Bala Vihar Classes

The Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar curriculum is a well-organized, unique and widely respected educational program aimed at nurturing the holistic development of children. Founded by Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, a renowned spiritual teacher that we lovingly & with reverence refer to as Pujya Gurudev, Chinmaya Mission’s Bala Vihar meaning “Spiritual Garden for Children” provides a structured and value-based education system for children that combines both academic and moral teachings.  The Chinmaya Mission at DFW (CMDFW) has 3 locations and conducts 2 Bala Vihar sessions in each location and has about 200+ teacher volunteers or sevaks that help with the curriculum.  This pool of teachers includes a few that have graduated from CMDFW Bala Vihar program.

The teachers are trained personally by the residing Swamin / Brahmacharin to teach the specific curriculum for a given grade. These trainings happen all through the year on various topics and innovative ideas in line with our Sanatana Dharma.  A feather in our cap is our own resident Brahmachari Hari Chaitanyaji, who also graduated as a Bala Vihar student from CMDFW.

CMDFW Bala Vihar sessions are held on Saturdays and Sundays from Aug of current year thru May of following year. Each session is 90 minutes long. The first 30 minutes are allocated for assembly and is attended by all students and parents. During assembly Prayers are recited, Bhagavad Geeta shlokas are chanted and explained, kids Bhajans and class presentation on stage, etc. are done, followed by an hour of grade level class.  During this hour when the kids are in class, parents and adults are kept engaged in a Satsanga by the presiding Swamin / Brahmacharin on various topics from our scriptures and current events.

Here’s a high-level overview of Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar curriculum:

The Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar program is structured by school level grades or age group to provide age-appropriate teachings and activities. The program is typically divided into several levels, and the curriculum varies based on the child’s age.

Overview of the Bala Vihar program by school level:

PreK / Preschool Bala Vihar:

This is designed for preschool (typically ages 3 to 5) and focuses on teaching basic moral values, simple stories from Sanatana Dharma, introducing concepts of right and wrong through stories, songs, and games.  Activities are often more interactive and playful to engage young children, catering to their short attention span.  The topic covered at this level is Vedanta Alphabets.


Early Elementary Bala Vihar (Kindergarten, 1st Grade & 2nd Grade):

This is designed for early elementary school children (up to age 7).  Building on the PreK curriculum, this early childhood level also focuses on teaching basic moral values, simple stories from Sanatana Dharma, introducing concepts of right and wrong through stories, songs, and games.  Activities are often more interactive and playful to engage young children, catering to their short attention span.  A few topics covered at this level include Vedanta Alphabets, Bala Ramayanam, Bala Bhagavatam, etc.


Junior Bala Vihar (Elementary School, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade & 5th Grade):

Junior Bala Vihar is usually for children in elementary school (ages 7 to 11). At this level, children start learning more about Hindu scriptures and texts like the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita, often through simplified versions.  Moral and ethical values continue to be a fundamental part of the curriculum, along with the introduction of prayers and bhajans in praise of deities that they’re learning about.  Topics like Hanumanji & 24 Gurus, Symbolism in Hinduism are covered at this level.


Middle School Bala Vihar:

Bala Vihar for middle school students (6th to 8th grade) involves a deeper study of Hindu philosophy.  Students go over the teachings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda and explore subjects like karma, and dharma.  The curriculum often includes discussions and activities that encourage critical thinking and personal reflection.  Topics like The fall of man, Saints of India, Mahabharata, etc. are taken up at the middle school level.


High School Bala Vihar:

Bala Vihar for high school students (grades 9th and above) involves a more in-depth study of Hindu scriptures.  Students delve into the teachings of Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda and explore subjects including self-realization, karma, and dharma.  The curriculum often includes discussions and activities that encourage critical thinking and personal reflection.  Topics requiring more contemplation & discussion like Hindu Culture, Vision of Bhagavad Geeta are studied leaving the student with a thirst to learn more beyond high school.  Upon successful completion of the senior year, kids graduate from Bala Vihar and are eligible to continue their journey as CHinmaya Yuva Kendra members (CHYKs) which helps give them stability in the path they explore as young adults.


CHYK (CHinmaya Yuva Kendra) – For Young Adults:

Yuva Kendra caters to college students and your professionals (ages 18 and up).  This program harnesses youth potential for dynamic spirituality and offers a more mature and interactive exploration of spirituality, ethics, and personal development.  It may include discussions on contemporary issues and their intersection with spiritual values.


Other Activities: Enrollment in Bala Vihar opens the door to additional learning opportunities through activities, retreats, and language and cultural classes.

Lock-ins & Hang outs:

Apart from regular structured curriculum, Elementary, Middle & Highschoolers are provided with various opportunities like Lock-ins & Hang outs with the Brahmacharins where they meet their peers from the various sessions across CMDFW in a fun and relaxed environment. Age-appropriate activities are designed to pique the interest and challenge students while fostering a team building experience. Activities include games, creative activities, sports and interactive discussions!

