Dharma for Junior – Module 6


This module consists of value on Pursuit of knowledge:

Characteristics of pursuit of knowledge – bring about individual growth and success through lifelong learning.

Overall view

The objective of this program is to assist trainees 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, trainees who are teaching this module should be able to impart the value.

Meaning of Pursuit of knowledge – ability to apply values which support learning and the ability to adapt to change.

Both formal and informal learning opportunities throughout people’s lives in order to foster the continuous development and improvement of the knowledge and skills needed for employment and personal fulfilment.

Following are the characteristics:

  1. Personal growth;
  2. Lifelong learning;

 Learning Outcomes

At the end of this training module trainees will:

  1. Be able to define the meaning of the pursuit of knowledge;
  1. have mastery over key techniques of questioning & facilitation so that values are realized & internalized;
  2. be able to select activities that will bring about value inculcation effectively;
  3. design appropriate questions using higher order thinking skills to enhance students’ understanding & realisation of values;
  4. be able to self-evaluate and reflect upon one’s own actions/behaviour and plan for change and improvements;
  5. Realise opportunities for personal growth and development;
  6. Identify appropriate teaching strategies to impart value education;
  7. Trainees will design modules using creative and innovative learning methodologies. 


  1. Define and explain what Pursuit of Knowledge is?

(Education, culture and values are the tools for building and preserving society’s integrity and strength.

  1. Explain why we need to change and grow?

Explanation of humility

Humility means to be humble and to be modest (use examples).

Trainer to explain this in a form of a story using videos or slides.

(In Bhagavad Gita – Krishna points out that true spiritual attainment is not getting something from outside or reaching somewhere away or different from oneself. It is a fruitation that takes place within oneself when the mind becomes pure, intelligence becomes bright and clear and the heart becomes light and contented – (appropriate to use for older children & adults).

Activity 2 (for teenagers): Achieving my dreams

Trainer to play the video on Achieving my childhood dreams.

Trainer to encourage everyone to make their own reflection on what their dreams were and what they have achieved or have not achieved till now.

Trainer to encourage everyone to share it out to all.

Activity 3: Video project: MY LIFE LONG LEARNING STARTS HERE & NOW

Trainer to inform children/teens that they are going to make a similar short video-clip (they work in groups or pairs & assisted by teachers/parents).

Later the video will be uploaded on to Youtube (assisted by facilitator/teacher).

This is to make them excited at the same time will never forget this message of “MY LIFE LONG LEARNING STARTS HERE & NOW”.

Activity 4: Letter writing: Vow to myself

  1. Everyone is given pieces of paper.
  2. Everyone writes a letter to themselves
16 Pursuit of Knowledge Personal growth – readiness to learn

Learn good things from everyone and everything.


Life is an individual journey and we must be aware of where we are now and where we want to go. (Achieve goals)

Ultimately what matters are the steps that you take to achieve your purpose in life.


What makes an ideal student? Discuss the 16 qualities that are given here.





In Hindu tradition, the secret of power, concentration, photo-graphic memory and intelligence is Brahmacharya in youth. All great personalities like Adi Sankara, Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda practiced Brahmacharya since childhood and look upon it as an asset in all youth.

With the practice of Brahmacharya, one activates the Medha Shakti. It is a tremendous intellectual faculty that functions in two ways:

1)    The ability to comprehend

2)    The ability to remember




Medha Shakti enables one to quickly grasp the purport of the subject one studies and to retain the matter in memory without any lapse.

It is different from the ordinary intelligence. It is a sublime faculty that blossoms only in those that are chaste and continent.

Illustration of Medha Shakti, the power of unusual memory power can be found in the lives of the great saints.

“By the observance of strict Brahmacharya (continence) all learning can be mastered in a very short time – one has an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once.”  – Swami Vivekananda

“Chastity is the life of a nation. Do you not find in history that the first death-sign of a nation has been unchastity? When that has entered, the end of race is in sight.” – Swami Vivekananda

“Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances; a celibate of such spotless chastity is not a human being, but a god indeed… To the celibate who conserves the semen with great efforts, what is there unattainable in this world ? By the power of the composure of the semen, one will become just like Myself.”  – Sri Sankaracharya


Aum saha nāvavatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai
tejasvi nāvadhītamastu
mā vidviṣāvahai |
Aum śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||

May He protect us both the teacher and the pupil! May He cause us both to enjoy the bliss of Mukti (Liberation)! May we both exert to discover the true meaning of the sacred scriptures! May our studies be fruitful! May we never quarrel with each other! Let there be peace, peace, peace.

Meditating on this mantra will create a good relationship between the teacher and the pupil. This cordial relationship will enable the pupil to concentrate better in their lessons.



Questions to probe:

1)    What was everyone’s opinion on Giri while he served his Guru?

2)    What are the qualities seen in Giri’s life which moved his Guru to bless him?

3)    Can you describe the qualities a student must have to become an outstanding or ideal student?

4)    Compare with the list of 16 Qualities for an Ideal Student.

5)    Children can copy the list and asked to start a self-check to assess how many qualities they have and where they need improvement.





Recall learning from previous modules and videos shown about pursuing goals with perseverance & determination.

Other optional videos of Teenager:







Totakacharya (c. 8th century CE) was a disciple of Ādi Śaṅkara, the Advaita philosopher. He was made the first Jagadguru (head) of the Jyotirmaṭha Pīthaṃ, the northern maṭha founded by Ādi Śaṅkara near Badrinath. He founded a maṭha by name Vadakke Matham in Thrissur, Kerala.

The Mādhavīya Śaṅkaravijayam states that when Ādi Śaṅkara was at Śṛṅgeri, he met a boy named Giri. Ādi Śaṅkara accepted the boy as his disciple. Giri was a hard-working and loyal servant of his Guru, Ādi Śaṅkara.  However, as he was very quiet and did not show any sign of intelligence, all the other disciples thought him stupid.

One day, Giri was washing his Guru’s clothes; when Ādi Śaṅkara sat down to begin a lesson on Advaita Vedānta. He however did not start the lesson saying he was waiting for Giri to come back from his chores and singing lessons. At this,Padmapada pointed to a wall and said that it would be the same if Ādi Śaṅkara taught to this dumb object as he taught to Giri. All other disciples laughed at this.

Now, Ādi Śaṅkara wanted to reward Giri for his loyalty and devotion. Thus he mentally granted Giri the complete knowledge of all the śāstras (sciences). The enlightened Giri returned, singing a Sanskrit poem which welled up in his mind which he composed extempore in praise of the Guru Ādi Śaṅkara. All the disciples were stunned to see the eloquence of Giri and the depth of his devotion to their Guru. From then on, the respected Giri and hence called him as Totakacharya as the poem he composed was in the Totaka metre.

16 Qualities of an Ideal Hindu Student

  • Respect: Give respect to your parents, teachers, elders and others seeing the divinity in all beings.
  • Love: Love your country, culture and God.
  • Service: Serve the poor and those who are in need.
  • Self-Discipline: Have a control over body, sense organs and mind.
  • Self-Control: Control your speech, thought and work.
  • Faith: Have faith in yourself, others and God.
  • Discrimination: Discriminate between good and bad, real and unreal, moral and immoral.
  • Concentration: Concentrate on studies, work, play and player.
  • Truthfulness: Be truthful in your word, action, and deed.
  • Hard work: Work hard to gain discriminative power, perfection and knowledge.
  • Strength: Be strong physically, mentally, morally and spiritually.
  • Belief: Have belief in strength of goodness, purity and being honest.
  • Devotion: Be devoted to duty, to monks, to scriptures and to God.
  • Habits: Make a habit of prayer, meditation and reading books which give strength and inspiration.
  • Determination: Be determined to get eternal bliss, success, peace and blessedness in your life.
  • Humility: Be humble and gentle towards all but do not demean yourself.


In 1901, Swami Vivekananda was physically unwell and was staying at Belur Math, West Bengal. A new set of 12 volumes of the then newly published Encyclopædia Britannicahad recently been bought for the Math’s library.One day Sharatchandra Chakravarti, a disciple of Swami Vivekananda, came to his room to meet him. Seeing the large volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica, he told— “It is almost impossible to read all these books in a single lifetime.” He was unaware that Swamiji had already finished ten volumes and had begun the eleventh.

Swamiji: “What do you say? Ask me anything you like from these ten volumes, and I will answer you all.

The disciple asked in wonder, “Have you read all these books?”

Swamiji: “Why should I ask you to question me otherwise?”

Being examined, Swamiji not only reproduced the sense, but at places the very language of the difficult topics selected from each volume. The disciple, astonished, put aside the books, saying, “This is not within human power!”

