Hindu History Resources

News Flash! The History of Hindu India
Part 1 Video has been released!

Click here for links to Subtitled versions and Downloads

Click here to view Hindu Testimony before hearing of the California State Board of Education's Instructional Quality Commission hearing, Sacramento, California, December 18, 2015

Click here to view 2014-2015 California State Board of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, Revision of Framework for History-Social Studies

Image of The History of Hindu India

The history of India and Hinduism are important for all Hindus. Especially for youth, an authentic account of their religious and cultural traditions provides a strong sense of roots. Unfortunately in the West, and even in India itself since Independence, the academic presentations of Indian history and Hinduism are highly flawed, being done by those outside the tradition. They are deeply influenced by modern trends such as secular humanism, scientific materialism, Marxist thinking and atheism. In educational social studies text books there is an incredibly strong editorial bias to show all things good, wholesome, praiseworthy and religious in the time line of Abrahamic religions, completely avoiding such horrors as the crusades, inquisition of the Christian faith and the spread of Abrahamic religions by the sword through time. But for Hinduism the focus is almost always on what are perceived as negative features of India's social landscape. This has led to the production of school texts that present Hinduism to young people in a very bad light. Himalayan Academy Publications, though its flagship magazine, Hinduism Today and new books, is working to help correct the problem by producing publications that provide an historically accurate view from the Hindu perspective.

The July, 2014, release of the 23-minute movie "History of Hinduism, Part 1" represents a milestone in this work. Years of work to produce a set of professionally prepared grade-school texts has been turned into a video to convey the truth to today's web-facing generation. This video specifically covers the historical time period usually taught in 6th or 7th grade social studies in the US and is an appropriate supplemental resource for such classes.

The movie has also been done with subtitles in several other languages. If you would like to help translate this video into other languages, please contact studyhall@hindu.org .

Below we list links to resources that may be of use to you in your community or school. Many grade school teachers have discretionary options to choose cirriculum materials for their classes. We encourage you to get these lessons and help correct the decades of ignorance that have plagued the teaching about India and Hinduism in today's schools.

The Video —History of Hindu India, Part 1

High Resolution Versions for Download to View Offline:

Note: These are very large files as are the PDF's below. Please be sure to right/control click on the links and choose "Save Link As" to save the file to your hard drive. If you click on the link your browser may try to load the file and it will probably fail. For those who have a projector and screen that can handle it, a super hi-resolution version (5GB, 2000+pixels wide) for presentation in a large auditorium, is available on request. Contact the web master.

No Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 451.5 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 874.5 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 1.38 GB
English Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 450.5 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 871 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 1.37 GB
Tamil Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 291.3 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 451.5 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 1 GB
French Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 453.8 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 876 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 1.18 GB
Indonesian Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 453.2 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 873.3 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 348.9 MB
Hindi Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 453.2 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 873.3 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 823.3 MB
Spanish Subtitles
480 Pixels Wide | 453.1 MB
720 Pixels Wide | 651.1 MB
1080 Pixels Wide | 314.4 MB

California Text Book Controversy

The history of India and Hinduism is taught in 6th and 7th grade social studies classes to nearly 4 million American children each year, along with the history of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and sometimes Jainism. The course material on Hinduism is negative in tone and scholastically deficient. This presentation will explain how the course material is created and adopted, and how Hindus can improve the process. Click here to view on YouTube. Presented by Acharya Arumuganathaswami, managing editor of Hinduism Today, at the Uberoi Conference, held October 1, 2011, at Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles, October 1, 2011.

2014-2015 California State Board of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, Revision of Framework for History-Social Studies: The monks in collaboration with Uberoi Foundation Institute for Curriculum Advancement have submitted papers to the California State Educational System. One is the submission of proposed changes and edits to the California Framework for History-Social Studies, the curriculum guideline now under review. Click to get the submission here. The second is an academic paper ‚ÄúTeaching of Hinduism in the California State School System: Evaluation and Recommendations‚ÄĚ by Dr. Shiva Bajpai and Acharya Arumuganathaswami, Managing Editor of Hinduism Today magazine. The current draft of the paper is available. Click here to download.

The Printed Publications

All Five Chapters in One Book
Now with Additional Photos and Glossary

Image of The History of Hindu India

Click here to order hard-bound book (quantity discounts available).

Click here to download in popular epub formats for free.

Individual Chapters (carton prices available for bulk distribution)

Purchase hard copies of the Chapters in bulk.

chapter 1 cover

Hindu History, Chapter One
This Educational Insight is HINDUISM TODAY magazine's response to the controversy in California over the way Hinduism is...

Lesson Plan for teachers
chapter 2 cover

Hindu History, Chapter Two
This Educational Insight is the second chapter in our series on Hindu history intended for use in US...

Lesson Plan for teachers
chapter 3 cover

Hindu History, Chapter Three
This Educational Insight is the third chapter in our series on Hindu history intended for use in US...

Lesson Plan for teachers
chapter 4 cover

Hindu History, Chapter Four
This Educational Insight is the fourth chapter in our series on Hindu history intended for use in US...

Lesson Plan for teachers
chapter 5 cover

Hindu History, Chapter Five
This Educational Insight is the fifth and final chapter in our series on Hindu history for use in...

Lesson Plan for teachers


Hinduism Today has just begun collecting endorsements for this lesson from community leaders, Hindu organizations and academics. Following is a list of those received initially. First is the endorsement of Dr. Shiva Bajpai, of of the world's foremost Indologists and the main consultant for the creation of this lesson. Below you will find luminaries such as Dr. Klaus Klostermeier, Distinguished Professor of the University of Manitoba, Canada, and Dr. Jeffrey Long, Associate Professor at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Each name is linked to a PDF file which will download to your computer and open in your PDF viewer.

