St. Thomas in India: True or False? – N.S. Rajaram

N.S. RajaramHere is the substance of the St. Thomas story: First, if he existed he was a twin brother of Jesus which is unacceptable because Jesus was the Only Son of God. Next, he could not have preached Christianity in 52 AD because Christianity and the New Testament came into existence only in the fourth century, after the Council of Nicaea called by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 AD. The first Christians came to India with the Syrian merchant Thomas in 345 AD escaping persecution in Persia. Lastly, the Namboothari Brahmins settled in Kerala only after the fourth century AD, so could not have been converted by Apostle Thomas in 52 AD using the Bible from three centuries later. – Dr. N.S. Rajaram

St. ThomasAccording to Christian leaders in India, the Apostle Thomas came to India in 52 A.D., founded the Syrian Christian Church, and was killed by the fanatical Brahmins in 72 A.D. His followers built the St. Thomas Church near the site of his martyrdom. Historians however say this apostle, even if he existed, never came to India. The Christian community in South India was founded by a Syrian (or Armenian) merchant Thomas Cananeus in 345 AD. He led four hundred refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities.

This story was too commonplace to attract converts. So Christian leaders identified the merchant Thomas with Apostle Thomas and created the dramatic story of the Apostle’s persecution and death at the hands of the “wicked” Brahmins of South India. This became current in the 16th century when the Portuguese gained control of the west coast of India and forced the Syrian Christians to follow the Catholic faith. The Portuguese also destroyed the Kapaleeswara Temple that originally stood on the site now occupied by the San Thome Cathedral on the beach.

Kapali TempleThe creation of this myth and the history is told in detail by the Canadian scholar Ishwar Sharan in his famous book The Myth of St. Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. The purpose of the myth was to create a local martyr. Christianity depends heavily on the appeal of martyrs who are projected as victims like Jesus Christ. Then as now, Church leaders liked to pose as victims to generate sympathy and propaganda. But no matter how much they tried, the Hindus of India refused to supply the Portuguese with martyrs. So they were forced to create their own. So they turned the merchant Thomas into the Apostle Thomas killed by the Hindus.

In his foreword to Ishwar Sharan’s book, the Belgian scholar Koenraad Elst wrote: “In Catholic universities in Europe, the myth of the apostle Thomas going to India is no longer taught as history, but in India it is still considered useful. Even many vocal ‘secularists’ who attack the Hindus for relying on myth in the Ayodhya affair, off-hand profess their belief in the Thomas myth. The important point is that Thomas can be upheld as a martyr and the Brahmins decried as fanatics.”

San Thome CathedralTargeting Brahmins to undermine Hinduism was a favorite tactic among missionaries. Elst gives the true picture: “In reality, the missionaries were very disgruntled that the damned Hindus refused to give them martyrs (whose blood is welcomed as ‘the seed of the faith’), so they had to invent one. Moreover, the church which they claim commemorates St. Thomas’ martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fanaticism, is in fact a monument of Hindu martyrdom at the hands of Christian fanaticism. It is a forcible replacement of two important Hindu temples (Jain and Shaiva) whose existence was insupportable to the Christian missionaries.”

Another motivation for the myth was to erase the unsavory record of the Catholic Church’s close association with the Portuguese pirates and even worse, the Goa Inquisition inspired by St. Xavier. But serious scholars including Christians have rejected this myth as we shall soon see.

Who was this Apostle Thomas and why was his name invoked? The main sources relating to Apostle Thomas are two Gnostic (non-Biblical) texts known as the Acts of Thomas and the Gospel of Thomas. According to them Thomas was the twin brother of Jesus. For this reason the Thomas myth is not accepted by the Vatican because of a doctrinal problem: Jesus as the Only Son of God cannot possibly have a twin brother. (Greek for Thomas is Didymus, which means twin brother.)

Christians in South India who identify themselves as St. Thomas Christians claim that their ancestors were blessed by Apostle Thomas in 52 A.D. who preached from the Bible. This has no historical basis as we shall see. In fact, there is no evidence that Thomas even existed. His “history” is full of contradictions as will become apparent.

Marco PoloAs just observed the Portuguese missionaries who came to India in the 16th century found that they could not do without a local martyr and created the myth of St. Thomas claiming that he was martyred in India. They gave no explanation as to how they discovered it more than 1500 years later. Marco Polo is supposed to have mentioned it but there is no authentic manuscript that can be attributed to him. Then there is the question of how he discovered it more than a thousand years later.

There is even a tomb that is supposed to contain his martyred remains in Mylapore in Chennai. But the problem is there are several such memorials spread across Persia, Acre (Israel) and a few other places dating to different times, all laying claim to be the place where Apostle Thomas was martyred and buried!

After examining all the evidence, the late Father Heras, former Director of the Historical Research Institute, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, said in 1953 that he was convinced that the tomb of St. Thomas was not in Mylapore. He had earlier said, quite emphatically in The Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagara, that the Portuguese account of their discovery of some relics was “a most barefaced imposture [with] all elements of a forgery.” Heras was himself a Jesuit father but also an eminent historian.

Henry HerasThis is not the end of the story, for while denying the myth because it challenges Jesus as the “Only Son of God” the Vatican wants to have it both ways. On September 27, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech at St. Peter’s in Rome in which he recalled an ancient tradition claiming that Thomas first evangelized Syria and Persia, then went on to Western India, from where Christianity also reached Southern India. Syrian Christians derive status within the caste system from the tradition that they are converted Namboothiris (Brahmins), who were allegedly evangelized by St. Thomas after he allegedly landed in Kerala in AD 52.

There are serious problems with this theory: the Namboothiris started settling in Kerala only from the fourth century onwards, which means they did not exist at the time the alleged St. Thomas allegedly came to Kerala. So we have a possibly non-existent apostle preaching in the first century from a text, the New Testament, dating to the fourth century, to a people, the Namboothiris who settled in the fourth century or later. In reality the Pope’s original statement at St. Peter’s, reflected the geography of the Acts of Thomas, i.e. Syria, Parthia (Persia / Iran) and Gandhara (Afghanistan / Northwest Pakistan) — all far removed from Kerala in the southernmost tip of India.

Bleeding CrossThis is not the end to the contradictions. If Thomas landed in Kerala in 52 AD, he could not have taught from the Christian Bible (New Testament) with its four gospels which came into existence only in the fourth century. In fact Christianity did not exist at the time because there was no Christian scripture! In addition, the famous St. Thomas Cross supposedly brought by him made its appearance in Kerala only in the fourth century, about the same time as the Namboothiri Brahmins. So it is quite possible that the highly ornate St. Thomas Cross [with Hindu motifs carved in it] was borrowed from the Namboothiris, having nothing to do with St. Thomas or even Christians. The Church borrowed its cross from the Egyptians and the oldest so-called St. Thomas Cross is a pagan Persian symbol.

Prof. Francis Xavier Clooney, SJAs if this were not confusing enough, Father Francis Clooney, a theologian with the Harvard Divinity School has stated that St Thomas had preached in Brazil, no matter that Brazil as we understand today was unknown in his time. According to Clooney, one Ruiz de Montoya, writing in Peru in the mid-seventeenth century, thought that since God would not have overlooked the Americas for fifteen hundred years, and since among the twelve apostles St. Thomas was known for his mission to the “most abject people in the world, blacks and Indians,” it was only reasonable to conclude that St. Thomas had preached throughout the Americas:

“He began in Brazil – either reaching it by natural means on Roman ships, which some maintain were in communication with America from the coast of Africa, or else, as may be thought closer to the truth, being transported there by God miraculously. He passed to Paraguay and from there to the Peruvians.”

St. Thomas Book CoverSo here is the substance of the St. Thomas story. First, if he existed he was a twin brother of Jesus which is unacceptable because Jesus was the Only Son of God (born to a virgin). Next, he could not have preached Christianity in 52 AD because Christianity and the New Testament came into existence only in the fourth century, after the Council of Nicaea called by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 AD. The first Christians came to India with the Syrian merchant Thomas in 345 AD escaping persecution in Persia. This was probably because Roman and Persian empires were great rivals. The Namboothiri Brahmins settled in Kerala only after the fourth AD, so could not have been converted by Apostle Thomas in 52 AD using the Bible from three centuries later.

Finally, the myth was created by Portuguese missionaries in the sixteenth century with the help of pirates. They destroyed also the Kapaleeswara Temple and a Jain temple building the church known as San Thome Cathedral in 1504. It acquired its present status and recognition as a cathedral (grand church) under British patronage in 1893. It was also the Portuguese who converted the Syrian Christians to the Catholic faith.

