[Advaita-l] How to become a Hindu?

ravi chandrasekhara vadhula at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 26 15:44:00 CDT 2010

Dear All,
Satish hit the nail on the right spot.If vratyastoma can convert one to a varna, then varna dharma is meaningless.In addition, one could go on changing varna.Also, if one becomes a Hindu, that person would be an avarna/mlechccha jati.That person may be isolated from original religion and also  not "fit in" socially among Hindus.Also, dharmically who can the converted one marry ?
Ravi Chandrasekhara

--- On Thu, 8/26/10, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] How to become a Hindu?
To: anandhudli at hotmail.com, "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thursday, August 26, 2010, 1:57 AM

>The vrAtyastoma and/or hiraNyagarbha vidhi was used to convert non Vedic and
>even foreign invaders to the varNa system.

>Some inscriptions also indicate that foreigners embraced the sanAtana
>dharma, for example, the one mentioning that Heliodorus was a bhAgavata.
>Also, there are examples where Indian Kings married hUNa princesses who,
>along with the children, were absorbed into Hinduism.

I page 150 is not in the preview part so I could not read it.

>From what I have read and heard such absorptions were limited only to the 
Royalty i.e. Kings, Queens, Princes/Princesses and not to the general public.

Even then they were looked upon as "dubious kShatriya-s" for obvious reasons. 

Power & Money indeed can change many things and even buy a varNa status from 
ancient times!

When Hinduism traveled to Cambodia, Indonesia, & Bali some lay  population were 
converted to shaiva mata. We still have Hindu-s there  who practice ancient 
shaiva and other rites. 

The following is my imagination based on various readings and could be wrong:
--It looks like the rites were performed for them only because they were Kings 
and are in power
and not acceding to their request can bring harm.--

But coming back to the main topic of discussion:

let us go into some detail here-- What does the tANDya brAhmaNa or the other 
texts quoted say about the varNa of the one who is absorbed into the Hindu fold? 
How is varNa decided in this case?

If the rite was indeed performed to absorb foreigners who do not belong to any 
Royalty(they of-course will be called kShatriya-s - dubious or otherwise) there 
surely must have been some guidelines about the assigning a varNa to those 
people. Do the texts say anything in this regard?

More questions: Now if we accept that indeed a vrAtyastoma can be performed on a 
foreign king and make him a kShatriya.. can he be taught veda? If yes what stops 
a smArta teacher from performing such a vrAtyastoma for an avarNa who is an 
Indian and make him a brAhmaNa and teach him veda?

It is keeping in mind this issue that I said what initiatory ritual must be 
performed should be left to the teacher who is accepting the student i.e. a 
sectarian dIkSha or a dIkSha into the smArta system itself by giving the student 
non-vedic mantra-s(This is not something new..)


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