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

Upavāsa literally means ‘fasting’.

Significance of Upavāsa[edit]

Upavāsa or fasting either as a spiritual discipline or as a part of religious rites or even as an expiation for the sins, is found in all the major religions of the world. Fasting undertaken voluntarily and willingly helps to discipline both the body and the mind.

Observances During Upavāsa[edit]

Along with fasting the following observances are prescribed:

  • Worship of one’s deity
  • Repetition of the divine name
  • Observance of mauna or silence
  • Keeping vigil in the night
  • Chanting of hymns
  • Reciting devotional singing

General Rules for Upavāsa[edit]

  • Generally fasting means avoiding cooked food.
  • Uncooked food like fruits and milk is permitted.
  • However, total abstinence from all kinds of food is also recommended to those who are strong enough to withstand it.
  • Old persons, patients and kids are not advised to keep the upavāsa.

Types of Upavāsa[edit]

If fasting is to be undertaken as a part of prāyaścitta or expiation, it can be of three kinds:

  1. Ekabhakta - eating only once in the day
  2. Nakta - eating only once, at night
  3. Ayācita - taking the food that is brought unasked


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore