Study circle on Unity in Diversity – Cultural inclusion

Unity in Diversity, Purity in Unity and Divinity in Purity

(Cultural inclusion and expansion initiative of SSIO, USA)

Title: What does unity in diversity mean and how does one practice it?

Spiritual Principle: To deepen our understanding of the unity in diversity, so that visitors from all faiths and cultures can know that we truly are a universal and all-inclusive multi-faith organization.


  • “God is one. The goal is one. People have to change their outlook. They have to develop love towards all. There is nothing greater in the world than this Premadhrishti (feeling of universal love). There are many eminent scholars and intellectuals in the world today who are adept in seeing the diversity in the world. But why don’t they try to see the unity that underlies this diversity? They alone are good who see the unity in the apparent diversity. But those who see only the diversity in the One are mere clever intellectuals.”

– Let Everyone Do his Duty, Sathya Sai Speaks – 1996, March 20th 


  • How are we to recognize unity in diversity? Birth and death are common to all beings. Whether one is a millionaire or a pauper, both are brought forth from their mother’s wombs. Hunger and thirst are common to all. The kind of food that is eaten may vary, but hunger is the same for all. Likewise, thirst is common to all. These basic common experiences point to the unity that underlies the diversity. The Upanishaths have emphasized the spiritual oneness of all beings. The life force is one and the same, in all. The Aathma is the same in all. How, then, it may be asked, there are differences in the bodies? These differences are the results of differences in the thoughts, feelings and actions of the individuals concerned. The indwelling spirit is the same in everyone”

– Let Everyone Do his Duty, Sathya Sai Speaks – 1996, March 20th 


  • “The whole world is like a mansion and various countries are like different rooms in it. So, do not divide humanity based on nationality. It is because of such division that humanness is on the decline. Sai devotees should not entertain any such differences. All should stand united. Names, forms and complexions may be different, but humanity is one race. God is one. All human beings belong to one family.
Cows are many, but milk is one.

Beings are many, but indweller is one.

Castes are many, but humanity is one.

Flowers are many, but worship is one.

Paths are many, but God is one.

Hence, you should give up all the differences based on caste, religion and nationality and develop the spirit of love.

– Service Activities For Unity In Society , Sathya Sai Speaks – 2002, July 21st


Questions to ponder:

  • How do we change our outlook?
  • What other common things we can find among all?
  • How do we find unity in diversity?


Unity in diversity Quiz:


Swami’s message about how to behave with others


We had the exercise of tearing of a corner of the paper after closing eyes to find out two people did two different things explaining how different cultures view things despite receiving the same instructions.
1) Swami’s message to His brother – I thought it is good a place to start how Swami wanted to guide the entire humanity – What we can do to join the mission of Swami.

2) Another video of what Swami doesn’t want us to talk about others.

3) In Swami’s words, what defines Sai Centers around the world – According to Swami, “It is not Sai Himself or bhajans or people but the culture of refining humanity”.

4) Herman Grid – An exercise – First one – People may define this page as six black rectangles arranged vertically and horizontally in a row – Second one – When shade of black is given as a background, one sees five vertical and horizontal white lines prominently – Why is not visible earlier? – Because of the background.

5) People may see a young woman or old woman depending on their perception – Deceptive mind based vision

6) Based on culture, folded hands may indicate arrogance or humility based on the perception in each country

7) Shaking head side way means “no” but in India, it is an acknowledgement of hearing the message conveyed.

8) Quiz program on various religious texts – Some are prayers we do every week.

9) Universal prayer song “Colonial Brothers” by Hariharan with Lyrics given in the PPT.