What is BalaVihar?

The goal of Bala Vihar is to “wake up the sleeping giant” in our children and inspire them to reach their maximum potential by imparting a value-based education through a specially designed age appropriate curriculum that have been created by our Chinmaya Acharya’s.

To understand the value of the Bala Vihar classes for children, we paraphrase the words of our Guruji Swami Tejomayananda:

  • To teach children about our ancient culture and heritage, so they understand their roots
  • To create self-confidence and leadership skills to serve and act cheerfully
  • To provide a loving atmosphere where children grow with noble ideals, healthy emotions and the ability to put these ideals into action

Here is a wonderful video about Bala Vihar by Swami Sarveshananda:

The children are taught by a team of trained and dedicated volunteer teachers, many of whom have been through Chinmaya Bala Vihar in their childhood.

Children are not vessels to be filled, but lamps to be litSwami Chinmayananda

Chinmaya Class Grades Syllabus*
Bharadwaj Pre-k and Kindergarten Alphabet Safari – a safari of values

Bhajans and Stotra’s

Arts and Crafts

Bhagavad Gita Chanting

Dhruva Grades 1 and 2 Bala Ramayana

Guru Stotram

Sri Hanuman, the Super Superman

Introduction to Hanuman Chalisa

Bhagavad Gita Chanting

Sandeepany Grades 3 and 4 Bala Bhagavatam

Dasavatara Stotram

Krishna Krishna Everywhere

My 24 Gurus

Symbolism in Hinduism

Ganesha Pancharatnam

Bhagavad Gita Chanting

Vyasa Grades 5, 6, and 7 Yato Dharma Tato Jaya

India, My Sacred Land

Vande mataram

P O Box Mr. God

Key to Success

Sri Rama Stuti

Bhagavad Gita Chanting

Chinmayam Grades 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 Hindu Culture

Guru Padukastotram

Vision of Bhagavad-Gita

Self Unfoldment

Bhagavad Gita Chanting

*Note: the teachers will select the specific topic/text book for each year.

Our Teachers

Ramya Rajkumar

Ramya grew up in Chennai, India as a Balavihar kid and then a CHYK. She has been teaching Bharadwaj class (Kindergarten kids) since 2015 when she moved to Seattle with her husband.
She is passionate about teaching kids and enjoys telling stories to them. The kids never stop surprising ​her with their questions and feedback.
Their energy and creativity has been more than enough motivation for her to go to class every week and engage them.

Prathibha Nair

Prathibha has been a part of Chinmaya Mission Seattle since 2009 and teaches the Dhruva class. Growing up, she was a Bala Vihar student while her mother was a Bala Vihar teacher. She loves spending time with kids. Outside of Balavihar she has two young kids of her own and is learning to manage her controlled chaos!

Ajita Gopikrishnan

Ajita, along with her husband Gopi and her two sons, has been part of the Chinmaya Mission Seattle family since 2009. She has the privilege of teaching stories from the Ramayana to the first and second graders of the Dhruva class. Each lesson, she is amazed by the questions and insights the children bring to the discussion, and suspects that they might be the ones who are teaching her!

Ajita was brought up in Perth, Australia and moved to the US in 1995.  She feels blessed to walk alongside so many dedicated and knowledgeable Sevaks on her spiritual journey.

Anupama Subramanian

Anupama (goes by Anu aunty) teaches our Sandeepany class (Grades 3 and 4).  She has been with Chinmaya Mission for several years and was a Balavihar student herself when growing up in Mumbai & Chennai.  She enjoys teaching our texts in a relaxed and fun environment and especially loves singing and teaching bhajans as well.

Varsha Joshi

Varsha is associated with Chinmaya mission from early 2000. She was fortunate to serve as Balvihaar teacher at Dallas Center.
Blessed to be part of Chinmaya family and trained under Swami Sarveshananda ji. She is teaching Sandeeepany Class and enjoys sharing the spiritual and vedantic wisdom with children through stories and games.
Believes there is always an opportunity to learn from each and every person.

Divya Shiva

Divya joined Chinmaya Mission in 2012 as a Balavihar parent and was inspired by Swami Sarveshananda-ji to become a sevak and a teacher. She is blessed to be teaching Vyasa class of middle schoolers. She likes to engage her class in active discussions that spark curiosity in their young minds. She believes in Gurudev’s saying, “Children are not pots to be filled, but lamps to be lit”.

Keerthana Kanagaraj

Keerthana has been part of Chinmaya Mission Seattle since 2015. She is the assistant teacher in Vyasa class, and the secretary for the mission. She grew up in Melbourne, Australia where there is an active Chinmaya Mission. Growing up, she saw the positive impact of Balavihar on her friends and wanted to give that same experience to her two children. She feels blessed to be part of the Chinmaya family.

Gopi Krishnan

Gopi grew up in Kerala, India where he was fortunate to be able to attend Gurudev’s annual Geeta Yajnas along with his family. The spiritual learnings received during those interactions had a lasting impact on him. After completing his engineering studies, he took a job in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he observed first-hand the positive impact of a vibrant Chinmaya Mission chapter on the local community. In Seattle Gopi, his wife Ajita and his two boys have been attending Balavihar since 2009. Gopi started teaching the Chinmayam class for high school students in 2015.  He has also been serving as the treasurer for the last two years. Gopi continues his spiritual learning with the rich opportunities provided by Chinmaya Mission Seattle.

Gita Chanting

Chinmaya Mission Gita Chanting Competition

This is a unique program that began as a Balavihar activity, but expanded to include the participation of all age groups. The Gita was Swami Chinmayananda’s life breath. He wanted the Lord’s Song to echo among people of all ages and across all continents. He envisioned the chanting competitions as an introduction to a life-long friendship with the Gita  through a progressive strategy chant-study-know-live the Gita. Children, parents, and grandparents have thus been encouraging each other to participate in this healthy competition, of which the underlying goal is spiritual evolution.

Syllabus: Chapter 2 of the Gita– Sankhya Yoga
Last year we had covered verses 1-24.
This year we will learn to chant verses 25-48

Mid year Gita Chanting Evaluation
On December 9, 2018 we will have an evaluation. This serves as a preview for the final competition. The evaluations will be conducted during class time. Verses 25-33 will be tested. Recordings of each verse are available  here.
Verses for midyear evaluation – audio with text

Gita Chanting Competition
This will be conducted on  June 2, during class time

Requirements for Gita Chanting Evaluation.
The Rules and Judges’ Scoring Rubric may been downloaded here

Why Chant Gita? A beautiful explanation by Swami Pujya Guruji Tejomananda

Why chant #Gita? – as explained by Pujya Guruji #SwamiTejomaya…

For any successful endeavor first we need to prepare ourself. In order to plant any crop we need to follow some procedure like ploughing, sowing, watering etc only after all these steps are done, can we plant the crop. Similarly chanting purifies one's soul and makes you ready for the next big step.#BhagavadGita #LivingGita #Kurukshetra

Posted by Swami Tejomayananda on Sunday, November 26, 2017