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

Uddālakavrata literally means ‘penance prescribed by Uddālaka’.

Age Criteria for Upanayāna Ceremony[edit]

Any boy born in the family of a dvija[1] is expected to undergo the Upanayāna sacrament within the prescribed age-limit. This age limit is:

  1. 16 years for a brāhmaṇa
  2. 22 years for a kṣattriya
  3. 24 years for a vaiśya

If he fails to do so, he is branded as patitasāvitrīka or vrātya.[2]

Uddālaka Vrata[edit]

One of the expiations prescribed for such a person to become fit again for the Upanyāna sacrament is the Uddālaka Vrata. Since the sage Uddālaka-Āruṇi prescribed it, it has been named after him. A person who performs this vrata should subsist on the prescribed food as follows:

  1. For two months on barley gruel
  2. For one month on milk
  3. For half-a-month on āmikṣā[3]
  4. For eight days on ghee
  5. For six days on alms got without begging
  6. For three days on water
  7. Total fast for one day[4]


  1. Dvija literally means the twice-born.
  2. ‘Sāvitrī’ means the Gāyatrī mantra.
  3. Āmikṣā means whey.
  4. Vaṣisthasmrti 11.76-79
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore