Dharma for Juniors – Module 1


This module consists of four aspects:

  • Duty to parents
  • Duty to oneself
  • Faith in Oneself
  • Self-Respect
































Love Self & Others























Duty to parents

To create awareness about the sacrifice and love of our parents.

Pointers to help:

– Accept your parents even if they are unable to give you what you want.

– Cherish their love as they cherish you.


– Make efforts to bring that change where they see you as the child who has brought change and happiness in their life.

– Expectation hurts even when you don’t get a pen/pencil or eraser or toy. It is also the root cause of all miseries.


Before we try to please God, we must please our mother and father. By making them happy, we can achieve great success in life.


‘Treat your mother as God,

Treat your father as God.” – This is the code of family-dharma. If family does not survive, individuals cannot survive. (Taittiriya Upanishad)

This is illustrated in the lives of many great saints, like:

  • Sri Krishna Caitanya
  • Sri Sankaracharya
  • Sri Ramakrishna
  • Swami Vivekananda
  • Chanakya

1) Draw Ganesha – Children were taught to sketch Ganesha and color it creatively.

VIDEO:  Deaf Father and His Frustrated Daughter



Discussion on the video:

1) What is their understanding from the video?

2) Ask questions from the daughter’s perspective- what made her react in that manner?

3) Similarly ask questions from the father’s perspective – how did he feel?

4) What would you have done being in such situation?

5) Would you feel shy and ignore your own parents (mother/farther) if they did not measure to your expectations?

6) Wrap-up the session with your conclusion.

Quote: “If the mother is pleased, and the father, God is pleased with the man.” – Swami Vivekananda



Pointers for discussion:

1)    Why the boy’s mother was sad?

2)    What did the boy do to make his mother happy?

3)    Can we achieve success by making our parent’s unhappy?



2) Give a color heart shape paper and ask children to write:

i)   Their parents name

ii)   What they like about their parents.

iii) What they want to do for their parents to make them happy.

iv)  Take home the card and show to parents.

SONG: Yadumagi Nindrai by Barathiyar (Lyric & mp3)



There once was a little boy who lived with his mother. They were very poor. The boy was vey handsome and extremely smart. As he grew older, he became even more handsome and smarter. However, his mother always remained sad.

Once, the boy asked his mother, “Mother, why are you always sad?” Mother replied, “Son, a fortune teller once told me that whoever has teeth like yours will become very famous.” Then the boy asked, “Will you not like it if I become famous?”

“Oh, my son! What kind of mother wouldn’t like it if her son became famous? I’m always sad because I keep thinking that you will forget me and leave me once you become famous.”

Upon hearing this, the boy started to cry. He stood there in front of his mother for a while and then ran out of the house. He picked up a rock from outside and smashed his front two teeth. He started to bleed from his mouth.

His mother ran out and was shocked to see what he had done. She asked, “Son! What did you do?” In reply, the boy held his mother’s hands and said, “Mother, if these teeth cause you pain and make you sad, I don’t want them. They are of no use to me. I don’t want to be famous with these teeth. I want to be famous by serving you, and through your blessings…”

This boy was none other than the great Chanakya (350 – 275 BCE).

Chanakya is regarded as a great philosopher, economist and royal advisor in the Mauryan Dynasty. He was the author of Arthasastra and Chanakya Niti. Many Indian nationalists regard him as one of the earliest people who envisaged the united India spanning the entire subcontinent.



SONG: YADUMAGI NINRAI –  Subramanya Bharatiyar

Yādumāgi ninrāi Kāli

engum nī niraindāi

Tīdu nanmai ellām ninran

seyalgal anri illai

Podum ingu māndar vāzhum

poymai vāzhkai ellām

Ādi Sakti Tāye enmīd

arul purindu kāppāy

Enda nālum nin mel Tāye

isaigal pādi vāzhven

Kandanaippayandāy Tāye

karunai vellamānāy

Mandamārudattil vānil

malaya nucci mīdil

Cindai engu cellum angun

semmai tonru manre

O, Divine Mother! You have become

Everything and You fill the entire Universe

Good and bad are all but your actions.

Enough of this human life which is all false!

O Mother! You are the primordial Energy

Please protect me by bestowing Your grace upon me.

O My Divine Mother! I will sing your

glory all through my life

O Mother! Your fear for your son

Skanda (that he will not return to you from Palani)

turned your Grace ever flowing like water

You are in the gentle breeze, in the sky,

on the mountain peak – wherever the mind goes

there shines Your Grace!









































Love Self & Others























Duty to oneself – to one’s own body, mind, soul

Everyone has infinite potential within. If we tap this potential, we will be able to achieve anything we want. We can be strong, good, healthy, and intelligent. However, if we neglect the potential within us and degrade ourselves, we suffer.

No one is responsible for our failure or weakness. We alone are the creator of our own destiny.











Moral of the Story:

We alone are responsible for our acts. We should not harm ourselves for anyone.

Good thoughts do us good and bad thoughts harm us. If we takecare our thoughts, and guide it in good paths, it will help us to achieve success and happiness. If we let loose our thoughts without any control, it can ruin us.

The danger of uncontrolled thoughts is illustrated in The Kalpataru Tree.




One should uplift one’s lower self by the higher self.

One should not depress or downgrade one’self.

For the self is the friend and the enemy of the self.

To him who has subdued the lower self by the

higher self, the self acts like a friend.

But to him who has lost his higher self by

the dominance of the lower one,

the self becomes the enemy, always hostile to him.

ūddhared ātmanā tmānam

n’ātmānam avasādayet

ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur

atm ‘aiva ripur ātmanaḥ

bandhur ātmā tmanas tasya

yen ātmaivātmanā jitaḥ

anātmanas tu śatrutve

vartet ātmaiva śatruvat


Full version:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1bu0YgsIZY

(For those without LCD projector, the text is given, trainer can conduct a drama based on the story)






Quotes: “If I am unhappy, it has been of my own making, and that everything shows that I can be happy if I will.”

Questions to probe

1)    List out 3 things that made you unhappy.

2)    What did you think was the reason for your unhappiness?

3)    Is it because you did not get something you expected?

4)    How could you change the situation to make yourself happy?

5)    Can you change the situation, or can you change the way you handle the situation?



–      Children were informed to write a journal every day to examine their own thoughts and feeling.

–      Journal writing is essential for personality development.



Valmiki was the son of Sumali. His birth name was Ratnakar. The Uttara Khanda of Ramayana tells the story of Valmiki’s early life, as a highway robber who used to rob people before killing them. Robbing people who passed by was the only source of money for him.One day, Narada Muni was passing by that way when he ran into Ratnakara, who insisted him to give everything he owns, from his clothing to the shoes he was wearing. Narada asked Ratnakara why he was committing this sin. Ratnakara answered that this was the only way to provide food for his family. Narada, then, asked him if his family was part of this sin that he was committing and he told him to go ask his family that same question.

Ratnakara tied Narada to a tree to make him stay in that same spot until he was back. When Ratnakara asked his parents if they were with him on the sin that he was doing, they replied that it was his job to take care of them, and that he was only responsible for his own sins. His wife also said the same thing. Ratnakara then returned to Narada Muni and fell to his feet. He told him that he alone was responsible for the sins and asked him to help him get rid of the sins he had committed. Narada told him to repeat Lord Rama’s name and that would assist him. Then, after Narada left, Ratnakara went into a deep penance while reciting the Lord’s name. Soon, an anthill grew around him. After a long penance, a divine light came upon him and said that he was free from all sins, and that he was to be called “Valmiki” from then (Valmiki meaning ‘one who sits in an anthill’ in Sanskrit).

Full version:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1bu0YgsIZY


A man, who had not learnt to control his thoughts, happened to come under a tree known as the ‘Wish Tree’ or Kalpataru which granted all one’s desires. The man first thought that as he was tired it would be a good thing to have a cot to lie upon. He at once found a cot in front of him and lay down and stretched himself upon it. He next thought that if somebody massaged his tired limbs he would feel greatly refreshed. At once an attendant came and massaged his body. He then began to think of food and immediately he got all the dainties he desired. Thereupon as he was lying down in the midst of the forest, he became afraid lest a tiger should appear and devour him. Immediately a tiger appeared and devoured him.

This is how one who cannot control his thoughts meets with destruction.





























Love Self & Others




























Faith in Oneself

To create awareness that ALL POWER IS WITHIN.

Everyone desire success. Parents wish to see their children to come out with flying colours through the examinations. Students want to be the best in studies and sports. Everyone has an ambition when young.

The simple truth is, YOU CAN achieve your goal, if you have faith in yourself. If you analyse and understand the capacity of your mind, you can do anything, even the most impossible. There is tremendous power lying hidden in your mind. The way to success is to tap that power.






Om tejosi tejo mayi dehi

vīryamasi vīryam mayi dehi

balamasi balam mayi dehi

ojosi ojo mayi dehi

manyurasi manyum mayi dehi

sahosi saho mayi dehi

O Lord! You are the embodiment of spiritual effulgence, give me spiritual effulgence. You are infinite vigour, give me infinite vigour. You are strength, give me strength. You are spiritual power, give me spiritual power. You are infinite courage, give me courage. You are infinite patience, give me patience.

(Shukla Yajur Veda Samhita 19.9)


Questions to probe

1.    Where does the miraculous secret power lie?

2.    Why don’t you understand where the great power lies?

3.    You can achieve anything if you have faith in yourself.  Yes/No

4.    There is tremendous power lying unutilized in your mind.  Yes/No


Video :


Questions to probe

1.    Now, are you confident that you will reach your goal?

2.    Do you have faith in your potential?

3.    Do you feel confident and hopeful or, you feel fear, nervous and not sure?

ACTIVITY: Colour a picture of Ekalavya



Once, in heaven there was a discussion among the gods to decide where the miraculous secret power, the power by which man can achieve anything in this world, was to be kept hidden. One of the gods suggested that it could be kept hidden in the depths of the Sea. Another said it could be buried on top of high mountains. The third one thought of a cave in the woods as the right place.

At last, the most intelligent among them said, ‘Keep it in the depths of man’s mind. He will never suspect that the power is hidden there because right from his childhood, his mind is prone to wandering and he will not look within, and use the power and become great.’ All gods agreed.

So, do you see that the difference between two people lies in their minds? One knows how to tap its power and the other does not. So, the truth expressed here is that in the depths of man’s mind lies hidden the miraculous power, using which one can become great.


This is the story of a long-gone era. In the country of India, nearly five thousand years back, lived a boy named Eklavya. He was the son of Hiranyadhanu, a tribal chief in the forests of the kingdom- Hastinapura.

Having come to know of the greatness of Drona as a teacher, Ekalavya tried to enrol himself as a pupil. But Drona declined to accept him, because he was teaching the royals-Pandavas and Kauravas. Ekalavya then went into the forest and erected a statue of of Drona. He imagined the statue as his guru and derived inspiration from the statue. He mastered the art of archery and became a great archer. Day after day, he took his bow and arrow, worshipped the statue of Drona and started practice. In time faith, courage and perseverance transformed Eklavya the mere tribal hunter into Eklavya the extraordinary archer. Eklavya became an archer of exceptional prowess, superior even to Drona’s best pupil, Arjuna.

One day while Eklavya is practicing, he hears a dog barking. At first the boy ignored the dog, but continuous disturbance in his practice angered him. He stopped his practice and went towards the place where the dog was barking. Before the dog could shut up or get out of the way, Eklavya fired seven arrows in rapid succession to fill the dog’s mouth without injuring it. As a result it roamed the forests with its mouth opened.

