A Mumbai-based right-wing trust is reissuing a 1946 book by one of the founders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that claims Jesus Christ was born a Tamil Hindu.
The outlandish claims in the book Christ Parichay, written in 1946 by Ganesh Damodar Savarkar (below), include one that says people from the Essenes cult rescued the crucified Christ and revived him with medicinal plants and herbs from the Himalayas. It says Christ attained ‘Samadhi’ in Kashmir
The book — Christ Parichay — claims Jesus was a Vishwakarma Brahmin by birth and that Christianity is just a sect of Hinduism. The Swatantryaveer Savarkar Rashtriya Smarak (Savarkar National Memorial), a trust that preserves and propagates the Savarkar brothers’ literature and ideology, will release the Marathi book on February 26.
While it does not specify where Christ was born, it says the present day Palestinian and Arab territories were Hindu land and that Christ traveled to India where he learnt yoga.
The author Ganesh Damodar (Babarao) Savarkar is Vinayak Damodhar (Swat-antryaveer) Savarkar’s older brother and is one of the five people who founded the RSS.
The cover page of the book Christ Parichay (above); Senior priest and the director of the Bombay Archdiocesan Heritage Museum, Father Warner D’Souza (below), said such books cannot shake the faith of Christians
The book makes several claims — that Jesus Christ was a Tamil Hindu, his real name was Keshao Krishna, Tamil was his mother tongue, and his complexion was dark.
Father Warner D’Souza
The book claims Christ’s sacred thread ceremony (janeyu) was held when he was 12, as per Brahmin tradition, and that he wore the sacred thread like any other Hindu. It also claims that Christianity was a Hindu cult and doctrine introduced by Christ and was never a separate religion.
Ganesh Savarkar also claims that people from the Essenes cult, which practiced Yoga and spiritual science, saved Christ after his detractors crucified him. The book claims his rescuers treated Christ with medicinal herbs and plants to revive him from his deathbed. After this, Christ was taken to Kashmir in India where he prayed to Lord Shiva, the book adds. It claims Christ spent the last phase of his life in the Himalayas. A tomb where his remains are buried, it claims, is known by his name. According to the book, Arabia was a Hindu land and Jews were Hindus. Savarkar claims Arabic has many Sanskrit and Tamil words. He further claims that Palestine’s Arabic Language was a version of the Tamil language.
Savarkar says Jesus’ family dressed in a typical Indian way. The family had Hindu signs on their bodies, he says, adding that the name of Joseph (Christ’s father) was derived from Sheshep, which is further derived from Sheshappa (a common Tamil name).
“There is no mala fide intention in reprinting this particular book after 70 years,” Ranjit Savarkar, executive president, Swatantryaveer Savarkar National Memorial, told mid-day on Monday. “It is one of the books that my grandfather (Ganesh Savarkar) authored. His books are not available and hence we have decided to publish them again for the benefit of readers. I know some people will raise questions. But then what Ganesh Savarkar has written in this book is not new. Many others have researched on the similar lines and drew their own conclusions. Ganesh Savarkar too did his research before writing the book.”
Senior priest and the director of the Bombay Archdiocesan Heritage Museum, Father Warner D’Souza, said such books cannot shake the faith of true Christians. Citing previous claims that Christ is buried in Kashmir, Fr D’Souza said that it was a waste of time to concentrate on such hypothetical historical questions.
“Ours is a country that is deeply and beautifully religious and we think god resides in our hearts,” he said. “A few people upset everybody else by these claims, but by and large, this is such a beautiful country of faith. And the gospels themselves and the New Testament were not written to give us historical facts. They are to give faith and experience to their disciplines. So, such a book will hardly disturb true Christians. More important, no Christian should be disturbed, and less importance such things are given the better.”
In Ganesh Savarkar’s own words
I have presented evidence, references, names of books and portraits, to prove that Christ was a Hindu. He returned to India to study the Vedas, and became an expert in Yoga and then returned to his country to preach the right path or religion. While preaching, he got involved in a political storm and was crucified, but miraculously escaped alive. Later, his stay in Palestine, openly or underground, became dangerous. Therefore, he came to India with a Yogi. He was a great personality, supposed to be an incarnation. After arriving in India he continued preaching till his death.
This is in short the life history of Christ. To remind the Christian world that they have snatched away Christ’s Hinduness and to repay the debt of Christ to us that he gave by hurling the flag of Hinduism beyond India, I have done this work and I am satisfied with it. Let this literary worship of Christ or Keshao the Krishna reach his divine feet.
(From Christ Parichay)
‘Samadhi’ in Kashmir
A passage in the book says Christ — after being crucified — came to Kashmir with a certain Chetan Nath, became healthy, and with Nath’s help, established a ‘math’ (monastery) at the foothills of the Himalayas, probably in Kashmir.
He worshipped Lord Shiva there for three years and achieved ‘darshan’ of Shiva. He gathered knowledge and energy and placed the trishoola, a seed of the world. He worshipped Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga. Sadhus and people arrived from all directions to stay with him and accepted him as Guru, the spiritual teacher.
This way, he carried the work of the cult till he was 49 years old, when he decided to leave his physical body. He sat in a yogic posture and went into deep samadhi (trance) and left the physical body. This way, Ishanath (Isa or Christ), terminated his incarnation. Natha-Namawali (Indian scripture) quotes his name as Ishanatha.
Another claim in the book is that the Bible is not Jesus’s preaching.
Claims from the book:
1. Jesus Christ’s parents were Tamil Hindus
2. His mother tongue was Tamil (Arvam=Aram=Aramaic)
3. ‘Jesus’ is derived from Keshao and ‘Christ’ from Krishna
4. Christ was dark complexioned like the Tamil Hindus.
5. He was Techton=Tachchar (the Tamil word for carpenter) and his family held an honorable title of Assari=Assar=Achar=Acharya
6. His thread ceremony was performed at the age of 12 in a temple
7. He wore the sacred thread Yajnopawita like a Tamil Brahmin and later according to his tradition he became a Siddha, achieving the highest rank in the spiritual science
8. In this way a Tamil Kamalar became a Senar-Siddha, because he was a Vishwakarma Brahmin. Christianity was a Hindu cult and doctrine introduced by Jesus the Christ (Keshao the Krishna). It was not a separate religion
9. Christ was firmly believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu by the followers residing in Palestine and around.
(Ganesh Savarkar’s Marathi book was translated into English by Dr Padmakar Vishnu Vartak some years ago. The book is available online under the title ‘Jesus Christ was a Tamil Hindu’. Some of the above points are from the translated work.)