Bala Vihar

Bala Vihar Program

Children are the major focus at Chinmaya Mission Boston. The goal of the Bala Vihar program is to “wake up the sleeping giant” within and inspire them to reach their maximum potential. This is achieved by imparting a value-based education through a specially designed, age appropriate curriculum that has been carefully developed by expert Chinmaya Acharyas.

Through inspiring stories, projects, role-playing, and songs, a child’s mind is awakened to the higher. “Why We Do What We Do” is a recurring theme throughout the curriculum.  The children are taught by a team of specially trained and dedicated volunteer teachers.

Teenagers in high school transition to an introduction to Hindu Culture where the foundation is laid for studying the Bhagavad Gita and other texts. The classes provide a forum to discuss, debate and understand the wisdom in the Gita and designed to stimulate independent thinking and increase the awareness of the inherent potential within each individual.

High school students are encouraged to volunteer in community and social service activities with the goal of preparing today’s youth to be responsible and successful adults of tomorrow.

Check out this episode of our Open Dialogue Series to get additional background about our Bala Vihar program.

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

~Swami Chinmayananda

Curriculum

The curriculum designed for each grade level (from pre-school to Grade 12) covers a wide range of spiritual topics based on Hindu Sanatana dharma, as shown below.

Grade LevelTopicDescription
Shishu Vihar/
Pre-school
Introduction to forms of God, Daily Prayers, BhajansEarly introduction to spiritual education for 3-year olds and their parents! This is a playgroup style class where children learn through song, stories, prayers, arts and crafts, appropriate to their age and development.
Pre-KOne God, Many Forms;
We Can, We Must!
- Children independently learn, in more detail, the various names and forms of God.
- Fun hands-on arts and craft activities are incorporated as they learn about the various deities.
- Additional projects are planned to commemorate Indian festivals throughout the year.
- Shlokams for each deity are introduced.
KindergartenAlphabet Safari - a safari of values;
Chinmaya Mission Pledge
- Learn simple values to live by, through the English alphabet. Stories and hands-on activities will reinforce the importance of these values.
- Learn to chant the Pledge and understand its key messages.
Grade 1Bala Ramayana- Learn the story of Lord Rama and be inspired to be like Him. Activities and games will enhance children's understanding.
Grade 2Sri Hanuman, the Super Superman- Learn to have faith that Lord Hanuman will protect us and dispel all our fears.
- Learn to chant the Hanuman Chalisa.
Grade 3Bala Bhagavatam- Develop devotion for God by hearing important stories from the Bhagavatam.
- Learn to chant the Dashavatara Stotram.
Grade 4Krishna Krishna Everywhere;
My 24 Gurus
- Learn to be happy and virtuous by listening to stories of Lord Krishna. Work on various projects to increase this understanding. Learn to chant the Madhurashtakam.
- Understand the importance of Gurus in our lives, based on the teachings of Saint Dattatreya as narrated in the Bhagavatam.
Grade 5Symbolism in Hinduism- Understand the ideals represented by the various Hindu idols, as well as the symbolism being various deities.
- Understand the significance of various traditional rituals and festivals.
- Learn to chant the Ganesha Pancharatnam stotram as well as other stotrams.
Grade 6India, the Sacred Land- Develop a reverence for Mother India and its glorious heritage.
- Learn from our ancient scriptures, sages & saints all the way down to noble personalities of today.
- Learn about the rich and diverse cultural aspects of India.
Grade 7P.O. Box God;
Keys to Success
Based on teachings from Saint Tulasidas ji's Ram Charit Manas:
- learn the significance of omnipresence of God,
- understand that knowledge of our Self is the key to our success,
- learn to chant and understand the meaning of select chaupais,
- understand the importance of quietening our mind and sharpening our intellect.
Grade 8Yato Dharmah Tato JayahBased on the Mahabharata:
- learn the Law of Karma, give up sins of the body, mind and intellect, and learn how to live a Dharmic life.
- understand and learn to chant Chapter 12 (Yoga of Devotion) of the Bhagavad Gita.
Grade 9Hindu Culture- Get a deeper insight into Hindu culture and how to live a happy life
- Understand how we are the authors of our own lives.
- Understand the importance of turning our focus on spiritual knowledge as the only path towards permanent happiness.
Grades 10 & 11Gita for Me;
DROP
Salient points of all chapters of the Bhagavad Gita are brought out in a systematic manner, to enable us to learn and apply them in our lives.
Grade 12Self-UnfoldmentAs a step towards attaining Self-knowledge and before they graduate from high school, students learn the basic concepts of Vedanta, so that they become ready to study Prakarana Granthas, Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita