What is Bala Vihar?

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

Syllabus

Class

Grades

Textbooks*

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

Sandeepany Grades 3 and 4 Bala Bhagavatam

Dasavatara Stotram

Krishna Krishna Everywhere

My 24 Gurus

Symbolism in Hinduism

Ganesha Pancharatnam

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

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

Guru Padukastotram

Vision of Bhagavad-Gita

Self Unfoldment

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

Our Teachers

Sujatha Aswath

Maybe it is the fact that she is an architect but Sujatha’s impeccable attention to detail is evident in every job she takes on. She has been Chinmaya Mission Seattle’s coordinator since 2017, and previously played principal role at the Milwaukee Center. She has proved to be nothing but an apt instrument to soldier on Gurudev’s work. She has attended workshops, yagnas, national and international Chinmaya Mission camps and year long online study group discussions over the years. Not only has she been consistent in tasting these bits of Vedanta but has been relishing it’s essence and rejoicing in sharing it further. Leading by example, she inspires her team to uphold the Chinmaya Mission’s standard.

Exuding a fierce kindness, its hard for anyone who knows her to not have a little place in their heart just for her.

Prachi Hetamsaria

Prachi teaches our Dhruva class (Grades 1 and 2). She joined the Chinmaya Mission Seattle family in 2017 after being inspired by Archarya Vivekji from the Niagara Falls Mission. She is passionate about teaching kids and is a passionate story-teller. The kids continually amaze her with their questions, and she feels she is a student in the class alongside them. She is also the Bala Vihar co-ordinator for Chinmaya Mission Seattle


Keerthana Kanagaraj

Keerthana has been part of Chinmaya Mission Seattle since 2015. She is lead 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 since 2016. Gopi continues his spiritual learning with the rich opportunities provided by Chinmaya Mission Seattle.


Kripa Nagarajan

Kripa has been a part of Chinmaya Mission Seattle from 2018. She grew up in Kolkata and did her college education in Chennai . An optician by profession, she hasactively homeschooled her daughter for the last two years. Kripa loves teaching little kids. She also enjoys dancing Bharatnatyam, practising yoga and hiking.


Anupama Subramanian

Anupama (goes by Anu) leads our Swaranjali group. She has been with Chinmaya Mission since 2012 and was a Balavihar student herself for a few years when growing up in Mumbai & Chennai. She is trained in Carnatic music and is blessed to serve and be part of the Chinmaya Seattle family. She enjoys singing and teaching bhajans to our balavihar children.


Ajita Gopikrishnan


Ajita, along with her husband Gopi and her two sons, has been part of the Chinmaya Mission Seattle family since 2009. She is taking a break from teaching, but if necessary will serve as substitute teacher. Ajita will coordinate a family-friendly yoga session after class each Sunday. She feels blessed to walk alongside so many dedicated and knowledgeable Sevaks on her spiritual journey.

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