Dharma for Juniors – Module 2


This module consists of three aspects:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Accountability
5 Honesty, Integrity & Accountability Honesty – expressing truth or Satya in words and actions. This also includes refrain from telling falsehood, exaggeration, distortion, fabrication or deception.

Why do we have to practice truth? What is the benefit we get by practicing truthfulness?

Truth and truthfulness is considered as a form of reverence for the divine, while falsehood a form of sin. – Rig Veda

“To speak the truth is meritorious. There is nothing higher than truth. Everything is upheld by truth, and everything rests upon truth.”

–      Mahabharata, Shanti Parva

Truth is one of five yamas in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In order to practice any kind of yoga, a person must practice Satya that is abstaining from speaking untruth.





Facilitator can have the sayings/ quotes pasted on the wall. The children can be asked to do a walk about and choose a quote which they liked and explain why.

‘Say and Do’ game shows the importance of keeping our words and action one. If our words are not reflected in action, we lose control of our own body. Order is maintained when there is harmony between words and actions.

Try to inculcate a habit of using higher order thinking skills (HOTS) – to analyse by asking why, what, how. Our students lack this skill because they are not given the confidence about their own ideas. Don’t give them the answers let them search through their own experiences.



m to talk about their relationships with their parents, siblings, and friends – only then values can be understood.)

This activity is suitable for teenagers.






Students stand in a circle and trainer give three types of instruction for students to do:

·         Children repeat the instruction and do what the trainer says.

·         Children repeat the instruction and do the opposite of the instruction.

·         Children do and say the opposite of the instruction.


·         Trainer says ‘jump to your right’, and children say, ‘jump to right’ and they jump to their right.

·         Trainer says, ‘jump to your right’, and children say, ‘jump to right’ and children jump to their left.

·         Trainer says, ‘jump to your right’, and children say, ‘jump to left’, and jump to their left.




Pointers to probe:

1)    What did the guru ask the students to do?

2)    Did all the students manage to complete the task?

3)    Why one student could not complete the task?

4)    Can you describe how he felt not completing the given task? Was he afraid, feeling guilty?

5)    Why did he feel so?

6)    If you were in such a situation how can you overcome such feeling/s?

7)    What did he see in him, when he had chances to take some money?

8)    Could you express your thoughts to God who can be your friend when you are in such situation?

9)    Other than God, who else could be your guide?



Pointers to probe:

1)    Did everyone follow their Guru’s instruction?

2)    Why Kanakadasa did not eat the banana?

3)    Do you think that God watches our acts? Can we fool or cheat God?

4)    Have you thought about God, when you did something secretly?

5)    What happens if we cheat on God? Will it help us to become a better person?

6)    What do you think will happen to a person who habitually tells lies?



Activity 1 (5 Minutes)

1)    Survey the class on what they think is right and wrong.

2)    Make two columns on the board. Label the left side, “Activity.”

3)    In this column you will write cheating, lying, stealing, etc.

4)    Label the right side, “Right or Wrong.”

5)    As you survey the class, mark each activity with R or W, depending on their answers.

6)    Ask how many know of someone who has cheated on a test.

7)    Ask how many feel it is ok to do that.

8)    Ask five more questions such as: lying to your parents, telling an excuse for not doing homework, pretending to friend someone when actually you do not like them etc.


Activity 2 (Alternative activity for younger children):

Creating bookmarks

–      Children will create bookmarks with quotations & mantras on Truth.


·         Thick colour papers or cardboard – use of recycled papers are encouraged.

·         Scissors and punch

·         Magic colours, colour pens

·         Ribbon, cross stitch floss, or cloth strips.

Children will write the quotation, and use their creativity to create attractive bookmarks.



Here is a short story from the Upanishad that illustrates the value of honesty. In the past, students used to live with their master to study. Such places were called Gurukulam. In one such Gurukulam, the master wanted to test his students. He gathered them around and said, “I need some money urgently. Can you go and bring some from your families? But please be careful. I do not want anyone to know about it. So, only bring the money when no one is looking.”

All the students went home and came back with some money, except for one student who came empty-handed. “Why have you come empty-handed? Couldn’t you pick up some money when no one was looking?” enquired the master. The boy replied that in spite of many attempts he kept failing. “Why?” questioned the master, “I did not come across many chances when no one else was looking, but I always felt myself looking at my own wrong deeds.”  The master declared that he was the only student who has gained any real education because he knew the value of honesty.


Kanakadasa was a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. He was a disciple of Vyasaraya. Once, the Guru called all his disciples and told them – “Today is Ekadashi and we are supposed to fast. But, it’s difficult not to eat anything. So, I will give you one banana each. But, you should eat in a place where no one would see you.” All the disciples left the place and when they came back next day, the Guru asked them how they managed to eat. One student said, “I covered myself in a blanket and ate it”. Other said, “When it was dark in the night, I switched off the light and ate it.” Every one explained how smart they were, except Kanakadasa. Kanakadasa said, “Master, I could not eat it. I could not find a place where God was not present.”

Being aware of God’s presence helps us in being truthful and honest.


Mantras and Quotations on Truth

“Truth alone Triumphs.” – Mundaka Upanishad

“Truth cannot be suppressed and always is the ultimate victor.” – Yajur Veda

“It is truth alone that gives strength.” – Swami Vivekananda

“Thought, word, and deed should be perfectly true.” Swami Vivekananda

Asato ma sat gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
tyor ma amtamgamaya

Om shanti shantishantihi


From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace.

  • Brihadaranyaka Upanishad


6 Honesty, Integrity &Accountability


Integrity – keeping words, promise, and/or time, being disciplined about a code of values.

One of the important manifestations of the power of the mind is willpower. Will is strong in a truthful person.

It is not easy to be always truthful. It will be interesting to find out how many lies you tell a day.

You lie because you do not have the conviction that truth alone brings success. It is not just that. If you lie once, to cover that up, you will be forced to lie many times. Ultimately you hate yourself for telling lies.
‘Satyameva Jayate’ – Truth alone triumphs. Truth never fails you. It saves you ultimately and commands everyone’s respect.

Integrity is always about doing the right thing.






School, work, friends, family and even your self-image are all affected by integrity. People judge your character according to your integrity.

INTEGRITY AFFECTS YOUR SELF-IMAGE. You can’t feel good about yourself if you are lying, cheating and stealing

If you don’t respect others for that type of behavior, then you won’t respect yourself. · Doing what is right instead of “going along with the crowd” will give you pride in who you are as a person.

Cheating on just one answer on a test is the same as cheating on the whole test. Stealing a candy bar or a car is both wrong. Telling a little “white lie” is still lying. HAVING INTEGRITY IS A CHOICE YOU MAKE.




Number of Participants: 5-75
Time:  5-10 minutes
Props:  Throwables, Boundary Line

Objective:  To get as many pieces of trash in your neighbor’s lawn as possible.


·         Divide the group into two teams and scatter an equal amount of throwables on their side of the boundary line. Tell them that the other team is up to no good and keeps throwing trash on their perfectly manicured lawn.

·         Their goal is to throw as much trash from their lawn onto their neighbors before the end of the activity. Don’t tell them how much time they have to complete this activity.

  • The issue is that the neighbors dislike each other so much that they have placed a 20-30 foot tall fence in between the two lawns, and the teams must throw the trash balls over the fence to get to the other side





Play video or alternatively, tell the story.

Question to probe:

1.     What did the boy do to trick the villagers?

2.     How did the villagers react to the boy’s cries?

3.     What happened when a real wolf appeared and the boy cried wolf loudly?

4.     By tricking the villagers did the boy gain trust when a real wolf appeared?

5.     Are there similar experiences or sharing of mischief or having fun by telling lies? (Ask students)

6.     By telling lies can you gain trust, develop good relations, integrity and accountability?

7.     By being honest what do we gain? How does society as a whole gain?

8.     When food is produced dishonestly it can have dire consequences on people’s health e.g. excessive pesticides on vegetables have long-term health problems on people. 

    Nobody forces you to do the wrong thing. Be a leader and make your own decisions. You may lose some friends by trying to be more honest, but you’ll attract new friends and help others, by your example, to be more honest.

Try always telling the truth and being honest for a while—in school, at home, with your friends – everywhere. It may be hard at first, but it’s worth it! Find friends who are honest and who will encourage you to have integrity,

This activity is perfect for processing and encouraging integrity within a group. Don’t give the group any instructions except what is written below, and then let them play. Let the play go on longer than they expect, and then call it when things get intense. Typically there will be groups who will continue throwing even after you ask them to stop.

Small Group Questions (10 Minutes – 5 per group, assign 3 or 4 questions)

1)    How do you define “Integrity?”

2)    Are there degrees of honesty, and when is a person considered “dishonest?”

3)    How does your honesty and integrity affect the way you feel about yourself?

4)    Why do people cheat even though they know it’s wrong? Why shouldn’t you?

5)    Is it wrong to give away free food to a friend if you work at a restaurant or to take some for yourself, or to occasionally steal something “small?”

6)    What could be the long-term effects of someone stealing or lying, even “just a little?”

7)    What can you do to change how you and your friends act, in terms of integrity?

8)    Why should you change and try to become totally honest?




Questions to probe:

1)    What quality was the King looking for in a successor for the throne?

2)    What was the King’s purpose in giving away seeds to the people?

3)    Why do you think people tried to cheat in the competition?

4)    What do you think about the winner? What were his true qualities?

5)    Do you think the king made the right decision by electing him as his successor?


When you see a situation of lying, cheating, or stealing, make a note of it following these criteria:

1)    What was the event (cheating on schoolwork, lying, stealing, etc.)?

2)    Who did the right thing and who didn’t?

3)    You may use pseudonyms to protect the real people.

4)    At the end of the week, evaluate your results and include the following:

a)    What surprised you most about your findings?

b)   What do you think about what you saw?

c)    What were the general attitudes of the wrongdoers and the right-doers?

d)    What changes would you like to make in your life to have the above values of integrity, honesty and accountability?

e)    How would you overcome peer pressure to “go along with the crowd?”


There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!”

The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill, they found no wolf. The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

“Don’t cry ‘wolf’, shepherd boy,” said the villagers, “When there’s no wolf!” They went grumbling back down the hill.

Later, the boy sang out again, “Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!” To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.

When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said, “Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don’t cry ‘wolf’ when there is NO wolf!”

But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more.

Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, “Wolf! Wolf!”

But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn’t come. At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn’t returned to the village with their sheep. They went up the hill to find the boy. They found him weeping.

“There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered! I cried out, “Wolf!” Why didn’t you come?”

An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village.

“We’ll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning,” he said, putting his arm around the youth, “Nobody believes a liar…even when he is telling the truth!”


A king in ancient times, by the name of Mahendra, was famous for his wisdom and righteousness. People in his kingdom were very happy because their great king ruled justly, and looked after the needs of his subjects. King Mahendra had no children. The question about the successor to the throne was worrying the king. His ministers were becoming anxious because the king was advancing into old age and his subjects were also becoming unsure about their own future.

To solve the question about the successor to the throne, King Mahendra thought of looking for a person with good character. He announced throughout his kingdom that people were invited to the palace grounds and from amongst the people present a successor to the throne may be chosen.

People flocked to the palace on the appointed day. King Mahendra addressed the people and told them that he would hand out seeds to each person present. The seeds were to be planted and whoever brought back the best-grown and most colourful flowers would be chosen as the crown prince. A person that can take care of plants and make them prosper can also make the kingdom prosper.

The people took the seeds and went back home.

Some weeks later, people started bringing flowerpots with some amazing results. There were happy plants all over the palace grounds and the plants were displaying their bright smiles through their colourful flowers of great variety. Each pot plant was bearing the name of the owner written in big bold letters on a tag that was attached to the plant.

On the appointed day, the whole population turned up at the palace grounds. The ministers looked at the judges and the judges again went into last minute consultations. There were loud cheers as the king entered the royal pavilion erected specially for this occasion. Long live the king! Long live the king! The people started singing in chorus. The king was then seated on his throne.

Accompanied by his ministers and by the palace gardener, the king was walking and observing each flower pot. The final hour had arrived. The time for announcement about the successor to the throne was approaching by the minute. The king rose from his throne to address the people. There was a pin drop silence. People felt their heartbeats quicken. The expectations were very high and so were the high standards of the flowerpot entries. The ministers were looking at the judges who signaled that they were ready to announce their decision.

The king started to address the people. In a somber tone, king Mahendra enquired about one failed entry where the flowerpot had only soil in it and asked its owner to come forward and explain to him. A man right at the back of the huge crowd raised his hand and started making his way towards the royal pavilion. He could hear people making caustic remarks about him. His ears were getting full with sarcasm and stinging words that were being tossed about by the people. An expression of timidity began to creep upon his countenance as he came face to face with his majesty, king Mahendra.

The king requested an explanation as to why his flowerpot had no plant. The man answered that he had tried his best, even adding more fertilizer and carefully watering the seeds, but that he was disappointed and sorry that he could not grow anything. The king stood up and told the people present that he had chosen his successor. It was none else than the man whose effort at growing flowering plant from the seeds that were given to him by the king was a total failure.

The people were incredulous and the ministers and the judges were dumbfounded. With a look full of puzzle on their faces, they awaited an explanation from the king. King Mahendra placed his hand upon the shoulder of the man that was chosen as his successor and spoke to the people.

The king said: “I was looking for a man with character and I have found him. I had all the seeds roasted before I gave them out. This fact was kept a secret. It was not possible for any seeds to germinate. People who received the seeds from me bought other seeds for their flowerpots when they did not see any plants growing in their flowerpots. I was on the lookout for that honest person who would produce the correct results and when I saw that one flowerpot without any plant, at that moment I knew that I had found that honest man. The man who has strength of character, purity of heart, fearlessness, straightforwardness, truthfulness and free from crookedness.” All heads bowed in agreement. The minds of the people were filled with wonderment and satisfaction. A sense of authority prevailed when king Mahendra bestowed the title of the crown prince upon the man whose honesty won over the hearts of the people.

7 Honesty, Integrity & Accountability Accountability – owning up to our actions even if they were wrongdoings.

To err is human. Those who are brave to own up to their mistakes are always looked upon with respect.

Only cowards sin,” says Swami Vivekananda.





























Truth is an essential element for a contented life. Life is worthless if one abandon truth. This is illustrated in the “Goddess of Truth”.





Through the Assembly Line game, players will learn the importance of team roles and each individual’s accountability within a group.








Game 1 : ALL LIES

It is hard to remember lies. Show your class that it is always easier to tell the truth.

1.     Sit with the students in a circle.

2.     Hold a large object in your hands and make up a silly lie about it.

3.     For example, if you are holding a stuffed bear you can say “This is a duck.”

4.     Pass the bear and instruct the next student to repeat what you said and add a new lie — e.g., “This is a duck and it is blue.”

5.     Continue until someone accidentally tells the truth or forgets a lie.

For comparison, try the same game but tell the truth.

After the game, get the students to do reflection about the game. Some questions that you can ask:

1.    Which was easier to play the lie game or the truth game?

2.    Ask the students to share why they felt that way (either lie game or truth game)

3.    After telling a truth, even if you had done a mistake, how do you feel?




Question to probe:

·         Can you explain the quality you find in Narendra?

·         Can you relate a similar incident which you can remember whether from real life or fiction?

·         Ask children to relate similar incidents where someone showed courage and spoke the truth without fear.



Question to probe:

·         Why do you think the king did not want to let go of the Goddess of Truth?

·         What would have happened if the Goddess of Truth has left the kingdom?

