The Coming of Christianity
The Coming of thomas
What we have seen is that there is a total
discontinuity in the basic concept of God in the history of Indian
religions. Suddenly, in the first few centuries of the Christian era
there arose a religion, which was very distinct from Vedism along
with large number of written scriptures, which explained those
principles. These cannot be explained except by recognizing
the coming of St.Thomas the Apostle of Jesus into the Indian scene.
Thomas came to
India in AD 52
was never been the same after him.
There are a few specific items that cannot be explained in any other
way. Yet these are the core essence of Hinduism as is claimed today.
Monotheism – A persons God who is above
all gods who is involved in the matters of man. The concept of
Isvara. The very name Isa to mean God came in only after the
Trinity – God appeared in three distinct personal forms of Father,
Sakti and Son. We have traced the development of Trimurti earlier.
It was a very new concept and was eventually degenerated with the
essential unity and oneness of Godhead was lost through Gnostic
duality and conflict. . Gods themselves were in constant fight
in Vedism as it is also true within modern Hinduism. We will
discuss what happened in a later chapter.
Incarnation – God incarnates into this world out of his intense of
love for humankind to provide redemption and salvation through faith
in Him. This also includes the idea of Logos, the Word, which
was translated as AUM and has now become the central symbol of
Hinduism. AUM is found in the front of all early Christian
churches in Kerala predating any mention of AUM in the Upanishads.
It represents the oneness of the Trinitarian God who is the revealed
to humankind through Sages.
Another symbol, which is closely connected with
Christianity, is Lingam, the Form of the formless God, which is
worshipped by the Saivites. It was initially the symbol of
word becoming flesh.
The Formless took Form.
”The Word became flesh and dwelt among us”
”By His stripes we have been healed”
All these were very new to the Indian religions. I see no way
of explaining these away as something, which was hidden in the
Vedas, because that will require twisting of the truth and
unacceptable hermeneutics. The usual method employed to
accomplish this is to use allegorical interpretation. Anyone
who had used allegory knows that any body can establish anything
using allegory because there the interpreter imposes his own meaning
and symbolism without justification on the text.
Bhakthi or faith itself took up a new meaning with the coming of
Christianity. Puja and sacrifices were indeed in existence
even in the Vedic religion. However, the intent of those was
to give gods something in exchange for something the yajamana of the
yajna can get from them. Gods liked Whisky (Soma drink) so we give
it to them. In return, the Yajamana gets prosperity, children etc.
That is barter, not Bhakthi. Bhakthi
towards a loving God is in response to who God is, whom we know in
our daily life through his faithfulness, provision and love.
Man cannot bribe God. This is what Christianity presented. God
drank the poison vicariously to save mankind. In response, he
demands total surrender. This was the basis of the later
Bhakthi movement of
South India. Bhakthi movement was a resurgence of the lost
concept of Bhakthi as brought in by Thomas. It somehow got
lost. We will discuss the mechanism and the agent of such
heresy in another chapter. Evidently, something happened
during the period soon after the advent of Christian Era in the
history of Indian Religions.
Vedism disappeared totally which was
reeling under the pressure of rationalistic atheistic religious
movements of Buddhism and Jainism. There were only three
choices for common man – rigorously ascetic religions of Jainism and
Buddhism or primitive village gods and goddesses. Brahmins
were at the verge of extinction and were scattered throughout
India as minority groups trying to clasp at the final straw.
The straw came in the form of a foreigner who brought in a totally
new religion, which no one has ever heard of before. This was
good news – that there is indeed a Supreme God of all creation who
cared enough for mankind that he incarnated himself on this earth to
redeem those who are heavy laden.
Brahmins all over
India took this message seriously. After all they had very
little to survive. In Kerala alone seventy five families of
Brahmins – all who were in that part of India – took shelter under
the new religion. The cases elsewhere were no different.
However, in Kerala we know that there were no Brahmins until the
seventh century showing thereby that it was a people’s movement. The
whole Brahmin community surrendered to Christ. Kerala
Christians still claim descend from those seventy-five. The
story of these conversions is handed down orally through the
powerful medium of folk songs and arts. These include:
1 The Song of the Deacon – the Chapter on Thomas known to us as
“Rambaan Pattu – Thoma Parvam”
The Morality Plays of the Christians. - The Drama of the Way
known in Malayalam as “Margam Kali”
3. The Songs of the Sons of the Great Kings : known in
Malayalam as Maapilla Paattu.
4. Songs on Stringed Instrument - Veeradian Pattu –
5. Chavittu Nadakam : Tap Drama
The Malabar (Kerala) and Indian traditions are referred to by the
early Church Fathers all through the history of the
church. Among them are the following references:
Clement of Alexandria 3rd C AD ( 235)
Doctrine of the Apostles 3rd C AD Syria
Oriegen 3rd (185-254 AD) quoted in Eusebius Alexandria
Eusebius (early 4th cent.) Caesarea
St. Jerome (342-420 A.D.) about the mission of Pantaenus, to India
St. Ephrem (306-373 A.D.),
St. Gregory of Nazianze (324-390 A.D.),
St. Ambrose (333-397 A.D.),
St. Jerome, St. Gregory of Tours (6th cent.)
Isidore of Seville (7th cent.)
St.Thomas the Apostle
Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus who had been with
him for over three years as a witness to his teachings and actions.
He himself was a hard-core scientist who would not believe in
anything true just because some one told him and would trust them
only after verification. Thus, he insisted that he touch the
wound of the resurrected Jesus to confirm that it was Jesus himself
and not any apparition. Having confirmed he became the most
powerful Apostle. No wonder Jesus wanted him to go to India
into the midst of the Rationalistic Atheistic Buddhists, Jains and
to other groups who were materialists. He was himself all that
and he could bear witness in their midst.
Thomas himself was no Gnostic, as some would like to him to be
represented. Later Syrian (Aryan origin) Gnostic would write
up and make Puranas (as is the character of all Gnostic religions)
which we have as Gnostic Gospels, written as late as third century,
soon after the appearance of modern Hinduism. Christian sacred text
would not include any document written after the death of the last
of the Apostles, John, to ensure the accuracy of the testimony.
Apocryphal records do bear some witness and are valuable historical
documents once its purposes are understood. In a world where a
continued attempt is made to destroy and distort truth about Jesus,
it is at least something to go about. We have at least the
historic presence of the persons and places given to us in these
Acts of Thomas is one such important
document. It was not written as history but as a fiction using
the style of the period. However, in it and through it we have
the names and the places and events in history regarding the
ministry of Thomas in
India. One thing is certain. His ministry covered the
entire India from Taxila in the North to
Malabar Coast in the South. However,
something happened to the records in
that we have a blank period of history indicating an intentional
destruction of historical documents for this period and the growth
of the church in India. This period is known as Kalabhra
Inter-regnum – the dark ages. We have only scattered
information essentially handed down in the form of folk art and
songs – tribal memory and faithful transference of faith from
fathers to their children.
Information on Acts of Thomas
Harold W. Attridge describes the Acts of Thomas as follows: (The
Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 6, p. 531):
Pseudepigraphic text which relates
the adventures of the apostle Judas Thomas as he preaches an
ascetical or encratite form of Christianity on the way to and from
India. Like other apocryphal acts combining popular legend and
religious propaganda, the work attempts to entertain and instruct.
In addition to narratives of Thomas' adventures, its poetic and
liturgical elements provide important evidence for early Syrian
Attridge writes about the attestation to the Acts of Thomas (op.
cit., p. 531):
The major Syriac witnesses (B.M. add. 14.645) dates to 936 C.E.
the earliest Syriac witnesses to the text, a fragmentary palimpset
(Sinai 30), dates from the 5th or 6th century. The major Greek
witnesses (Paris. gr. 1510 and Vallicel. B 35) date to the 11th
century, although there are partial Greek witnesses dating from
the 10th. Some form of the work was clearly in circulation by the
end of the 4th century when testimonies begin. Epiphanius (Anac.
47.1 and 60.1.5) records its use by Encratites. Augustine (de serm.
dom. in monte 1.20.65; c. Adiamantium 17; c. Faustum 14 and 22.79)
attests its use by Manicheans, and allusions are found in the
Attestations continue sporadically until the 9th-century Byzantine
patriarch Photius (Cod. 114) and the 11th-century archbishop,
Nicetas of Thessalonica, who paraphrased the work. The original
composition is probably to be dated in the first half of the 3d
century, slightly later than the Acts of Peter, John, and Paul,
which are attested in the 2d century. Some sections, particularly
the originally independent Hymn of the Pearl, presuppose
conditions in the Parthian period, which ended with the
establishment of the Sassanian Empire in 226 C.E. It is likely
that Acts Thom. underwent redactional development,
including adaptation by Manicheans, in the late 3d or 4th
The author of Acts of Thomas is considered to be Bardesanes (Bardesan)
Bardesanes was born in 154 CE, became a Christian c. 180 CE, and
died in 222/223 CE.
At the age of twenty-five he happened to hear the homilies of
Hystaspes, the Bishop of Edessa; he received instruction, was
baptized, and even admitted to the dioconate or the priesthood.
…..when Abgar IX, the friend of his youth, ascended the throne
(179) he took his place at court.
His acceptance of Christianity was perfectly
sincere; nor do later stories, that he left the Catholic Church
and joined the Valentinian Gnostics out of disappointed ambition,
deserve much credit. His royal friend became the first
Christian king; and both king and philosopher labored to create
State. Bardesanes showed great literary activity against Marcion
and Valentinus, the Gnostics of the day. But unfortunately, with
the zeal of a convert anxious to use his previous acquirements in
the service of the newly found truth, Bardesanes mixed his
Babylonian pseudo-astronomy with Christian dogma and thus
originated a Christian sect, which was vigorously combated by St.
World map according to Roman geographer Pomponius Mela (ca. 40 A.D.)
and probable route of Thomas from Israel to Malabar along the pepper
The Commercial Routes of First Century
Traditional site where St. Thomas landed - Cranganore (Kodungallur)
in Malabar Coast -in 52 AD.
Here he preached to a Jewish community who accepted mesia and their
synagogue became a Christian church.
The Church in Cranganuur – near Muziris
There were settlements of Jews in southwest India from at least the
first century of the Christian era. Their main centre was the
seaport of Cranganore. From the fifth to the fifteenth centuries,
the Jews in this area had virtually an independent principality
ruled over by a prince of their own tradition and choice. The Jewish
community was enriched by the arrival of Jews from Spain and other
European countries. In 1524, however, Jewish homes and synagogues
were destroyed by Moors, and survivors fled to Cochin (Kochi).
The Tabula Peutingeriana is the only known surviving copy of the
Roman cursus publicus; it was made by a monk in Colmar in the
thirteenth century. It shows Muziris as a major port. There is
also a Temple of the Great God (Augusts) marked nearby.
It is unlikely that it refers to Augustus Ceasar as some seem to
suggest. The marking is Augusts not Augustus.
The Apostle Thomas is said to have arrived in India, at Cranganore
in 52CE. According to tradition, he was welcomed by a Jewish flute
girl. He stayed in the Jewish quarter, and baptized some of
the Jews there. He finally settled at Mylapore, near Madras
(Chennai) on the south east coast, where he lived in a cave. He
was martyred in 72CE and buried beneath what is now the Basilica
of St Thomas built in 1898. A bone from his hand remains in the
Probable land route of Thomas during his 20-year ministry within
(52 – 72 AD)
Vestiges of North Indian Christian Churches
“Bardaisan in his Book of Fate (AD 196) speaks of Parthian
Christians living among pagans, which might be a result of the
destruction of the Indian Parthian empire by Kushan invaders about
There are also said to be Christian tribes still living in north
India, but holding their faith a secret from all others. For
example, at Tatta in Sind (the ancient port of Pattiala at the
mouth of Indus), there is a fakir community which calls itself by
an Aramaic name, something like ‘Bartolmai’, and claims to have
been descended from St. Thomas’s converts and to have books and
relics to prove it.”
In general, we have no reason not to believe the story as given by
the traditions. We cannot exactly trace the cris-crossing
intertwined routes of Thomas over the 20 years. We are however
certain that Thomas visited Kerala twice and he might have visited
China at least once. It evidently covered the entire Indian
continent - North and South, East and West. Below is a map showing
the possible areas of the ministry of Thomas based on the trade
routes of the period and taking into consideration the placement of
early Christian churches for which we have definite evidence...
The extent of the ministry of Thomas
In the recent years four coins said to have been given by Thomas to
a family in Kerala has come up.
Thondachan and the Four Silver Coins
The worship of Thondachan, a Hindu family deity, by a particular
lineage of Nairs (native martial clan) of Malabar, Kerala and
especially the manner and ritual of this worship is noteworthy.
Though a family deity, Thondachan is never worshipped within the
Nair household. Nor has this deity been ever given a berth among the
pantheon of Hindu gods at any of the Hindu temples presided over by
the Brahman priests (called Namboodiris). Thondachan has a special
altar built outside the Nair family compound, where non-Brahmin
priests perform rituals. While Chaamundi, Vishnumoorthy, Pottan,
Rakteshwari and Bhagavathi became the non-Aryan, non-Brahmin deities
for the village folk of Kolathunaad (an ancient province of North
Kerala) along with other primitive spirits and folk-heroes,
Thondachan has an even smaller following among a select Nair clan.
It is believed, that up to the present day, altars for Thondachan’s
worship exists in the Cherukunnu area in Kannur (Cannanore)
district, especially in the lands surrounding old tharavad (family)
houses - ancestral mansions - of the Nairs.
When Thomachan (the Apostle St. Thomas - Achan signifying father)
came ashore, landing at Maliankara near Moothakunnam village in
Paravoor Thaluk in AD 52 (this village is located five kilometers
from Kodungallur), some of his followers as well as other sailors
and merchants were suffering from a severe form of scurvy. Thomachan
himself suffered from a sore throat which he chose to ignore, and
which grew steadily worse, until no voice emanated from his lips for
many days. A local Jew named Matan took the weary travelers to a
local Nair Tharavad (locally known as Kambiam Vallapil), in the
province of Kolathunaad, a territory comprising the present
Cannanore District and Badagara Taluk of Kerala. It is said that at
the time of Thomachan's arrival at the tharavad, the Nair Karnavar
(landlord or head of the family) lay injured from a grievous wound
that had been inflicted upon him in a feudal duel. Upon seeing this,
Thomachan sat beside the injured man and meditated, laying his hands
on the man’s head, his throat, his chest and his groin.
Immediately the karnavar felt relieved from pain and his healing
was hastened. Within a day he was up and about, his wounds having
nearly healed. In return, the Nair household offered shelter to the
strangers and called upon their family physician to cure the scurvy
that the travelers suffered from, as well as Thomachan's severely
infected throat. Nellikaya (Emblic Myrobalan or Indian Gooseberry)
based potions prepared by the tharavad was used to cure the sea-worn
voyagers. In an act of gratitude, Thomachan is said to have blessed
them and gave them four silver coins saying, "May these coins bestow
my guru’s blessings upon you and your household, for take heed when
I tell you that the money I pay you today is anointed with the blood
of my guru." This holy man, Thomachan, is believed to have related a
curious story to the members of the tharavad, which has been passed
down the ages. The story states that before Thomachan set sail from
a seaport in the region called 'Sanai' somewhere in the western
seas, he had witnessed the persecution of his guru, who was tortured
and nailed to a wooden cross and left to die. He spoke of how his
guru returned from his ordeal three days later, fully cured. His
guru handed him the silver coins saying, "My body was sold with
these, and now they have been returned to me, all thirty pieces. Put
them to good use, as I have. Though you shall choose to travel by
sea, I shall meet you again in the mountains of the land where you
will finally arrive."
The Nair Tharavad later migrated further north to the Cherukunnu
area of present day Kannur. They referred to the four silver pieces
as 'Rakta Velli' (Blood Silver) or 'Parindhu Velli' (parindhu for
eagle, as one face of all these four ancient coins bear the figure
of an eagle). They also decided never to utilize the silver as it
was the custom then not to part with the gift of a guest.
Over time, and with the advent of Christianity, the significance of
the four silver coins received by the Nair Tharavad was understood,
but family history is still obscure as to whether Thomachan
possessed, or what he did with the remaining twenty-six pieces of
silver his guru gave him. This Nair family never converted to the
Christian faith as many others did in that region. Subsequent
migrations of Nair clans continued throughout history, but the story
of the four rakta velli pieces was passed down the generations, as
did their veneration for the holy sanyasi Thomachan (later called
Thondachan, a nickname perhaps coined from the story of his sore
throat - thonda for throat).
Another story goes that the name Thondachan was adopted in the early
16th century to avoid persecution by the Portuguese. Thus by a
curious turn of events, the apostle St. Thomas was transformed into
a Hindu deity for an ancient Nair clan of Kerala. A present day
member of this family is still in possession of the four pieces of
silver. The four pieces of silver have identified as the Shekels of
Tyre, a common coinage of Judea of the time of Christ.
