Chinmaya San Antonio Balavihar
Chinmaya Mission San Antonio (CMSA) offers weekly Balavihar classes for students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade during the school year. Classes are taught by local community volunteers who have a passion for Hinduism and for passing on our cultural traditions to future generations. Under Swami Shivatmanandaji’s guidance, classes are designed with the developmental ages of the students in mind.
Each teacher follows a curriculum developed by the greater Chinmaya Mission organization, such as Bala Bhagavatam, Saints of India and West, or the Ramayana Characters. For preschool students, teachers explain simple stories of Hindu gods and goddesses, use arts and crafts, and play games to keep young children engaged and learning spiritual values. Elementary students hear exciting and elaborate stories about the deities that are full of interactive and hands-on activities to teach students about life lessons and to become more conscientious about their actions.
Meanwhile, teachers for middle and high school classes integrate social media and contemporary role models, such as through the use of Ted Talks or popular books, to bring deeper spiritual concepts to life in class each week. Students in middle school begin to explore ideas about spiritual progress, mental discipline, and fearlessness. Conversations with high school students are more dynamic and reciprocal in nature. These young adults discuss why and how spirituality, faith, and mindfulness can be helpful in daily living and work.
All children are welcome! Balavihar will be online this fall on Sundays from 4-5:30pm starting on September 13th. Please go to Registration to register your child for Balavihar classes at CMSA today.
Balavihar was born as a collective response to Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda’s appeal to empower the child and build an inspired future.
His clarion call was, “Mold the child, Mold the future”! The purpose and goal of the Bala (children) Vihars (recreation) is spelt out in this catchy phrase coined by Guruji, Swami Tejomayananda – To help children learn values with fun, To delight like the moon and shine like the sun. Chinmaya Mission conducts the Balavihar for the purpose of teaching India’s rich spiritual heritage and the fundamentals of Vedanta to the younger generation. Balavihar is a place for children to bloom and grow. In Balavihar we help children to make the right choices in life, because it is these choices that will determine their future. The Balavihar curriculum is based entirely on our scriptures. Through games, arts, crafts, stories, and other unique techniques, the Balavihar program imparts and reinforces spiritual and cultural values. The curriculum designed for all grade levels (Pre-K through Grade 12) is creative and dynamic, and covers a wide range of topics such as:
- Stories of Ramayana and Bhagavatam
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Selections from Ramacharitmanasa
- Values from the Srimad Bhagavad Gita
- Hindu Culture / Sanatana Dharma
The classes follow a structured pattern. They include:
- Chanting Sanskrit shlokas
- Singing bhajans or patriotic songs
- Story time – value based stories
- Values through games
- Art and craft
Colorful Celebrations Connect to the Divine by learning the significance of – Shivratri, Rama Nauvmi, Janamastami, Dusshera, Divali, Pongal, and Holi