Dharma for Juniors – Module 3


This module consists of three parts:

  • Hard Work: the willingness to work and to put in the required amount of work to achieve learning goals
  • Perseverance: the drive to struggle on in the face of failure or setbacks
  • Commitment : the feeling that binds you to an objective and keeps you focussed

Overall view

The objective of this program is to assists trainers understand and impart these values in the most practical manner to children/teenagers/adults using the most appropriate teaching methodology in delivering the teachings.

Module Objective

By the end of the training, trainers who are teaching this module should be able to:

  • Define the characteristics of values related to Hard Work:

~ Realisation of the need for self-effort

~ The willingness to put in the required amount of work

~ Realisation of the need for discipline

  • Define the characteristics of values related to Perseverance

~ Mental or physical strength

~ Belief in Oneself

  • Define the characteristics of values related to Commitment

~ Staying focused

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this training module trainees will:

  1. understand that failures and setbacks can be countered with the right action and emotion.
  2. understand that the right action can lead to success
  3. understand that success does not come easily but with a lot of hard work
  4. understand the use of strategy in planning for the future
  5. understand that when faced with a setback one can become either despondent or more determined to do better
  6. understand that a strong will can overcome physical pain or discomfort
  7. know how to select and use videos to teach values in a class
  8. know how to prepare appropriate questions using higher order thinking skills to enhance students’ understanding


  1. Define hard work :

It is the willingness to put in the required amount of work in order to achieve an objective.

  1. Realise

One should realise that one needs to put in the effort, be it physical or mental.

One should realise that one needs to discipline oneself in order to put in the required amount of work. One has to have self-command and make sacrifices where necessary.

  1. Assess

One needs to assess the quantity and type of effort that is required.

  1. Plan

Be able to plan, prepare, organize, strategize to achieve that goal

  1. Believe

Believe that with the right effort, the reward will come.

  1. Define perseverance :

It is the willingness and determination to carry on in the face of failure or setbacks.

  1. Build inner mental strength

Needed to face failure or setback

Inner strength can be built up in a number of ways: through prayer or through the conviction that hard work will pay off in the end.

  1. Belief in oneself

Believe in one’s own intellect, that by analysing the reasons for failure, strategizing and rethinking a problem, or by seeking appropriate help, one can find the solution.

  1. Endurance

Be willing to put up with physical discomfort and bodily pain, forego pleasurable activities when necessary and make sacrifices in order to achieve one’s goal.

  1. Be Creative

Think of new ways of doing things

  1. Define commitment

       Commitment is what binds you to achieving your goal. It is your willingness to give your time and energy to do something

that you believe in, or to keep a promise or hold on to a firm decision you have made.

Staying focused

Commitment is defined by how strongly you feel you want to stay the course in order to achieve your goal (eg. you want to get a good marks or win a competition) or feel you need to achieve it (eg. You need to help support your family) or feel you ought to achieve it (eg. You feel you have the capability and that you owe it to yourself to realise your potential).




8 Hard work, perseverance, & commitment Hard  work – the willingness to work and to put in the required amount of work to achieve the  goals

After putting all effort, we patiently wait for the expected result.

Hard work is very important if we want to reach our goal in life. Look at the history of the world. All those who achieved something great have done so by means of hard work.

Genuine success and hard work are inseparable companions. Without sincere effort no one can attain excellence.

For instance, at the time of examinations you watch TV all the time. Later you break a coconut in front of God and pray to him for success. This attitude will not work. God helps those who help themselves. We should remember that we can be successful with sustained effort. Success comes before work only in the dictionary. In life, Hard work’ comes first and then comes ‘success’.

We are the makers of our own destiny and not our parents, teachers or friends. They may, at the most encourage us, and give us a helping hand, but we ourselves have to work for our achievements.

‘One can drag the horse to water but cannot make it drink’, is a famous proverb. If you are hungry you should eat to appease your hunger. Someone else cannot eat for you. Similarly, if you want success you should work hard. No one else can do it for you.

The story of ‘A Determined Farmer’ illustrates the importance of hard work.



However, you must work hard; this does not mean you should work like a slave, without any love for the work. You should also must think whether the work is beneficial. This is illustrated in “The Dog’s Curly Tail”.  The video illustrates that though we must work hard to achieve something, it must be something practical and sensible. We should not waste our energy to do useless things like the ghost.


The game of ‘Tossing a Candy’ illustrate that if we want anything in life, we must work for it. If we do not work, we will not get anything.

Also sometimes, even though, we may work hard, we may not get expected result. That is why even those who could not complete the game received same amount of candy to eat.

We must learn to accept what life offers despite our best effort.

After explaining the objective, tell his story:


Questions to probe:

1)    Why is hard work important?

2)    What does hard work means?

3)    Do you think the farmer did the right thing in working so hard?

4)    Can you tell any situation where you get something without any effort?

5)    Why do you think that some people have everything they want and some do not?

6)    Do you ever feel you are not getting what you want or deserve?

7)    What do you feel when you do not get what you want?

8)    Do you always get what you want even though you think you have done your best? What could be the reason for it?



“The wind of God’s grace is always blowing, what you need to do is to unfurl your sail.”

“The remedy for weakness is not brooding over weakness, but thinking of strength.”

“Nothing is done by leading idle lives.”




1)    What was the work given to the ghost?

2)    Did the ghost ask for the reason for doing the work?

3)    What do you think will happen if you simply follow instruction like the ghost?




Material: 5 candies per child

5 containers of different sizes

Masking tape or chalk to draw lines

1.    Line up 5 containers, the smallest container in front and the largest at the back.

2.    Place one masking tape line on the floor two feet from the first container and a second line three feet from the first container. Younger children will toss from the closer line, and the older children from the farther.

3.    Each child is given 5 candies.

4.    Say: I have great prizes for children who can toss their candies into all five containers.

5.    Have each child to toss the candies by turn. After all the children played the game, congratulate those who got all their candies in the containers.

6.    Then ask all the children to take 5 candies and eat it as their prize. All children will get equal amount of candy to eat.



Once upon a time, there was a drought in a certain part of a country. The farmers began to cut long channels to bring water to their fields. One farmer took a vow that he would not stop digging until the channel connected his field to the river. He was stubbornly determined. He set to work.

It was time for this bath, and his wife sent his daughter with oil. ‘Father’ said the girl, ‘it is already late. Please use this oil and have your bath.’ ‘Go away’ he thundered, ‘I have a lot of work to do now.’

It was midday, and the farmer was still at work. He did not even think of bath. His wife came up and said, ‘Why have you not taken your bath? The food is getting cold. You always overdo everything. You can finish your work later or even tomorrow.’

The farmer scolded her and ran at her with a spade in his hand crying ‘What? Have you no sense? There is no rain. The crops are dying. What will our children eat? Without this water all of us will have to starve to death. I have taken a vow that I will not think of food or rest today before bringing the water to my field’. Such was his strong determination.

The wife saw his state of mind and ran away in fear. After a whole day’s back-breaking labour, the farmer managed to connect the fields to the river late in the evening. Then he sat down and watched the water flowing into the field with a murmuring sound. His mind was filled with peace and joy. He was sure that he would now have a good crop.

He went home and called his wife and said to her, “Now, give me some oil.” With a peaceful mind he finished his bath and meal. He retired to rest and slept peacefully. The determination he showed is an example of hard work done to achieve success.

Now there was another farmer who was also digging a channel to bring water to his field. His wife came to the field and said to him, ‘It is very late. Come home. It is not necessary to overdo things.’ This farmer did not protest but put aside his spade and said to his wife, “Well, I will go home since you ask me to.” That man never succeeded in irrigating his field. Consequently, his crop failed.

So, we understand from his story that for any achievement hard work is the only real way. Hard and determined efforts are sure to be rewarded.



There was a poor man who wanted some money.  He had heard that if he could get hold of a ghost, he might command him to bring him money or anything else he liked; so he was very anxious to get hold of one. He went about searching for someone who could give him a ghost. He asked everyone he met whether they knew any sage with great powers.

One day he met a group of woodcutters and asked them, ‘Brothers, you go into the wood everyday. Have you ever seen any sage there?” To his great joy one of the woodcutters replied, “Yes, sir, we know a hermit who lives in this woods’, and  they gave him the direction . The man could not stop to thank them; but rushed to the spot. It was dark when he reached the hermitage. An old monk with matted hair and a long beard was meditating before a fire.

The man sat on the ground and waited patiently. When at last the sage opened his eyes and stood up, he fell at his feet and started weeping. “Why, what’s happened to you?” asked the surprised sage, ‘and who are you? What do you want?”

“I’m a very poor man, sir and I want a ghost to work for me ‘, replied the man.”Teach me, pray, how to get hold of one, sir, I desire it very much.”

The sage listened gravely and said, ‘ Don’t disturb yourself, child , go home”.

But he would not giveup. Day after day he visited the sage and prayed for a ghost. At last the sage, in disgust, said, “Take this Charm, repeat this magic word, and a ghost will come and whatever you say to him he’ll do. But , beware ; they’re terrible beings—if you fail to give him work he ‘ll take your life “.

“That’s easy”, replied the man with a smile.” I can give him work all his life”. Then the man went to a forest, sat on a rock, and started repeating the magic word. After long repetition of the magic word, a huge ghost appeared before him, and said in a deep voice “I ‘m a ghost. I‘ve been conquered by your magic; but you must keep me constantly employed. The moment you fail to give me work, i ‘ll kill you”. The man was astounded that he could hardly speak at all for a moment. After some time he manages to put his wish into words, “Build me a palace”.

The ghost waved his hand and instantly there rose a beautiful building. “It’s done; the palace is built”, said the ghost.

“Bring me money, jewels, gold, wealth”, he cried out in excitement.

“Here is your Wealth”, said the ghost. “The whole wood was instantly lit up by a blaze of colour which came from some silver vases filled with jewels precious stones and gold coins. He could hardly believe his eyes. As he was greedily grazing at them, he heard the voice of the ghost saying, “Give me work, give me More Work I can’t remain idle you know else I ‘ll Kill you”

Tearing himself away from that fascinating sight with reluctance, the man turned to the ghost, thought a little and then said,” O ghost, cut this forest down, and build a city in its place. The city must have beautiful palaces, towers, ponds, roads, gardens etc. Do you understand? I want big beautiful city immediately”.

“Ah! This time certainly the ghost won’t be able to finish job so quickly”, said the man to himself, “and in the meantime i ‘ll plan some other work for him”. But hardly had he finished his thought when whole forest disappeared and a huge city came up in its place. “That’s done”, said the ghost “Anything More?”,

Now the man began to frightened for he thought he could give him nothing more to do . The ghost said “Give me something to do or I’ll eat you up”.

The poor man searched every nook and corner of his mind but could find no further occupation for the ghost and was frightened. So he ran and ran and at last reached the sage. “Oh, Sir”, said the man grasping, “oh sir, please save my life!”

“What’s the matter?” asked the sage.

“I’ve nothing left to give ghost to do”, replied man in broken voice, His knees were trembling in such a way as if they were not his own. “Everything I tell him he does in a moment, sir, and now he threatens to eat me up if I don’t give him more work”.

“O sage, please save my life, I know you can save me,” he went on saying, “I don’t want money, I don’t want anything. Please be kind to me and save me from the ghost”.

The sage felt pity for the poor man and said, ”You , fool stand up. There is no time to lose.” Then pointing to a dog that was lying nearby, he said, “Look at that dog with curly tail.. Take a weapon … er… yes, that axe over there quick, and cut the tail off and give it to the ghost, saying, “Straighten that out for me”.

