[Advaita-l] Conversion story

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 13:01:34 CDT 2009

Hari Om, Satish-ji,

On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 11:09 PM, Satish Arigela<satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:

> 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.

I never said anything about converting back to original religion one
is born into! That is more than welcome, because the person's
prArabdha was to be born as a Hindu/ brAhmaNa in the first place.

> 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...

Yes, for that matter, even geographically Bharatvarsha was a greater
area than current India. We can't go on grabbing those back
for that reason, can we? Apologies for this parallel, but the logic
seems similar.

I've given it much thought already and to me, its all karma. Else we
can not only forget what HH said, but all our shruti too! If all men
are not born equal due to their past karma, where is the scope for one
to convert one's faith from what he is born into due to his

That said, mind you, no one stops anyone from following the principles
of "universal" sanAthana dharma being in their own religion.
In any case, I'm myself inline with what HH said. It is self-defeating
to convert from other religions into Hinduism. What varNa will
that person be in? At that age, what will he learn in the traditional
Hindu following which is bred into one's bloodstream through his
bringing up? What kind of institutions will encourage him in religion
and spirituality? Where will that person find himself in some
more years after conversion? Won't he be lost between two religions?
I'd rather request you to give it more thought in a timeline
across lives for anyone's karma. We end up biased with a shorter
single-life view, while HH had a view across karmic lifecycles,
since he mentions "spiritual progress".

> 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.

And who is to say that they were spiritually benefited, progress-wise?

> 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!!

In a conversion competition, perhaps you'd be right and so, found my
narration irrelevant. To me, it was to-the-point story. IMO, a
better effort would be to stop the conversion from Hinduism if you can
instead of going about converting others into Hinduism. svadharma is

> Maybe HH advised that particular person like that, because he knew his interest is fake or not genuine or may be filled with malice.

With what intention HH said it is beyond my capacity to judge.

--Praveen R. Bhat
/* Through what should one know That owing to which all this is known!
[Br.Up. 4.5.15] */

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