I have just had to remove a blog from my page describing blogs by Westerners following Hinduism. The author of the blog recently posted that he felt that his heart was not in Hinduism, and then made it clear that he is no longer following Sanatana Dharma in a post “Charting a New Course“. He intends to keep many elements of Hinduism but primarily return to Christianity.
My first feeling was an emotional response of regret and disappointment, especially as the blogger was a fellow student of the Himalayan Academy master course. I had hoped that his blog and mine would give two different perspectives on the Nandinatha Sampradaya. I also find it hard to understand how anyone could fail to find what they need in the wide and diverse path of Hinduism.
Then I remembered that Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami said that the fact that they lose some converts proves the process of ethical conversion. All the comments that the blogger received were positive, helping him see his options and wishing him the best for the future. There were even more comments on the private forum for Master Course students. This underlines the fact that Hindus don’t use disruptive tactics such as threats, bribes or deception to gain converts.
It is clear that the blogger’s choice to leave the path of Sanatana Dharma out of his own free will and heartfelt belief. As such we must accept it and wish him well on his spiritual path. We all have our own dharma to lead, and some people are not ready for Sanatana Dharma in this life.
The blogger found problems with returning to Christianity also, and is now in a difficult place where he feels attachments to both Hinduism and Christianity but cannot follow either path fully. May Lord Ganesha remove the obstacles in his spiritual path and make his way clear to him, whatever that way is.
Arguably, he is still a hindu. If he wants to shed the “hindu” label than that’s his choice. After all, the word has always been an artificial term. And it’s teachings – Generic.
It is very hard for someone to come out of a dogmatic mindset. But if someone does or has come out of it then that alone says a lot about that person’s mindset; they are able to question with themselves. In a dogmatic world, this would be considered a blasphemous act.
Question is, if you have already set your mind to wander free, can you now cage it back in? Even for the sake of bakti or absolute devotion? It would sound like “cognitive dissonance” to me.
You make a good point Anju.
I could never see him becoming a “dogmatic” Christian saying that his is the only true path and condemning all others. I doubt if he will ever leave that behind.
Many other Christians would see this alone as being closer to a Hindu than a Christian belief.
I’m very happy he found his way. The Lord spoke to his heart and took the personality of Jesus to do so. There is nothing but beauty in that.
Yes I agree, I am also happy he found his way.
May God bless him.
@Tandava, See his reply … Poor guy. totally confused.
//Thanks, Tandava. You’re pretty much correct. I’m not down to nailing down all the tiny fine points of belief yet. In fact, I’m not yet even completely certain about this whole course of action. I’m “missing” Hinduism already. It may be that there is simply too much contradictory doctrine to reconcile. Some days, I feel like throwing up my hands and just giving up. Can I just come back to Sanatana Dharma? We’ll see where this all leads.//
Yes he does seem very confused. May Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati remove his confusion.
I concur, he’s trying to row too many boats.
This is exactly the reason why the Asian Hindus don’t take western converts seriously.
If no Asian Hindus ever had doubts about their faith, and perhaps followed a missionary for a while, then this would be a reasonable attitude. By the way, did you read the next post?
Being a Asian Hindu myself, i don’t feel any close to certification authority. He can choose any path he want to worship almighty and a true Hindu shall never have any problem as long as he stays away from Holier than Thou attitude. BTW as a matter of fact back in India it’s actually the native converts who has this Holier than Thou attitude towards Hinduism while the Westerners/White christens ( by majority, as far as i am concerned) visiting the India shows true respect. Though it is other thing that many embraces Hinduism sometime thereafter.
we asian hindus for one realized longtime ago the western hidus (converts) are far more devout than most born hindus. Come to america I can prove it to the pessimists, the likes of you.Hindu mandirs here AND in india have western pujaris just to let you know.
Perhaps, Eruve, this is why you SHOULD take Western converts such as myself seriously. I realize that I need to examine my motives for conversion scrupulously and make certain that I am serious about what I am doing, and that I can live fully within the context of my new faith. Any doubts that come up are acknowledged fully and examined to see whether they are valid or if they are just nostalgia and cultural familiarity. Rather than becoming a Hindu as a spur of the moment decision – it is a process of self-examination as well as examination of my old and new faiths. To recognize the enormity and importance of the decision and not to make it lightly. This is exactly the process encouraged by the Nandinatha Sampradaya’s process of ethical conversion to Hinduism – to encourage everyone to learn the truth about Hinduism and to help those who are serious about conversion to make an informed decision which will change their lives. Aum Shanti.
Being a Hindu i live by “Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti”. His path may be different but goal is one. Wishing him all luck.
Firstlly the burden of proof lies on the soulders of Shri Eruve- presumably the shoulders are narrow- the proof that he is a hindu in the first place. Always bear in mind the high probability that those who slight converts/others whilst claiming themselves to be hindus are most probably are converted indian christians. The deception that goes on in indian christian community can never be grasped by unwary foreigners. They play every little trick that one can conceive of.The motive is to convert hindus to christianity at any ‘cost’, India is a very fertile land to harvest the souls, the poverty and tolerant secularism collectively play into the hands of evangelists.
I think it is easy for a western hindu convert to adopt and practice the true essence of Hinduism than native Indian Hindus. This is because the native Indian Hindus know much about Hinduism, Hindu myths, Hindu puranas and other teachings from Vedas. But they just have knowledge and not the original spiritual or meditation experience or the true essence gathered personally by reading the scriptures themselves. As they know much, they just ignore to learn more and just follow the local tradition and rituals without even knowing the reasons behind those rituals and call themselves Hindus. I guess it is easy to copy only the essential files to an empty hard disk than deleting millions of unnecessary files from a 2tb hard disk.