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David Frawley (a.k.a. Vamadeva Sastri, वामदेव शास्त्री) (1950–) is an American former-Catholic, spiritual preacher, advocate of yoga, pseudosciences, Vedic astrology and ayurveda. He received by correspondence course, the degree of Doctor of Oriental Medicine from the Institute of Chinese Medicine.:18 He is the author of many New age books. He is described as "a key apologist for the Hindutva movement" and his works have been described as "the marriage between far-right-wing Hindutva ideology and western New Ageism". In 2015, he was also awarded with the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards, just a year after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed the national government in India. Trust us – the award was for his writings on Hindu nationalist pseudohistory, not for his writings on herbs.
Frawley has written articles trying to justify the Hindu nationalist movement and claimed that the Hindu nationalist movement is not right wing in Western sense:
“”The causes taken up by the Hindu movement are more at home in the New Left than in right wing parties of the West. Some of these resemble the concerns of the Green Party. The Hindu movement offers a long-standing tradition of environmental protection, economic simplicity, and protection of religious and cultural diversity. There is little in the so-called Hindu right that is shared by the religious or political right-wing in western countries, which reflect military, corporate and missionary concerns. The Hindu movement has much in common with the New Age movement in the West and its seeking of occult and spiritual knowledge, not with the right wing in the West, which rejects these things. Clearly, the western right would never embrace the Hindu movement as its ally.
Frawley's assertion is of course severely flawed because the main Hindu nationalist organization in India, the RSS, considers homosexuality to be unnatural, a view shared by religious right-wingers, and a lot of, if not all, political right-wingers throughout the Western world.
Pro-Hindutva writer Koenraad Elst, who himself has been accused of being a "far-right Catholic & BJP fellow traveller", wrote: "Frawley followed the then-typical path from parental Christianity through leftist hippyism to Hinduism. He has devoted a paper to showing how the so-called Hindu right actually takes many positions which in the West are associated with the left."
It takes a divine level of hypocrisy to broadly criticize Indian Christians for being insufficiently nationalist when Frawley himself is a Christian convert to Hinduism and not an Indian citizen. "Macaulay's children" here refers to Indians who are alleged to be too Western-oriented
“”Sadly this anti-India and anti-Hindu cultural racism continues by India's leftist media and the Congress Party. Not surprising for Macaulay's children trying to hold on to power and seeking to divide the country.
In 2014, after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed government in India, it appointed Y. Sudershan Rao, a history professor associated with a RSS-affiliated organization, as the head of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), leading to concern about shifting politicization of academia. In 2015, the ICHR invited Frawley to deliver a lecture on "Textual Evidence in Vedas — Cultural and Historical Implication". The decision to invite him was criticized by archeologist and Cambridge University professor Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti, on the grounds that Frawley was not an academic scholar.
Frawley runs an online course, the American Institute of Vedic Studies, focusing on "Ayurveda, Yoga-Vedanta, Vedic astrology and their interconnections." He also advocates the pseudohistorical Indigenous Aryans theory, a "theory" which claims that the Aryan homeland is located in India, a textbook example of nationalist pseudohistory.
- The creative Vision of the Early Upanisads: Udgitha Adityasya the Exalted Song of the Sun (1982) Rajsri Printers. ISBN 0895816881. Frawley's first book-length publication.
- The Yoga of Herbs (1986) Lotus Press. ISBN 0941524248. Second edition, 2004
- Ayurvedic Healing: A Comprehensive Guide (1989) Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 8120810031.
- The Astrology of Seers: A Comprehensive Guide to Vedic Astrology (1990) Utah Passage Press. ISBN 1878423053.
- The Myth Of Aryan Invasion of India (1994) Voice of India. ISBN 8185990204. Free version This was Frawley's first book with a Hindu nationalist publisher.
- Awaken Bharata: A Call for India's Rebirth (1998) Voice of India. ISBN 8185990514.
- How I Became a Hindu: My Discovery of Vedic Dharma (2000) Voice of India. ISBN 8185990603.
- The Search of the Cradle of Civilization: New Light on Ancient India (1995) Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 0835607208. Second edition (2008) ISBN 8120820371. The book tries to dispute the evidence-based view of independently developed cradles of civilization.
- Official website of American Institute of Vedic Studies
- The Myth of the Hindu Right Article by Frawley
- Beyond Right and Left Article by Frawley
- David Frawley is the American hippy who became RSS’s favourite western intellectual by Kaveree Bamzai (17 November, 2018 10:25 am IST) The Print.
- ICHR historian Dilip K Chakrabarti raises objection on David Frawley's invitation Economic Times
- Modern and Global Ayurveda: Pluralism and Paradigms, edited by Dagmar Wujastyk & Frederick M. Smith (2008) SUNY Press.
- Les Back and John Solomos (2000), Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, p.591, ISBN 9780415156714. "It is important to note the marriage between far-right-wing Hindutva ideology and western New Ageism in the works of writers like David Frawley (1994, 1995a, 1995b) who is both a key apologist for the Hindutva movement and the author of various New Age books on Vedic astrology, oracles and yoga."
- ICHR invites US vedic scholar for foundation day event, sparks row by Brajesh Kumar (Mar 17, 2015 10:11 IST) Hindustan Times (archived from March 17, 2015).
- The Myth of the Hindu Right by David Frawley (December 6, 2014) Indiafacts.
- Koenraad Elst: Hinduism, Environmentalism and the Nazi Bogey, A Preliminary Reply by Dr. Koenraad Elst to Ms. Meera Nanda, 2004
- Sadly this anti-India and anti-Hindu cultural racism continues by India's leftist media and the Congress Party. Not surprising for Macaulay's children trying to hold on to power and seeking to divide the country. by @davidfrawleyved (10:43 AM - 15 Apr 2018) Twitter (archived from 1 Sep 2021 21:31:54 UTC).
- Previous chairmen included the Indian Marxist histroian Irfan Habib: Amiya Kumar Bagchi. Writing Indian History in the Marxist Mode in a Post-Soviet World, Review of Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception, Social Scientist, 1996.; Mitra, Ashok (14–27 October 2000). "A tribute to Irfan Habib". Frontline.
- Ancient India had aeroplanes, nuclear weapons, says chief of India's premier history body: Professor Y Sudershan Rao, the head of the Indian Council of Historical Research, has been criticized by fellow historians for comments that Hindu epics are adequate to understand the ancient world, rather than relying on evidence or research. (November 21, 2014 18:49 IST) Reuters via India Today
- ICHR Foundation Day Lecture: Textual Evidence In Vedas – Cultural And Historical Implications by David Frawley (27 March, 2015) Indian Council of Historical Research via Docspike.
- David Frawley, The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India by David Frawley (1998) Hindunet (archived from April 15, 2006).
- See the Wikipedia article on Cradle of civilization.