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

Aupaniṣada-vrata literally means ‘Vow related to the study of the Upaniṣad’.

Among the sanskāras or sacraments enumerated by the ancient writers on the dharmaśāstras, like Gautama, four vedavratas are important.[1] They are as follows :

  1. Mahā-nāmnī-vrata
  2. Mahā-vrata
  3. Upaniṣad-vrata (or aupa-niṣada-vrata)
  4. Godāna-vrata

Each of these vratas had to be observed by the brahmacārin for a year. Other works like the Sāñkhāyana Grhyasutras[2] describe these four vratas as śukriya, śākvara, vrātika and aupaniṣada.

They are the vratas that precede the study of the different sections of the Vedas. The aupaniṣada-vrata precedes the study of the Upaniṣad part of the Vedas. At the beginning of each of these vratas there has to be a separate upanayana ceremony involving the wearing of the new yajñopavīta (sacred thread), new deer-skin and new girdle. The vrata lasts for one year.

Failure to observe these vratas or lapses during their performance had to be expiated with appropriate prāyaścittas specially prescribed. The observance of these vratas seems to have been gradually given up.


  1. Gautama Dharmasutras 8.15
  2. Sāñkhāyana Grhyasutras 2.11-12
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore