History & Philosophy
Sant Bani School was founded in 1973 as an elementary school with six students, and rapidly grew to include a high school. Due to changing demographics, the high school closed in June 2015, and Sant Bani is focused on being a best-in-class K-8 program. SBS provides a high-level, comprehensive educational experience while also recognizing the value of the spirit and the unique gifts each member of the school community brings.
Initially an outgrowth of Sant Bani Ashram, a spiritual retreat center, the School became an independent organization in 1983. (More information on the early years of the school is available here.) While the School and the Ashram are separate organizations, they continue to coexist harmoniously as neighbors. Sant Bani School does not apply pressure on anyone to accept a certain set of beliefs. Students and faculty of all backgrounds are welcome. In fact, one of the School’s founding principles is that truth can thrive only when there is freedom of thought and expression.
Both the Ashram and the School were founded under the direction of a spiritual teacher from India, Sant Kirpal Singh (1894-1974). The School also received the guidance and wisdom of Sant Kirpal Singh’s successor, Sant Ajaib Singh (1926-1997), for twenty-one years. Core educational beliefs laid out by Sant Kirpal Singh and supported by Sant Ajaib Singh include:
- Each one of us is unique. There is a divine purpose behind the life of everyone who comes into the world. We have something to learn from everyone.
- The best education is that which teaches us that the end of knowledge is service.
- This ‘service’ is another name for love and fellowship, which constitute the very essence of personal and social life.
- It is a constant association with gentle forces which breeds virtuous persons.
- A child is the center of creative life, and needs to be opened as a flower is opened, gently, by sympathy, not by force.
- The real aim of education is to develop the character and individuality of the pupil’s mind, will and soul power.