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

Bodhivṛkṣa literally means ‘the tree of bodhi or enlightenment’.

Prince Siddhārtha Gautama became Gautama the ‘Buddha’ (‘the Enlightened One’) after attaining ‘bodhi’ or enlightenment. The particular peepul tree (aśvattha- vṛkṣa—Ficus religiosa) under which he attained this bodhi, situated at Gayā (now known as Bodh-gayā or Buddha Gayā), is called the Bodhivṛkṣa. There is a stone slab under it, ‘Vajrāsana’ by name, sitting on which Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

The present tree may be about a hundred years old. The original tree is believed to have sprung up spontaneously on the same day that Buddha was born. Hence it was called ‘sahajāta.’ The extant tree is an offshoot of the older ones, sprouted out of their roots over centuries. Apart from the emperor Aśoka, king Saśāṅka (7th cent. A. D.) is reported to have done the replanting. The latest one may have been done in 1876.

A branch of this tree was taken to Anurādhapura (in Śri Lanka) and planted there by Saṅghamittā-therī (a Buddhist nun, daughter of emperor Aśoka).


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

Contributors to this article

Explore Other Articles