Balafest 2021

Balafest, Balotsav & Vedic Graduation 2021

Balafest is Chinmaya Mission Columbus's Annual Bāla Vihār event where families participate in Stotram, poster, debate, quiz and Jeopardy competitions. This year's topic was the world's oldest epic, Mahabharata is the saga of a war fought over power between the Pandavas and the Kauravas who came from the same family. It is a good example of different people's perception of right and wrong at different times.

The challenge

Balafest Stotram Competition

Stotram chanting and competitions are vehicles for inspiring, motivating children and adults to learn and memorize the sacred verses. Pujya Guruji Swami Tejomayananda explains the grand vision behind this as - "Chant - Study - Know - Live". Chanting introduces one to such a noble text. This kindles the curiosity to know more about the meaning and the contents. This in turn, leads to study. The knowledge gained thereby is translated into actions and thus becomes a way of life."

Our Balafest Stotram Winners 

Balakrishna (KG & 1st Grade) Class Winners

1st prize Akshaya Dhulipala
2nd prize Eyana Nawani

Balarama (2nd & 3rd Grade) Class Winners

1st Prize Kaivalyaa Palaniswamy
2nd Prize Advaita Vijayharihar
3rd Prize Shiv Karthik

Luv Kush(4th & 5th Grade) Class Winners

1st prize Anirudh Datta Lakkaraju
2nd prize Anik Yama

Prahalad(6th & 7th Grade) Class Winners

1st prize Aadya Girish and Arshiya Moolchandani
2nd prize Ananya Agarwal
3rd Prize Atman Palaniswamy

The challenge

Mahabharata Posters

Teams presented their interpretation of Mahabharata and what they value the most from it.

We got to see all the posters submitted and had fun listing to them speak about their posters and what they represent.


Our poster competition winner are "The Warriors" by Kaivalya, Atman, Arthi & Saran Palaniswamy.


The challenge

Mahabharata Quiz - Kahoot

Quiz was a very interesting competition to watch. It was great to see all the teams intrinsically motivated through play, curiosity and a desire to win.  Teams were so engaged and quick to answer the questions. Overall, it was a fun competition to watch as it kept everyone on their toes.


Our quiz competition winner are "Team Kurukshetra" by Gautam, Gaurinanda, Lakshmi & Sudheesh Vasudevan.

The challenge

Mahabharata Debate

Since the dawn of time, communication has always been at the core of civilization. When communication breaks down, conflicts happen!  Debates are a great way to widen kids understanding and belief system while expanding their intellectual horizons in the process.

The debate round was the best part of Balafest. It was amazing to see teams, specially kids express their opinions and views clearly, their sense of confidence , decision making ability and presence of mind. Kids were  kids at their best encouraged by parents supporting and participating only after kids presented their points.


Our debate  competition winner are "The Divinity Seekers" - Aadya, Kavitha and Girish Gowda.


The challenge

Mahabharata Jeopardy

The top 3 teams from poster, quiz and Debate competitions participated in the final round for Jeopardy.

Teams were extremely competitive and did a great job. It was fun watching them give a good fight.


Our  Jeopardy - Balafest winner are

1st Prize - Team Kurukshetra

2nd Prize - The Warriors

3rd Prize -  The Divinity Seekers




The Celebration


Balotsav is Chinmay Mission Columbus Bala Vihar's year end annual program where children and young adults showcase what they have learnt through out the year. Sevaks help kids put together a cultural program for parents. Prizes are distributed to all the winners of various competitions.


Sevaks are also honored for their dedication and commitment towards children.


Click on the Pictures to see class presentation!!



The Responsibilities

Vedic Graduation

Chinmaya Mission Columbus Bala Vihar celebrated the Bala Vihar graduation for the class of 2021 on Sunday, May 16.  This milestone marked the culmination of the journey for three students who have attended Bala Vihar regularly every Sunday and for as long as 14 years. Consistent with the scriptural education they received at Chinmaya Mission, students experienced a sendoff that was decorous, solemn, and emotional - much like the millennia old graduation ceremonies celebrated at Gurukula in ancient India.

Brni Stuti Chaitanya inspired  the audience with the evergreen and relevant scriptural commands, instructions, and advice from the Taittiriya Upanisad, a Sanskrit Vedic text composed almost 2000 years ago. Using relevant examples, Stutiji - reminded students of the three tenets for living an ethical life with integrity - "speak the truth; stay within the bounds of dharma; and, given the constant buffeting of worldly temptations that seek to erode one's values; reinforce convictions daily through the study of scriptures."

Also, the students were reminded to not forget their responsibility toward supporting the institution where they were taught their values and also the spiritual institutions near where they lived - for making it to the top brings with it the responsibility to share the blessings with the generations that follow.

Finally, the students were urged to honor their mother, father, and teachers - as they would God - as they served as God's agents in protecting, providing, and guiding the students through childhood.