But Eklavya was not alone in his practice. He was unaware of the fact that just some distance away, the Pandava princes were also present in that area of the forest. As fate would have it, that day, they had come with their teacher, Drona, who was instructing them about some finer points of archery by making them learn in the real-life condition of the open jungle.

As they were busy practicing, they suddenly chanced upon the “stuffed” dog, and wonder who could have pulled off such a feat of archery. Drona was amazed too.” Such an excellent aim can only come from a mighty archer.” he exclaimed. He told the Pandavas that if somebody was such a good archer then he surely needed to be met. The practice was stopped and together they began searching the forest for the one behind such amazing feat. They found a dark-skinned man dressed all in black, his body besmeared with filth and his hair in matted locks. It was Eklavya.

Dronacharya went up to him.

“Your aim is truly remarkable!” Drona praised Eklavya, and asked “From whom did you learn Archery?”

Eklavya was thrilled to hear Drona’s praises. How surprised he will be if he told Drona that he, in fact was his Guru!

“From you my Master. You are my Guru,” Eklavya replied humbly.

“Your Guru? How can I be your Guru? I have never seen you before!” Drona exclaimed in surprise. But all of a sudden he remembered something. He remembered about an eager boy who had visited his Gurukul several months ago. “Now I remember,” said he. “Are you not the same hunter boy whom I refused admission in my Gurukul some months back?”

“Yes, Dronacharya”, replied the boy. “After I left your Gurukul, I came home and made a statue like you and worshipped it every day. I practiced before your image. You refused to teach me, but your statue did not. Thanks to it, I have become a good archer.”

It came as a surprise for them. Arjuna was upset because he was told by Drona that he was his best student. But here he saw a person who excelled him in the art of archery. When Drona was informed of all these things, he came to Ekalavya. Ekalavya was thrilled to meet his ‘Guru’ in person. But Drona demanded his right thumb as Guru Dakshina ( Fees to Guru). Ekalavya did give his thumb without any hesitation. Without his right thumb he was not able to shoot the arrows as before. Here we see one’s devotion to Guru and a person’s mental power to obtain any thing. He just imagined an earthen statue as his Guru and attained the unachievable for a layman. This story is also in Mahabharata (Parva 1, chapter 132).

The story teaches that you can learn something on your own just by believing that you can. Be self-effort and faith in your own power, longing for knowledge, and by self-reliance, you can do miracles.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpplpX862co

4 Love Self & Others Self-Respect

Self-Respect is an essential quality that you must have to achieve success. Do not let others belittle you.

Story of Dhruva is an example of self-respect, courage in facing harsh treatment and never gives up until you gain what you deserve.

One can achieve even the impossible with mother’s blessing and grace of the Guru and ultimately grace of God.

Fearlessness – Have courage to do what is right and good. When you have self-respect, you also have tremendous courage and are fearless in facing difficulties.


You do not run away when faced with trouble but try your best to solve it. This can be seen from the story ‘Saving the Sailor’.


Time : 20 minutes

Original version:


(Those without LCD projector, can tell the story / or do it as an group reading exercise)

Questions to probe

1)    What did Dhruva felt when he could not sit on his father’s lap?

2)    What did he decided to do to gain his father’s love?

3)    What did his mother told him when he expressed his desire to go to the forest?

4)    What happened when Dhruva set out alone to the forest?

5)    What would you do if you feel hurt with anyone’s words?


Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

(Salutation to Bhagavan Vasudeva who is Mahavishnu)



–      This is a real life incident in the life of Narendra, who later became Swami Vivekananda.

Questions to probe

1)    Why did the crowd fled when they saw the accident?

2)    What would you do in similar situation?


