The Chinmaya Bala Vihar curriculum includes various devotional, philosophical, and ethical texts and topics, focusing on developing love for God. In the elementary years emphasis is on learning and practicing values. Children are introduced to values in a fun way through Alphabet Safari and the Vedanta Alphabet. Complex questions like: ‘Where is God?’ ‘What does He do?’, ‘If He is everywhere, why can we not see Him?’ are logically answered. Through the medium of storytelling, they learn to love the Lord as Hanuman, Rama and Krishna and strive to emulate their qualities.
Each week a specific value such as caring, sharing, forgiveness is taught and discussed. In the following class the children share with their friends whether and to what extent they practiced that value. Shravanam and mananam start in childhood itself. Later, in the teenage years, focus is on understanding spirituality and fundamental Vedantic principles. This is a unique and remarkable feature of the Curriculum. The intensive syllabus covers stories, topics and texts from Hinduism – the Vedas, Puranas, and Itihasa. The syllabus is child-friendly and taught in age-appropriate levels.
Centres are encouraged to follow guidelines from a standard curriculum, but adapt it according to their individual requirements. A typical curriculum includes:
• ABC of Vedanta
• Shrimad Bhagavatam
• Symbolism in Hinduism
• Hanuman Chalisa
• India and Festivals of India
• Values from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita and Ramacharitamanasa
• Characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata
• Hindu Culture
• Introduction to Shrimad Bhagavad Gita
Additional topics are developed and taught at Chinmaya Bala Vihar camps."A personal thing I developed from Bala Vihar is faith in God, not just blind faith but knowing that there is someone there guiding us. It is an immense source of strength in the face of difficulties or trouble. It provides clarity. The values that I learnt in Bala Vihar are my core values and beliefs today."
– 17 year-old Priyanka Nair, ex-BV New Zealand