Our children ask us many questions about our scriptures, the different forms of God and Goddess, the lives of saints and sages and even about death. Many times we don't know how to answer them in a way that is true and also speaks to their hearts. As adults, we have been distanced from our very own scriptures and have failed to unlock and uncover their gems.
Bala Vihar by Chinmaya Mission is a place where children and teens can learn about spirituality through the systematic study of Hindu Scriptures from ages 2 (Shishu Vihar) until high school. Learning doesn't only happen through a discourse or lecture but through stories, activities, interactive discussions and even cultural programs and family retreats.Some of our Bala Vihars also offer Bhagavad Gita Chanting Classes and Language Classes. The best thing about Bala Vihar is that it's not only for the children or teens but it's for the whole family! While the children and youth are engaged in their classes, the adults also have satsanga with a trained Vedanta Teacher. They explore various texts of Advaita Vedanta that help them live fuller and more purposeful lives. Therefore not only do the children and teens grow, but the entire family grows. When the entire family grows, the nation grows. This was the Vision of Swami Chinmayananda - the key inspiration behind the Chinmaya Mission Movement.
Chinmaya Mission runs Bala Vihar all over the world and trains their teachers to conduct classes in-person or on virtual platforms. In North America alone, around 18,000 children and youth have registered in this program.
Students 9th grade & up become part of the Junior CHYK (Chinmaya Yuva Kendra), the Chinmaya Youth program. The JCHYKs, under the guidance of the adult coordinators carry out activities like seva projects, workshops, fundraisers and many other initiatives that augment and strengthen their Bala Vihar learning.
CMA has decided all classes will be online due to COVID-19 during Fall 2021 session.
Plan for Bala Vihar Sessions in Fall 2021:
The Online classes for Ashram Bala Vihar will be conducted in 2 sessions. The timings are as follows:
10am-11am: Session 1 (all BV grades & Adult classes)
---10 minutes transition
11:10am-11:50am: JCHYK, Language, Other enrichment
---10 minutes transition
12pm-1pm: Session 2 (all BV grades & Adult classes)
* 12th gr classes are currently offered only in Session 1.
* Marietta classes will be held Online from 4-5:30pm.
Chinmaya Bala Vihar program highlights:
|Class||Teacher Name||Room Number|
|Sujatha Thota||Shishu - Balagopal|
|Prek - all_Marietta|
|Smita Shinde Patil||PreK - Ganesha|
|Ramyamayi Ratakonda||KG - Lakshmi|
|KG - Saraswati|
|Iti Sodhani||1st grd - Lakshmana|
|Hemalata Chakrapani||1st grd - Sita|
|Aparna Raghupati||2nd grd - Anjaneya|
|Pooja Jaiswal||2nd grd - Hanuman|
|Neelima Sunder Sen||2nd grd - Maruti|
|Haritha Jayanthi||3rd grd - Devaki|
|Chandana Kolluru||3rd grd - Yashoda|
|Lakshmi Vedala||4th grd - Parashurama|
|Saraswati Yagnavajhala||4th grd - Prahlad|
|Madhav Panatula||4th grd - Vamana|
|Kavita Choudhury||5th grd - Durga|
|Sandhiya Krishnamoorthy||5th grd - Shiva|
|Nikhila Vijayan||5th grd - Vishnu|
|Usha Kamath||6th grd - Kabir|
|Anusha Mohan||6th grd - Mirabai|
|Vandna Pandya||7th grd - Dhiraja|
|Sankar Valluri||7th grd - Satya|
|Anandi Suri||7th grd - Sauraja|
|8th grd - Sushruta|
|Mahalaxmi Kumar||8th grd - Tulsidas|
|Padma Kashyap||8th grd - Valmiki|
|Pranitha Kalvakuntla||9th grd - Chinmaya|
|Praveena Surasani||9th grd - Tejomaya|
|Aparna Pateria||10th grd - Sivananda|
|Suri Anantharama||10th grd - Tapovan|
|Gauri Mhaskar||11th grd - Shankara|
|Bhavana Subramanian||11th grd - Vidyaranya|
|Shekhar Kanetkar||12th grd - Omkara|
|Guru Kashyap||12th grd - Pranava|
An innovative way to jump start a value based education program has been created for our children. It is a structured, age appropriate program which runs from PreK- 12th grade.
The multi-dimensional approach (Prayers, Chants, Stories, Philosophy) of looking at scriptures as they apply to our daily lives makes spirituality more relevant for children. We want our children to lead a truly happy, peaceful, and successful life. There is no better way but to introduce them to the science of living through this program.
Book Names by Grades :
Bhajans and Rhymes - Shishu Vihar
The Alphabet Safari - Grade PreK
The Alphabet Safari - Grade KG
Bala Ramayana - Grade 1
Sri Hanuman - The Super Superman - Grade 2
Krishna Stories - Grade 3
Bala Bhagavatam Vishnu Avatars - Grade 4
Symbolism In Hinduism - Grade 5
India, The Sacred Land - Grade 6
Key to Success & P.O. Box Mr. God - Grade 7
Yato Dharmah Tato Jayah(Mahabharata) - Grade 8
Hindu Culture- Grade 9
Self Unfoldment - Grade 10
Gita for me - Grade 11 & 12
CMA Bala Vihar conducts various competitions for all kids every year.
This year the Republic Day Art, Writing and Speech Competitions were held on Jan 24th & Jan 30th.
Results of the competitions are posted here.
Our Annual Gita Chanting competition took place March 28th 2021 on Chapter 2, "sāṅkhya yoga".
Results of the competitions are posted here.
Here is some information about the competition:
The verses to be memorized:
PreK-KG: Verses 1-10
1st-2nd grade: Verses 1-15
3rd-4th grade: Verses 1-20
5th-6th grade: Verses 1-25
7th+ grades: Verses 1-30
Adults: Verses 1-30
Note: CM worldwide is also offering a competition on Chapter 2 this year (which is why we chose Chapter 2 for our competition). The range of verses for the national competition will be a little different (more verses in general) than the ranges we have chosen for our local competition. For 7th and higher grade, the range for the national competition is verses 1-38, so we will teach up to verse 38 for that group. If there is sufficient interest, we will also offer a competition at our center for verses 1-38.
We will also have a challenge event for adults (most likely Sunday Apr 11th 2021 afternoon). As we did last year, there will be 2 components to this event: The first part is recitation from memory (verses 1-30), and the 2nd part will also be a quiz related to the meaning of those 30 verses. Adults can choose to participate in one or both those components.
How to register for the Chanting Competition:
Please send an email with the following details.
Printouts: The printout of the Gita Shlokas is available here: PDF file
Recordings: A recording of verses 1-20 in teaching style by Swami Shantanandaji, along with a pronunciation guide PDF is available here.
Chinmaya Mission Alpharetta offers Bala Vihar and adult classes at Marietta location also.
Currently Enrichment & language classes are not offered at this location.
Location : Online for Fall 2021
Powers Ferry Elementary school, 403 Powers ferry road, Marietta, GA - 30067 (when we can have in-person classes)
Timings Sundays 4-5:30 pm; Classes will begin after Labor day
Fees for Aug 2021-May 2022 is: ( additional registration fee of $50 after July 25th)
Fees for Jan 2022-May 2022 is:
If you are interested in registering your family, please do so here: Marietta Registration