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 M. A. Alwar

The most popular usage of the word indriya refers to it as ‘sense- organs’. As against English, where the word sense-organ refers only to organs of sensation, the word ‘indriya’ has a wider range of meaning, covering the organs of knowledge, action and decision. Mind is said to control all other indriyas. There are a total of fourteen indriyas:

  1. Five organs of knowledge (jñānendriyas, including the Eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin)
  2. Five organs of action (karmendriyas, including the hands, legs, speech-organ, anus and generative organ)
  3. Four internal organs (mind, intellect, ego and reason)


Indriyam is a neutral form.



The word can be derived in three ways on a general note:

  1. "Indrasyātmano liṅgamanumāpakam" which means 'The aid to inference of Indra i.e. the self'.
  2. "Indraṇeśvareṇa sṛṣṭam" which means 'Created by Indra, the Lord'
  3. "Indreṇātmanā mama cakṣurmama śrotramityādi krameṇa jñātam" which means 'Known by Indra, the self, as ‘my eyes, my ears’ etc.'


Grammatically the word is derived from "indra+ghac" by nipātana which means ‘sacrificed by Indra’, etc. It has three different meanings as per the lexica. They are:

  1. The instrument of knowledge and action.
  2. Wisdom
  3. Semen virile[1]


In this sense, its synonyms are

  1. Hṛṣīkam
  2. Viṣayī[2]
  3. Akṣam
  4. Karaṇam
  5. Grahaṇam[3]

Types of Indriyas[edit]


Among these, the jñānendriyas (organs of knowledge) are five:

  1. Karṇaḥ - Ear
  2. Tvak - Skin
  3. Cakṣuh - Eye
  4. Jihvā - Tongue
  5. Nāsikā - Nose


There are five Karmendriyas (Organs of action):

  1. Vāk - Organ of Speech, the larynx
  2. Pāṇiḥ - Hand
  3. Pādaḥ - Foot
  4. Pāyuḥ - Anus
  5. Upasthā - Organ of generation

Internal Organs[edit]

The internal organs are four:

  1. Manaḥ - Mind
  2. Buddhiḥ - Intellect
  3. Ahaṅkāraḥ - Ego
  4. Cittam - Reasoning faculty

Viewpoints on Indriyam in shāstra[edit]


In the sense of wisdom, Ṛgveda opines that,[4]

“So that we may live (surrounded by) vigorous descendents, such wisdom do you confer upon us for our benefit”.


Mind is the controller of all organs. Fourteen deities govern the fourteen organs. They are:

  1. Dik - Direction, governs the Ear
  2. Vāyuḥ - Wind, governs the skin
  3. Sūryyaḥ - Sun, governs the Eye
  4. Pracetāḥ - Varuṇa, governs the tongue
  5. Aśvinau - The twin Aśvinis, govern the Nose
  6. Vahniḥ - Fire, governs speech
  7. Indraḥ - Indra, governs the hand
  8. Viṣṇuḥ - Viṣṇu, governs the foot
  9. Mitraḥ - Mitra, governs the anus
  10. Prajāpatiḥ - Prajāpati, governs the generative organ
  11. Candraḥ - Moon, governs the mind
  12. Caturmukhaḥ - Brahman, governs the intellect
  13. Śaṅkaraḥ - śaṅkara, governs the ego
  14. Acyutaḥ - Acyuta, governs reason


According to Nyāya:

  1. Nose is the organ of Prithivī (Earth)
  2. Tongue is the organ of Jala (Water)
  3. Eye is the organ of Tejas (fire)
  4. Skin is the organ of Vāyu (Wind)
  5. Ear is the organ of ākāśa (Space).


Suśruta says:

  1. Intellect supported by Brahman.
  2. Ego supported by īśvara.
  3. Mind supported by candra.
  4. Ears supported by diś.
  5. Skin supported by vāyu.
  6. Eyes supported by Sūrya.
  7. Tongue supported by Varuṇa.
  8. Nose supported by Prithivī.
  9. Speech supported by Fire.
  10. Hands supported by Indra.
  11. Feet supported by Viṣṇu.
  12. Anus supported by Mitra.
  13. Generative organ supported by Prajāpati.


In the matter of sense-organs, Manu opined that[5]

“As the sense-objects capture the wandering organs…”

Dayānanda Saraswati[edit]

Indriya is vijñāna (wisdom), says the commentary of Dayānanda.


  1. As per Amara.
  2. As per Amara
  3. As per Rājanirghaṇṭa
  4. Ṛgveda 1|111|2
  5. Manu 2|88
  • Shabdakalpadrumah by Raja Radhakantdev, Varadaprasada Vasu, Haricarana Vasu