Ishwar Sharan is the pen name of Canadian author Swami Devananda Saraswati, a Smarta Dashanami sannyasi who took his Vedic initiation from a renowned mahamandaleswar at Prayag in 1977. His purvasrama family were middle class professionals and God-fearing Protestant Christians. He did not complete high school and is self-educated through reading books on all subjects, with a special interest in religion and history. He has travelled extensively in Canada, USA, Europe, North Africa, West Asia and India. His experiences during these wandering years include service in a communist kibbutz during the Six Day War in Israel and some months spent in retreat in a Franciscan hermitage near Assisi, Italy. En route to India by road in 1967, he visited the places that his child-hood hero, Alexander the Great, had visited on his expedition to India in the 4th century BCE. Later he tried without success to visit Babylon near Baghdad, where Alexander had died, and Ctesiphon on the Tigris where his beloved spiritual hero, Julian the Apostate, had been martyred by a trusted Christian officer.
The author's experience of Christian institutions, West Asian Muslim society, and Israeli kibbutzim helped to turn him against the monolithic Abrahamic creeds which he saw as imperialistic, belligerent, and life-threatening. He came to India in search of spiritual direction and because Hindu civilization still gave an honorable place to the Mother Goddess. The fact that Hindu civilization had withstood centuries of Muslim and Christian aggression and survived where other civilizations had failed was to his mind a very impressive cultural achievement. He is a great lover of Hindu culture and religion and is deeply saddened that Hindus today have become second class citizens in their own motherland because of a pusillanimous and weak-minded religious and political leadership. He says that as long as Christianity continues to wage a socially destructive war of aggression on Hinduism and take prisoners in the form of unsophisticated credulous converts, its curious theories and unique claims must be thoroughly investigated and challenged by Hindus of integrity and conviction.