So, all these contradictions have to be reconciled before the myth of St Thomas can be taken seriously. – Folks Magazine, 7 November 2009

» Editor’s Note: Historians do not agree about the date for the coming of Namboothiri Brahmins to Kerala. Marxist historians make their arrival as late as the sixth century AD. However with the identification of the Namboothiri priest Mezhathol Agnihothri (b. 342 AD), the date can be moved back to the fourth century. Namboothiri historians themselves do not give a date for the arrival of their community in Kerala from North India.

» Dr. N.S. Rajaram has referred to the second (1995) edition of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple for this article. The second edition is now out of print and not available on-line. However the third (2010) edition, which contains everything in the second edition, revised with corrected dates and many new references, is available on The Ishwar Sharan Archive.

See also

St. Thomas: The making of an “Indian” apostle – Sandhya Jain

Sandhya Jain“The claim that Christianity came to India before it went to Europe is a ploy to make it a sort of native religion, even if it came from West Asia. The origin is a Gnostic Syrian fable, Acts of Thomas, written by poet Bardesanes at Edessa around 201 CE. The text never mentions or describes the sub-continent, but says the apostle went from Palestine eastwards to a desert-like country where people are ‘Mazdei’ (Zoroastrian) and have Persian names. The term India in Acts of Thomas is a synonym for Asia.” – Sandhya Jain

Dr. R. NagaswamyAs Christian evangelists intensify efforts to bring India under their sway, their brethren in the south are trying to (mis)use current excavations at Pattanam to revive the myth of Apostle Thomas arriving in the country in the first century AD and establishing a fledgling community. They are trying to link the ancient port of Muziris with Pattanam, where Thomas reputedly landed, though Muziris was more logically Kodungalloor, where the river joins the sea. R Nagaswamy, former director, Tamil Nadu Archaeological Survey, debunks this mischief and avers that none of the literature on the life of St Thomas claims that he came to India.

Yet, so strenuously has the myth been perpetuated that Swami Devananda Saraswati (pen name Ishwar Sharan), a Canadian born into a Protestant family who became a Smarta Dashanami sanyasi at Prayag in 1977, decided to get to its historical roots. The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple (updated third edition, Voice of India), is the fruit of his labours.

Thomas & Hindu assassinSharan was intrigued by the story of the alleged murder of the apostle by a conniving Brahmin. In September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI declared that Thomas never came to India, but Rome later fell silent after a nudge from the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore. The myth includes the implausible conversion of Tiruvalluvar by the foreign evangelist, though Tamil scholars believe the sage lived around 100 BCE, perhaps even 200 BCE.

The claim that Christianity came to India before it went to Europe is a ploy to make it a sort of native religion, even if it came from West Asia. The origin is a Gnostic Syrian fable, Acts of Thomas, written by poet Bardesanes at Edessa around 201 CE. The text never mentions or describes the sub-continent, but says the apostle went from Palestine eastwards to a desert-like country where people are ‘Mazdei’ (Zoroastrian) and have Persian names. The term India in Acts of Thomas is a synonym for Asia.

The Acts of Thomas identifies St Thomas as Judas, the look-alike twin of Jesus, who sells him into slavery. The slave travels to Andropolis where he makes newly-weds chaste, cheats a king, fights with Satan over a beautiful boy, persuades a talking donkey to confess the name of Jesus, and is finally executed by a Zoroastrian king for crimes against women. His body is buried on a royal mountain and later taken to Edessa, where a popular cult rises around his tomb.

Thomas of CanaOne Thomas of Cana led a group of 400 Christians (from seven tribes and 72 families) from Babylon and Nineveh, out of Persia in the 4th century, when Christianisation of the Roman Empire made the Persians view their Syriac-speaking Christian minority as a Roman fifth column. The ‘Thomas Christians’ could originally have referred to this merchant. They reputedly landed at Cranganore in Malabar in 345 CE. Sharan warns this migration cannot be treated as historical fact, but says that Cosmas the Alexandrian, theologian, geographer and merchant who traded with Ethiopia and Ceylon, visited Malabar in 520-525 CE and provided the first acceptable evidence of Christian communities there in Christian Topography. This Thomas was probably ‘converted’ (metamorphosed) to St Thomas.

Early Church Fathers like Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Eusebius are explicit that Apostle Thomas settled in ‘Parthia’, and established a church in Fars (Persia). This is supported by the 4th century priest Rufinus of Aquileia, who translated Greek theological texts into Latin, and the 5th century Byzantine church historian, Socrates of Constantinople, who wrote a book on ecclesiastical history, the second edition of which survives and is a valuable source of early church history. Nothing much is known about St Thomas. He was called the Apostle of the East in West Asia and India until 1953, when the Church demoted him to Apostle of India, dislodging St Francis Xavier.

Marco PoloBetween the 4th and 16th centuries, the Syrian Christians of Malabar reinvented the tale several times, finally bringing St Thomas to India to evangelise the heathen. In the 13th century, Marco Polo embellished the tale with a South Indian seashore tomb and in the 16th century the Portuguese transferred this seashore tomb to Mylapore. They created their own redactions of the Acts of Thomas and began destroying temples in the port city and building their St Thomas churches, pretending these were the sites of Thomas’s martyrdom and burial.

The primary objective of the Thomas-in-India or Jesus-in-India stories is to vilify Brahmins and malign the Hindu religion and community. The second is to present Christianity as an indigenous religion — not a piece of Western imperialism. A deeper aim is to insinuate it as the ‘original’ religion of the Tamil people. Finally, it is to help Syrian Christians maintain their caste identity, their claim to be Jews or Brahmins, descendants of Namboodiris converted by St Thomas in the 1st century.

Ishwar Sharan cites a wealth of historical, textual and epigraphic material to prove how various authors and travellers like Marco Polo, mistakenly or deliberately, falsified evidence regarding St Thomas. He traces Marco Polo’s mischief to a book the legendary explorer dictated to fellow prisoner and writer, Rustichello, when he was captured by Genoa. The book became a hit in Europe, and the myth of a St Thomas’s tomb on a seashore was firmly planted.

San Thome Bishop's MuseumGerman scholars, whose work remains to be translated into English, have consistently maintained that most 16th and 17th century churches in India contain temple rubble and are built on temple sites, just as in Europe they took over pagan sites. In fact, at the end of the 19th century, a landslip on San Thome beach revealed carved stone pillars and broken stones of mandapam found only in Hindu temples.

The Portuguese in the 16th century had one of their earliest settlements at San Thome, and razed many Hindu temples to the ground. Vijayanagar’s ruler, Rama Raya, waged war on them in Mylapore and Goa simultaneously to save Hindu temples. After his victory, he exacted a tribute from them for their vandalism. But when Vijayanagar fell before the Muslim armies at the Battle of Talikota (1565), the Portuguese resumed their iconoclasm.

The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple is a treasure trove of information that an article cannot do justice to; it’s a must read for lovers of Hindu temples and history.

Ishwar Sharan, The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple, 3rd Edition, Voice of India, Delhi, 2010; Pages: 407; Price: Rs 450 - VijayvaaniThe Pioneer, Sept 13, 2011

Fr. Francis Gonsalves tries to sell the Jesuit brand to Indians – Ishwar Sharan

Ishwar Sharan IconOn July 30, 2010, Fr. Francis Gonsalves, principal of the Vidyajyoti College of Theology, New Delhi, wrote a column in Chennai’s popular newspaper, Deccan Chronicle, called “For God’s greater glory”. In the column he audaciously promoted the Society of Jesus — Jesuits or “God’s marines” as they are better known — of which he is a member, and listed a number of clerics whom he considers as heroes. On reading this shameless advertisement, we decided to add a few comments between the lines as it were, to further inform Indians about this criminal organisation that exists in their midst and schools their children. Fr. Francis’ article is in regular font, our comment is in italics and indented. Have a good read. – Ishwar Sharan

Fr. Francis GonsalvesIgnatius of Loyola. Know him? Perhaps not! Jesuits? Know them? Perhaps not! Xavier’s School or Loyola College? Surely, you’ve either studied in one or you’ve heard about this brand and the brand that runs institutions north-south from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and east-west from Kolkata to Khambhat. They call themselves Jesuits and owe their origins and existence to one man: Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) whose feast is celebrated on July 31.

Indeed, we do know him. An old Spanish soldier who died of syphilis. He founded the Society of Jesus as a personal army for the pope – not for Jesus or his Father in Heaven mind you, but for the pope as his personal army of political provocateurs and agitators.

