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Can one convert to Hinduism?

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Goon, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Goon

    Goon New Member

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    Hi !

    This topic has most likely been done a million times, however I just cant find an answer on this question:

    Is it possible to convert to Hinduism, i am extremely interested in doing so, however im not sure how to go about it? I live in Finland and there is little to no hindus here (atleast at the moment), so i have to rely on internet and books for information.

    IF it is possible to convert to Hinduism, PLEASE tell me how :)

    All info will be appreciated.
     
  2. Poeticus

    Poeticus | abhyAvartin |

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    You have to wage war with supporters of the Patriots Football team. Then, after conquering them, you have to loudly exclaim that the Dolphins are the best team of all time. Only then, can you become a Hindu. :D
     
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  3. Ashoka

    Ashoka Om Namah Shivaya

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    Technically no, because there is no "converting" people in Hinduism. Anyone can start following it, though, and many do. I started following it, for example.
     
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  4. Goon

    Goon New Member

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    Thanks, i feel like a hindu already.
    Patriots suck so much it only took me a mere few seconds to conquer them.

    GO DOLPHINS!
     
  5. Goon

    Goon New Member

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    Thanks. This answered my question :)

    Nice to know its possible. Thanks lad.
     
  6. Ashoka

    Ashoka Om Namah Shivaya

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    Lassie ;) lol.

    No problem. If you don't mind my asking, what drew you to Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma)?
     
  7. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Yes, indeed you can. The Arya Samaj reconverts people in India back to Hinduism when they have been converted away from Hinduism, and often en masse. Saiva Siddhanta Church in the west converts people as well, via the namakarana samskara, and it's accepted by most other branches of Hinduism. But SSC practices 'ethical conversion' meaning all former ties to any religion have to be cut first, so it's very clear. Also, it's clear that you should go 'all out' and change your name etc., which is considered too drastic by many. It's a reasonably lengthy process, and is outlined quite clearly in the book 'How to Become A Hindu" which is available on line.

    But as Shivoham has stated, one can simply start practicing. It also depends a lot on what sect and how mystical it is, etc. Certainly anyone can do that. Please ask more questions if all this is a bit vague.

    What particular sect are you interested in, and why do you feel the need to convert? Maybe it's actually 'adopt' which is quite different on the mind.
     
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  8. Kalidas

    Kalidas Well-Known Member

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    Shivoham is "TECHNICALLY right but in the common sense of what people normally when mean they said convert, yes you can. I did, I used to a Christian. What to do when one converts? This is hard, take it slow listen learn BE OPEN! I can honestly say I have seen, experienced, and felt things I NEVER did as a Christian so be open to the possibilities and do not be afraid to try new things.

    But something you must understand about "converting to Hinduism". Many on here would say (and rightfully so) one does not convert but become everyday. there are people on here who have been practicing for 40 years and still wouldn't call themselves a "full Hindu" because there is still more to learn and do. Unlike other religions where it is a simple matter of accept person X to be divine and do what they say than you are Y. No Hinduism is about LIVING. One does not simply walk into Hinduism, no you must live it. It's common to hear people say I am not a Hindu, I am becoming one daily.

    Hinduism is actually first and will always be called Sanatana Dharma, which means the eternal life(way to live it, if I got that wrong anyone please correct me). This all means that yes we have rituals, prayer, offerings, holidays, mysticism, Gods, etc but TRUE devotion is every waking second. You are NEVER not worshiping the Gods, so act in a way that would worthy of the Gods. Your very life is an offering to the Gods, make it a good one ;).
     
  9. Poeticus

    Poeticus | abhyAvartin |

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    Hehehe.

    But, in all seriousness, all the things Vinayaka said are true. The main point is, don't be quick to "convert". Study as much as you can about Hinduism; see if it works for you; see what you can learn from it. Also, you will have countless sub-sects to choose from a variety of sects. Along down the road, you may agree with one and even choose to formally or even spiritually convert. Don't worry about the label too much. Down the road, you may find out that Hinduism is not what you are seeking. Calling yourself Hindu right now and then discarding the Hindu title may not only trouble you, but surely will hurt Hindu sentiments. It is kind of painful to see new converts come and go.

    Study, adapt, express, exponentiate, and then see if you would like to be known as a Hindu, and better: which sect of Hinduism you would like to identify after all the strenuous finding-out-who-you-are.
     
  10. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    You can convert to Hinduism. You can convert to Hinduism. Technically, you can convert to Hinduism. Please don't be swayed by anyone who tells you you cannot convert to Hinduism. Hinduism has accepted converts throughout the ages, and you can find a list of converts to Hinduism on line. I can post it here. I have a conversion certificate that looks much like a marriage certificate, and a legal change of name certificate. My birth name id different than the name on my passport.

    If I go to India, and want entrance to a temple that bans Hindus, I can pull these documents, and show it to the temple authorities and then be admitted. Probably close to 99% of the time anyway. I've only actually done it once (at Madurai Meenakshi) but they accepted it without question, and even gave me 'preferential treatment'.

    Did you hear that? You CAN convert to Hinduism.
     
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  11. Ashoka

    Ashoka Om Namah Shivaya

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    Eh, I didn't mean to imply that there could be no conversion :/ Sorry.
     
  12. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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  13. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    It's okay. It was just one word ... 'technically'. :)
     
  14. Poeticus

    Poeticus | abhyAvartin |

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    Vinayaka, what would you think of the following advice?

    "Don't be quick to label yourself just yet; experience, study, read, practice, etc. as much as you can before calling yourself Hindu."
     
  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Totally agree with it. But we don't have enough info yet. There are many who say it too quickly, and later back out, or come across as phoneys. Being a student of Hinduism is much different than being a practicing full out Hindu who eats, drinks and breathes it 24-7.
     
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  16. ShivaFan

    ShivaFan Satyameva Jayate
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    Namaste Vinayaka

    I suspect that you were already a Hindu ("Hindu in heart") before you underwent the name change and namakarana samskara. Of course, the methods you followed made it "official" (sort like now being a card carrying member of the "xyz party").

    Do you think it is possible for a Devata to give you a (Sanskrit or Tamil) name?

    What about those who become a "das" or "dasi" (viz "servant" - sometimes translated as "slave" of the Name it is appended to, i.e. "Surya das" or servant of Surya)? They are given or declared as the servant of their Lord and then are referenced as such.

    We are very glad you are a Hindu!

    Om Namah Sivaya
     
  17. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Depends on what you mean by Devata. My Guru sometimes chose names for people and He and I discussed mine, as well as my wife's. My name sort of called to me.

    Das, I'm not so sure. I know it's very common for members of ISKCON, yet most, if not all, kept their Christian names on their passports. Not that common in my sampradaya, but I do know a Sivadas, and a ...dasi.
     
  18. Kalidas

    Kalidas Well-Known Member

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    Goon this Vinayaka, he has the BEST advice for Hindus. He was NOT "born Hindu(we knows THAT'S a lie ;))".

    Hey Vinayaka question. Do you think the full conversion route is a necessary step for full 100% conversion and all the benefits that come with it? Like maybe attaining moksha, finding a guru, "proper" worship? Are all these things totally doable without FULL 100% conversion.

    Basically I want to know can I and any other none Indian Hindu be a very great true to the heart Hindu without the official conversion?
     
  19. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Tough question. But you always pose tough questions. On a personal level, it's what worked for me. But my personality is kind of 'all or nothing' . For example, when I coached volleyball at school, it was practice every day, and go to every single tournament we could find. Very few other schools ran such an intensive program at that level. So that's just me.

    Dr. David Frawley, otherwise known as Vamadeva Shastri, (I think) has written many Hindu books and is well respected within Hindu circles, yet didn't change his name. So who is to say?

    Moksha is rare, regardless of what you do. I don't see it as a doable goal in the near future for me. In my sampradaya it's something withheld for the renunciate and celibacy, but this is an orthodox school so you have to expect that.

    Anybody and his dog can benefit from practising Hinduism. The Gods will bless you regardless.

    In mystical metaphysical sampradayas like mine, one of the reasons for the full all out conversion is that we believe in actual metaphysical divine beings (devas in Hinduism, angels in Catholicism). Baptisms and conversion ceremonies and rituals connect you to that world, and inform or announce to that side what you're up to. So do marriages, ans any of the Hindu samskaras. The namakarana is a time when personal guardian devas are assigned to you, or take you on. That is also the reason to get excommunicated from your previous faith ... so the devas (and angels) know that you do or don't want their help.

    So in mystical lineages, it's of great importance. In philosophical lineages where the devas are seen as symbolic or something like that, it's not so important. Most lineages aren't mystical like the one I follow.

    Hope that helps.
     
  20. Kalidas

    Kalidas Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for always taxing your brain but you always give me such good answers, you should try not to be so smart ;). I see I see so this was all your personal choice because it is the type of person you are. So it's not a matter of it is THE RIGHT thing to do or it is WRONG TO DO, it was and always will be right for you.

    I used to be more of the philosophical side but I don't know as of late as I told Boon there are things that I never felt in any other religion. I don't think I have ever had such a strong belief in God ever before...it's different. I wouldn't say I'm a mystic, I am just not a skeptic anymore.

    Who knows maybe it will be something I may want to do some day maybe I will never have the "need" to. Well thanks for excepting me anyways.
     
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