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David Frawley (or Vāmadeva Śāstrī वामदेव शास्त्री) is an author on Hinduism, Yoga and Ayurveda, and the founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through his institute, he offers courses on Yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and Hindu astrology. He is also a Professor of Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda at the International Vedic Hindu University.
Frawley was born in 1950 into a Catholic family in La Crosse, Wisconsin, United States. He was the second of ten children: the first and he and another were boys, the rest girls. He attended a Catholic school until he was about ten years old. After that he and his family moved to Denver, Colorado.
As an American Hindu, Frawley is one of the few Westerners to be recognized by a major Hindu sect in India as a Vedacharya or teacher of the ancient wisdom.
He had first contact with Hindu writings about 1970 and after that got more interested in Vedic matters.
He learned Sanskrit from a Sanskrit grammar and a copy of the Vedas: as a result he learned Sanskrit the difficult way (Vedic first).
In 1991, under the auspices of the Hindu teacher Avadhuta Shastri, he was named Vamadeva Shastri (वामदेव शास्त्री), after the great Vedic rishi Vamadeva.
In 1995, he was given the title of Pandit along with the Brahmachari Vishwanathji award in Mumbai for his knowledge of the Vedic teaching.
In 1996 he received the Brahmachari Vishwanathji Award in Mumbai: this recognized him a a Pandit and Dharmacharya.
In 2000, he published his memoirs, "How I Became a Hindu", in which he details his own spiritual journey from his earlier Catholic upbringing to finally embracing Hinduism as his religion.
With the book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, Frawley gained wide public attention in India with his writings attacking the Aryan Invasion Theory. His approach to ancient India stresses its spirituality.
Three of his works Arise Arujuna, Awaken Bharat, and Hinduism and the Clash of Civilizations have been often cited as highly influential foundational works responsible for the Hindu revival currently being witnessed both in India and worldwide. He has pleaded for a return to the teachings of the Vedas, interpreting these ancient texts as great sources of wisdom. In books like "The myth of the Aryan Invasion of India", he criticized racial interpretations of prehistoric Indian historiagraphy, such as the mythical conflict between invading caucasoid Aryans and Dravidians.
Frawley founded and is the director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through his institute, he offers courses on Yoga philosophy, Hindu astrology (jyotisha), and Ayurveda. In addition to directing his institute, he conducts major lecture tours in India every year, delivering talks at universities, Hindu conferences, and to the general public.
In books like The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India, Frawley criticizes the 19th century racial interpretations of Indian prehistory, such as the theory of a conflict between invading caucasoid Aryans and Dravidians. In his book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, Frawley attacks such historical scenarios of the "Aryan Invasion", stating:
In an editorial published by The Hindu, Michael E. J. Witzel, a professor of Sanskrit at Harvard, claimed that Frawley has weak knowledge of Sanskrit. Frawley replied to this criticism in an article of his own showing how Witzel's translation of Sanskrit was motivated by his own biases.
Frawley on Indian history
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "David_Frawley". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|