good to have a book that exposes, among other things, the humbug about 'saint' thomas going to india. the fellow never did, there has been a systematic confusion with thomas of canaan, an actual christist refugee from syria who, along with his family and friends, was given refuge in kerala around 345 CE. (fat lot of thanks we got for that, but that's another story).
the thomas myth is truly 'truth by repeated assertion'. all schoolchildren in india now *know* that thomas came to india in 52 CE. well, this is even before paul fabricated various letters and manufactured the myth of jesus (who never existed).
thomas the 'saint' died in ortona, italy, and his skeleton is there, as certified by the vatican.
the 'skeleton' of 'saint' thomas in chennai is a fake. he never went to india, not to mention chennai. what the portuguese did, though, was a) they demolished the kapaleeswara temple that stood on the beach in mylapore and built the san thome cathedral over it; b) they destroyed the jain temple on the only hill in chennai and built the little mount center over it
or else, if you are into miracles, my explanation of the 'miracle' of thomas's two skeletions: the skeleton in ortona is that of thomas as an old man; the skeleton in chennai is that of thomas as a young man. now isn't that truly miraculous? :-)
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Release of Vivekananda Kendra Patrika
On 29 October 2006, Chennai
4.45 − 4.50 Prayer
4.50 − 5.00 Vande Mataram
5.00 − 5.05 Welcome address and Introduction
5.05 − 5.25 Changing Face of Indian Demography − Shri M.D.Srinivasji
5.30 − 6.15 Threats to National Security − Shri Ajit Dovalji
6.20 − 6.45 We and the Public space − Shri. S. Gurumurthyji
6.45 − 7.10 My encounters with Christians − Shri Michel Daninoji
7.15 − 7.30 Introduction of the book by members of the editorial team, Sri. Aravindanji and Sri. Pramod Kumarji
7.30 − 8.00 Book Release by Revered Swami Mitranandaji and address on
"Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah"
8.05 − 8.30 Organised Response − Maananeeya Shri P. Parameswaranji
8.30 − 8.35 Vote of Thanks
Venue: R. K. Swamy Auditorium, Sir Sivaswamy Kalalaya Senior Secondary School
5 Sundareswarar Swamy St., Mylapore (Opp. Lane to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)
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Vivekananda Kendra Patrika – Writeup
The new book from Vivekananda Kendra titled "Expressions of Christianity, with a focus on India" is the first of two compilations on Christianity, meant not only for the specialist intellectual but also for the ordinary man who is interested in knowing about Christianity which is increasingly confronting him in his everyday life. The contributors of the articles are selected on the basis of their deep insight into or authentic study of the concerned aspects as a result of their encounter with Christianity in actual practice.
One reason for bringing out this volume is that a lot of misunderstanding has been created by missionary writers and Christian propagandists about the origin of Christianity in India and also about the methods Christian missionaries have used to propagate their religion in this country. One example may be cited here. It is widely propagated through writings, which claim to be authentic, that Christians came to India in the first century A.D. through St. Thomas, one of the twelve direct disciples of Jesus Christ. Even authentic historic documents which at one time widely disputed this claim are not currently in vogue. Textbooks also have been so fabricated that the myth is treated as real history. Further, another myth of St. Thomas having been murdered by the Brahmins of Tamilnadu and the origin of St. Thome church on the St. Thomas mount in Chennai where his martyrdom is supposed have taken place is propagated in such a scale and planned and persistent manner that a large number of people blindly believe it.
Another claim that is paraded is that Christianity is a religion of love and compassion and that their main channel of activity is service of the poor and the deprived. But the true history of Christianity all over the world, including India, shows, beyond a shadow of doubt, that missionaries have indulged in cruelty and violence for spreading their religion. The Goan inquisition is well documented and no one can deny or disprove it.
The destruction of temples has also been recorded. Francis Xavier who was declared a saint has a history of the most cruel sort of violence used for spreading Christianity in the coastal areas of India.
The Kendra felt it necessary to bring out such updated and comprehensive volumes on Christianity since so-called objective historians have been hesitant to come out openly and call a spade a spade. The total outcome of all these is that an Indian student of Christianity finds it difficult to get the truth.
Whatever has been stated above by way of explanation for selecting the subject of Christianity in India for the two compilations should be taken in the proper perspective. It is not at all meant to condemn or even belittle the greatness and glory of Jesus Christ whom Swami Vivekananda as also the Hindu society in general hold in a very high esteem.
Unfortunately, the Church did not do justice to his divine greatness. The universal personality of Christ was cribbed, cabined and confined within the narrow walls of a rigorously dogmatic and strictly regimented body of the Church. Even great Christian scholars have confessed that the history of the Church is largely a negation and distortion of Christ's teachings. That is why Swami Abhedananda, a prominent co-disciple of Swami Vivekananda delivered a lecture in America on "Why a Hindu accepts Christ and rejects Churchianity".
As the title suggests, we have looked at the practical, outer expressions of Christianity rather than its theological foundations. Indian Christians themselves have the foggiest notion of the history of their religion, its origins, its expansion, its institutions, its destruction of other cultures, the challenge it received from leading Western intellectuals, its clash with science, and finally its spectacular retreat in the West.
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