Ignatius Loyola & Francis Xavier at the University of ParisHave you seen the A.M.D.G. abbreviation on emblems of Xavier or Loyola institutions and wondered what that meant? I too wondered when I entered a Jesuit school. Seniors told me hat it stood for “Aunty Mary, Dirty Girl!” — a mentally-challenged woman nicknamed “Aunty Mary” who begged near our school-gate. Later I learnt that A.M.D.G. wasn’t coined by Aunty Mary but by Ignatius who, in fact, had sometimes been considered mentally-challenged, but was an expert in challenging, mentally.

Hardly an expert in challenging, mentally. Syphlis makes you mad and he was therefore mentally challenged. But then the Church has a long list  of “saints” who were mentally challenged, in need of medical attention. Some were criminally mad. Like Francis Xavier.

Paul IIIIgnatius was considered mentally “different” since he always thought out of the box. A vanquished Basque warrior, after an arduous pilgrimage, he started a multinational religious organisation, the Society of Jesus. Ignatius loved stargazing and dreamt how his group could be “up there”, gooder than the good and better than the best. That’s why he hit upon the Latin A.M.D.G. — Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, meaning, “For the greater glory of God”. Ignatius summed this up in another Latin word: magis, meaning, more!

God for Ignatius was the pope or magis-terium. Rule No. 13 of Ignatius’ Rules for Thinking with the Church say: I will believe that the white that I see is black if the hierarchical Church so defines it! This is thinking in the can, not out of the box!

To grasp the import of “more” let’s take an example. Suppose you’re merely “good”, you’d want to be “better” or something “more”. Hence, Ignatius desired that his disciples always seek the “more”, the greater — so that, pumped up by a holy restlessness they’d strive to love God, and all God’s children, with that “more” would make them athirst for excellence.

Good! More good, meaning better! Love God and all of God’s children! Then why has his order been banned at one time or the other in all European countries they operated in except England? When this writer was going to school in Canada – for instance – the term Jesuit was a pejorative term meaning “a sly dissembler”. The OED is not kinder: it defines Jesuitical as meaning dissembling or equivocating. But the Jesuit’s real talent is casuistry. A casuist is a person who uses clever but false reasoning, Fr. Francis is not clever enough to be a casuist. In this article he succeeds in his objective by leaving out the “best parts” of Jesuits-in-India history. Our objective is to introduce you to a little bit of this history.

True to the dreams of Saint Ignatius, some Jesuits were extraordinary men, like Francis Xavier who came to India, and Matteo Ricci who so impressed the Chinese Emperor Wan-li that he was called “Sage of the West”. In India, we’ve had Jesuits like Camile Bulcke who compiled the best English-Hindi dictionary, Carlos Valles, acclaimed author in Gujarati literature and an expert on Jainism, Jerome D’Souza, who was a member of the Constituent Assembly and S. Ignacimuthu, former vice-chancellor of the University of Madras and accomplished scientist.

Yes, they were all experts in their field for a specific reason: for the greater glory of the Pope and Christianism (as this imperialistic ideology is properly called). Camile Bulcke compiled his English-Hindi dictionary to further conversions to Christianism, not out of a love for Hindi. An expert in Jainism must surely be a Jain who practices the Dharma, not a Gujarati Christian littérateur. Overriding the objections of the other Constituent Assembly members, Jerome D’Souza forced through the clause in the Indian Constitution that permits Christian proselytizing, a socially disruptive and anti-national activity that we suffer from till today. We cannot say anything about S. Ignacimuthu himself. But Jesuits have always had a serious interest in science. They, along with Cardinal ‘St.’ Bellarmine, were the first to condemn Galileo for his science! Bellarmine ordered Galileo to abandon the Caperican doctrine — that the earth moved around a stationary sun — and the Jesuits as Pope Paul V’s enforcers, saw to it that Galileo agreed to Bellarmine’s demand. The science of the bully, this!

Francis Xavier SJAs for the arch criminal Francis Xavier, he would be dragged in front of the International Criminal Court for his activities today. He invited the Inquisition to Goa, probably the most cruel and wicked Church court ever to be convened. Paul Williams Roberts writes in The Empire of the Soul:

“Children were flogged and slowly dismembered in front of their parents, whose eyelids had been sliced off to make sure they missed nothing. Extremities were amputated carefully, so that a person could remain conscious even when all that remained was a torso  and head. Male genitals were removed and burned in front of wives, breasts hacked off and vaginas penetrated by swords while husbands were forced to watch…. And it went on for two hundred years.”

This — the Inquisition of Goa — was Francis Xavier’s gift to India! He had an insane hatred of Brahmins, whom he had confronted in the Murugan temple at Tiruchendur. They had defeated him in debate, laughing at his puerile concept of God. He abandoned their company and targeted the fishermen of the Coromandel instead. They did not question his intelligence and were unable to resist his utterly criminal methods of conversion. This is how he converted the fisher folk, in his own words:

“Following the baptisms, the new Christians return to their homes and come back with their wives and families to be in their turn also prepared for baptism. After all have been baptised, I order that everywhere the temples of the false gods be pulled down and idols broken. I know not how to describe in words the joy I feel before the spectacle of pulling down and destroying the idols by the very people who formerly worshipped them.” Xavier did this after the Hindu raja of Quilon had given him a large grant to build churches!

The popular anti-brahman ethnic slur so favoured by today’s Tamil Dravidian politicians, was invented by him. As Belgium scholar Dr. Koenraad Elst has pointed out, anti-brahminism is as evil a prejudice as anti-semitism — though that seems not yet to have registered in the Indian psyche. Xavier wrote to Rome thus:

M. Karunanidhi“There are in these parts among the pagans a class of men called Brahmins. They are as perverse and wicked a set as can anywhere be found, and to whom applies the Psalm which says: ‘From an unholy race, and wicked and crafty men, deliver me, Lord.’ If it were not for the Brahmins, we should have all the heathens embracing our faith.”

Sounds just like Tamil Nadu’s outed chief minister Mr. Kalaingar, doesn’t it?

Sita Ram Goel, in History of Hindu-Christian Encounters: AD 304 to 1996, quoting Indian historian T.R. de Souza in his article “Pirates in Priests’ Clothing: Francis Xavier & Robert De Nobili”, writes, “Francis Xavier was convinced that Hindus could not be credited with the intelligence to know what was good for them. They were completely under the spell of the Brahmanas who, in turn, were in league with evil spirits. The first priority in India, therefore, was to free the poor Hindus from the stranglehold of the Brahmanas and destroy the places where evil spirits were worshipped. A bounty for the Church was bound to follow in the form of mass conversions.”

Broken image of GaneshasHe continues, quoting De Souza, “At least from 1540 onwards, and in the island of Goa before that year, all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the temples had been destroyed and their sites and building materials were in most cases utilised to erect new Christian churches and chapels. Various viceregal and Church council decrees banished the Hindu priests from the Portuguese territories; the public practice of Hindu rites including marriage rites, was banned; the state took upon itself the task of bringing up the Hindu orphan children; the Hindus were denied certain employments, while the Christians were preferred; it was ensured that the Hindus would not harass those who became Christians, and on the contrary, the Hindus were obliged to assemble periodically in churches to listen to preaching or to the refutation of their religion.”

BaptismDe Souza says about the missionaries, “A particularly grave abuse was practiced in Goa in the form of ‘mass baptism’ and what went before it. The practice was begun by the Jesuits and was later initiated by the Franciscans also. The Jesuits staged an annual mass baptism on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul (25 January), and in order to secure as many neophytes as possible, a few days before the ceremony the Jesuits would go through the streets of the Hindu quarters in pairs, accompanied by their Negro slaves, whom they would urge to seize the Hindus. When the blacks caught up a fugitive, they would smear his lips with a piece of beef, making him an ‘untouchable’ among his people. Conversion to Christianity was then his only option.”

Under the title “Financing Church Growth”, De Souza concludes, “… the government transferred to the Church and religious orders the properties and other sources of revenue that had belonged to the Hindu temples that had been demolished or to the temple servants who had been converted or banished. Entire villages were taken over at times for being considered rebellious and handed over with all their revenues to the Jesuits. In the villages that had submitted themselves, at times en masse, to being converted, the religious orders promoted competition to build bigger and bigger churches and more chapels than their neighbouring villages. Such a competition, drawing funds and diverting labour, from other important welfare works of the village, was decisively bringing the village economy in Goa into bankruptcy.”

Sita Ram Goel concludes with this observation: “It was a very difficult situation for Hinduism. But, by and large, Hindus chose to stay in the faith of their forefathers in spite of all trials and temptations. There was no mass movement towards the Church except the “mass baptisms” staged by the Jesuits. The mission was in a fix. The strategy of forced conversions recommended by Francis Xavier had failed.

