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An Overview of Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas Programme
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Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas which means “Blossoming of Human Excellence”, was started in India in response to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s call for parents to fulfill the spiritual needs of their children, to assume the responsibility of moulding their children’s character and expose them to the rich culture and spiritual heritage of India which recognizes the unity of mankind.

Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Program has thus been founded by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to enable a world wide renewal of individual commitment to an active moral life. Towards this end in view, in each Bal Vikas class scheduled for about one hour per week, a few simple but effective teaching techniques are adopted. Namely, Prayer & sloka chanting, Group Singing & bhajans, Silent sitting & Meditation, Story Telling, Group Activities & Value Games.

Curriculum Specialty

NINE years of the structured program spread over THREE groups and meant for the children aged between FIVE to THIRTEEN years. Designed to enable children to learn and practice the basic human values such as Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace), Prema (Love), and Ahimsa (Non Violence).

Group I: 5 to 7 years

This is the period of doing and making. “Start Early, Drive slowly, Reach safely” is our Swami’s Divine Dictum. With this in view, children are inducted into this program at an early age of 5 years. When seeds of Human excellence are sown at a young age, they become rooted in values, remember and follow these throughout their lives. At this stage, the child wants to do and make things; hence the focus by the Balvikas guru is on pictorial demonstrations, games, charts, group activities, role plays and attitude testing, group singing, storytelling, prayers, silent sitting, rather than on mere lecturing.

Group II: 8 to 10 years

This is the stage of making and planning. The foundation laid at the Group I stage starts taking a shape here. At this stage, the student is not happy with mere stories, songs and group games; the student needs much more than to meet his imagination and curiosity. He needs food for thoughts; so the five techniques are oriented to help him master his mind, control his senses and develop the 5 Ds and thus the foundation of harmony of the word and deed is laid. At the Group-II level, the focus of the Bal Vikas guru therefore, shifts in order to keep the children’s interest and imagination alive.

Group III: 11 to 13 years

This is the age of planning and achieving. The application of values in real life situations starts in the true sense at this age. The student at this level wants a practice ground, to test what they have learnt. Therefore, the Guru provides the student with ample opportunities to practice what they have learnt and imbibed in the class, at camps or even in the organizational activities through projects and seminars. At the Group-III level, the guru is more than a mother and teacher. She does the role of a friend, a confidante of the student, keeping the needs of the student in mind.

Curriculum Highlights
(FIRST YEARS LAST FOREVER)
  • Simple slokas of different deities.
  • Value Based stories.
  • Namavali Bhajans / Value Songs
  • Introduction into the Life of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
(2 DIGIT AGE OF ENRICHMENT)
  • Select Bhagawad Gita Slokas
  • Select episodes from Ramayana & Mahabharatha
  • Bhajans / Value Songs
  • Stories of Saints and Prophets
  • Unity of Faiths
  • Life & Teachings of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
(TEENAGE THE TRICKY AGE)
  • Selected Slokas from Bhaja Govindam & Bhagawad Gita.
  • Lives of Great Men like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa & Swami Vivekananda.
  • Bhajans / Value Songs and Indian Culture & Spirituality
  • Introduction and Hands-on experience to the Humanitarian Seva being carried out by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations
Transformation oriented / Not Information oriented
  • The ideal of Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas is to raise a generations of boys and girls who have a clean and clear conscience.
  • Here the stress and focus is therefore not on dumping too much of information but only on bringing about an intrinsic transformation within.
  • As a corollary, the results are not seen merely as progress cards and assessment sheets; contrarily the results are intangible and are observed through significant changes in the children’s day to day behavior resulting in harmony within and around the child.
  • A child who regularly participates in the Balvikas program without missing the weekly classes is bound to bring about positive behavioral changes and attitudinal reflections as shown below:
On completion of Group I of SSS Bal Vikas
  • Following External disciplines of the class such as dress code, separate seating positions in class for boys and girls, organized footwear arrangements outside the classroom
  • Extrapolating these disciplines at other environments such as home / other classes etc
  • Reverence to parents
  • Remembering God through out the day through Prayers [Morning / Before food / Night]
  • Imbibing the values of sharing and caring
  • Accepting God as the only true friend
On completion of Group II of SSS Bal Vikas
  • Applying the teachings of Bhagawad Gita in everyday life.
  • Understanding and appreciating the significant features and practices of other religions/celebrations of all festivals.
  • Learning to listen the voice of the conscience within and to discriminate between right and wrong
  • Introduction to the role of the 5Ds ‘(i) Devotion, (ii) Discrimination, (iii) Discipline, (iv) Determination and (v) Duty’ in day to day life
  • Accepting God as a mentor and Guru who is always watching us and guiding us
On completion of Group III of SSS Bal Vikas
  • Learning to see Divinity in everyone/everything around
  • Learning to introspect on the essence and purpose of this human life (application of the Bhaja Govindam slokas).
  • Pursuing to seek excellence in life and practice the necessary methodologies towards this pursuit (application of the Bhagawad Gita slokas).
  • Appreciating the inner significance and the unity/divinity amidst the diverse customs and varied cultural practices of our country.
  • Practice, placing a ceiling on their desires.
  • Augmenting the skills required to shape up their personality, through management of thought, breath and time.
  • Properly discharging their duties at school, home and in society; Being loyal to and taking pride in their mother land.
  • Awakening social consciousness within through participation in community seva.
  • Developing better problem solving and management/leader ship skills; Understand the true purpose of ‘Life is a Game, Play it’ & ‘Life is a Challenge, Meet it’.
  • Attempting to imbibe the significance of the Mahavakyas culminating in ‘Aham Brahmasmi’.

The above highlights are only the key aspects of the transformation expected of the child at each level of this structured divine program and not an exhaustive list. The broad objective of Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas therefore is to enable each child

  • to develop human values
  • to develop the skills needed to put these values into daily practice and
  • thereby promote personal, family, community and national harmony

“The Bal Vikas classes are thus conducted as a part of the Global Mission of the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations to direct the children of today – the torch bearers of tomorrow’s society, into the path of self enquiry and self discovery and hence done as a seva and no fee is charged for the Balvikas classes.”

Also, a Diploma in Sri Sathya Sai Education is awarded to the children at the end of the 9 year program when they attend the classes regularly and complete the entire 9 year course.

Role of Parents in the SSS Bal Vikas Program

Most problems of today’s society can be traced back to the credence given to academic excellence without due emphasis on cultivation of human values. Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas Program seeks to counter the effect of such unfortunate trends on the young adults of the world. Parenting plays a key role SSSBV program. SSSParenting programs alert parents to the challenges that their children face due to the effect of the media and consumerism and highlight the parents’ role as human values educationists. Hence a minimum mandatory commitment from the parents on the following lines is a must for the success of this program.

  • Absolute commitment to this structured 9 year program
  • Ensuring regular and punctual participation of their children in every weekend class
  • Total faith in the value oriented Bal Vikas Program
  • Enforcing / Reiterating the same values at home
  • Understanding the nobility of this totally free of cost seva
  • Feedback at regular intervals
  • Participating in the Parent contact program to discuss the progress rajectory
  • Participating in the Parenting program to facilitate improvement in relationships within families
Holistic and Integrated Personality Development

Thus the Sri Sathya Sai Bal Vikas program ensures development of the children’s total integrated personality at all the five levels,

  • the physical,
  • the intellectual,
  • the emotional,
  • the psychic and
  • the spiritual

A multi-dimensional approach such as the SSS Bal Vikas Program thus ensures that it brings out the human excellence within each child / student / young adult, making them realize that each one of them is Divine and making them draw out the Human Values that are embedded within them and translate them into action in their daily lives. This is the message of Bhagawan Baba through the philosophy of SSSEducare.

Let us therefore join hands and work together...

[Image reference: Sai Spiritual Education Teacher’s Manual, USA – 3rd edition, Revision 20211]

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