Wednesday, November 08, 2006

All paths are true VS (re)conversion to Hinduism

Many Hindus sometimes raise this doubt that as Hindus hold that all paths are true, why does then one need to (re)convert to Hinduism or in other words is not allowing someone to (re)convert to Hinduism a negation of the principle of plurality.

Such arguments only show that one did not fully understand the significance of the “many paths are true” point. The Hindu idea is that each individual is different and unique. No two individuals think alike, talk alike, like the same things etc etc. No two individuals have the same psychological structure. Hence, it is imperative that no single particular form or concept of worship (henceforth referred as “path”) is capable of catering to the vast human diversity. Thus, Hinduism acknowledges that multiple paths are not just acceptable, but necessary.

The question then naturally comes up- why (re)convert? The answer is because there are many paths and the path should be selected by the individual.

Let’s take an analogy: you tell a kid that he can take any flavour of ice cream he wants; any flavour is fine.

Now based on this, we cannot force the kid saying, you must take this vanilla flavour; you are free to take any flavour and vanilla is that “any” flavour.

The “any path is true” is meant for the **individual** to make the choice. Hence conversion is very much acceptable, provided the person is willing.

Those who say “it is bad to (re)convert others to Hinduism” are behaving against the spirit of this “many paths true” for they are denying the freedom of the individual to choose any path are confining the individuals freedom to only the religion he is born in.

It is like saying “your gold is my gold, my gold is your gold; your gold be with me, my gold also be with me”. All paths are true, so let Hindus convert to other religions if they wish; all the religions are same, so let’s not (re)convert anyone!!!

So let’s throw open the doors and invite all... whoever is willing to come are welcome.


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