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
(Redirected from Asvattha)

By Swami Harshananda


Aśvattha literally means

  1. resting place of horses
  2. resting place of the swift
  3. the tree Ficus religiosa
  4. ‘that which does not last till the next day’

Aśvattha the tree[edit]

Aśvattha (Ficus religiosa) is one of the highly revered trees. It is said to have issued forth from Indra, the king of gods. According to another version of mythology, it is also a manifestation of Viṣṇu. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavadgitā[1] that he is the aśvattha among the trees. Since the gods sit under a celestial tree,[2] holy men on the earth sit under this tree. Its shade is said to confer miraculous powers like understanding the language of animals or remembering former births. Childless women worship it and circum-ambulate it with the hope and faith of being granted children.

In the scriptures, the eternal tree of life is compared to an aśvattha, with the roots in heaven and branches spread below.[3][4][5]

The wood of this tree was being used to prepare sacrificial vessels and the upper araṇi (one of the two pieces of wood used for generating fire during Vedic sacrifices).

Works of Ayurveda like the Suśruta Samhitā describe its bark, roots and fruits as being endowed with medicinal properties.


  1. Bhagavadgitā 10.26
  2. Atharvaveda 5.3
  3. Katha Upanisad 6.1
  4. Maitrī Upanisad 6.4
  5. Bhagavadgitā 15.1-3
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore