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

Nīrājana literally means ‘waving of water or light’.

Ritualistic worship of God in and through an icon either at home or in a temple is a common feature in the religion. The various upacāras[1] are a part of this. They remind one of the way one has to receive an important guest visiting one’s house. Such upacāras may be five,[2] ten[3] or sixteen.[4] In all these, waving of a lighted lamp called ‘nīrājana,’ is a must. It may be of burning karpura[5] or cotton wicks dipped in ghee or oil, their number being 3 or 5 or 7. Some āgamas declare that by such waving of light, one’s life and happiness increase and all evil beings are driven out. Sometimes colored water kept in a shallow plate is waved before sick person to ward off the evil forces that might have caused the disease. This is also called ‘nīrājana’.[6]


  1. Upacāras means the items of honor.
  2. Five means pañcopacāras.
  3. Ten means daśopacāras.
  4. Sixteen means ṣoḍa-śopacāras.
  5. Karpura means camphor.
  6. Nīra means water.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore