Dharma Series Overview
Most of your questions will be answered by carefully reading the following, so please do so before ordering and/or contacting us with additional questions.
These four Hindu concepts are introduced at a very elementary level. The Bhakti section introduces the concept of routine worship at home.
We recommend ages up to 13 for this program, but that is at your discretion. Our youngest student to complete this series was 7 and oldest was 18.
Who is Involved?
Typically three persons are involved.
- The Student, who is working toward their Dharma Award.
- The Mentor, who is called Dharma Saathi, is the parent or guardian working side-by-side with the student. The mentor is also considered a “student”. The mentor may elect to complete a Saathi workbook and earn a Saathi award as well.
- The Counselor, who is called Dharma Bhakta and is responsible for “guiding” the course.
Typically, the counselor 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 Bhakta should be a practicing 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.
If you can't find a Bhakta locally, please take a look at our list of Bhakta Volunteers.
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 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 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, they serve as an excellent role model.
When students successfully complete the Dharma program, they may choose to present a certificate of recognition and/or a Dharma Bhakta pin to the Bhakta. Both recognitions may be presented at an appropriate ceremony.
How long will it take to complete?
The 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 students resist the temptation to complete all the requirements in one sitting. This is akin to eating a week's worth of meals in one sitting. It is possible but not a good idea.