Can a Westerner convert to Hinduism?

This post is really a summary of points made in various other posts. I have put it together becaus this is a question I often see asked in various forums. Also, it has been a while since I published anything, as I have been rather busy recently. This is also a question to which you will see several different answers, and I think it is useful to put them together in one post.

Some people say “No”.

There are a few people who say that you should never convert; whatever religion you are born into should be yours for life. I think that this is incorrect, if you have a strong feeling towards a religion and you feel that the religion you are born into is not for you then follow the path that you feel guided on. Hindus believe that people can be guided by gurus that are not physically present (see my post “Books, Leaves and Gurus“). If you are convinced that a path is right for you, and have seen signs that it is right then don’t worry about this argument. This argument also does not take into account people brought up with patently wrong beliefs; should the children that survived the Waco seige continue to follow the teachings of David Koresh?

I have had nothing but support from Hindus I have met, I have only read this point of view on a few blogs. I would not worry about conversion being opposed. As mentioned later there are many Hindu schools that openly accept conversion and have a process of accepting new membes.

Some say that “Hindu” does not refer to a Religion.

Some people may quibble that Hindu refers to origin (People beyond the river Indus) rather than belief. They say that you can follow Sanatana Dharma (The eternal way) but this will not make you a Hindu any more than if you joining the Greek Orthodox Church would make you Greek. To me this is just word play, many words have changed from their original meaning and certainly in English the word “Hindu” is used to refer to belief. If someone insists that you can only be a follower of Sanatana Dharma and not a Hindu I don’t think it is worth arguing over, it is only a word and what is important is belief and practice.

Some say “Just say you are a Hindu and you are”.

Other people say that you don’t have to convert, just follow Sanatana Dharma. All you have to do to become a Hindu is to follow the principles of Hinduism. If that is sufficient for you then fine. I certainly would not argue with anyone claiming to be a Hindu who held Hindu beliefs and followed the practices.

Some say “Become a Hindu Indirectly”.

Another answer that you might get is that becoming a Hindu is analogous to becoming a European citizen. You cannot become a European citizen directly, but by becoming a citizen of one of the European countries you are automatically a European citizen. Similarly there is no process or admission into “Hinduism”, but there are many Hindu Sampradayas, organisations, and traditions that do have processes of admission. By joining one of these one becomes not only a member of the particular tradition but also become a Hindu. Personally I think this is better than the “self declared” route, because the tradition will assist you in learning and following practices.

I would recommend the book “How to become a (better) Hindu”  available online or to buy. This book takes the third point of view and describes the various Hindu schools and their beliefs.

145 responses to “Can a Westerner convert to Hinduism?

  1. nice discussion.why do westerners want to convert to Hinduism?if they want to convert why do they go to gurus,babas etc.in 21st century India close to 70-90% of so called babas,gurus are cheaters what they are teaching is bullshit they are not spiritual healers they are money suckers.

  2. We should convert foreigners without rejudice to their culture.The native culture should be innovated based on the Best elements of Hinduism.Swami Vivekananda has whole heartedly welcomed the idea of conversion to Hinduism.
    In Arabia – You have nothing to hide to your wife/wifes and Slave women – Slave women means – wife of soldiers/inmates of acountry defeated by another Arab King. It may also means that the stronger can take away the wife/sister of weak, just for Sex. that is why whereever Arabs forces were successful,Women community was at great … great distress. Such country needs the lofty,peppy message of Kural – Greatest virtue is Stare not the wife of another. Sri Rama says – I would not take a glance of women other than Sita – his wife. The concept of Brahmachariyam is utterly unknown to Arab world. The Arab culture should be desilted with the help of Hindu philosophy and Literature. Conversion is essential.

  3. Christianity has some innate deficiencies.Jesus says ” Go not into Gentiles but to Jews ” only. Jesus was crucified because he was unable to prove his title over ” Christ”.Eliya should preceede Christ.Jesus claimed that he was christ and John is Eliya.The Court rejected his claim and crucifed him as traitor of Veda. But church says falsely that Jesus died for the sin of the humanity.A great lie. Christianity is too poor to encourage people to higher life.Islam and Arab imperialism is both sides of a single coin.Arab religion is too poor to inspire a Modern man. Hinduism is the Best alternative available. Unity in diversity – one of the greatest achievement of Hinduism, would work wonders all over world.

    • Mr Sugumar, you knowledge of the Bible is extremely poor. And so is your knowledge of hinduism! Jesus did come initially for the Jews – yes – but please read John 3;16 & Matthew 28:18-20. The Great Commission. Compassion for the sick, the poor, the needy moved Him to encompass all mankind. is that a wrong move or a noble one? Jesus & the Bible are the MOST RESEARCHED truths in the history of mankind, and have withstood all tests. Jesus is cross referenced in history by contemporaries living at that time & era, (Josephus Flavius – 70 AD) whereas there is no record of any krishna outside the mahabharat or of ram outside the ramayan? How come? Was no one else aware of their existence? This is because they are MYTHICAL characters. Hinduism provides NO ANSWER to MOKSHA. There is total chaos and confusion in hinduism over Brahma and Brahman, Karma & Expectation, Maya and Fruit. In fact, hinduism is nothing but a collection of hymns, rituals, chants and poetry – written by men and passed down the ages. Nothing is there to prove that any scripture in hinduism is the Word of God. And that too which god!!!??? The Holy Bible is the Infallible Word of God and is a Living Word applicable to every day life and situations. Please do not connect Jesus to the vedas! That is the most preposterous and ridiculous suggestion ever made! The vedas are fiction whereas Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is The Living Resurrected God. 🙂

      • Ah, if the Bible is the clear, indisputable word of God then that must be why Christians, Mormons, and Muslims all understand it in the same way. Compare like with like – the umbrella group Hinduism is like the umbrella group “Abrahamic religions”. Honestly, you can’t agree about the nature of God, the divinity of Christ or what you must do to get saved – utter chaos 😉

      • Sorry Mr.Anil. Your knowledge of Bible is very poor. Jesus had commanded his disciples go not unto Gentiles, But to the lost sheep of Israel.This verse of Jesus is a clear proof for my concept. Please tell me why Jesus was crucified ? .Can you deny Christ – Eliya story ? jews are not christians. Jews still consider that Christ is yet to come.Jesus is not christ. Learn the Bible without colour spectales. Bible is no message of God.God did not sent any SMS,E-mail or Fax – pages of Bible to anyone.
        The biography and his teachings constitute Bible. Jesus and his disciples are the makers. God /Father in heaven has nothing to do with Bible.
        Bible is edited – several portions/verses were deleted. Years back scientific community had believed that Atom is undididable. Now you know the situation. Similarly growth /innocation is there in the metemorphosis of Hinduim, You should take some efforts to learn correct picture Hinduism. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, The complete works of Swami Vivekananda ,Thirukkural and Thirumanthiram etc show one what is Hinduism. Read those wisdoms in paper. Hinduism is the only religion not affected by The Evolution theory.Christianity and Islam do not recognise Evolution theory. On that Score,Hinduism alone is the religion of the future humanity.

      • “Mythology may, in a real sense, be defined as other people’s religion. And religion may, in a sense, be understood as a popular misunderstanding of mythology.”

        – Joseph Campbel

        All religious philosophy is expressed in mythology. The bible proves nothing about the historical Jesus, in fact, its doubtful there ever was an “historical Jesus”. The fundamental difference between eastern and western religion can be understood through the profound truth Tat tvam asi (thou art that). In the Abrahamic religions, God is fundamentally separate and different from the world and humanity (this is duality, good and evil, body and soul, life and death, etc). In Hinduism and Buddhism, the universe is monistic and all things emanate from the one divine source. So in essence, if the whole universe is emanating from the divine source, than all things are divine, including you and me. In orthodox Christianity/Judaism/Islam, this concept has become blasphemy. However, in the early Christian movement it was the central truth. The Gnostic gospel of Thomas, as well as the Gospel of Luke and John, express the same eternal truth, despite the later attempt to eradicate any sense of divine oneness from the gospels. “The Kingdom of God is within you” “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” Jesus said, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him.”
        etc… These are examples of monist influence on early Christian thought. The essential mystical truth of all religion is that we are all connected. Divinity emanates through all life and God, the universe, and man are one.

      • I’m afraid ure knowledge of the bible is very poor and close minded. As an american raised baptist I can tell u we are interested in hinduism and the gita because of the similairities between Krishna and Jesus. Also the color and meaning behind a lot of celebrations and ritual practices. I wouldn’t discourage curiousity in anyone. Everyone must choose their own path. As Jesus said him the church of God is in us all

      • Dear Sugumar and Anil,
        Please go to the site and read the book, then your questions will be answered clearly. Also you can download this book from other sites.
        link is: http://www.scribd.com/doc/18570380/Christhu-Matha-Chedanam1

      • Once a blind man heared that some one saying “the nature is so beautiful, its show a lot colors, lights and it is pleasure to see those things”. The blindman replied “ you are a fool, there is no colors or light or nature every thing you say is foolishness, you have gone mad”.

        Whenever a person commenting against Hinduism it is like words of the bilnd man, spiritually they have no knowledge of Hinduism. As if a person who had never had sweets in his life time is talking about the taste of sweets.

        • A fanatic is always in love with his own opinion than with truth.Please read completly Your Bible your Bible you will find the verses. Do not indulge in polemics, Jesus commmanded his disciples Go not unto Gentiles Go ye to the house of Isralites.

  4. Thank you for for that entry. I have, after a few months of thinking about it, just yesterday decided to convert to Hinduism entirely. You actually seem to have captured the essence of the meaning of “Don’t study the religion. Study the teachings.” and have made it clear what is the difference between a religious conversion and what is an exercise in anthropology.
    Commitment.
    I will continue my learning with this lesson in mind. 🙂
    Have an awesome day.

  5. I was searching the material on conversion to hinduism on internet but unfortunately found nothing in this regard. I found numerous christian and islam websites doing the work in their favor.
    Basically all hindus are secular by nature.They never think that other religion follower change his faith. they take spiritual massage from any source and treat spiritual leaders of other sects religions like gurus and respect them. i am a born traditional hindu many times went to dargahs of muslim saints church gurudwaras. I am pantheist, monotheist and believe in one god isvara or Brahman I am also polytheist worship many deities. I have my personal hindu deity through which i always get spiritual support.& I have no prejudice against any religion or its philosophy.
    But here we have a question that a person from other faith is interested in hinduism and willing to come into its fold. In hindu scriptures there is no procedure mentioned for conversion into hinduism from other faith.That does not mean that hinduism does not allow conversions. It is upto the hindu sects, people, organisation whether to accept the outsider into their stream . Hinduism is also a way of life, both a culture and religion. How an outsider will get acquaintance without having introduction of you. In olden days people start practicing hinduism without having introduction or permissions from any body. we can see that so many local tribes, kings came into the fold of vedic culture in ancient time. But in modern time every person has a right to chose his spiritual path. He is coming from an social organisation and think that hinduism is also an organised social structure. Instead of confusing him he should be given new identity in new system so that he can enjoy new spiritual and social life in it. See what want to say hindus do not eat beef. New convert should know this taboo. If he continues to eat beef after his conversion the other hindus will avoid him. Therefore it is the duty of particular culture people to give him introduction of do’s and dont’s of your culture. He who wants to become hindu should be given introductory lessons by hindus around, religious ceremonies and philosophy of Hinduism. Mostly seeker needs education, introduction and welcome gesture in new system for getting assimilation & becoming comfortable in it. The hindus converts who have become seniors should take responsibility of preaching hinduism to both nonhindus and hindus as the traditional hindu may have less interest in this subject due to various personal ethnically reason like earning, livelihood, caste, creed, avoidance of beef eating people etc. Traditional hindus dont marry in other castes.
    I therefore suggest that newly converted hindus should come together for the propagation and preaching of Hinduism in their own way.
    All nontraditional hindus or converted hindus should make their own forum or organisation because now they have sizable presence in various sects of hinduism .

  6. itz googd …i want to say if you want to convert in hinduism ……don’t goto any leader or babas….just follow vedas ramayan …..geeta and hinduism have lot of holy books….follow book ….we believe in god not in leaders

    • I suggest a article authored by Swami Vivekananda about Universal religion may be published for better understanding.

  7. This is an amusing topic for an orthodox hindu like me. Hindu is a person who follows the culture and principles that have inherited from the culture of people who lived near d river indu/sindhu or indus. In course of time the culture has been followed and made into a religion. One can surely convert to hinduism by merely following its principles. But once you have converted, you will feel like being in the centre of desert without a map….!

    • It’s tempting to think of Western converts to Hinduism as desert flowers, growing against all odds in the wilderness. This would be egotistical and wrong though. The desert has many fertile oasises, temples built by Hindus from India – the elders were the real lone pioneers. The many restaurants and shops with shrines to Ganesha or Lakshmi, sighns of a dharmic presence. I would even count the bridges over motorways that proclaim “Gouranga”, a legacy from an ISKCON campaign. And we have access ro gurus, sanyasins, and Hindu scholars by Internet. Rather than a desert we live in a scrub-Land, where you don’t have to go far to see some sign of Hindu culture.

      Look even deeper and you can see that this is like a desert in reverse. In a desert you may see mirages, illusions of fertile planes and water holes where the reality is dry dust. In the west the desert is the illusion, and the reality a spiritual place. You only have to look back a less than a couple of millennia to see a time when this was well known. The signs are still there, a ruin of an alter to a sacred river here, swastika marks carved in stones there.

      The people who are really living in a spiritual desert now are those in what was once part of Bharat. They have a lot more to contend with than Western Hindus.

    • Sriram,
      Are you living in a desert yourself or what, you are clearly not in touch with the reality. Make a trip to the west and see how hindu mandirs have sprung up in all the major cities. You don’t sound inviting is it something to do with ‘your’ orthodox sampradaya? There are many western hindus who ‘wine and dine’ with the born hindus on a routine basis this side of the world. Please lighten up.

    • But if u believe in reincarnation what makes u think u will be reincarnated near the Indus river. Now that we know that the world is big and round how can we know where God will place our souls?

  8. There is Shuddhi for the new converts to Santan Dhamra…Having a Nice Sanskrit name will give you feel about that…Best of Luck for Your Spritual Quest and Welcome to Sanatan Dharma “The Eternal Religion “..however Religion is Not correct word to define it ..It is Dharma .

    We will feel pleasure to greet New People embracing Santan Dharma with Open Arms..

  9. The posts here are really surprising and misleading! first of all there are the existing Hindus who are severely ostracized and discriminated against (Vaishyas & Shudras) who are not allowed to go to temples between certain hours (vaishyas) and those who are told to live OUTSIDE the city / town / village limits *shudras). Then you want the white skin to enter the fold of hinduism! How hypocritical & paradoxical! you cant treat your own “fellow hindus” with respect, and you wang the “goras” to adopt your “religion!? ANd if they are converted – what “caste” will they be alloted? Higher than Shudras? Or lower than Shudras? And if they have no caste at all, how can they be called “hindus”, ABSOLUTELY HYPOCRITICAL, without any sensible framework..thats hinduism – a matter of convenience…you do your thing, I shall do mine! The double standards are pathetic!

    • I really doubt that the Hindus here are the ones who discriminate against caste. If you are going to hold all Hindus to account for the actions of any of them then you would have to take responsibility for upper caste Christians burning dalit Christian homes

    • Conversion to Hinduism is silently going on and on and converts are living happily. If caste is necessary the caste of the Bridegroom -Men is the caste of the family.They can join that caste.However they can join the caste of Bride-wife also.That is clearly enshrined in the Veda. Hindus are not Educated about the rulings of their sages. In fact Caste is inter convertible.

    • Hinduism is not about discrimination. Discrimination is man-made.

  10. Anil :- why you Missionary guys comment by hindu name..

  11. I am reading this post I found some people talking about in some South Indian Temples Non-Indians are NOT allowed to enter…………The Reason is as told by my friend who is in Temple Board is Specially in Kerela the Most of the Ancient Hindu Temples are taken over by Gocernment..there in Kerela Govt is mostly of Communists and there are Good number of Christian people who are even managing temples..You will be surprised to know the Money Generated by These temples is Routed to NGOS..which are actively involved in conversion activities for Conversion to Christianity….They have made some temple rules which restricts entering of some Non-Indians to temple as they don’t want western Got influenced by Hinduism…However these rules are present in only 2 or 3 temples…

  12. cont..there are other 1000’s of temple which do not have such rule..and they are very welcoming to Any Hindu..irrespective to his Nationality…The Sanatan Dharma is for World which is across glaxies so this is stupid thing to talk about…Today there was a ganesh Visarjan at Nashiville Hindu Temple…There I meet many Devout Western Hindu who actually participated in Ganesh Visarjan possession…They are very comfortable with other Hindus..and every one seems to be enjoying…Ganpati Bapa Moriya