Swamiji: “Do you see, simply by the observance of strict Brahmacharya (continence) all learning can be mastered in a very short time – one has an unfailing memory of what one hears or knows but once. It is owing to this want of continence that everything is on the brink of ruin in our country.”

17 Pursuit of Knowledge Humility – Humility, or being humble, is being respectful, submissive, and modest. It is the opposite of pride and arrogance and is considered a virtue by most major religions and philosophical traditions. We are most often humiliated when we lack humility. The challenge is that our nature compels us to want to feel powerful and important. Admitting that we are neither can feel like going against our will to survive.

A person who practices humility becomes teachable and more easily acquires wisdom. They become a better listener and a more valuable friend. He or she is also better able to recognize personal traits or faults, which leads to a willingness to improve.

It’s obvious why humility is an important aspect of most world religions. It opens our hearts and mind to the will of God.

What is Humility?

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna declares humility as the foremost trait of a saint. Many people think that knowledge, power, and status are related to vanity and arrogance. We think that if we are rich, famous and powerful, we need to be arrogant.

Why is this so? It is because we identify with the material components that we possess. It is a fallacy to identify with our body, mind and intellect. All these components are susceptible to damage.

We Are All Gifted

So, from where should we get our true sense of identity? Definitely not from the changing material components listed above. If we identify with the mind, body and intellect and start comparing ourself with others, there are bound to be complexes, either superior or inferior. Some people are more good-looking and talented than us, while others may be less gifted. But, what cannot be denied is that each person is endowed with some gift and talent. We need to understand this and perform the best of our ability, without hankering for the fruits of our actions.

We are Children of God

Humility can be cultivated by understanding correctly the world and its people. Our body can become weak and diseased any time. The mind and intellect are known to degenerate with disease and age. So, it is wise not to depend on these changing and fleeting material aspects. Look deeper and understand the inherent unchanging nature of our atman or soul. Such soul force would automatically instil humility in us as we would understand that we are just children of God, who guides our destiny as per our karma (deeds).


Humility according to Hinduism is not crawling around in the mud cursing oneself, but rather a struggle for shedding the ego cage, and recognizing and feeling oneness with the rest of the world, completely free from bias or any idea of inferiority or superiority.

Hindus are taught to have humility. Ancient Hindu artists were never supposed to sign their names on their work, and temple artists, when creating statues of gods, are always supposed to leave a deliberate imperfection to show that they cannot really represent God.



The 2 strories, ‘Vanity of Scholarship’ and

Shedding of Egoism’ can be compared.

Sloka 5.18 Bhagavadgita:


brāhmaṇe gavi hastini

śuni caiva śva-pāke ca

paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ


Enlightened men are those who see the same Atman equally present in a learned and cultured man, in a cow, in an elephant, and even in a dog or in an eater of dog-meat.



Questions to probe?

1.    What was the attitude of Nakesh at the beginning of the video? Was he humble or proud of his learning?

2.    What happened when he realized that Sivaji was more learned and intelligent than him?

3.    Imagine what would have happened if Sivaji could not answer his questions?


Video :


(Need to translate and record the video in Tamil) 

Questions to probe?

1.    What was the attitude of the Pandit at the beginning of the story? Was he humble or proud of his learning?

2.    What happened when the boatman said that the boat will collapse?

3.    What do you learn from this story other than the value of humility?


Questions to probe:

1)    What was the thing requested by the saint?

2)    What are the objects that the cowherd thought as inferior to himself?

3)    How do you assess something as inferior or superior to yourself?


ACTIVITY 1: Humility Scavenger Hunt

1)    When children have a solid understanding of the difference between pride and humility, encourage them to look for incidences of humility in action.

2)    The humility scavenger hunt could include real life situations at school, books they have read or television and movies they watch.

4)    Ask the children to list out some famous personalities who are known for being humble and respectful towards others and personalities who are known for arrogance, and full of pride.

3)    Take the opportunity to have edifying discussions about behavior and actions, talking about what the people or characters did and the outcome of the humble actions.



Humility is difficult to acquire because we instinctively avoid things that humble us. Like many things, this difficulty can be overcome one step at a time. Here are a few things you can do every day to practice being humble:

Admit when you’re wrong. No one likes to accept their own mistakes, but doing so builds character and sets a good example for others.

Avoid taking credit. When we accomplish things, we naturally want to share the news with others. This desire for recognition and praise is not wrong, but too much of it inflates the ego. Instead, keep some achievements hidden from others.

Learn from those around you. There will always be people who have advanced beyond us in certain ways. Don’t envy or resent them, learn from them.

Help someone. The best way to become humble is by being humble. By serving or helping someone, we send the message that their needs are more important than our own.

There are many more ways to practice humility. To make lasting change, gradually fold humble actions into your everyday life. Don’t try to do too much at once because you will only burn yourself out. Too much humility can be a bad thing. The best way to make a permanent change is to make proper humility a habit.



Once, several people were travelling by boat in the Ganges.  They were crossing the river from one shore to the opposite shore.  One of them was a Pandit who was making a great display of his erudition saying that he had studied a vast number of books concerning the Vedas, Vedanta and the six systems of philosophy, etc.

The boatman who was navigating was listening with great wonderment. The Pandit asked him, “Have you studied the Vedanta?”  “No Sir”, replied the man.  Then the Pandit asked, “Have you studied the Sankhya and the Patanjala?”  Once again the answer was ‘No’.

The Pandit said that without studying these scriptures the boatman’s life was in vain.  The Pandit was talking in this egoistic way and the boatman was feeling humbled.

Suddenly, a great storm arose and the boat was about to capsize.  The boatman asked the Pandit, “Sir, can you swim?”  “No”, replied the Pandit.  The boatman said, “Sir, I do not know the Sankhya or the Patanjala, but I can swim”.  The boatman swam to safety whereas the Pandit was drowned.  Although the Pandit was an erudite scholar, he had no practical knowledge.

The story also teaches one to be humble. Though one may be lucky to be educated, one should not look at others who are misfortunate with contempt. No one knows everything.


A cowherd while returning home with his cows found a saint sitting under the roadside tree plunged in meditation. Something in the face and attitude of the saint made a deep impression on him and he decided to ask the saint for being initiated into spiritual practice and receive Mantra Upadesa. When he made his request to the saint, the latter looked at him and asked whether he could come next day with something which was inferior to himself. The cowherd agreed and on reaching home decided to take one of his cows with him next day. With this thought, he selected a cow and as he was going to tie it in a separate place from the rest of the cows in order that it might not be, through mistake, taken away to the field for grazing the next morning, the cow asked him why she was being segregated. The cowherd thereupon told her of his decision and the reason why she would be wanted the next morning, she is an animal inferior to man. The cow was greatly incensed and said, “What do you mean by saying that a cow is inferior to man?” The cow is the mother of mankind and is revered by every human being. Is it possible for a man to live without cow’s milk? How then do you call me inferior to yourself?”

The cowherd could not answer this question and he thereupon decided to take something else to the saint the next day. He went to the field and thought that he would take a tuft of grass which must surely be inferior to man. As he was going to cut off a tuft of grass, the grass asked, “Why are you cutting me at night when nobody cuts grass?” The cowherd again explained the reason for this conduct. The grass then said, “You know, I am the food of all cows and they will give milk only when they are fed on me and you derive your nourishment from the cow’s milk. How is it, then, that I am considered inferior?” The cowherd again, could not reply to this line of argument. So he gave up the idea of taking grass.

He made several other attempts to find something inferior to himself and gradually began to consider himself as the most humble being on earth. He thought that he would meet the saint and inform that the had been unable to find anything inferior to himself. The next morning, as he was taking his bath in the river he found lumps of night soil floating in the water. Then he thought that this must be inferior to himself in every respect. Accordingly, he tried to remove a part of a lump of night soil with the help of a leaf but as he was trying to do so, the lump suddenly exclaimed, “Do not touch me. I do not wish to be touched by you.” When the cowherd asked why, it replied, “You know that I was originally the best of fruits and other kinds of food, and the best of sweets and other offerings made to deities in temples, and it is only after these things were eaten by human beings that they have been reduced to my present condition. Mankind alone is responsible for so much humiliation inflicted on me and I do not want your contact for a second time lest worse fate may befall me.”

This confirmed the cowherd’s belief that nothing was inferior to himself. He, therefore, finished his bath, went to the saint and said, “Revered Sir, I am convinced that I am the lowliest being on earth and I have not, therefore, been able to bring anything inferior to myself.” The saint found that the cowherd had realized that egoism must be got rid of before spiritual initiation could begin. He, therefore, initiated the cowherd into spiritual practices. After long years of spiritual practices, the cowherd became a great saint himself.

