Children ask us many questions about our scriptures, the different forms of God and Goddess, the lives of saints and sages and even about death. Many times we don’t know how to answer them in a way that is true and also speaks to their hearts.
Bala Vihar by Chinmaya Mission is a place where children and teens can learn about spirituality through the systematic study of Hindu scriptures from ages 2 (Shishu Vihar) until high school. Learning doesn’t only happen through a discourse or lecture but through stories, activities, interactive discussions and even cultural programs and family retreats. Some of the Bala Vihars also offer Bhagavad Gita Chanting Classes and Language Classes. The best thing about Bala Vihar is that it’s not only for the children or teens but it’s for the whole family. While the children and youth are engaged in their classes, the adults also have satsanga with a trained Vedanta Teacher. They explore various texts of Advaita Vedanta that help them live fuller and more purposeful lives. Therefore, not only do the children and teens grow but the entire family grows. When the entire family grows, the nation grows. This was the vision of Swami Chinmayananda – the key inspiration behind the Chinmaya Mission Movement.
Chinmaya Mission runs Bala Vihar all over the world and trains their teachers to conduct classes in-person or on virtual platforms. In North America alone, around 18,000 children and youth have registered in this program. In New York, there are Bala Vihars in Queens-Long Island and Manhattan (Uptown and Downtown) and Wappinger Falls. For more information, visit http://chinmayanewyork.