India in Classrooms – For Better Understanding of Hindu Culture in United States

India in Classrooms (IC) is a non-political, non-religious, non-profit organization that is focused on generating deeper understanding about India through its Teacher Support Program, by providing accurate and comprehensive information about Indian history and culture to schools.

Mona Vijaykar, who took the initiative to form the organization, recently in an interview to Contra Costa Times said, people continue to have a Disney kind of understanding (of Hinduism) rather than a Discovery kind of approach," she said, referring to the two TV channels. ‘The myths are only a steppingstone to understanding the higher forms of knowledge.’

Here is an example how she analyses the symbolism hidden in Lord Vishnu (as explained to Todd R. Brown in Contra Costa Times)

In terms of Hindu deities, she said the four-armed god Vishnu is less important for his fantastic appearance than for his cosmic lesson.

What ‘really blew my mind’ about his symbolism, she said, was a statue she saw of Vishnu, who maintains the order of the universe, lying on a serpent on the ocean.

‘These visuals really made no sense to me growing up,’ she said. ‘Now, I understand. It is potential energy which is forever dormant on the ocean of space and time. The coils of the snake represent eternal time.

‘Energy can never be destroyed. That energy is worshipped in its various forms. That force is the basis of everything.’

That idea parallels the law of conservation of matter and energy in physics that says matter and energy cannot be destroyed only changed from one form to another. It also coincides with the religious concept of the soul, an essential part of life that transcends physical death.

More details about ‘India in Classrooms’ and the materials used by the organization can be found at indiaclassrooms.org.