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Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl
Posted By Sarin on Oct 04, 2013     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

This article is inspired from a real life experience of an Indian saint who was enquired on Hinduism by an innocent young child. Just read the conversation. It’s beautiful. All non-Hindus must read this 5 min conversation to understand about Hinduism.  
This incident is of an Indian saint flying to San Francisco Airport from JFK New York Airport to address a Hindu gathering at Montreal, CA. This saint got a seat next to a young American girl who was reading bible near the window seat. Below is the piece of conversation they had in their seven hour long journey to San Francisco. (I have added my own views to add up the necessary details which I felt was missing in this conversation)

Girl: Hi. Where are you from?
Saint: I am from India.
Girl: Cool...What is your faith?
Saint: ‘What?’
Girl: I mean your religion? Christian? Muslim?
Saint: No! I am neither a Muslim nor a Christian  
Girl: (shocked) Then who are you?
Saint: (smiled) I am a Hindu
Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl
Girl: (surprised) everyone in Europe is either a Christian or Muslim. I never heard about Hindu. How come you are a Hindu?
Saint: My father was a Hindu. My mother was Hindu. So naturally, I am also a Hindu

Girl: (exclaims) who is your prophet?
Saint: We don't have a prophet
Girl:   Then what is your holy book?
Saint: We have hundreds of philosophical and sacred books. No book is of supreme authority
Girl:  You must be joking. At least tell me about your god?
Saint: What do you mean?
Girl: Like I Worship Jesus. Muslims worships Allah. Whom do you worship? Don’t tell me you don’t have a god.
Saint: (Thinking for a while) Christians and Muslims believe in only one male god who created this universe and is a caretaker of whole humanity. According to you, a religion should have only one god, one prophet and one holy book. You have conditioned your mind with such a rigid belief in such a way that you find it difficult to believe in anything else. To answer your question, our god is not comparable to god of any organized religions.  
Girl: Don’t confuse me. Do you have any god? Do you have many gods?
Saint: (sighs) it depends on the individual. Hindus have the liberty to believe in one god or believe in multiple deities. (Also read How many Gods in Hinduism)  One can believe in one universal supreme Brahman (God) to be a Hindu or can believe in multiple deities that are manifestations of supreme universal Brahman (God) to be a Hindu. Moreover, Hindus have the freedom to believe in no god and still, be called as a Hindu.
Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl
Few of the 33 million Hindu deities

Girl: This is crazy. This is so unorganized? How old is your faith?
Saint: Well, No one knows the birthday of Hinduism (also read Origin of word Hindu ) But it predates all other organized religion. According to modern archeological evidences, Hinduism is the oldest religion of the world and some claims it to be at least few million years old.
Girl: Hmmm...How come a religion so unorganized survived millions of years? This is difficult to believe but it sounds very interesting. Are you religious?
Saint: We have many rituals. We have many temples. We have many gods. I do not go to temples regularly. I don’t worship all gods. I don’t follow all rituals. Still I enjoy following my rituals and Yeah, I am religious.  
Girl: What? You enjoy religion and rituals? Are you not afraid of god?
Saint: No dear!!! God is a friend. Why to fear? Whom to fear? Nobody can compel me to worship god or follow all rituals.
Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl
God is your true friend
Girl: (thinking for a while) don’t you ever feel converting to some other organized religion?
Saint: Well, I thought about it but then I realized that no other faith would give me the freedom to reject or challenge any ritual or belief? Being a Hindu gives me absolute freedom to approach the god in a way I want. I have the right to question the authority of my guru/god which I can’t do in other religions. Christians can’t oppose the decision of Vatican City or Muslims can’t oppose the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Hinduism is not forced upon me; I remain a Hindu by will and choice. Also, Hinduism is not a religion but a culture with many beliefs, rituals and practices that is not decided by any temple, guru, institution or governing body.
Girl: So, you are an agnostic and are confused in deciding whether to believe in god or not?
Saint: Absolutely No!!!!You got me wrong. I believe in the divine reality. Our scriptures like gita, Vedas and  Upanishads guides us to believe in both personal and non-personal aspect of the supreme universal Brahman. We pray to the creator of thus universe who is supreme, transcendental, ever-pervading and beyond this materialistic world.

Girl: Why don’t you believe in one personal god?
Saint: Well, I can and I can’t. It depends upon me. No can force any personal god to me. I don’t believe in irrational stories where a god sends his messengers and demand us to worship him or get punished or burned in fire. God is a supreme entity and not an autocratic king that want others to fear or respect him. I don’t want to undertake such fantasy stories as my beliefs.
Girl: Ok...That sounds good. At least you believe in God. So how do you pray to God?
Saint: By folding our hands(also read Why Hindus greet namaste and its significance ) and chanting some mantras(also read Why gayatri mantra is the most powerful mantra ). We have many mantras but I pray to my god using this one 'Loka Samastha Sukino Bhavantu. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,'
Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl Folding hands is called Namaste in Hinduism
(Laughing) Which Language is that? What does it mean?
It’s in Sanskrit, world oldest language.  It means “May all the beings in all the worlds be happy. Let there be Peace, Peace, and Peace everywhere”

Girl: Hmmm...Very Nice. Your religion is quite different yet very interesting. Please tell me more about your religion.  
Saint:  Unlike other religions, Hinduism is a religion of an individual, for an individual and by an individual with its roots in Gita, Vedas and Upanishads. It’s about an individual conquest of finding god within himself by self-realization and self consciousness in his own way in accordance to his temperament and inner thinking.

Girl: I don’t see Hindu in America. Why nobody converts to Hinduism? How can anybody convert to Hinduism?
Saint: Well there are many Hindus in America. You can get the glimpse of Hindus in America every year during the festival of holi where millions of Americans gathers to celebrate the birthday of lord Krishna.
Such Americans are Christian by religion, but Hindu by culture. There is no concept of conversion in Hinduism because we don’t have any single authority that can accept or reject you as a Hindu or non-Hindu.  Anyone who believes himself as a Hindu and follows the Hindu culture is a Hindu. A man/woman who changes his religion is a big fool because he not only fails to realize the good teachings of his religion but also denigrates the culture, morals, beliefs and values of his parents/ancestors. If you want to reach god then don’t look for any religion as the only path. Just look within yourself. Search the divine universal god within yourself. God is present everywhere as the Vedic teaching says 'Isavasyam idam sarvam Isam’ meaning “(the God) is present (inhabits) here everywhere - nothing exists separate from the God, because God is present everywhere.” See everything as god and look for god in everything.  
Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl
God is in everyone
This is the core fundamental beliefs of Hinduism. Hinduism is originally known as Sanatana Dharma, meaning “the eternal faith”. Hindus are open to all faiths and religions. We believe in Ahimsa or non-violence and believe in divinity in plants and animals too. (also read Why Animal worship in hinduism ) Even plants and animals are considered sacred in Hinduism. We believe in one god that can be expressed in different forms (Avatars or manifestations) (also read Why Idol worship in hinduism ) to depict his supreme divinity. For us, god is formless and timeless entity. We believe in four spiritual paths to reach god.
  • Kama - Physical or emotional pleasure that sows the seed of your next generation.
  • Artha - Get Power, fame and wealth to ensure the better future of your descendants and society in general.
  • Dharma: Following the rights sets of morals and values. With maturity, one learns to govern Kama and Artha within the framework of dharma. Karma (deeds) defines your Dharma.
  • Moksha: The only true, infinite goal, liberation from this materialistic world or reincarnation, the cycle of life, cycle of birth and death

    Why I am a hindu-Conversation with a christain girl
    True Hinduism is about eternal cosmic laws that guide the whole universe and all living beings residing within it but there are a section of Hindus who have turned fanatics to make Hinduism a multi-billion dollar industry. Such fake Hindus who calls themselves as spiritual gurus tries to lure devotees by spreading false superstitions and propagandas to earn money. Ultimate goal of our life is to unite our soul with supreme universal super soul (God)  
    Girl: Wow!!! I feel like I have read the whole bible in just a small conversation I had with you. When I reach home, I will surely research about Hinduism.  
    Saint: I would be more pleased if you research on the ways to reach god through yoga and meditation.
    Girl: Yeah, I would definitely do that...Thanks a lot. It was nice talking to you.
    Saint: For me too...Thanks
    Hinduism is the amalgamation of all religions and have a special place for non-Hindus too. Hindus never rejected any incoming forces, no matter how cruel or aggressive they were; instead they accepted them like a mother who accepts all children’s. For Hindus, the world is one family and this is the secret behind the diverse ethnics groups and communities co-existing peacefully in India. Hindus are open to new ideas, beliefs, thoughts, rituals and are known throughout the world for various beliefs like karma, reincarnation, soul, meditation, yoga etc. Because of lack of rigid beliefs and focus on searching god through yoga and meditation, Hinduism is finding a place among all modern educated followers. Due to all such simple yet rational beliefs, Hinduism is rightly called as the "the mother of all religions" and “cradle of spirituality", partially because it has virtually influenced all other religion. 

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