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

Gārhapatya literally means ‘belonging to the gṛhapati or the master of the house’.

Types of Fires[edit]

In the Vedic era, many dvijas (the ‘twice born’) maintained three sacred fires. These fires were ceremonially established. These fires were called as:

  1. Gārhapatya fire
  2. Āhavanīya fire
  3. Dakṣināgni fire

Ignition of Gārhapatya Fire[edit]

The gārhapatya fire is established first by kindling it with the araṇis through the process of agnyādhāna. The pit for the gārhapatya fire is round in shape and one square aratni in area.[1] This fire, once kindled, had to be maintained throughout life.

Utility of Gārhapatya Fire[edit]

The fire itself is used for various purposes such as:

  1. Daily Agnihotra
  2. Warming the havis of oblatory material
  3. Warming the vessels used for the same
  4. Circumambulation
  5. Cooking the havis
  6. To start the other two fires

Alternate Gārhapatya Fire[edit]

In Somayāgas, another āhavanīya fire is generated from the earlier one, in the uttaravedi.[2] In such case, the former fire is also called ‘gārhapatya.’


  1. An aratni is 1/5 of the height of the sacrificer who establishes the fire.
  2. Uttaravedi is a higher platform to the east.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore