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

Godāvari literally means ‘the best of the givers of water’.

A dedicated devout invokes seven sacred rivers of the country at the time of bath and during the ritualistic worship of the family deity. Godāvarī is one of these seven rivers. Gautamī and Vṛddhagañgā are the two other names for it, though less known. The invocation runs like this:

gauge ca yamune caiva godāvari sarasvati I narmade sindhu kāveri jale’smin annidhirh kuru II

“Oh Gaṅgā! Yamunā! Godāvarī! Sarasvati! Narmadā! Sindhu! Kāverī! Please be present in this water here!”


The river originates from the Brahmagiri hill near Tryambakeśvar in the Nasik district of Maharashtra State. It flows towards the east and joins the Bay of Bengal near Rājamahendram (or Rajamundry) where it is almost 6.4 kms. (4 miles) wide. Then it divides itself into two branches Gautamī Godāvarī and Vasiṣṭha Godāvarī. The Vasiṣṭha Godāvarī again branches off into Vainateya Godāvarī.

Extent of Godāvarī[edit]

The total length of the river is 1465 kms. (915 miles). It is joined by a few important tributaries like Purṇā, Phena-gaṅgā, Vardhā, Vainagaṅgā, Prāṇahitā, Indrāvatī and Śabarī.

Tale of Godāvarī[edit]

As per Purāṇas[edit]

According to the purāṇas the sage Gautama, the husband of Ahalyā, brought this river (originally the Gaṅgā) from the matted locks of Śiva to this earth near Brahmagiri. At his request, Śiva also agreed to stay near his hermitage. This became the famous Tryambakeśvara.

As per Rāmāyana[edit]

According to the Rāmāyana of Vālmiki, Śri Rāma lived in the Pañcavati on the bank of the river Godāvarī, during his sojourn in the Daṇḍaka forest. Sitā was abducted by the demon-king Rāvaṇa from here.

Significance of Bath in Godāvarī[edit]

A bath in the Godāvarī, especially during it's Puṣkara-period[1] is considered extremely holy. The Puṣkara-period comes once in twelve years and lasts for 12 days. Śrāddhas and tarpaṇas offered to the manes during this period will save them from hell and may even give them liberation.

Places of Pilgrimage on Godāvarī[edit]

The holy places of pilgrimage situated on the banks of the Godāvarī are:

  1. Govardhana
  2. Janasthāna
  3. Nāsik
  4. Pañcavaṭī

There are several temples in these places. For the pilgrims who visit Nāsik, a bath in the Rāmakuṇḍa on the left bank of Godāvarī, is a must. The famous temple of Rāma at Bhadrācalam in the Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh is another holy place on the Godāvarī, frequented by the devotees.

References in Scriptures[edit]

The water can be the one used for both one’s bath and worshiping the deity. Unlike the rivers Sarasvatī and Gaṅgā, the name of Godāvarī has not been mentioned in the Vedic literature. However there are enough references to it in the two epics and the purāṇas. In importance and sacredness, it has been given a status next to Gaṅgā. The Brahmapurāna[2] declares the Gaṅgā to the south of the Vindhya mountains is Gautamī (Godāvarī).


  1. In Puṣkara-period the planet Bṛhaspati or Guru or Jupiter enters the zodiacal sign Simha or Leo.
  2. Brahmapurāna 78.77
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore