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

Pañcānana literally means ‘the Five-faced One.

Origin & Significance of Pañcānana[edit]

Comparable to the vyuhas or emanations of Lord Viṣṇu, is the Pañcānana form of Lord Śiva. Pañcānana or the five-faced one represents the five aspects of Śiva vis-a-vis the created universe. The five faces are respectively īśāna, Tat-puruṣa, Aghora, Vāmadeva and Sadyojāta. The face īśāna turned towards the zenith, represents the highest aspect and is also called Sadāśiva. On the physical plane, it represents the power that rules over ether or sky and on the spiritual plane, it is the deity that grants Mokṣa or liberation. Tatpuruṣa facing east, stands for the power that rules over air and represents the forces of darkness and obscuration on the spiritual plane. Aghora, facing south and ruling over the element fire, stands for the power that absorbs and renovates the universe. Vāmadeva facing north, ruling over the element water, is responsible for preservation. Sadyojāta, facing west represents the power that creates.

Iconographical Representation of Pañcānana[edit]

Iconographical works describe Pañcānana[1] as five-faced and ten-armed. He has fifteen eyes. Seated on a bull he wears an elephant’s hide round his waist and a tiger’s skin as the upper garment. He has an immense body and matted hair dressed up as a tall crown. He holds in his hands the following objects:

  1. Śakti - a weapon
  2. Khaṭvāṅga - a magical wand
  3. Triśula - trident
  4. Akṣamālā - rosary
  5. Abhayamudrā - gesture of protection
  6. Varadamudrā - gesture of bestowal of boons
  7. A fruit
  8. A snake
  9. Damaru - hand-drum
  10. Utpala flower

Sinners can get their sins absolved by worshiping this aspect of Śiva.


  1. Pañcānana means Śiva.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore