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

Hārīta in Mahābhārata[edit]

Hārita is an ancient sage mentioned by Bhīṣma in the Mahābhārata[1] who had taught gītā, now famous as the Hārītagītā. It has 22 verses. It describes the code of conduct for a sanyāsins. It can be summarized as follows:

  • A sādhaka or a mumukṣu[2] should first renounce the world and take to the sanyāsis life.
  • He should not find fault with others.
  • He should be friendly and kind towards all.
  • He should bear with fortitude all insults that may be hurled at him by others.
  • He should approach the householders for alms after they have finished their food.
  • He should eat just enough to keep the body and the soul together.
  • He should resort to lonely places for contemplation on the ātman.
  • He should practise self-control at all the times.
  • He should be broad-minded, always detached from the things of the world and never harm anybody.
  • A person practicing all these would attain the world of light, the highest Abode.

Hārīta, an Author of Dharmasutras[edit]

Hārīta is also the name of a famous writer of dharmasutras who has often been quoted by other ancient authors like Āpastamba and Vasiṣṭha as an authority. Though his time is not known, he existed long before A. D. 600. From the profuse quotations given by other writers of the dharmaśāstras, some scholars have even tried to rebuild his lost work. The Dharmasutras of Hārīta was definitely an extensive work, in prose and verses. The topics as gleaned from the quotations given in other works are as follows:

  • Sources of dharma
  • Two kinds of brahmacārins
  • The snātaka
  • The gṛhastha - house-holder
  • The vānaprasthin - forest hermit
  • Injunctions and prohibitions about food
  • Aśauca - ceremonial impurity
  • Śrāddha - obsequial rites
  • Pañcamahāyajñas - five daily sacrifices
  • Vedic studies
  • Statecraft
  • Court procedures
  • Sins and expiations
  • Prayers
  • Etc.

Classification of Women[edit]

Hārīta refers to two kinds of women:

  1. Brahmavādinīs
  2. Sadyovadhus

The former were entitled for upanayana, Vedic studies and keeping the sacred fire.

Hārīta Works[edit]

Two works are mentioned by some writers like Aparārka (12th century A. D.). They are:

  1. Laghu-Hārīta
  2. Vrddha-Hārīta


  1. Śāntiparva chapter 278
  2. Mumukṣu is the one who is desirous of liberation.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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