Amrita Bala Kendra
"We should tell children while they are very young that there is a power known as God who controls everything. If we teach a child to remember this divinity in all circumstances of life, that child will be able to keep his or her inner poise in every situation, whether it be victory or defeat." —Amma
What is Amrita Bala Kendra?
Amrita Bala Kendra is a spiritual and cultural program for children ages 4-14 years old. The classes focus on values education, traditions and spiritual practices. Through stories, games, music, field trips, arts and crafts, celebrations of festivals, environmental activities and service projects, the Bala Kendra offers children an understanding of spiritual principles and how to incorporate them into their daily lives.
What is a class like?
Classes are held every 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month from 4:00 to 6:30 pm. A class includes: chanting of mantras, storytelling, yoga, devotional singing and talks on social values. Snacks are served at the end of each class.
What else do we do?
Fun Days: Outings are planned for the children and their families: winter skiing, summer pool parties, bonfires, and kite flying days!
Community Service Activities:
- Serving Homeless People: Twice a year we visit shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area to serve home-cooked meals to the needy. Younger children show great enthusiasm in serving; for them, this is a fun activity. The older children acquire a deeper appreciation of the challenges faced by the homeless. Touched to the core, it is very common for children and parents to wipe away tears during the closing prayers. Bala Kendra children also participate in an annual project to pack donated rice and beans for migrant workers and their families.
- Visiting Nursing Homes: During Bala Kendra’s annual Christmas visit to a nursing home facility, the children give Christmas cards, chocolates and flowers to each of the residents. The children and families go from room to room spreading cheer and singing Christmas carols. This opportunity to put Amma’s teachings of love and service into practice is always a powerful experience for all who participate.
- Caring for the Earth: Each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Bala Kendra members take to the hills, get their hands in the soil and plant trees at M.A. Center, San Ramon. With the center’s resident experts guiding them, the children learn how to plant trees. After lots of hard work preparing the soil, it is with great satisfaction that the children firmly plant their tree in the ground.