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This website hosts the 2010 revised edition of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple

Devananda SaraswatiThe book is a complete study of the St. Thomas in India legend—its origin, history, and political ramifications—and is named after the main, 24-chapter essay by Ishwar Sharan. It also includes 28 independent, penetrating articles by senior journalists and scholars, and exposes in detail the anti-Hindu bias in India’s secular English-language media.

An appendix to the book documents the pronounced Christian bias of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and popular on-line reference portal Wikipedia. Both encyclopedia’s carry fanciful, non-factual entries for St. Thomas the Apostle in India that they refuse to correct or change.

And last but not least, the book documents the destruction of the original Kapaleeshwara Shiva Temple by the Portuguese and its replacement by the San Thome Cathedral Basilica Church on the Mylapore beach in Chennai.

Indologist Dr. Koenraad Elst has written a comprehensive foreword for this 2010 edition. His short foreword to the 1995 edition is posted below as he makes some pertinent remarks about Indian secularists and their uncritical acceptance of Christian mythology as Indian history.

Dr. Elst studied under Jesuits at Katholieke Universiteit in Belgium, Europe’s oldest Catholic university at Leuven, and is in a position to say with authority that the St. Thomas in India tale today is a fraud on the people of India by crafty, untruthful Catholic priests who make their living by fooling the faithful. He writes:

According to Christian leaders in India, the apostle Thomas came to India in 52 AD, founded the Syrian Christian Church, and was killed by the fanatical Brahmins in 72 AD. Near the site of his martyrdom, the St. Thomas Church was built. In fact this apostle never came to India. The Christian community in South India was founded by a merchant called Knai Thoma or Thomas of Cana in 345 AD—a name which readily explains the Thomas legend. He led four hundred refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities.

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.

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’s 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.

No one knows how many Hindu priests and worshipers were killed when the Christian soldiers came to remove the curse of Paganism from the Mylapore beach. Hinduism does not practice martyr-mongering, but if at all we have to speak of martyrs in this context, the title goes to these Jina- and Shiva-worshipers and not to the apostle Thomas.  

(Scroll down ↓ for Dr Elst’s comment on faux historian William Dalrymple)

A soft cover printed edition of The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple is available from publisher Voice of India at Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi. It has an extensive bibliography and is a valuable tool for researchers and historians.


Arulmigu Kapaleeswarar TempleKapaleeswara Shiva Temple: This is the second temple built in the 16th century by Mayil Nattu Muthiyappa Mudaliar after the Portuguese destroyed the original temple on the Mylapore sea shore and replaced it with the first St. Thomas Church.


San Tommaso Basilica, Ortona, Italy


The real tomb of St. Thomas in San Tommaso Basilica, Ortona


San Thome CathedralSan Thome Cathedral, Mylapore, Madras, India


San Thome Cathedral: This tableau of St. Thomas and his Hindu assassin was built after the publication of Ishwar Sharan's book in 1995. Its objective is to malign the Hindu community with the accusation of the murder of a Christian apostle and saint, and to further the propagation of the St. Thomas legend which has made India's bishops very wealthy and supports their political claim on India.St. Thomas and his assassin in San Thome Church


Fake tomb of ThomasThe fake tomb of St. Thomas in San Thome Cathedral, Madras


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  1. “Generally speaking the men who have written on India were a set of liars.” — Strabo


    Dr Koenraad Elst


    Koenraad Elst replies to William Dalrymple’s faux history propaganda piece in The Guardian

    The article by Dalrymple is a wonderful exercise in pushing the beliefs of the “minorities” (in fact local daughters of a global movement, helped by the foreign headquarters with resources and strategy) to the utmost. There is no document supporting the fond belief of the Christians, ritually incanted by all politicians and journalists whenever they mention Christianity. And there still is none after Dalrymple’s article, a fact that all his innuendo about new insights is meant to obscure. Not even the apocryphal Acts of Thomas could prove this, either before or after Dalrymple’s intervention. These only mention Thomas going east to a desert country where people speak Iranian. This is clearly not lush tropical Malayali-speaking Kerala. With all his rhetoric slamming open doors, such as that there was a lot of trade between Malabar and the Roman empire (which we already knew), he has only one piece of hard evidence to claim, viz. the coins by king Gondophares confirming the Acts’ mention of such a king, and that already by 19th-century British archaeologists. Now, if there had been such a find, it would have been plastered all over the front pages, and every Christian dignitary would quote it on every suitable occasion. I may have missed something, but I haven’t heard that. Such a discovery would, among other things, have to transfer Gondophares from Afghanistan to Kerala and turn his name from standard Iranian to Malayalam. Note that Dalrymple, ever careful to specify North versus South India, here leaves that crucial specification in the dark. When the very erudite Pope Benedict XVI said in 2006 that Thomas came to “Western India”, and that it was not he but “Christianity” that then went on to Southern India, he was speaking in full consciousness of the relevant evidence, of all that Dalrymple here suggests as proof in favour of the Christian belief.

    He commits all the errors that our first-year course of Historical Method warned us against. If someone spreads a story (say, the Christians arriving in Kerala from Persia in the 4th century, whose leader Thomas Cananeus was confused with Saint Thomas), and then hundred consumers of the story reproduce the story, these are not “a hundred sources in unison”, this is just one source. So all his talk about how many believers there are (including gullible Hindus) can over-awe a layman, but mean nothing to a historian.

    Of course, ultimately it is not important whether Thomas came to Kerala or not. Even if it were found to be true, Christianity remains an erroneous belief system, and (less important, but for Hindu Nationalists all-important) a foreign religion, whether imported in the 1st or the 4th century. But because Hindus have set great store in refuting the Thomas legend, the secularists invest a lot in supporting it, here be this article, more usually in pro-belief pronouncements, and the media will censor any serious scepticism about it. Except that they will greatly highlight any anti article on condition that it also covers itself in ridicule by espousing some P. N. Oak type of history rewriting.

    And note the irony: one always speaks of “doubting Thomas”, also the title of Dalrymple’s film, but the finality of this article is to provide intellectual respectability to the all-out secular effort of suppressing doubt about the Thomas myth.

    Koenraad Elst

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