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

Brahmajñana literally means ‘Knowledge of Brahman’.

The Vedānta system of philosophy posits Brahman (‘the Unlimited One,’ ‘the Infinite One,’ ‘the Absolute’) as the origin of the entire universe including the inanimate nature and the living beings. The universe evolves out of it, is sustained in it and involves back into it. Its essential nature is ‘sat-cit-ānanda,’ ‘existence-consciousness-bliss’. It is un-caused and eternal. It is also the very essence of the human beings. Since the human beings do not know this Brahman that is in them or behind them, they are undergoing a lot of suffering caused by the vicious circle of birth-death-rebirth, technically called ‘sansāra’. Mokṣa or liberating oneself from the bondage of this sansāra, is the ultimate goal of life. This mokṣa can be achieved only by brahmajñāna.

Though the word ‘jñāna’ means ‘knowledge,’ ‘brahmajñāna’ does not mean an intellectual understanding of Brahman. It is anubhuti or direct experience of Brahman, not only as the substratum of the entire creation, but also as the innermost core of oneself. Once this direct experience comes, there will be no more identification with the body-mind complex which alone was responsible for sansāra.

In order to get this experience, one has to cultivate the sādhanacatuṣṭaya first.[1] This is to be followed by approaching a competent spiritual preceptor from whom one has to listen (śravaṇa) to the Vedāntic truths, reflect (manana) upon them and meditate (nididhyāsana) upon them. This will ultimately lead to brahmajñāna or the direct experience of Brahman often equated with ātman, the Self and result in mokṣa.


  1. See SĀDHANACATUṣTAYA for details.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore