For Bala Vihar Teachers
Chinmaya Bala Vihar, the largest of the Chinmaya Mission's grass-root level activities, has a well-established resource network, complete with training material, teaching guides, artistic presentation (dance/drama) and workshop templates, activity guides, experienced coordinators, and administrative advisors.
Bala Vihar's standardised syllabi, disciplined classes, innovative activities, and unique special events continue to inspire students, parents, programme directors, regional coordinators, volunteer teachers, and administrators alike. Thriving on mutual support and feedback, Bala Vihar continues to rapidly multiply around the world. Major Chinmaya Mission centres in the USA have nearly 1,000 participating children.
"To keep my attitude infused with love, before each class, I mentally recite and visualise Swami Tejomayanandaji’s prayer, “Bala Vihar is my temple, Children are my God, Teaching is my worship, Vision of God is my reward.” — John Wiersba, CM Ann Arbor
For Bala Vihar teaching guides or other material, contact your nearest Chinmaya Mission centre.
For Bala Vihar Students
Publications: These include a wide range of pictorial storybooks, colouring and activity books, complementary textbooks and workbooks, chanting and bhajan CDs, interactive CD-ROMs, and an international monthly magazine. These publications are skillfully prepared by Chinmaya Mission's ingenious volunteers who have mastered the art of combining learning with fun, and fun with learning. They provide useful teaching tools for parents, and simplify the concepts of friendship, love, responsibility, and righteous living.
Popular Chinmaya publications for children include the Tarangini Series, the Bala Vihar Series, the Chinmaya Bala Katha Series and Tell me a Story Series.
Festivals: Indian culture is ‘utsav pradhana’ - with an emphasis on celebrating festivals! At Bala Vihar, all festivals are celebrated zestfully; care is taken to explain the importance and significance of each festival, and parental participation encouraged.
Stage productions: Stories linger in memory, and when they come alive in a play, the impressions are more impactful. From humorous skits to elaborate stage productions, Bala Vihars around the world have taken the cue from Swami Chinmayananda’s dramatic flair.
Bhajans, Chanting, Music and Dance: Every Bala Vihar class and camp integrates prayers from the scriptures in varying degrees — melodious chanting of selected shlokas (verses) from the Bhagavad-gita, mantras and stotras. Values are ingrained through simple bhajans and Indian classical dance performances with themes based on the scriptures. Several Bala Vihar choirs have produced musical talent that has gone onto the world stage.
Bala Vihar Website: Today's techno age has also given children a tremendous learning forum with Chinmaya Mission's worldwide Bala Vihar website: www.chinmayakids.org Conceptualised in 2003, it is designed to offer mental, spiritual and emotional avenues of growth to children. Imaginative and interactive, the site provides daily ‘power capsules’ stories from the epics and Puranas, art, essay and poem contests, jokes and much more. A click of the mouse can create more sevaks, create more classes, and reach out to more homes, schools and even workplaces.
Through Bala Vihar students, parents are the lucky recipients of many a car-ride spill of knowledge, home-based chanting marathons, festival puja guidance and offerings, and blessed children who indulge in karma, bhakti, and jnana yoga practices. All over the world, Bala Vihar children have motivated their parents to join Chinmaya Study Groups and live true to the saying, "The family that prays together, stays together."
"I understood the power of the Gayatri Mantra during a recent examination. Suddenly my mind went blank and I had no idea how to answer the questions. So I chanted the Gayatri Mantra three times and began to write!"
— Maliekah Harjani, CM Jakarta