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

Pativratā literally means ‘a woman deeply devoted to her husband’.

Conjugal felicity depends to a very great extent on mutual trust and concern between the husband and the wife. Though this was stressed as the general rule, the onus was much more on woman than on man. Perhaps to help the wife by moral support and encouragement, the virtue of being a pativratā, a chaste wife, was eulogized highly in the scriptures, especially in the dharmaśāstras and the purāṇas.

Characteristics of a Pativratā[edit]

A woman was considered to be pativratā if she observed the following:

  • Single-minded devotion towards her husband
  • Service to her husband
  • The rigid observance of all the rules prescribed for her voluntarily and willingly

Pativratā as per Bṛhaspati[edit]

The definition of a pativratā given by Bṛhaspati and quoted by other authors of dharmaśāstras gives us, perhaps, the best idea of that ideal:

‘She is distressed when her husband is distressed and is delighted when he is delighted. She becomes emaciated and wears soiled clothes when her husband goes out on a journey. She dies when her husband dies!’

Paragons of Pativratā in History[edit]

The following women are held as the ideal pativratās fit to be emulated. They are:

  1. Sītā
  2. Sāvitrī
  3. Damayantī
  4. Anasuyā
  5. Draupadī

Other lists include:

  1. Satī
  2. Pārvatī
  3. Arundhatī
  4. Śāṇḍili

Pativratā as per Mahābhārata[edit]

The Mahābhārata[1] describes how a devoted wife attained everything including yogic powers just by serving her husband. The story of Sāvitrī who succeeded in bringing her husband back from the clutches of Yama[2] is too well-known to be repeated.[3]


  1. Vanaparva chapters 205-206
  2. Yama is the god of death.
  3. Vanaparva of Mahābhārata, chapters 293-299
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore