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

By Swami Harshananda

Bāuls literally means ‘the crazy ones’.

Location of Bāuls[edit]

The Bāuls of rural Bengal, who are found even today, form one of the obscure religious cults of the time. They are wandering minstrels comprising mostly mendicants.

Origin Of The Word Bāul[edit]

The word ‘bāul’ is of uncertain origin. It is assumed to have been derived from either of the two Sanskrit words :

  1. Vātula - Affected by wind-disease, i.e., mad or crazy
  2. Vyākula - Impatiently eager

Both these derivations are consistent with the modern sense of the word : ‘Inspired people with an ecstatic eagerness for a spiritual life, leading to ultimate union with the eternal Beloved.’

Origin Of The Cult Bāul[edit]

Historically, this sect might have been derived from the Nātha Cult. However, the influence of Vaiṣṇavism and Sufism can easily be recognized. The Bāuls are most unconventional in their customs and manners, habits and practices. They pride themselves on calling their ways as ‘ulṭa’ or ‘the reverse’. That is why they do not care for formal observances of any religious practice.

Preachings Of Bāuls[edit]

The literature of the Bāuls is entirely in their songs and poems (in Bengali) couched in mystic terms and riddles. Whatever philosophy can be gleaned from these can be stated briefly as follows :

  • The human body is the microcosm of the universe and the temple of the Dear one.
  • This Beloved, also called ‘maner mānuṣ’ (‘the Man of the Heart’), is the Lord of the universe living in our heart. Hence, any search for Him outside is fruitless.
  • This Divine Personality residing in us is our essential nature. Love is the means of achieving union with Him and the lover is the human personality.
  • In the highest union, all limitations are transcended, all differences between humanity and divinity are annihilated.
  • Madan, Biśa Bhumimāli, īśān Yugi, Kṛṣṇakānta Pāṭhak and Lālan Fakīr are some of the celebrated composers of the bāul songs.


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

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