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

Guru literally means ‘one who is praised due to his great qualities’, ‘one who teaches the śāstras like the Vedas’.

In any religion and culture, every thing has to be learnt directly from a competent teacher in that field. Since learning is considered as a tapas (austerity, discipline), the teacher has to be looked upon with great respect and reverence.

Characteristics of a Guru[edit]

  • The word ‘guru’ is used in a more comprehensive sense. It is defined as the one who dispels the darkness of ignorance.
  • It invariably refers to a spiritual teacher who is an advanced soul and an expert not only in the knowledge of the scriptures but also in Brahman or God.[1]
  • A guru should be a person of pure parentage, of a sinless life and great self-control.
  • Apart from having a deep knowledge of the scriptures, he should be an adept in the various modes of meditation and worship also.
  • He is envisaged as the personification of compassion and love towards his disciples.

Characteristics of a Disciple[edit]

A disciple is expected to look upon his guru as if he is God himself. A disciple should choose his guru very cleverly.

Gurus of Scriptures[edit]

A teacher of the scriptures is called an adhyāpaka or an upādhyāya or an ācārya. The former two teach the chanting of the Vedas whereas the last one teaches their meaning and significance also.

Different Gurus[edit]

  • Bṛhaspati, the teacher of the gods in heaven is also known as Guru.
  • Guru is also the name of the planet Jupiter.
  • ‘Guru’ was also the nickname of Prabhākara (A. D. 700?), a prominent teacher of the Purvamīmānsā school of philosophy.
  • The word has been widely used in the Sanskrit works in several other senses such as:
  1. Father
  2. Mother
  3. Husband
  4. Any teacher in any field of knowledge
  5. God


  1. Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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