Bala Vihar

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.

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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)

NOTE:
* 12th gr classes are currently offered only in Session 1.
* Marietta classes will be held Online from 4-5:30pm.

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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


SFMS Balavihar Teachers classlist
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


The enrichment classes are optional and fees for these classes are charged separately.
Enrichment Classes at the South Forsyth school location (SFMS)
Language Classes for Bala Vihar kids

CMA offers languages classes for Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam and Sanskrit to registered bala vihar kids. Registration for language classes can be done along with the bala vihar registration. Class fees covers books etc.

CMA Bala Vihar Competitions

CMA Bala Vihar conducts various competitions for all kids every year.

Republic Day Competitions:

This year the Republic Day Art, Writing and Speech Competitions were held on Jan 24th & Jan 30th.
Results of the competitions are posted here.

Gita Chanting Competition:

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.

  • For the kids competition - Child's full name and grade level.
  • For the Adults competition - Adult's full name, and which component(s) they wish to participate.

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.


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.

Bala Vihar classes at Marietta

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

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 2021-May 2022 is: ( additional registration fee of $50 after July 25th)

  • $150 for family with no kids
  • $300 for family with 1 kid
  • $450 for family with 2 or more kid

Fees for Jan 2022-May 2022 is:

  • $75 for family with no kids
  • $150 for family with 1 kid
  • $225 for family with 2 or more kid

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

Upcoming events

Bala Vihar class

December 12 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Bala Vihar class

December 19 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Christmas Holiday Break

December 26, 2021 @ 8:00 am - January 2, 2022 @ 5:00 pm


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Bala Vihar class

January 9, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Bala Vihar class

January 16, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Republic Day Celebration

January 23, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Bala Vihar class

January 23, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Republic Day Celebration

January 30, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Bala Vihar class

January 30, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Bala Vihar class

February 6, 2022 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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Announcements

  • Due to COVID all classes will be online in Fall 2021. We will monitor the situation to determine when we can open in-person.
  • Open House and book pickup on Aug 8th 10-11:30am at South Forsyth Middle School.
  • Registration for Fall 2021 is Open now Classes will be held in 2 sessions: 10-11am and 12-1pm on Sundays.

Online classes for Adults :

Enrich yourself, take advantage of the sessions conducted by Sivaji and Sushmaji throughout the week. Read more

Enrich yourself, take advantage of the sessions conducted by Sevaks  throughout the week. Read more

CM News

Tapovan Prasad magazine online version: October September August July June
Collection of letters from Pujya Gurudev to householders, youth and children -By Chinmaya Mission Archives
Spiritual guidance from the Swamins and Brahmacharins of CMW