Bala Vihar


Children are not pots to be filled, but lamps to be lit.

Pujya Swami Chinmayananda

What is Balavihar?


The rich cultural & spritual heritage of India, including its teachings on moral values, is taught to children and youth at different levels, using the medium of stories, drama, arts, crafts, and discussion.
Balavihar classes have become models for teaching the fundamentals of Vedanta to the next generation.

Kids 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.


"By improving oneself can only one hope to improve others around him."
The aim of Chinmaya Mission's program is to generate dynamic individuals inspired to make the world a better place.

Currently for our Balavihar and adult classes, we congregate at two locations
Location 1 :
Every Sunday 11:00 am - 12:30 pm at South Forsyth Middle School
2865 Old Atlanta Rd.
Cumming, GA 30041
Map/Directions South Forsyth Middle School

Location 2 :
Every Sunday 4:00 - 5:30 pm at Powers Ferry Elementary School
403 Powers Ferry Rd SE,
Marietta, GA 30067
Map/Directions to Powers Ferry Elementary School

Chinmaya Bala vihar program highlights:
  • Learn Hindu culture & spiritual philosophy in a fun manner through stories, discussions, games, arts & more
  • Build the understanding of Vedanta in structured and systematic manner as guided by spiritual masters
  • Provide an enriching environment for children to meet, share a common value system and feel a sense of identity with the Hindu Culture & their spiritual traditions.
  • Enforce building of character, strength & confidence needed for a positive & happy future
  • Give a solid foundation of the Vedantic values needed for success in a multi-racial community
These classes are optional and fees for these classes are charged separately. They are offered at 2 locations - South Forsyth middle school location and at our ashram
Enrichment Classes at the South Forsyth school location (SFMS)
Language Classes for Bala Vihar kids CMA offers languages classes for Hindi, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, and Sanskrit to registered bala vihar kids. Registration for language classes can be done along with the bala vihar registration. Fees covers books etc. Kathak Classes (for kids (9+) & adults): Sundays 9:45 - 10:45 am at the SFMS gym. Teacher - Leera Rawal Leeraji having trained under Kumudiben Lakhia & Birju Maharaj has been practicing and performing for over 30 years. Leeraji is a long time CM devotee and sevak. Contact Leera Rawal at leera.rawal@gmail.com for all details.
Enrichment Classes at Chinmaya Gurukul, 4980 Pittman rd, Cumming, GA
Kids swaranjali (bhajan classes for kids):
  • Saturdays 6-7 pm
  • Fee - No charge
  • Teachers - Rani Acharya and Haritha Badri
Contact Haritha at harithabadri@yahoo.com or Rani at rani.charya1@gmail.com to register Tabla Classes (for kids & adults):
  • Sat 8:30 am - Kids class 1
  • Sat 9:40 am - Adults class
  • Sat 10:45 am - Kids class 2
The course content though based on the syllabus recommended by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Mumbai. Instructor: Shri Shivprasad Kotagal from Param-Shikhar Academy of Tabla (disciple of Pt. K. Paramjyoti). Email Shivji at paramshikhar@gmail.com to register. Veena Classes (for kids & adults): Saturdays 3-5 pm at Chinmaya Gurukul Instructor : Jaya Kottamasu, student of Sri Chavali Sarveswra Sarma has been teaching Veena for the past 10 years. She holds a veena certification from Ghantasala Music College in Vijaywada Contact Jayaji at jayaveena@gmail.com (678 361 0487) for all details North Indian classical (Hindustani) instrumental music classes Group Sitar Classes (Beginner to Advanced) for kids & adults: Saturdays - 11 am -12:30 pm Group Instrumental music classes (guitar, voilin, voila, keyboard, oboe, flute etc): Saturdays 9:30 - 11 am Learn to play Hindustani music form on any instrument of your choice, improvisation & composition techniques and more. Eligibility: Student to be able to play a scale on the instrument Start date for both classes - Sept 29th Instructor: Kakali Bandyapadhyay Kakaliji began study of the sitar at the age of 7, with lessons from Pandit Kalyani Roy, a disciple of Ustad Vilayat Khan. She later studied with Pandit Indranil Bhattacharyya, disciple of Ustad Allauddin Khan. She attended master classes with Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and earned a bachelor’s degree in music with top distinction in India. She is an artist affiliate at Emory University, and has been teaching sitar and Hindustani music in metro Atlanta area for the past 18 years. Contact Kakali Bandyopadhyay at sitarkb@gmail.com (cell: 678 677 3975) for all details Workshop on North Indian classical (Hindustani) & semi classical instrumental music
  • Date - Sat, Sept 22nd, 2018
  • Time - 9:30 - 12:30 pm
  • Fee: $40
  • Venue - Chinmaya Gurukul, 4980 Pittman rd, Cumming
Eligibility: Student to be able to play any instrument (guitar, voilin, flute, cello, oboe, keyboard, etc) at a basic level Workshop includes- Introduction to Hindustani Music, Ragas and Talas. Attendees learn compositions on ragas, basic concept of improvisation and perform together at the end of the workshop. Conducted by Kakali Bandyopadhyay. Contact Kakaliji at sitarkb@gmail.com (cell: 678 677 3975) to register (RSVP by Sept 20th) Signups for all enrichment classes on Aug 19th, 9:45 - 10:45 am at SFMS rotunda

Balavihar Competitions

CMA Balavihar conducts various competitions for all kids:

Gita Chanting Competition:

Every year a specific chapter of Bhagavad Gita is chosen. Each participant is given the shloka sheets along with the learning audio CD. Different number of shlokas based on age of kids are decided upon along with other rules. Help and training sessions several months prior to the competition are given.The competition usually takes place sometime mid to end of March. Results of this year's competitions are posted here.

Writing, Elocution & Art Competitions:

Every year CMA celebrates Republic Day of India by having writing & art competitions for kids 3rd grade & up. Speech competition is also held for kids in 5th gr and up. For details of this year's competitions see here. Results of this year's competitions are posted here.

Likhit Japa Competition:

Likhit Japa competition takes place as part of the Mahashivratri celebrations. Kids are encouraged to write in languages other than English.


Bala Vihar service projects
CMA provides ample opportunity for bala vihar kids to do selfless service. Kids can serve every Sunday at the bala vihar location helping in tasks like parking, setup, cleanup, bookstore, ticket sales, food sales etc. based on their age. There are also opportunities to help at the ashram doing various tasks like cleanup, organizing, gardening etc. In addition to this, there are several service projects that are coordinated by CMA to help the outside community like MedShare, lunchbags for the homeless, Soup kitchens etc. as well as participating in toy & food drives that are conducted every year during Thanksgiving.

Balavihar classes at Marietta

Chinmaya Mission Alpharetta offers Balavihar and adult classes at Marietta. Classes are from Aug-Dec 2018 and Jan-May 2019. Currently Enrichment & language classes are not offered at this location.

Location Powers Ferry Elementary school, 403 Powers ferry road, Marietta, GA - 30067
Timings Sundays 4-5:30 pm
Schedule:
  • 4:00 - 4:30 pm - Assembly (prayers, pledge, Gita chanting, aarti & announcements)
  • 4:30 - 5:30 pm - BV classes for kids; Vedanta class for adults

Fees for Aug 2018-May 2019 is:
  • $150 for family with no kids
  • $300 for family with 1 kid
  • $450 for family with 2 or more kid
Fees for Jan 2019-May 2019 is:
  • $75 for family with no kids
  • $150 for family with 1 kid
  • $225 for family with 2 or more kid
  • There will be a one-time fee of $50 for new families joining to cover material cost

If you are interested in registering your family, please do so here: MariettaRegistration


SFMS Balavihar Teachers classlist
Class Teacher Name Room Number
Mahalaxmi Kumar Prek - all_Marietta
Iti Sodhani PreK - Gajanana 434
PreK - Ganesha
Babitha Krishnasamy KG - Lakshmi 333
Balaji Kankipati KG - Saraswati 337
Avinash Gupta 1st grd - Vasistha 234
Lakshmi Vedala 1st grd - Vishwamitra 237
Kavita Choudhury 2nd grd - Hanuman 439
Sailaja Tennati 2nd grd - Lakshmana 440
Uma Kandaswamy 2nd grd - Sita 442
Sujatha Thota 3rd grd - Balarama 448
Sandhiya Krishnamoorthy 3rd grd - Devaki 451
Haritha Jayanthi 3rd grd - Yashoda 454
Rekha Kabadi 4th grd - Parashurama 455
Kalyani Sankaranarayanan 4th grd - Prahlad 457
Preeti Pradhan 4th grd - Vamana 458
Anandi Suri 5th grd - Abhimanyu 339
Guru Kashyap 5th grd - Arjuna 340
Amee Gupta 5th grd - Sanjaya 342
Praveena Surasani 6th grd - Chanakya 349
Sridevi Raj 6th grd - Laxmibai 372
Pranitha Kalvakuntla 6th grd - Vikramaditya 373
Lalitha Yellamraju 7th grd - Aryabhatta 375
Girish Mhaskar 7th grd - Panini 376
Kavil Subramanian 8th grd - Sushruta 238
Devadatta Gurude 8th grd - Vyasa 240
Suri Anantharama 9th grd - Chinmaya 242
Bindu Damidi 9th grd - Tejomaya 248
Bhavana Subramanian 10th grd - Sivananda 257
Rajasekar Dhandapani 10th grd - Tapovan 258
Anjali Malhotra 11th grd - Shankara 504
Shekhar Kanetkar 12th grd - Omkara 506
Marietta BV teachers Class list
Toddler-KG - Neha Pandya - Rm 308
1st & 2nd grade - Nithya Vaidyanathan & Vandna Pandya - Rm 310
3rd & 4th grade - Mahalakshmi Kumar - Rm 312
5th & 6th grade - Seetha Sarangpani - Rm 314
7+ - Bhavana Subramanian - Rm 314

Upcoming events

Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM); JCHYK session

December 16 @ 9:45 am - 1:00 pm

Regular sessions at SFMS & Marietta
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Gita Jayanti celebration at ashram 7 pm

December 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

18th (Tue) – Gita Jayanti celebration at ashram 7 pm
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New year celebration at ashram

December 31 @ 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

31st – New year celebration at ashram
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Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)

January 6, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)
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Regular sessions at SFMS & Marietta; JCHYK session

January 13, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Regular sessions at SFMS & Marietta; JCHYK session
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All sevaks meet up session 9:45 – 11 am

January 13, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

13th – All sevaks meet up session 9:45 – 11 am
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Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)

January 20, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)
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All teachers mid-session meeting 9:45 – 11 am

January 20, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am

20th – All teachers midsession meeting 9:45 – 11 am
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Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)

January 27, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Regular sessions at SFMS (11:00 am - 12:30 pm) & Marietta (4:00 PM - 5:30 PM)
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India Republic day celebrations

January 27, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

27th – Jan 26th (India Republic day celebrations)
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