A present day member of this family is still in possession of the
four pieces of silver and they have been identified
as the Shekels of Tyre, a common coinage of Judea of the time of
The back and front of the four coins gifted down by Thondachen
Thomas was commissioned by King Gondaphores of Taxila from where his
ministry extended all over India. In fact the success of
Thomas in India was much vaster and deeper than the success St.Paul
had in Rome and Greece.
The Indo-Parthian kingdom with its capital at Kabul barely lasted
one century. It started to fragment under Gondophares' successor
Abdagases I. The eastern part was conquered by the Kushans around 75
Coin of Gondophares (20-50 CE),
king of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom.
Obverse: Bust of Gondophares and Greek legend:
BACIΛEΩC CΩTHPOC VNΔOΦEPPOV
"King Gondophares, the Saviour".
Reverse: Winged Nike holding a diadem, with a Kharoshti legend:
MAHARAJASA GUDAPHANISA TRATARASA
Stone, which says:
Maharaja-raja-raja-samahatha –dramia- devawratha Gundaphorasa
writing was found in the nearby
Vihar in a place called Takthi Bahi.
Into this spiritual vacuum without a God, Thomas brought in the
concept of Parameswara –the Most High God - and his
incarnation as Man in the person of Nazarene and he transformed
[Iswara is God. Param means Most High.] There never was
a concept of Most High God in India until the coming of Thomas. Much
more strange will be the fact Issa came to mean Supreme God and gave
rise to Iswara, Maheswara, Parameswara. Without doubt, Isa is
the name, which derived from the name of Jesus. The prescript
Param can be replaced with Maha meaning “The Great” to
give Maheshwara – The Great God. These words
Parameswara and Maheswara occur in Indian religious scenario only
after the first century.
This was very new to the Indian continent. It transformed all
the religions of India – Vedism, Buddhism, and even Jainism to some
extent. The idea that there is a Personal God who is
Omnipotent and loving changed the whole theology of Indian continent
as the later religious scenario shows. The extent of this
impact indicates that Thomas established churches with Jesus as
center of worship as the Parameshwara throughout India.
Gold coin of Vasudeva I.
Obv: Vasudeva in tall helmet, holding a scepter, and making an
offering over an altar. Legend in Kushan language and Greek script
"Shaonanoshao Bazodeo Koshano" which means: "King of kings,
Vasudeva the Kushan".
Rev: Indian god “Oesho” (Easow) holding a trisula
(Trinity) scepter, with the bull.
Is this Jesus?
Monogram ("tamgha") to the left.
Vasudeva I (Kushan:
emperor around 195-225 AD. He was the last great Kushan emperor, and
the end of his rule coincides with the invasion of the
as far as northwestern India, and the establishment of the
from around 240 AD. Vaseduva may have been the Indian king who
relics of the Apostle St. Thomas from India. It was probably during
this time the poetic work of “Acts of Thomas” was written. The
relics were transfered triumphally to the town of Edessa,
Mesopotamia. The Indian king is named as "Mazdai" in Syriac sources,
"Misdeos" and "Misdeus" in Greek and Latin sources, has been
connected to the "Bazdeo" on the Kushan coinage of Vasudeva
The martyrologist Rabba Sliba dedicated a special day to both the
Indian king, his familly, and St Thomas:
"Coronatio Thomae apostoli et Misdeus rex Indiae, Johannes eus
filius huisque mater Tertia"
("Coronation of Thomas the Apostole, and Misdeus king of India,
together with his son Johannes (thought to be a Latinization of
Vizan) and his mother Tertia") Rabban Sliba. (Mario Bussagli,
"L'Art du Gandhara", p255)
Kushan Emperor Vasudeva I and the Christian Connection
The Kushan Empire (c. 1st–3rd centuries) was a state that at its
cultural zenith, circa 105–250 CE, extended from what is now
Tajikistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan (in the general area where the
initial labors of St.Thomas was concentrated ) and down into the
Ganges river valley in northern India. The empire was created by
the Kushan tribe of the Yuezhi confederation, an Indo-European
people from the eastern Tarim Basin, China. Thomas’s mission
extended to China in the very same regions. They had diplomatic
contacts with Rome, Persia and China. By the beginning of
third century Christianity was a powerful presence in all these
As late as the 3rd century CE, decorated coins of Huvishka
indicates that they were strong proponents of Buddhism.
