Friday, April 10, 2015

The unnecessary drama on conversion

Thoughts on what I read and witness heavily discussed these days about the 'home-coming' wave of getting people converted to other religions back to Hinduism. My view is that conversion in any direction is unnecessary.

If seeking the truth and the living God is the purpose then - jumping from one religious box to another religious box means nothing. Changing name, birth certificate, clothing, food habits, hairstyle, accessories mean nothing. Changing cultural labels given to you at birth means nothing. And none of these things are necessary. Religion by itself can never bring one closer to God. Religion is man-made, geographically limited and religious execution changes every few years based on cultural trends and new human ideas. God, on the other hand, never changes. Nor does He look at external labels associated with us. He looks at our hearts. He looks at how we respond to His gaze. Whether we realize our fallen state and seek Him, is all that matters.

The only conversion is that from a sinning heart to a redeemed heart. Who cares what labels the world slaps on? Labels and external decor do not change hearts. Only through a real relationship with God where there has been a trade of your sins for a righteousness that only He can give can He affect a change in you from being a tarnished soul to a renewed, cleansed soul.

Those that change religions in order to get food or clothing or shelter or avoid social pressure do not really draw close to God. They are miserable and desperate to get their basic needs met. Changing their external labels does not lead to any spiritual renewal - neither for the bribing label changer nor for the one whose label is changed. 

Why go up in arms to force those who have studied, thought or experienced and made a decision to follow a particular path even if it is not the one they were born in?  Why can  a person born as a Muslim not be a disciple of Jesus? Why can a person born as a Hindu not pursue Guru Yeshu as his Lord in bhakti marg?

The only 'home-coming' that matters is that of a sinful human finding his way back home to the True and Living God, the Father. The way back to our real home with God is essentially a departure from all organized religion to a personal relationship with Him.