King Uttanpada had two wives. His first wife, Sunity, was the daughter of a tribal chief. His second wife, Suruchi, was the daughter of a rich king. Sunity had a son named Dhruva and Suruchi’s son was named Uttam. Dhruva was the elder of the two, so it was his right to become the next king.

But Suruchi was very selfish; she hated her stepson Dhruva and wanted her son Uttam to be the ruler. Uttanpada loved Suruchi more than Sunity because she was beautiful. Under her influence, he ordered Sunity and Dhruva to leave the palace.

Mother and son started living in a small hut near the forest. Sunity told Dhruva stories about God and Dhruva always thought about God.

One day, Dhruva went to the palace and saw Uttam sitting on his father’s lap. But when Dhruva tried to do the same, Suruchi stopped him and said, “There is no place for you on your father’s lap. Only my son can sit on his lap.” Dhruva looked at his father hoping that he would stop Suruchi and take him on his lap. But his father did not say anything and ignored him.

Deeply hurt, Dhruva returned to his mother. Weeping bitterly he asked her why he had no place on his father’s lap and why they had no place in the palace.

Sunity had no answer to her son’s questions. Dhruva said, “You told me that God is good, he helps those who pray to him. I will go and find God, he will certainly give me my place.” Dhruva decided to go to the forest and pray until God appeared before him. In the forest, he met Narada Muni, who was worried that a five-year-old boy like him would face many difficulties in the forest. He warned Dhruva that wild animals could eat him up. But Dhruva was determined to find Lord Vishnu. Impressed by his determination, Narada taught him how to survive in the forest. He also taught him the mantra “Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya” by chanting which he could please Lord Vishnu.

For many months, Dhruva prayed in the forest, and faced many difficulties. He even stopped eating. With every breath, he chanted the mantra in praise of God. Finally, Lord Vishnu was pleased with his determination and appeared before him. He not only granted Dhruva a place on his father’s lap, but also a permanent place in the sky after his death.

When Uttanpada heard that his son was living in the forest, he was sorry for his actions. Narada Muni told him that his son had performed difficult prayers in the forest and was blessed by Lord Vishnu himself. When Dhruva returned, Uttanpada was waiting for him at the gates of his kingdom. He took his son lovingly into his arms. He brought him and Sunity back to the palace. Uttanpada immediately made Dhruva the king, saying that the boy, who could face such a young age, could easily rule the kingdom. Uttanpada himself went to live in an ashram.

Dhruva became a wise king and ruled for many years. He spread the message of peace and justice in his kingdom. When he died, he became a star in the sky. This star, called the pole Star or Dhruva Tara is still seen shining in the sky. It is the only star that has a permanent place and does not change its position in the sky. All the other stars and constellations move around it throughout the year.

Original version:



Narendra and his friends loved to play various games like running, jumping, skipping and other physical exercises. “Let us start our own gymnasium,” Narendra said. “That is a good idea. We will build our own gym in the field,” said his friend.

They all agreed and started to work in a field. As they were still young boys, they could not lift the heavy trapeze. Many people stood nearby to stare but no one came forward to help them.  A sailor, who was passing by, saw the gathering. He came to help the boys. While he was lifting the trapeze and was about to set it, his hand gave away. The trapeze slipped and fell on the sailor’s head. Drops of blood were oozing out from his head. He did not move. Thinking that the man was dead, the crowd ran away. Within a few seconds, the place was quiet. Only Narendra and his friends were left with the bleeding sailor.  Narendra touched the body and realized that the man was still breathing. He tore his clothes and bandaged the sailor’s head.  Another boy brought some water and sprinkled on his face. After a few minutes, the sailor opened his eyes. Narendra and his friends helped him to go to a nearby school room. Then they brought a doctor to give treatment to the sailor.

After a few weeks, the man recovered and he was ready to go. Narendra and his friends gave him a thick purse with the money they had collected. Thanking the kind boys, the sailor went home. Narendra later became the world-renowned Hindu monk, Swami Vivekananda.

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