18 Pursuit of Knowledge Right Knowledge – choosing the good against the bad, the important against the worthless

Able to overcome all temptations which could obstruct oneself from learning. This is illustrated in the story of Nachiketa was showed great resistance to temptation and was persistent in acquiring knowledge. To acquire real knowledge, such determination is required.

Learn what would be beneficial and important rather than wasting on vain things. This is well demonstrated in the story of ‘A Sadhu and his Power’.

There are many factors, internal and external which hinder us:

Internally – attitude towards study, laziness, lack of humility, the pride of little knowledge, unable to prioritize between varying things.


Compare the Hindrance List with the ‘16 Qualities for an Ideal student’ prepared in the previous classes.




Questions to probe:

1)    What was the reason that Nachiketa asked his father to whom he will give him?

2)    Why did Nachiketa go to Yamaloka?

3)    Why did Yama give him 3 boons?

4)    What was the first boon asked by Nachiketa?

5)    Why did Yama refuse to grant the 3rd boon directly?

6)    What did Yama try to change Nachiketa’s mind?

7)    Ask children to write 7 qualities they find in Nachiketa.


Questions to probe:

1)    What was the occult power exhibited by the Sadhu?

2)    What could the Sadhu achieve with his power?


1)    Ask children to list out their short and long term goals or things they want to achieve.

2)    Then, ask them whether their goal is good or pleasurable.

3)    What will give them lasting good and what gives only temporary pleasure?

4)    Ask to identify what are internal factors that could be the hindrance in achieving the good things?

ACTIVITY 2: Make bookmarks with these quotations.


Hardcover papers or use recycled invitation/greeting cards.

Colored pens

Punch to make a hole

Colourful strings / ribbons

Colour button, beads etc for decoration


Quotations of Swami Vivekananda:

·         Great results are attained only by great patience, great courage, and great attempts.

·         Infinite patience, infinite purity, and infinite perseverance are the secret of success in a good cause.

·         We want sraddha, we want faith in our own selves.

·         Everything will come to you if you have faith.



Vajasrawas, a famous person in ancient India, was performing a sacrifice in which the performer had to give away all his wealth. It was a unique occasion. The place was beautifully decorated. The rishis attended in great number and they were chanting the mantras while offering to the holy fire. Vajasrawas had a son named Nachiketa, who was sixteen years old. At the end of the sacrifice, Vajasrawas announces grandly that he is giving away all his possessions including a large herd of cows to the teachers and saints, who had come from all the places. Nachiketa was standing next to his father and observing his father gifting away the cows one by one. Nachiketa was surprised to see his father gifting away old cows which could not walk properly or give milk. Nachiketa felt that by giving these cows his father would not get the desired result of the sacrifice as one must give away only goods and useful things only. Giving away useless or unworthy things is sinful. Nachiketa protests in a loud whisper,”You are not giving away all your possessions! Dad, Am I not your possession?” Nachiketa asked his father to whom he would like to gift his son too. The father did not pay much attention to his question. Nachiketa repeatedly asked the same question. His father became angry and replied, “I give you to Yama, the God of death.”

Vajasrawas did not mean what he said. He had uttered these words in anger. No father would like to send their son away to the land of death. Nachiketa decided to obey the words of his father by going to the abode of Yama. Vajasrawas asked his little son to stay back. Nachiketa loved his father and did not like to disobey him. But at the same time he was very firm. Folding his hands he told his father that their ancestors never went back on their words and he would like to follow the same. He wanted his father to follow the same tradition. Nachiketa knew that all the things in this world are temporary and he was not afraid of death. He understood that following the path of truth is the gateway to heaven.
Vajasrawas was very sad but gave him permission as a follower of truth. Nachiketa left for the abode of Yama.

On reaching there he found that Yama was not at home. For three days and night, the young boy waited without food, water and sleep at the doorstep of Yama’s abode. Yama on his return was deeply grieved to see that there was no to welcome Nachiketa. Yama himself greeted him with due respect. For having kept Nachiketa waiting for three days, Yama granted him three boons.

Nachiketa said, “I seek the welfare of my father as my first boon.” He granted him happily. “Sir I desire to know how one could reach heaven where there is no sorrow, old age or death”. Nachiketa did not ask this second boon for himself but for the sake of the people. He wanted everyone to learn this secret knowledge and free themselves for the sufferings. Yama was pleased with the unselfishness of Nachiketa. Yama gave all the details of a particular sacrifice, the performance of which would take one to heaven. As Nachiketa was an intelligent and a sincere boy blessed with a spiritual knowledge, he could understand all that was taught. Yama was pleased with him and in appreciation, named that particular sacrifice as the Nachiketa Yagna.

