“Children are not vessels to be filled, but lamps to be lit. The seed of spiritual values should be sown in young hearts, and the conditions made favorable for sprouting and steady growth through proper control and discipline. It must be cared for with the warmth of love and affection, and such a tree shall blossom forth flowers of brotherhood, universal love, peace, bliss, beauty, and perfection”H. H. Swami Chinmayananda
Bala Vihar is a weekly gathering of children, between the ages of four to eighteen years that takes place in Chinmaya Mission Centers, under the supervision of trained teachers. The aim of Bala Vihar is to help children bloom, grow, and inculcate values through fun-filled activities. Bala Vihar enhances the overall development of the personality of a child at all levels — physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
The Chinmaya Bala Vihar curriculum includes various devotional, philosophical, and ethical texts and topics, focusing on developing love for God. In the elementary years emphasis is on learning and practicing values. Children are introduced to values in a fun way through Alphabet Safari and the Bala Vihar Alphabets. Complex questions like: ‘Where is God?’ ‘What does He do?’, ‘If He is everywhere, why can we not see Him?’ are logically answered. Through the medium of storytelling, they learn to love the Lord as Hanuman, Rama, Shiva and Krishna and strive to emulate their qualities.
Shravanam and Mananam start in childhood itself. Later, in the teenage years, focus is on understanding spirituality and fundamental Vedantic principles. This is a unique and remarkable feature of the Curriculum. The intensive syllabus covers stories, topics and texts from Hinduism – the Vedas, Puranas, and Itihasas. The syllabus is child-friendly and taught in age-appropriate levels.
Chinmaya Gurukul Bala Vihar follows this curriculum.
|Pre-K||Bala Vihar Alphabets||The 4-5 year olds are introduced to the English alphabets like in their schools/Montessoris but with a twist. Here we use the alphabets to introduce Hindu concepts of Aarti, Pooja, Japa, Hindu deities like Krishna, Lakshmi, Ram and other universal values like caring, service and uprightness. Example – A for Aarti, B for Bharat, C for Caring.|
|KG||Alphabet Safari||The Alphabets are reinforced with a new set of Universal Values like A for Aspiration, B for Brotherhood, C for Cleanliness…With two years of Alphabets learning which encompass introduction to deities and values, a strong foundation is laid before they move on to learn the epics|
|1||Bala Ramayana||Ramayana is a treasure trove of how to lead an ideal life based on righteousness/Dharma. Along with the engaging story of Bhagwan Ram and His Parivar the kids also learn valuable life lessons of devotion, integrity, obedience, brotherhood, valor, perseverance and much more.|
|2||Superman Hanuman||Glories of Shri Hanuman are taught along with the Hanuman Chalisa. Hanumanji is an embodiment of strength, supreme intellect and courage. The goal is to instill faith that Hanumanji is our protector and take inspiration from His virtuous life.|
|3||Krishna Krishna Everywhere|
My 24 Preceptors
|Krishna Krishna Everywhere – The birth of Shri Krishna along with his many leelas are taught in an engaging manner. Through the various glories of Krishna, children come closer and get connected to Him.|
24 Preceptors – An excerpt from Shrimad Bhagawatam, 24 preceptors talks about the importance of a teacher and how the different elements and creatures in Nature along with society can teach us valuable life lessons
|4||Bala Bhagawatam||One of the most important scriptures in Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism, Bhagavatam is filled with stories of different avatars or incarnations of Bhagwan Vishnu and His devotees through which devotion and surrender to the Lord are highlighted.|
|5||Symbolism in Hinduism||The philosophical symbolism of our venerable deities is introduced through this curriculum. What is the symbolism of Ganesha’s trunk? Why is Lord Vishnu’s dhoti yellow? Why is Lord Krishna dark? The answers satiate the child’s curiosity as they begin to explore the subtle depths of the Vedic philosophy.|
|6||India the Sacred Land||What makes India’s land sacred and what does India stand for?. All the fascinating aspects relating to India’s uniqueness is explored in this curriculum which helps the kids to connect to India.|
|7||PO Box Mr. God|
Keys to Success
|P.O. Box Mr. God – has been developed from Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidasji. In a few beautiful chaupais from Ramcharitmanas, Goswamiji has shown where Bhagwan resides, i.e. His address.|
Keys to Success – Similarly, the dialog between Vibhishana & Bhagwan Ram on the battlefield known as Vibhishana Gita from Ramcharitmanas is the main inspiration for Keys to Success. What is success and what are the vital factors governing this success is the goal of this curriculum.
|8||Yato Dharmah Tato Jayah||The important concepts of Karma (Action) and Dharma (righteousness) are taught through the various fascinating characters of the epic Mahabharata along with the values from the Bhagavad Gita.|
|9||Hindu Culture||The goal of this curriculum is to give a holistic view of Hindu culture and to provide a deeper insight into how to live by it to lead a happy life. Using the samskaras as prescribed by the Vedas, which form the foundation of Hindu Culture, the children understand the depth of the spiritual culture thereby modifying inner behavior.|
|10||Self Unfoldment||An inspiring, simple yet profound text on introduces fundamentals of real Hinduism (Vedanta) in the most practical way. Many life lessons are also taught through this text like ‘Real freedom,’ ‘Happiness’, ‘Balance’, ‘Values’, ’Tapping potential’ and many more. Practices like ‘Introspection’, ‘Japa’, ‘Meditation’ are introduced which can bring about immense transformation in individuals.|
|11, 12||Gita For Me||The important concepts from Bhagavad Gita – ‘the User Manual for Life’ are introduced here. We discuss and reflect on precious gems of Geeta wisdom that can be applied to high school classroom, a sports field, corporate world or anywhere else. The ‘making of a dynamic youth’, prepared to face college and life, begins|
Chinmaya Mission Alpharetta offers Bala Vihar classes at two locations.
Session 1 Prek-12th gr.
Session 2 Shishu Vihar, Prek-8th gr.
Session 3 Prek-5th gr.
At Chinmaya Gurukul Cumming location, Bala Vihar is offered in 3 sessions, every Sunday.
- Session 1: 9:00am to 10:30am
- Session 2: 11:30am to 1:00pm
- Session 3: 3:00pm to 4:30pm
At Powers Ferry Elementary Marietta location, Bala Vihar classes are offered every Sunday.
Session timings: 4:30pm to 6:00pm