Christianity is not Krishna-Neeti and the Vatican was never a Shiva temple – Koenraad Elst

Vatican City - Shiva Lingam
Two photos, taken from above the subjects,  the one on the left of St Peter’s Square and Church being an aerial photo.  The contention is that because St Peter’s Square with Bernini’s curved colonnade on each side looks like the yoni base of a Shiva Lingam, Bernini must have copied a Shiva Lingam when he built the colonnade between 1656 and 1667. Bernini certainly did not know anything about Hinduism and had never seen a Shiva Lingam. He says that he built the colonnade around the obelisk in the square’s centre—placed there in 1586, many decades before he arrived—so as to embrace visitors in “the maternal arms of Mother Church.” The Mother Church was St Peter’s Basilica at the top of the square. This church—the original church was built by Emperor Constantine between 319 and 333 CE over a shrine to Mithra—was completed in 1590 in the form of a Roman cross (as can be seen in the photo) and is neither the first church so constructed or the last, all classical churches being constructed in the form of a cross. So the photos above are a mischievous arbitrary comparison without rationale, created to mislead the credulous viewer into believing that Hindus had a worldwide religious empire in prehistory whose symbols and architecture Christians have plagiarised. — Editor 

Dr Koenraad Elst“The very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus are not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism, they are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.” – Dr Koenraad Elst

P. N. OakQuite frequently, my mailbox is hit by yet another product of the P.N. Oak-type imagination. This one refers to a web article on (ISKCON), dated 14 June 2014, called Was the Christian Vatican Originally a Temple to Lord Shiva? by ShankhNaad.

It claims that “Rome’s church compound is in the shape of Shiva Lingam”. It also suggests, citing as its source the “famous historian P.N. Oak”, that Vatican comes from Sanskrit vatika (“park, religious centre”), Christianity from Krishna-neeti (“Krishna’s policy”, “the way of Krishna”), and Abraham from Brahma. Conclusion is that it’s all “plagiarism by the West”.

In fact, the shape of the church [and plaza] is standard, and therefore the claim implies that most classical churches, thousands of them, are really shaped like Shiva Lingams. If your eyes are very hazy, you might indeed get the impression of a similarity. This school is quickly satisfied with a mere semblance of similarity. Thus, a 3-shaped sign in the undeciphered Indus script is declared to be ॐ sign; as is a door ornament on the Red Fort, equally deemed to have been “originally a Hindu temple”. But even if a more perceptive look were to confirm this impression of similarity, it doesn’t prove a causal relation. The likeness between vatika and Vatican is claimed to “prove that the Vatican was a Hindu (Vedic) religious centre before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity from 1st century AD”. No, this phrase merely shows the miserably low standards of proof Jesus & Krishna: Are they the same?applied by the Hindu history-rewriters. Also, no evidence is attempted, or known from elsewhere, for the momentous replacement or forcible conversion of this Vedic pontiff.

As for the etymologies, they are false. Vaticanus Collis (or Vaticanus Mons) means “seers’ hill”, from vates meaning “seer, poet, inspired speaker”, related to the Germanic god-name Woden, meaning “fury, trance”. Christianity combines the Latin endings –(i)anus and –itas, meaning “follower of” and “the property/system/collectivity of”, with the Greek word Christos, “anointed”, as translation of the Biblical Hebrew word Mashiah, “anointed crown-prince, messiah”. Ab-raham is Hebrew and means “father of many ”, while Brahma originally means “great, growth”, related to Germanic berg, “mountain”. These Biblical words have nothing to do with their Sanskrit look-alikes.

Further, it claims that amen really comes from om/aum. Amen is Hebrew for “so be it, truly”, and has nothing to do with om/aum. For that matter, the frequent assertion in some yogic circles that Latin omnis, “all”, is also related, is equally untrue. Omnis is a phonetic adaptation from op-nis, with the root op-, “many”, related to the Latin-derived word opulence. The word amen is cognate to Arabic “amin“, which also means “certain”. A well-known Urdu word derived from it is mo’min, “one who takes as certain”, “believer”, hence “Muslim”. So according to these history-rewriters, a Muslim really is an “Om-sayer”!

ISKCONIt further claims that “all religions are one and are derived from Vedic Sanatana Dharma” and that “both Christianity and Islam originated as distortions of Vedic beliefs”. This is flatly untrue, but nonetheless Padres and Mullahs will welcome it if it helps in reconciling Hindu parents to their daughter’s elopement with a Christian or Muslim man and conversion to his religion: “Hey, Mom and Dad, don’t worry, it’s only a variation on the Vedic religion, as you yourselves always say!”

So, the very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus are not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism. They are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.

The Belgium scholar Dr Koenraad Elst is an orientalist, being proficient in Sinology and Indology. He is a linguist and historian who has authored many books (Voice of India) and regularly lectures in India.

Vatican City

9 Responses

  1. Dr Swamy’s name as author of the original post has been removed. now attributes the article to one ShankhNaad.

    No doubt attributing the article to Dr. Swamy was an infantile attempt to give authority to the article’s spurious claims.

    The question remains as to why an ISKCON website would post such a “fake news” article in the first place.


  2. Dr Elst’s critique of the article is completely valid. It is not directed at you, Dr Swamy, but at P.N. Oak and his theories.

    We have been misled into believing the article was written by you because the India Divine post attributes it to you.

    The surmise is that India Divine attributed the article to you because their source, one of the three FB accounts in your name, posted the article in your name.

    We suggest that you monitor the FB accounts in your name and rein in your chelas. They are misleading the public and making a fool of you too.

    The post’s title has been changed and the phrase “allegedly by Dr Subramanian Swamy” used in the first paragraph. Your name as author of the article cannot be avoided because the original India Divine article carries it.

    We have acted in good faith and corrected the error–not ours in fact–when it was discovered.


  3. This is not my view that is therefore wrongly being contradicted. I had retweeted a twitter item for discussion.


  4. We have tried to contact Dr Swamy. But we do not get any response.

    Readers should be aware that Dr Swamy may not be the author of the original India Divine article.


  5. I don’t think this article was written by Dr. Swamy.

    There is a Facebook account in his name run by a team of his supporters. This “article” was posted by that account and “India Divine” had just reproduced it.

    Dr. Swamy, if at all he writes, would prefer to write for National Newspapers only and certainly not for websites or blogs.

    Moreover, I don’t think he has time to go through the facebook postings and all. In fact he may not even be aware that such a posting is doing the rounds in the internet in his name.


  6. Yes, but the article is signed ‘Dr Subramanian Swamy’.

    A copy of this article has been sent to Dr Swamy. But there is no acknowledgement from him.


  7. The posting referred by Elst looks more like Stephen Knapp’s who is Hare Krishna devotee and has many pictures like the one posted in this site in his web site below


  8. “When Shrikant Talageri offered to do a book on Aryan Invasion Theory for Voice of India, Sita Ramji warned him “if it is anything like P. N. Oak stuff, I would not touch it.”

    The validity of that warning is underlined once again by Dr. Elst’s article whose import has been brought about succinctly by the Administrator. By wildly exaggerating his case even when he had something like that, Oak brought into disrepute all serious scholars (best represented by Voice of India) who assiduously sought to sift truth from the falsehood. The enemies of Hinduism had only to liken their work with Oak’s to debunk it without bothering to examine it in any detail.

    That apart, Oak did not realise that his work could be cleverly used by missionaries to undermine the very tradition that he thought he was defending and glorifying. Some missionaries have spent lifetime studying Vedanta not for Moksha but for devising ways to present it as something as an extension of or in synch with Christianity so as to fool the gullible Hindus into conversion.


  9. “The very numerous P.N. Oak party members among the Hindus is not only an endless source of laughter for all enemies of Hinduism. They are also a useful fifth column within the crumbling fortress of Indian Paganism. For the sake of Hindu survival, it is vital that real history gets restored: not only against the secular anti-Hindu version, but also against the Hindu caricature.”

    The above statement of Dr Elst’s says it all.

    The old soldier P.N. Oak worked to revise Hindu world history with a very rudimentary formula:

    If it sounds the same, it must be the same.
    If it looks the same, it must be the same.

    And with this simplistic idea Oak rewrote world history and brought disgrace on Hindu historical studies.

    Sita Ram Goel and Ram Swarup condemned him outright.

    But of greater concern than P.N. Oak’s crackpot theories, which are now old hat, is that an ISKCON website,, is repeating them and attributing an article promoting Oak’s absurd claims to Dr. Subramanian Swamy.

    Why is ISKCON going public with this ​revisionist nonsense now? ​ They must be aware that these Oakian theories bring disrepute to ​genuine Hindu scholars who work hard to be factual and honest.

    With the publication of the article on, Hinduism’s enemies are having a field day!

    What a pity!

    Mithra sacrificing the Bull

    More about St Peter’s

    St. Peter’s Basilica, begun in 326 CE by Emperor Constantine over a small Pagan shrine, was built outside the walls of Rome on Vatican Hill, on an extensive and elaborate necropolis or city of the dead. This consisted of a number of pre-Christian cemeteries used at different times over a long period. Rupert Furneau, in The Other Side of the Story, says that this complex was also the site of a cave-shrine for Mithra, the Persian deity whose popular cult was the chief rival of early Christianity.

    Mithraism contended with Christianity for popularity between the 1st and 4th centuries in the Roman Empire. Eventually Christianity won when Constantine decided to make it the state religion.

    It was the Roman State that empowered Christianity, not the Holy Spirit!

    The cave beneath St Peter’s Basilica that is identified as Apostle Peter’s grave, was originally a shrine for Mithra. When it was excavated some decades ago, animal bones were found there which the Pope declared to be St. Peter’s bones. Most non-Catholic historians agree that St. Peter never went to Rome and very probably never left Judea.

    Though St Peter’s Basilica did displace a non-Christian shrine, it was not a Shiva temple or other Hindu edifice.

    Shiva Lingam in the Vatican Museum
    This Shiva Lingam is kept in the Vatican Museum. How it got there is not known. It may have been stolen from one of the Shiva temples on the Coromandel Coast that Francis Xavier had destroyed. He would have sent the Lingam back to Rome as proof of his ‘good deeds’ in India.

    There are tens of thousands of pieces of stolen Hindu artifacts kept in European museums. But this does not imply that the buildings they are kept in were once Hindu buildings!

    P.N. Oak’s logic is a psychopath’s logic! Better beware of it!


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