Ishwar Sharan

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Ishwar Sharan is the penname of Swami Devananda Saraswati, a Canadian author, Hindu monk and critic of Christianity. He has traveled widely, and lived in an Franciscan retreat at Assisi, and in a communist kibbutz in Israel. He traveled to India by land in 1967. He is the author of the book The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple.

Ishwar Sharan was born into a Protestant Christian family. He later became a Smarta Dashanami Sannyasi, taking his Vedic initiation from a renowned Acharya Mahamandaleswar at Prayagraj in 1977. He has travelled extensively in Canada, USA, Europe, North Africa, West Asia and India. On his journey to India by road in 1967, he visited the places that his child-hood hero, Alexander the Great, had visited on his expedition to India in the 4th century BCE.

The author's experience of Christian institutions, West Asian Muslim society, and Israeli Kibbutzim helped to turn him against the monolithic Abrahamic creeds which he saw as imperialistic, belligerent, and life-threatening. He came to India in search of spiritual direction and because Hindu civilization still gave an honorable place to the Mother Goddess. The fact that Hindu civilization had withstood centuries of Muslim and Christian aggression and survived where other civilizations had failed was to his mind a very impressive cultural achievement. He is a great lover of Hindu culture and religion and is deeply saddened that Hindus today have become second class citizens in their own motherland. He says that as long as Christianity continues to wage a socially destructive war of aggression on Hinduism and take prisoners in the form of unsophisticated credulous converts, its curious theories and unique claims must be thoroughly investigated and challenged by Hindus of integrity and conviction.

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