Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children Book Cover.webp

Colonial Discourse and the Suffering of Indian American Children is now published after academic peer-review and available through open access.

In this book, we analyze the psycho-social consequences that Indian American children face after they are exposed to the school textbook discourse on Hinduism and ancient India. We show that there is an intimate connection―an almost exact correspondence―between James Mill’s ( a prominent politician in Britain and head of the British East India Company) colonial-racist discourse and the current school-textbook discourse. Consequently, this archaic and racist discourse, camouflaged under the cover of political correctness, produces in the Indian American children the same psychological impact as racism is known to produce: shame, inferiority, embarrassment, identity confusion, assimilation, and a phenomenon similar to racelessness where the children dissociate from the tradition and culture of their ancestors

This book is an outcome of 4 years of rigorous research as a part of our ongoing commitment at Hindupedia to challenge the representation of Hindu Dharma within Academia.


From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By jammalamdaka Suryanarayana & Jammalamadaka Srinivas

Sometimes transliterated as: Atma gunaah, Aatma gunaah, Atma gunah, Atma gunas

Ātmaguṇah refers to the eight qualities that are a part of 48 saṃskāras. The eight guṇas or qualities are:

  1. Dayā
  2. Ksānti
  3. Anasūyā
  4. Śauca
  5. Anāyāsa
  6. Maṇgala
  7. Akārpaṇya
  8. Aspṛha


"Dayā" implies love for all the creatures of the world, such love being the very fulfillment of life. It implies treating all the creatures as an integral part of one's self in action, thought and articulation. There is indeed no greater happiness than the happiness obtained by loving others. Dayā is the backbone of all qualities.

Svātmavat sarvabhūteṣu kāyena manasā girā| anujñā yā dayā saiva proktā vedāntavedibhiḥ||[1]


Ksānti or Kṣamā is called patience. One kind of ksānti is patiently suffering disease, poverty, misfortune and so on. The second is forgiveness and it implies loving a person even if he causes us pain and trouble.

Kāyena manasā vācā śatrubhiḥ paripīḍite| buddhikṣobhanivṛttiryā kṣamā sā munipuṃgava||[2]


Anasūyā is the name of the sage Atri's wife. She was completely free from jealousy and that is how she got the name Anasūyā which means non-jealous. Heart-burning caused by another man's prosperity or status is jealousy. We ought to have love and compassion for all and ought to be patient and forgiving even towards those who do us wrong. We must not envy people of their higher status even if they are less deserving of it than we are and at the same time, must be mature enough to regard their better position as the reward they earned by doing something good in their previous life.


Śauca is derived from Śuci, meaning cleanliness. Purity is to be maintained by all the means in bathing, dressing and food. To see a clean person is the same feeling which equals to feel ourselves clean. Śauca is opined to be in two arenas. One is maintaining the cleanliness in the outer arena i.e. the body while the other arena is maintaining the mental cleanliness through knowledge which denotes having the right knowledge.


The fifth ātmaguṇa is anāyāsa. It is the opposite of āyasa which denotes effort, exertion, etc. Anāyāsa means to have a feeling of lightness or to take things easy. One must not keep a long face, wear a scowl or keep lamenting over one's hardships. If you lose your cool you will be a burden to yourself as well as to others. Anāyāsa is a great virtue. In many of our rituals there is a huge bodily exertion. There is no end to the physical effort we have to put in to conduct a sacrifice. Here anāyāsa means not to feel any mental strain. Obstacles, inevitable to any work or enterprise must not cause you any mental strain. One must not feel any burden and develop the attitude that everything happens according to the will of the Lord.


There is mangala or an auspicious air about happiness that is characterized by dignity and purity. One must be cheerful all the time and not keep growling at the people on the slightest pretext. This is extremely helpful, to radiate happiness wherever we go and exude auspiciousness. It is better than making lavish gifts and spending money to do a job with a feeling of lightness is called anāyāsa. To be light ourselves, creating joy wherever we go, is called as maṇgala.


Akārpaṇya is the next guna. Miserliness is the quality of a krpaņa or miser. Akārpanya is the opposite of miserliness. One must give generously and whole-heartedly. At Kurukṣetra, Arjuna felt dejected and refused to wage war with his own kin. In doing so, according to Gitā, he was guilty of Kārpanya doṣa. It means, contextually, that he abased himself to a woeful state, he became miserly about himself. Akārpanya is the quality of a courageous and zestful person who can face problems determinedly.


Aspṛha is the last of the eight qualities. Spṛha means desire; a grasping nature. Aspṛha is the opposite, being without desire. Desire is at the root of all the trouble, all evil and all through the ages, it has been the cause of misfortunes. But to eradicate it from the mind of men seems an almost impossible task. By performing rites again and again and by constantly endeavoring to acquire the Ātma Guṇas one will eventually become desire-less.


  1. Darśanopaniṣad, the yogopaniṣads,
  2. darśanopaniṣad, The yogopaniṣads,