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 Astottarasatanama-stotra)

By Swami Harshananda

Aṣṭottaraśatanāma-stotra literally means ‘hymn containing 108 names’.

Evolution of Aṣṭottaraśatanāma-stotra[edit]

Hymns are as old as the Rgveda itself. As the religion evolved and its influence spread, gradually absorbing and integrating various cults, sects and movements into its fold, the number of deities also increased. Consequently number of hymns also grew to voluminous proportions.

Meaning of Aṣṭottaraśatanāma[edit]

The word ‘astottaraśata’ indicates the number 108. In the mystic and ritualistic traditions, this number, 108 (and also 1008), has acquired great significance. The several explanations offered for this are more academic and mystical than logically convincing.

Composition of Aṣṭottaraśatanāma-stotra[edit]

The aṣṭottaraśata hymns are always composed in the simple anuṣṭubh or śloka meter. They are generally preceded by the following :

  1. Certain preliminaries like ‘nyāsas’ or consecration of one’s body
  2. Paying homage to the ṛṣi, the sage through whom the hymn was revealed
  3. The chandas or the deity presiding over the meter in which the hymn is composed
  4. The devatā or the deity to whom the hymn is addressed
  5. Viniyoga or the purpose for which the hymn is chanted
  6. Dhyānaśloka, a verse in which the form of the deity is described in detail to facilitate meditation

Integral parts of Aṣṭottaraśatanāma-stotra[edit]

The aṣṭottaraśata hymn contains the following :

  1. 108 names of the deity
  2. The names dealing with the form of the deity
  3. The qualities of the deity
  4. Exploits of the deity (based on the mythological accounts)

Ordinance of Aṣṭottaraśatanāma-stotra[edit]

When the names are used individually in pujā or arcanā (ritualistic worship), they are repeated one after another, but in the ‘caturthī vibhakti’ or dative case, adding the word ‘namah,’ ‘obeisance’ at the end. For instance, the aṣṭottaraśatanāma- stotra of Śiva begins as follows :

Śivo maheśvarah śambhuh

When these names are used in worship, they are repeated as :

śivāya namah, maheśvarāya namah, śambhave namah

Significance of Aṣṭottaraśatanāma-stotra[edit]

Among the various types of such hymns, or ‘stotras’, ‘the aṣtottaraśata’ and the ‘sahasranāma’ group plays a more significant role. It can be used not only for chanting but also for offering flowers and other objects used in worship, as a part of the ritualistic process. Their repetition is believed to yield many desired results. They are quite popular in the modern society and are widely used in the temples.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore