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.

Oath of Initiation into Medicine

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Oath taking ceremony of a student is administered by the teacher in presence of sacred fire. Brāhmaṇas and physicians of repute are present in this ceremony. This ceremony reflects the deep import that the ancients had attached to such undertakings, as they sought to imprint the young men entering his career of enlightenment, the solemnity and sanctity of the pursuit he had taken up.

Oath In Caraka Samhitā[edit]

The teacher then should instruct the disciple in the presence of the sacred fire, Brāhmanas and physicians saying:

Thou shalt lead the life of a bachelor,[1] grow thy hair and beard, speak only the truth, eat no meat, eat only pure articles of food, be free from envy and carry no arms. There shall be nothing that thou oughtest not do at my behest except hating the king or causing another's death or committing an act of great unrighteousness or acts leading to calamity.

If a physician desires success, wealth and fame throughout his life and heaven after death, he should pray for the welfare of all creatures beginning with the cows and Brāhmaṇas. Day and night, how much ever one is engaged, one should endeavor for the relief of patients with all his heart and soul. One should not desert or injure one's patient even for the sake of one's life or living. One must not commit adultery even in thoughts and one should not covet other's possession.

One must be modest in one's attire and appearance. One must not be a drunkard or a sinful man nor should one associate with the abettors of crimes. One should speak words that are gentle, pure and righteous, pleasing, worthy, true, wholesome and moderate. One's behavior must be in consideration of time and place and heedful of past experience. One should always act with a view to the acquisition of knowledge and the fullness of equipment.

Other Norms[edit]

  • Women who are unattended by their husbands or guardians should not be treated without them. Any offerings or gifts without the behest of her husband or guardian by a woman should not be accepted by the physician.
  • While entering the patient's house one should be accompanied by a person who is known to the patient.
  • Having entered the house of the patient, speech, mind, intellect and senses should be entirely devoted to no other thought than that of the well being of patient only.
  • The peculiar customs of the patient's household should not be discussed with anyone else.
  • Even after knowing that the patient's span of life has come to end, physician should not mention as it can cause shock the patient and his family.
  • Though insightful, one should not boast one's knowledge.
  • Most people are offended by the boastfulness of even those who are otherwise good and authoritative.

Oath In Śuśruta Samhitā[edit]

If the physician do not treat the patient properly despite the proper observance, then it may be sin and all the learnings of the physician are futile . The physician should treat the patient when they come to him, like his own kith and kin and relieve their ailments with the medications. One should not treat a hunter, a bird catcher, an out-caste and a person doing sinful acts. Thus, the physician will attain popularity like this and gain fame, righteousness, wealth and fulfillment. Qualities of a physician must include:

  • One should renounce from all the evil desires, anger, greed, passion, pride, egotism, envy, harshness, meanness, untruth, indolence and any other quality that brings infamy upon oneself.
  • A physician should clip one's nails and hair close, observe cleanliness, wear brown garment and dedicate oneself to the observance of truth, celibacy and salutation to the elders.
  • Medical practitioner is expected to behave in a proper code of conduct which is pleasing to all.

Oath In Kaśyapa Samhitā[edit]

Oath for a medical practitioner as per Kaśyapa Samhitā is as follows:

Thou shall be agreeable in disposition and righteous. You should control your senses and be ready to study when called. You shall have no secrets, share the suffering of others, bear in mind country and clime and be resolute. You should be away from greed, anger, infatuation, envy, derision, enmity, wine, flesh and females. You should study after serving the preceptor. You should not go away without taking his permission, without having worshiped the preceptor and without completing the full course of study.

Oath In Hastāyurveda[edit]

Oath in Hastāyurveda is as follows:

You should never turn deceitful, wicked, greedy, envious, hard-hearted and unfair. You should always be free from lethargy and sin and should have the character of venerable persons and compassion for the family and should always put yourself at the service of the preceptor. If, towards such a submissive student the preceptor is unfair in the matter of clothes, study and food, he will incur the sin committed towards the disciple. If in spite of the noble dealing of the preceptor in the matter of imparting learning, food and delight, the disciple behaves in a contrary manner, he incurs sin committed towards his preceptor.


The spirit of dedication with which each branch of education was pursued, and particularly medical education, is evidenced by the character of the initiation ceremony described in the medical texts such as Caraka, Śuśruta, Kaṣyapa and Palakapya. There after going into elaborate details as to how the student should approach the Guru and the auspicious nature of the time and place, the teacher depicts fully the nature of duties and responsibilities devolving upon the aspirant towards the medical profession, setting out in full the daily behavior during the student-career as well as his conduct as a full- fledged physician.

The students used to take the oath after invoking the names of the great promulgators of Ayurveda, namely Brahmā, Dhanvantari, Prajāpati, Aświns, Indra, and Ṛṣi compilers of the great medical text-books. This is the list of names as found in Caraka. Śuśruta instead of mentioning the individual names of deities and Ṛśis, he refers in general to all the presiding deities and Ṛṣis of medicine. In Kaśyapa we find mention of Soma, Kaśyapa, Sarasvati and Purṇa Bhāga as being the gods to be invoked at the administration of the oath. Palakapya, the author of Hastāyurveda or the science of medicine for elephants, lays down the invocation of the deities and elephants of the quarters, Śankara, Viṣṇu, the sun, the moon, the planets, Skanda and a host of minor deities. On the completion of the initiation ceremony, the student is said to be a Dwija and is designated as a Brahmacāri till he is a student.


It was believed that the first birth is from the womb of the mother and the second birth is through initiation. The Brahmacāri is the one who has dedicated himself to the pursuit of knowledge. He is the one who necessarily practices penance or acquires knowledge. He is held in high esteem by all the law givers and the society.

During the student life, special emphasis was laid on celibacy, abstinence from meat and weapons. One should not do any sinful acts even at the command of teacher, to whom the student otherwise owes unquestioning obedience. Brahmacāri, as he is now called, is according to Kaṣyapa exhorted to keep a liberal mind and progress with the spirit of the times. The part of the oath which relates to the life that the student was to lead when he actually took up the calling of a physician will be touched upon when we come to the subject of the ceremony marking the completion of the studies or graduation.


  1. It means Brahmachāri in hindi.
  • The Caraka Samhita published by Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurvedic Society, Jamnagar, India