What is SSS Balvikas?
The Sanskrit phrase, Bal Vikas, means “Blossoming of the Child”. Bhagawan Baba says ‘End of Education is character’. While Academic education helps in ‘living’ skills, ‘Education in Human Values’ build ‘Life skills’. Human values inherent in every individual must be manifested and applied for the benefit of self and the society.
Human values can neither be imbibed through textbooks nor can they be gifted by anyone. They are inherent within each individual and the Sri Sathya Sai Balvikas program provides the right environment for these latent human values to blossom and empowers each child to unfold the innate values within oneself to the highest perfection.
SSS Balvikas trains children from the age of 5 to the age of 15. In fact compliments the school education emphasizing on the five cardinal human values. The Balvikas course syllabus is designed to allow the blossoming of ‘Truth, Beauty and Goodness’ (Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram) in the child.
Balvikas also 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 Techniques used
The Balvikas curriculum uses simple teaching techniques such as: Prayer, Group Singing, Meditation (Silent Sitting), Story Telling and Group Activities in an integrated and systematic manner. The children are taught to become conscious about the latent potential within and orient their lives on the trajectory of human excellence.
Know more about the Five Teaching Techniques
History of SSS Balvikas
Bal Vikas is not just a programme or a course. It is a noble movement that took roots in the year 1968 with the founding of Sri Sathya Sai Mahila Vibhag.
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.”
By 1975 the Bal Vikas program had expanded from informal Sunday home classes to regular structured education classes spanning into a 9 year non formal education system divided across three groups for Children starting age 5 to 15.
With the expansion of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Bal Vikas spread far and wide. Training modules were developed, research went in deeper, and with Bhagawan’s active and continuous guidance Bal Vikas was structured into a programme which enabled the children to understand and live human values and become role models of character and also excel in academic performance. It was now ready to be introduced into countries outside India. By 1980 there was enough momentum to have Bal Vikas Gurus from all Sai Centres of the world attending their first International conference held in Prashanti Nilayam.
When the Bal Vikas Gurus (Sai Teachers) returned to their own countries and started Balvikas classes, there began a steady growth in the number of children attending Bal Vikas (SSE) Sai Spiritual Education classes at Sai Centres throughout the world.
Lakhs and lakhs of children have been blossomed into youth of character through this Movement over the years and there are thousands of teachers, known as Bal Vikas gurus guiding these young aspiring minds to a better tomorrow following the divine teachings and guidelines of Bhagawan.
Aims and Objectives of SSS Balvikas
The aims of Balvikas are to foster character development and spiritual transformation and:
- To inculcate habits of discipline and self-discipline so that students learn to be masters of the mind and have absolute control over sense organs.
- To engender in children a desire to be of service to all humanity and in this way to be of service to God.
- To Cultivate Humility, Practice Ceiling on Desires and render Self-Less Service.
- To train them to be able to discriminate between right and wrong, between truth and non-truth; that is, to follow always the inner promptings of the Divine.
- To help children to be fully aware of the Unity underlying all faiths/religions and all mankind.
- To guide all children to have Purity and Harmony in Thought, Word and Deed.
- To help children realise their conscience and follow that as the path for attaining Divinity.
- To give priority to the development of character, self-confidence and self-sufficiency.
- To foster the understanding and practice of the five inherent human values of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-Violence.
SSS Balvikas in India
In India, the SSS Balvikas centres are wide-spread and operational in almost all States. Please visit ‘Balvikas Centres’ page for details.
The Balvikas is categorized into:
- Urban / Residential Balvikas
- Rural Balvikas
- School Balvikas
The Trained Balvikas Gurus conduct the classes either in
- Own Residences
- Sathya Sai Samithi centres
- Community Centres
- Rural centres
- Slum Areas
Present day education develops the intellect and skills but does very little to develop good qualities. Of what avail is all the knowledge in the world, if one does not have good character? It is like water going down the drain, there is no use if knowledge grows while desires multiply. It makes one a hero in words and a zero in action.
For a healthy human being body as well, as spinal cord is important. Similarly, science and spirituality are both necessary in a man’s life as wisdom from both science and spirituality gives progress, peace and prosperity.
There is social degeneration and value crisis in this modern era. The only solution to come out of this is we have to develop:
- Daiva Preethi- love towards God which would help us to develop
- Papa Bheethi -fear of sin and this would improve
- Sangha Neethi – Morality in society
The Balvikas Curriculum has been designed and developed to perfection in the deepest possible details, so that children who are being guided and inspired will be the leaders of tomorrow. The virtues which such classes impart in them will remain carved in their memories and transform their outlook and behaviour in the days to come.
The inner significance is that by introducing the understanding of human values which enter every aspect of life, the child from a very early stage is made to appreciate the importance of values which are the basis of good character and happiness and joy in life. The objective is to bring up the child with a proper understanding of human values through stories, practical illustrations and experiences in life, etc., so that when they grow up, he/she becomes aware of the Divinity inherent in him/her and become a useful member of the society and citizen of the country
Students who attend Balvikas classes have been able to excel in other fields such as academics, sports, art & culture and in their professions. Not only that, they have been able to handle difficult situations in their life in much better ways because of the values they imbibed in their formative years. Lakhs and lakhs of children have been blossomed into youth of character through this Movement over the years and there are thousands of teachers, known as Bal Vikas gurus guiding these young aspiring minds to a better tomorrow following the Divine teachings and guidelines of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The skill, maturity, intelligence and commitment of Balvikas 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.
Sathya Sai Baba says education is for life and not merely for eking out a livelihood. Revolutionary in concept and comprehensive in scope, Sathya Sai educational principles have become a lifelong learning and transformation process for children, men, and women in all parts of the world. His message to the students is: “The end of Education is character and Education without character is useless.”
How to Join SSS Balvikas?
Parents to Enrol their Children
Parents can enrol their children from age 4-14 in SSS Balvikas. You can find the nearest Balvikas Centre in your Area by visiting our page – ‘SSS Balvikas Centres’ on this website. You can contact the respective State / District / Samithi contact person or send email to the given Email ID.
You may even go the centre directly and enrol your child. The classes are conducted usually on Saturday or Sunday and those are the ideal days for visiting the centre.
Enrol as Balvikas Guru
Bhagawan Baba says any Mahila and Mother is a potential Balvikas Guru. If you wish to join this noble Balvikas movement to create a ‘Value’ Generation, you can enrol as a Balvikas Guru. You may contact the nearest Balvikas centre and get the State Coordinators / District Balvikas Coordinators contact details. You will be guided regarding the simple trainings to be undergone. Then you can work with a senior Balvikas Guru for 6 months and once you are committed, you will be recognized as a ‘Balvikas Guru’ and can start taking classes independently.
One need not have to worry about missing few classes, as alternative arrangements can be made by the Coordinators OR you can choose to pair up with another Guru in your area and jointly take the classes.
Even Parents can contribute towards the Balvikas movement by checking on their children’s behaviour and providing feedback to Balvikas Gurus on regular basis. Parents can also share their experience and knowledge which helps in character development of the Children.
Easwaramma Day – The Balvikas Day
The world over, devotees of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba celebrate 6th May of every year as the Easwaramma Day, in honour of beloved Mother Easwaramma. In the year 1977, the Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, with the blessings of Bhagawan decided to dedicate this day to the Sai children around the globe and since then 6th May is celebrated as ‘Easwaramma Day’ or ‘Balvikas Day’. Special programs including Narayan seva, Music, Dance, Skit and various cultural programs are performed by Children on this day the their respective Balvikas Centers.