To transfer values to the next generation we need to imbibe them ourselves. The best preaching is in your own perfect action.
- Swami Chinmayananda
The Curriculum for Chinmaya Bala Vihar® has been refined over the last 50 years. It is structured and based on our scriptures, with a focus on how scriptures apply to our daily lives.
Continue reading to learn more about what we do in each grade. Also, take a look at our Bala Vihar Brochure
This precious age is one where children are innocent and full of life.While they start out anxious of the new surroundings, they quickly latch on to our caring teachers who instill in them the love of God. Even at this tender age, the teachers help to inculcate reverence for our culture through coloring, simple prayers, and fun songs and dances.Through creative means, the children readily identify our Gods and the qualities they represent. At the end of the year, both teachers and students have tears borne out of the bond that was created between them.
We all know that ‘A is for Apple’ and ‘B is for Boy,’ but in Balavihar, the children learn that “A is for Aspiration, B is for Brotherhood, C is for Cleanliness,” and so on. Simple, but fundamental values are taught and emphasized through stories and coloring. Children are introduced to the wonder of Vedanta in an age-appropriate manner through hands-on activities and demonstrations. They learn that just because something is not seen does not mean that it is not there. Therefore, our minds need to be focused to see the beauty within all of us.
Through the Ramayana, the world’s oldest epic, Lord Rama teaches us the values of the perfect person. The children track the path of Lord Rama from childhood to marriage to exile to the war with Ravana, culminating in his crowning as King. Embedded in the story is so much symbolism. How are the 3 pairs of brothers in the Ramayana different? What attracts Vibhishana, to Lord Rama? Why is HanumanJi the greatest devotee, and how can we be like him? The children will amaze you with their deep appreciation of the glories of Lord Rama.
GRADE 2 AND 3
Thousands of years ago, King Parikshit heard Srimad Bhagavatam from Shukadev. The Bhagavata MahaPurana is considered to be among the purest of our scriptures since it invokes devotion to Lord Vishnu, through His incarnations. Bala Bhagavatam guides young minds through the stories of Lord Vishnu. They learn to own up to their actions and to ask for what they need and not what they always want. Even at this young age, the content from this class teaches the children what is meant by Dharma and how we can all live responsibly and meet our potential.
GRADE 4 AND 5
What is a symbol and why have them? Why does Lord Ganesh have big ears ? Why does Lord Shiva have Mother Ganga flowing from His hair?Our scriptures are filled with hidden gems of knowledge, and these treasures are unlocked as children explore the deeper meaning behind all that they see in Hinduism. All these symbols are of the one Lord who pervades all and teaches us to live a life of harmony, fulfillment, and happiness. The children will be able to actually teach their parents about the meaning of our religion.
GRADE 6 AND 7
Maryada Purushotam Ram, the hero of Ramayana, is referred to as the ideal man in our scriptures. The story may appear seemingly simple, but it is a storehouse of numerous values, replete with symbolism. Children in this class, will not only go through the awesome story of Ramayana, but will also learn timeless values and virtues which can be incorporated in their lives in this day & age. They will also hear about side-texts like Vibhishina-Gita, Rama-Gita and the beautiful Sundarakand.
Mahabharata is an epic narrative of the Kurukshetra war and the fates of 2 sets of cousins, who enter into the battlefield. This is a Dharma-Yudha or the war for Dharma. It is full of various characters from warriors, to devotees, from ruthless kings and princes, to brave women. It offers so many valuable life lessons, as Lord Krishna, a key character in the epic, goes about guiding everyone on the path of Dharma. The Gita class being the next year, the children will get a good understanding of the entire story and its characters and the deeper symbolism.
GRADE 9 AND ABOVE
Prince Arjuna was the greatest of warriors, but when it came time to do his duty, he wavered. His strength, though, was his willingness to adapt. So, Lord Krishna teaches him through the Gita. We are Prince Arjuna, and in allowing the Gita to flow through us, we can transform ourselves. In this class, the young adults begin a lifelong quest in understanding who they are, who God is, and the relationship between the two. This knowledge will be the foundation for their professional and spiritual goals. Is there a better gift to give to the future of humanity? In addition, they will also study important topics from other spiritual texts.
Mark Twain once said, "India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition." Few countries can boast of the diversity in array of languages, and through our many sevaks/volunteers, we offer instruction in several of them. Our language options for this year include: Sanskrit, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi.
We offer SAT preparation, aimed primarily towards students in Grades 6-9. Through this instruction, we begin to introduce concepts covered in the SAT to students beginning at an early age so that they can become familiar with the test and concepts covered.