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

Bhāvarupa literally means ‘of the form of existence,’ ‘positive’.

According to the Advaita Vedānta philosophy our real nature is the ātman or the Self which is pure consciousness. Our ignorance of our real nature is technically called as ‘avidyā’ or ‘ajñāna’. It has led to our wrong identification with the body-mind complex resulting in samsāra or transmigratory existence. Hence, to attain mokṣa or liberation, we have to get rid of this avidyā or ajñāna through vidyā or jñāna (knowledge).

In this connection, philosophers of the Advaita school have widely discussed the nature of this avidyā or ajñāna. They have come to the conclusion that it is ‘bhāvarupa’ i.e. positive and not ‘abhāva- rupa’ or negative since it is felt or experienced. For instance, when we say, ‘I do not know anything,’ ‘I am an ignorant person’ we actually feel or experience that ignorance. However, its reality has not been given the status of ‘sat’ (‘that which exists’) since it can be destroyed by knowledge.


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