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.

Unique Features

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swamini Sadvidyananda Saraswati

Vedas & Karma[edit]

  1. Vedas are the source of the all kinds of Dharma. (Vedokhiladharmasya mUlam)
  2. Vedas are not born of Human brains, Apaurusheya. Even the Lord is not the doer/creator of the Knowledge; He is only Seer of the knowledge. (Isvaraha Jnana-drshta, n tu Kartaa)
  3. Vedic knowledge flows through the Tradition. As per Vedas it starts with either by Brahmaji, the Creator, Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva as Lord Dakshinamurti. (Veda-parampara)
  4. Vedas are looked upon as the means of Knowledge. To accept Vedas as the means of Knowledge is called Shraddha. (Veda Shabda-pramanam)
  5. Four human ends are also based on Vedas, (Chaturtha-Purushartahah) namely
    1. Dharma (righteous living),
    2. Artha (All forms of wealth),
    3. Kama (Enjoyments) and
    4. Moksha (Liberation from cycle of birth and death).
  6. There are three sections in Vedas called
    1. Karmakand (which talks about various actions, rituals)
      • Samhita: Mantra for rituals. (Brahmacharay- Ashram)
      • Brahmana: Detials of the rituals. (Grahastha- Ashram)
    2. Upasanakand (different types of meditations) and (Vanprastha- Ashram)
    3. Jnanakanda (knowledge of the reality of oneself, world and Ishvara.) (Sannyasa)
  7. Karmakanda is the means of various means and ends, which can be categorized in three ways – (Sadhana-Sadhya-sambandha, Jnata-ajnata)
    1. Known means-unknown ends, like charity and heaven, (Danam-Svargaprapti)
    2. Unknown means-known ends, like Dashratha performed Putra-kameshti ritual
    3. Unknown means-unknown ends, like performance of fire rituals and reaching heaven. (eg. Agnihotra karma- Svargaprapti)
  8. 4 types of the injunction or ordinance -
    1. Nitya-Naimittika karma, actions to be performed daily or as per the occasions,
    2. Nishiddhi karma, prohibited actions,
    3. Kamya karma, action to fulfill desires,
    4. Prayashchita karma, atonement.
  9. The Papa and punya - wrong and right of the action is based on the injunctions of Vedas; not on the action. (Veda-vidhanam, Shastra-vidhanam)
  10. Universal laws – (Samanya Dharma) right or wrong, dos and don’ts, prescribed and prohibited are value-based. It is determined by what you expect or what you do not expect from others. For example, you would not want others to lie to you or cheat you or steal your things. Thus, these actions are adharma, wrong action. How you expect to be treated is called dharma and what you do not expect is called adharma.
  11. Specific dharmas like - (Vishesha Dharma)
    1. Varna-ashram-dharma,
    2. Kula-dharma,
    3. Jati-dharma, etc.

They are meant for the earning punya, purification of the mind or emotional maturity. This leads person to the enquiry of the human ends.

  1. Non-competitive society, Duty-based, dharma-based culture; not centered on one’s own rights or enjoyments.
  2. Books based on Vedas called Smrti, Gita, 18 Puranas and History – Ramayana and Mahabharata.
  3. Worshiping of different deities – (Puja-vidhanam)
    1. Physical, Kayika, daily puja,
    2. Oral prayers like japa, chanting, reciting bhajan, etc. and
    3. Mental prayers and worshiping like meditation, visualization and contemplation.
  4. Presiding diety (33 crores Devatas) of each elements and all objects of the universe, like kuladevata; family god, mother Earth, mother River, fire god, Sun god, etc.
  5. Ishta devata, personal God
  6. Special ceremony for the departed soul called Shraaddha karma, tarpan-vidhi (memorial services)
  7. Based on one’s own karmas there are 84 lacs (yonies) bodies for rebirth of the soul. Enjoyments in higher worlds or going through the pains in lower worlds or body like animal or plant bodies. When Punya is more one gets higher body or world, papa is more then one gets lower body or world and when papa-punya are almost equal then only Human body is possible. There are 14 main lokas, world and many more inbetween like suryaloka (world of Sun), Chandra loka, etc. Janma-maran-cakra, cycle of rebirth and death.

The Lord and the Devotion[edit]

  1. For human beings there is an option for choice of continuing cycle or total liberation while living this life; no coming back to cycle of rebirth and death.
  2. 4 types of the liberation according to the Daitins, Dualistic philosophy –
    1. salokya, in the same world of God,
    2. samipaya, in the nearness, proximity of God, vicinity to God,
    3. sarupya, similarity form or appearance, and
    4. sayujay, intimate union or identification with God.
  3. Basically there are two types of the performance of actions or worshiping or duties
    1. Sakama karma, to fulfill one’s desires
    2. Nishkama karma, without keeping particular result in the mind just performing action or worshiping or duties for
      1. Purification of the mind
      2. To please God
  4. Detailed descriptions life and enjoyments of svarga and Naraka, different worlds of higher worlds and lower worlds. Various means to achieve these worlds.
  5. Astronomy and astrology for chart of birth. Different planets and their characteristics, prayers and puja to neutralize or to propitiate these planet Gods.
  6. Special puja, mantras, prayers of different Gods for the specific or different results of the worshipings. There are 5 or 16 or 108 steps puja with 108 or 1000 names of God.
  7. Incarnation of God, especially Lord Vishnu – main 10 and total 24 incarnations. Each one has particular purpose or multi-purpose.
  8. In bhakti there is a personal relationship with Bhagavan, God and interaction with Bhagavan like, worshiping Him as a child, master, lover, friend, enemy, etc.
  9. Glory or beauty of Lord’s name just as Rama, Krsna, Narayana, etc.
  10. Bhagvan is partial for his devotees and look after all types of Yoga-Kshema – protects and nurture the devotees.
  11. The Lord is the maker and material of the world. Being material cause the Lord is non-separate from the World. In fact everything is God only. Therefore everything is the manifestation of the Lord and so can be worship in any form like tree, river, in stone.

Human Freewill and Self-knowledge[edit]

  1. In human life person has a freedom of choice, of thoughts, freewill to make a decision therefore person is no more totally in the hands of his/her karmas. He/she has to take decision at every stage of life. When freedom is given there are norms to take decision called right or wrong, which are the bases for papa-punya. Due to freewill everyone has a conscience regarding right and wrong. Still scripture gives the definition as this – Do not perform actions which you are not expecting from others, what is adverse, unpleasant or inimical.
  2. The last portion of the Veda is Vedanta, Upanishads which talk about the reality of Jiva, jagat and Jagdisha - you, world and the creator.
  3. Samskar or svabhava/prakruti, nature, aptitude or disposition of the person which is based on previous births. There are three guna, dispositions called Sattava, Rajas and Tamas. There are four possible combinations of these three guna, disposition -
    1. Predominant Sattva, Rajas at second level and Tamas is the last (SRT),
    2. Predominant Rajas, Sattva at second level and Tamas is the last (RST),
    3. Predominant Rajas, Tamas at second level and Sattva is the last (RTS),
    4. Predominant Tamas, Rajas at second level and Sattva is the last (TRS).

The disposition of the first combination SRT is called Brahmana, the second one RST is called Kshatriya, third one RTS is Vaishya and last one TRS is Shudra. Therefore these divisions are based on the divisions are based on one’s disposition and as per the disposition of the person Vedas have ordained four types of the actions.

  1. Mimansa – logical analysis of the Vedas, scriptures called Purvapaksha and siddhanata, opposition and refutation.
  2. Six Pre-shankaracharya schools of thoughts, Darshan
    1. Nyaya-darshan – a system of philosophy delivered by Sage Gautama.
    2. Vaishesika-darshan - a system of philosophy delivered by Sage Kanada.
    3. Sankhya-darshan - a system of philosophy delivered by Sage Kapila.
    4. Yoga-darshan - a system of philosophy delivered by Sage Patanjali.
    5. Purva-mimansa - a system of philosophy delivered by Sage Jaimini
    6. Uttara-mimansa - a system of philosophy based on Vednata, Upanishads.
  3. Six Nastika schools of thoughts, Atheistics (Those who do not accept the Vedas as the ultimate means of knowledge.)
    1. Carvaka
    2. Jaina
    3. 4 schools of Buddhism
  4. Six Post Shankaracharya Bhakti philosophy
    1. Vishishta-advaita by Sri Rmanujacharaya
    2. Suddha-advaita by Sri Vallabhacharya
    3. Dvaita by Madhvacharya
    4. Dvaita-advaita by Nimbakacharya
    5. Dvaita-advaita by Srikanthacharya
  5. The Lord is the Abhinna-Nimitta-Upadana-karana Isvara, both the maker and the material cause of the universe. Being the material cause the universe is not separate from the Lord. Therefore the Lord can be worshiped in any forms.
  6. This universe is divided into three section
    1. Adyatmika jagat, related to self that is body, senses and mind.
    2. Adhibhautika jagat, related to the creation.
    3. Adhidaivika jagat, relating to the proceedings of Gods.
  7. The universe is not a creation but manifestation of the Lord. As the dream world is nothing but the manifestation of the one’s knowledge so too the universe is the manifestation of the knowledge of the Lord. In fact it is nothing but the knowledge.
  8. The knowledge of the Lord is manifested in the form of the vast order of the universe.
  9. There is no beginning of the creation, in fact it is cyclic and till one gains self-knowledge it continues.
  10. There are four types of the Pralaya, destructions -
    1. Nitya Pralaya – There is a constant on going destruction and creation in the world.
    2. Naimittika - When Brahmaji’s day (that is 1000 chaturyuga as per Gita) is over there is a destruction of the entire world except Brahmaloka. The world remains in unmanifest form for the night of Brahmaji.
    3. Pralaya – When Brahmaji is 100 years are over, along with Brahmaloka everything goes back to unmanifest form.
    4. Atyantika Pralaya – Once person knows the true nature of Atman as all pervasive Brahman the universe resolve for ever.
  11. Pancha-Anaadi, Five things are beginningless in this world
    1. Brahman,
    2. Isvara,
    3. Jiva, soul
    4. Maya, the power of the Lord to create, sustain and dissolve the creation.
    5. Ignorance
  12. Two types of eternals -
    1. Kutastha nitya, unchangeable Brahman atma.
    2. Pravaha nitya, constantly changing eternal like Earth, Sun, River, etc.
  13. Kaivalya Mukti, Total liberation, which is the goal of human body, is possible while living in this human body by knowledge Brahman as atma.
  14. Teaching Tradition, methodology of the teaching Vedanta -
    1. Drshta-Drshay-vivek, seer-seen analysis.
    2. sthula-sukshma-vivek, Analysis of sthula, gross to sukshma, subtle. Such as with the help of three bodies namely Sthula sarira – gross body, sukshama shrira – subtle body and Karan shrira, causal body which is the cause for the birth of the previous two bodies.
    3. Avasthatraya-vivek, Analysis of three states of mind namely Jagarat- waking state, Svapna- dream state and sushupti- deep sleep state.
    4. Panchakosha Prakriya, Analysis of five universal mistakes called
      1. Annamayakosha- gross body
      2. Pranamayakosha- five prana and five organs of actions
      3. Manomayakosha- mind and five sense organs
      4. Vijnanamayakosha- Intellect and five sense organs
      5. Anandamayakosha- ingnorance of the true nature of the self.
    5. Panchamahabhuta-Srshti-Prakriya, Analysis of a creation of five elements and elemental world.
  15. Sad-asad-anirvachaniya Maya, Inexplicable Maya, the power of the Lord. Maya is like an 18th elephant.
  16. Two types of life style for the Moksha
    1. Karmayoga, pravrtti-prayana-jivan
    2. Jnanayoga, nivrtti-prayana-jivan.
  17. Advaita- Non-duality, the knowledge of oneness between Jiva-Isvara for the liberation from the bandage. The ultimate liberation, no more falling into the birth-death-cycle.
  18. Sannyasa or sadhu jivan, dedicated life exclusively for moksha, self knowledge. Renunciation, dispassion, love for solitude life and contemplative life.
  19. Pancha-bheda, five types of duality namely
    1. Jiva-Jiva (soul-soul)
    2. Jiva-Jagat (soul-world)
    3. Jiva-Isvara (soul-Lord)
    4. Jagat-Jagat (world-world)
    5. Jagat-Isvara (world a-creator).
  20. Different means of Knowledge than Karmakanda.
    1. In karmakand the Vedas are Ajnat-jnapaka-sashtra, the means of Knowledge for the objects which are not known by any other means of knowledge.
    2. For Jnanakand it is not so. It is atat-dharma-adhyropa-nivartakam. Atma is not totally unknown being self-evident. Knowledge removes the ignorance of one’s true nature which in turn negates the superimposition, notion upon the self.
  21. Qualifiction for self knowledge which is different than for karma. There are four qualification-
    1. Nitya-anitya-Viveka- discrimination of eternal-non eternal. Discerning the reality
    2. Vairagya- dispassion or objectivity,
    3. Shat-sampatti- six fold wealth.
      1. Shamah – Say over one’s thought, thinking, emotion. Ability of mind. Certain composure within oneself.
      2. Damah – control of five senses. Appropriate response. Not to carried away by fancies.
      3. Titiksha – Say over one’s body, cheerful facing difficult situations. Capacity to put up with physical difficulties.
      4. Shraddha – Trust in the means of knowledge- Vedanta and teacher, or pending understanding.
      5. Uparati – Freedom from the sense of ownership and performing one’s duties.
      6. Samadhanam – capacity to set the mind for a given object of inquiry for a length of time, certain self-satisfaction and cheerfulness so that mind can absorb itself.
    4. Mumukshutvam, desire for freedom from bondage of birth-death-cycle.
  22. Four types of Saamaanaadhikaranam, apposition or having same case ending for understanding the reality.
    1. Visheshana-Saamaanaadhikaranam
    2. Adhysa-Saamaanaadhikaranam
    3. Baadha-Saamaanaadhikaranam
    4. Aikya-Saamaanaadhikaranam