Balavikas

Beginning

Balavikas is not just a programme. It is a noble movement that took roots in the year 1968

Swami instructed Mahila Vibhag in 1969 to “run a Bala Vihar for young children where they will listen to stories from the Scriptures, the Epics, and the Lives of Saints belonging to all religions. Children must also be trained to sing Bhajans, enact small plays with themes selected from the classics. They must be taught to cultivate habits of discipline, for these alone can ensure happiness: both individual and social.”

The Bala Vihars were started in the year1969 by Mahila Vibhag for the children above six years of age and they were imparted education from the content drawn from ancient scriptures with Divine guidance, through the methodology of story telling, enacting plays and singing Bhajans etc.

Thus a new movement of momentous dimensions was set in motion by Bhagawan in the field of education. The children imbibed good habits through mutual help and cooperation which inculcated in them a sense of discipline and devotion. Prof. Kasthuri defined Bala Vihar as a Play-Way education system imparting noble values, giving insight to Sanathana Dharma. Bhagawan later changed the name of Bala Vihar into Balavikas in 1971, redefining the education system created by Him as the system aiming at the Blossoming of Human Excellence.

The early beginnings of the Balavikas movement were quite simple. During 1950’s and early 60’s Bhagawan had been repeatedly motivating parents to fulfil the spiritual needs of the children. He insisted that parents should take up the responsibility of moulding the character of children who, in turn, shape the destiny of the nation

Aims

The ideal of the Balavikas is to raise a generation of boys and girls who have a clean and clear conscience. Balavikas is the primary basis of the great movement to restore Dharma in the world. The young minds of children are not polluted and hence they can be led into good ways of living, simplicity, humility and discipline.

Guide the children in the spiritual path, through simple and moral living; Install in the young minds, the importance of duty, devotion and discipline; Help them understand the five human values, so that they can practice these in their daily lives; Guide them to Love all and Serve all. In short help them grow into worthy citizens to serve the world; identifying the divinity present in all. Education must aim at providing the child not livelihood, but, a life worth living. The promotion of human values must become an integral part of the educational process.”

The Balavikas course is based on two principles -.

Existence of God
Divinity in man

The ultimate aim of Balavikas is to let the child realize that Divinity dwells in him. The child is ignorant that he or she is Divine though pure at heart, soft in physique, tender in mind and nascent in intellect. What you sow, so you will reap. It is here that the teaching techniques assume importance. All the techniques are meant to achieve the two important goals mentioned above. Essence of education and knowledge have been clearly emphasized by Swami as

‘The end of education is character’
‘The end of knowledge is Love’

The imbalance caused by the external education is balanced by the skill of human values and thus the imbalance is corrected and balance is restored. To attain the illumination level of the mind, balance is a pre-requisite. Education process that Bhagawan has designed is for the transformation of man into a human with a character of nobility, compassion and love for mankind. It is the Divine education (Brahma Vidya) not just the academic education (Bahya Vidya) which can achieve this.

Balavikas aims to develop the five aspects of child’s personality i.e. Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Psychological and Spiritual aspects, by kindling the intrinsic human qualities, thereby achieving a complete, well rounded personality aiming at individual transformation. The skill, maturity, intelligence and commitment of guru lies in helping the child blossom into an excellent personality nurturing the five human values and developing the five attributes of an integrated personality.

Structure of Balavikas

As time passed by, slowly and steadily the Balavikas Programme designed by Bhagawan for children between 6 years to 14 years of age, in three groups, took shape.

With the formation and expansion of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Balavikas spread far and wide. Training modules were developed, research went in deeper, and with Bhagawan’s active and continuous guidance Balavikas was crystallized into a 9 year non-formal education system for children enhancing their learning to become role models in character and also in academic performance.

Balavikas Teaching Methodology

The hall mark of Balavikas is that the programme is conducted by devotees who have tremendous commitment, faith and love for Bhagawan and children. The programme has an integrated plan for motivating parents’ participation and involvement of students who complete the 9 years course too.

Since the values are inherent in the child, the guru has to gently encourage these values to emerge from within the child by adopting certain teaching methods and helping the children master their minds to become master minds. This task is accomplished by synchronizing the five teaching techniques of Prayer, Silent sitting and Meditation, Group Singing, Story Telling and Group Activities. The Balavikas Guru must follow the Divine Principle of “Be, Do and Tell

Implementation of Balavikas curriculum lays stress on using the Five Teaching Techniques in a systematic and integrated manner. The Five Human Values are elicited through lessons based on the Five Teaching Techniques.

A Balavikas Guru teaches through love. It is through love ultimately the desired transformation takes place. When the process of Educare is uppermost in the mind of the guru, the process of teaching and learning becomes experiential and joyful.

For each age group, from young children to teen-age youth the Balavikas Guru takes on a specific role linked to psychological development of the child.

For Group I, it is that of a mother: discipline established and good behaviour is positively rewarded.

In Group II, the teacher takes on the formal teacher’s role and the children develop a sense of order and respect for rules.

Finally in group III, the teacher is a friend helping the children to develop firm principles and become actively aware of their conscience.

In Group I learning is attained through ‘doing and making’, In Group – II ‘doing and thinking’ and in Group III ‘Planning and Achieving’.

 

 

Parents interested in sending their children for Balavikas may please contact the
nearest Samithi or Smt. Parimala Das, District Incharge – Balavikas [9497466351].