Who is involved in earning the awards?
Typically three persons are involved.
1. The Student, who is working toward his or her Dharma or Karma Award.
2. The Mentor, called Dharma Saathi or Karma Saathi, who is the parent or guardian working side-by-side with the child. The mentor is also considered a “student”. The mentor may elect to complete a Saathi workbook and earn a Saathi award as well.
3. The Counselor, who is called Dharma Bhakta or Karma Bhakta and is responsible for “guiding” the course.
Typically this is a priest from a temple with which the mentors are associated. It is a generally accepted doctrine that a priest associated with a temple should be able to serve as a spiritual counselor.
However, a great diversity amongst Hinduism is recognized. We will accept any person knowledgeable in Hinduism and is so designated by the priest and/or parents.
Although some Hindu religious traditions require a spiritual teacher to be a male and/or Brahmin, for the purposes of this program, anyone may serve as a counselor. A counselor should be a practising Hindu, knowledgeable in Hinduism and is approved at least by the parents.
However, a parent acting as a Saathi CANNOT act as a Bhakta for the same student.
Does each student and Saathi need a workbook?
Yes. Students are required to keep a personal record of their progress. Materials are copyrighted. Please do not duplicate them. Saathi (parent or guardian) can elect to complete the Dharma Saathi or Karma Saathi workbooks and earn the respective award
If the parents do not wish to earn the award, they may simply use the Saathi workbook to guide their student.
Does each counselor need a manual?
Yes. The Dharma and Karma Bhakta manual is a guide to the program and not a workbook. It is understood that the Bhakta has adequate background to guide both the student and the Saathi and that he/she does this a suddha karma, that is without expectation of anything in return. In doing so, he/she is serving as an excellent role model.
When students successfully complet the Karma program, they may choose to present a certificate of recognition and/or a Dharma or Karma Bhakta pin to the Bhakta. Both recognitions may be presented at an appropriate ceremony.
How long will it take to complete?
Dharma award contains four steps. Each step can be completed in one to two hours during the weekend. Thus, award requirements can usually be completed in about one month. Please insist that the children resist the temptation to complete all the requirements in one sitting. This is akin to eating all seven days meals in one sitting. Possible but not good.
Karma awards also has four sections, however each section is subdivided into 6 to 8 subsections. Each subsection can be completed over a weekend. Thus, Karma award requirements can usually be completed in six to eight months.
Awards Program availability in Other Countries
If you are in a country outside of USA and would like to see the awards programs available in your country, we are interested in hearing from you.
Students from all over the world request Dharma and Karma award supplies and complete the requirements throughout the world. This would be more accessible to young children and adults if the supplies were available to them locally and affordably priced in local currency. Often, the mailing costs from US exceeds what they can afford. If you would like to make these available to the local population, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us a little bit about yourself or the organization you are affiliated with. We prefer to work with an already existing non-profit non-sectarian Hindu organization. Please include contact information.
Thank you for considering such a suddha karma.
How do I order the recognition items?
Recognition items are ordered upon completion of the program. An order form is sent with the workbook – usually in the Student workbook.