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

Ātura-saṅyāsa literally means ‘saṅmyāsa taken by one who is afflicted’.

Saṅyāsa or monastic life is the last of the four āśramas or stages of life through which every dvija (‘the twice- born’) has to pass. Generally every pious dvija entertains the desire of dying as a saṅyāsin, since that enhances his chance of mokṣa or liberation which is the ultimate goal of human life.

Due to the uncertainty of life, situations may also arise that a man may die without taking saṅyāsa. For such persons afflicted with mortal diseases or facing grave dangers, the dharmaśāstras have provided an emergency ritual by which they can take saṅyāsa and hence die as saṅyāsins. This is called ‘ātura-saṅyāsa'

The essentials of this ritual are :

  1. Saṅkalpa - Resolve to take saṅyāsa
  2. Kṣaura - Tonsure of the head
  3. Sāvitrī - praveśa - Merging the Gāyatrī mantra into praṇava or Om
  4. Praiṣoccāra - Uttering the praiṣamantra signifying renunciation

Even among these, the first and the last are enough if there is no scope for performing the other aspects of the ritual. If by chance, a person who has taken āturasaṅyāsa survives the ordeal, he is expected to take regular saṅyāsa with all the formalities. He cannot go back to the old way of life.


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