– By Anonymous
Bala Vihar is a program for kids that starts in Pre-K and goes to 12th grade and it culminates in the graduation event when they graduate from high school. What makes Bala Vihar graduation a special event is that while they graduate from their high school with secular learning, at Chinmaya Mission they graduate in Spiritual learning that becomes the base for them in Hindu culture and give them a strong foundation for finding their own Self and be a kind, caring and compassionate human being.
On 29th and 30th April at Chinmaya Mission Alpharetta, we celebrated 26 graduates who have spent the last 14 years with the organization learning about Hindu culture, spirituality and religion over the years.
On Saturday, Mission organized a special Puja of Devi Saraswati (Goddess for Knowledge) for the students led by Sushmaji in a beautiful and divine setting of our Ashram. She also went over the Convocation address found in Taittiriya Upanishad highlighting the key messages from the text including being Truthful. Then Sivaji gave valuable insights to the students as they graduated from Bala Vihar and also had words of wisdom for the parents. Sivaji encouraged the students to keep the connection with our Gurukul and stay engaged with the mission wherever they go. Saturday’s program ended with a sumptuous lunch organized by the parents and volunteers creating an atmosphere of joy and fulfillment. Keeping the tradition of being Green, the entire lunch had a theme of environmental consciousness and no paper products were used in the process. Everyone brought their own plates , bowls and water bottles and helped to clean in the end.
Sunday’s event was extra special. The students have been learning Bhagavad Gita for the last two years. Gita is a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna and addresses all the life’s questions. Students picked a question they related to and shared their learning, experiences and take-aways from the Bala Vihar program to the audience that filled up the ashram auditorium. Questions ranged from – What is desire?, What is self?, What is righteousness and so forth – these are deep questions and sharing was even deeper reflecting the depth of our beloved student’s deep thinking on this subject. The audience was mesmerized by this and students made their parents and teachers extra proud.
During this 2 day event, we saw Pujya Gurudev’s vision of Bala Vihar come alive in front of our eyes.
Congratulations to the class of 2023! We wish them all the best and invoke blessing from the entire Guru Parampara and Lord Krishna as they embark upon their life journey post high-school .