Fr. Roberto de Nobili SJThe other clever Jesuit missionary Fr. Francis doesn’t mention, Robert de Nobili, tried a quite different tactic, that of forgery, deceit and impersonation. Sita Ram Goel writes, “Another Jesuit, Robert de Nobili, came forward with a new strategy. When he came to the Madura Mission in 1606, he had found it a “desert” in terms of conversions. He had also seen that Hindus had retained their reverence for the Brahmanas in spite of missionary insinuations. So he decided that he would disguise himself as a Brahmana and preach the gospel by other means. The story is well-known — how he put on an ochre robe, wore the sacred thread, grew a tuft of hair on his head, took to vegetarian food, etc., in order to pass as a Brahmana. He also composed some books in Tamil and Sanskrit, particularly the one [called Yesuveda in which he had copied verses from the New Testament and slokas from the Yajurveda] which he palmed off as the Yajurveda. When some Hindus suspected from the colour of his skin that he was a Christian, he lied with a straight face that he was a high-born Brahmana from Rome!

“Some Christian historians credit De Nobili with converting a hundred thousand Hindus. Others put the figure at a few hundred. But all agree that his converts melted away very fast soon after he was exposed by other [Protestant] missionaries who were either jealous of him or did not like his methods. Christian theologians hail him as the pioneer of Indigenisation in India and the founder of the first Christian Ashram. A truly ethical criterion would dismiss him as a desperate and despicable scoundrel.

Shivaji“One wonders how Hinduism would have fared in South India if its encounter with Christianity under the Portuguese dispensation had continued uninterrupted. Hindus were helpless wherever Portuguese power prevailed and Hindus outside could not help as they themselves were groaning under the heel of Islamic imperialism after the defeat of the Vijayanagara Empire by a Muslim alliance in 1565 AD. The situation was saved by the Dutch in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. The Dutch destroyed the maritime monopoly of the Portuguese and drove them out of Malabar and southern Tamil Nadu. Christianity had to break its encounter with Hinduism except in the small Portuguese enclaves where it continued for two more centuries. But most of the heat applied on Hinduism had to be taken off because “the fear of retaliatory raids by the powerful Marathas in the neighbourhood acted as an effective check on the missionary zeal and coercion.”

Ananda Ranga PillaiLastly, we are obliged to point out that it was Jesuits working with Madame Dupleix, wife of the French governor of Pondicherry, who destroyed the Vedapuri Iswaran Temple in Pondicherry, the site now being occupied by the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Jesuits along with Franciscans, Augustinians and the Portuguese, had a hand in destroying the original Kapaleeswara Temple on the Mylapore seashore that is now occupied by Santhome Cathedral and, to the south, Bishop’s House.

What makes Jesuits tick? In his book Heroic Leadership. Chris Lowney reveals the values that have guided the Jesuits for more than 450 years: self-awareness, ingenuity, love and heroism. Ignatius taught his shishyas methods of prayer famously known as “Spiritual Exercises” aimed at making one aware of inner dispositions and spiritual depths.

Chris LowneyYes, we know from Chris Lowney what make Jesuits tick. He was a priest who used his Jesuit training to become a J.P. Morgan banker. So it is really business before prayer! So typical! But hidden under this cloak of a suave urbanity is the firm belief that the employment of any means however unethical is justified to obtain a religious or political objective. Or business objective. We know what J.P. Morgan & Co. has been up to under the guidance of a lapsed Jesuit priest! Their credit exposure to financial derivatives was 400 to 1!

As for the old soldier’s spiritual exercises, they are nothing more than self-indoctrination. This indoctrination then becomes a Jesuit’s inner disposition which, as we have seen, is deceitful to the point of criminality. The question of spiritual depth in a Jesuit does not arise.

Ingenuity is about keeping pace with a fast-changing world. Describing himself as a “pilgrim”, Ignatius wanted Jesuits to be ever on the move – dreaming impossible dreams and building new bridges. The ideal Jesuit was to be one with one foot raised, ever ready to respond to emerging exigencies.

Dollar-RupeeWe will give it to them: they were always ready to run away when they were caught in their Machiavellian mischief-making. This was facilitated by their up-to-date knowledge of the current rate of exchange for the rupee and dollar. When we visited Rome we always changed money at the private bank in Jesuit headquarters. They give the best rate of exchange and we recommend them to every Indian tourist in the Eternal City.

The name Ignatius derives from Ignis, the Latin equivalent of Agni, fire. Like mythical Prometheus who gifted humankind with fire, Ignatius inspired Jesuits to be fires that would enkindle other fires. Obviously, that doesn’t always happen. One often sees thanda Jesuits who mouth magis slogans with “minimus” output. Jesuitical, indeed!

Waterboarding (Inquisition)Indeed! And the fires they have most often ignited are those of torture, sedition and rebellion. Remember the LTTE and the Maoists in Orissa? One disbanded and the other still banded. Both Jesuit-inspired and it is said, Church-financed.

H.G. Wells wrote in his book Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church:

“The Jesuits work had to be propaganda, teaching and the insinuation by every possible means of the authority and policy of the Church…. Unfortunately for the world, the Jesuits have never been able to keep clear of politics. It was against their written professions, if these are to be taken seriously, but it was manifestly among their inevitable temptations. They had their share, direct an indirect, in embroiling states, concocting conspiracies and kindling wars…. We need not expand this indictment further. Almost every country in Europe except had at one time or another bee provoked to expel the Jesuits, and … their obdurate persistence in evil-doing continues to this day.”

Anyone familiar with the Loyola or Xavier brand will look up with pride at that man – nay, that “more” than other mortals, Ignatius – who did everything A.M.D.G — for the greater glory of God!

Pedro ArrupeThe syphilitic warrior’s successors, who are known as “Black Popes”,  are credited with the murder of Pope John-Paul I among others before him. He did not approve of their acquired Marxist bent of mind, called Liberation Theology, and regarded them as traitors to himself and the Church. He was going to have the order disbanded. But the alleged Jesuit assassin got to him first with the poisoned cup – for the greater glory of … themselves! They are still with us, unfortunately!

Authors

» Fr. Francis Gonsalves SJ is the principal of the Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi. He is involved in interfaith dialogue and peoples’ initiatives for fostering justice, harmony and peace. He can be contacted at fragons@gmail.com

» Ishwar Sharan is a high school dropout and author of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple. He feels Indians would benefit more by studying the history of Christianism in India than Christian theology (which does not stand a chance before Hindu metaphysics anyway). He is opposed to interfaith dialogue as it has never been in the interest of Hindus or Hindu Dharma. Jesuits target uninformed and witless Hindu leaders for their dialogue sessions (the exception being Arun Shourie), which they then manipulate in their own criminal interest. He can be contacted at bharatabharati@yahoo.in

References

  1. The Jesuit Oath of Induction
  2. The Jesuit Oath Debunked
  3. Ignatius Loyola’s Rules for Thinking with the Church
  4. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises
  5. Sita Ram Goel: Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression
  6. Sita Ram Goel: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters: AD 304 to 1996
  7. Sita Ram Goel: Catholic Ashrams: Sannyasins or Swindlers?
  8. Sita Ram Goel: Pirates in Priests’ Clothing
  9. Koenraad Elst: Psychology of Prophetism: A Secular Look at the Bible
  10. Swami Devananda Saraswati: Atma Jyoti Ashram: Sannyasis or Snake Oil Salesmen?
  11. Nithin Sridhar: Inculturation: Fooling the Hindu Masses
  12. H.G. Well: Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church
  13. Ananda Ranga Pillai: Private Diary
  14. Paul Williams Roberts: The Empire of the Soul:
  15. Avro Manhattan’s The Vatican Billions
  16. All Joseph McCabe’s books
  17. Malachi Martin: The Jesuits and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church

Fr. Dominic Emmanuel: Ignorant, arrogant, and untruthful – Ishwar Sharan & Hilda Raja

Ishwar Sharan IconThe article below, “Help Us To Help Them” by Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD, chief propagandist and spokesman for the New Delhi Roman Catholic Archdiocese, is presumptuous, arrogant, untruthful, and in your face Hindu-baiting discourse. Having first created the Maoist  problem among its tribal and dalit converts in central India, the Church through Fr. Dominic now offers to solve the problem and accuses the RSS and VHP of refusing to help. The RSS and VHP have no obligation to help the Church clean up the mess it has created by alienating its evangelized members from their native religion and culture, and would be misguided and foolish to join hands with an institution that has 2000 years of crime behind it and is implicated in the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda of Kandhamal. On the other hand, the RSS and the VHP are doing educational and social work among the tribals and dalits of central India and are obstructed in this work by the Christian missionaries who feel they have a monopoly on “developing” and “progressing” – i.e. converting – the poor and downtrodden of India.

Fr. Dominic Emmanuel is a part-time Bollywood actor among other special talents, and has a long record of Hindu-baiting and telling lies for Jesus and the Church. Search “Dominic Emmanuel” at http://www.christianaggression.org and you will soon know this dishonest priest better than he knows himself.

We have inserted our comments between the article’s paragraphs. Dr. Hilda Raja’s rejoinder follows Fr. Dominic’s column. - Ishwar Sharan

Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVDHelp Us Help Them – Fr. Dominic Emmanuel

Even as the debate on how exactly to tackle the menace of Maoist/Naxalite violence keeps raging within the government on the one hand, and in the media – which also occasionally allows the voice of the Maoist sympathisers – on the other, more and more innocent lives are being lost.

One wonders where the ‘buck’ will finally stop.

Well, let us pray that it is not the Vatican! India is an independent country and the buck stops with the Government of India.

Last month when the Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi wrote in Congress mouthpiece Sandesh that “The rise of Naxalism is a reflection of the need for our development initiatives to reach the grassroots, especially in our most backward districts. This is why our government is putting in place more targeted development schemes for our most backward districts”, it seemed clear where the debate would finally rest. No one doubted her intentions.

A close look at the historical facts will show that the rise of Naxalism in a region coincides with the activity of Christian missionaries in the same region. Maoist leaders by their own admission say that most of their cadre are Christian converts.

Unfortunately, two days after her observations, the Maoists struck again, this time a line bus carrying civilians, though several special police officers (SPO) had boarded it too. The bus was blown up in the same area where 75 CRPF personnel had previously lost their lives when their convoy was attacked. The toll this time was 50. Following the dastardly incident, while sympathisers found it difficult to come to the Maoists’ defence, the government still dithered on the exact course of action it should take. This brought a new angle to the debate.

The new debate was not centered only on whether to take the help of army or about airstrikes/support etc, but about a two-pronged approach to the problem. This would include development as a long-term measure and military/police action as a short term measure to contain violence.

This is plain common sense. Fr. Dominic might also try to acquire some and stop seeking notoriety in the newspapers.

What is, however, missing in the current debate is the role of civil society and NGOs as a third force — going beyond writing articles or shouting their lungs off in television studios to more concrete action at the grassroots.

The Roman Catholic Church is not a “civil society” in any sense.  So lets stop playing word games, Fr. Dominic. Civil society in the form of numerous Hindu NGO’s are there in the jungles doing social and educational work. That they don’t get exposure in the Indian Express and Deccan Chronicle is because they are not Christian enough to rate the coveted  space.

Kancha IlaiahSocial scientist Kancha Ilaiah, decrying the recent Maoist violence, wrote in a newspaper article that “about 50 years ago, the tribals of this region [North East] were as illiterate as those of Dandakaranya. But today Mizoram has 95 per cent literacy (more than Kerala), Manipur has 68.87 per cent, Meghalaya 63.31 per cent and Nagaland 66.11 per cent¿.This educational development has to be seen in the background of the committed activities of missionaries.

Prof. Kancha Ilaiah is a paid missionary loudspeaker in Hyderabad. His usual job is to make virulent attacks on Brahmins in the Deccan Chronicle, then Hindus in general if one has been rude to him. Lets not depend too much on his “social science”.

They averted violent struggles and at the same time, ensured the uplift of tribals. It was a slow but sure process of development and empowerment”.

How is it that these missionary developed Dalits and tribals have turned to violence? Is it because the missionary has failed in the development process? Or because the Church has instigated them to violence against a predominantly non-Christian society (as the Church has done in many other countries for centuries)?

I know I am treading on hazardous ground and offering dynamite to the right-wing RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal to pounce on me, saying that in the states mentioned above, the majority are now Christians — repeating the same old stereotype, of missionaries being out to ‘convert’ the gullible masses.

The stereotype is true – that is how it became a stereotype, stupid!

A missionary by definition is a converter of heathens.

And who is more right wing than the Roman Catholic Church? The Church has supported a large number of autocrats and dictators in history; so far the RSS and VHP cannot be accused of this political crime.

LaxmanandaWhy I still dare write it is because I know as well as they do that their allegations are not at all true. Rather than entering into a debate and reiterating what the missionaries have been saying ad nauseam that the RSS and its front organisations – many of them involved in Kandhamal-type violence – need not worry about the work of Christians as three consecutive censuses in India have clearly registered a slow but sure decline in the Christian community’s numbers here. Nor is there a single case proved so far of any conversion that goes contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

Hey, Dominic, was Justice Niyogi a liar? His report exposed your fraudulent thesis a long time ago.

What we need today is another Justice Niyogi to tell us the truth about Indian priests and their catamites.

The Kandhamal violence was started by Christians when they murdered Swami Laxmanananda and his disciples. The whole of the Kandhamal story disproves your claims that missionary development brings peace and progress, Fr. Dominic.

Spanish pirate Francis XavierThe work of education begun by Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the sixteenth century in Goa, and continued later the eighteenth century by William Carey in Bengal, and which goes on to this day, has been all for the development of the subcontinent — and after Independence for the poor and backward classes of India. If there were conversions, as indeed there were, and will continue to be, then it was by those who freely chose to embrace the religion of those who gave them human dignity and made them stand for their own fundamental human rights.

This is a bare-faced lie! Fr. Dominic’s arrogance and deceit knows no limits when he dares to drag in the name of one of histories arch criminals, ‘St.’ Francis Xavier, whose career in India was so shameful even the Jesuits wish to disown him.

Francis Xavier forcefully baptised children and their parents on the Coromandel Coast, then instigated them to destroy the village temples they had worshiped in for generations. Is this not the ultimate religious perversion? He called in the Inquisition to Goa – the most cruel and horrific Church tribunal – because he believed that the Hindu heathen could only be “educated” and “developed” by vile torture and force of arms.

We have the full record of Xavier’s crimes in his own words. Today he would be taken to court for crimes against humanity.

If the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and other outfits, instead of being paranoid about the Christians’ work for the poor, would, as Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao of Delhi keeps saying, “please join hands with us to work for the education and development of Dalits and the poor”, they would not only help in eliminating the menace of Maoist violence but they would also come to know the truth about religious conversions.

Well, well, well! The Christian missionaries of Kandhamal, Orissa, had Swami Laxmanananda killed because he was doing social work among the tribals of Orissa!   Now we are to join hands with these same murderous Christians to continue the good work Swami Laxmananda was killed for!?

The  RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu NGOs are already doing educational and social work for the Dalits, tribals, and poor where ever they are found in India. It is another matter that they are not doing “enough” work. Only they don’t crow about it in public like the Church, and the “secular” christianised newspapers like The Indian Expressdon’t give them any space or positive exposure because they represent the majority Hindu community not the favoured and politically correct minority community.

Thus while the government decides on what action is to be taken, hopefully avoiding bloodshed on both sides, the need of the hour is for all to come together and join hands to free those areas not only of Maoist/Naxal violence but also provide freedom to our tribals from hunger, disease and darkness of ignorance which keeps them under-developed and out of the mainstream. And what should stop us from working together? – The Indian Express, Mumbai, June 7, 2010.

Are we to join hands with the Christian arsonist to put out the Christian-Maoist fire?

This article is an untruthful, in your face provocation to all thoughtful Hindus, and has been created by a very perverted  and deceitful Catholic priest. We wonder why the New Delhi Archdiocese still keeps him? Certainly he does no honour to the Church in India or, indeed, to Christianity in India. – IS


Dr. Mrs. Hilda Raja’s rejoinder to Fr. Dominic Emmanuel

Christian missionary in IndiaFr. Dominic claims that the Roman Catholic Church is a civil society too and “unlike some other NGOs, it is willing to help tackle the Maoists in tribal areas”. He already starts with a judgmental attitude – “unlike the others” (reminds me of the Pharisee and the Publican). He upholds the Roman Catholic Church as willing! He finds a lacuna in the two-prong strategy suggested to deal with the Maoists unrest and violence – namely development as the long term measure and military /police action as a short term measure – to arrest the violence. That lacuna the Roman Catholic Church will fill. Let’s presume that Fr Dominic wants to add the civil society (read Roman Catholic Church) as the third force to the Centre and State forces, which on the surface appears seems harmless. But scratch the surface and it smacks of an arrogance founded on untruths and distorted history – a holier than thou attitude.

What is the logic for this out reach “Help us to help them”? That the development record of the tribal areas has showed remarkable “development” especially in the area of literacy and education thanks to the committed activities of the missionaries.?

So Mizoram has a  95.percent literacy, Manipur 68.87, Meghalaya 63.31 and Nagaland 66.11 percent. This is really a record achievement because all these states then stand above the national average.

Fr. Dominic also points out that this educational development has to be seen against the background of the committed activities of the missionaries. They averted violent struggle and ensured upliftment of the tribals. Against this background one is tempted to ask Fr. Dominic: then what went wrong? From averting violent struggle to now bloodletting and killing of the innocents. From upliftment which the missionaries ensured of the tribals, the down slide is because of lack of development that there is unrest and disillusionment.

So how did the resultant of the committed activities of the missionaries evaporate?

Were the Dalits and tribals empowered to violence? Did the missionary activities empower them to kill the innocents?

Is Fr. Dominic toying with Liberation Theology?

Jesus did not preach or engage himself in violence for liberation? He took upon himself all the violence. Yet the Catholic Church has a history of violence and persecution.

If after the committed activities of the missionaries resulted in violence and deprivation of the tribals, then what is the logic in inviting others to “help us to help them” point? Why should this help be channelised through the Roman Catholic Church?

On the stereotyping of conversion: the appeal then to “help us (the committed missionaries) to help them (the already empowered tribals).

What was all this empowerment then meant to be if it was not directed chiefly  to conversion? With such a high literacy rate they are not able to stand? The fact is that the committed activities gave them literacy and a Bible, but kept them impoverished.

It is just not the same stereotype repetition that missionaries are out to convert gullible masses: it is the recorded history of this country. It is experiential declaration: it is simply stating what the reality is.

This cannot be denied by brushing it aside as stereotype repetition. The very word “missionary” already denotes one who is a proselytizer.

That development work is a side business is something which Fr Dominic cannot deny. The North Eastern States today with almost a 90-95 percent Christians speaks volumes. What happened to their tribal religion and culture? Are we to believe that the tribals opted for the religion of those who empowered them? One is reminded of East Timor.

Bharat Mata under attack.The reference to Goa: Fr. Dominic Emmanuel tries to paint a rosy picture of the Catholic Church engaged in educating the uneducated Indians. But mention of Goa does not auger well for this exchange because Fr. Dominic cannot hide the Inquisition and the forced conversion, the destruction of thousands of temples and idols, and the building of churches. This is also missionary activity engaged in by the Catholic Church.

Fr Dominic is very generous to add that, “If there were conversions, indeed as there were, and will continue to be, then it was by those who freely chose to embrace the religion of those who gave them human dignity and made them stand for their fundamental human rights.

May be Fr Dominic thinks that we are unaware of  the state of affairs in the Catholic Church of the Schedule Castes ( ‘dalits’). Either Fr. Dominic is ignorant of history – I mean Church history – or he thinks that others are, He tries to depict the “committed activities” of the Catholic Church as those of a  benevolent patron instilling empowerment for human rights into the dehumanized and savage Indians.

Fr. Dominic needs to please check on world history if the Church bestowed human rights wherever it went to “educate” and to uplift “the poor”.

For the sake of recapitulating: the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church (there are different bibles upheld by different churches) clearly depicts how Jesus stood against the religious leaders and the civil authorities precisely because both these denied human rights. And hence both conspired and crucified him.

Coming to the history of our country we Indians were not savages. Christianity is only 2000 years old but Hinduism is the oldest and most ancient religion which did not believe in a God who is tyrannical. It was a sum total of all the exalted spiritual experiences of sages and saints. It was and is an inclusive pluralism and holistic catholicism. It was built on freedom and not straitjacketed to believe only what the Roman Catholic Church’s religious leader the pope believed in.

India’s spirituality had also the traditional knowledge be it astronomy, astrology, medicine – ayurveda and a host of traditional sciences – integrated with her spirituality. It is in this rich and learned milieu that the Roman Catholic Church descends to “educate” and “uplift”. But what was its first and primary motive – destroy, demolish and then convert [viz. Francis Xavier]. Injected an exclusiveness -Vatican’s God is the only God; Vatican’s knowledge needs to percolate and run down in bits and starts; Vatican’s authority must reign supreme with Vatican’s God.

Is this a foundation for human rights? Is this empowerment of people? Is this individual uniqueness to experience God and seek Him in one own’s culture and locale?

The same story goes on. India’s Constitution was not given by Rome or the Roman Catholic Church, neither was it inspired by it. The brutal burning and the killing of the Jews – the decimating of whole nations of people down the centuries is the paramparaof the Roman Catholic Church – that the Pope goes on asking forgiveness, and here is Fr. Dominic holding forth on “the work of education began by Francis Xavier and the Jesuits in the sixteen century in Goa, continued later in the 18th century by William Carey in Bengal, and which goes on to this day, has been all for development of the subcontinent – and after independence for the poor and backward classes of India”

There seems to be a new version and a new script – with of course gaps.

It  is a tragedy that  Fr. Dominic looks upon the activities of the missionaries as making us stand on our feet and enabling us to demand our human fundamental rights. This is an insult to the people of India coming from one of the Roman Catholic clergy. India was much ahead …we did not have to wait for Rome to tell us that the world was round.

It is in the God-filled ethos of our country that the missionaries started their persecution because of their belief that they must convert. The denial of human rights, the suppression of freedom of speech and worship, the killings and the massacres, the destruction of our culture, the persecution the oppression and the coercion to convert to Christianity are all quietly buried by Fr Dominic. This is like white-washing the tombs wherein lay the decaying and the worm-eaten corpses. No wonder Jesus called the religious leaders as white washed tombs.

It is uncharitable that Fr. Dominic indicts the RSS, the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and other outfits as being paranoid and wants them to shed it and “join hands with us in eliminating the menace of Maoists violence”. People are not morons – who created the Maoists menace and violence now why invite the others to help  to eliminate it?

Fr. Dominic forgets that he had accepted the committed missionary activities the Christians were engaged in and now suddenly after the brutal attacks by the Maoists which had the support of the local bishop and the so called human rights activists, find themselves unable to put back the genie which they released.

Fr. Dominic needs to answer who was responsible for the brutal massacre of Swami Laxmananda and his three ashramities right within their own ashram. Was he also not working for the uplift of tribals? Instead of helping him to help them why was he done away with? Now only the backlash is being highlighted.

It must be granted that all must unite at least for the future to work together. This calls for certain clarifications.

The Niyogi Committee Report On Christian Missionary ActivitiesIs Fr. Dominic representing all the Christian churches or only the Roman Catholic Church? He is aware of the kind of work the Evangelical churches are engaged in? Does he hold a brief for them – or is his appeal exclusively from the Roman Catholic Church to the RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal and others to “Help us to help them”? This has to be clearly elucidated. What is the meaning of “the Roman Catholic Church is civil society too”?

After all the “Help us help them” casts a shadow because from the 16th century having worked for development and uplift of the poor, and after Independence the committed activities continued and now to say that we need to come together, and join hands “to free those areas not only of Maoists/Naxals violence but also to provide freedom to our tribals from hunger, disease and darkness of ignorance which keeps them under-developed and out of the main stream”.

There are glaring contradictions from what has been told of the committed missionary activities including the highest literacy levels and now this dismal picture of gloom and deprivation calls for accountability. Where had all the funds gone and towards what? The “civil” society – the NGOs, the different Churches which empowered the downtrodden to stand for their human rights are equally accountable as the Government of India for the total failure – callousness, indifference and anti-people policies. Into this cauldron Fr. Dominic’s invite “Help us to help them” seems to be pathetically a melodrama.

» Fr. Dominic is the chief propagandist and spokesman for the New Delhi Archdiocese. 

» Dr. Mrs. Hilda Raja is a retired professor of social sciences from Stella Maris College, Chennai. She blogs here

3 – Mythical Thomas, devious Deivanayagam, and conniving Church – B.R. Haran

Sri Kapaleeswara Temple, Mylapore, Chennai

The Sri Lankan connection

Late last month, Deivanayagam proclaimed in an interview to Tamil biweekly Nakkeeran that he and his supporters would storm into the Kapaleeswarar Temple and capture it, as it was constructed on the ruins of a Church, which allegedly stood at the site centuries ago! As a first step, he has organized a “hunger strike” with hand-picked supporters on May 2, 2010. His further plans include:

  • May 10 – 20: workshop for volunteers to involve them in the forthcoming protest.
  • May 23: march from Thiruvalluvar Temple, Mylapore, to Santhome Basilica and Kapaleeswarar Temple; public meeting near temple.
  • June 13: storming and entering sanctum sanctorum of Kapaleeswarar Temple and Santhome Church to perform pujas and conduct prayers.

Deivanayagam claims to have conducted a meeting uniting three categories of people namely, Tamil-Hindus who have got liberated from enslaving Brahminical thoughts; Tamil-Hindus who have got liberated from enslaving European Christian thoughts; and Tamil-Hindus who follow atheism, on December 27, 2009, under the aegis of Federation of All Self-Respecting Tamils. This was followed by a meeting on February 27, 2010, wherein they resolved to liberate the Kapaleeswara Temple from Brahmin priests through various agitations.

San Thome Cathedral, Mylapore, Chennai

Deivanayagam claims the present Santhome Church was originally a Shiva Temple built on the cemetery of St. Thomas and that the present Kapaleeswarar Temple was originally a Church! The inclusion of Santhome Church in the “protest march” and “storming entry” agitation is just a ploy to show he is also against the Church. He pretends he is not a Christian and that he practices only “Tamil Religion” (Thamizh Samayam, or, Thomas Christianity). But the fact remains that the Mylapore Archdiocese (present head Archbishop Chinnappa) has stood solidly behind all his activities for more than 30 years. The very fact that he is able to peddle nonsensical theories, author books on the same and print and publish them without any known sources of income for over three decades confirms that the Catholic Church is backing him.

Chief Minister Karunanidhi gets an award from Catholic bishops for bashing Hindus.

On April 2, he wrote to Tamil Nadu BJP President Pon. Radhakrishnan of his plans to storm the temple.

On April 18, he wrote to the Chief Minister reminding him of his previous letter and demands. He urged the Chief Minister to appoint unbiased scholars as interlocutors to conduct his proposed dialogues with the Church and Temple authorities. Copies were marked to Mylapore Archbishop, Temple’s Head Priest, HR & CE Department and others.

On April 16, he wrote to the Commissioner of Police requesting permission to for a hunger strike near Rajarathinam Stadium on May 2, which was permitted. Previously, when he sought to conduct a demonstration on April 14, against the Brahmin community, the police refused permission citing law and order problems.

On April 22, he again wrote to the Archbishop and Temple’s Head Priest that he had informed the Chief Minister and other authorities of his plan of action. He mentioned that the Archbishop of Mylapore had agreed for talks and asked the Head Priest to reply at the earliest.

As mentioned in the police complaint lodged by Hindu activists on May 3, 2010, Deivanayagam has a notorious track record of virulent anti-Hindu activities for over 30 years. Deivanayagam takes advantage of the tolerance shown by Hindus, who have also made the mistake of ignoring him for many years. The hunger strike conducted by him and Seeman indicates a new trend – the development of an unholy nexus between Christianity and Tamil Chauvinism. This combination, in the absence of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, will seek to destabilize society by playing “caste-cards” and “Tamil-cards”, both aimed at Hindus.

Rama's Bridge between Tamil Nadu & Sri Lanka

This must be seen in the backdrop that the Church has a longstanding agenda of forming a “Tamil Christian Nation” comprising Tamil Nadu and North-East Sri Lanka. In fact, it is well established that “Tamil Eelam” itself is a Christian agenda.

As observed by Radha Rajan, Editor, www.vigilonline.com: “This new convergence of interest between Deivanayagam and the violent Tamil extremists like Seeman is a new trend and is headed only in this direction:

  • The Sri Lankan Tamil issue is for now over. The extermination of the LTTE has denied the violent Tamil extremists in TN all avenues for creative self-expression and has brought their political career to an abrupt end. The Tamil extremists in TN and Sri Lanka in turn play the roles of engine and coach. Whenever the LTTE found the going tough for them in Sri Lanka they hitched themselves to the ideological engine in TN to keep themselves going. Whenever the LTTE gained in strength in Sri Lanka, the Tamil extremists in TN hitched themselves to the militarily powerful LTTE engine. It has been a mutually profitable association for both sides.
  • The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the US, Canada and Europe funded the extremists in both countries generously as did all Church denominations in Sri Lanka, America and Europe. Now that the Tamil Diaspora is scattered in North America and Europe and the TN extremists have been deprived of their military might and the LTTE decimated in Sri Lanka, one leg of the Tamil tripod – LTTE, TN Tamil extremists and the Tamil Diaspora – has been sawed off. The TN leg is shaking, while the Diaspora leg even if it is strong in itself, cannot support the tripod alone.
  • The idea is to strengthen the shaking TN leg and inject blood into a lifeless limb. The only way to keep the idea of the Christian state of Tamil Eelam alive is to keep the pot boiling in TN – keep this violent constituency united on an issue and keep them from being scattered. If there is one thing all Dravidians have in common, it is their congenital anti-Hindu hatred. Karunanidhi may find Tamil extremism in TN courts difficult to explain to judges here and in Delhi, but he can point the blood-thirsty ghouls in the direction of TN’s Hindus to turn them away from the police and the government.
  • So, in the guise of Tamil pride, the violent Seeman, Thol Thirumalvalavan, Pazha Nedumaran and other erstwhile LTTE acolytes are now being actively courted by Christian Tamil priests to take up the cause of demanding that all castes be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of all TN temples to offer poojas.
  • TN’s Hindu organizations have long disappeared from public life and the field is empty of all protest and challenge. The TN government and the Church have nothing to lose and everything to gain by pointing this violent group in the direction of Hindus and Hindu temples.
  • They stand to gain if the Dravidian parties abjure separatism and seek a huge bite in the Delhi pie; they stand equally to gain if the church succeeds in realizing the Christian state of Tamil Eelam from out of TN and the north and east of Sri Lanka. They may even concede their own Pakistan in Amparai if the Christian state of Eelam comes into being.”
  • When the Eelam War-IV was at its peak and LTTE was getting decimated, Deivanayagam planned a demonstration at Memorial Hall in Chennai on April 7, 2009, in the name of “Thamizh Eezham Vendi Thamizhar Samaya Maanaadu” (Tamil Religious Conference Demanding Tamil Eelam). But police refused permission. In the literatures prepared for the conference, he claimed:
  • Sri Lanka connected with Tamil Nadu was a part of Kumari Kandam (Continent of Kumari aka Lemuria) before it was separated by Tsunami.
  • Eelam Tamils are original inhabitants of Sri Lanka; Sinhalese migrated from India during the time of Emperor Ashoka; the Tamil indentured labourers were sent by British government from India
  • Sinhala Buddhists are persecuting Eelam Tamils and the birth of Tamil Eelam is the only solution.
  • Tamil Eelam and Tamil Nadu will together constitute Tamil Nation via Thomas Christianity, which is the religion of Tamils.
This will help readers to understand the association of Tamil chauvinist and LTTE supporter Seeman with Christian Deivanayagam. We learn that Pazha Nedumaran, president, Tamil Nationalist Movement, and a known LTTE supporter, pulled out from participating in the event at the last minute.

Gun & CrossConclusion

Tamil Hindus must understand that the Church is frustrated at the decimation of LTTE and would get back with more vigour and venom, applying different strategies. Tamil Hindus are certainly in for tougher and troubled times. The onus lies on the various Hindu organizations to rise to the occasion and thwart all attempts made by alien and chauvinistic forces.

Hindus missed the opportunity first when Arulappa and Acharya Paul were fighting in court; they missed a second chance when Dharmapuram Adheenam demolished the perverted distortions of Deivanayagam; they missed a third opportunity when Deivanayagam organized a four-day conference hosted by Mylapore Archdiocese.

Here is yet another chance, which must be utilized at any cost. Deivanayagam’s theories are not only anti-Hindu but also anti-national. Lumpen elements like Deivanayagam and Seeman are a serious threat to communal harmony and national integration. Criminal complaints have to be registered demanding immediate police action. His premises must be raided, blasphemous books and materials confiscated, and financial sources screened.

The role played by the Catholic Church in backing him must be investigated. Simultaneously, watertight legal cases have to be filed to expose their nefarious activities and to assert the real identity and true history, and safeguard our temples and culture. Conferences and public meetings must be organized throughout the state to tell people the true story of Mylapore and the sham story of Santhome.

This is a perfect opportunity to demolish the so-called Thomas story once and for all!

» Concluded. This article originally appeared on Vijayvaani 

» The author is a senior journalist who lives in Chennai

» St. Thomas in India Resources

  1. Acts Indica: The St. Thomas in India Swindle 
  2. The Ishwar Sharan Archive 
 

Beware of this Asuric Religion (or else your Soul will die) – Maanoj Rahkit

Kanchi Acharya confronts Vatican Cardinal at Interfaith Meeting – Radha Rajan

Sri Sri Ravishankar & Dr Zakir Naik

Hindu leaders and interfaith dialogue – SDS

At the interfaith meeting advertised above, between Sri Sri Ravishankar with Dr. Zakir Naik, Sri Sri conspicuously failed to defend Hindu Dharma and the concept of God in the Bhagavat Gita. He has probably never read the Bhagavat Gita so it is unfair to expect him to defend it. He is a popular Hindu godman and yogi who falls into the category of “Hindu idiot” when it comes to his knowledge of Hinduism and Islam. Why Hindu leaders attend these inter-religious meetings with Muslims and Christians when they have not prepared themselves and do not have any knowledge of the Koran and Bible, or studied the history and ideologies of these two aggressive Abrahamic religions is beyond understanding.

Baba Ramdev attended the Jamiat-i-Hind at Deoband where the mullahs issued a fatwa upholding an earlier fatwa against the singing of India’s national song Vande Mataram. Did he sign the fatwa too? It is not such a foolish question: our Hindu leaders have done worse things to the Hindu community. Mahatma Gandhi sold the Hindus down the river in an attempt to appease Muslims during the Independence struggle. He failed miserably. If Mahatma Gandhi could not change the mind of sectarian and separatist Muslim leaders, what makes today’s Hindu godmen think that they can do better?

Baba Ramdev has even gone so far as to equate the Koran and Bible with the Vedas in his book Jeevan Darshan, calling them all Dharma Granth. Obviously he has not read either the Koran or the Bible or the Vedas, or he would not have made such an absurd comparison. Out of 6236 verses, the Koran has 3900 that teach intolerance and hatred. Some 900 of these verses discuss murder, looting, rape, and hellfire for kafirs. The Koran advocates cheating and the telling of lies in order to spread Islam among non Muslims. The Bible is not much better. Jesus promises to destroy the family and divide father against son and mother against daughter. He also promises eternal hellfire for those who do not follow him (he is the first prophet in history to conceive of such an evil place as an eternal hell for his critics). None of these teachings constitute Dharma in any sense, and Baba Ramdev has been challenged by P. Deivamuthu, the learned editor of Hindu Voice in Mumbai, to explain himself. We all eagerly await his reply.

But all is not lost. Hindus still have their traditional religious teachers who act in the interest of the whole Hindu community rather than for themselves or their followers alone. They are usually not allowed to speak out on import issues by  anti-Hindu politicians and state ministers, but sometimes they do have their say and are heard by even the government in New Delhi. One such occasion was the meeting between the Kanchi Shankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal and Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. The Cardinal was told on no uncertain terms that this was the last meeting between Hindu and Christian leaders if the Church did not rein in its missionaries and stop abusing the hospitality that Hindus have extended to Christians from the time of their arrival in India in the 4th century. Radha Rajan gives an account of the meeting below. – Swami Devananda Saraswati

Sri Jayendra Saraswati

Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran

Kanchi Acharya confronts Vatican Cardinal – RR

On June 12, 2009, Pujya Swami Jayendra Saraswati, Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Matham, met Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran, president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and others, in Mumbai for a Hindu-Catholic dialogue.

The meeting was closed door, but informed sources said it was high voltage and shut the door on future dialogue unless all Christian denominations agree to eschew conversions.

We have it on excellent authority that the inter-faith dialogue did not go as planned (by the Vatican and its Hindu apologists at home). We are told that no one except the religious leaders themselves and one or two persons to assist them in the dialogue were permitted in the hall.

The Kanchi Acharya spoke as is characteristic of him, in the softest tone possible, with the unfading smile never slipping from his face, in chaste Hindi. However from the statement that he realeased to the Press and Media after the dialogue, it is obvious that the soft tone and chaste Hindi socked the gathering on the jaw. It is a good thing for Hindus that this time we had a man who knows his dharma and more importantly, like Sri Krishna understands evil, to speak for this bhumi.

Below are the main points of the prepared speech of the Shankaracharya, which he relied upon when making his presentation. – Radha Rajan

1] Exactly one month ago to the date, the Pope went to Jerusalem where Jesus was born, for a similar dialogue that the Vatican had undertaken with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. At the end of that meeting when the Pope and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzer jointly addressed the Press and Media, the Chief Rabbi thanked the Pope for assuring the Chief Rabbinate that the Catholic Church would desist and cease from all missionary and conversion activities among the Jews. This is construed as endorsed and agreed by the Pope since he was present at the press meet. We need a similar commitment from the Church for Hindus.

2] After such inter-faith meetings, the points agreed have to be faithfully abided. Otherwise there will be no point in holding such meetings. Unless the Church reassures Hindus that it will not conduct itself in a manner that wounds Hindu sensibilities and follows up on those assurances, such inter-faith meetings, no matter how frequently they are held, will be futile and not serve any meaningful cause.

3] In 1999, Pope John Paul II had stated that the mission of the Vatican was to plant the Cross in Asia in the third millennium to facilitate the Christianizing of the world, which alone would cause the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Pope must tell us the rationale for the First Coming of Jesus Christ when there was no Christianity or the Church to undertake the mission to Christianize the world.

4] We see the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as an intrusive mechanism of a foreign government to interfere in the internal affairs of this country. The USCIRF, which has been permitted to visit this country to hold meetings with our people to ascertain religious freedom in our country, must no longer be permitted to enter this country on this intrusive mission. We will not allow external interference into our internal affairs. [In fact, the Commission was not granted visas by the Indian government after the Shankaracharya made this statement. See  Anti-Hindu bias in US Government Commission - Editor]

5] We know that very large amounts of money come into this country for Churches and Christian groups, ostensibly for charitable work. These funds should be used only for social causes like health, education, etc., and should not be used for religious conversion. During these dialogues, it should be agreed that the funds should be distributed to all organisations who do charitable work, irrespective of the organisations’ religious faith. A common pool should be created and a committee formed to distribute and monitor the usage of these funds.

6] It has become easy for the missionaries to convert Hindus. All Hindu organisations and associations should work together to educate Hindus and eradicate the conversion activity.

7] Hindu dharma is by nature diverse and so all different panthas and sampradayas co-exist on this bhumi without seeking to destroy the others. Hindu dharma has nurtured and supported all faiths and religions because that is the way of dharma. We expect that religions which have come into this bhumi from other lands will respect this vital characteristic of Hindu dharma and not do anything to subvert or disturb the sense of nationhood of this country. Hindu dharma and the Hindu people welcome Christians and Muslims, Parsis and Jews to make this land their home. We expect from these religions that they will not seek to destroy our faith, our religion and wound our religious sensibilities. We encourage all religions to live with mutual respect and harmony in a shared sense of nationalism which should bind us all as one nation. Nationalism should come first.

8] We are aware of the propaganda that [the Church] will cure diseases and ailments if the individual converts to their faith. This is illegal as per the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act 1954 and we call upon the Indian government to take action under the provision of law.

9]  Most of the countries in the world (USA, UK, Japan, Middle East nations, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.), adopt national resolutions and statements of intent proclaimed by their governments and their highest religious bodies, affirming their determination to protect and defend the culture and the religion from which their cultures derive. In India alone we pass resolutions which officially and legally promote an irreligious and unspiritual creed called secularism. Secularism is an administrative quality; it cannot be the soul of this nation. The soul of this nation is religious and spiritual. We call upon our government and other important religious bodies to recognize this truth and affirm their commitment to protect the soul of this nation.

10] The Buddhist Mahasangha and the Joint Committee of Buddhist Organizations have declared their intention to get the Sri Lankan government to pilot and pass a national anti-conversion bill and make it law. We welcome this move and strongly endorse this measure.

11] The Church in India must stop forthwith the use of Hindu religious words, phrases, and symbols like Veda, Agama, Rishi, Ashrama, Om, and other such in what is referred to as “inculturation” tactics, but which are only intended to deceive the vulnerable sections of our people who are the intended targets for religious conversion. This is also insulting to and wounding of the religious sensitivities of Hindus. Similarly it has been brought to our notice that the Church has scripted a new Bible [called The New Community Bible or "Indian Bible"  published in June 2008 - Editor] for the new converts by usurping sections of our sacred Vedas, Upanishads, and Puranas, and incorporating them into the Bible. This must stop immediately and all these Bibles must be withdrawn from circulation. We urge the Indian government to look into the matter and do the needful. – Radha Rajan

  1. Interfaith Dialogue: In Whose Interest? – B.R. Haran
  2. Interfaith Dialogue: In Whose Interest? – B.R. Haran
  3. Interfaith Dialogue: In Whose Interest? – B.R. Haran
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