New facts emerging out of the research findings on the Ministry of St. Thomas in 1st c. AD which will be useful for evangelism in India.
There is a general impression that India is a Hindu nation. But, five doctoral dissertations of the Univerisity of Madras under the titles (i)Comparative Study of the Bible, Thirukkural and Saiva Siddhanda by Dr. M.Deivanayagam, (ii)Origin and Development of Tamil Bhakti Movement in the light of the Bible by Dr. D. Deva Kala, (iii) Six Darshanas and the Religions of the Tamils- In the Light of the Bible, by Dr. Y.D.Baskara Doss,(iv) The Songs of Tamil Siddhars amd the Bible by Dr. Moses Michael Farradey, and (v) Trinity in Tamil Literature by Dr.Johnson Thankiah establish that Hinduism (or Hindutva) is not a religion. On the other hand, Hindu Religion is the offshoot of early Indian Christianity brought by St. Thomas to India in first century AD. These findings have been supported by hundreds of Bible scholars as well as secular scholars. This has been discussed and recognized in many World Conferences of Christian scholars and leaders.
Pandit Jawaharl Nehru, A.L.Basham, Dr.Radhakrishnan and many other great leaders and historians of India have written that Christianity came to India much earlier than it went to Europe. Then, why is it that in India the Christian population has remained a meager 2.3%?.
Deuteronomy 32:7 says "Remember the days of old; Consider the generations long past; Ask your father and he will tell you; your elders and they will explain to you". In obedience to the commandments contained in such verses, Christian scholars have investigated the past history of India and her religions comparing the same with Christianity and other religions of the world. Some of the important findings can be summed up as follows:-
1.Christianity is an Asian religion, born in Asia. It is not a European religion.
2.Christianity came to India 2000 years ago. At that time, there was no religion by the name Hindu religion in India. Christianity in India is 2000 years old.
3.St. Thomas, a 'Yavana', came to India in 49/52 AD and worked here till 72 AD and died as a Martyr. His grave is in Mylapore, in Tamil Nadu. The churches founded by St.Thomas are found even today in Kerela and Tamilnadu.
4.The indigenous people of India are Dravidians. They constitute 90% of India's population, who are divided into 52% of Backward castes, 15 % of Scheduled castes, 7% of Scheduled Tribes and 16% of Religious Minorities. They are further divided into 6748 sub-castes and subjugated by the 10% of Aryan invaders through the tool of Varnashrama Dharma, i.e. caste system.
5.Dravidians are the founders of the great Indus Valley Civilization which came to light only in the 1920-s. The pre-Aryan Dravidian society was casteless.
6.The people of Indus valley i.e. the valley of the Sindhu river, were called Sindhus or Sindhustanis. Foreigners who were unable to pronounce the sound 's' pronounced it as 'h' and thus the word ' Sindhu' became 'Hindu'. Initially, the term 'Sindhu' had no spiritual or religious attributes at all. It meant only the people of Sindhu valley or 'Dravidians'.
Indus valley Dravidians worshipped Sivalinga. By 6th c. BC both Buddhism and Jainism appeared.
It was during the British rule that Sir William Jones ,the then chief justice of British India at Kolkotha, who gave the name Hinduism to the Social values of the non-Christian and non-Muslim population of India which enabled him to frame laws to administer justice .This was done because the Christians had the Christian law based on the Bible, the Muslims had Islamic law based on the Qur An. The Brahmins from Kolkotha produced before William Jones the Manu Dharma Sastra on the basis of which he could frame laws to rule the non-Christian and non-Muslim Indians of the day. Manu Dharma Sastra was a social law of apartheid, coined by the invading Aryans to rule the black skinned Dravidian indigenous people of India. This is how Hinduism(or Hindutva in Hindi, i.e., the principles of Manudharma) was given a religious colour. It is of interest to note here that the Supreme Court of India has rightly pronounced that Hindutva is not a religion.
7.Prior to the period of arrival of St.Thomas in India, the whole of India was speaking 'proto Tamil'. Even today Baluchistanis speak 'Brahui' - a.Dravidian language. Many other Tribals of North India speak Dravidian languages.
8.In the religions of Jainism and Buddhism, which were in vogue at the time of arrival of St.Thomas, there were no concepts about God or soul. Jainism was atheistic and Buddhism was agnostic. These were Dravidian religions. After the arrival of St. Thomas in India, these two religions underwent changes . After 1st c A..D in Mahayana Buddhism and in Swetambara Jainism, theistic concepts entered because of the influence of the Ministry of St. Thomas.
9.It is St.Thomas and his Yavana contemporaries who brought the theistic doctrines of (1) incarnation or Avatar ,(2) Trinity,(3) Fulfillment of Sacrifice (on the cross)and (4) Salvation by faith to the adherents of Dravidian religions
10.These theistic doctrines interacted with the Dravidian religions and Dravidian worship practices of the Tamils and produced the Tamil Bhakti Movement.
11.Thirukkural was the first Christian literature in Tamil .It was followed by the Tamil Saivite religious literature of Panniru Thirumuraigal, etc and the Tamil Vaishnavite religious literature of Nalayira Divya Prabantham. In all these Tamil literatures we have the doctrines of Christianity.
12. Aryans do not belong to any given race. The term Aryan is a name given by Dravidian Indians to the foreign invaders, namely, Persians, Greeks, Sakas, Kushans, Huns and the Roman Traders who settled in India from 6th c.B.C. to 4th c. AD.
13. Sanskrit is not that ancient a language as projected and claimed by Aryans. The first ever evidence of the Sanskrit writings, that too in the Dravidian Brahmi script is found in Gujrath, written only in 150 AD. In the famous Rock Edicts of Asoka, (300 BC), banning animal sacrifices, nothing is found written in Sanskrit language
14. Veda Vyasa is a Dravidian. He wrote the Vedas which contain some concepts of Old Testament. It is Veda Vyasa, again who wrote the Vedanta literature namely, the Upanishads, Brahma Sutra and the Bhagavat Gita all of which contain basic messages of Jesus Christ..
15. St.Thomas did not come to India with the Bible. The term 'Christian' also was not familiar when St.Thomas came to India. The Tamil eqivalent to ‘Christian’ used at that time as can be found in the early Tamil literature is 'Sanror' which means ‘witnesses’.
16. It is from south India that Saivism and Vaishnavism spread to north India.The majority of ancient Savite and Vaishnavite temples are found in Tamilnadu. Stalwarts, of these Dravidian religions, namely, 63 Nayanmars and 12 Alwars are all from Tamilnadu. To spread this new-found theistic doctrines to the north Indian Dravidians, who, by then had forgotten their mother tongue (Tamil),the Early Indian Christians,viz. Saivites and Vaishnavites fabricated Sanskrit language using words from Tamil, Pali, Ardhamagadhi, Aramaic, Persian and Latin.
17. In the Saivite and Vaishnavite temples, we find the Sanctum - Sanctorum, the Altar and the Calf. This is nothing but the replica of the Israelite temple components. This temple construction method is unknown to India prior to the arrival of Yavanas. The Aryans did not have temple worshp. They were only fire worshippers.
18.Even though there is an altar in the Saivite and Vaishnavite temples, they do not offer any animal sacrifice. This is because the early Indian Christians had acknowledged the sacrifice offered by Christ, once and for all for mankind.
19. In Thirukkural as well as in the Dravidian religious literature of Saivism and Vishnavism, which constitute today's Hindu Religion(i.e. the religion of the Sindhu people) the message of Christ's salvation is there. The Upanishads tell them in Sanskrit.
20. No original religious or spiritual literatures are written by Aryans. Aryan Brahmins like Adi Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhava wrote intriguing interpretations to the original writings of Dravidians like Veda Vyasa. In doing so, they interpolated principles of Varnashrama Dharma, utilizing which , the Aryans subjugated the religion and the whole poeple of India.
21. Hindutva is Varnashrama Dharma. That is not religion. Hindu religion is Saivism and Vaishnavism, which are Early Indian Christianity brought by St. Thomas, but later on subjugated by Aryan Brahmins for gaining political power.
22. Saivism and Vaishnavism are two denominations of Early Indian Christianity. In Saivism, in the doctrine of Trinity they attribute Holy spirit in feminine form as Shakti. In Vaishnavism, the Holy Spirit is attributed in masculine form as Vishnu.
23.Isa or Isha means Jesus. There is one Isho-Upanishad. In Mundaka Upanishad there is the cardinal doctrine 'Satyameva Jeyate' which means Truth will triumph. Jesus declared that 'I am the way, the Truth and the Life" and "You will know the Truth and the Truth will Set you free"
In this manner, recent research findings cited above bring out very unbelievable and breath-taking knowledge to Indian Christians who have been struggling under the yoke of casteism or Hindutva
If these research findings would have been available to the European Missionaries in the 16th century, perhaps they could have adopted the method which St.Paul adopted in Athens where he presented Christ as God whom the Athenians were already worshipping as the 'unknown God' inscribed below their Altars(Acts Chapter 17:23).
The Supreme Court of India and the Sangh Parivars have declared that Hinduism i.e., Hindutva is not a religion. Yet, in the census reports, the majority population of India registers that they are Hindus.
We have seen that according to the recent research cited above, Saivism and Vaishnavism are two denominations of Early Indian Christianity brought by St. Thomas in 1st century AD. The basic doctrines of these Dravidian Religions are (i) doctrine of incarnation of God as man (ii) doctrine of Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, (iii) doctrine of Fulfillment of Sacrifice by the Son of God, (iv) Forgiveness of Sins and Salvation by Faith. These Christian doctrines are distorted and disfigured through mythologies and rituals of the present day Saivism and Vaishnavism.. These religions have been enslaved by Aryan priests in the name of Brahmin-dominated Varnashrama Dharma.
Casteism is the National Corporate sin of India introduced by Aryans. The Indian Church has not yet recognized and declared it so. Thus, if India can be cleansed of Casteism we can reclaim Early Indian Cristianity buried in Dravidian India. St.Paul says in Romans 9:3, and 10:1 that the desire of his heart and prayers are that his people, i.e., Israelites, should be saved. He needed the ethnic liberation of Israelites. Similarly, without the ethnic liberation of the 90% Dravidian Indian majority , their spiritual liberation cannot sustain. Also, without the spiritual liberation offered by Christ, their ethnic liberation also cannot sustain. Indian Chistians alone can liberate the Indian majority as commanded by Christ in Luke 4:18-19 by preaching the good news of “releasing the oppressed”.
John 8: 32 says “ You will know the truth and Truth will set you free.
The Ministry of Moses was to bring freedom for Hebrews and thus change the history of the Hebrew race. Queen Esther brought freedom for the Jews. Martin Luther brought freedom for Christians from Papacy. Martin Luther King brought freedom for the oppressed African Americans. Will the Indian Church bring freedom for the oppressed Dravidian majority?