Bal Vikas is not just a programme. 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."
  • "The ideal of the Bal Vikas is to raise a generation of boys and girls who have a clean and clear conscience. Bal Vikas 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."
Bhagavan's Compassionate Guidance to Gurus
Bhagavan's Compassionate Blessings to Children
  • 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 Bhagavan 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. Kasturi defined Bala Vihar as a Play-Way education system imparting noble values, giving insight to Sanathana Dharma. Bhagavan later changed the name of Bala Vihar into Bal Vikas in 1971, redefining the education system created by Him as the system aiming at the Blossoming of Human Excellence.

    The early beginnings of the Bal Vikas movement were quite simple. During 1950's and early 60's Bhagavan had been repeatedly motivating parents to fulfill 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.

Early in the development of Bal Vikas, Swamy emphasized that
  • "the Bal Vikas course is designed to impart the values of Sanathana Dharma, the Perennial Virtuous Conduct. It is imperative that the guru teaches this course with full faith and confidence."
Throughout 1980, Swamy continued to elaborate on his concept of ideal education for children. Adressing students in May 1985 He said,
  • "The process of education involves the process of self-control and self-denial. Wealth, Scholarship, Power and Prestige are all despicable if they are not directed towards moral ends".

    As time passed by, slowly and steadily the Bal Vikas Programme designed by Bhagavan for children between 6 years to 14 years of age, in three groups, took shape and with the formation and expansion of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Bal Vikas spread far and wide. Training modules were developed, research went in deeper, and with Bhagavan's active and continuous guidance Bal Vikas 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.
- October 11
- December 09

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