Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children Book Cover.webp

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences faced by Indian American children after exposure to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We demonstrate that there is an intimate connection—an almost exact correspondence—between James Mill’s colonial-racist discourse (Mill was the head of the British East India Company) and the current school textbook discourse. This racist discourse, camouflaged under the cover of political correctness, produces the same psychological impacts on Indian American children that racism typically causes: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon akin to racelessness, where children dissociate from the traditions and culture of their ancestors.

This book is the result of four years of rigorous research and academic peer-review, reflecting our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Akasa)

By Krishna Maheshwari

Ākāśa is literally translated as ‘that which shines in all directions’. It can mean

  • free or open space.
  • ether, sky atmosphere.
  • ether or space: one of the five traditional physical elements make up the world of matter.

Ākāśa, the sky, with its firmament dotted with stars, planets and other celestial objects often provides poets with inspiration to sing. Philosophers, however, question whether it is empty space or a material substance.

As in the case of other subjects of inquiry, several various viewpoints have emerged with the Vaiśeṣika, Sāṅkhya, and Jaina viewpoints having the most consensus.

Ākāśa in Vaiśeṣika metaphysics[edit]

In the Vaiśeṣika system ākāśa is considered as a dravya or substance, one of its nine kinds. It is the pervading substratum of the quality of sound present everywhere.

Ākāśa in Sāṅkhya metaphysics[edit]

The Sāṅkhya, the Yoga and the Vedānta systems consider ākāśa as one of the five tanmātras[1] pertaining to sound. The ākāśa that is experienced by us[2] is formed by these tanmatras by the process of pañcīkaraṇa. According to the process of creation as described in the Upaniṣads, ākāśa is the first of the five bhutas or elements that emerge out of the Atman.[3] The Upaniṣads have sometimes used the word ākāśa for Brahman also.[4]

Ākāśa in Jaina metaphysics[edit]

In Jaina metaphysics, ākāśa is considered as space, eternally existing. Its function is to afford room for the existence of all astikāyas or extended substances. Jīvas, pudgala, dharma and adharma all exist in ākāśa. It is too subtle to be perceived by the senses. Its existence has to be inferred.

It is of two kinds:

  1. Lokākāśa: space containing the world of souls and matter
  2. Alokākāśa: empty space beyond such world


  1. tanmātras refers to potential elements or generic substances
  2. ākāśa it is one of the panch mahābhutas or five elements
  3. Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.1
  4. Chāndogya Upaniṣad 1.9.1
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore