[Advaita-l] Conversion story

Praveen R. Bhat bhatpraveen at gmail.com
Fri Sep 4 01:14:59 CDT 2009

Hari Om, Satish-ji,

Thanks for your detailed clarifications.

On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 10:54 AM, Satish Arigela<satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:
> But HH's dear student shrI abhinava vidyAtIrtha seems to accepting others as Hindu-s per shrI Stig's mention. He also quoted manu. That seems to have more strength.

It may have more strength in terms of acceptance but it has no mention
whatsoever of person's spiritual progress, AFAIK. There are
umpteen things that the shAstras suggest that a person "may" do in
terms of eligibility; I see it is an allowance.

> You know this and still why do you try to muddle up the issue?

I can't muddle up even if I wanted to, because I don't even know what
are the shAstric rules for non-varNa people, (that is, as you
said non-Indians without varNa!).

> And why do you disagree? Please state your reasons.

My reasons haven't changed at all. I still hold on to HH's words on
spiritual progress. If it hinders spiritual progress for the person
being converted, I will still lean towards not converting, even if
Manu approved it. Again, approval doesn't mean spiritual progress.

They were some swami-s who led a secular life till 30 or 40 s then
started learning and attained GYAna(or so we hear).
> What is the logical or scriptural basis for your disagreement?

Were these Indian swamis or westerners? The former is besides the
point. If its the latter case, then the person who became a
sannyAsin will need to have converted to Hinduism and then become a
sannyAsin (hopefully as per the daSanAmi saMpradAya to be
valid for this thread).

> They were all non- Indians who did not have a varNa but followed shaiva mata for many centuries. They still do.. eventhough in small pockets. As you can see I am not suggesting something new!!


> There is no contradiction here. see below why. By the way it is clear now that it is not just my suggestion. HH AVT supports this. This suggestion was followed outside India(Thailand, Indonesia etc) for centuries. And it makes logical sense. These are strengths behind this line of argument

Fair enough.

> There are two possibilities: Either you dont understand what I say or you act as though you dont understand because it undoes your earlier statments about not allowing non-Indians to become Hindus. Whatever..

If it undid any of my statements, I'll readily accept, kindly don't
bother with assumptions. You really got me confused saying that
there is no way to convert to Hinduism first and then saying that there is...

> Since these various sub-sects are under the Hindu banner, they can be called Hindus.
> Is that clear?

... but now you're clear.

> I should have clarified that what I found silly is the statment "where is the scope for one
> to convert one's faith from what he is born into due to his karma?" and not the former part of the statment.

Ok, thats clearer.

> Isnt this similar to saying "where is the scope for one to migrate to kAshi because he/she was born in Andhra "- oh yes past karma made him take birth in Andhra..no? So he should stay there only..

No not totally, because while you talk of geographical changes that
may not have anything to do with a person's spiritual progress, I
was just following HH's words that religion changes/ conversions will
hinder spiritual progress. btw, you may be aware that there
are times when a person is suggested to do sAdhana at a particular
place for a better merit, including where he was born. So at
times, what you say may be helpful to a person's sAdhana on a
case-basis. But otherwise, religion changes should not be seen as
loosely as geographical changes, IMO.

--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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