What is Balavihar?
“Our children are our joy. No amount of effort put in or time given to them can be considered enough. Our efforts, however, ought to be in the right direction and the time given must be quality time. It is found children reluctantly respond to formal schooling and traditional methods of learning, whereas, they are ever ready for games and sports.”
Recognizing this, Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda initiated Balavihar classes. Its objectives can be summed up in the following statement:
‘To help children learn values with fun; to delight like the moon and shine like the sun! ‘
Chinmaya worldwide has been conducting Balavihar classes for many years. Balavihar is…
- A group where children meet for 90 minutes each week to learn about the Hindu culture, traditions and stories,
- A place where children learn high ideals and stories from Hindu scriptures taught in the form of stories, arts and crafts and drama,
- Where children from ages 4 – 16 years learn chanting of Bhagawad Geeta and Upanishads,
- A group that have special outings to celebrate India’s great festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi and Deepavali, and
- Where plain fun is all about learning Santana Dharma.
Venue and Schedule:
|Venue:||Community Living North Halton,
917-B Nipissing Road,
Milton, ON L9T 5E3
|Date:||Every Sunday (except as otherwise noted on schedule)|
|Time:||10:00 am – 11:30 am|
(class held outside of main Balavihar session)
|Venue:||Google Hangout™ session
(please email us for details)
|Dates:||Every Tuesday during regular school year|
|Time:||8:30 pm – 10:00 pm|
Kindergarten to Grade 1:
Syllabus: “Many Faces of Lord Vishnu”
Lord Vishnu, the Protector in the Hindu Trinity, takes form to right the wrong in the world when mankind needs to bring down chaos and anarchy that has reigned the world due to negative tendencies (like Ravana). It is said, Lord Vishnu has many incarnations (or avatars).
Children in Pre-school, Kindergarden and Grade 1 will learn under Smt. Bharati Tanna and Smt. Malar Kribakaran stories of Avatars of Lord Vishnu and through storytelling, colouring, games and group interactions, they will share ideas and learn this part of the Srimad Bhagvatam.
Grades 2 through 4:
Syllabus: “Festivals of India”, “Rivers of India” and “Saints of India”
The teachers (Smt. Aarti Ramachandra and Smt. Shobana Iyer) will take up three texts over the course of this year’s session. The children of this group will learn the significance of many festivals of India, the mighty rivers that flow through India and about Saints of this ancient land. With storytelling and arts and crafts at hand, the children will learn about their culture with rudimentary Vedantic concepts being introduced.
Grades 5 through 8:
Syllabus: “Values in the Bhagavad Geeta”
Verses 8 to 12 of Geeta Chapter 13 will slowly be taught to the children in this group. Shri Krishna in this chapter describes what is meant by the field and the knower of the field, kshetra and kshetrajnya. He then describes the field in detail by listing its modifications such as the great elements, the ego, the senses and so on. A list of attributes or qualities that are needed in order to escape the influence of the field is given. These qualities include humility, lack of arrogance and so on.
Sri Dinesh Kandanchatha and Sri Vinod Bhaga will bring forth these attributes or values in forms of stories and plays to this group of children
Grades 9 through 12:
Syllabus: “Say Cheese: Witty Wisdom”
This is an introductory book to Vedanta. Through drawings and captions, Swami Chinmayananda’s own words of wit and wisdom are brought as Vedantic concepts to the youth that are springing forth onto a road of striving to meet their desired goals in life and society. This book will be taken up with Sri Bharat Bhaga and Sri Neel Bhatt
Adult Study Group:
Syllabus: “Atma Bodh”
This text written by Adi Shankara reveals to the seeker the nature about Atman or Self. In order to bring home the true nature and description of the Self, Adi Shankara uses illustrations in sixty-eight verses to bring home the point.
Chinmaya Study Groups are for the sincere student who want to learn and to reflect on the Hindu scriptures. They were formed for like-minded seekers to come together to read and discuss spiritual texts providing the group as a whole with inspiration and with ideas between shared between each other. The goal is to practice mananam (reflection) through group discussion
Geeta Classes (weekday evenings):
Syllabus: “The Holy Bhagvad Geeta (lectures by Swami Chinmayananda)”
CHinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) is comprised of university students and young professionals who try to pursue a life of self-study and self-growth with weekly gatherings
In these 90-minute sessions, the group first listens to Swami Chinmayananda expound on verses from Bhagavad Geeta for one hour, and then spend the rest of the time discussing what was seen and heard.
Note that these classes takes place outside of the regular Sunday Balavihar days. See above for day and times.
Young adults meet to learn and facilitate discussions on the art of living by applying values and principles from Vedanta. These classes are ideal for adults between the ages of 18 to 40.