[Advaita-l] Conversion story

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 14:49:42 CDT 2009

Hari Om,

On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 12:03 AM, Satish Arigela<satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I am unsure how you read that I suggesting we go and grab those lands back
> into our fold....

It was a parallel, nothing more. Would it have sounded more
appropriate if I had said that if people living there wanted to merge
with India being dissatisfied with their countries or something like that?

>> It is self-defeating
>>to convert from other religions into Hinduism.
> No. It is not. I already explained why.

Okay, maybe you did. Lets say I found HH more convincing and lets just
leave it at that.

>  He/She does not need a varNa.

Thats very interesting! Solves lot of "problems" within Hinduism
itself, not necessarily only westerners converting to Hinduism.

> They can be learned at any age.. it is most effective if learnt from young
> age. But that does not mean you should not learn later.

And that would help his spiritual progress in your opinion. I disagree.

>>What kind of institutions will encourage him in religion
>>and spirituality?
>  Why is this a question in the first place? There are many who accept. Just
> look around

It wasn't a dissociated question, but okay, fair enough. I'd rather be
ignorant about this and not look around.

>>Where will that person find himself in some
>>more years after conversion?
> In Hinduism - in one of its branches. Is it so hard to see?

Yes, to me it is, without varNa as it seems he will have adhikAra as
defined by whoever will convert him, I suppose.

>>Won't he be lost between two religions?
> No. Why this assumption?

That he will be a good fit isn't an assumption, somehow, but he may be
lost is an invalid assumption?

>>And who is to say that they were spiritually benefited, progress-wise?
> With reference to that upAsaka: Now you are really talking like someone who
> is alien to the Hindu traditions.

Well, I surely am alien to assessing anyone spiritual progress, including mine!

> How can you convert by the way?: There is nothing that can convert one into
> something called Hinduism.

Why are you contradicting here? If there can't be a conversion, you
may have let HH's words remain as they are instead of putting
them aside and making your own suggestions on what to do!

> However, one(here I mean any westerner) can become a shaiva, vaiShNava,
> shAkta, kaula,etc by dIkSha into the respective systems. Even a person born
> into normal Hindu family becomes a shaiva only through this dIkSha.

I'm confused whether or not then this person (here I too mean that
westerner) will become a Hindu; or will become a shaiva or
vaishnava, etc, without being a Hindu; or will become a Hindu as well
as a shaiva, vaishnava, etc. Would this be the conversion
ceremony that you said didn't exist?

>>! 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
> I find this somewhat silly.

Thanks, that solves at least one problem: we won't have to argue
further, because the entire premise of HH and my faith in HH's
premise is based on this past karma! :)

--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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