Bala Vihar is a weekly gathering for school-aged children conducted by Chinmaya Mission Centers all over the world. The goal of Bala Vihar is to “wake up the sleeping giant” in our children.
We aim to inspire each one to reach their maximum potential by imparting a value-based education that is bursting with fun-filled activities. Each class follows a central, age-specific curriculum developed by senior Archaryas of the Chinmaya Mission.
The children are taught by a team of trained and dedicated volunteer teachers, many of whom have experienced Chinmaya Bala Vihar in their childhood, and are now actively attending courses in Vedanta offered by the Mission.
“To help children learn values with fun,
to delight like the moon and shine like the sun”
Value of Bala Vihar
Bala Vihar enhances the overall development of the personality of a child at all levels — physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
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:
“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 favourable 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” – Swami Chinmayananda
Shishu Vihar is for infants, toddlers, accompanied by their parents. Expectant mothers are welcome too!
Shishu Vihar helps to develop the spiritual aspect of the young child’s personality by focusing on culture and values. An early introduction to spiritual life has a formative impact their character in years to come. Classes follow a modern structure of playgroups where babies and toddlers learn through simple stories from the Scriptures. They sing Bhajans and nursery rhymes, play games to develop motor skills and participate in arts and crafts that foster mental personalities in an atmosphere of love and knowledge.Syllabus
Bala Chinmaya Mission Gīta Chanting Program
The Gīta Chanting program began as a Bala Vihar activity, but has now expanded to include the participation of all age groups.
The Gīta 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 a doorway to life-long friendship with the Gita byway of the progressive strategy to 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 for 2020-21:
Sankhya Yoga : Chapter 2 of the Gita
Mid year Gita Chanting Evaluation
On December 12, 2020 we will have an evaluation. This serves as a preview for the final competition. The evaluations will be conducted during class time. The verses to Recordings of each verse are available here.
Verses for midyear evaluation – audio with text
Gita Chanting Competition
This will be conducted during class time on May 16, 2021.
The Rules and Judges’ Scoring Rubric may been downloaded here
Why Chant Gita? Swami Pujya Guruji Tejomananda gives a beautiful answer in the video below.
Meet our Teachers!Bala Vihar Coordinator
Ruchira is an educator and an Ayurveda Practitioner by profession. She grew up in New Delhi and became a part of the Chinmaya Mission family in 2006. Subsequently she started teaching in the Brea Chinmaya Mission (Los Angeles) in 2008. Ruchira is blessed with two daughters who started attending Bala Vihar at the age of 6 and 4. Fast forward to today, Ruchira moved to Seattle in 2019 after living in Los Angeles for 23 years. The Chinmaya family in Seattle was her anchor in this new city. Currently, she is the Bala Vihar Coordinator for the Chinmaya Mission Seattle.Shishu Vihar
Kripa has been a part of Chinmaya Mission Seattle since 2018. She grew up in Kolkata and did her college education in Chennai . An optician by profession, she is actively homeschooling her 2 kids. She has been teaching Shishuvihar since 2019. Kripa loves teaching little kids. She also enjoys dancing Bharatanatyam, practising yoga and hiking.Bharadwaj Class (Pre-K & KG)
Nithya has been associated with Chinmaya mission since 2016. She has 2 daughters of her own who attend Balavihar. Currently she is teaching Bharadwaj class for kindergarteners and pre-kidergarten. She has completed her Waldorf teacher training in Early Childhood and loves to be amongst young children. She is grateful for having found the Chinmaya family and enjoys celebrating festivals as a community. Other than working with children she enjoys being in nature, practicing yoga and playing volleyball.
Remyaa is a dynamic IT professional hailing from Coimbatore,India. She was a student of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Coimbatore for 12 years. She feels blessed for growing up with Chinmaya Mission and believes that it had a very positive impact on her life. The summer camps, Bhagavad Gita chantings, Bhajan Sandhyas, Mathru Pooja, Bala Vihar classes are few things that she would cherish forever. Having lived in Mexico and now in Seattle,she joined this amazing team of Sevaks of Bharadwaj Class to facilitate growth and learning for the children.She enjoys travelling, cooking, singing and playing Badminton.