Catholic Ashrams

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Catholic Ashrams
Catholic Ashrams.jpg
AuthorSita Ram Goel
PublisherVoice of India
Publication date
1988, 1994
LC ClassBR128.H5 G63 1994

Catholic Ashrams is a book published by Sita Ram Goel in 1988 under his Voice of India imprint. The book was reprinted in an enlarged version in 1994.

The book's analysis centers on the Christian missionaries associated with Catholic so-called "ashrams" in India. Goel sees in this method of cultural appropriation from Hindu tradition an attempt to obfuscate their actual intentions. Representatives of this Christian Ashram Movement are Robert de Nobili, Jules Monchanin, Henri Le Saux (who adopted the "Hindu" name, Swami Abhishiktananda) and Bede Griffiths.

Goel criticized the work of his Christian friend Swami Abhishiktananda, and presented a dialogue between Bede and Shri Ram Swarup. Goel was the treasurer of the Christian "Abhishiktananda Society" when he published his critical book Catholic Ashrams; its publication alienated him from many friends.[1]

Christian apostates have favourably commented on this book.[2] Catherine Cornille and others have criticized Goel for his anti-Christian perspective.[3][4] Cornille has claimed that Goel belongs to a movement that "seeks to return to the pure Vedic religion", a charge that Goel has denied.[5]

Goel was also criticized by Christian author and nun Vandana Mataji.[6]

Goel was treasurer of the Christian Abhishiktananda society before in later years he became a vocal critic of Christianity.[7] Goel has also written other books about Christianity: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters (1989), Papacy, Its Doctrine and History (1986), and Jesus Christ: An Artifice for Aggression.

Bede Griffiths[edit]

Goel documents a dialogue between himself, Ram Swarup, Swami Devananda and Bede Griffiths.[8] The dialogue started in the Hinduism Today and Indian Express.[9]

Devananda accused Bede of subverting and subsuming us "with our own spiritual concepts, just as Paul subverted and subsumed the Greeks with their’s."[10]

Devananda also compared Bede's teachings with those of Fr. Jules Monchanin. Bede has denied this, but Raimundo Panikkar, the first president of the Abhishiktananda Society, said: “Monchanin is, with Le Saux, the founder of Shantivanam. Shantivanam lives on today in the tradition of the Trinity transmitted by its two founders and the last guru of the ashram, Father Bede Griffiths’[11][original research?]


  1. ^ Goel: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
  2. ^ The Guru in Indian Catholicism: ambiguity or opportunity of inculturation? By C. (Catherine) Cornille
  3. ^ Catherine Cornille. The Guru in Indian Catholicism: Ambiguity or Opportunity of Inculturation, Louvain, 1990, pp.192-93.
  4. ^ Preface to Goel's Catholic Ashrams. 1994.
  5. ^ Preface to Goel's "Catholic Ashrams". 1994.
  6. ^ Goel: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
  7. ^ Jesus as Guru: The Image of Christ Among Hindus and Christians in India by Jan Peter Schouten, p. 261
  8. ^ The correspondence between Swami Devananda and Fr. Bede was published with the permission of both Devananda and Bede. (Preface)
  9. ^ Goel: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
  10. ^ Goel: History of Hindu-Christian Encounters
  11. ^ Bulletin of the Abhishiktananda Society, No. 17, January 1996, p. 115. (Seminar in Lyons, France, April 5–7, 1995)

Further reading[edit]

  • Dr. Sebastian Kim. The debate on conversion initiated by the Sangh Parivar, 1998-1999.
  • Dr. T. Jacob Thomas. Book review in the Indian Journal of Theology [1] "Book Reviews," Indian Journal of Theology 37.2 (1995): 93-99.
  • Jesus as Guru: The Image of Christ Among Hindus and Christians in India by Jan Peter Schouten

External links[edit]