Language classes: Please click here

Cultural classes: Please click here



Can I join Bala Vihar in any grade level?

While it is recommended that kids start Bala Vihar as early as possible (‘Catch them young’), children need not have to worry about not having attended the curriculum of their past age group previously, as the program is structured to align with the educational and spiritual needs of children and young adults as they progress through school levels. Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda used to say ‘Children are not vessels to be filled but lamps to be lit.’  The goal of Bala Vihar therefore is to provide a comprehensive education that not only imparts knowledge but also nurtures character and cultural awareness at every stage of a child’s development. Though the specific teaching mechanism may vary between different Chinmaya Mission centers depending on the resources available, the structure and content of the program is pretty much the same across them all.


What will my child learn?

Participating in Bala Vihar can be a valuable and enriching experience, providing numerous benefits for an individual’s personal and spiritual growth. Here are some of the ways, one can benefit from Bala Vihar:

  1. Spiritual Education: Bala Vihar imparts knowledge of Sanatana Dharma aka Hindu philosophy, scriptures, and spiritual practices.  It combines ancient Indian wisdom with modern educational techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of Hindu philosophy and culture.  You can deepen your understanding of your cultural and spiritual heritage.
  2. Moral and Ethical Values: Bala Vihar places a strong emphasis on moral and ethical values. You can learn virtues like truthfulness, compassion, humility, and self-discipline, which can guide your behavior in daily life, even much later in their adult lives.
  3. Cultural Awareness: The program fosters an appreciation for Indian culture, our traditions, festivals, customs and rituals. You can gain cultural awareness and develop a sense of cultural identity and understanding why we do the rituals we do.
  4. Textual Knowledge: Bala Vihar introduces you to sacred texts and stories from Hindu Scriptures. You can gain a foundational understanding of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and other scriptures.
  5. Language and Arts: In addition to spiritual teachings, children are often exposed to Indian languages and arts like music (Swaranjali), dance (Nrityanjali), and orchestra (Vaadya Tarangini), enhancing their overall cultural knowledge and identity.  Each school year, a chapter of Bhagavad Geeta is taken up for study and memorization, which we’ve heard that kids usually tap into later in their lives.  The Geeta Chanting is a huge attraction where proper pronunciation is emphasized and to make learning fun, a Geeta Chanting Competition is held every year for each grade across all sessions within CMDFW.  Apart from Geeta, other Shlokas are also taught in a self-paced curriculum called “Shlokathon”, where upon successful completion, a huge trophy is awarded to the student.
  6. Character Development: Bala Vihar emphasizes character development. You can cultivate qualities that contribute to personal growth and a positive impact on society.
  7. Stage Performance:  Every kid is involved in learning, preparing and presenting a Bhajan performance on Stage during the assembly by grade level in front of the entire session congregation.  This helps them with a multifaceted range of benefits that include building self-confidence, overcoming stage fear, learning public speaking skills, artistic expression, teamwork, etc. and also provides them with a sense of achievement.
  8. Family and Community Bonding: Bala Vihar often encourages parent and family involvement, strengthening family bonds and fostering a sense of community. Parents and adults are taught scriptures by the presiding Brahmacharin when the kids are in Bala Vihar class.
  9. Service & Social Responsibility: Bala Vihar instills a sense of service (Seva) & social responsibility encouraging children to be responsible citizens and emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community. You can engage in social service projects and contribute to your community including Diwali Food Drive, making and distributing sandwiches for the homeless, etc.
  10. Age-Appropriate Learning: Bala Vihar is structured by age group, ensuring that the teachings are tailored to your developmental stage. This makes the content relevant and engaging.
  11. Personal Growth: You can explore questions about the purpose of life and your role in the world. Bala Vihar provides a supportive and nurturing environment for personal growth.
  12. Networking: Bala Vihar brings you into contact with like-minded individuals who share your cultural and spiritual background. You can build friendships and form a supportive network that goes well beyond your school years into college and later.  Chinmaya Mission is not just in the DFW area but has innumerable centers in many countries all around the world.

Bala Vihar has been instrumental in shaping the character and spirituality of countless children and is highly regarded for its holistic approach to education. It aims to help children grow into well-rounded individuals who not only excel academically but also lead meaningful, morally sound lives grounded in their cultural and spiritual heritage. CMDFW has graduated x+ children since 1998. (Add Link to graduation page)

To get the maximum benefit from Bala Vihar, kids are encouraged to actively participate and engage with the program. This includes attending classes regularly, asking questions, and participating in discussions. In addition, they learn to apply moral and ethical values in their daily lives. They take advantage of opportunities for personal growth. The knowledge and values you acquire can positively impact your life and the lives of those around you.

Education doesn’t have to begin at home, but it helps to have it sustained in the home environment.  While knowledge of Sanatana Dharma need not be a prerequisite for parents, our Swamins and Brahmacharins hold a Satsanga for adults where topics like Bhagavad Geeta, Bhagavatam, Upanishads and even current topics are covered while kids are in class.


Bala Vihar syllabus: