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

tāla literally means ‘the evil-doers fall into this’.

Seven Ether Worlds[edit]

The purāṇas describe fourteen worlds. Out of these, six are higher worlds above this earth[1] and seven are below them. They are:

  1. Atala
  2. Vitala
  3. Sutala
  4. Talātala
  5. Mahātala
  6. Rasātala
  7. Pātāla

Serpent Chiefs of Pātāla[edit]

According to this list, Pātāla is the nethermost world. It is the abode of serpents. The serpent-chiefs who live here are:

  1. Aśvadhara
  2. Devadatta
  3. Dhanarijaya
  4. Dhṛtarāṣṭra
  5. Gulika
  6. Kambala
  7. Mahāśikha
  8. Śaṅkha
  9. Śaṅkhacuḍa
  10. Śveta
  11. Vāsuki

At the base of the Pātāla, there is a place separated from the rest where lives Ananta or Ādiśeṣa or Seṣanāga. He is said to be carrying all the worlds on his thousand hoods. All the eleven great serpents mentioned above have brilliant gems on their hoods, the light emanating from which illuminates the netherworld.

Pātāla as per Mahābhārata[edit]

According to the Mahābhārata[2] Pātāla is inhabited by the following:

  1. Daityas - demons
  2. Govratis - persons of great austerity
  3. Maharṣis - great sages
  4. The four elephant kings called as Airāvaṇa, Vāmana, Kumuda and Añjana who are guarding the quarters.

Pātāla as per Yogasutras[edit]

As per the long description given in the Vyāsabhāsya on the Yogasutras[3] the Pātālaloka has oceans and mountains. All types of beings like asuras, gandharvas, kimpuruṣas, yakṣas, rākṣasas and various kinds of disembodied spirits[4] live here.


  1. Earth is called as Bhuloka.
  2. Udyogaparva 99
  3. Yogasutras 3.26
  4. These spirits are bhutas, pretas, piśācas, brahmarākṣasas and so on.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore