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

Brahmahatyā literally means ‘the slaying of a brāhmaṇa’.

Though man is essentially divine in nature, he is prone to vice and committing crimes, thus incurring pātaka or pāpa or sin. This is mainly due to the evil tendencies carried over from the past lives.

Etymologically, the word pāpa is defined as ‘that from which one has to protect oneself’. It arises first in the mind as the tendency towards vice and manifests itself either in neglecting the prescribed duties or in committing prohibited actions. The scriptures are the primary, if not the sole, authority in this field.

The dharmaśāstras, the works that deal with the religio-social life, have classified sins into two major groups:

  1. The Mahāpātakas or Atipātakas (major or mortal sins)
  2. Upapātakas (minor or venial sins)

Brahmahatyā or the killing of a saintly brāhmaṇa is one of the mahāpātakas that is often mentioned in these works. Any act that will lead either indirectly or directly to the slaying of a brāhmaṇa is brahmahatyā. Even incitement or approval is liable to be branded as brahmahatyā and it entails unbearable sufferings.

One does not incur brahmahatyā if one kills a brāhmaṇa who is an ātatāyin (a criminal guilty of grave offenses) or in self-defense. With regard to its expiation, there does not seem to be any unanimity among the writers of these works. It ranges from death to undergoing severe austerities like offering one’s limbs into fire, walking very long distances with very little or no food, performing sacrifices like Aśvamedha or Abhijit or Gosava and so on.


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