  • Koenraad Elst: "Among social studies textbooks this book is now the best introduction to Hinduism." [Download the full review by Koenraad Elst.]
  • Dr. Shiva Bajpai is a renowned Indologist and the foremost expert on medieval India in the USA. He obtained a PhD in history from the University of London in 1967, and currently is Professor Emeritus at the California State University of Northridge. He is co-author of the monumental work A Historical Atlas of South Asia. The California Sate Board of Education hired him as a historian advisor on the textbook controversy. He shares his opinion of the final result of his cooperation with Hinduism Today, "I have been closely involved with the production of the Hinduism Today's 16 -page Hindu History Lesson. I have read the manuscript twice and of my additions, suggestions and corrections have been incorporated. While others might do some topics or themes some what differently, it would be extremely difficult to make any significant improvements within the limitations of space and targeted sixth grade audience. There are certain things which even I would like to rephrase or rework differently, and one might have reservations concerning some other marginal points. But the entire 16-page Hindu History Lesson piece is both correct and authentic and definitely the best that I have seen in any school textbook. Hinduism Today deserves our sincere appreciation and gratitude for producing this positive and constructive account of Hinduism and Hindu History for the 6th grade students anywhere in the world.
    In fact, if each Hindu were to learn and remember this 16-page narrative, the Hindu community would be better off in this increasingly overt religiously plural society. The crucial problem with the Hindus has been their inability to succinctly describe Hinduism as a whole or to briefly explain it to others in a complete manner. The Hinduism Today narrative will go a long way in redressing this prevailing disability. I endorse it whole-heartedly and without reservations. It should be a required reading for every Hindu and it should serve as a challenge to improve it further. In fact, I am going to make it a part of the required reading assignments to my students of Modern India, a senior undergraduate and graduate course which I am teaching this semester at CSUN. "
  • Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference is a(HMEC) is an annual initiative seeking development of network between the executives of all Hindu mandirs of America. Resolution 3 of their HMEC 2007 conference reads:
    "We, the Hindu Mandirs of America: Agree to adopt and promote within the US school system the Hindu Dharma supplement published by Hinduism Today. An action committee shall be constituted to enhance the dissemination and sustenance of this effort."
  • Dr. Klaus Klostermeier is a researcher on Hinduism and Indian history and culture. He obtained a PhD in philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1961, and another in "Ancient Indian History and Culture" from the University of Bombay in 1969. He was the Director of Academic Affairs at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies from 1997-1998. He is currently teaching as University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba (Canada), where he is also the founder and director of the Asian Studies Center.
  • "I believe it to be a vast improvement over what I have seen so far in this genre. I welcome the idea of presenting Hinduism in a positive and uplifting manner from the perspective of a practicing Hindu scholar."
  • C.K. Hiranya Gowda, M.D., key founding member of the Nashville Ganesha Temple. He is a practicing otolaryngologist and on the faculty of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
  • "I recommend it both to supplement the teaching of Hinduism in our public schools and as a stand-alone lesson for temple classes."
  • Dr. Jeffrey D. Long is Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania.
  • "Hinduism Today has performed an important public service by providing a clear and accessible text which presents Hinduism from a Hindu perspective, a needed counterbalance."
  • The Hindu American Foundation is a human rights group whose purpose is to provide a voice for the 2 million strong Hindu American community. HAF interacts with and educates government, media, think tanks, academia and public fora about Hinduism and issues of concern to Hindus locally and globally.
  • "This booklet presents the essence of Hindu thought and history in a scholarly, sensitive and age-appropriate manner."
  • The Hindu Students Council is America's foremost organization of Hindu students with chapters on dozens of university and college campuses.
  • "...full of explanations of academic vocabulary as well as Hindu symbols, enabling a young mind to navigate through the material with ease."
  • Dr. Arvind Sharma is Birks Professor of Comparative Reliigion at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  • "This attempt to bridge the gap between the Academic and the Hindu community's perception and portrayal of Hinduism must be warmly welcomed."
  • Dr. G.V. Raghu is chairman of the Education Committee of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. He was temple president from 2003 to 2004. He is also the current president of the Chinmaya Mission of Atlanta.
  • "Reading this material not only makes any Hindu child proud of his/her heritage but it also gives the right facts on one of the major religions in the world. I strongly recommend Hinduism from Ancient times as a teaching material for ten year olds on Hinduism in schools in all states."
  • Swamini Mayatitananda has been teaching Vedanta and Ayurveda for 25 years. She is the spiritual head of Wise Earth Monastery and School of Ayurveda centered in Candler, North Carolina. She received swamini initiation in the Veda Vyasa tradition from His Holiness, Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
  • "Herein lies the brief facts of how the Hindu tradition is experienced and known by over one billion followers: Hinduism is a vast and ancient wellspring of knowledge and spirituality which addresses all aspects of life."
  • Swami Chidanand Saraswati, affectionately known as Muniji, president and spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, one of India's largest and most renowned spiritual institutions.
  • "A clear, lucid, authentic and easily-understandable picture of the Hindu history, tradition and practices. The team of Hinduism Today has prepared the most comprehensive summary of Hinduisms multi-faceted tradition that I have seen to date. "
  • Jay Lakhani is the president of Vivekananda Centre UK, part of the Ramakrishna order.
  • "This lesson is a very clear introduction to Hinduism. It is in line with the requirements of a history lesson and yet manages to put across some of the more subtle ideas inherent in Hinduism in an eloquent and effective manner."