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

Samāvartana literally means ‘return’.

Definition of Samāvartana[edit]

Samāvartana means returning from the house of the teacher to one’s own house after duly completing Vedic studies. Since a ceremonial bath was a necessary part of it, it was also known as snāna and āplavana.[1]

Rewards of Samāvartana[edit]

After this rite, the brahmacāri came to be known as a snātaka.[2] He was now free to marry a suitable girl and settle down as a gṛhastha or householder.

Rituals of Samāvartana[edit]

  • For the samāvartana rite, an auspicious day had to be fixed.
  • Permission of the guru or preceptor had to be sought after offering him suitable dakṣiṇā.[3]
  • He should then take the ceremonial bath by taking water from eight vessels full of water kept in the eight directions, chanting the prescribed mantras.
  • After bath, he has to cast off his old outfit completely and put on new clothes more comfortable and suitable for a householder’s life.
  • He could also accept ornaments, turban, umbrella, shoes, flower garlands and everything which had been forbidden till now.
  • Dressed in his new attire, the snātaka was expected to go to an assembly of the learned and prove his competence as a scholar.
  • A snātaka commanded great respect and there was a strict code of conduct prescribed for him.

Samāvartana of Present Times[edit]

In the modern days, the rite of samāvartana is observed just before marriage, as a formal ritual shorn of its meaning and seriousness as Kāśiyātrā.


  1. Āplavana means both of which mean bathing.
  2. Snātaka means one who has undergone the ceremonial bathing.
  3. Dakṣiṇā means gifts.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore