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 Alatasanti)

By Swami Harshananda

Alātaśānti literally means ‘stilling the firebrand’.

When an alāta or a firebrand is moved quickly in circles or in any other way, it creates an illusion of circles or lines of fire. When the movement is stopped, the illusions also disappear. These circles were never produced by the firebrand in motion and hence cannot be dissolved back when at rest.

This is a typical example used by the Buddhist school known as Vijñānavāda and successfully adopted by the famous Advaitin Gauḍapāda (500 A. D.). According to the Vijñānavādins, vijñāna or mind conjures up the external world which has no reality of its own. The mind with a series of succession of ideas is the only reality. The external world appears to be real the way circle of fire appears to be.

Gauḍapāda uses the same analogy to a different purpose. It is consciousness (or ātman) that appears in manifold forms due to māyā. In reality these do not come out of it, nor do they return to it, for they do not exist[1] The sole reality is the unchanging pure consciousness, śuddha-vijñaptimātra. This section of his Kārikās (the 4th) is named as Alātaśānti-prakarana.

The analogy of alātacakra (firebrand moved in circles) is pre-Buddhist and is found in the Maitrāyaṇī Upaniṣad[2]


  1. Māndukya Kārikā on Māndukya Upanisad, 4.47-52
  2. Maitrāyaṇī Upaniṣad 4.24
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore