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

Aghora literally means

  • Not terrible; not fearsome
  • Pleasant; agreeable; mild
  • Is another name for Śiva
  • Refers to a Tāntrik denomination of worshipers of Śiva and Durgā and its followers. This group worships Śiva as the Absolute, are strictly and uncompromisingly non-dualistic in their philosophy, and are known for their extremely challenging and unconventional disciplines & rituals that aim at a forcible transformation of the limited human personality & consciousness into an universal or divine one.

Śiva as Aghora[edit]

Śiva is responsible for dissolution of the universe (laya or pralaya). One of the names, by which he is well-known, is Pañcānana or Pañcamukha, ‘the five faced one’. These five faces are actually five aspects of his manifestation. ‘Aghora’ is one of these five. Facing south and ruling over the element agni (fire), Aghora stands for the power that absorbs and renovates the universe. His description is as follows:

  • He has a terrific face and eight hands holding śula (spear), ḍamaru (drum), pāśa (noose), kapāla (skull-cup), daṇḍa (staff), cāpa (bow), bāṇa (arrow) and asi (sword).
  • The neck is blue and the rest of the body is black.
  • The body is either naked or clad in the hides of elephant and lion.
  • Snakes and scorpions form the ornaments.

Since his terrible form frightens away all the sufferings devotees that have taken refuge in Him, he is ‘Aghora,’ the ‘not terrible’ to them. The mantra beginning with the words ‘aghorebhyo’ in the Mahānārāyana Upanisad[1] is known as ‘aghora-mantra’ and is one of the five mantras well-known as ‘pañcabrahma-mantras’ employed in the worship and meditation of Mahādeva. These mantras are normally prescribed for japa to a person who desires divine illumination.


  1. Mahānārāyana Upanisad 19.1
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
  • Agora by Jit Majumdar"