·         Can you relate what will happen to a country if the people do not practice truthfulness, honesty and are not accountable for their acts?


VIDEO 2: (this can be shown as an alternative to the first video):


This video is stopped at 0:21 to ask the participants on the ‘DE’ part (DEEP technique), show the rest of the video and continue with the ‘EP’ part.


Alternative Activity:

Money game or Role play on honesty – group discussion


  1. Arrange the classroom’s desks into rows of four and ask children to sit anywhere they want.
  2. Each group of four children will be an assembly line.
  3. Draw the four steps of the margarine lid sailboat craft on the board.
  4. Explain to students that they must work together with their teammates as part of an assembly line and try to create the sailboat as quickly as possible.
  5. Give craft supplies to students sitting on the left end of each assembly line and blow a whistle to start the game.
  6. The first player must cut out a right triangle from a construction paper sheet, the second player must punch three holes along the long leg of the triangle, the third one must weave a drinking straw through the holes and the fourth one must place a clay ball in the middle of the margarine lid and make the drinking straw stand upright.
  7. The first team to assemble the sailboat craft is the winners.



Narendra always adhered to truth and he does not tell lie. Even though he knew he will be punished for his mistakes, he will not hide anything or tell lies.

One day, Narendra was chatting in his classroom rather loudly. His teacher heard the noise and asked the boys to repeat the lesson. Everyone kept quiet, expect Narendra. He answered all the questions imposed by his teacher correctly. The teacher was convinced that Narendra alone was innocent. Therefore, he asked all the boys to admit their mistake. But the boys pointed to Narendra. The teacher did not believe them and asked them to stand up as punishment. Narendra too stood up. When the teacher asked him to sit down, he replied, ‘No, sir. I am the one who spoke loudly. Therefore, I must suffer the punishment.” The teacher and the class were pleased with Narendra’s integrity.


In the olden days, there was a great king named Aparajita. He loved his subjects dearly. All were happy under his care. The country was prosperous under him.

One morning, he went to bathe in a nearby river. There, he saw a beautiful girl who had actually come out of his palace. He stopped her and asked, ‘Oh Mother, who are you? Where are you going at this hour all alone?”

She replied, “Oh king! I am the goddess of wealth. I don’t stay at one place for long. But I stayed here for a long time, as you are a good man. Now I am leaving this place.”

“Is it so? If you are not happy here, you may go,” said the king.

After some time another girl was passing along, “Oh Mother! Where are you going?” asked the king. she said, “Your Majesty! I am the goddess of virtue. I follow the goddess of wealth.”

“As you wish Mother. You may go,” said the king.

After sometime another lady came along. “Who are you and where are you going?” asked the king. She replied, “I am the Goddess of Justice. I reside where the Goddess of virtue resides. So I am leaving.”

“All right! I will not stop you,” said the king.

After some time, he saw yet another lady ready to leave. The king asked, “Mother! Who are you and where are you going?” She replied, “I am the Goddess of Truth. I stay where my sisters are. I am leaving as all my sisters have left.”

Hearing this, the king became very sad. He instantly fell at her feet and said, “Mother! Please be gracious. I did not worry when the other three left. But I cannot exist without truth. So kindly do not forsake me.”

The Goddess of Truth was moved by these words of the king and said, “All right, I am not leaving your kingdom.” The king was happy and he said, “Oh Compassionate Mother! Glory to You!”

Since truth stayed back, the Goddess of Justice returned. She said, “O King! I stay only where the Goddess of Truth resides.” “It is my good fortune Mother! You are welcome!” said the king.

Goddess of Virtue returned and pointing to her two sisters said, “I do not stay without them.” So let me also stay back.” After a while, the Goddess of Wealth too returned. She said, “Without justice, virtue and truth, wealth will be the cause of disaster. So I too have returned.”

The happy king prostrated before the goddesses and said, “Oh Mothers! Let the people of my kingdom too realize the greatness of truth and understand that wherever truth is, there will be justice, virtue and wealth.”