[Advaita-l] Conversion story

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 3 12:39:20 CDT 2009

>In any case, if that was a serious tone, indeed, conversion is
hardly a good thing. I remember an incident from a book on HH
Chandrashekara Bharati Swamiji of Sringeri. One westerner wrote to
Swamiji requesting to be converted to Hinduism! Swamiji replied that
since he was born in a particular faith, it was best suited for
him to pursue his spiritual advances in that faith, indicating that
>the progress, then, would be faster.
I am aware of this story.. but for a moment can we just forgot HH for a while and look at the practical implications?
As said above, this man goes back to his faith and practices it earnestly. Including converting other people. Remember for some groups converting others into christianity is a very imp thing in the practice of their religion.
So for example he follows his faith and converts a brAhmaNa into his fold ..as a consequence of which the said brAhmaNa gives up all his nitya karma-s etc and studies the bible. 
So what do we have here...? You know that what I said is not far from reality.. the brAhmaNa-s(even though their number is relatively less) being converted all these years are a solid proof for that. Can we be a little more realistic here?
By the way, before christianity the religions of most westerners were something similar to ours...In light of this what faith they are exactly born into? Since their long gone ancestors werent practioners of Christianity or Islam...
So for ex: a brAhmaNa converts and because of this his children(who were born after his conversion) will spiritually grow faster by sticking to their dad's religion(christianity or islam) even though they are deeply interested in Hinduism?
Does it not make more sense that they approach Hinduism or buddhism or jainism rather than practice christianity or islam which was forcibly imposed(in most cases or just tricked into it) on their ancestors and which is in many ways different from the old religions followed in the west?
There were quite a few non-Indians who took mantra(ofcourse not veda mantra-s but paurANika and tAntrIka) dIkSha from various traditional Indian teachers and scaled great spiritual heights. As an example I am aware of a certain nR^isiMhopAsaka - a caucasian and christian by birth who studied under a traditional vaiShNava teacher and now is at a stage where he can perform nR^isiMha prayoga-s including making dhAraNa yantra-s for others. 
In essence, I think when westeners show interest, we should encourage and lead them to teachers. Suggesting that they practice christianity or islam by narrating non-relevant stories... is like shooting ourselves in the foot!!
Maybe HH advised that particular person like that, because he knew his interest is fake or not genuine or may be filled with malice.


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