Koenraad Elst

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Dr Koenraad Elst is an influential scholar who has created a wealth of publications on various topics including multiculturalism, language policy issues, ancient Chinese history & philosophy, comparative religion, and the Aryan invasion debate. He was born in Leuven, Belgium, on 7 August 1959, into a Catholic family. He is a Flemish, i.e. Dutch-speaking Belgian citizen.

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Summary of Works

He graduated in Philosophy, Chinese Studies and Indo-Iranian Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven. He studied at the Banaras Hindu University in India. During a stay at the Benares Hindu University, he wrote his first book about the Ayodhya conflict. His research on the ideological development of Hindu revivalism earned him his Ph.D. in Leuven in 1998. The main portion of his Ph.D. dissertation on Hindu revivalism and Hindu reform movements eventually became his book Decolonizing the Hindu Mind. Other parts of his Ph.D. thesis were published in 'Who is a Hindu?' and 'The Saffron Swastika'.

He has analyzed all the prominent world religions including Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. His conclusions about them are derived not only based on what the religious source materials and scriptures of these religions say but also based on the actual behavior of the adherents of these religions and on the events in contemporary history associated with these religions.

He has also written extensively in his own native language viz. Duch. This is however beyond my purview.

Analysis of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism

Dr Elst analysed his own religion, Christianity, in his book the Psychology of Prophetism and offers a scientific criticism of some of its issues. He also did an analysis on the Supernatural basis of Islam and ponders why terrorism and other violence emanates from certain hardened principles of this belief-system.

One of his book Who is a Hindu? is a classic, describing various aspects of Hinduism with its connection with daughter religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Sikkism, Tribalism etc. Dr. Elst asserts that the greatest assets of Hinduism is its plurality in religious observances (monism, monotheism, polytheism, atheism), multiple paths towards attaining the truth or salvation (Bhakti, Jnana, Karma), polytheism (which is plurality in visualizing the divine-principle as Ista-Devata or favorite form of God), traditionalism, closeness to nature in rituals, nature-worship, tolerance to various food-habits (veg, non-veg food habits) etc. He also thinks that Sanatana Dharma (a more correct term for 'Hinduism') has no need to imitate other religions which are stuck with monotheism, narrow mindedness, intolerance, attachment to historical events or dogmas etc.

Aryan Invasion Debate

Dr Elst has also written extensively about the distorted view-point prevalent among some Western thinkers and some scholars in India, about the culture and civilization of India in his book the Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate. He asserts that all evidence points to the fact the Indo-European language family originated in India and spread to Europe and not vice versa.

A Reality Check on Ayodhya Issue

He also talks about the real truth about what really happened in the Ayodhya Temple:- Ayodhya and After, The case against the Temple, Ayodhya, The Finale. What worries people like me who do research on the scriptures is the blatant lies that are propagated by some historians in this regard. Even scientists working in ASI (Archeological Survey of India) were tarnished and their reputation damaged for trying to tell the truth. These lies are exposed in these books (in fact a series of books).

Solution for the Issue of Terrorism

Dr Elst's analysis reveals that Terrorism is not due to Muslims who are often good-hearted individuals like those in any other religion. He asserts that the problem lies with certain Islamic ideologies which are not compatible with the current world-order where harmonious living is the norm and where dominance of one religion over another has no place or respectability. Probably, a solution for global terrorism which has taken the lives of millions of Muslims and people belonging to other religions, lies in a proper understanding of these issues.

From my understanding of Bhagavat Gita, and other ancient Indian texts, the biggest enemy of humanity is ignorance (Ignorance, Ajnana). Ignorance often appear as false information and as false knowledge. Ignorance exists at varying degrees in the religious teachings of all world religions. Believing in teachings which has its roots in this ignorance can result in dissolution, confusion, sorrow, pain, anger, violence, fear, terror etc. The adherents of each religion has the duty to understand this ignorance existing in their religion and remove it from their respective religions. A dress used every day becomes filthy and unfit for wearing if not cleaned every day or two. A religion, if left unattended or not cleansed of ideological dead-wood in every epoch of history (say in every 500 or 1000 years), by fresh thoughts from its adherents, becomes filled with ignorance and starts harming its very adherents.

Search Tool for Analyzing Elst's writings

Many of the works of Dr. Elst are found in the web site named Bharat-vani (Voice Of India). He also writes short articles in blog-spot. I have created a search-engine to search into most of the writings of Dr. Koenraad Elst. I guess this search tool will be useful for all people who researches on world religions, Indology, Aryan Invasion Debate as well as on the contemporary history of ancient Indian cities like Ayodhya.

Below is a custom search-engine created to search Dr. Elst's extensive works available online.

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Copy-paste the keywords from above or type your keyword and click "Search".

References

  1. Koenraad Elst in Blogspot
  2. Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate
  3. Psychology of Prophetism - A Secular Look at the Bible
  4. Wahi: the Supernatural Basis of Islam
  5. Who is a Hindu?
  6. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society
  7. Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple
  8. Ayodhya, The Finale - Science versus Secularism the Excavations Debate
  9. Wikipedia on Elst
  10. Banaras Hindu University
  11. Mahabharata on Ignorance
  12. Ayodhya references in Mahabharata

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Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 09 May 2011 09:53 and updated at 25 Feb 2014 10:56

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