And then finally, we may “Tell”, to share this transformative experience with our communities through inspiration and engagement.
In 2017 and 2018, under the ‘Protect the Planet’ initiative, we understood the practical importance of COD in relation to plastic, water, food and energy, and we created awareness of the inspiring actions on the environment. This awareness was raised through a variety of content, in the form of study circle guides, presentations, personal and Sathya Sai Centre-based tips, community outreach guides, social media campaigns, and a Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) initiative and activity guide.
Many Sathya Sai Centres and Groups have now started to implement measures to reduce waste, mainly by eliminating single-use plastic products and conserving energy. Meaningful action is being taken around the world, there have been study circles and workshops on the environment and a wide range of service activities, such as tree planting, local area clean-ups, gardening and solar energy projects. Furthermore, the SSIO held its first ever Go Green Conference in July 2018 to emphasise the interconnectedness and interdependence of God, Nature and Man.
STP 2019 is primarily the “Do” phase of the ‘Protect the Planet’ initiative, where we will individually and collectively put ‘Ceiling on Desires’ in action and practice the five universal human values to as great an extent as practicable. Over the course of the year, resources will be shared, including tips and toolkits, workshop guides, and more. Interactive sessions, including webinars and online study circles, will also be conducted to facilitate more learning about Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings on the environment and the practical ways to apply these in our lives and beyond. Further details on STP 2019 is presented in the High Level Plan below.
Go Green Network
The Go Green Network brings together members of the SSIO who have a passion for protecting the planet and driving efforts in their own Sathya Sai Centres and beyond. These members will connect in an online platform to share ideas, resources and best practices, and will have the opportunity to take part in webinars and study circles to deepen their own knowledge and skills.
Sign up to join the network here: Join the Go Green Network
ResourcesClick on the items below for more information.
2017-2018 STP Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) "Heal the Earth, Love the Planet" (H.E.L.P.) Initiative
- SSE H.E.L.P. 2.0 Initiative - Suggested Activity Guide
- Read about the results of the 2017-2018 SSE H.E.L.P. initiative: SSE H.E.L.P. Results
- Mobile Phone Recycling Project
- Mini-booklet on Practical Tips
- Earth Hour 2018 Poster with Tips For Conserving Energy on a Daily Basis
- Earth Day Resources