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Bala Vihar

“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-KBala Vihar AlphabetsThe 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. 
KGAlphabet SafariThe 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
1Bala RamayanaRamayana 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.
2Superman HanumanGlories 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.
3Krishna 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
4Bala BhagawatamOne 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.
5Symbolism in HinduismThe 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.
6India the Sacred LandWhat 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.
7PO 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.
8Yato Dharmah Tato JayahThe 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.
9Hindu CultureThe 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.
10Self UnfoldmentAn 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, 12Gita For MeThe 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-9th gr.
Session 3 Shishu Vihar, Prek-6th gr.

At Chinmaya Gurukul Cumming location, Bala Vihar is offered in 3 sessions, every Sunday.

  • Session 1: 9:00am to 10:30am (Classes offered Prek-12th gr)
  • Session 2: 11:30am to 1:00pm (Classes offered Shishu Vihar, Prek-9th gr)
  • Session 3: 2:00pm to 3:30pm (Classes offered Shishu Vihar, Prek-6th gr)

A typical Bala Vihar class has the following:

  • Opening prayers & curriculum shlokas 
  • Main curriculum 
  • Story Time 
  • Games/Demos/Discussions/Debates
  • Arts & Craft activities
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Closing prayers

Our curriculum learning (SV – 12th gr) is richly supplemented with hands on learning activities, interactive sessions and age appropriate use of audio visual medium.

As an enrichment program for the Bala Vihar kids, the following languages classes are offered at Gurukul location.
It is an optional class for kids at Gurukul Location and has additional fees.
NOTE:
These are for students enrolled in sessions 1 & 2 only and only for 1st-8th gr. kids.
High school kids are not allowed to enroll in these as they attend the JCHYK program at the same time.

The classes are held 10:40-11:25am. The curriculum and material used for the classes are organized by CMA sevaks independent of the Bala Vihar coordinators. Parent are encouraged to engage with the class as helpers to make it an enriching experience.

  • Hindi
  • Marathi
  • Sanskrit
  • Tamil
  • Telugu

Every year our Bala Vihar students have the opportunity to learn a chapter of Bhagavad Gita and participate in Gita Chanting competition in March/April time. The number of verses to be memorized varies by student’s age. Chanting of Bhagavd Gita verses and participating in the competition helps with many aspects in children, including improvement of memory, clarity of speech and confidence level.

Chanting classes are held from Dec.-Mar. to teach the students how to pronounce the Sanskrit shlokas correctly. It is most heartwarming to see our young kids chant the verses in a matter of few weeks! Check out our calendar for dates of the upcoming Gita Chanting competition and other details.

Around 26th January every year, various competitions like art, writing and speech are conducted at Bala Vihar. This gives a creative outlet and expression to subtle ideas in the young minds. Our kids are very excited to participate in these competitions and show off their talents.

The topics for these competitions are usually thought provoking, and many times very abstract ideas, which need concrete representation. What the kids are able to show is truly amazing! For this year’s competition details check our Calendar of events.

At the end of the Bala Vihar year, the kids perform on the stage and show what they have learned throughout the year with various performances. The participation in the program is at a 100%, with the teachers and the kids working very hard for it. The teachers usually need parent help in making the program a success.

The Krishna Mela day is an annual family day at Gurukul, with lots of festivities, games, food and fun! Please be sure to participate with your entire family and encourage the kids.

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At Powers Ferry Elementary Marietta location, Bala Vihar classes are offered every Sunday.

Session timings: 4:30pm to 6:00pm (Classes offered Prek-12th gr)

It was amazing to watch kids performing today. I never knew they have learnt this much in one year. It needs too much of patience and hard work. So hats off to both of you.
It was a great year for kids. They not only learnt about Hinduism and Hindu Gods and prayers- they also learnt about how to behave good and respect others .
I still remember in starting of this session I prepared lunch for my son which he did not want have for lunch and he wanted to say no. But then said – “It’s ok mom, I would eat. Yesterday only in Bala Vihar they taught us we should always respect what parents do for us.”

Amazing year of learning

~ Kashyap S (Grade 7 Parent)

I like Bala Vihar because

~ Ananya A (Grade 5)

We love Bala Vihar!

~ Grade 4 Kids (Session 2)

We learned about India’s spices, and the various saints and what they did to make the world a better place.

We learned about India’s contribution to the world and how they invented so many things we use today.

Throughout this year, we have learned about our Indian culture, music, games etc., one of them being Mokshapatra, the original game which Snakes and Ladders is based off of and contributions made by India like the number 0.

We had a field trip this year to a temple which was fun!

It was fun learning about India

~ Grade 6 Kids (Session 2)

What made the curriculum so relevant to me

~ Saina P (Grade 6, Curriculum – India the Sacred Land)

The best thing about Bala Vihar is about having a lot of fun with my friends! 

I made a lot of new friends and learned about God. 

The best part about Bala Vihar is my teachers, they were so kind to me.

Best part about Bala Vihar

~ Grade 2 Kids (Session 2)

A fun and relevant class for the little ones

~ Shalmali D (Pre-K Parent)

Why we like Bala Vihar

~ Grade 5 Kids (Session 1)

We liked…

~ Grade 5 Kids (Session 2)

Thanks to both the teachers for their tireless efforts. It was indeed a great experience for the kids and also family.. I even see Adhip applying his learnings on life situations where ever applicable..

Applying Bala Vihar teachings

~ Deepa V (Grade 5 Parent)

We thank you for a great experience and teaching for the kids and I am very happy that kids learnt so many things about Indian culture, especially symbolism to give them the reasoning for curious minds 😊.

Thank you dear teachers!

~ Bhuvanesh T (Grade 5 Parent)

Actually I learnt a lot in the symbolism section and the dance was fantastic. Thanks for your patience, persistence and creativity with our kids, incredible show 🙏🏼

Incredible Krishna Mela Show

~ Rajesh N (Grade 5 Parent)