Balavihar
Birth Centenary
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"Children are not vessels to be filled, but lamps to be LIT. The seed of spiritual values should be sown in young hearts, and the conditions made favourable for sprouting and steady growth through proper control and discipline. It must be cared for with the warmth of love and affection, and such a tree shall blossom forth flowers of brotherhood, universal love, peace, bliss, beauty, and Perfection"
~Swami Chinmayananda

Swami Chinmayananda believed that just as the strength of a wall depends on the quality of each brick, so too, the health of a society depends on its individual citizens. If the individuals are healthy, the society is healthy. His strategy for building a new society was to "catch them young."The Chinmaya Balavihar program offers weekly spiritual Vedanta classes for children in their formative years. The classes are categorized by varying age groups, start and end with Sanskrit prayers, and include chanting, bhajans, stories of devotion and morals, interactive discussions, and creative games. Conducted worldwide, the classes are based on a specially designed curriculum, with the aim of accomplishing the rationale set by Swami Chinmayananda. Balavihar children also participate in the celebration or observance of Indian festivals, while learning about their underlying significance and meaning. 

This year, the Balavihar philosophy program offered at Chinmaya Mission Orlando consists of the following subjects:
 

GradeClass/GroupCurriculum
Pre-KG Gods and Goddesses Drawing, coloring, crafts, and games are part of the medium for learning for these young children. They learn about Indian Gods and Godesses as they recite Shlokas and sing Bhajans.
Kindergarten Alphabet Safari (ABC of Vedanta) Children are introduced to the positive values in life through the English Alphabet as a tool. For example: A for Ambition, B for Brotherhood etc. Each value is taught through a story or song.
1 Sri Hanuman The Super Superman Children are introduced to Hanumanji’s virtues and qualities such as devotion to duty, Buddhi (intellect), strength, Yasha(fame), courage, fearlessness, alertness and eloquence. Study of Hanuman Chalisa.
2 Saints & Sages/ My 24 Teachers Many chosen ones came and lived among others, to show the way to God.  They lived their life with the spirit that was hidden behind the words of all sacred scriptures of the world. They were able to give up everything for the discovery of God in their own heart.  In this class, lives of great saints & sages in Hindu religion, the paths they chose to attain Saintliness is depicted, inspiring all students. Their paths were many but the goal was the same.
3 Bala Ramayana Children are introduced to the characters in the epic-story of Ramayana, followed by a discussion on the lessons they can learn from these characters, which challenges the analytical thinking of the young minds.
4 Bala Bhagavatam Stories from Bhagavatam are taught to children to reinforce Hindu values and philosophy. Children are introduced to the 10 incarnations (Dashavatara) of Lord Vishnu.
5 Krishna Krishna Everywhere This is the continuation of Bala Bhagavatam that brings out the glory of Lord Krishna. Here children are encouraged to learn about sharing and self-discipline through the stories of Lord Krishna. They learn to introspect and record their observations regularly.
6 Symbolism In Hinduism We see the deities as Idols of Lord in the form of Shree Krishna, Rama,Sadashiva, Devi and Ganesha. We all love to worship and perform rituals in temple but few know the mysticism behind the Idols. They all represent the ultimate one Satchitananda. In this class of God Symbolism, mysticism will be revealed and true knowledge and meaning will be unfolded for children as well as for teachers and parents.
7 Yato Dharmah Tato Jayah Sage Vyasa understood the mysteries of the universe and its past, present and future and He wanted to convey it in a story form which is the Mahabharat. He conceived the great epic which conveys the essence of Vedanta. Yato Dharma Tato Jayah is based on this epic and points out the virtues, frailties and challenges faced by its characters. It helps students contemplate on the deeper questions and values of life, guiding them to choose the higher way of thinking and living.
8 P.O.Box Mr God/Gita Values P.O Box Mr. God has been developed from Ramcharitra Manas. Here children are introduced to various virtues based on the character of Lord Shree Rama. Basically it describes various addresses of God i.e "where God resides". God lives in the heart of those who doesn’t have selfish desires, dislikes or tendency to cheating. God lives in the heart of those who is liked by every one.
9 Geeta for Children This simplified version of the Bhagavad Gita adapted for children is a treasure house of the most precious pearls of wisdom. It encompasses the Karma, Gyana, Bhakti and Raja Yoga for a better understanding of the Supreme Self.
10 Hindu Culture This is a comprehensive and complete analysis of the Hindu culture and its salient features, its varied facets and its all-encompassing fullness. Skillful definitions, gifted quotes and striking illustrations carry the student on a pilgrimage of the holy land that India is and the holy culture that it has. This class will help the youth to learn and appreciate Indian culture and its rich heritage.
11 Self Unfoldment This course is based on a book by the same name by Sw. Chinmayananda. It brings out the essence of Vedanta to the teenagers and helps them realise that they are essentially perfect and therefore infinite are the possibilities lurking in them. 
12 Art of Man Making This course is based on a book of the same name by Sw. Chinmayananda. It is meant for the youth to live in spiritual beauty and bring laughter and cheer into the world of fear and competitions, conflicts and confusions. This material is based on selected verses from the Bhagavad Geeta.

 

Schedule

The classes are held every Sunday and begin at 9 AM with everyone gathering in the Kaivalya prayer hall for joint prayers and general announcements. While each class has its own individual prayer that is recited later, it is imperative for everyone to participate in the communal prayer session. This prepares and quietens the mind so that it becomes receptive to the teachings that follow. Following the prayers and announcements, children disperse to their assigned classrooms. The classes run from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Tea and snacks are served in the Annasree dining hall from 10:30 AM to 11 AM. Optional language classes are offered from 11 AM to 12 noon for those who are interested. Aarati is done at 12 noon in the Kaivalya hall and lunch Mahaprasad is then served to everyone in the Annasree hall.

The ashram is sometimes closed on major US holidays, although this may vary from one year to another. We do close for winter break at about the same time as the Orange and Seminole county public school systems. The above schedule might also be altered during observance of festivals.

Contact Us

Physical Address :
1221 Chinmaya Way,
Casselberry, FL, USA 32707
Phone: 407-699-7331 (Answered on Sundays from 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM. You can leave a message and we will call you back.)
Email: info[at]chinmayaorlando.org

NOTE: The street leading to our facility was recently renamed "Chinmaya Way". It used to be known previously as "Florida Road". The physical street signs reflect the new name but GPS units and smartphones may or may not recognize that name. If "Chinmaya Way" does not work for GPS navigation, please try "Florida Road" instead.

Mailing Address :
Chinmaya Mission of Orlando Inc.
PO Box 140461
Orlando FL 32814

If you need an immediate response, please contact any of the following:

  • Chandra Brahmasandra   (407) 376-9564
  • Satish Nagarajan (407) 314-9206
  • Vibhu Agrawal  (407) 963-6301

 

Chinmaya Mission Orlando is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our tax ID# is 59-2889773