The man dashed to the hut, picked up the axe rushed back to the dog, cut off it’s tail and gave it to the ghost saying, “O ghost, straighten this tail out for me”.

The ghost took it and said,”I’ll do it right now, and then will make you a very good dinner for me, ha! Ha!  No escape for you, my man, I ‘’ eat you sure”.

He sat on the ground and slowly and carefully straightened the curly tail out. But as soon as he let it go, it instantly curled up again. Once more he laboriously straightened it out, only to find it again curled up as soon as he let go of it. So it went on for days and days, until he was exhausted and said, ”I was never in such a trouble before in my life. I ‘m a veteran ghost but never have I been in such a trouble”.

At last the ghost said to the man “Sir, I’ll make a compromise with you: you let me off and I‘ll let you keep all I‘ve given you and promise not to harm you”.

The man took the offer gladly and heaved a sigh of relief.



Hard work, perseverance, & commitment Perseverance – the drive to struggle on in the face of failure or setbacks


Perseverance really isn’t a fun topic to talk about, because it’s hard. It’s hard to persevere through hard times. It’s hard to press on when things are tough. There’s really nothing fun about it, but it’s incredibly important.

In the dictionary, perseverance is defined as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”



Steadfastness. Staying steady. Holding steadfast to something and sticking out the situations that are difficult, where success seems really far away.

Ask students to think – “What are you holding steadfast to?”

Have you ever heard that verse before? It’s the essence of perseverance. Fighting the good fight, finishing the race of life, and keeping the faith the whole time.

Don’t you want to be able to say that? When you get to the end of your life, don’t you want to be able to confidently say that you persevered through the hard circumstance, that you kept fighting your way through the tough times? Or do you want to look back on your life and just see time after time where you chose quitting over perseverance?

Perseverance is really, really hard. But it is possible! Let’s look at why it’s possible to persevere through hard times.

You can persevere, or you can be a quitter. Those are really the only choices you have when it comes to hard times and tough circumstances. Sure, it’s going to be tempting to quit sometimes. But when that happens, just remember all we’ve talked about tonight. Remember who is on your side and what’s at stake.



Questions to probe:

1)    What were requests of the two yogis to Narada?

2)    What was the message Narada delivered to the first Yogi and what was the response of the Yogi?

3)    What was the message Narada delivered to the second Yogi and what was the Yogi’s response?

Quote: “It is only those who persevere to the end that succeed.” – Swami Vivekananda



Materials: 2 types of very bitter drinks / sweets

Chocolate candies.

1)    Tell children that whoever wants to eat the chocolate, must drink the bitter drink.

2)    Those who can finish all the bitter sweets can have the chocolate.

3)    Now, ask the children why they took the bitter sweets knowingly.



1.    Have there been times in your life where you had to choose if you were going to persevere or quit? What did you choose?

2.    What do you think to keep yourself going through difficulties?

2.    Do you pray to God to keep yourself strong and help you through difficulties?

3.    At the end of your life, do you want to be able to say you fought bravely, finished your race, and kept your faith? If so, do you think you’ll need the perseverance to be able to do that?

5.    Perseverance can sometimes be viewed in a negative way because it implies hard situations. Now that you know it leads to hope, does it seem like more of a positive thing to you?

6.    Does knowing that God listen to sincere prayer and protect those who depend on Him make you feel more confident?

7.    Have you ever had an experience where you feel like the fact that you persevered through a situation built character?



There was a great god-sage called Nârada. Just as there are sages among mankind, great Yogis, so there are great Yogis among the gods. Narada was a good Yogi, and very great. He travelled everywhere.

One day he was passing through a forest, and saw a man who had been meditating until the white ants had built a huge mound round his body — so long had he been sitting in that position. He said to Narada, “Where are you going?” Narada replied, “I am going to heaven.” “Then ask God when He will be merciful to me; when I shall attain freedom.”

Further on Narada saw another man. He was jumping about, singing, dancing, and said, “Oh, Narada, where are you going?” His voice and his gestures were wild. Narada said, “I am going to heaven.” “Then, ask when I shall be free.” Narada went on.

In the course of time he came again by the same road, and there was the man who had been meditating with the ant-hill round him. He said, “Oh, Narada, did you ask the Lord about me?” “Oh, yes.” “What did He say?” “The Lord told me that you would attain freedom in four more births.” Then the man began to weep and wail, and said, “I have meditated until an ant-hill has grown around me, and I have four more births yet!”

Narada went to the other man. “Did you ask my question?” “Oh, yes. Do you see this tamarind tree? I have to tell you that as many leaves as there are on that tree, so many times, you shall be born, and then you shall attain freedom.” The man began to dance for joy, and said, “I shall have freedom after such a short time!” A voice came, “My child, you will have freedom this minute.”

That was the reward for his perseverance. He was ready to work through all those births, nothing discouraged him. But the first man felt that even four more births were too long. Only perseverance, like that of the man who was willing to wait for aeons, brings about the highest result.


10 Hard work, perseverance, & commitment Commitment – the feeling that binds you to an objective and keeps you focused.

We must have an ideal. It is the ideal that has made us what we are, and will make us what we are going to be.

When we have an ideal, we must stick to it, come what may. Such commitment to an ideal, will surely bring us success or whatever that we strive for.

Without commitment to our ideal or goal, we will not be able to see success.

To illustrate this, show the video or tell the story of young Abdul Kalam.




English :


Tamil :


Message from Video:

1.    Plan and strategize your future plan of action.

2.   Courage to excel despite being humiliated.

3. We must use our misfortunes as stepping stones for success.

4. Never be disheartened and never give up!

5. It was all about hardwork, perseverance and commitment

Probe with the following questions:

1)    What did he strategize for his own future? What was his plan?

2)    How was this plan put into action?

3)    Though he was embarrassed and sad when his Maths teacher caned him, did he give up?

4)    What did he think of when he was sad and disheartened?

5)    What made him overcome all embarrassments and difficulties?

6)    What did he decide to do in order to make himself and his parents proud?

7)    What did he achieve finally with his hard work?

8)    What would you do from now on to achieve your dream?


Questions to probe:

1)    What was the resolve he made to serve God?

2)    What did he do when he faced difficulties in carrying out his service?

3)    Did he give up his service when faced with difficulties?

4)    What do you think that made him stick to his service to the Lord?

5)    What did he get by doing such service to God?



Ask each child to write down one goal that can be accomplished in 21 DAYS. Have them write down how the goal will be easy and what might impede their ability to accomplish the task. Have children get in pairs and ask them to share their goals. Tell them that they now have a goal buddy and that weekly, they will provide encouragement and a reminder to stick to their goals. At the end of the 21 days, have each child share their progress with the group and how their goal buddy helped them through the process. Discuss the importance of commitment, dedication and perseverance when tackling personal goals.


Have children stand in a circle and close their eyes. Ask them to reach across and grab hands with two different people. Tell them to untangle the human knot they’ve created without speaking or unlocking hands. If you sense they’re about to give-up, encourage them to work together until the task is completed. After the activity, ask them to discuss what it felt like in the beginning and the end. Stress the importance of sticking with a task, even if it seems impossible.



Ganampullar was born in a holy place called Erukkuveloor. He went to Siva temple everyday and did the service of lighting lamps. He spent all his money in this service to the Lord and lost his wealth.

He then went to Chidambaram, sold his belongings there and continued his service in the Tirupuleesvarar temple.

Finally, he had nothing to sell. Therefore, he cut the grass (‘Pul’ in Tamil) and sold it to light the lamps with ghee in the temple thus earning the name Ganampullar.

Once, he could not sell the grass. As he did not have money to buy ghee, he tried to light the lamps with grass but in vain. He felt dejected. Unable to bear the pain of not being able to perform his service, he set fire to his hair and offered it as a lamp to the Lord.

Thus Ganampulla Nayanar attained the blessings of Lord Shiva.