As for the third boon, Nachiketa asked, “Respected Sir. What happens to a man after death? I should like to know the truth from you. This I ask for the third boon.”Yama had not expected this question from a young boy. He tried to divert him but Nachiketa was very firm. He wanted to know the answer. Yama was very pleased but he tried to divert the attention with a lot of attractive things. Yama offered him gold, pearls, horses, elephants, chariots, long life, kingdom and even happiness in Heaven.

Nachiketa said, “These are merely temporary things. They drain away the energy of the sense-organs. Even the longest life on earth is very short. So, keep to yourself these chariots, music, and dancing girls. Wealth cannot satisfy us. Can we take with us wealth to life after death? Our lifespan is only as you wish. So, I do not want any other boon except to know the secret of death.”

Yama was pleased with this answer and said, “Goodness is one thing and enjoyment another. These two have different ends and engage people differently. Those who choose goodness become pure. Those who choose enjoyment, miss their true goal of life. Both goodness and enjoyment present themselves to a human being. The wise having examined both distinguishes one from the other. The wise choose goodness as being superior to enjoyment, but the foolish man chooses enjoyment for the pleasure of his body. Having thought upon the things which are only apparently desirable, O Nachiketa, you have wisely abandoned them.” Yama then proceeded to teach Nachiketa the mystery of life and death. This forms the subject matter of one of the Upanishads called Katha Upanishad.


Once a Sadhu acquired great occult powers (Siddhi) and so became very vain. But he was, on the whole, a good man and had performed many austerities. So, to correct him, the Lord appeared before him in the garb of a Sannyasin and said, “Sir, I hear that you have attained great occult powers!”

The Sadhu welcomed him with great respect and asked him to sit down there. Just then an elephant was passing by, and seeing it, the Sannyasin said to the Sadhu, “Well, Sir, can you kill this elephant if you choose?” The Sadhu replied, “Yes, it can be done,” and so saying, he took a handful of dust and threw it at the elephant, chanting certain incantations. The elephant at once fell down dead, writhing in agony.

Then the Sannyasin observed, “Oh! How wonderful is your power! How easily have you killed the elephant!” The Sadhu smiled at these words of praise. The Sannyasin said again, “Well, can you bring the elephant back to life?” “Yes, that too can be done,” he replied, and threw again a handful of dust at the dead elephant, whereupon the animal got up quite revived.

At this, the Sannyasin remarked, “Wonderful indeed is your power! But I would like to ask you one question. Just now you killed the elephant and then revived it, but what benefit did it bring to you? What improvement had it brought in you? Did it help you to attain God?” So saying, he disappeared.

19 Pursuit of Knowledge Lifelong learning – to achieve maximum potential

Only the sky is the limit. One should not feel satisfied with little knowledge


“As long as I live, so long do I learn.”

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa



All successful people, in any areas of life, are visionaries. They dream of a better and glorious future and work towards it.


Ordinary people on the other hand, only drag their life, year after year without any idea about the future.


Hinduism requires us to go forward to achieve our maximum potential. It is our duty as a Hindu.



Be not like the frog in the well. The frog in the well knows nothing bigger and grander than its well. Often people are afraid of change and are not open to new ideas. They felt threatened when someone bring new ideas. This is well illustrated in the story of ‘Frog in the Well’.


Questions to probe:

1.    What did the Brahmachari tell the wood-cutter?

2.    What did the wood-cutter discovered whenever he went deeper into the forest?

3.    What would have happened if the woodcutter did not think over and over about the words of the Brahmachari?



Questions to probe:

1.    What was the question the higher Officer asked the stone-cutters?

2.    What was the answer given by the first man?

3.    What was the answer given by the second man?

4.    What was the answer given by the third man?

5.    Form groups, and ask the students to discuss what they think of the answer given by the stone-cutters and why do they give different answers?




Questions to probe?

1)    What was the reaction of the well frog when it met the sea frog?

2)    Why did the well frog refused to believe the sea frog?

3)    What would happen if we adopt the same approach?

4)    Ask the students to discuss situation where people refuse to learn or believe in anything new?

5)    Ask students to list out possible reason why people do not want to learn or change their present condition.

Group Discussion: Continue the discussion on 16 qualities of an Ideal student.


