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

Āvasathya literally means ‘related to the dwelling place’.

For performing Vedic sacrifices, duly consecrated fires are needed. The maximum number of such fires is five and they are called ‘pañcāgnis.’ They are as follows :

  1. Gārhapatya
  2. Āhavanīya
  3. Anvāhāryapacana
  4. Dakṣiṇa
  5. Sabhya
  6. Āvasathya

The word ‘āvasathya’ is derived from ‘āvasatha’ or a dwelling place. According to one view, the brāhmaṇas and others who were invited to participate in a sacrifice were given special dwelling places called āvasatha (similar to a modern dharmaśālā) where a fire was to be lit, to ward off cold. This could have been the origin of this fire.

During Vedic sacrifices, this fire is stationed to the east of the sabhya fire, in a hut called ‘āvasatha.’ The hearth is triangular in shape, each side being 25 aṅgulis (aṅguli = finger’s breadth). Some authorities of Vedic sacrifices held its establishment compulsory and others as optional. For establishing it, the original fire had to be brought from the gārhapatya.


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