  13. C.Sugumar :- Caste was never a part of Sanatan Dharma..however originally it was Varna System as describer by Vedas..which was basically based on deeds not by Birth ..The caste system is introduced during colonial rule ..anyway Now Most of the Hindus are aware of this Now No hIndu give a damn about it…The proof is million of Marriages happening across castes.However Politicians ,Communists and Missionary people still use it to gain some converts or to divide people..anyway Caste system is very much present in Muslim and Christians among India .However it is likely among Indian Hindus this caste system will be dead in few years..the kind of awareness they are getting about there own scriptures from internet and social media…
    A good read about Caste System as it was never a part of Hinduism/Santan Dharma ..http://agniveer.com/caste-system/

    The Big section of Hindus that is AryaSamajis don’t believe in Caste system that is Arya Samaj …as they follow commandments of vedas.they advocate for only one Varna that is “Arya”..t.They have converted many Muslims ,christians to Sanatan Dharma ..many of these people are actually priests in some temples..Arya samajis are much involved in conversion of the Non Hindus. to hinduism….across the globe..they spread hinduism to everyone…AryaSamajis are very well respected across the Hindus as they are always involved in educating Hindus..

    The Process of Conversion include Shuddhi ,Namkarnam (Naming Ceremony) and they issue a conversion certifcate..which can be used by you for your legal name change….

    Hinduism welcome every one across the world to embrace sanatan Dharma ..A good read to clear all doubts those who are considering to convert to HInduism http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/hbh/hbh_table_of_contents.html

  14. Thank you very much Mr.Prabhat. I will read the web suggested by you.Your letter is highly illuminating and to the point.Please write more letters and write your thoughts freely.

  15. I recently started something of a shitstorm over conversion on Tumblr. I took a photo of myself wearing a bindi, kurti, shri yantra and rudraksha beads and said ‘I am not culturally appropriating anything because I am Hindu. Fuckers.’

    Woaaah, you would not believe the storm it started! Yes saying fuckers at the end was inappropriate but so many of them judge me simply because I’m white. Apparently white people are only capable of appropriation not conversion and when they ask if I know anything about Hinduism and I answer they always say ‘so you can use Wikipedia’.

    Yes, because 7 years of sadhana means I’m just really good at using wiki.

    • syamukamath

      Sorry for what happened to you. And i am sorry to say u responded in a very inappropriate way. But i can understand your feelings.
      Actually these are racist anti-hindu forces. If you check the websites of Radha Rajan and Sandhya jain, two ex-hindu activists who now function on Chinese-russian church funding are spreading racism and hatred through internet. They also appear in television channels as “hindu” leaders though no known hindu org accepts them now, and propagate their agenda.
      The actual intention here is to destroy the growth of hinduism. Some narrow minded hindus and anti hindu forces are behind this. This is a new way of attack devised by church, marxists.
      The hindus in India have accepted white and black swamis.
      Swami Dayananda saraswati the convenor of hindu dharma acharya sabha – an apex body of saints, sadhus, pontiffs, mandaleshwars of hinduism, has many white disciples. All well versed gems in vedanta. For eg
      Swami Tadatmananda saraswati – new jersy arsha bodha ashram – most of his disciples are indians in NJ.

      Swamini vilasananda saraswati – from oregon now in argentina. She constantly keeps in touch with us – the indian followers of tradition.

      Sri Vasudeva Acharya – Australian white disciple. He takes vedanta classes in both Australia and chennai(south india).
      Western hindus like David frawley, francois gautier have immensly contributed to hindu revival in India. Francois gautier is still working with us hand in hand for removal of colonized mindset of hindus due to muller-mccauley education without turning them to haters. 🙂
      So please dont be misguided by internet fanatics.

    • syamukamath

      Tulsi gabbard and obama getting honoured by iskcon priest went viral in india. Many of the indians even have inferiority and obcession towards white people and think whatever they do is right.
      Some are racist haters.
      We are working to bring most people to middle path.lol
      That is equality and love. So calm down, cheer. we all love u.
      Vasudhaiva kutumbakam.

  16. Pingback: This is wrong in so many ways | Western Hindu

  17. @colonial killer,
    you are mixing up relihgon with race politics and colonialism, well my friend a hindu is simply a hindu; skin, land of origin has nothing to do with ones belief system. Hindus relate to Brahman directly, your /my appreciation is welcome but not a requirement, sorry to disappoint you. You/myself arent the owners of hinduism either. By the way are you a xenophobic. (Note: Iam a born, brown hindu from south Asia.

  18. The Vedas originated on the northern and northwestern Indian subcontinent. This includes parts of Pakistan, northern India, parts of Nepal, and parts of Bangladesh. Some 81% of Nepalese are Hindu. Hinduism spread throughout India all the way to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, where there are vibrant Hindu communities today. Indians are of all colors. There are Indians of light skin. There are Indians of dark skin. Think Kashmir. Think Manipur. Think Kerala. Some Indians look European. Others look East Asian. And even others look African. Clearly, Hinduism is not just for Indians nor is it just for people of a certain color.

  19. The Best of Hinduism is enshrined in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,Swami Vivekananda ,Thirukkural -Thirumanthiram -Thayumanavar songs – Tamil . English Translation is also available in plenty.

  20. I am Hindu and i am proud on it and now all and every things of hindus , worship there no confusion ………………why u people have problem i dont now why

    • This confusion is created by those who try to convert people from Hinduism by giving wrong interpretation or by false informations

  21. It’s not up to India to allow or disallow conversions. First, Hinduism is spreading throughout the world. Second, Lord Shiva created the whole Earth with his cosmic dance. He did not create only India. After studying yoga and Indian classical dance, I started praying to Ganesha and Lord Shiva, and they answered my prayers. I then started praying to the other Hindu Gods and Goddesses, and they have been answering my prayers. I don’t know whether or not they will continue to answer my prayers. But I do know that India can not allow or disallow the Gods and Goddesses to answer or not answer someone’s prayers.

  22. Those who say that there is no scriptural basis for the idea of conversion may wish to read these relevant texts, mentioned in Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s book How to Become a Hindu:
    “The ancient practice of vrātyastoma, described fully in the Taṇḍya Brāhmaṇa, shows that not only individuals but whole tribes were absorbed into Hinduism.” Later he mentions, “the sixty-fifth chapter of Mahābhārata, Śantiparva, where Indra is described to have ordered Mandhatru to give access to all foreigners, like the Yavanas, into the Vedic religion.”

  23. ‘Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu’ – one of the foundation stones of hindu beliefs, which leads to ‘Tat Twam Asi’ (तत् त्वम् असि = तत्त्वमसि) means we are Brahman (the supreme soul) itself ; we ancestral hindus believe and follow this. If all are ‘brahman’, how we can differentiate with nationality, color, culture etc? Lokam (the whole world) includes black-brown-yellow-white human beings. Those who can understand and follow the same as a minimum requirement can also live as a hindu irrespective of color or background. Let the whole world follow the mantra – ‘Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavanthu – लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु l ‘ for peace and harmony.
    ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
    Gopan, Dubai.

  24. @ Anil & north east indian . Stop trying to project yourselves as Indian Hindus to degrade us.
    To others:
    Caste system is unfortunately still present in india but fading away. Hope we could remove impurities which seeped into hinduism. Chandra gupta maurya,the greatest king, was a shudra who was made a kshatriya by the brahmin Kautilya

  25. Cont:
    Valmiki was a hunter. Ved vyas belonged to so called ‘low caste’ too. I heard many times(from my shudra friend too) that even the surgeons belonged to shudra since others avoided touching human flesh,even kshatriya,to the possible extent . Don’t know when this started going wrong.
    Many brahmins(more than half, since probably a millenium) say that the Manusmriti is corrupted(not the original, but heavily edited) . Proof: verses like “A brahmin can become shudra, or a shudra can become brahmin by his deeds” , but there are also others saying to cut a shudra’s tongue if he speaks out vedas.
    The aryan invasion theory is ridiculous :
    *can a barbarian write/reveal something like vedas?
    *the dark gods Rama & Krishna are mainly worshipped by north indians ; the fair god Shiva is mainly of south india .
    Remember “divide & rule” ?
    Even sikhs were pushed further away by brits. But we too should take a large part of blame for ‘caste’, i think.
    Its our hindu (white, brown, black, yellow, or pink, blue, green) to throw away the evils that got in.

  26. I can understand why Tandava is upset. I would be upset too if people of very light skin color converted to Hinduism, were allowed to be of the Bhraman caste based on their light skin color, and got special privileges based on their skin color. But the answer is not to disallow conversions. The answer is to stop discriminating based on caste.

    • Subduedjoy: just to let you know it was the poster ‘HINDU’ who was upset!

      I do agree with you on this with some caveats. I am pretty certain that the images of white converts wearing the sacred thread are from ISKCON. I do have some differences with ISKCON, particularly over their evangelism and “right way/wrong way” attitude to other Hindu sects, but I cannot fault them on this. They believe caste is a changeable mesure of someone’s outlook, learning, and actions. They award the sacred thread to anyone who is pious and has a good understanding of the Gita, whether they are white, Indan born Shudra, or born Brahmin.

      It can be clear from the discussions in the post Response to post on “Trans-National” Hindus that there are many understandings on caste within Indian Hindu society. I particularly impressed by a comment by Sita:

      … .All of us have to draw salaries now adays.So in that respect we are all Shudras.This apart, I find that the present situation calls us to be of ALL varnas simultaneously,viz. When we teach our Child /our community something we are Brahmins,When we Speak out as in writing letters to the editor or take part in Street Protest over some issue,ewe become Kshatriyas,when we trade our skill/knowledge/or other comodities,or when we buy things in the market,comparing costs/prices,we are all vaishyas,and when we do the Physical work needed to get by everyday,we all become Shudras. So What are We?

  27. @Hindu, I have nt seen a lot of your posts here before so tell me why do you love hinduism over and above other faiths. Explain in detail. Want to know your perception of the faith.

  28. @Northeast Indian, I have nt seen a lot of your posts here before so tell me why do you love hinduism over and above other faiths. Explain in detail. Want to know your perception of the faith.

  29. I don’t think Northeast Indian is Hindu.

    • @ suboduedjoy, I have same suspicion, all of northeast India has been Evangelized by the Europeans decades ago. The tribals have ‘ a kalashnikov in one hand a bible in the other’ as per British Daily The Guardian (2011). Surprizingly it is the Australian clergy thats supporting them materially and ideologically. Its not just mullahs that want hinduism out of India. That was question to all who insult the new hindus: Why do you love hinduism over and above christianity and Islam? Their true colors will show quickly. Thanks for the support.

  30. I think people who say non-Indians cannot convert to Hinduism do not understand that it is not up to them. Once someone has found the path to Hinduism, it can not be taken away from them.

    • agree, also only anti hindus make statements of hatred against new hindus.I have seen this all over the web world. Ask them simply why the haters love hinduism and also how hinduism is sueprior to abrahamic faiths. Their cover will be blown that much more quickly.

    • After seeing the racist, homophobic, and violent comments from this poster I certainly hope it isn’t a Hindu!

  31. this evangelical who calls himself Northeast Indian should be allowed to post albeit with some editing and censoring, his posts have a great humor value. Tandava is right as usual: Humor is essential on religion centric blogs, which are usually very serious in tone. Colonialism has nothing to do with an individual’s belief in Hinduism. Hinduism is for all those who believe in karma siddhanta.

  32. NortH EasT IndiaN guy could be a misguided-hate filled hindu.
    But most North east indians are christians. nagaland , mizoram are christian majority states of india.
    i apologize to u as an indian for his rude remarks, have a great new year ahead.
    & keep blogging

  33. *edited
    NortH EasT IndiaN guy could be a misguided-hate filled hindu.
    But most North east indians are mostly christians according to my info. nagaland , mizoram are christian majority states of india.
    i apologize to u as an Indian for his rude remarks, have a great new year ahead.
    & keep blogging

  34. It was pointed out to me that North East Indian (also posting as Hindu and colonial Killer) is probably abusing other bloggers as well as me. Though it may seem amusing to someone living in another continent, if they are doing the same thing to people living nearby it could be really frightening.

    Following advice I have now deleted all the comments from this person.

  35. Trent Wilkerson

    I want to worship Shiva and take the pilgrimage to Mt. Kailash. I am a westerner but this is my dream.

    • Varanasi is also a great destination, BTW lot of westerners chronicle their travel to indian pilgrimage centers and other tourist places in indiamike.com website. Explore the blog and get more info. Good luck.

  36. Hinduism is quite clear in its reference to the doctrine of cycles of births and deaths, hence establishes the re-birth theory based on karma or actions performed by persons. As can be seen in this universe, everything happens in cycles governed by time periods: like the seasons, eclipses etc., and re-birth, as such is no exception. Being born as a living creature or a human being is related to the past karmas of a soul as there can be no other plausible explanation for the basic differences between various living entities. India being a country known for spiritual practices from time immemorial it had its own unique/incomparable religion of Hinduism whose aim was to explore the mysteries of birth, existence and consequent death. This religion apparently, is structured for getting salvation from the cycles of births and deaths, which perhaps, is the ultimate goal of any existence. The features of hindu religion is therefore unknown in other religions as they do not profess re-incarnation. Our sages and seers of the yore toiled to know the absolute truth. As re-incarnation is god ordained, birth in a particular form or species (human or animal) has been made unchangeable by any means since it is linked to the previous births of a soul. The four recognized castes of Hinduism are therefore acquired by a soul as a result of previously afflicted karmas alone. This phenomena is verifiable by self realized souls only . As the basic guna( nature) of a soul is related to the castes in which it takes birth and the subsequent nature of karma that it has to perform is as stipulated for that caste by the scriptures. These include following strictly religious rituals, especially by the first three twice born castes(known as Bramhana, Kshatriya and Vysya) apart from his designated profession. Whether one likes it or not he should perform these duties to the best of his abilities failing which he is punished by god by de-grading him into a lower birth or sending him to hell. The innate qualities (called gunas) come first and the ordained duty (karma) next. It is not vice versa. He shall also not forsake his swadharma (inherent duty prescribed for a caste) and try to follow the duties of another caste which can only yield adverse results. This principle is called varnashrama Dharma which position cannot be altered by reasoning as it is not valid as per scriptures. Conclusions coming out of such efforts will only remain as mere conceptions. God can only be pleased by following this path. The true meaning of caste system is clear from the scriptures as it is mentioned & re-iterated with examples in important and primary scriptural Texts of the hindus. Some skewed misinterpretations have been given by self styled swamis propagating Hinduism with meanings of varnas being arrived at by the profession chosen by a person according to his aptitude. The meaning of castes could only be understood against the background of re-birth effected by karmas which is explained in the shastras and therefore belief in shastras is a pre-requisite for following Hinduism. The phenomena is quite subtle as it refers to inner layers of consciousness of the body. Anyone without access to higher spiritual knowledge which is beyond senses, trying to argue on this aspect will not arrive at the truth as they would be unaware of past and future lives of any living being. Anything judged by seeing the actions and reactions thereof on a person in a particular life does not give the total scenario to know the persons past or future. Also as the scriptures say that there is a time lag between an action and the fruit of it (which can be different for different types of actions), no judgment could be made based on the fruits of action in one’s particular life only. By common sense, we notice that a tree planted to day do not yield fruits tomorrow itself, so also with every other phenomena in nature. Our brains are created by an unseen power, unknown to us and whatever created by this brain belongs to its creator. Therefore it is a fallacy to think that science which is derived from brain work can take us above the creator and to mistakenly depend on scientific revelations happening in the world of today to negate religion. From this point of view, an endeavor to keep science away from religion in the mind will help immensely to choose the right path. As re-birth is not accepted in religions other than Hinduism, no comparisons with them can be drawn. Conversion to Hinduism is not approved by the scriptures, therefore, anyone outside hinduism can adopt a hindu way of life but refrain from performing vedic rituals or chanting of mantras which cause scriptural injunctions and might cause even adverse effects as it is prohibited in the scriptures. For anybody trying to approach and understand Hinduism, it is worthwhile to know the above ideas as a background.

  37. Anil Kumar Tripathi

    Hinduism is quite different from Christianity and Islam. It is not an orthodox religion, on the contrary its quite liberal,…………here there is no single god , no single book…….even an atheist can be a Hindu. You only needs to believe in its core philosophy and principles to become a Hindu. Thus you don’t need any certificate to call yourself Hindu so long as you adhere to its core philosophy.
    No harm if you join some Hindu organisation. Similarly no harm if some” ceremony of conversion”( although not mandatory) is being performed for this purpose.

  38. It is the duty of every hindu to follow the Dharmaic scriptures as prescribed for him as meticulously as possible, lest harmful things befall him. The karmic theory is definitely not a joke to be taken light-heartedly. There is a thinking prevalent among modern hindus, now a days, that due to western education all (hindus) have given a go by to the tenets of Hinduism and do things as they please. This is not true as some percentage of hindus still follow traditional Hinduism and reaping good results. There are varied interpretations of shastras by unauthorised gurus and persons with vested interests as per their whims and fancies which when followed might lead to undesirable effects. Therefore, it is the duty of hindus having knowledge of shastras to explain to foreigners of the intricacies of Hinduism to avoid harm. Beyond this, it is the risk/chance of any person to transgress the injunctions of our sacred scriptures

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