Once upon a time, a wood-cutter went into a forest to chop wood. There suddenly he met a brahmachari. The holy man said to him, ‘My good man, go forward.’ On returning home the wood-cutter asked himself, ‘Why did the brahmachari tell me to go forward?’ Some time passed. One day he remembered the brahmachari’s words. He said to himself, ‘Today I shall go deeper into the forest.’ Going deep into the forest, he discovered innumerable sandal-wood trees. He was very happy and returned with cart-loads of sandal-wood. He sold them in the market and became very rich.

A few days later he again remembered the words of the holy man to go forward. He went deeper into the forest and discovered a silver-mine near a river. This was even beyond his dreams. He dug out silver from the mine and sold it in the market. He got so much money that he didn’t even know how much he had.

A few more days passed. One day he thought: ‘The brahmachari didn’t ask me to stop at the silver-mine; he told me to go forward.’ This time he went to the other side of the river and found a gold-mine. Then he exclaimed: ‘Ah, just see! This is why he asked me to go forward.’

Again, a few days afterwards, he went still deeper into the forest and found heaps of diamonds and other precious gems. He took these also and became as rich as the god of wealth himself.

Therefore, whatever you may do, you will find better and better things if only you go forward.


Three stone-cutters were engaged in erecting a temple. As usual, a higher officer asked them what they were doing. The response of the three workers to this innocent-looking question is illuminating.

‘I am a poor man. I have to maintain my family. I am making a living here,’ said the first stone-cutter with a dejected face.

‘Well, I work because I want to show that I am the best stone-cutter in the country,’ said the second one with a sense of pride.

‘Oh, I want to build the most beautiful temple in the country,’ said the third one with a visionary gleam.

Their jobs were identical but their perspectives were different. What Gita tells us is to develop the visionary perspective in the work we do. It tells us to develop a sense of larger vision in one’s work for the common good.

20 Pursuit of Knowledge Learning and acquiring spiritual knowledge is a duty for all Hindus. According to Hindu faith, we are Atman residing in a physical body and the goal of life is to attain self-knowledge, or realize our true identity as the Atman. A life well lived will help us in achieving this goal. The sooner, we are reminded about our real nature, the better for us as then we will try to manifest the divinity in every aspect of life.


Other than leading a virtuous and moral life, we have to cultivate the habits of prayers, chanting mantras, reading spiritual books and meditation in our daily life.


According to the Taittiriya Sanhita (, a child is born with three debts to repay in his (or her) lifetime. Of these, 2 debts are important to student’s life: Debt to God AND Debt to Rishis

Everything in nature is created by God, so we are indebted to God. This is called “Deva Rin (rin=debt)”. This debt must be repayed by performing various religious acts and worships.

Human beings acquire the knowledge generated by the ancient sages and intellectuals. Thus humanity is indebted to them. This is called “Rishi Rin“. By studying and acquiring knowledge of the holy books (and if possible adding matter to the existing knowledge), this debt can be repaid.



1)    The story of Ramanuja can be told to illustrate the greatness of our saints and sages. Saints like Ramanuja and Swami Vivekananda are examples of people who are willing to go even to hell to save others. Such great saints, lived not for their own personal Mukti or

2)    Moreover, reading and reflecting the lives and messages of these holy personalities are important religious and spiritual practices. Only by continuously reflecting on pure lives, we can also aspire to be pure, noble and spiritual.


1)    Recall all the previous lessons.

2)    Children can compare and read out from their journal about the changes, if any that have taken place in their life since attending this programme.

3)    Teacher can suggest that the habit of journal writing can be continued.

4)    Suggest books for further reading on all related topics.


Aum Tejosi tejo mayi dehi

Veeryamasi veeryam mayi dehi

Balamasi balam mayi dehi

Ojosi ojo mayi dehi

Manyurasi manyum mayi dehi

Sahosi saho mayi dehi

Aum Santhi Santhi Santhihi

O Lord, You are the embodiment of infinite enery, virility, strength, power, courage and fortitude; do You bestow on me all these virtues.


  1. Sit straight and keep your neck and backbone straight or the posture in which you are going to sit must be comfortable. Feel relaxed.
  2. There should not be any stiffness in muscles. Keep your body relaxed. Now close your eyes and observe your breathing.
  3. Your mind may run for some time. You simply wait and watch. Until you know what the mind is doing you cannot control it. Your mind may go here and there, try to bring it back to your chosen deity. Keep the mind there as long as possible.
  4. Take a deep breath and fill the lungs. Slowly breath out. This quiets the mind. Go on with rhythmic breathing for one or two minutes. The mind will become peaceful and quiet.
  5. Not imagine that your dearest and loving God, the Lord of the world, with his glory and Divine effulgent light, manifesting in your heart. welcome Him/Her and offer a seat on a pink lotus in your heart.
  6. Think God as your own, Father, Mother, Brother, or as Friend and worship Him with nice sweet smelling flowers, deepa, dhoopa, gandha, chandana, and offer food to Him, as you like and feel that God is accepting it with joy.
  7. Then pray for the benefit and the good of the world, “O Lord, may all overcome obstacles. May all see the auspicious. May all attain wisdom. May all be joyful everywhere. May all think of You and repeat your names and glory.”
  8. Let all the beings live happily, peacefully and in good health.
  9. Now pray and ask God to bless you and yours.
“O Lord, lead us from the unreal to the Real. Lead us from darkness to Light. Lead us from death to Immortality.”
  1. Then slowly start repeating Aum in your mind and think of God’s Pure and Holy feet. Slowly and steadily, starting from that holy feet, meditate on God’s Divine and ever beautiful, attracting, charming, smiling face, which is full of knowledge, purity, love, joy and grace.


“O Lord, this body continually accumulates filth and gets dirty everyday. I am certainly not this filthy body. I am the eve-pure Atman.

“O Lord, this body gets worn out every day. I am certainly not this body that decays with time. I am the ever-fresh, ever-pure and eternal Atman.

“O Lord, this body gets emaciated if not fed regularly. I am certainly not this body that depends on food. I am the ever-strong, ever-enthusiatic, omnipotent Atman.

“O Lord, this body will one day get burnt in a funeral pyre or rot in the grave. I am certainly not this miseranle body that is going to be reduced to ashes. I am the eternal Atman, ever pure and ever illumined.”

“O Lord, my wholehearted adoration to you. You are all-powerful. Nothing is impossible to you. Hence it is no problem for You to protect my vow of Brahmacharya. Be gracious upon me; make a true Brahmachari throughtout my student’s life. Make me strong and make me sinless. Make me shine with divine lustre. You are my father and mother. You are my brother and friend. You are the only support of my life, I bow to you again and again.”


RAMANUJA was a great devotee and Hindu philosopher. He was born in Sri Perumbudur, Tamil Nadu in CE. 1017.

Even after his appointment as the head of Sri Rangam temple, Ramanuja’s quest for learning never ended. Perianambi or Maha Purna told Ramanuja that in a nearby place called Thiurukottiyur, there lived Gosthi Purna, a learned scholar who knows the meaning of the most sacred divine Mantra and told Ramanuja to get it.

Ramanuja attempted a lot of times but was asked by Gosthi Purna to come on another day.  At last, Ramanuja in despair lay down at the doorway to his house and announced that he would fast to the death unless he was given the teaching. Gosthi Purna relented and being satisfied with the earnestness of Ramanuja, he imparted the Mantra. But before that, he got a promise from Ramanuja. As per the promise, Ramanuja should not tell this to anyone as this mantra will take a person who listens to it directly to Vaikuntam and if it is told out to unworthy people, Ramanuja will go to hell. Ramanuja with great excitement and anxiety got the mantra and started going back to Sri Rangam.  While he was walking thinking of what he heard, all of a sudden he had a feeling and wanted this mantra to be known to one and all in the world so that everyone can reach Vaikunta. So Ramanuja went up to the nearby temple, raised his voice to the highest peak and called whomsoever is interested to learn the divine mantra.

“Brothers and sisters, all of you are dearer to me than life itself, if you wish to be liberated from the sufferings and afflictions of material existence and re-incarnation please recite this gem of a mantra with me three times.” He then pronounced the sacred mantra Om Namo Narayanaya— all the assembled crowd responded, three times they chanted it and then became silent — the earth appeared like Vaikunta! All the men, women and children were enraptured.

Gosthi Purna came to know of this and became very angry. He rushed to Ramanuja and enquired why he told this against the promise he had given. Ramanuja said that he would consider it a blessing if such vast numbers of people were liberated through his being consigned to hell. Gosthi Purna was dumbfounded. This total self-abnegation and loving compassion of Ramanuja touched the heart of Gosthi Purna, and he immediately prostrated himself before Ramanuja and accepted him as his Guru.