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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.

Makara Sañkrānti

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Saṅkrānti Definition[edit]

Saṅkrānti means ‘the apparent passage of the sun from one rāśi (sign of the zodiac) to the next. Hence the rāśi in which the sun enters is designated as the Saṅkrānti like Meṣa Saṅkrānti, Vṛṣabha Saṅkrānti and so on.

Significance of Makara Saṅkrānti[edit]

Makara Sañkrānti is an important festival connected not only with bathing[1] but also with the harvest season. It is also called as Uttarāyaṇa Puṇyakāla. However out of these Makara Saṅkrānti, which usually falls generally on January 14, from which the northern journey, uttarāyaṇa, starts and Karkāṭaka SaṅkrāntiCite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag in Saṅkrānti is generally spread over 16 ghaṭikās,[2] 8 ghaṭikās on either side of the actual moment of crossing of the sun from the previous rāśi into the next. This time is to be used for fasting, japa and dāna (giving gifts) only and not for anything else.

Rites of Makara Saṅkrānti[edit]

The rites prescribed for Makara Saṅkrānti are:

Celebrations in Tamil Nadu[edit]

In Tamil Nadu, the Makara Saṅkrānti is a harvest festival. It is called as Poṅgal. Poṅgal is a kind of sweet preparation made out of sugar or jaggery, rice, ghee and milk. It is prepared from the newly harvested crops and offered to the Sun-god. The day prior to the Poṅgal, is called as Bhogi. It is a day dedicated to changing the old articles in the house for the new ones, especially old clothes, and consigning them to flames. The day after the Poṅgal day is reserved for the observance of the ‘Cattle Day’ with bull-fights or taming the wild bulls by the strong young men of the village.

Celebrations in Karnataka[edit]

In Karnataka, exchanging of sesame preparation called ellu and blocks of sugar called as sakkare accu is a pleasant social aspect of the festival. Washing and decorating the cattle and making them jump over a burning fire specially lit up for the occasion as a sort of exorcising the evil spirits that may harm them, is also a common feature.


  1. Especially during Kumbhamelas
  2. The duration is 6 hours and 24 minutes.
  3. Homa is the oblations into a sacred fire.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

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