The greatest ruler of the dynasty, Kanishka, had adopted Buddhism
and it was during his period that both Buddhist religion and Greek
art reached their zenith which is known under the nomenclature of
Gandhara Civilization. It was again during his regime and because
of his efforts that Buddhism spread in Central Asia and China.
This period is regarded as the most important in the history of
However the coins of Vasudeva I presents Siva in his coins.
Historically it is known that it was Vasudeva I who carried the
bones of St. Thomas from Mylapore to Edessa and the Acts of Thomas
was written to commemorate this even. This at least
indirectly suggests the Saivism as a Christian Sect associated
with the Thomas Churches.
Main Kushan rulers
Kujula Kadphises (30–80)
Kujula Kadphises established the Kushan dynasty in 78 AD by
taking advantage of disunion in existing dynasty of Pahalava
(Parthian) and Scytho-Parthians, and gradually wrested control of
southern prosperous region, which is the northwest part of ancient
India, traditionally known as Gandhara (now Pakistan).
Most Kushan Emperors were Buddhists
5.2 Vima Taktu
5.3 Vima Kadphises
5.4 Kanishka I
5.7 Vasudeva I
The Kushan religious pantheon is extremely varied, as revealed by
their coins and their seals, on which more than 30 different gods
appear, belonging to the Hellenistic, the Iranian, and to a lesser
extent the Indian world essentially Saivite.
Representation of entities from Greek mythology and Hellenistic
syncretism are: Helios, Hephaistos, Selene, Anemos, Further,
Heracles (whom Vaishnavites tries to make Krishna), and Sarapis.
The Indian religion: Buddha, bodhisattava,
Skanda Kumara, Ganesha. The
Iranic gods: Ashi Vanghuhi , Asha Vahishta, Atar,
Khwarenah, Drvaspa Vohu Manah, Mah, Mithra,
Ahura Mazda etc
Thomas’ journey covered the whole of India for two whole decades,
very similar to the travels of Paul. Paul transformed the
Greco-Roman world into Christian faith. Did Thomas achieve the
same? There are indications even today to show that he did
just that. Scattered groups of Christian sects can be found
all along the route of Thomas, claiming their root from Thomas.
From Malabar Coast (In South India) Thomas traveled along the West
coast to Kalyan, (Bombay) and then onto Sind (Pakistan) and Tibet
returning along the East cost through Kaveri area to Mylapore (“The
city of Peacock”, Madras, South India.) They are there even
today. Some of them remain as secret communities in the face
of later persecution.
Sufficient records are there to show that:
* There existed a thriving Christian community in Kerala
at that time.
There are palm leaf records, which show that:
* Among the Dravidians in Central India (Kaveri Area) there
was a Church as early as 293 AD. These documents
show that, Seventy-Two families of Christians of Vellala origin from
Kavery Poopatanam of Puhur
District on the River Kaveri arrived in Kollam (Quilon) in
Kerala as refugees fleeing from the persecution in AD 293.
Historically well-documented Christian Kingdom of Villarvattom Pana
Dynasty (near the present-day Cochin) lasted nearly a millennium
from 510 to 1439 AD, until the coming of the Portuguese. There
are documents indicating powerful Christian Kingdoms in Kerala,
particularly in Ayr (referred to in Greek documents- Ayroor) and
Ranni and Vel (Velnad). There must have been other major
churches all over India other than in Kerala. However, the
problem is “Where are they?” It is this question we are trying
to answer. The basic reason why we do not see them is that we
may be looking for the wrong clues and so we do not recognize them
for want of familiarity.
What are we really looking for?
Church buildings similar to the Greek and Roman churches.
Worship forms like the liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Churches
and the Roman Churches
Out stretched arms of Praise and Worship
We are simply assuming that these are the norms of the Christian
Churches. It is these basic expectations that put us off
In time various denominations began to evolve with emphasis on
specific aspects of god and gospel with syncretization with local
religions. Two such denominations were Vaishnavism and
Saivism. Saivism emphasized the love of god and the Sacrifice
of God for the redemption of Mankind, while Vaishnavism emphasized
the glorious almighty God of the Skies. In Kerala Christians
were called Nasranees (One who follow the Nazarene) and
Isanees (or Isanuvadikal – one who are followers of Isa)
These denominations evolved out of specific emphasis on aspects of
God. They all started as Christian Churches but became
heretic through syncretization and Gnostic influence from Babylon.
We will now look into the forces that transformed Indian Catholic
Church to modern Hinduism as it is today.
“Saivism and Vaishnavism are the offshoot of Early Indian
Christianity. Early Indian Christianity observed the elements of
Dravidian worships that prevailed in the pre - Christian era, and
developed as Saivism and Vaishnavism. Saivism and
Vaishnavism developed as a Bhakti movement around 6th, 7th c. A.D.
in South India and spread to the North. Since it is now totally
camouflaged by the Brahman concept under the name of Hinduism, it is
generally thought that the Vedas are the basis for the development
of this Bhakti Movement. Generally Saivite Siva is identified with
Vedic Rudra and Vaishnavite Vishnu is identified with Vedic Vishnu.
An in-depth study of the Vedas will unveil the hidden truths.
Saivism and Vaishnavism have nothing to do with the Vedic Rudra or
Thus Dr. M.
Dr. D. Devakala
in The Revival
Movement of Dravidian Religion
lists the follwing factors
which emerged independent of Vedic influence.
Emergence of the
basic doctrines of Saivism and Vaishnavism depending not on
Aryanism or the Vedas.
these doctrines which are not seen in the Vedas
Emergence of new
Agamas, totally contrary to the Vedas
Emergence of temple
worship, contrary to the Vedas.
Emergence of Nayanmars and Alwars who did not belong to the
The doctrinal explanation of Sankara, Ramanuja and Mathva which
arecontrary to the Vedas.
Emergence of the names of Gods viz. Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Sakthi
....who are contrary to the Vedic deities.
Emergence of the worship of God in Triune form instead of
worshipping the Vedic deities'.
When Christianity came to India, the New testament was not
compiled at that time. Naturally this would lead to the lack of
historicity. The need of presenting Christianity at the grass root
level in the later period led to the development of myths. Since
the doctrine of trinity, doctrine of avatar, and the doctrine of
fulfillment of sacrifice have to be explained in the mythical
aspect at the grass root level, mythical Christ is seen in the
Indian religions in different languages in different terms.
Though the terms are different and seem to be different Gods and
Goddesses, they all refer to one God. An unbiased examination of
myths would unveil the hidden Christ.
Biblical Christianity, Judaism and
Shaivite Hinduism Share the Same Names for God.
(See the Chapter on Saivism)
Similar sacred symbolism and iconography are associated with both
the Hebrew Yah-Veh and the Kashmiri Shaiva: The Holy Trinity; the
flame; the cherub; the guardian angel; the snake; the bull; blowing
of bull's horn, etc.
Hebrew and Kashmiri Cabalistic Terminology Is About the Same.
(See the Chapter on Saivism)
The basic creed of the saiva sidhantha correspond closely with the
Nicean Creed. (See the chapter on Saivism)
What is expressed in both the creeds are identitical and we know
that this was the faith that existed until the third and fourth
centuries in India when the idol worship became prevalent and the
inner core of faith was lost to the general public.
“Taproot of the Hindu religion:
Doctrine of Avatar - God becoming a man in order to redeem human
beings. (Unborn Prime God was born in order to give us eternal
Trinity or Triune doctrine - God in triune stage - Appan, Ammai,
Makan (Saivism); Siva, Vishnu, Brahma (Vaishnavism)
Doctrine of fulfillment of sacrifice - The offering of sacrifice
has ceased even though there is sacrificial altar in the temple.
People do not offer sacrifice while they worship God.
Doctrine of forgiveness of sin - There is forgiveness for the sins
of human beings by the grace of God and this doctrine is totally
controversial to the saying that ‘the actions of one person
would definitely yield its fruits’.
Doctrine of bhakthi - Appreciating the bhakthi which is in ones
heart irrespective of one’s appearance, color, culture etc. (Kannappa
The Revival Movement of Dravidian Religion Dr. M. Deivanayagam,
Dr. D. Devakala
These are some of the basic teachings that are still embedded in the
Hindu Scriptures even after severe Brahminical tampering.